Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move June 5, 2019

News Site Brooklyn

BP Adams To Honor Latest “Heroes Of The Month;10-Year-Old Founder Of Online Thrift Store

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams will honor Brooklyn’s latest “Heroes of the Month” today at a ceremony in Brooklyn Borough Hall.

He will recognize the following heroes and present them with citations on behalf of the borough:

  • State Trooper Joshua Kaye, who saved a suicidal man from jumping off the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge in March
  • Jacob Abraham, a Good Samaritan who helped State Trooper Kaye
  • Hopeton Kiffin, an MTA conductor who rescued a 13-year old boy from the subway tracks in April
  • Obocho Peters, 10-year old founder of online thrift store I Am Obocho, which sells children’s clothing to low-income parents

The event is slated for 3 p.m., today, June 5, at Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon Street in Downtown Brooklyn.

Clarke’s Federal Dream Act Passes House, Offers Immigrants Pathway To Citizenship

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Kensington, Midwood, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Park Slope), Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Immigration Task Force, applauded the passage of The Dream and Promise Act of 2019 (H.R. 6) yesterday.  

The landmark legislation, co-sponsored by Clarke, provides a pathway to citizenship for 2.5 million Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforcement Departure (DED) Recipients, as well as DREAMers. More than 180,000 New Yorkers qualify under this legislation. The measure would first grant conditional residency and, upon meeting further qualifications, permanent residency.

The passage of the measure comes just three months after the Trump administration extended TPS for Haiti,  El Salvador, Nicaragua and Sudan until January 2, 2020. TPS is part of the Federal Immigration Act of 1990, which provides temporary protected status to immigrants in the United States who are temporarily unable to safely return to their home country because of ongoing armed conflict, environmental disasters, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions.

TPS currently protects the rights of more than 50,000 Haitian immigrants and their families to live and work in the United States, about 5,400 of whom live in New York City, pre-dominately in Flatbush, Canarsie, Crown Heights, and East Flatbush as well as in the Queens neighborhoods of Cambria Heights, Queens Village, Springfield Gardens, Jamaica and Rosedale.

DED allows certain individuals from designated countries and regions facing political or civic conflict or natural disaster to stay in the United States. DED is a temporary immigration benefit. It provides an administrative stay of removal designated for specific period of time. DREAMers are those brought to the United States as minors without legal documentation.

“Passing the Dream and Promise Act marks a monumental day for more than 2.5 million immigrants in America. As Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Immigration Task Force, it is my duty to stand up for immigrants–they are our neighbors and our friends and are engrained within the fabric of our communities,” said Clarke.

Fed Lawmakers Move One Step Closer To Split Tolling on Verrazzano, House Committee Passage

Max Rose
U.S. Rep.-Elect Max Rose
U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

Congress members Max Rose (D-South Brooklyn, Staten Island), Jerrold Nadler (D-Western Brooklyn, Western Manhattan) and Nydia Velazquez (D-Brooklyn, LES, Queens) yesterday announced that the House Committee on Appropriations passed legislation that would bring two-way tolling back to the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge.

The legislation would split the toll in half to be paid in both directions which studies have shown would decrease congestion and increase revenue without raising costs on commuters. On Tuesday, the House Committee on Appropriations passed the Fiscal Year 2020 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development funding bill which included language to remove the one-way tolling federal requirement for the Verrazzano.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) leadership supports the proposal and is committed to investments in public transportation on Staten Island and in South Brooklyn in the upcoming 2020-2024 Capital Plan. The capital plan will be released in October of this year will be reviewed by the Capital Plan Review Board and voted on by the MTA Board.

Currently, the Verrazzano-Narrows-Bridge is the only bridge in the country with federally mandated one-way tolling, first instituted in the 1980s to cut down on traffic backups from toll gantries. According to the lawmakers, by cutting out the loophole that drivers use to avoid paying or minimize the costs of tolls, enacting two-way tolling would cut down on congestion and pollution on Staten Island and could lead to $10 to $15 million in additional annual MTA revenue. The crossing for the iconic bridge shot up to staggering $19 from $17 for non-E-ZPass holders in late March, making it the highest toll in the United States.

“This is common sense: splitting the toll will decrease traffic, increase investment in our transportation needs, and all without costing us a cent more,” Rose said. “Committee passage is a key first step, and I won’t be satisfied until this isn’t just a law, but the overdue investments we are owed become a reality.”

