PA Williams Ampry-Samuel Float NYCHA Resident Task Force Bill
Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams, with the support of City Council Member Alicka Ampry-Samuel (D-Brownsville, Bed-Stuy, East Flatbush, Crown Heights) yesterday introduced legislation that would create a task force to improve the New York City Housing Authority’s engagement with residents to address their concerns regarding NYCHA facilities, living conditions and management, then develop real plans to expeditiously fix problems with a focus on residents being more engaged.
The bill, Intro. 1709, would create a task force comprised of two appointees from the Public Advocate, the Mayor, and the City Council Speaker, with an appointee of the Public Advocate serving as Chair. NYCHA’s Chief Executive Officer, Vice President for Community Engagement, and the Federal Monitor’s team would each also have the ability to make an appointment.
The task force would then report within a year identifying key resident concerns, the housing authority’s progress in addressing the identified issues, and recommendations for addressing resident concerns. This is not meant to replace NYCHA’s Citywide Council of Presidents, but rather enhance its work and focus discussions around residents.
“For decades, NYCHA has completely abdicated its responsibility to its residents, which has led to deplorable conditions in our city’s public housing facilities. It’s time for government to start doing things with communities, not to them, by bringing voices of residents to the table to find solutions that truly fix NYCHA’s deep-rooted problems, which is exactly what this task force aims to do. I look forward to working with the Council and NYCHA residents to get this important effort accomplished,” said Williams.
Ampry-Samuel, chair of the Council’s Committee on Public Housing, said having a task force that represents our public housing stakeholders is necessary to building a transparent effort to resolve the quality of life problems that have plagued NYCHA for generations.
“I am pleased that our great city has finally acknowledged that we have a problem which has its roots in systematic neglect. Identifying resident concerns and ensuring we have a social approach to solving them will keep NYCHA accountable for the first time and will provide an opportunity for holistic remedies,” said Ampry-Samuel.
Ortiz To Speak At NYCHA Residents Graduation Ceremony
Assemblymember and Assistant Speaker Feliz Ortiz (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook, Gowanus) today will address New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) graduates of a workforce training program.
The Brooklyn-based nonprofit Rebuilding Together NYC (RT NYC) has pioneered a cutting-edge workforce training program that prepares unemployed and underemployed New Yorkers for careers in the construction trades
This cohort of students—all of whom are NYCHA residents whose residences were damaged during Superstorm Sandy in 2012—will graduate from the Workforce Training Program with the skills to begin union apprenticeships.
RT NYC’s Workforce Training Program provides OSHA 30 certification, scaffold and flagger certification, free personal protective equipment, free Metrocards to get to and from class, and a free toolkit. Graduates have access to a wide range of union apprenticeship programs that can transform participants’ lives, setting them up for long-term careers with wage growth and benefits.
The graduation ceremony is slated for 10:30 a.m., today, Sept. 13 at the Rebuilding Together NYC HQ, 126 10th Street in Gowanus.
Eugene Shows Off Taekwondo Skills
City Council Member Mathieu Eugene (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Prospect Lefferts Gardens), a taekwondo black belt, last week joined Grandmaster Yeon Hwan Park and other Masters from the Y.H. Park Taekwondo Academy for Taekwondo Day at CitiField prior to the Mets game.
Eugene has joined with Grandmaster Park to promote the development of taekwondo on a global scale.
“It is a great honor to join Grandmaster Yeon Hwan Park, other Masters, and students from the Y.H. Park Taekwondo Academy for this very special occasion,” said Eugene. “I want to commend the New York Mets organization for hosting us at CitiField this afternoon to demonstrate the benefits of taekwondo as a martial art. I would probably not be in the position I am today if it were not for my study of taekwondo. It has given me so many skills that I have been able to implement, not only in my life, but also as someone who has been a teacher and instructor.
“The lessons of taekwondo are focused on discipline, respect, and responsibility. We respect our opponent and use strategy to compete towards a positive outcome. These are the lessons we take from taekwondo, as well as focusing on a goal and reaching it. I want everyone who studies taekwondo to understand that if they focus on the task at hand, and learn from it, they will reach their full potential as individuals,” he added.
Treyger School Start Time Pilot Program Report Passes Council
City Council Member Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Gravesend) yesterday saw the City Council approve his legislation Intro 560-A, which will require the Department of Education (DOE) to report on its school start time pilot program and review school start times at middle and high schools in an effort to reduce sleep deprivation among adolescents.
No later than September 30, 2020, the DOE will issue a report to the Mayor and the Speaker of the New York City Council on the status of the pilot program and report on the effects of later start times on adolescent health and well-being. The report will also include a list of the participating middle and high schools; a survey of the overall effectiveness of later school start times from students, parents and staff; and key findings on student attendance and punctuality rates.
According to the Journal of School Health, insufficient sleep in adolescents has been shown to be associated with a wide variety of adverse outcomes, including mental and physical health issues and lower academic performance. As such, Treyger has supported the DOE’s efforts to study the impacts of a later start time during the school week and welcomes the conclusions from the pilot program.
“As a former teacher, I know how hard 7:30 am classes can be, especially considering the length of students’ commutes, which can include train delays and multiple transfers. It’s time to evaluate how our schools can better serve our students. My bill, Intro 560-A, requires the DOE to report on its school start time pilot program and review school start times to reduce sleep deprivation,” said Treyger, chair of the Education Committee.
