Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Sept. 11, 2019

News Site Brooklyn

Menchaca Set To Make Industry City Decision

City Councilman Carlos Menchaca

City Council Member Carlos Menchaca (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook) next week will announce his intentions concerning a proposed rezoning on Industry City on the Sunset Park waterfront, according to media reports.

Industry City, a privately-owned 35 acre, 16-building campus starting on 39th Street and heading north along the waterfront is seeking to rezone the rezoning the area to allow for up to 900,000 square feet of retail space, build two hotels totaling 275,000 square feet, use 600,000 square feet for academic classrooms and develop up to 1.3 million square feet of additional commercial space.

Industry City had planned to formally apply for the rezoning for several years, but postponed it for several months ar Menchaca’s request so the community had more time to study the proposal. 

According to Crain’s New York Business, Menchaca believes it’s very important that the waterfront remains a working waterfront, and may ask that Industry City owners include a vocational school on the site.

Menchaca will announce his intentions at a “Should Sunset Park rezone Industry City?” public meeting from 6-10 p.m., Monday, Sept. 16 at Sunset Park High School on 35th Street between 3rd & 4th avenues in Sunset Park.

Schumer, Gillibrand Get $1 Million Fed Funding for FDNY Foundation

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) announced this week nearly $1 million ($993,314.29) in federal funding for the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) Foundation. 

The funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG) and will specifically be used to help implement a fire safety outreach and education program and install fire alarms in low-income homes. Gillibrand previously wrote to the Department of Homeland Security in March to support the FDNY Foundation’s application for this funding.

“Whether it’s a fire or any other emergency, we depend on the local heroes of the FDNY to come to our aid, and they depend on us to give them the resources they need to do their jobs effectively,” said Schumer. “This funding will allow the FDNY Foundation to provide fire safety education and critical equipment, including fire alarms, to vulnerable communities throughout New York City, which will help ensure the safety of New Yorkers in the event of a fire.”

“Our hardworking New York City firefighters are among the first to respond to emergencies, and I’m happy to announce this new funding that will help them keep our communities safe,” said Gillibrand. “With this federal investment, the FDNY Foundation will be able to install fire alarms in the homes of some of our most vulnerable community members, and educate communities on safe procedures in case of a fire.”

Clarke Introduces Legislation Giving Hurricane Dorian Victims Temporary Protected Status

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke

U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Kensington, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Midwood, Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach and Prospect Lefferts Gardens. Prospect Park, Grand Army Plaza) yesterday introduced the TPS for Victims of Hurricane Dorian Act to grant temporary protected status (TPS) to Bahamian nationals.

“My legislation–the TPS for Victims of Hurricane Dorian Act–will help provide some respite in America for people whose lives have been drastically impacted by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas. When life throws a massive curveball, Americans stand up to help those who have fallen on bad luck. As a Caribbean-American myself, my heart hurts for those whose lives have changed as they know it back home in the Caribbean. My legislation will assist in easing these folks’ new reality as a result of the devastation they’ve experienced from Hurricane Dorian,” said Clarke.

Specifically, the TPS for Victims of Hurricane Dorian Act would allow Bahamians in the United States to remain in America during this difficult chapter for the islands under the TPS program. There is a longstanding history of using this program to permit victims of natural disasters and other humanitarian crises in designated countries.

Clarke is a 2nd-generation Caribbean American and is the Immigration Task Force Chair for the Congressional Black Caucus. 

Gounardes Introduces Det. WenJian Liu Posthumous Conception Bill

State Senator Andrew Gounardes
State Senator Andrew Gounardes

State Sen. Andrew Gounardes (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend, Gerritsen Beach, Manhattan Beach, Marine Park) yesterday announced legislation he will introduce that would allow biological children to inherit from their parents when they are conceived after an unexpected death

The measure would benefit families like that of Detective Wenjian Liu’s, who was tragically murdered in his vehicle on December 20, 2014 while on-duty with his partner Detective Rafael Ramos. The hospital set aside Det. Liu’s genetic material, and in July 2017, his widow, Pei Xia Chen, gave birth to a baby girl named Angelina. However, Angelina has since been denied federal social security benefits.

