Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Sept. 23, 2019

News Site Brooklyn

Schumer Demands Stronger Regs Against Flavored E-Cigarettes

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) said yesterday that President Donald Trump’s proposals to clear the market of flavored e-cigarettes amid a nationwide outbreak of vaping-related sicknesses and deaths doesn’t go far enough.

Schumer said it is widely publicized that companies may be able to reintroduce their flavors at a later date, so long as they submit a formal application and receive Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. 

“There is no doubt that as the FDA finalizes a ban on kid-friendly e-cigs that the agency will be met with intense pressure by the industry to water it down as much as possible, so the message to the FDA today is: do not cave,” said Schumer. 

“If we are going to tackle the all-out epidemic of youth vaping and the flavor explosion fueling addiction and related health issues, the feds cannot go vanilla on a flavor ban. They have to get it right the first time. And that means limiting and tightening exemptions so companies can’t escape the intent of the policy and bring us right back to square one months down the road.”  

Adams Support Ban Of Chocolate Milk In Public Schools

Borough President Eric Adams
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams yesterday released a video in support of reports the city’s Department of Education (DOE) is considering a ban on chocolate milk in public schools.

Adams has long been an outspoken advocate for improving school nutrition and recently celebrated the successful elimination of processed meats from cafeteria menus. He notes in the video that one cup of chocolate milk contains three to four teaspoons of added sugar and that the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that children ages two to 18 have less than six teaspoons of added sugar daily.

“Chocolate milk is loaded with extra sugar that can cause Type 2 diabetes and obesity, among other health issues,” said Adams. “Yet we continue to serve it in our schools. Instead of serving our children drinks that set them up for a lifetime of health problems, we should be giving them better options, such as water. Seventy percent of children have early signs of heart disease. We can’t continue to feed the health care crisis in this city.”

Watch the video here:

Gounardes, Brannan Demand Full Audit of Pupil Transportation Office

State Senator Andrew Gounardes
State Senator Andrew Gounardes
Justin Brannan
City Council Member Justin Brannan

State Sen. Andrew Gounardes (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend, Gerritsen Beach, Manhattan Beach, Marine Park) and City Councilman Justin Brannan (D-Bay Ridge, Bath Beach, Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights) Friday demanded a full audit of the Office of Pupil Transportation (OPT) following multiple disturbing incidents reported by constituents in the first few weeks of school, including a nonverbal child being dropped off at the wrong school. 

In a letter sent to the Chancellor of Education, the elected officials urged the Department of Education to undertake a full audit to determine the source of the issues and take immediate action.

These complaints from southern Brooklyn families are backed by reports of failure to adequately serve students with special needs due to communication failures, bus delays and more.

“It’s time to get to the root cause of OPT’s dysfunction,” said Gounardes. “Families should not have to be fearful simply getting their children to and from school, particularly the vulnerable population of children with special needs. In the first couple weeks of school, there is no excuse for this outrageous mismanagement. The time for a full audit of OPT’s activity is now before any other child is harmed.” 

“Navigating New York’s public school system is hard enough. The last thing parents need to worry about is if their child will get to school safely when they travel by school bus. Parents entrust their children to bus drivers, attendants and matrons,” said Brannan.

“Parents and guardians need to know these professionals will ensure that their child gets to school and back home again, safe and on time, every single day. But as we have seen all too often lately, students have found themselves vulnerable in dangerous situations or sitting on a bus longer than they are in school each day! OPT needs to immediately figure this out because it’s painfully clear that something is very wrong this year – especially as it relates to students with IEPs that require specialized transportation,” the Councilman added.

Ampry-Samuel Announces $2.5M Funding At Playground & Basketball Court Renaming 

Alicka Ampry-Samuel
City Council Member Alicka Ampry-Samuel

City Councilmember Alicka Ampry-Samuel (D-Brownsville, Bed-Stuy, Crown Heights, East Flatbush) announced Saturday the $2.5 million dollar funding to renovate Chester Playground and the renaming of the Chester Playground basketball courts honoring “Timi” Oyebola.

Oyebola was the victim of a random act of gun violence while he played basketball on the very courts being renamed in his honor. Timi’s untimely passing inspired his father, Olawale D. Oyebola, to coordinate with local leaders and clergy on a basketball tournament marking the one-year anniversary of his son’s death.

“The renaming and announcement of playground renovation funding is in line with the communities call to rebuild the district’s aging public wellness infrastructure for our children,” said Ampry-Samuel. “This renovation announcement comes one day after Vital Brooklyn’s ribbon-cutting ceremony opening the playground at P.S. 156/392 at 104 Sutter Avenue. We recognize the importance of green space and playgrounds for our youth to enjoy that checks off multiple boxes including the engagement of their minds with modern park equipment and innovative design.”

Joining Amprey-Samuel for the announcement were colleague lawmakers representing Brownsville including U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke, State Sen. Zellnor Myrie and Assemblymember Latrice Walker.

Cymbrowitz Lauds ADA Accessibility At Southern Brooklyn Subway Stations  

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach) on Friday lauded the news that the Sheepshead Bay B/Q & Kings Highway F Stations will be made fully ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessible under the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s proposed 2020-24 Capital Plan.

Cymbrowitz has been an outspoken and longtime proponent of the need for accessibility upgrades at stations in his district and throughout the city. The list released by the MTA includes 48 stations citywide. Another 22 will be added pending recommendations from the community and stakeholders.

“Inaccessibility at our train stations is an issue that comes up constantly in my district and for good reason—we have thousands of seniors, people with disabilities and families with babies in strollers who want to get around our city, who want to be fully engaged in the life of the community, and have been deprived of that opportunity simply because they can’t access the local train station,” said Cymbrowitz.

The lawmaker said that while it is satisfying to see Sheepshead Bay and the Kings Highway F (located at McDonald Ave.) on the list, more needs to be done before the community he represents enjoys the benefit of full subway accessibility. He said he plans to write to MTA President Andy Byford urging that the Brighton Beach station be included in the 2020-2024 Capital Plan.