Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Nov. 30, 2018

News Site Brooklyn

Espinal Demands Citywide Moratorium on Destruction Of Green Spaces

City Councilman Rafael Espinal Jr.

City Council member Rafael Espinal (D-Bushwick, Brownsville, Cypress Hills, East New York)  will join Nelson Mandela Community Garden and other advocates in rallying for protection of green spaces today.

As rezonings and the affordable housing crisis drive more development across the City, open space is an increasingly rare commodity. Often under City agency jurisdiction, these sites are singled out as opportunities to build more affordable housing. Espinal is calling on the City to issue a moratorium on the destruction of community gardens.

“Community gardens should not be treated like vacant lots. I am calling for a moratorium on the destruction of all community gardens in New York City. As predictions about our planet’s future grow increasingly bleak, we must preserve and expand green space in our City, not pave it over. We need a blanket moratorium until we can trust our City agencies to take climate change seriously and to value these outdoor community centers,” said Espinal.

“Environmental justice can only exist if we recognize every neighborhood’s right to have healthy green spaces. When gardens are pit against affordable housing construction, we give in to a perception that gardens are luxury amenities and not essential parts of our community. We need housing as much as we need open space. When gardens are bulldozed into construction sites, we disregard their essential role in keeping the fabric of our neighborhoods together,” added Espinal.

The event is slated for 9 a.m., today, Nov. 30, at 60 Centre Street in Lower Manhattan.


Cumbo Lauds Victories For New York State Lawmakers

City Council Member Laurie Cumbo

Majority Leader City Council member Laurie Cumbo (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Crown Heights) applauded the recent victories for New York State lawmakers yesterday including recent wins for Attorney General-elect Letitia James, State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers, White Plains, New Rochelle, Greenburgh and Scarsdale) and Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Bed-Stuy, Brownsville, East New York, Canarsie, Mill Basin, Coney Island, and South Ozone Park, Howard Beach in Queens).

James made history earlier this month becoming the first woman, and the first woman of color, in New York State history to get elected state attorney general. Earlier this week, Jeffries edged out fellow Congressional Black Caucus member Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) to become the next chair of the House Democratic Caucus, the No.5 leadership position in the now majority party.

On Thursday, Stewart-Cousins made history after being elected the majority leader of the New York State Senate. She is the first woman to lead a major conference in the State Legislature, according to initial reports.

“Congratulations to all three of them on their tremendous accomplishments, I am so proud to call them partners in this work as we lead the way in advancing change for families and communities in New York and nationwide. As the first Black woman Majority Leader of the New York City Council, I am immensely grateful for their partnership and support as we work to build a safe and strong city for all New Yorkers,” said Cumbo.

“This moment in our nation calls for bold, courageous, progressive leadership and I am so proud that New York is stepping up and answering that call,” added Cumbo.


Treyger Denounces Swastika Graffiti Found At Brighton Beach Public Library

City Councilman Mark Treyger

City Council Member Mark Treyger (D-Bath Beach, Bensonhurst, Coney Island, Gravesend, Sea Gate) denounced recent reports yesterday that swastika graffiti was discovered within the Brooklyn Public Library Brighton Beach branch.

On Thursday, library staff discovered the anti-semitic symbol in the morning alerting local police about the incident, according to initial reports. The discovery comes off the heels of weeks of anti-semitic incidents across the borough including vandalism at the historical Union Temple and a swastika spree in Brooklyn Heights.

“I am disgusted and outraged to learn that some of our community’s children, families and seniors walked into the Brooklyn Public Library Brighton Beach branch – a branch that serves a community with a large number of Holocaust survivors, World War II veterans, and their descendants – only to be confronted with heinous, hateful anti-Semitic vandalism. The frequency of reports detailing this kind of hate-filled behavior across our city in recent months is concerning, disturbing, and unacceptable,” said Treyger.

“I have been made aware that the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating. Once the perpetrator is apprehended, I urge the Kings County District Attorney Office to prosecute this as a hate crime to the furthest extent possible under the law. We cannot relent in sending the message that this kind of behavior is unacceptable in this city – in any city or place – and will not be tolerated,” added Treyger.


Clarke To Host Public Charge Roundtable

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke

Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (D-Crown Heights, Flatbush, East Flatbush, Park Slope, Midwood, Sheepshead Bay, Brownsville), community leaders, and immigration experts will host a roundtable regarding the proposed public charge rule change next week.

This fall, the Trump Administration announced proposed changes to the public charge rule, a policy change that could dramatically impact immigrants, temporary visa holders and U.S. employers.

The “public charge rule” is a policy designed to reduce the number of people who are eligible for green cards and other visas, by redefining what makes them dependent on government benefits (or likely to be in the future). Congress long ago established that the U.S. government can deny a green card to anyone who “is likely at any time to become a public charge” but without defining what “public charge” means.

Since 1999, immigration officers have adopted the guiding principle that a public charge is someone “primarily dependent on the government for subsistence,” as demonstrated by either (a) using public cash assistance for income maintenance or (b) institutionalization for long-term care at government expense, according to Forbes.

The proposed change could deeply affect a large portion of Brooklyn residents, making it harder for working and middle-class people to immigrate legally to the United States by denying them green cards and visas based on government assumptions that they are likely to receive specified amounts of Medicaid coverage or other public benefits.

The event is slated for 6:30 p.m., Monday, Dec. 3, at Lenox Road Baptist Church, at 1356 Nostrand Avenue in Flatbush.


Bichotte, Parker, CM Williams Announce Free Citizenship Assistance Event

Rodneyse Bichotte
Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte
Sen. Kevin Parker
Jumaane Williams
City Council Member Jumaane Williams

Assembly member Rodneyse Bichotte (Flatbush, Ditmas Park), State Senator Kevin Parker (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Ditmas Park, Kensington, Windsor Terrace, Park Slope) and City Council member Jumaane Williams (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood) announced dates for an upcoming free citizenship assistance event yesterday.

The event will be hosted by the CUNY Citizenship Now! program, the largest university legal assistance program in the nation providing free and confidential citizenship and immigration law services since 1997.

At the event, attendees will receive free, high quality, and confidential immigration law services to help on their path to U.S. citizenship including one-on-one consultations to assess participants’ eligibility for legal benefits and assistance in applying for government benefits.  

The event is slated for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 8, at Flatbush YMCA – Gym, at 1401 Flatbush Avenue in Flatbush.

For a detailed list of what to bring and/or to make an appointment, call 646-664-9400.
More information at cuny.edu/citizenshipnow.

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