“Families like a Detective Liu’s who suffer a terribly unexpected loss should not be prevented from receiving what is theirs because of antiquated laws. Assisted reproductive technology after one partner dies is now a true option for families that deal with tragedy, including first responders in the line of duty. By ensuring Detective Liu’s family and other families in the same situation are cared for, we honor the memory of Detective Liu and the tremendous sacrifice he made,” said Gounardes.

It is anticipated that Assemblyman Peter Abbate (D-Bensonhurst, Sunset Park), Chair of the Governmental Employees Committee, will be sponsoring the bill in the Assembly.

Gonzalez Announces Opening of The Kenneth P. Thompson Boutique 

Attorney Eric Gonzalez
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, together with Kevin Livingston, founder and president of 100 Suits for 100 Men, and Mrs. Lu-Shawn Thompson, widow of the late DA Ken Thompson, yesterday announced the grand opening of the Kenneth P. Thompson boutique located in the District Attorney’s Re-Entry Bureau in Downtown Brooklyn. 

The boutique will offer professional attire, free of charge, to assist men and women recently released from prison or involved with the criminal justice system as they search for and secure employment.

“In Brooklyn, we are committed to strengthening community trust in the criminal justice system and our commitment to justice does not end when a person is released from prison. It is our obligation to aid their reintegration into the community. This boutique is a great tool to help ex-offenders increase their self-esteem and get on the right path with access to professional work attire as they prepare for job interviews and seek to obtain employment,” said Gonzalez. 

“The late District Attorney Ken Thompson firmly believed in fairness and second chances and this boutique named in his honor will continue that legacy.  I’m proud to partner with Kevin Livingston and 100 Suits for 100 Men in this important endeavor,” he added.

The Kenneth P. Thompson boutique will provide clothing for job interviews and employment, as well as personal empowerment support for individuals who have been incarcerated or otherwise involved with the criminal justice system. 

Felder Hails Announcement Saving Homeowners Sidewalk Damage Charges

Sen. Simcha Felder

State Sen. Simcha Felder (D-Midwood, Flatbush, Borough Park, Kensington, Sunset Park, Madison, Bensonhurst) hailed Mayor Bill de Blasio announcement yesterday that the city will no longer issue violations to homeowners for sidewalk damage caused by city trees.for sidewalks damaged by city trees.

The issue has long put homeowners out on a financial limb for damage that tree roots cause to the sidewalks in front of their homes. Complicating the issue is that all trees on the street side of the sidewalks (as are the sidewalks) in front of property owners homes technically city property. The maintenance of the trees is split between the city Parks Department and the Department of Transportation (DOT).

“I am happy to commend the mayor for taking the leadership to correct a longstanding wrong that infuriated New Yorkers. Those of us who have fought these violations and fines for many years predating this administration are glad to see this arbitrary and unfair policy go,” said Felder.

Mosley Statement Before State Public Campaign Financing Commission

Assemblyman Walter Mosley

Assemblymember Walter Mosley (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, Bed-Stuy) yesterday indicated he opposes any attempt of the State Public Campaign Financing Commission to end fusion voting as part of their binding recommendations to institute state public campaign financing

Fusion voting is an arrangement where two or more political parties on a ballot list the same candidate, pooling the votes for that candidate. The Working Families Party, which often cross-endorses Democratic candidates, strongly opposes ending fusion voting.

“Election reform has always been on the forefront of my priorities since I was first elected to the Assembly. I’m incredibly proud of the progress that we’ve been able to make since then, including initiatives like early voting and vote by mail. Now we’re on the precipice of finally implementing a statewide public financing program that would help get big money out of our elections and make it easier for more people to run for office,” said Mosley in testimony before the commission yesterday at the Borough of Manhattan Community College.

“But instead of allowing the legislature to pass this bill it has instead been given to this commission to decide, and at the last minute linked with the decision of whether to keep or end fusion voting. This decision should be made by the legislature, and any attempt to end fusion voting by this commission would be unconstitutional and should not be recognized. I will continue to fight against this possibility and should the commission take action to end fusion voting I will work to ensure it is continued,” he added.