Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move April 26, 2019

News Site Brooklyn

Rose Urges DOE Urges To Reverse Budget Cuts Affecting Special Needs Families

Max Rose
U.S. Rep. Max Rose

U.S. Rep. Max Rose (D-South Brooklyn, Staten Island) yesterday the federal Department of Education to reverse proposed budget cuts that would harm thousands of special needs families in South Brooklyn and on Staten Island.

“I write to express my strong opposition to the Department of Education’s recent budget proposal’s unconscionable cuts that would do nothing except harm children and adults with disabilities,” wrote Rose in the letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. “My district is home to thousands of families who have a loved one with a developmental or physical disability… Now your department wants to make it even harder for someone with a disability to live the fulfilling life every single human being deserves.”

In its recent budget proposal, the Administration requested $8.5 billion—about 12 percent—in cuts to the Department of Education’s budget, including $17.6 million from the Special Olympics. After overwhelming public backlash, the Department said it would reverse cuts to the Special Olympics, but is still moving forward with cuts to programs that support students with physical disabilities, programs that offer professional development for teachers, and after-school programs for low-income students.

“It’s easy to do the right thing in the face of intense public backlash, but what my constituents need is someone who will fight for them even when the news cycle has moved on and few people are paying attention,” Rose said. “Secretary DeVos may be counting on the fact that we’ll fall for her backtracking on the Special Olympics and forget about the rest of these cuts, but I refuse to let that happen.”

AG James Announces Investigation Into Facebook

Attorney General Letitia James

State Attorney General Letitia James (D) yesterday announced an investigation into Facebook’s unauthorized collection of 1.5 million Facebook users’ email contact databases.

While Facebook claims that 1.5 million contact databases were directly harvested by its email password verification process for new users, the total number of people whose information was improperly obtained may be hundreds of millions.  

“It is time Facebook is held accountable for how it handles consumers’ personal information,” said James. “Facebook has repeatedly demonstrated a lack of respect for consumers’ information while at the same time profiting from mining that data. Facebook’s announcement that it harvested 1.5 million users’ email address books, potentially gaining access to contact information for hundreds of millions of individual consumers without their knowledge, is the latest demonstration that Facebook does not take seriously its role in protecting our personal information.”   

Email verification is standard practice for online services such as Facebook. Typically, when a consumer signs up to a new service, they are asked to provide an email address, where they then receive an email with a link to verify that the email account belongs to them. Facebook’s procedure requested certain users to hand over their password to their personal email account.

Additionally, reports indicate that Facebook proceeded to access those user’s contacts and upload all of those contacts to Facebook to be used for targeted advertising. While Facebook has admitted that 1.5 million people’s contact books were directly harvested, the total number of people whose contact information was improperly obtained by Facebook may be hundreds of millions, as people can have hundreds of contacts stored on their contact databases.  

Gounardes, Abbate, Brannan Announces Asian Heritage Month Celebration

Andrew Gounardes
State Sen. Andrew Gounardes
Assemblyman Peter Abbate Jr.
Justin Brannan
City Council Member Justin Brannan

South Brooklyn lawmakers including State Sen. Andrew Gounardes (D), Assemblyman Peter Abbate (D) and City Council Member Justin Brannan (D) today will join the Brooklyn Community Improvement Association to announce Brooklyn Asian Heritage Month Celebration 2019.

The event will take place in May, celebrating the diversity of Brooklyn’s communities, and will showcase cultural performances and live music.

The announcement is slated for 2 p.m., today, April 26 at 720 57th Street in Sunset Park.

Persaud Hosts Rain Barrel Giveaway Tomorrow

Roxanne J. Persaud
State Senator Roxanne J. Persaud

State Sen. Roxanne J. Persaud (D-Canarsie, East New York, Brownsville, Mill Basin, Sheepshead Bay, Bergen Beach, Marine Park, Flatlands, Mill Island, Georgetown, Ocean Hill) tomorrow is holding her fourth annual Rain Barrel Giveaway, where she gives away a hundred free rain barrels to the residents of her district in celebration of Earth Day.

Additionally, tomorrow Persaud is hosting her E-Waste Recycling event with the Lower East Side Ecology Center (LES). The LES will be stationed at the parking lot down the block from the District Office recycling e-waste for residents; e-waste refers to unwanted electronics, which are now illegal for New Yorkers to discard in the trash.

The rain barrel giveaway is slated for between 1 -11:30 a.m. The E-Waste Recycling is slated for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Both events are slated for tomorrow, April 27. Persaud’s District Office is at 1222 E 96th Street in Canarsie. Please note registration for the free rain barrels is closed, as Senator Persaud’s Office has reached capacity. Any questions or inquiries may be directed to communications coordinator Matthew D’Onofrio at (718) 649-7653 or [email protected].