Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Aug. 15, 2019

News Site Brooklyn

BK Electeds Want Expedited Safety Measures Along Coney Island Avenue 

City Council Member Brad Lander
Mathieu Eugene
City Council Member Mathieu Eugene

City Council Members Brad Lander (D-Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington), and Mathieu Eugene (D-Flatbush, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Ditmas Park), State Sen. Andrew Gounardes (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Marine Park) and Assemblymember Robert Carroll (D-Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington, Ditmas Park) yesterday sent a letter to Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg calling for an expedited study and implementation of safety measures along the Coney Island Avenue corridor where a pedestrian and cyclist lost their lives this summer. 

“Coney Island Avenue has long been identified as a dangerous corridor, hostile to pedestrians and cyclists, and prone to reckless, high-speed driving. To the families of Maria del Carmen Porras Hernandez and Jose Alzorriz, we owe everything we can do to redesign our streets and get reckless drivers off the roads before another family loses a loved one. We can’t wait any longer for urgent changes to this hazardous corridor,” said Lander.

Robert Carroll
Assemblymember Robert Carroll
State Senator Andrew Gounardes
State Senator Andrew Gounardes

“I join my colleague Council Member Lander in calling on DOT to act now to bring street safety measures to dangerous Coney Island Avenue. In honor of Jose Alzorriz and María del Carmen Porras Hernandez, two people recently killed on Coney Island Avenue, we will fight like hell to make this street safer. No one should have to live in fear of cycling, walking or driving down the street,” said Gounardes.

“Coney Island Avenue has long been in desperate need of traffic calming measures. It is critical that NYC DOT conduct a comprehensive study of Coney Island Avenue and that necessary safety measures are implemented before another tragic crash takes place,” said Carroll. 

“I strongly urge DOT to take urgent action that will result in much-needed traffic calming measures being implemented on Coney Island Avenue from Caton Avenue to Avenue P.  The lives of two people have been tragically lost recently and many more have been injured due to the unsafe traffic conditions along this corridor. Immediate steps must to be taken by DOT to adopt proven safety measures and to ensure that these horrible tragedies are brought to an end,” said Eugene.

The letter notes that DOT identified Coney Island Avenue, from Prospect Park south to Coney Island, as a “priority corridor” on the Vision Zero Pedestrian Safety Action Plan back in 2015, but that meaningful action on the corridor has yet to be seen. 

BK Electeds Float Pro-Breastfeeding Legislation

City Councilman Robert Cornegy Jr
City Council Member Laurie Cumbo

City Council Members Robert E. Cornegy, Jr. (D-Bedford-Stuyvesant, Northern Crown Heights),  Laurie A. Cumbo (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights) and Stephen T. Levin (D-Northern Brooklyn, Boerum Hill), in partnership with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, introduced a bill, Int. 1662-2019, yesterday that would establish training requirements, maintenance protocols, and regular inspections of rooms for locations required to make a lactation room available.

The measure comes as August is National Breastfeeding Month, and the city council remains committed to increasing awareness and access to safe, sanitary, healthy places to breastfeed and express breast milk.

“I will continue pushing for expanded access and education around this topic, and will continue supporting my colleagues who are pushing legislation that reach these goals. Nursing mothers deserve to have access to a safe, clean, and comfortable space to breastfeed or express breastmilk. If we care about the health and well-being of our children, then we have to ensure mothers are doing well. I am proud to stand alongside those working to make it easier for moms to breastfeed.” said Cornegy.

Borough President Eric Adams
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams
City Councilman Stephen Levin

“Raising a healthy child is a demanding job for all parents, and the lion’s share of the labor often falls on mothers. The science is clear that breastmilk is the best way to nourish newborns. We must do everything in our power to facilitate healthy development and give parents the support they deserve by providing widespread access to lactation facilities throughout the five boroughs,” said Adams.

“As a mother, who breastfed, I know first-hand how important it is to have lactation rooms that are maintained properly and easily accessible. We as caregivers want to feed our children in a safe environment, and have the peace of mind that we are in a clean and well cared for room,” said Cumbo.

“All parents deserve to parent in the way that is right for them, including the right to breastfeed without stigma and access to well cared for pumping stations. I thank my colleagues for leading on this issue and look forward to quickly passing this commonsense bill,” said Levin.

Espinal Introduces Legislation To Create Office Of Urban Agriculture

Council Member Rafael Espinal
City Council Member Rafael Espinal

City Council Member Rafael Espinal (D-Bushwick, East New York, Cypress Hills) yesterday introduced legislation today that will establish The Office of Urban Agriculture. 

This Office, housed under the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, will serve as a one-stop-shop to support existing urban farms, promote locally grown produce, and connect farming with nutrition and food equity programs across the city.

In addition to a staffed office, the proposal will include an Urban Agriculture Advisory Board made up of 10 community members and stakeholders. Representatives of community gardens, urban agriculture businesses, policy experts, community land trusts, and restorative and environmental justice activists will all have a role in shaping and implementing policy proposals and action items.