“Early start times can have disruptive impacts that can affect a student’s entire day—including lunch programming. Because of early start times, there are schools that serve lunch in the morning, and with this reporting bill, we will learn what steps can be taken to adjust scheduling. I want to thank Speaker Johnson and my colleagues for supporting this important step to helping our students excel in the classroom,” he added.
The DOE school start time pilot program began during the 2018-2019 school year with five schools participating and in the 2019-2020 school year the program expanded to 14 middle and high schools. The findings from the report will offer guidance on how to proceed with the pilot program with the opportunity to increase the number of participating schools.
Rose to Host Naturalization Ceremony for Young Brooklyn Constituent
U.S. Rep. Max Rose (D-Southern Brooklyn, Staten Island) today will hold a naturalization ceremony for 16-year-old Yuliya Lesiv at his Brooklyn office.
The ceremony comes after the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approved citizenship last week. The Lesiv family followed all the rules and filed all necessary paperwork, but due to a processing error, their application was denied. Following advocacy by Rose, in coordination with the family and USCIS, the application was reopened and approved.
The ceremony is slated for 9:30 a.m., today, Sept. 13 Rose’s Brooklyn District Office, 8203 3rd Avenue in Bay Ridge.
DA Gonzalez Launches Saturday Night Lights Soccer Program
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez yesterday announced the launch of Saturday Night Lights in East Flatbush and Brownsville, a soccer program in collaboration with the NYC Soccer Initiative and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
“In Brooklyn, we are excited that the Saturday Night Lights program, which exists in East New York, is now expanding to East Flatbush and Brownsville, thanks to the generosity of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.,” said Gonzalez.
“These terrific programs give our children a place to spend their Saturday nights in a safe and productive environment where they not only learn sports and sportsmanship, but help our children build confidence and develop life skills. This is a valuable investment in communities that often lack the resources and facilities to constructively engage young people and complements our existing youth programs such as our Chess Partnership, our Explorers Program, our Anti-Bullying Initiative and our Brooklyn Scholars program.
“The goal of my Justice 2020 Action Plan is to enhance public safety while building community trust. Saturday Night Lights achieves both these goals while reducing the criminal justice footprint,” he added.
The free program will begin on September 21 at the Winthrop Beacon Community Center in East Flatbush. The soccer program is open to boys and girls ages nine to 18. The program will run every Saturday night from 6 to 9 p.m., year-round.
There are no academic or pre-registration requirements to participate in the soccer program. Parents can enroll their children at the Winthrop Beacon Community Center, 905 Winthrop Street in East Flatbush. For more information on our Saturday Night Lights programs, please visit: http://www.brooklynda.org/youth-initiatives/.
Clarke Slams Trump For Denying Bahamian Nationals TPS
U. S. Rep. Yvette Clarke (D- Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Kensington, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Midwood, Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, Prospect Lefferts Gardens. Prospect Park, Grand Army Plaza) yesterday slammed the Trump Administration’s announcement that Bahamian Nationals would not be eligible for temporary protected status (TPS) after Hurricane Dorian.
“I am disheartened, but not surprised by the Trump Administration’s inhumane decision to deny Bahamian nationals temporary protected status in light of the devastation they are facing in recovery from Hurricane Dorian. Donald Trump is a bigot who has chosen to essentially close the border to victims of a devastating natural disaster. As Members of Congress, we must uphold our duty to welcome and protect individuals from across the globe who seek asylum from humanitarian crises, especially when this Administration won’t,” said Clarke.
“We’ve come to expect that this Administration will not provide humanitarian aid to nations, especially to Black nations. Trump has made it clear he wants America to look the way he wants it to look, white. If this were a European country that had suffered the same fate as The Bahamas, we’d be having a different conversation today. Trump is a xenophobic racist who doesn’t want people of color displaced from disasters staying in America for any length of time.”
Clarke, a second-generation Caribbean American, and Chair of the Caribbean Caucus and the Congressional Black Caucus Immigration Task Force, introduced crucial legislation to grant TPS to Bahamian Nationals impacted by Hurricane Dorian.
Myrie Tells Public Financing Commission Hands Off Fusion Voting
State Sen. Zellnor Myrie (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Gowanus, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, South Slope, Sunset Park), chair of the Senate Elections Committee, this week submitted testimony to the public financing commission, arguing that fusion voting is not within the bounds of its authority.
Fusion voting is a system that allows candidates to appear on multiple party lines on the ballot. For example, Myrie’s name can be on both the Democratic Party and Working Family Party line on the ballot.
“There is no credible nexus between creating a public financing system and fusion voting,” Myrie testified. “Any attempt to link public financing and fusion voting leaves the commission open to criticism that the inclusion of fusion voting is at best a political act, and, at worst, a political act of retribution. There is a time and place for a robust discussion about fusion voting. We have certainly arrived at that time. This commission is just as certainly not the place.”
The legislature created the commission as part of the state budget earlier this year with the mandate of developing a statewide public financing system. But last month, the commission motioned to include fusion voting as part of its agenda.
Adams Hails Brooklyn Cyclones Championship Season
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams yesterday hailed the Brooklyn Cyclones, a Class A Minor League affiliate of the New York Mets, for winning the New York-Penn League Championship.
“On behalf of more than 2.6 million Brooklynites, as well as countless fans everywhere who love Brooklyn baseball, I congratulate our hometown Cyclones on winning their first solo title in the New York-Penn League,” said Adams.
“This is an achievement for the team’s players, coaching staff, and front office, as well as our Coney Island community that has embraced and uplifted the Cyclones. As borough president and a lifelong Mets fan, I look forward to commemorating this championship with the Cyclones for what will be a much-deserved celebration,” he added.