Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Feb. 5, 2019

News Site Brooklyn

Deutsch Denounces Swastika Found At Brooklyn High School

City Councilman Chaim Deutsch

City Council member Chaim Deutsch (D-Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach, Homecrest, Midwood) denounced the discovery of a swastika at Liberation High School this week.

The racist vandalism was the second time in just two months that the anti-Jewish symbol was found on a wall inside the school. Earlier this week, it was discovered scratched into the wall of a bathroom stall.

The news comes off the heels of Holocaust Education Week NYC, a new citywide observance that began on Jan. 27, that aims to o keep the memories of survivors alive, as that generation is sadly dying out. Deutsch, the main sponsor of the bill, has been leading  efforts with his colleagues to visit schools around the City, often with survivors, to speak directly to students about the Holocaust.

“It is clear to me that students could benefit from learning about the hateful connotations that come with a swastika, and the painful impact it has on survivors of the Holocaust. With that in mind, I intend to visit Liberation High School in the next several weeks with Holocaust survivors, who can speak to the students about their firsthand experiences suffering at the hands of the Nazis,” said Deutsch.

“I look forward to fostering a robust conversation between the teenagers and Holocaust survivors, one that will leave the students with a better understanding of the harm this symbol can cause,” added Deutsch.

Eichenstein Applauds Business Owner For Sharing Store With Competitor After Devastating Fire

Assembly member Simcha Eichenstein (D-Borough Park) presented an official citation to a local business owner to commend him for his kindness in welcoming a competitor into his store following a fire that destroyed his storefront.

Following a destructive fire on Jan. 12, Yossi Heiman, owner of Yossi’s Fish Market located at 13th Avenue and 54th Street in Borough Park, Brooklyn, was left without a location from which to operate his business.

That night, Eichenstein coordinated short-term housing for the residents of the apartments above the store. At the same time, Shea Langsam, owner of Fish to Dish, immediately reached out to Mr. Heiman to generously offer that he operate his business from a section of Langsam’s store, Fish to Dish, located just a few blocks away at 1280 43rd Street in Borough Park.

On Sunday, Eichenstein presented Langsam with a citation for his help and kindness, “Citation is presented to Shea Langsam Fish to Dish in recognition of your kindness for opening your doors to a neighboring merchant, Yossi’s Fish Market, after a fire destroyed their location on January 12, 2019. This act of welcoming a competitor into your workplace goes beyond what is expected of a business person. This exemplifies what we should all strive to be like as New Yorkers,” read the honor.

“While we are a community that is known for its chesed (kindness), the act of offering a direct competitor into your own storefront truly goes above and beyond. Fish to Dish is setting a new bar for what it means to be a neighbor and business owner in our community,” said Eichenstein.

AM Williams Celebrates World Wetlands Day

Jaime R. Williams
Assemblymember Jaime R. Williams

Assembly member Jaime Williams (D-Canarsie, Georgetown, Mill Basin, Marine Park, Bergen Beach, Gerritsen Beach) celebrated World Wetlands Day over the weekend by hosting a Jamaica Bay Greenway and Plumb Beach Cleanup event.

On Saturday, Williams alongside the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy, American Littoral Society, the National Parks Conservation Association and the National Park Service embarked on the first park cleanup of 2019. The effort collected over 1½ tons of marine debris and about 500 pounds of floatables – or 60 bags of trash.

World Wetlands Day 2019, draws attention to the vital role of wetlands as a natural solution to cope with climate change, more than one billion people depend on wetlands for a living and 40 percent of the world’s species live and breed in wetlands.

Local wetlands are a vital source for food, raw materials, genetic resources for medicines, and hydropower; they mitigate floods, protect coastlines and build community resilience to disasters, and they play an important role in transport, tourism and the cultural well-being of people. Wetlands, which include lakes, rivers, marshes and peatlands as well as coastal and marine areas such as estuaries, lagoons, mangroves and coral reefs, are within all of New York State’s assembly districts.

“There is a symbiotic relationship pertaining to wetlands and as today shows we are duty bound to see that they are protected, the recognition of World Wetlands Day allows for the public to be aware of their importance within our environment”, said Williams.

