Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Dec. 18, 2018

News Site Brooklyn

BP Adams Launches “Barrier-Free BK” To Improve Accessibility For Youth

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams will join dozens of students with disabilities today at one of the city’s most accessible school buildings to launch “Barrier-Free BK.”

The new initiative aims to improve accessibility for youth with physical limitations. According to the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD), there are 342,000 young people in New York City who are living with disabilities. While there are about ten percent of the nearly one million New Yorkers of all ages who have self-identified as living with disabilities and are estimated to use wheelchairs.

At the event, Adams will outline several recommendations to expand access to mass transit, including on-demand ride needs, as well as ensure parks and public venues better support people with physical limitations.

The students joining Adams at the announcement will also discuss the daily access barriers that hamper their independence and limit their ability to navigate the city.

The event is slated for 11:30 a.m., today, Dec. 18, at Edward R. Murrow High School – Library, at 1600 Avenue L in Midwood.

Williams Addresses Prada’s Response To Blackface Display

Jumaane Williams
City Council Member Jumaane Williams

City Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood), Deputy Leader, addressed Prada’s decision this week to remove its products resembling blackface and donate any proceeds from prior sales to an organization fighting for racial justice.

Last week, the luxury designer brand apologized and pulled products from one of their New York stores after claims the products appeared to contain blackface imagery. The products, part of a line of goods called Pradamalia, were pulled after they prompted outrage and accusations that they depicted racist caricatures of black people, according to the Guardian. The figurines appear to depict monkeys with oversized red lips and raised arms. The company said it did not intend to have any reference to the real world or blackface imagery.

“I’d like to welcome Prada to the 21st century, and to acknowledge that since the backlash to their racist Sambo-like display and their initial refusal to recognize the gravity of that campaign, they have since taken some measure of further action to rectify the wrong. I thank them, at least, for hearing our voices when we called out these racist relics and their softening of symbols of historical oppression.

At the same time, this not a one-off issue in corporate America, and addressing the underlying issues that would have led to this campaign moving forward will be a longer process. Prada has said that they have answered our calls and will donate the proceeds already made on these products to ‘a New York-based organization committed to fighting for racial justice.’ I am eager to see what organization Prada works with and to ensuring that these funds are spent on that fight.

I would further urge that the company does not simply cut a check and hope the issue disappears, but rather engages with many groups, such as the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus in the New York City Council, and advocates such as Chinyere Ezie, who first called attention to this imagery, in order to further discuss the need for diversity and cultural sensitivity- not just in marketing management, but in the managers making those decisions,” said Williams.

Menchaca Addresses Homelessness In District with Open Letter

City Councilman Carlos Menchaca

City Council member Carlos Menchaca (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook) recently addressed the growing concerns surrounding the homeless population in Council District 38 this week with an open letter to his constituents.

Last month, residents and local leaders held a town hall alongside Menchaca to voice worry over the six homeless shelters and/or hotels turned into homeless shelters pop up in their neighborhood over the last five years.

Local residents have also been outspoken about about the Department of Homeless Services’ (DHS) lack of communication in notifying tenants and community board members about homeless shelters in the area. Residents have seen their neighborhoods turn sour after the openings of these shelters, which in turn have reported multiple break in’s, drug activity and disturbances in local businesses.  

“I’m just as concerned as you are about the way City Hall is taking care of our homeless neighbors, particularly the lack of transparency on how they are deciding where, when, and why to open shelters in certain locations. The City owes us explanations, and thanks to the support and leadership of our community boards and civic organizations, we are starting to get clarity, first through a series of community board meetings, and hopefully next with strategic sit-downs.

There’s still a lot we need to know. For instance: What does the scouting process of emergency sites look like? At what point did District 38 become the site of yet another temporary shelter? Why has the city not lived up to its promise of building 40 new permanent shelters by 2018? How can the city help build a relationship between the homeless shelter sites and the communities in which they are placed?These are the questions that demand an answer, from the leadership at the Department of Social Services, all the way up to the Mayor.

Ultimately, we should not alienate those who are less fortunate than we are. Divided we cannot fix the issue of rising rents in our district. Displacement is real and rents are too high for too many people. We need comprehensive solutions to the lack of housing and the volatility of existing affordable housing. We must care for each other while we ask for our government to listen and act,” said Menchaca.

Espinal Announces City Funding For First-Ever NYC Electric School Bus Pilot Program

City Councilman Rafael Espinal Jr.

City Council member Rafael Espinal (D-Bushwick, East New York) will announce today initial funding for the city’s first-ever electric school bus pilot program.

Espinal has secured $1.25 million in funding in conjunction with the Department of Education (DOE) for an electric school bus pilot program to start in 2019-2020 school year.

Espinal will make the announcement at the Council’s Environmental Committee Hearing on Electric School Bus Legislation, Intro No. 455. The measure, sponsored by Espinal is related to replacing school buses with electric school buses by 2020.

In addition, the legislation will further require that all other school buses, after ten years of use, be replaced by compressed natural gas, hybrid school buses or all electric, to later be replaced by all electric zero emission school buses.

The event is slated for 11 a.m., today, Dec. 18, at 250 Broadway, Committee Room 16th Floor in Lower Manhattan.

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