Elected Officials Question Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Project
Northern Brooklyn-centered lawmakers including Assemblymembers Walter Mosley and Jo Anne Simon and City Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo on Monday will call on the state to require an environmental review with public input on the ongoing Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park project on the Prospect Heights/Downtown Brooklyn/Park Slope border.
The 22-acre mixed-use commercial and residential development project includes the Barclays Center and 15 buildings, four of which were built, a school roughly 5,000 units of housing, 2,500 of which are slated for affordable.
Developers at the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park project have asked the State for an additional 105,000 square feet of development rights for a fitness center and field house on Dean Street between Vanderbilt Avenue and Underhill Avenue. Empire State Development has recommended these rights be approved without environmental review.
The lawmakers will officially make their request at 10 a.m., Monday, Aug. 12 at the Carlton Avenue Bridge (Carlton Avenue between Pacific Street and Atlantic Avenue) in Prospect Heights.
Brannan Wants CNN Climate Show In Brooklyn Or Queens
City Council Members Justin Brannan (D-Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights, Bath Beach), chair of the Committee on Resiliency, and Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria), chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection, will join environmental advocates today to call on CNN to host its Sept. 4 climate town hall in either Queens or Brooklyn.
The network last month announced it would host the forum in New York City to discuss how qualifying candidates for the 2020 Democratic nomination will address this existential threat.
Together, the two boroughs account for roughly two-thirds of city’s population, many of whom are at risk of rising sea levels, toxic air from polluting power plants, and violent weather brought about by climate change.
Each borough is also home to multiple appropriate venues for such a town hall, with access to mass transportation, highways, and both New York City airports (which could both be underwater by 2100 without federal mobilization against climate change).
The lawmakers will further their argument at 11 a.m., today, Aug. 9 on the steps of City Hall in Lower Manhattan.
Espinal Denounces Attempted ICE Raid At Homeless Shelter
City Council Member Rafael Espinal (D-Bushwick, East New York, Cypress Hills) yesterday denounced the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents attempt to raid a Women In Need (WIN) shelter in East New York.
Agents had a photo of a person they were attempting to detain, but when shelter guards asked for the agents to produce a warrant, they failed to do so.
“I am deeply grateful to the guards at this WIN shelter for standing their ground against ICE’s illegal attempt to gain access. New Yorkers who are experiencing homelessness should know that they are safe in shelters due to a local law that prohibits ICE from using city resources and information to further federal immigration enforcement,” said Espinal.
“When I passed this law two years ago, I could never have imagined how frequently it would be utilized. It hits close to home to know that ICE was in my district and trying to prey on some of my most vulnerable constituents.
“From the moment an immigrant steps foot in New York City, they should feel welcome and protected. This incident proves that this city is truly a sanctuary city for all. Shelters are safe places to stay regardless of your immigration status, because of our firm belief that people have a right to have a roof over their heads. WIN shelters provide a crucial service to New Yorkers from all backgrounds, and I am grateful to have their highly trained staff help serve and protect the members of my district,” he added.
Savino, Weinstein Laud Enactment Of DV Victims Protection Legislation
State Sen. Diane Savino (D-Coney Island, Sunset Park, Staten Island) and Assemblymember Helene Weinstein (D-Flatlands, Canarsie, Sheepshead Bay) yesterday lauded Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his signing a package of legislation expanding protections for victims of Domestic Violence.
The three measures broaden the definition of the crime of domestic violence to include forms of economic abuse such as identity theft, grand larceny and coercion (S.2625/ A.5608); give victims the choice to vote by mail-in ballot, even if they remain within the county where they are registered to vote (S.3232-A/A.219); and allow victims to report abuse to any law enforcement agency in the state, regardless of where the violence originally took place (S.1243/A.4467A).
This legislation builds on progress made in the Governor’s 2019 Women’s Justice Agenda to combat domestic violence and empower victims to seek justice.
“This legislation gives domestic violence victims the opportunity to vote in a safe manner, ensuring that they do not have to worry about encountering their abuser. While there are currently options to vote in person at the local Board of Elections, this still may not be the safest option if that county is still where the victim’s abuser resides,” said Savino. “I thank Leader Stewart-Cousins and my Senate colleagues for taking up this bill and applaud Governor Cuomo for signing it into law.”
“Abusers often use economic coercion, to keep victims from leaving. This legislation expands upon my 2013 law which recognized that economic abuse is an often overlooked form of domestic violence. I applaud the Governor for recognizing these bitter realities of the world that the victims of domestic violence live in, and for standing up for them when it counts most,” said Weinstein.
Mosley Denounces MTA’s Planned Cuts To B54 Bus Service
Assemblymember Walter T. Mosley (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, Bed-Stuy) yesterday denounced the MTA’s planned service changes to the B54 bus, which runs from Jay Street in Downtown Brooklyn via Myrtle Avenue to Palmetto Street/St. Nicholas Avenue in Ridgewood Queens.
The changes, scheduled for this fall, will see the B54 schedule incrementally increase headways (wait times between buses): 1 minute during the morning peak periods (from 7 minutes to 8); 3 minutes during off-peak midday hours (from 12 minutes to 15); and 3 minutes during off-peak evening hours (from 9 minutes to 12).
“The MTA’s recent decision to reduce service on the B54 bus line in Brooklyn is atrocious and inexcusable. These buses serve as a vital lifeline in our district. People rely on them to get to work, travel to doctor appointments, and other services critical to their daily quality of life,” said Mosley.
“Let’s be clear, this hurts our seniors, lower-income residents, and our residents with mobility issues who often cannot resort to ride-hailing apps or walking long stretches to the nearest subway – many of which are not ADA-compliant. This decision by the city is tantamount to a criminal disregard of the people of our district and we will not stand for it. To the MTA I say this as clear and uninhibited as possible: don’t scrap our buses, fix our buses,” he added.
Provost Hosts ‘Christmas in August Toy Drive’
Democratic District Leader Cory Provost (East Flatbush, Brownsville, Canarsie) is inviting members of the media, community leaders and the general public to join him as he hosts the first annual ‘Christmas in August Toy Drive.’
The event will feature a collection of donated toys and winter attire for local children in need along with Caribbean cuisine. The price of entry into the event is a new, unwrapped toy or a new, youth-size scarf, hat or pair of gloves.
Following the toy drive kick-off, Provost will continue to collect toys and clothing for children through November. Donated items will be distributed to children in December.
“I welcome the community to join me at our Christmas in August event and share our abundance with our local children in need,” Provost said. “I look forward to spearheading a toy and winter clothing drive that will keep our children warm and happy this coming holiday season. This is just one of the ways I am working to build community and serve all the people of the 58th Assembly District.”
The first annual “Christmas in August Toy Drive” kickoff is slated for 6:30-9:30 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 13 at SUEDE, 5610 Clarendon Road in East Flatbush. Guests can RSVP for the event at https://www.supportcory.com/event-info/community-toy-drive-kick-off.