“The restoration of toll collection in both directions will greatly reduce traffic and congestion that has plagued Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan, and Staten Island for too long. I applaud Congressman Rose and Congresswoman Velázquez for their work on this effort, and I look forward to seeing this legislation moved through Congress and, ultimately, signed into law,” said Nadler.

“For far too long, one-way tolling on the Verrazzano bridge has meant more commercial traffic making its way across Staten Island and then through Brooklyn communities and Chinatown as trucks try to dodge tolls. The legislative language approved in Committee today will mean less congestion, safer streets and better air quality across New York. It will reduce wear and tear on local infrastructure like the BQE, Gowanus Expressway, the Manhattan Bridge and Canal Street,” said Velazquez.

Malliotakis Announces Owl Head Yoga Park Series

Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis

Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I,-South Brooklyn, Staten Island) announced yesterday the date for Yoga in the Park events in Owl’s Head Park.

The events, starting later this month, are free and open to the public. The yoga classes will be taught by Owl’s Head Yoga instructor Erica Ginger.

“I am pleased to partner with my friends at Owl’s Head Yoga and support these yoga events in Brooklyn. Yoga soothes your emotional, physical and spiritual well-being, and helps bring a community of people together as one. Yoga is for everyone regardless if someone is experienced in yoga or a beginner. I encourage everyone in the community to come out and participate in these events,”said Malliotakis.

These events will take place at Owl’s Head Park, across from the basketball courts. The meeting dates and times are:

  •         Wednesday, June 26 from 6:30-8 p.m.
  •         Wednesday, July 10 from 6:30-8 p.m.
  •         Wednesday, July 17 from 6:30-8 p.m.
  •         Wednesday, July 24 from 6:30-8 p.m.
  •         Wednesday, July 31 from 6:30-8 p.m.
  •         Wednesday, August 7 from 6:30-8 p.m.
  •         Wednesday, August 14 from 6:30-8 p.m.

Attendees should bring a yoga mat or towel and arrive 15 minutes early to prepare.

Deutsch Applauds Launch Of NYC Office Of Hate Crime Prevention

City Councilman Chaim Deutsch

City Council member Chaim Deutsch (D-Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach, Homecrest, Midwood) yesterday applauded the news that New York City will be opening an Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes.

The office was created by order of legislation – sponsored by Councilmembers Deutsch, Mark Levine (D-Manhattan), and Donovan Richards (D-Queens)–that was passed by the New York City Council earlier this year. The new office is charged with doing educational outreach and training within New York City communities, to educate people about the impact and effect of hate crimes. The new law will also require the proposed Hate Crime Prevention Office to coordinate with relevant agencies, interfaith organizations, and community groups to implement effective outreach on the subject.

Additionally, the law mandates the office to work with the Department of Education (DOE) to create guidance for educators within the New York City public school system to address issues relating to hate crimes.

“New York City has seen a shocking rise in hate crimes during the last several years, particularly anti-Semitic crimes. In the six months since the City Council passed my legislation to create the Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes, we have seen a 63% rise in overall hate crimes,” said Deutsch.

“This office is a huge piece of the puzzle to resolve this issue, working to prevent hate crimes by going into communities and helping people of every age and background understand the repercussions of baseless hatred and bias,” added Deutsch.

Ortiz Announces Passage of Bill Destigmatizing Mental Illness & Addiction In Military

Assembly Member Feliz Ortiz

Assistant Speaker Assembly member Félix W. Ortiz (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook) yesterday announced passage of Assembly Bill, A.2758-A aimed at supporting military service members struggling with mental illness and drug addiction.

Current and retired members of the military are not always willing to seek help for “invisible wounds” (mental illness/trauma), viewing it as a sign of weakness. Not dealing with these very real illnesses can lead to substance abuse and possible addiction, according to Ortiz’s office. Through education and information, this legislation will help erase the stigma attached to seeking help for those invisible wounds and provide information on resources.

This legislation will create a public education initiative designed to eliminate the stigma and misinformation about mental illness and substance abuse among military service members.

“There are far too many active and retired military personnel that are suffering from untreated mental illnesses, approximately 22 veterans die by suicide every day. This is unacceptable. These service members put their lives on the line for us and our freedom. We need to let them know we are here for them by providing the resources they need,” said Ortiz.

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