Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Aug. 5, 2019

News Site Brooklyn

Adams To Hold Vigil For Spate Of Mass Shootings

Borough President Eric Adams
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams today will join join noted civil rights attorney Norman Siegel, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, Youth Over Guns, Gays Against Guns, Assembly Member Robert Carroll (D-Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington), clergy leaders, and other advocates for a vigil in Prospect Park today today to mourn the lives lost this weekend during the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. 

At the vigil, Adams and gathered advocates will denounce the surge in gun violence throughout the city and country, and call on lawmakers at the state and federal level to enact real gun reform. 

“A mass shooting is domestic terrorism. There have been four domestic terror attacks in this country in the last week and two within the past 24 hours: Brownsville, Gilroy, El Paso, and now Dayton. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families in both El Paso and Dayton, and I pray that those still in the hospital have a speedy recovery,” said Adams.

“This national emergency demands that lawmakers across the country, particularly members of Congress, step up beyond mere rhetoric and enact real gun reform. Enough is enough,” he added.

The vigil is slated for 7 p.m., today, Aug. 5 at Grand Army Plaza where Flatbush Avenue, Eastern Parkway and Union Street meet in the center of Brooklyn.

Schumer Calls For Emergency Session To Enact Gun Safety Legislation

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) yesterday demanded that U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) bring the Senate back from recess for an emergency session to take action on gun safety and address the violence that is plaguing the nation.

Schumer’s call comes as an estimated 14,000 people have died as a result of gun violence since the House passed a bipartisan gun safety reform measures in February. It also comes amid this weekend’s horror of El Paso, Dayton, and countless other mass shootings this year alone. 

“America’s citizenry is on the brink, suffering in pain for people they love, communities they call home, and even strangers they have never met. And the mangled tie that binds this suffering, this fear, and this deep worry torturing every corner of the country now is rooted in the proliferation of semi-automatic assault weapons, their all too easy access, and the loopholes that ensure their omnipresence,” said Schumer.

“Tonight, to Leader McConnell, we say: enough must finally be enough. Stop blocking gun safety reforms that more than 90% of Americans have long sought passed. The Majority Leader should, once-and-for-all, do the right thing and gavel the Senate into an emergency session so we can take immediate action on the bipartisan, already-passed gun safety legislation the House sent to the Senate in February,” Schumer added. 

Federal law already requires licensed gun dealers to conduct background checks on gun purchasers and transferees, but this legislation would address a common loophole by requiring unlicensed gun sellers to perform background checks. While federal law prohibits certain people, including those with felony convictions, domestic abusers, and those adjudicated mentally unfit from obtaining or possessing firearms, major loopholes still allow people who should not possess a gun to legally acquire one. 

According to the Giffords organization, up to 80% of firearms used for criminal purposes are obtained without a background check. Schumer points out that while this is not the only action Congress needs to take on guns and violence, passing H.R. 8 is a sensible first step Americans have long begged to achieve.

Walker Announces Assistance To Brownsville Shooting Victims

Assemblywoman Latrice Walker

Assemblywoman Latrice Walker (D-Brownsville) announced over the weekend that the New York Office of Victim Services (OVS) will be offering assistance to victims and their families of last week’s tragic Brownsville Old Timers mass shooting that left one dead and 11 wounded.

OVS provides a safety net for crime victims and/or their family members by helping eligible individuals with medical and counseling expenses, funeral and burial expenses, lost wages, and support in addition to other assistance. 

New York is the only state in the nation that has no cap on counseling or medical expenses, which means crime victims and family members can receive help as long as it is necessary. Reimbursement for other expenses, such as loss of support, is capped under the law, Walker said.

To find a victim assistance program and/or learn more about eligibility, please click on the following link:Click Here For More Information or To File A Claim for OVS Assistance.

Davila, Barnwell Demand JFK Contractor Compensate Pregnant Worker 

Assemblywoman Maritza Davila

Assembly Members Maritza Davila (D-Bushwick) and Brian Barnwell (D- Maspeth, Woodside, Middle Village, parts of Astoria, Sunnyside, Elmhurst, Rego Park, Long Island City) will join a rally tomorrow in a show solidarity for Janice Martin, the customer service agent whom Hallmark Aviation Services forced out of her job when she informed them she was pregnant.

Martin lost her income, subsequently lost her apartment and is now raising her 4-month old daughter in a Queens homeless shelter. Martin filed a pregnancy discrimination complaint against her employer with the New York City Commission on Human Rights and the agency is investigating.

Also joining in the rally are JFK Airport workers, the National Institute for Reproductive Health and Planned Parenthood NYC.  

The rally is slated for 1 p.m., tomorrow, Aug. 6 at in front of 2 Park Avenue, between 32nd and 33rd Streets in Manhattan.

Treyger Demands Investigation & Study Concerning Con Ed Power Outages

City Councilman Mark Treyger

City Council Member Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Gravesend, Sea Gate) along with 21 of his City Council colleagues last week sent a letter to the Chair of the New York State Public Services Commission to address the recent series of dangerous and disruptive power outages across New York City. 

Treyger requested a formal state inquiry into the recent power outages throughout the five boroughs—including an investigation into the criteria Con Edison used to turn off power in certain neighborhoods—and a feasibility study on alternative options for power supply.

During the recent power outage, negatively impacting more than 30,000 residents in Southern Brooklyn, Con Edison provided insufficient notification that power would be shut off to neighborhoods in Southern Brooklyn, leaving residents with no air-conditioning during the brunt of the heat-wave, spoiled perishable food items, no answers as to when power would be restored, and poor communication about resources for mitigation. 

