Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Aug. 7, 2019

News Site Brooklyn

De Blasio, Barron, Ampry-Samuel Announce $9M Allocation To Brownsville

Mayor Bill de Blasio
City Council Member Inez Barron
Alicka Ampry-Samuel
City Council Member Alicka Ampry-Samuel

Mayor Bill de Blasio, City Council Speaker Johnson (D-Manhattan) and Council Members Inez Barron (D-East NewYork) and Alicka Ampry-Samuel (D-Brownsville) yesterday announced a nearly $9 million city allocation in support of the Brownsville community following the mass shooting on July 27 that resulted in 11 injuries and one fatality during the annual Old Timers Day community event.

The new funding will bolster and expand services supported by the Mayor’s Office to Prevent Gun Violence and the Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety (MAP) in the wake of the violence. This includes $5.2 million for the renovation of the Brownsville Houses Community Center, a MAP site, and $140,000 for new NYPD security cameras and public lighting around the Brownsville Playground facility. Lighting will be fully installed by December 2019. The NYPD has installed two cameras and will make additional upgrades by the end of the year.

“Our hearts ache for Brownsville; but this community will be defined by resilience, not tragedy,” said de Blasio. “These programs will build on our commitment to end the epidemic of gun violence and lend much-needed support to the local leaders and activists who work to bring positive, enduring change to the Brownsville community each and every day.“

“I am pleased to acknowledge and support the Mayor’s additional funding to the Brownsville community,” said Barron.  “In particular: 1) the increased funding for the prevention of gun violence by trained persons from the community who are acknowledged as experienced and effective in dispelling violence; 2) funding to the Department of Heath acknowledging this type of violence as a health crisis; 3) opportunities to train youth to engage in peacekeeping and anti-bullying efforts; and 4) additional staffing at the Brownsville Recreational Center which will increase programming activities and improve the ratio of adult to youth interaction.  This initiative is a much-needed response to conditions in the neighborhood that are manifestations of longstanding circumstances and systemic oppression which have negatively impacted the social dynamics of our community. We look forward to further improvements, initiatives and job opportunities to help restore our neighborhoods.”

“Brownsville has had its share of challenges over the years but continued to remain resilient through it all. The mass shooting on July 27th shook us to our core and was evidence of the need for funding resources. I’m glad the voices of the community are being heard and those doing the work will get the support needed on the ground; while partnering with city agencies,” said Ampry-Samuel.

Ortiz Pushes “Dutch Reach” Driver Safety Training 

Assembly Member Feliz Ortiz

Assistant Assembly Speaker Felix W. Ortiz (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook) announced yesterday that he is introducing legislation to require the State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to add the “Dutch Reach” car door opening method to the state’s drivers training manual. 

“Dutch Reach” is a method where the driver uses her/his right hand when opening a car door, requiring the driver to turn towards the door and look at the rearview mirror for oncoming bicyclists.

Em Samolewicz, a 30-year-old bicyclist, was killed in Sunset Park last week after she swerved to avoid an opening car door and was hit by a truck.

Ortiz is asking that the state DMV add language similar to the driver manual that says, “Open vehicle doors pose a very serious threat to bicyclists,” and asks drivers and passengers to follow three  steps:

  1. Check your rear-view mirror.
  2. Check your side-view mirror.
  3. Open the door with your far hand, (the hand farther from the door).”

Ortiz’s legislation would not penalize drivers for failing to follow this procedure.

“We’ve had too many bicycle tragedies in New York this year alone,” said Ortiz. “Every step we take to ensure driver, pedestrian and cyclist safety makes complete sense.”

Wright Mourns Loss Of Toni Morrison

Tremaine Wright
Assemblymember Tremaine Wright

Assemblywoman Tremaine Wright (D-Bedford-Stuyvesant, Northern Crown Heights) yesterday mourned the loss of African-American writer and Nobel Prize in literature recipient Toni Morrison.

Morrison dies last night at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx from complications of pneumonia. She was 88. 

Morrison was the author of 11 novels as well as children’s books and essay collections. Among them were celebrated works like “Song of Solomon,” “Beloved,” and “The Bluest Eye.”

