Public Advocate Williams Wishes NYC Residents A Happy Purim
New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams wished New York City residents a happy Purim as the celebration begins Wednesday evening in the Jewish community.
According to Chabad organization, the jolly festival of Purim is celebrated every year on the 14th of the Hebrew month of Adar (late winter/early spring). Purim 2019 begins on Wednesday night, March 20, and continues through Thursday, March 21(March 22 in Jerusalem). It commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people in ancient Persia from Haman’s plot “to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews, young and old, infants and women, in a single day,” as recorded in the Megillah (book of Esther).
“I would like to wish everyone a Chag Purim Sameach as the holiday of Purim begins this evening!
I find inspiration and hope in the Purim story and its message of strength through unity. An impactful expression of this theme, this call to action, is demonstrated by the Jewish people on Purim through the Mitzvah of Matanos L’Evyonim – supporting the needy. I want to offer my thanks to all of those in the community who give of their time and resources to collect and raise money for those in need.
Purim is an important reminder of the power of community, and the strength that comes from uniting to fight oppression. This message is particularly relevant today, resonating as we confront challenges together, including the rise in anti-Semitism and terrible acts motivated by hate. We must all remember this need for unity, and the message of the Purim commandments, as we work together to improve our community.
Chag Sameach” said Williams.
Malliotakis Demands Cuomo/De Blasio Consider Impact of Congestion Pricing On Outer Boroughs
Assembly member Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I,Ref-Brooklyn/Staten Island) wrote to Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio yesterday imploring them to consider the impact of congestion pricing on outer boroughs.
In her letter Malliotakis writes that any plan must credit Staten Island for the Verrazzano Bridge toll and revenue must go towards improving transit options like more express bus services and upgrading the R train signals.
Under the current congestion pricing plan, electronic tolling devices would be installed on the perimeter of the Central Business District (CBD) defined as streets south of 61st St. in Manhattan. The FDR Drive will not be included in the Central Business District. The electronic tolling system will account for tolls previously paid by drivers entering Manhattan from designated crossings.
The congestion pricing revenue and along with the internet sales tax and the cannabis excise tax, would be placed in a ‘lockbox’ to provide a funding source necessary to ensure the capital needs of the MTA can be met, with priority given to the subway system, new signaling, new subway cars, track and car repair, accessibility, buses and bus system improvements and further investments in expanding transit availability to areas in the outer boroughs that have limited mass transit options.
“As a legislator in the unique position of representing both Staten Island and Bay Ridge, I know firsthand that these communities are the most transportation-starved areas compared to others in our city. Many rely on their cars because there aren’t transit options that are effective and reliable. I want to ensure the funding of your congestion pricing plan goes back into these communities to add more express bus services on both sides of the bridge and upgrades the signals on Bay Ridge’s R train to a communication based train control that is more reliable and will reduce the number of delays and outages,” said Malliotakis.
“Lastly, I would like to push for your offices to direct revenue to projects the community has been fighting for, such as the Staten Island North Shore Bus Rapid Transit and the West Shore Rail ensuring they finally come to fruition. By giving commuters better alternatives to driving we can meet the goal of easing traffic and reducing congestion on our roads. If we don’t, this congestion pricing plan will just be another tax,” added Malliotakis.
AM Williams Strikes Down Legalization Of Marijuana
Assembly member Jaime Williams (D-Canarsie, Georgetown, Mill Basin, Marine Park, Bergen Beach, Gerritsen Beach) disapproved of the legalization of marijuana this week at a recent meeting of the NAACP of Freeport Long Island.
On Monday, Williams expressed her concerns over the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) citing health and safety quality of life issues. The NAACP has taken a hardline approach on the legalization of the Schedule 1 narcotic, condemning its legalization. NAACP has joined health officials and other national organizations to oppose legalization.
In addition to pointing out the health risks, Williams illustrated how dispensaries are magnets for violent and serious crime. Williams also went on to note at the meeting that the known health risks of secondhand exposure to cigarette smoke—to the heart or lungs, for instance—raise questions about whether secondhand exposure to marijuana smoke poses similar health risks.
“The legalization of marijuana may bring additional revenue to the State but so many elected fail to recognize the inherent detriments that come with it legalization. New York’s plan is to tax marijuana/ cannabis products at a rate of 22 percent. The funds are needed but not at the expense of health, safety our youth and well-being”, said Williams
“Under the current Federal stance, the use of credit cards is not applicable and this is basically an all cash business. We are literally allowing cash and drugs to be located at specific address and inviting a criminal element. My fellow elected fails to realize that marijuana dispensaries are correlated with a higher rate of crimes such as vandalism as well as robbery and felony murder. Several studies demonstrate that marijuana dispensaries could become community problems as a result,” added Williams.
Frontus To Convene First Session Of Southern Brooklyn Think Tank
Assembly member Mathylde Frontus (D-Coney Island, Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights) will convene the first meeting of the Southern Brooklyn Community Think Tank (SBCTT) today.
The think tank will serve as a community space where local residents could meet up to brainstorm solutions to problems facing their neighborhoods.
As part of the planning for the new initiative, Frontus appointed eight individuals from across Southern Brooklyn to an Advisory Board to oversee the process and ensure that the community is effectively engaged. Comprised of mostly educators, the 8-person group is co-chaired by Bay Ridge residents Rachel Posner and Erik Shell and includes David Farley, Jennifer Gaboury, Ramon Guadalupe, Corey Pickering, Jen Walters and Elizabeth Wilson-Anstey.
“The Think Tank will fill an important gap in our community, namely the need for a welcoming space where everyone’s voice can be heard and people can have a direct impact on future legislation. As a new legislator, this couldn’t have come at a better time. I look forward to working closely with local residents to address some of our most pressing concerns,” said Frontus.
The event is slated for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., today, March 21, at the Bay Ridge Library, at 7223 Ridge Blvd in Bay Ridge.