“Urban agriculture is the most underutilized tool we have to close the freshness gap in low-income communities. But momentum has been building, due in large part to the city’s existing infrastructure of community gardens, rooftop farms, and indoor hydroponic farming. Together, we have been building a movement that demands our right to eat, and to eat well. I passed legislation that set up an urban ag website to create an online hub for information to support local farms. The website helped outline our vision, but it was only the first step in starting the conversation,” said Espinal.

Deutsch Funds Revitalization Of Nearly All Parks In HIs District

City Councilman Chaim Deutsch

City Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D-Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach, Homecrest, Midwood) proudly announced yesterday he allocated more than $20 million, an unprecedented amount, to fund the revitalization of nearly a dozen parks throughout his district.

“These funds will ensure that district parks continue to be a beautiful gathering place for families to spend quality time together. Some of these projects have already been completed, some are mid-construction, and some are already in the design phase,” said Deutsch in his newsletter.

In this year’s budget, which passed just last month, Deutsch partnered with Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan) to include nearly $4 million to rebuild the tennis courts in Manhattan Beach Park. This is another step in Deutsch’s effort to renew areas in the district severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

Persaud, Bichotte Laud Law Further Enforcing Child Support Obligation

Roxanne J. Persaud
State Senator Roxanne J. Persaud
Rodneyse Bichotte
Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte

State Sen. Roxanne J. Persaud (D-Canarsie, East New York, Brownsville, Mill Basin, Sheepshead Bay, Bergen Beach, Marine Park, Flatlands, Ocean Hill, Starrett City) and Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte (D-Flatbush, Ditmas Park) yesterday lauded Gov. Andrew Cuomo for signing legislation they sponsored (S.6388/A.7788) extending the driver license suspension process for two years to further enforce child support obligations. 

This highly successful enforcement process allows the child support program to identify parents with a driver’s license who fail to pay child support and then notify them that their driving privileges will be suspended unless child support payments are made. The bill will extend the law through Aug. 31, 2021.

“Raising children in a single-parent household can be difficult and expensive. It is imperative that parents who are legally responsible for providing financial support ensure that they do so to meet the needs of their children. Driver’s license suspension is one of the most effective tools the state can use to compel non-custodial parents to fulfill their child support obligations. I thank Governor Cuomo for renewing this necessary law,” said Persaud.

“I am pleased that NYS will continue this program for another two years. The enforcement of support through the suspension of driving privileges is an effective program, and the collaboration between the agencies will continue to help the children have their basic needs met and allow them to focus on living a healthy and productive life,” said Bichotte.

Colton Demands National Grid To Keep Delivering Gas Service

Assembly Member William Colton

Assemblyman William Colton (D-Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Dyker Heights) yesterday asked the state Public Service Commission (PSC) to issue a cease and desist order to National Grid following its refusal to provide gas service in Brooklyn.

“A large number of constituents in my district came to my office claiming that the National Grid is refusing to open new accounts or restore services for returning customers. National Grid has put all new applications on hold and is holding residential and business customers hostages. They are claiming that due to the NYS DEC’s (Department of Environmental Conservation) denial of a water quality permit for the Northeast Supply Enhancement project there is not enough gas supply for the new customers,” said Colton.

“I have not heard of any independent projection of gas usage for the next 10 years which would justify their action. It is absolutely outrageous that our community has to suffer through this disgraceful demonstration of corporate greed by a company that is entrusted with supplying an essential service. National Grid is violating public trust by refusing to provide gas service which is a necessity for people and must be fully investigated to determine whether there is any justification to their demand for an additional pipeline and a steep increase in gas pricing,” he added.

Treyger Announces Budget Win For Coney Island Hospital

Council Member Mark Treyger

City Council Members Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island, Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Sea Gate) and Carlina Rivera (D-Manhattan), Chair of the Committee on Hospitals, tomorrow will join NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island and National Institute for Reproductive Health staff, to announce a significant budget investment in women’s healthcare. 

The announcement comes as Treyger secured more than $400,000 in the FY2020 budget to invest in upgrading the Obstetrics and Gynecology unit at NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island.

New York State has one of the highest rates of maternal mortality in the nation with 19.6 deaths per 100,000 live births. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, childbirth and pregnancy-related caused deaths are rising amongst women in the United States at a greater frequency compared to other developed countries. 

In New York City, nearly 23 women are dying per year from complications associated with giving birth. In addition to these distressing statistics, Title X funding—used for reproductive health planning services–from the federal government is suspended under the current Administration, forcing two vital Brooklyn women’s health clinics to the brink of closure. 

The budget allocation will enhance the Obstetrics and Gynecology unit at Coney Island Hospital in an effort to reduce the maternal mortality rate in the city and build on Treyger’s previous advocacy and funding for a and funding secured for a new state of the art, resilient hospital tower after the devastation from Superstorm Sandy. 

The allocation announcement is slated for 11 a.m., tomorrow, Aug. 16 at the Coney Island Hospital; Kane Auditorium, 2nd Floor, Main Building, 2601 Ocean Parkway in Sheepshead Bay/Coney Island.