“In 2012 Super Storm Sandy slammed into the eastern seaboard of the United States and devastated our Assembly District our homes and our way of life. If not for coastal wetlands, and despite the ravages of the Storm, the destruction would have been worse. It is not a choice but a responsibility to maintain our wetlands” stated Williams.

Felder Saves Tax Payers’ Money For Childcare

Sen. Simcha Felder

State Senator Simcha Felder (D-Boro Park, Midwood) recently led a successful effort to increase the NYS Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit.

Passed as part of the 2017-18 New York State Budget, the increased tax credit is now available for the 2018 tax year to help New York taxpayers with their childcare expenses. 200,000 New York families are expected to qualify for the increased tax relief saving them a combined $47 million annually.

Felder’s legislation expanded the tax credit in two new ways. Under the new parameters, the tax credit can now cover up to 5 children, instead of just 2, and increases the expenses a taxpayer can claim. The average credit amount nearly doubled for middle class families.

“Many New York families have more than two children, so why should the tax credit stop at two?” said Senator Felder. “By expanding the child care tax credit, we are making it easier for middle-class parents to work and raise a family in New York.”

Malliotakis Hosting Presidents’ Day Essay Contest For Students

Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis

Assembly member Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I,Ref-Brooklyn, Staten Island) is hosting a Presidents’ Day essay contest for students in Brooklyn and Staten Island to celebrate the holiday.

Students in grades 3 through 5 are encouraged to participate and write an essay about what they would do if they were president to improve the local community.

Each participant will receive a certificate of merit from Malliotakis and contest winners will receive a gift certificate to a local bookstore.

“I’m happy to announce my Presidents’ Day essay contest and encourage teachers and parents to have their students participate as a way to foster an interest in our community. I look forward to hearing from our students about how they would change their communities for the better. It will be refreshing to hear positive ideas from our local children and hopefully get them engaged in community service,” said Malliotakis.

All essays must be received by Monday, February 25. Each submission must include the student’s name, school, grade and contact information and can be sent by email to

Colton Demands NYC DOT Investigate Cause of High Number Of Accidents

Assembly Member William Colton

Assembly member William Colton (D-Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, and Dyker Heights) is demanding that the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) investigate the cause of the high number of fatal accidents occurring in Assembly District 47.

According to Colton’s office, there have been a high amount of gruesome tragedies lately including an accident on 86th Street and 21st Avenue where a person was rushed to the hospital after being hit by a truck; on Stillwell Avenue and Bay Parkway, where a woman was killed crossing the street; on 73rd Street and 19th Avenue, where a man was struck and killed in a scooter accident; and on 65th Street and 18th Avenue, where a man was hit by a car.

“What is really troubling me here is that too many people have lost their lives in those accidents. It is very shocking that nothing has been done about it. The matter is very serious and something needs to be done to prevent tragedies like these from reoccurring,” said Colton.

“I am calling on the New York City Department of Transportation to conduct a full investigation to find out what is the cause of so many fatal accidents,” added Colton.

Cymbrowitz Gets Over 3,000 Homeowners Refunds For Property Tax Glitch

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz

Assembly member Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach) was able to get more than 3,000 NYC homeowners who paid their property taxes by credit card, a partial refund, due to a glitch he discovered in the system.

Cymbrowitz, Chair of the Assembly’s Housing Committee, recently made the city aware of a glitch in the system that tacked on a higher-than-expected convenience fee for customers using American Express.

An alert local homeowner noticed the error when he went online to pay his property tax bill and was charged a credit card fee of 2.49% instead of the 2% indicated on the website. He had no luck getting it fixed on his own and decided to ask the lawmaker’s office for help. After reaching out to the Department of Finance (DOF), Cymbrowitz learned that human error by a vendor, not DOF, caused the glitch, which affected Amex users who paid their property tax bills between October 15, 2018 and January 9th of this year.

DOF said that the fee, which is calibrated to offset the cost to NYC of accepting credit card payments and generates no surplus, had decreased to 2% on October 15. Only Amex users during that time period were impacted. Cymbrowitz said DOF immediately directed the vendor to correct the error, which affected 3,301 homeowners. Refunds averaging $22 – the smallest just a penny and the largest $490 — have been issued and should be reflected in customers’ Amex statements received after January 9, according to DOF.

“I’d like to thank the Department of Finance for its quick and thorough response to this issue and ensuring that taxpayers are refunded the money owed to them,” said Cymbrowitz.