Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Dec. 14, 2018

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Nadler Statement At Congressional Hearing With Google CEO Pichai

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Borough Park, Kensington, parts of Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights, Red Hook, Sunset Park, Midwood, Western Manhattan), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, this week delivered the following edited remarks during a Judiciary Committee hearing on “Transparency & Accountability: Examining Google and its Data Collection, Use, and Filtering Practices” with Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai:

“Google is among the dominant firms in this field.  As such, given the public’s widespread use and reliance on its products and services, there are legitimate questions regarding the company’s policies and practices, including with respect to content moderation and the protection of user data privacy.

“But before we delve into these questions, I must first dispense with a completely illegitimate issue, which is the fantasy, dreamed up by some conservatives, that Google and other online platforms have an anti-conservative bias.

“As I have said repeatedly, no credible evidence supports this right-wing conspiracy theory. I have little doubt that my Republican colleagues will spend much of their time presenting a laundry list of anecdotes and out-of-context statements made by Google employees as supposed evidence of anti-conservative bias.  But none of that will actually make it true.   And even if Google were deliberately discriminating against conservative viewpoints—just as Fox News and Sinclair Broadcasting discriminate against progressive ones—that would be its right, as a private company, to do so.

“But we should not let the delusions of the far right distract us from the real issues that should be the focus of today’s hearing.  For example, we should examine what Google is doing to stop hostile foreign powers from using its platform to spread false information, in order to harm our political discourse.

“We should also examine how Google enforces community standards that prohibit racist or bigoted threats, and other inappropriate conduct. While Internet platforms have produced many societal benefits, they have also provided a new tool for those seeking to stoke racial and ethnic hatred.  The presence of hateful conduct and content on these platforms has been made all the more alarming by the recent rise in hate-motivated violence. According to statistics recently released by the FBI, reported incidents of hate crimes rose by 17 percent in 2017, compared to 2016, marking the third consecutive year that such reports have increased.

“As the dominant player in its field, Google possesses significant market power.  It is also useful to examine its policies and practices to ensure that other companies are able to compete in an open and fair marketplace.


Deutsch, Levin, Jewish Caucus Statement On Queens Assault Of Jewish Teen

City Councilman Chaim Deutsch
City Councilman Stephen Levin

City Council Members Chaim Deutsch (D-Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach, Homecrest, Midwood), Karen Koslowitz (D-Queens) and Stephen Levin (D-Northern Brooklyn, Boerum Hill), the Chairman, Vice-Chair and Secretary, of the Council’s Jewish Caucus, released the following statement in response to a physical assault against a Jewish teenager in Forest Hills.

”On November 29, 16 year-old David Paltielov was beaten by a gang of students from a nearby school. He was severely injured, and it was reported that anti-Semitic slurs were used during the attack. The community is in shock, and as elected officials, we have been trying to understand the circumstances of the assault, and the subsequent investigation, which thus far has not led to any hate crime charges. We even questioned the Chief of Patrol directly about the case at a hearing, and were disappointed that he was not able to answer our queries.

“Hate crimes are on the rise across New York City, overall rising by 5% since 2017. Anti-Semitic hate crimes alone rose by 28%. These numbers are disturbing, and it seems like we are hearing of a different hate crime every day. The communities affected deserve to understand what is occurring within their own neighborhoods.

Right now we have more questions than answers, nearly two weeks after the initial assault. We are calling on the NYPD to come into the community, to answer questions, and to respond to leaders inquiries.”


Former Opponents Malliotakis, Baumel Break Bread Post-Election

Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis

Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-Bay Ridge, Staten Island) and her Democratic candidate opponent in last month’s election, Adam Baumel, will meet for lunch today to discuss possible solutions to the issues affecting their community and demonstrate that there can be civility in politics even after an election.

In a show of bipartisan congeniality, The two politicians hope they can lead by example and promote respectful discourse and an ability to work together across party lines.

Their lunch is slated for 1 p.m., today, Dec. 14 at the Royal Diner, 7609 5th Avenue, in Bay Ridge.

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