Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Sept. 19, 2019

News Site Brooklyn

Cuomo Directs State Task Force To Investigate Williamsburg Attack

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo yesterday directed the state police hate crimes task force to assist in the investigation of a robbery and assault of a Hasidic man in Williamsburg.

The attack, which was partially caught on video, occurred at about 9:45 p.m. Tuesday when four men chased the 24-year-old victim as he walked home on Warsoff Place between Flushing and Park Avenues in Bedford-Stuyvesant. 

The perpetrators beat up the victim and took his cell phone, according to media reports.

 “I am absolutely disgusted by yet another vicious attack on a Hasidic Jewish man in Brooklyn, and am directing the State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to assist the NYPD in its investigation into this robbery and assault to ensure those responsible are held accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” said Cuomo.

“Let’s be absolutely clear: there is no place for hate in New York. We will continue to do everything in our power to stop these cowardly acts of anti-Semitism and hatred of all kinds that have become pervasive in this nation, and we will call them out whenever they occur.”

Frontus Opens New Coney Island District Office

Mathylde Frontus
Assembly Member Mathylde Frontus

Assemblymember Mathylde Frontus (D-Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Bay Ridge) invited constituents to visit her new district office at 2002 Mermaid Avenue in Coney Island.

“As an elected official, it’s important that my door is always open to the communities I serve,” said Frontus. “Hearing what matters most to the people who live, work and raise a family here in Brooklyn helps me better represent our neighborhoods and tackle important issues they care about. This new office offers a more accessible space for residents to voice their thoughts and concerns.”

Frontus said the decision to relocate the district office came after she recognized that the previous assembly office, which had been in the Luna Park Residential development for the past 20 years, was not easily accessible to constituents of the 46th Assembly district. 

Now located on Mermaid Avenue, one of Coney Island’s main roads, people from across our neighborhoods will be able to locate my office and stop in with ease, Frontus noted.

Her office can assist with:

  • Connecting to local services and state agencies
  • Obtaining benefits, government forms and applications
  • Replacing lost medals or awards for veterans
  • Answering questions about state government
  • Providing information on programs such as EPIC, HEAP and STAR
  • Helping find solutions to community issues

For more information about this or any other community issue, contact Frontus’ office at 718-266-0267 or [email protected].

Malliotakis Happy That Cuomo Rescinds License Plate Fee

Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis

Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis (D-Bay Ridge, Staten Island) yesterday applauded Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s decision to rescind the $25 license plate fee was the right call.

Cuomo originally announced that New York License plates would have a new design and that New York motorists with old plates would have to buy the new ones for $25. This angered many state Republicans, who felt that this was just a way to create more state revenue on the backs of taxpayers.

“This cash grab that the governor proposed was a bad idea from the start. This proposal would put an unnecessary burden on drivers for a new license plate they do not need. We appreciate that the Governor listened to our calls to rescind the fee. As elected officials we should never be looking to impose frivolous costs on the people we represent,” said Malliotakis. 

“Our job should be to keep as much money as possible in the pockets of taxpayers, and seek ways to implement strategies and propose ideas that are beneficial to New Yorkers. I would like to thank the many residents who joined my call to action on social media and wrote to Governor Cuomo asking him to drop this plan. Your voices were heard,” she added.

Ortiz Supports Eliminating Subminimum Wage For Tipped Workers 

Assembly Member Feliz Ortiz

Assistant Speaker Félix W. Ortiz (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook) yesterday announced he sent a letter to Governor Cuomo requesting that he move New York toward One Fair Wage, eliminating the subminimum wage for tipped workers. 

The letter, co-authored by Assembly Member Ellen C. Jaffe (D-Suffern) and signed by additional members of the Assembly, outlines the precarious position many tipped workers in the state experience due to their low income.

“Enacting a single minimum wage for all New Yorkers will end the harassment, discrimination, and economic instability experienced by many tipped workers in our state,” said Ortiz. “It’s the right thing to do; all workers should be compensated fairly.”