“Southern Brooklyn residents need answers about recurrent power outages, which disrupt lives. In addition to the lack of communication during the outages, we still do not know how Con Edison will provide an updated contingency plan to prepare for future events. It’s clear that Con Edison has little regard for its customers, and the company’s lack of transparency is egregious,” said Treyger.

Gillibrand Legislation Would Give Legal Counsel In Immigration Court

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY),  and U.S. Reps. Donald McEachin (D-VA), and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-19) on Friday unveiled legislation to guarantee legal counsel for eligible individuals navigating the nation’s complex immigration court system. 

With many of the individuals currently held in the nation’s immigration detention system claiming asylum and other legal protections, the Funding Attorneys for Indigent Removal (FAIR) Proceedings Act would ensure that children, individuals with disabilities, victims of abuse, torture, and violence, and individuals at or below 200% of the federal poverty level can have an attorney during court proceedings.

“The Trump administration has shown that it is far too willing to fast-track deportation cases even when people have credible claims to asylum. Many of these individuals – some of them unaccompanied minors – have fled life-threatening conditions in their home countries and made the dangerous journey to seek refuge in the United States, only to get trapped in a complex legal system without access to a lawyer. With hundreds of thousands of cases backlogged in our immigration courts and tens of thousands locked up in immigrant detention, it’s clear that the current process is not working,” said Gillibrand. 

“My FAIR Proceedings Act would ensure that some of the most vulnerable individuals in this process can be represented by an attorney. This would not only guarantee a more humane way to process asylum claims and other legal protections, but it would improve the efficiency of our immigration courts and help our country do a much better job of managing our immigration system,” she added.

Lander Says Fire NYPD Officer Pantaleo

City Council Member Brad Lander

City Councilmember Brad Lander (D-Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington) on Friday called for the firing of Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo for killing Eric Garner.

Garner died five years ago in Staten Island after Pantaleo put him in a chokehold while Garner was allegedly selling loose cigarettes. The incident was caught on video with Garner pleading, “I can’t breathe.”

Lander’s call comes after an NYPD administrative judge recommended Pantaleo be fired.

“Officer Pantaleo should have been fired 5 years ago. Justice delayed has been justice denied for the Garner family. After five long years of delay, today’s recommendation that Officer Pantaleo be terminated from the NYPD is the bare minimum. Every one of the officers who stood by while Eric Garner said “I can’t breathe,” over and over again, should be held responsible,” said Lander.

“My heart goes out to Gwen Carr and the entire family for all the pain and loss that they have endured over the last 5 years. Every month that has gone by, every demonstration that resulted in arrests of protesters but no consequences for officers, every excuse given by our city leadership and the Department of Justice for not taking action has sent a painful message to the Garner family and to the community that Black lives are not valued by our city. We have said ‘Black Lives Matter,’ but we have not acted like Black lives matter,” Lander added.

Malliotakis Urge Passage of US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement

Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis

Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-Bay Ridge, Staten Island) and the Assembly Minority Conference recently sent a letter to President Trump, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Senate Leader Mitch McConnell in support of the ratification of the US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA), an agreement that has great implications for New York as a border state. 

Under Trump, the U. S. renegotiated an old trade agreement with Mexico and Canada called the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The lawmakers say the new agreement, the USMCA, is a big win for American and New York farmers, workers, ranchers, port communities and businesses. The USMCA rebalances the playing field of trade and creates a more reciprocal, modernized trade agreement that benefits New York workers and stimulates the economy.

“Congress must move forward and adopt the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement because it’s a better deal for our country, will boost our economy, and create jobs. In Staten Island and Brooklyn, USMCA will bring increased economic activity and job creation in the container port industry. In Long Island and upstate New York, there will be enhanced opportunities for our agriculture industry,” said Malliotakis. “This agreement modernizes our international trade deals while simultaneously protecting our workers. Through the reduction of red tape and the introduction of new trade rules, small businesses in New York will also be able to access competitive foreign markets. That’s why we urge our federal representatives to approve this deal that supports freer markets, fairer trade, and progressive economic growth.”

Rose To Meet with Top Israeli, Palestinian Officials

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

U.S. Rep. Max Rose (D-Southern Brooklyn, Staten Island), Chair of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism, will travel to Israel this week as part of a Congressional Delegation to gain firsthand understanding of regional challenges and America’s strategic relationship with Israel.

“I’m excited to return to Israel as the first Jewish Congressman from Staten Island,” said Rose, an Army combat veteran. “I want to thank Leader Hoyer for this opportunity to educate my fellow freshmen about the challenges facing the region as we continue working towards finding lasting peace through a two-state solution. It’s important to reaffirm our solidarity with Israel and commitment to the Israel-U.S. relationship, particularly in the face of rising anti-Semitism worldwide and shared threats to our mutual security.”

Rose will learn more about the U.S.-Israel relationship, the peace process, Israel’s security situation, and important political and economic trends in the region. Additionally, Rose will meet with senior Israeli and Palestinian leaders and explore opportunities for bilateral economic and technological cooperation with the Israeli business community.

The delegation will meet with: Israeli, Palestinian and American officials; Knesset members from the major parties; military leaders and defense experts; journalists, opinion leaders, and entrepreneurs. The delegation will also spend time visiting, among other places: key strategic sites, including the Gaza border, the Golan Heights, and Israel’s border with Lebanon; cooperative U.S.-Israel defense and technology projects; Jewish, Christian, and Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem and the Sea of Galilee; and the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and Museum.

The trip is sponsored by the American Israel Educational Foundation in full compliance with all congressional ethics and disclosure rules.

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