Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move June 18, 2019

News Site Brooklyn

BP Adams Denounces Anti-Arab Graffiti Discovered At Sheepshead Bay Bus Shelter

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams yesterday denounced the discovery of the spray painted words “Kill Arabs” at a bus shelter on Nostrand Avenue and Avenue V.

The New York Police Department (NYPD) Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the anti-Arab vandalism. According to initial reports the incident happened around 11 a.m. Monday in Sheepshead Bay.

Most recent data from New York Police Department (NYPD) show that hate crime incidents in the City have increased by 64 percent since last year. 60 percent of those incidents were anti-Semitic hate crimes. Arrests for hate crimes have also increased this year. The city is currently set to open the Office of Hate Crime Prevention later this year.

“This deplorable and cowardly act is antithetical to the values we hold as Brooklynites. We cherish tolerance and diversity, and reject bigotry in all its forms. Our Arab-American brothers and sisters contribute immensely to the diversity of our borough, and I want to say loud and clear that we will always stand with them against attacks on their community,” said Adams.

“I hope the individual or individuals who committed this act are swiftly brought to justice, and I implore anyone who has any information about those responsible to contact the NYPD immediately,” added Adams.

Myrie Applauds Passage of Green Light Bill

State Senator Zellnor Myrie
State Senator Zellnor Myrie

State Senator Zellnor Myrie (D-Central Brooklyn) yesterday applauded the state legislature for passing the Green Light Bill.

The measure would allow undocumented immigrants to apply for a driver’s license in New York. The Driver’s License Access and Privacy Act, known as the Green Light bill, would allow driver’s license applicants to use valid foreign documents — including foreign-issued passports — to verify their identity with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

“This bill would expand access to standard driver’s licenses to all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status. It would make our streets safer, bring revenue into the state, and help keep immigrant families together,” said Myrie.

“With this bill, we’re standing up for our immigrants and taking meaningful action to defend their dignity and wellbeing. Now, let’s get this bill signed into law!” added Myrie.

Espinal Applauds Passage of E-Bike & E-Scooter Legalization in New York State

City Councilman Rafael Espinal Jr.

City Council member Rafael Espinal (D-Bushwick, Cypress Hills, East New York) yesterday applauded New York state lawmakers passage of legislation set to legalize electric bicycles and scooters.

On Monday, state lawmakers struck a deal in passing the controversial e-bike and e-scooter legislation in the closing days of the legislative session, as first reported by the New York Post. The deal emerged from negotiations between state lawmakers and city officials that went into Sunday night, a person familiar with the talks said.

The bill removes state-level restrictions against motorized scooters and bicycles that can be propelled exclusively by electric motors – but retains local jurisdictions’ power to ban them. Neither type of vehicle will be street legal in New York City itself until the city eliminates its own ordinance prohibiting their use. Under the new state rules, e-bikes and e-scooters would barred from sidewalks unless local officials say otherwise. Additionally, e-bikers and e-scooter riders must be at least 16 years old. Vehicles are capped at 20 miles per hour. Both e-scooters and e-bikes will be banned from the Hudson River Greenway.

“This law drastically improves the day to day lives of millions of people. Whether it’s reducing their commutes using environmentally-friendly electric-scooters, or simply being able to efficiently work without receiving a burdensome fine — today is a historic moment for the commuters and workers of New York City and the state as a whole,” said Espinal.

“I represent a community that’s chronically under-served by public transit, leaving many to resort to cars or adding in hours of extra commute times because of unreliable buses or long walks. Many residents of my district also work as delivery workers, and have been vocal in expressing the harsh penalties they have faced for using devices necessary to their jobs. It was these combined issues and the community voices behind them that prompted me to introduce legislation at the City level,” added Espinal.

Eichenstein Bill To Reform Summer Youth Employment Program Passes Assembly

Assembly Member Simcha Eichenstein
Assembly Member Simcha Eichenstein

Assembly member Simcha Eichenstein (D-Boro Park, Midwood) yesterday announced that legislation (A6753A) he authored to reform the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) passed the New York State Assembly.

The new legislation will make it easier for young adults to participate in the Summer Youth Employment Program while not affecting overall household income as it relates to public assistance. It is expected to pass in the Senate this week.

In 2018, about 75,000 young people gained valuable work experience through New York City’s SYEP. Locally, over 12,500 young people were enrolled in the SYEP program last year, through two providers; National Society for Hebrew Day Schools and the Council of Jewish Organizations of Flatbush, which are both located in Eichenstein’s district.

Participants from low income families raised concerns about the program, designed to be an incentive for young people, because their annual household earnings were just below the threshold for public assistance.

The new legislation would exempt income earned by persons under the age of twenty four in specific circumstances from the determination of need of public assistance. This means that families would be able to continue receiving the services they qualify for regardless of their children’s participation in SYEP.

“This legislation will make it easier for families who are struggling to make ends meet. My bill would positively impact families in my district and across the State by allowing young people to get a head start on acquiring work experience without the risk of their families losing public assistance benefits. I encourage the Senate to pass this bill and Governor Cuomo to sign it expeditiously,” said Eichenstein.

Montgomery Credit Union Bill Passes NY State Senate

Senator Velmanette Montgomery photographed by tracy collins
Senator Velmanette Montgomery

State Senator Velmanette Montgomery (D-Fort Greene, Boerum Hill, Red Hook, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Sunset Park, Gowanus, Park Slope) announced that her Credit Union Bill (S727-A/A3320-Zebrowski) passed the New York State Senate and now awaits a vote in the Assembly.

The measure would allow credit unions to receive the same economic incentives as banks to operate in underserved communities through the Banking Development District (BDD) program.

The BDD program was enacted to incentivize banks to locate branches in communities designated as underserved by the Department of Financial Services. Participating banks are eligible to receive up to $10 million in subsidized deposits from the state of New York to lower financial risk and encourage lending in these communities. Many of these areas have few to no banking institutions and instead have to rely on alternative, costly and sometimes predatory options to fill in the gaps.

There are 355 credit unions in New York, serving over 5 million members and they are uniquely positioned to advance the goals of the BDD program. Credit unions are nonprofit, locally owned institutions that answer to their members. They make less risky investments and earnings are returned to their members through lower interest rates on loans and more favorable rates on savings and retirement accounts. Their structure makes them highly responsive to the needs of their clients and they prioritize being present and giving back to the communities they serve.

“There are entire communities across our state where major banking institutions are nowhere to be found to provide financial services. This leaves residents, many of whom are already low income, to deal with operations that charge exorbitant fees and interest rates. I believe in credit unions and I believe in the role they can play in making sure more New Yorkers have access to quality, local financial institutions that reinvest in communities,” said Montgomery.