“She inspired me. She challenged me. I was deeply saddened to learn that Toni Morrison, our great American writer passed today. Through her novels, I learned to appreciate who we are as people, with all our complexities. Her narratives captured our humanity and spirituality, desires and fears. Toni Morrison’s storytelling stimulated me to think. She inspires me. She challenges me. Rest well and in peace,” said Wright.

Myrie Continues Constituent Services Work

State Senator Zellnor Myrie
State Senator Zellnor Myrie

State Sen. Zellnor Myrie (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Gowanus, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, South Slope, Sunset Park) is continuing his strong out-of-session community constituent work with the following community announcement happenings for this week:

The Brownsville Partnership Lab’s Affordable Housing Assistance Program, which provides residents of the Brownsville-Ocean Hill Community with assistance to apply for affordable housing through the Housing Connect Lottery System, preparing for the eligibility process, and connecting with other affordable housing resources and services.

The lab hours are from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays throughout August at the Gregory Jackson Center, 519 Rockaway Avenue (b/t Sutter & Belmont Avenues) in Brownsville. For more info on what documents to bring or to set up an appointment, contact Community Engagement Specialist Taurean Lewis at (929) 252-9295 or email

The UPROSE Climate Justice Learning Circle Summer Series slated for 6-8 p.m. tonight, Aug. 7 at 166A 22nd Street in Sunset Park. For more info: / (718) 492-9307.

The Chinese-American Planning Council Brooklyn (CPC) Career Exploration Day slated for 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Saturday, August 10 at PS 310, 942 62nd Street in Sunset Park.

The Brooklyn Children’s Museum Celebrate The Caribbean event from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 10 at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, 145 Brooklyn Avenue in Corwn Heights.

The Full Gospel Assembly’s Annual International Day celebration from 12 noon – 6 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 10 at the Full Gospel Assembly, 131 Sullivan Place in Prospect Lefferts Gardens.

Colton Annoyed With Dysfunction Of City’s DOT

Assembly Member William Colton

Assemblyman William Colton (D-Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, and Dyker Heights) yesterday expressed disbelief that the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) is not following proper procedures in maintaining the street lights for public safety in the neighborhood. 

“After my office received a complaint that the street light had been out for months, I personally visited the site on Bay 17th Street between Shore Parkway and Cropsey Avenue. I have learned from a repair tag taped to the pole that there has been no service for over eight months and it remains out. It is despicable that the city is failing to maintain basic public safety conditions to protect people from crimes, pedestrians, bikers and car drivers from darkened streets by allowing a street lamp to remain unrepaired for such a number of months,” said Colton.

“I strongly believe that this is the NYC DOT Commissioner’s job to oversee their subordinates and it’s their obligation to make sure that the services are properly maintained throughout the city in every single neighborhood. There is no excuse for this deplorable breakdown in city services. 

“I am calling on all neighborhood residents to report darkened street lamps and any other hazardous street or road conditions to 311 and to my office either by writing to me at 155 Kings Highway or by calling (718) 236-1598. Taxpayers deserve to have appropriate services and the city government has a liability to maintain such basic services as street lighting and road conditions,” the lawmaker added.

Cuomo Signs Legislation Outlawing Undectable Knives

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo yesterday signed legislation prohibiting the manufacture, transport, shipment, and possession of knives that are undetectable by a metal detector (S.4202/A.4816-A). 

Possession of such weapons will now be considered a Class A misdemeanor and is punishable by up to a year in jail.

“Undetectable knives are meant to be used by trained members of our police and military forces for covert operations — not regular civilians attempting to sneak weapons past metal detectors,” said Cuomo. “By signing this measure into law, we will keep these deadly knives out of dangerous hands and help ensure our airports, courtrooms and other public buildings are safe.” 

Recent technological developments, such as laser cutting machines, have led to the fabrication of knives using materials that are undetectable by metal detectors. These weapons pose a serious threat to public safety and risk the health and well-being of all New Yorkers. This measure helps protect New Yorkers by making it illegal for any person to knowingly possess, manufacture, sell or transport such weapons in New York State.

Members of the military and police officers may continue to carry these weapons for official use.

The law goes into effect on November 1, 2019.