BK Lawmakers, Advocates To Rally For Safer L Train Alternatives
State Senator Brian Kavanagh (D-Northern Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan), Assembly Member Joseph Lentol (D-Williamsburg, Greenpoint), Congress Member Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens) alongside Council member Stephen Levin (D-Williamsburg, Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, DUMBO, and parts of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Clinton Hill, Greenpoint, Downtown Brooklyn, Gowanus, Park Slope) and, Antonio Reynoso (D-Williamsburg,Bushwick) will gather to voice concerns about the recently announced L train project transportation mitigations and safety plans.
In early January, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced an alternative plan to the major restoration project planned for the Canarsie Tunnel that was expected to completely shutdown the train route for 15 months. The new plan will require an unspecified amount of weekend and nighttime shutdowns of one of the two tunnels starting in April to last 15 to 20 months, allowing the L train to run while repairs are made.
On Friday, the group will call on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) to provide more robust and comprehensive alternatives for the North Brooklyn community and ensure sustainable and uninterrupted growth during L train project.
The group aims to maintain an open dialogue with the MTA and DOT about future L train disruptions, closures, and accessibility so that the community’s voice is heard before the MTA makes any long-term service-affecting decisions.
The L Train Coalition (Brooklyn) is a group of engaged stakeholders, community organizations, businesses, and concerned citizens. Over 400,000 people use the L Train each weekday and it acts as the lifeline to businesses during nights and weekends.
The event is slated for 10 a.m., today, March 1, at Brooklyn Bowl, at 61 Wythe Avenue in Williamsburg.
Velazquez, Davila, Frontus Push For Congestion Pricing Plan In State Budget
Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan) and Assembly members Maritza Davila (D-Bushwick, Williamsburg) and Mathylde Frontus (D-Coney Island, Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights) will join the Riders Alliance’s subway ride-along series for congestion pricing today.
The trio of lawmakers will join forces for the first two State Assembly subway ride-alongs in their respective Assembly districts, documenting the depth of the transit crisis for Brooklyn riders as momentum builds for congestion pricing in the next state budget.
With the April 1 state budget deadline fast approaching, Albany legislators who support congestion pricing are joining riders and advocates to survey local subway riders about how they are impacted by the transit crisis, bolstering support for a comprehensive state funding plan, starting with congestion pricing, to modernize the subway.
The first event is slated for 9 a.m., today, March 1, at the Lorimer Street L/G subway station subway in Williamsburg.
The second event is slated for 5 p.m., today, March 1, at the Coney Island D/F/N/Q Station, at the North East corner of Stillwell Avenue and Surf Avenue in Coney Island.
Malliotakis’ Property Tax, Student Loan Proposal Make GOP Budget Priorities
Assembly member Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I,Ref-Brooklyn, Staten Island) and Assemblymember Michael Reilly (R-South Shore) announced yesterday that the Assembly Minority Conference has included their proposals in the Assembly Minority Conference’s list of budget priorities.
Malliotakis and Reilly are pushing for Governor Cuomo to include New York City in his proposal to make New York state’s property tax cap permanent. Currently, nearly every municipality has a cap of 2%. Over the last 5 years, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the NYC Council have increased property taxes 44% in the past 5 years, causing major backlash amongst local lawmakers.
Other budget priorities of the Conference include an increase in household income eligibility for the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), which has remained at $80,000 since 2000. The proposal aims to restore TAP for graduate students, which was eliminated in 2010, and deduct student loan payments from individual’s taxable income.
“What we want is for Gov. Cuomo and our colleagues in the Legislature to join us in ensuring that we treat all New York taxpayers fairly, and let’s start by adding New York City to the list of local municipalities that are mandated to have a 2% property cap,” said Malliotakis.
“Secondly, I have fought for five years to increase the income eligibility threshold to qualify for TAP from the current $80,000 to $125,000 household income so more middle-class families can qualify. They have not modernized the threshold in 19 years, leaving many of our families out of the program. Additionally, graduate students in our state have been unable to receive TAP for the past 9 years, as it was eliminated in 2010 due to the $13 billion deficit we had at the time. We should work to restore this and allow individuals to deduct student loan payments from their taxable income in order to help relieve this burden students continue to face,” added Malliotakis.
House Democrats To Reintroduce Dream Act With TPS & DED Protections
Congress members Yvette Clarke (D- Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Kensington, Midwood, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Park Slope) and Nydia Velazquez (D-Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan) alongside House Democrats will re-introduce the Dream Act with new language providing protections for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) recipients later this month.
California Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) will reintroduce the measure — which provides permanent legal protections and a path to citizenship for so-called Dreamers, undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children — as the Dream and Promise Act of 2019, according to Roybal-Allard’s office.
The TPS and DED programs have protected undocumented refugees from deportation. President Donald Trump tried to terminate TPS for individuals from Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti and El Salvador, but a federal court ruling blocked him from doing so. DED protections for individuals from Liberia are scheduled to expire March 31.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA-D) has reserved the bill number HR 6 for the legislation, which has long been a top priority of House Democrats.
The bill is slated for re-introduction on March 12.
Frontus Helps Pass Anti-Discrimination Legislative Package
Assembly member Mathylde Frontus (D-Coney Island, Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights) announced earlier this week that she helped pass a groundbreaking legislative package expanding New York’s anti-discrimination laws.
The package of bills includes: a measure that would establish a model policy and training program to prevent discrimination in the workplace (A.5976); measures that would prohibit employment discrimination against religious attire (A.4204) and clarify that lactation is a pregnancy-related condition and require employers to make reasonable accommodations in the workplace (A.5975). The package also extends anti-discrimination protections of the state’s Human Rights Law to all New York public schools (A.3425).
“No matter what gender, sexual orientation, race, creed, sexual identity or religion you are, everyone deserves equal treatment and protection under the law,” Frontus said.
“New Yorkers shouldn’t have to worry about their livelihoods because of close-minded behavior in the workplace. This legislation shows that hate and intolerance are not welcome here,” added Frontus.