Cornegy, Tremaine To Protest Mayor’s Proposed Closure of NYCHA Senior Centers
City Council member Robert Cornegy, Jr. and Assembly member Tremaine Wright, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Height lawmakers, today will join senior residents of Sumner Houses to protest Mayor de Blasio’s plan to close 12 New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) senior centers, including the Sumner Houses Senior Center.
Angry residents will join with their local elected officials to protest the proposed plan and demand that money be included in the upcoming budget to ensure the center remains open.
In his FY 2020 Executive Budget released on April 25th, Mayor de Blasio outlined a plan to close 12 senior centers and consolidate them with other senior “clubs” throughout the city operated by the Department for the Aging (DFTA). In its response to the FY 2020 Preliminary Budget, the City Council called for $3.1 million to baseline ongoing operational support for the 14 senior centers that are under NYCHA management. But the Mayor’s plan would consolidate and/or close seven centers currently managed by NYCHA and five additional centers currently operated by DFTA.
Under the Mayor’s plan, seniors at Sumner Houses would be transported about 1.5 miles away to the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Center in Bushwick for senior-specific programming.
“The Mayor’s plan to close these centers does not reflect the values of this community, a community that believes in caring for our beloved seniors and providing them with the resources they need to lead healthy, engaging lives. We are organizing to send a clear message to Mayor de Blasio that we will not stand for the closure of this vibrant center which helps build community and empowers our seniors,” said Cornegy.
“I stand with Councilman Cornegy and the members of our community in the fight to protect our seniors and keep the doors of the Sumner Houses Senior Center open. It is never okay to play politics with one of our city’s most vulnerable populations. This Center is a valued hub in our community and we will not allow the City to decide where our seniors should go in order to save money that has already been allocated,” said Wright.
The event is slated for 12-noon today, May 9, at the NYCHA Sumner Houses Senior Center, 868 Park Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Myrie To Hosts Housing Forum
State Senator Zellnor Myrie (D-Central Brooklyn) will host a housing forum in Crown Heights today to regarding tenants’ rights and the fight for tenant laws.
Myrie will give a breakdown of how the budget works, how this year’s Enacted Budget will affect the communities in District 20, and will take general questions from the audience.
Also at the event will be City agencies, advocates and housing experts who will discuss rent regulation, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), foreclosure, code enforcement and more.
The event is slated for 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., today, May 9, at St. Francis de Sales School for the Deaf, 260 Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights.
Rose Bipartisan Bill To Address Veteran Suicide on VA Campuses Passes Committee
Congressman Max Rose’s (D-South Brooklyn, Staten Island) bill aimed at addressing the rising trend of veterans who die by suicide on Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) campuses unanimously passed the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs yesterday.
Rose’s bipartisan legislation, FIGHT Veterans Suicide Act, is a key effort in response to recent tragedies of veterans dying by suicide on VA campuses. Last month, it was reported that four veterans died by suicide at VA facilities.
Congress has found that VA is not always forthcoming with timely information around these events. Having key data points which this legislation requires from VA would help Congress fully understand the scope of the crisis to better serve veterans in need. In a Committee hearing last week, the VA came out in support of the legislation.
Rose, who serves on the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, has called on the Department of Defense to change the policy that leads to servicemembers and veterans on Staten Island receiving hundreds of dollars less per month for housing than the other four boroughs. Additionally, Rose passed legislation through the House of Representatives to expand childcare coverage from VA to apply to veterans seeking treatment for addiction and joined a bipartisan meeting with the Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs at the White House to discuss priorities and challenges facing VA.
“The issue of veteran suicides is a public health crisis and we have to do more, full stop. We cannot let this get dragged into the politics and partisanship that has taken hold of Washington, which is why I’m encouraged by the broad, bipartisan support for this legislation and the broader efforts of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee. It’s critical we get this done and today’s passage through Committee is an important step towards that goal,” said Rose.
Brannan Bill On DOB, HPD Violations Passes NYC Council
City Council member Justin Brannan’s (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bath Beach, Bensonhurst) bill designed to prevent buildings with open Department of Buildings (DOB) and/or the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) violations from securing new, non-essential work permits, passed the New York City Council yesterday.
Under the bill, Int. 975, landlords of buildings with fewer than 35 units would be denied DOB permits for new construction work if the building had an average of 3 or more open violations per unit.
Additionally, Landlords of buildings with 35 units or more would also be denied DOB permits if they had an average of 2 or more open violations per unit. Brannan is confident that the bill will have tangible benefits for tenants citywide.
Brannan believes the legislation will help address illegal conversions in his district and citywide. Buildings with illegal conversions are likely to receive violations for work without permits and various safety hazards, according to the South Brooklyn elected. The bill aims to deter landlords seeking to avoid these violations and help prevent those with existing illegal conversions from doing further work.
“People call and come into my office all the time with complaints about bad landlords. But when landlords don’t hold up their end of the bargain, there is often not much we can do. This bill changes that by forcing landlords to uphold quality of life for their tenants. If we have to push them to do the work they are obligated to do, we will,” said Brannan.
Schumer, Gillibrand Push To Increase Funding To Protect NonProfits Against Terror Attacks
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) yesterday announced a new bipartisan push to increase funding to protect nonprofit institutions that are at risk of being targeted for terror attacks.
As the Senate considers funding priorities for the upcoming Fiscal Year, Gillibrand and Schumer are leading the bipartisan coalition of 33 senators to provide a total of $75 million in the 2020 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP).
The program provides essential funding for nonprofit institutions to install critical physical security enhancements and prevent attacks. The requested $75 million would increase total funding for the program by $15 million from last year’s level, strengthening the NSGP and helping to ensure that Congress is doing everything possible to protect communities from targeted terror attacks.
The request for an increase in funding comes as recent attacks on places of worship highlight the unique vulnerabilities that communities face across the country. Just last week, the Anti-Defamation League’s 2018 Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents in New York report showed that there was a 55 percent increase in Anti-Semitic Assaults in 2018, all of which occurred in New York City. The report also showed that after the Tree of Life shooting in Pittsburgh, incidents of Anti-Semitism increased by 170 percent over the previous quarter. The February 2019 FBI, DHS, and NCTC Joint Intelligence Bulletin (JIB) found that domestic extremists, perpetrators of hate crimes, homegrown violent extremists, and foreign terrorist organizations will continue to pose a lethal threat to faith-based communities, particularly against perceived soft targets such as religious and cultural facilities.
“There have been far too many heartless and horrific hate crimes targeting places of worship throughout America recently and we must do all we can to help people of all faiths worship in security and safety. This increase in funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program will help protect all houses of worship and other nonprofits from these horrific acts,” said Schumer.
“Nobody should ever have to live in fear of being targeted for a terror attack. It is a tragedy that hate crimes are on the rise in our country, and one way Congress can help protect vulnerable communities is by increasing funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program. This program helps nonprofits pay for the tools they need to stay safe,” said Gillibrand.