Velázquez To Deliver Keynote Address At Climate Summit

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-Brooklyn, Queens, Lower Manhattan) will deliver the keynote address to the Climate Justice Youth Summit on Saturday.

The Climate Justice Youth Summit is the largest national gathering of young people working to address climate change in the U.S. and will bring together more than 200 activists from around the US and Global South this weekend to focus on operationalizing their Just Transition principles to address climate change in their communities. 

“From the Green New Deal legislation I’ve cosponsored in the U.S. House to similar state initiatives in New York and around the nation, young people are leading the charge toward a just transition to a renewable economy. The climate crisis disproportionately affects communities of color and these young people are fighting to ensure that, as we move to a sustainable future, social justice and economic fairness are prioritized.  A new generation of young leaders from near and far is finding their voice and I’m thrilled to join UPROSE, Climate Justice Alliance and so many others participating in this historic event,” said Velázquez.

The speech is slated for 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 21 at 250 West Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn Heights.

Rose Request That Facebook Ban Extremist Group Gets Action

Max Rose
U.S. Rep.-Elect Max Rose

U.S. Rep. Max Rose (D-Southern Brooklyn, Staten Island), Chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism, yesterday announced that social media giant Facebook is adhering to his request to block links to pages on 8chan and 4chan that are dedicated to the distribution of extremist content.

“We’ve seen terrorists post 8chan links to Facebook in an effort to bring widespread attention to mass shootings, which is why I’m encouraged to see Facebook’s willingness to work with me and ban those links,” Rose said. “We all need to do more to combat the spread of terrorism and keep our communities safe—Congress, tech companies—everyone.”

In a letter to Facebook, Rose highlighted past instances in which terrorists used 8chan and Facebook to spread violent and hateful content, including:

  • March 15, 2019: the terrorist who killed 51 people and injured 49 others in Christchurch, New Zealand posted his manifesto on 8chan and live-streamed the shooting on Facebook.
  • April 27, 2019: the terrorist who attacked worshipers in a Poway, California synagogue posted an antisemitic and racist letter on 8chan shortly before his crimes.
  • August 3, 2019: a terrorist who killed 22 people and injured 24 others at an El Paso Walmart posted his hate-filled manifesto to 8chan prior to the shooting.

 “Sites like 8chan offer a home to violent extremism and play a central role in the growing trend of online self-radicalization,” wrote Rose in a letter to Facebook’s Vice President for Global Policy Management. “Facebook should not be in the business of amplifying these voices. I strongly urge you to immediately ban hyperlinks to 8chan from being posted on Facebook.”

 In response to Rose’s letter, Facebook wrote, “We appreciate your willingness to work with industry to make the web safer. Please know that Facebook is blocking links to places on 8chan and 4chan that are dedicated to the distribution of vile content.”

Maloney Highlights Staggering Cost of Gun Violence 

U.S Rep. Carolyn Maloney

U.S. Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-Greenpoint, Western Queens, East Manhattan), Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC), this week called on members of the Senate to find “the courage to act” to address the nation’s gun violence epidemic. 

She spoke at a JEC hearing today, which came shortly after the Committee published a state-by-state analysis of gun violence that found the crisis imposes more than $200 billion in total annual costs on the country, which is about 1.4 percent of GDP.

“There is no way to estimate the ‘cost of human’ life. The loss is incalculable,” Maloney said in her opening statement. “But there is also economic cost – a lost breadwinner’s income, astronomical medical costs, costs to employers, schools, police, hospitals and the criminal justice system.

“In the United States, there are more guns in civilian hands than any other country in the world. An American is nearly seven times more likely than someone in Canada to die by a gun, eight times more likely than someone in France, almost twenty times more likely than a person in Germany and almost forty times more likely than someone in the UK, Australia or New Zealand,” she added.

The Congresswoman noted the JEC report finds rural states have the highest costs of gun violence as a percent of GDP, and states with high rates of gun ownership have the highest rates of gun suicide. 

“In contrast, my state of New York, which has stricter gun laws including an assault weapons ban, has one of the three lowest costs of gun violence as a share of its economy, along with Hawaii and Massachusetts,” she said.