Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Feb. 14, 2019

News Site Brooklyn

Cornegy, NYPD’s 79th Precinct To Host 2nd Annual Valentine’s Senior Brunch

City Councilman Robert Cornegy Jr

City Council member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr. (D-Bedford-Stuyvesant-Northern Crown Heights) alongside will host his second annual Valentine’s Day Senior Brunch today.

Over 150 senior residents of District 36 will attend the event, which will include food, music, dancing, games, and a whole lot of love.

The event will also feature delivery of handmade cards from students from P.S. 59 William Floyd Elementary School that were made with officers from the 79th Precinct earlier in the week.

The event is slated 12:30 p.m.-2 p.m., today, Feb. 14, at Restoration Plaza, 1360 Fulton Street, 5th Floor, in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

CM Williams Introduces Ban on Marijuana Testing In Hiring Practices

Jumaane Williams
City Council Member Jumaane Williams
City Council Member Laurie Cumbo

City Council member Jumaane Williams (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood) yesterday introduced legislation that would ban employers from testing prospective employees for marijuana usage in pre-employment hiring practices.

The bill, Intro 1445, would  prohibit New York City employers from requiring a prospective employee to submit to testing for the presence of any tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana, in such prospective employee’s system as a condition of employment. Exceptions are provided for safety and security sensitive jobs, and those tied to a federal or state contract or grant. The legislation is co-sponsored by Majority Leader Laurie A. Cumbo (D-Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, Crown Heights) and Council Member Carlina Rivera (D-Manhattan)

The introduction of this legislation comes as more elected officials, and recently Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo, have endorsed the legalization of marijuana, which is currently being considered in the New York State Legislature. On Wednesday, a large package of bills and resolutions were introduced at City Hall related to marijuana and drug policy, driven by the Progressive Caucus of the City Council.

According to Vox reporting in 2018, as many as 70% of large employers utilize pre-employment drug screenings, encompassing as many as 40% of jobs. Failed tests lead to a depletion in the labor pool and an inability of many to advance in their careers. Cannabis accounts for about half of all positive results on drug tests. These restrictions are harmful to employees and employers alike.

“We need to be creating more access points for employment, not less- and as we move toward legalization, it makes absolutely no sense that we’re keeping people from finding jobs or advancing their careers because of marijuana use,” said Williams.

“It’s not an employer’s business what you do in your spare time, if it doesn’t affect your work product or the safety and well-being of your clients, colleagues and stakeholders. While New York State engages in a transformative cannabis legalization expansion, we want to underscore the importance of protecting all people from unfair hiring and firing practices due to cannabis use,” said Cumbo.

Nadler, Velazquez Announce Federal Examination Of MDC Brooklyn

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Jerrold Nadler (D-Western Brooklyn, Manhattan’s West Side), House Judiciary Committee Chairman and Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan) announced yesterday that the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has begun an examination of the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn.

On Wednesday, the federal lawmakers received a letter from the Department of Justice (DOJ) confirming the examination. The announcement comes more than a week after the Brooklyn detention center was left without heat or hot water following a power outage earlier this month.

In their letter, the OIG confirmed that they will assess how the conditions at the MDC occurred, how it affected prisoners’ well-being, and whether officials from the Federal Bureau of Prisons took proper steps to resolve the heat and power issues.

“Now, we hope that the OIG will get to the bottom of this terrible situation, not just to determine what happened in the past but how we can address long-standing issues at MDC and avoid anything like this from happening in the future.  We wait with great interest for the findings of the OIG but, in the meantime, we will continue to ask questions directly of the Bureau of Prisons and the managers of MDC. This can never happen again,” read a joint statement from Nadler and Velazquez.

Espinal Introduces Legislation To Make NYC Plastic-Free

City Councilman Rafael Espinal Jr.

City Council member Rafael Espinal (D-Bushwick, East New York)  introduced a bill yesterday that would ban single-use plastics for which there is a reasonable sustainable alternative.

The legislation would require the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), in consultation with the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to annually evaluate available alternatives for single-use plastic items. If the agency determines that there is an economically and environmentally viable alternative, the single-use plastic item will be banned.

8 million tons of plastic enter the world’s oceans every year, two-thirds of it from land-based sources. The rate is roughly equivalent to dumping a garbage truck full of plastic into the ocean every minute. Unless drastic changes are implemented to improve waste infrastructure and curb plastic use, that amount is expected to increase ten-fold by 2025, according to a recent study in the journal Science.

Plastic pollution also affects food and water sources. According to a 2017 report of tap water samples, the United States had a plastic fiber contamination rate of 94%, the highest rate among all countries from which samples were collected. Microplastics have also been discovered in shellfish and other marine animals consumed by humans. Although the impact plastic consumption has on human health is largely unknown, some studies have linked them to cancer, birth defects, and endocrine disruption.

“Plastic pollution poses an ever-growing threat to our marine ecosystems, our health, and our planet. We cannot afford to sit on our hands when it comes to the mind-boggling amount of plastic that pours into our oceans every year, every month, every hour. The scale of this crisis demands urgent, radical government action. Otherwise, we will soon live in a world where there is more plastic in our oceans than fish,” said Espinal.

More from Around New York