Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move July 10, 2019

News Site Brooklyn

Adams Recommends Smaller Brooklyn Jail, No Retail

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams yesterday recommended that the proposed expansion and redevelopment of the Brooklyn jail at 275 Atlantic Avenue and Smith Street in Boerum Hill be smaller than proposed and have no retail on the ground floor.

Adams recommendations come as part of the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) and as the city readies to close Rikers Island and move jails to each borough.

Adams issued disapproval with conditions on several items, including:

  •         That the maximum height be reduced to 235 feet, and the base height along Atlantic Avenue to 120 feet;
  •         That the use of ground-floor space be restricted to community cultural uses, instead of retail, at an affordable rent;
  •         That the entrance/exit of the sally port to the facility be combined with initial parking garage circulation, then further separated within the facility
  •         That State Street between Boerum Place and Smith Street be converted to a pedestrian plaza with limited vehicle use;
  •         That the City incorporate environmental features such as passive house design, rain gardens, or others into the facility, and;
  •         That the Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) for the new facility requires demolition of comparable capacity at Rikers Island.

“We have listened closely to all stakeholders throughout this process, and have put forward a recommendation that balances the needs of the community with the imperative of making our criminal justice system more humane for all, something all sides have agreed is critical. What we are proposing advances the City’s goal of closing Rikers while providing real benefits to the surrounding community,” said Adams. 

“Most importantly, it offers a roadmap for ending the cycle of incarceration that plagues our underinvested communities. We urge the City to adopt these recommendations, and to work in close consultation with the community, so we can move forward in a responsible way,” he added.

Adams’ recommendations will be presented at 10 a.m., today, July 10, at CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice- Gerald W. Lynch Theatre,  524 West 59th Street in Midtown Manhattan.

Colton Demands Repavement of Crosswalk

Assembly Member William Colton

Assemblyman William Colton (D–Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, and Dyker Heights) yesterday demanded that the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) immediately repave the crosswalk at Bay Parkway and 86 Street. 

His office has notified the DOT’s Brooklyn Borough Commissioner Keith Brayof the unsatisfactory conditions at the Bay Parkway and 86 Street crosswalks.

“The NYC DOT Brooklyn Borough Commissioner’s office stated in their reply that the repairs in the area were recently made and more work is unnecessary. I physically visited the site and took some pictures. It appears to be one of the busiest intersections in the neighborhood, especially crossing Bay Parkway from the Southeast corner to the Northeast corner and crossing 86 Street from the Southeast corner to the Southwest corner which is in terrible condition,” Colton said.

“The asphalt at that location is dangerously cracked, potholes are all over the roadway and this is unsafe. These conditions are hazardous to the pedestrians, individuals crossing with strollers, children and especially for the seniors with the shopping carts. This is unacceptable. I am not going to wait for the horrible incidents to occur, I will continue to press the issue with the NYC Department of Transportation until the necessary repairs are made,” continued Colton.

Levin Celebrates Opening of Willoughby Square

City Councilman Stephen Levin

City Councilman Stephen Levin (D-Williamsburg, Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, DUMBO, parts of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Clinton Hill, Greenpoint, Downtown Brooklyn, Gowanus, Park Slope) celebrated yesterday the opening of the new green space at the future site of Willoughby Square in Downtown Brooklyn. 

This temporary space, which will provide 15,000 square feet for the local community, will be open until summer 2020. At that point, construction on the permanent 1.15-acre site is expected to begin and will be completed by 2022. 

Planning for the development of Willoughby Square has been underway since 2010 when the city’s Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) facilitated a community design process with residents, stakeholders, elected officials and city agencies.

In May 2019, NYCEDC announced a new plan to create expanded open space in Willoughby Square, which will feature over an acre of green space, new community amenities, and permanent public artwork. Design and development of the open space is being led by Hargreaves Jones.

“I’m thrilled to open this space for the community to enjoy this summer,” said Levin. “Thank you to EDC, Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and Community Board 2 for their commitment to deliver this vibrant new amenity for the Downtown Brooklyn neighborhood.”

In partnership with the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs’ (DCLA) Percent for Art program, NYCEDC will soon begin the process of selecting an artist to design the memorial commemorating the 19th century abolitionist movement with a particular focus on its ties to Brooklyn and the Underground Railroad. 

This builds on the work of “In Pursuit of Freedom,” a multifaceted public history initiative led by the Brooklyn Historical Society, Weeksville Heritage Center, and Irondale Ensemble Project that explores the everyday heroes of Brooklyn’s anti-slavery movement.

Artists interested in being considered for the commission should send a request to

Treyger Lauds De Blasio’s Pay Parity Agreement

City Councilman Mark Treyger

City Council member Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Gravesend) yesterday applauded Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s (D-Manhattan) pay parity deal that will raise the salaries of early childhood educators. 

The agreement, announced yesterday, will raise the pay of over 300 certified pre-K teachers by $17,000 to $20,000, depending on their education level, over the next three years — making their salaries commensurate with their Department of Education (DOE) counterparts’. The increases start in the fall. By October 2021, teachers with a master’s degree will earn $68,652 and those with a bachelor’s degree will make $61,070.

“This has been an issue plaguing the early childhood education system, predominantly impacting women of color, for many years and was further exacerbated by the expansion of Universal Pre-K (UPK) and now 3-K. We have heard from numerous providers that the UPK system was on the brink of collapse if salary parity between Department of Education and Community Based Organization providers, and other measures were not in place,” said Treyger.

The contract extension will benefit 4,241 early childhood education employees with over 10,000 students in their care and serve as a model for remaining certified early childhood education providers. The tentative agreement provides a pathway to pay parity between certified early childhood education teachers and entry-rate Department of Education salaries by October 1, 2021.

Rose Slams Trump’s Continued Assault on Americans’ Healthcare

Max Rose
U.S. Rep.-Elect Max Rose

U.S. Rep. Max Rose (D-South Brooklyn, Staten Island) yesterday slammed the latest efforts to strike down protections and benefits provided by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) yesterday as the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the Texas v. U.S. suit, the ACA’s latest legal battle championed by the Trump Administration. 

Rose highlighted the devastating impact that the Administration’s lawsuit could have on families throughout New York and across the country. 

“If the Administration’s lawsuit is successful, millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions will lose their coverage and insurance companies will have even more power to make healthcare decisions instead of doctors and patients,” said Rose, who himself is a former executive of a healthcare non-profit. “Instead of burning down the house out of political malice, we need to be building on and strengthening the Affordable Care Act to lower prices, increase competition, and ensure every American has access to affordable healthcare.”

On March 25, the Trump Administration expanded the scope of its attack on the health law, asking the court in Texas v. U.S. to eliminate every provision of the Affordable Care Act.

In January, Rose voted to authorize the counsel of the House of Representatives to throw its full legal weight against the suit.

Rose is also co-sponsoring sweeping new healthcare legislation that will lower health insurance premiums, crackdown on junk health insurance plans, and strengthen protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Studies have shown that New York health insurance premiums are already set to rise 8.6% this year after this Administration’s efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act.