Adams Supports Council’s Food Equity Report
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said yesterday he was gladdened to hear that City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan) is fast-tracking legislation he authored with City Council Member Rafael Espinal (D-Bushwick, East New York, Cypress Hills) to boost the growth of urban agriculture in the five boroughs.
“Our bill to create the City’s first-ever comprehensive urban agriculture plan — which has been sponsored by 46 City Council members and Public Advocate [Jumaane] Williams — is essential to untangling the bureaucracy that’s holding back the multi-billion dollar potential of this local industry. Urban farming is a win-win-win-win for our city: It makes communities healthier and more equitable, reduces our carbon footprint through reduced trucking, enhances local resiliency, and beautifies our neighborhoods,” said Adams.
“I thank Speaker Johnson for adding his support for Intro 1058 and our push for the City to use its procurement policy to promote healthier lifestyles. Cutting agency purchases of processed meat was a start, but now we need to make investments in more plant-based options and healthier ingredients, starting in our school cafeterias. The City shouldn’t be in the business of feeding the health care crisis, and we must be even bolder in combating the twin challenges of Big Pharma and Big Farm that are profiting off our poor health,” said Adams.
Adams, a vegan who credits a healthy diet for bringing his diabetes under control, noted his administration has notched important victories in the fight against health disparities and food insecurity. This includes spearheading the movement for City agencies to introduce Meatless Mondays in schools and hospitals, and getting the City to end its procurement of processed meat.
Cuomo, Bklyn Electeds Laud DT Brooklyn Revitalization Projects
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo yesterday announced six transformational projects for Downtown Brooklyn as part of the state’s $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative award.
“This investment reflects our commitment to Brooklyn’s continued growth and enhanced quality of life for residents and visitors alike,” said Cuomo. “Downtown Brooklyn’s transformation into a hub for culture, entertainment and economic opportunity is a remarkable success story, and the DRI will ensure that the trend continues.”
Downtown Brooklyn is the borough’s central business district, as well as its civic, cultural, transit and employment hub. With more than 12,000 residential units, 20 million square feet of occupied offices, 11 higher education institutions, and new retail and entertainment destinations, the area has been transformed into a 24/7 community.
Projects being awarded with DRI allocations include:
Improving streetscapes and pedestrian safety along the Tillary, Navy, and Park streets corridors; the transformation of the Walt Whitman Library into a Modern Community Hub; and upgrade of Commodore Barry Park; the creation of a Digital Tech Center at the Ingersoll Community Center; improved accessibility to the Brooklyn Navy Yard; and the creation of a Public Art and Placemaking Fund.
Among the Brooklyn lawmakers applauding the DRI were Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Northern Brooklyn Assemblymembers Joseph R. Lentol, Walter Mosley, and Jo Anne Simon and Northern Brooklyn City Council Member Stephen Levin.
“Downtown Brooklyn is a modern-day Cinderella story. It was once a place where not many people ventured but today it has become one of the strongest local economies in New York. Brooklyn is thriving and with initiatives such as the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, we will continue to thrive. Downtown Brooklyn is not only ready, willing, and able but eager to begin our next chapter in solidifying ourselves as the premier location in the city for both businesses and New Yorkers,” said Mosley.
For more information on the Downtown Revitalization Initiative visit www.ny.gov/programs/downtown-revitalization-initiative.
Velázquez Seeks Resources for Veteran Domestic Abuse Survivors
U.S. Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-Brooklyn, Queens, Lower Manhattan) yesterday announced she has crafted bipartisan legislation to improve services for veterans of all gender identities who have experienced domestic abuse and violence.
“Our society is undergoing an important watershed change when it comes to issues of sexual abuse and domestic violence,” noted Velázquez. “We must support survivors in all professions and spheres and that should certainly extend to the brave women and men who wear the uniform of our country.”
Based on a 2014 study examining the prevalence of military sexual trauma (MST), roughly one-third of females in the military screen positive for MST, and the rates are higher for younger veterans. As such, the Violence Against Women Veterans Act seeks to improve the services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) by requiring an integration of said services with community-based programs that serve domestic violence or sexual assault victims.
“Sadly, for many of our veterans, the biggest battle of their lives will not be fought during deployment, but with the difficult memory of their abusers replaying in their minds,” said Velázquez. “It is heartbreaking to think that our veterans, individuals who have fought for our freedoms, would have to endure this hardship. We must improve the provision of services and benefits for our veterans of all identities.”
The Violence Against Women Veterans Act also establishes a National Task Force on Domestic Violence to gather information on how to best provide comprehensive support to our veterans. It seeks to create a network of local coordinators that facilitate cooperation between the VA and social services, as well as assist domestic violence shelters and rape crisis centers in providing services to veterans.
The bill saw 39 House co-sponsors and was referred to the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
Espinal Wants Infrastructure Improvements Following Sinkhole Incident
City Council Member Rafael Espinal (D- Bushwick, Cypress Hills, Brownsville, East New York) yesterday called for increase city infrastructure work following reports of a sinkhole at Decatur Avenue and Evergreen Street in Bushwick.
A number of surrounding streets were closed off from the sinkhole which measures 8 feet by 16 feet, with a depth of 12 feet. Officials from the police department and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) were on the scene and reports the vehicle featured in the reported photos was occupied and occupants self-evacuated.
DEP reported the cause of the sinkhole was due to broken sewer main and that crews were en-route to begin repairs.
“The City’s infrastructure needs to be our top priority in city planning. Out transportation system is falling apart on all fronts. We need a full study of the integrity of our roads. Luckily no one was hurt, but it’s safe to say that a sinkhole of this size is anyone’s worst nightmare,” said Espinal.
Salazar Lauds Bill Helping Victims Of Sexual Offenses
State Sen. Julia Salazar (D-Bushwick, Cypress Hills, Greenpoint and Williamsburg, parts of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brownsville, East New York) yesterday lauded Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s signing of legislation (S.5444/A.7515) allowing victims of sexual offenses, stalking and human trafficking to participate in the Department of State’s Address Confidentiality Program.
The program allows victims to keep their address hidden from their perpetrators by using a substitute address provided by the Department of State in lieu of their actual home, school or work address. The bill will take effect 90 days after becoming law.
“Victims of heinous crimes like sexual assault and human trafficking should not have to live in constant fear that their assailant could find and potentially hurt them again,” said Cuomo. “By signing this legislation into law we will help protect survivors from further abuse by shielding their address from public view and hopefully provide a measure of comfort as they move forward with their lives.”
“Too many survivors of sexual offenses, stalking, and human trafficking live in fear that their perpetrators will subject them to violence once again. By signing this legislation, we are providing much-needed protections to these survivors and providing them the peace of mind they need and deserve. This will prevent not just future physical violence, but additional emotional and psychological harm as well. I applaud Governor Cuomo for his leadership on this issue and thank him for signing this legislation into law,” said Salazar.