Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Sept. 24, 2019

News Site Brooklyn

Jeffries Introduces Anti-Chokehold Legislation

Congressman Hakeem Jeffries

U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Bed-Stuy, Brownsville, East New York, Canarsie, Mill Basin, Coney Island, South Ozone Park, Howard Beach in Queens), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, last week introduced a bill to ban the use of chokeholds by law enforcement officers. 

The Eric Garner Excessive Use of Force Prevention Act of 2019 amends a civil rights statute section entitled “Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law” to include chokeholds as a “punishment, pain or penalty”. The bill defines a chokehold as “the application of any pressure to the throat or windpipe which may prevent or hinder breathing or reduce the intake of air,” consistent with the current New York Police Department standard. 

The proposed measure came following a Judiciary Committee hearing on September 19, where Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, called upon Congress to pass the civil rights legislation. Garner, a father of six, died in Staten Island as a result of a chokehold administered by Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo on July 17, 2014. 

The deployment of a chokehold has been banned by the New York Police Department for more than twenty years. Presently, several major police departments throughout the country prohibit, limit or discourage chokehold use. In addition to New York, these cities include Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. However, there is no national standard on the excessive use of force, as guidance in restraining a suspect has traditionally been left to local law enforcement officials and municipalities. 

“The overwhelming majority of police officers are hardworking individuals who are on the job to protect and serve. Yet, persistent instances of police violence have undermined the relationship between law enforcement and communities throughout America, including in New York City. The chokehold is a poster child for violent police tactics. It is an unreasonable measure. It is an unnecessary measure. It is an uncivilized measure. The Eric Garner Excessive Use of Force Prevention Act will make it an unlawful measure,” said Jeffries.

Ortiz Fruit & Vegetable Expansion Bill Signed Into Law

Assembly Member Feliz Ortiz

Assistant Speaker Félix W. Ortiz (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook) earlier this month saw Gov. Andrew Cuomo sign his bill, A6019-A, expanding the production of fruits and vegetables in community gardens signed into law.

This law will encourage the expansion of the production of fruits and vegetables in areas served by community gardens, and will assist, support and encourage communication and the sharing of resources between community garden organizations and other state agencies.

“I am passionate about increasing good health habits of adults and children in New York and decreasing obesity rates. According to the NYS Department of Health, 61.2% of adult New Yorkers are overweight or obese and a third of New York’s children are,” said Ortiz. “This law will increase the availability of healthy, affordable food in areas that don’t have easy access and encourage movement through gardening.”

Myrie Holds Brownsville Voter Registration Drive

State Senator Zellnor Myrie
State Senator Zellnor Myrie

State Sen. Zellnor Myrie (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Gowanus, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, South Slope, and Sunset Parkwill hold a voter registration drive at his Brownsville district office as part of the National Voter Registration Day to get people to register to vote before November’s General Election deadline.

The drive is slated for 2-6 p.m., today, Sept. 24 at Myrie’s district office, 400 Rockaway Avenue in Brownsville.

Additionally, Myrie will help celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival and China Day from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., this Sunday, Sept. 29 on 8th Avenue between 50 and 56 Streets in Sunset Park.

Richardson Holds Annual Black College Expo

Assembly Member Diana Richardson

Assemblywoman Diana Richardson (D-Crown Heights, Prospect Lefferts Garden, Flatbush) is hosting both her Black Collge Expo and Get Civic MInded events on Saturday.

At the Black College Expo attendees can get accepted to schools and scholarships on the spot, find information on internships and careers, and more. The Get Civic MInded event will explore the Rood to the 2020 election and beyond.

The Black College Expo is slated for 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 28 at Medgar Evers College, 1650 Bedford Avenue in Crown Heights. Register online here.

The Get Civic Minded Event is slated for 2-4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 28 at MS 61, 400 Empire Blvd in Crown Heights.

Treyger Says MTA Capital Plan Helps Southern Brooklyn

Council Member Mark Treyger

City Council Member Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend) lauded the recently released MTA Capital Plan included some good southern Brooklyn Accessibility improvements that he has long championed.

“The MTA’s 2020-2024 Capital Plan proposal marks significant progress towards investing in accessibility for our public transportation system. People with disabilities and seniors deserve equal access to mass transit, but far too few subway stations are fully ADA-compliant. For years, I have been pushing the MTA to install an elevator at the Neptune Avenue F station, near Warbasse Houses and Trump Village. This station serves multiple Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCs), but local seniors and residents with disabilities have been unable to access the elevated platform. During Superstorm Sandy, this presented a significant barrier to evacuation, with residents choosing instead to shelter in place. I’m thrilled that the MTA has heeded my call, and proposed installing an elevator at this station,” said Treger.

“Gravesend residents would also benefit from improved accessibility under the plan, with significant accessibility investments proposed at both the Kings Highway N station and the Kings Highway F station. There are more details to come and more work to do to ensure that the proposal is approved and funded, but this is a major step towards making our subway system work better for seniors, people with disabilities, and families,” he added.

Treger said that in the last few years there has been huge strides towards improving public transit in Southern Brooklyn.

“We secured Saturday service on the X28 bus, and restored B64 bus service to Coney Island. After years of advocacy, the F express is back. Ferry service will be coming to Coney Island in 2021. We’ve seen the renovation and expansion of biking infrastructure. I am grateful to the MTA for presenting a capital plan that would finally bring accessibility improvements to our community. This is an ambitious plan, and I am committed to working with my local, state, and federal partners in government to secure funding for these much-needed projects,” he said.

Rose To Hold Transportation Issues Town Hall

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

U.S. Rep. Max Rose (D-South Brooklyn, Staten Island) next week will hold a town hall in the Brooklyn part of his district focussing on transportation and commuting issues. 

The town hall comes as Rose has made it a top priority to bring all levels of government together to solve the commuting nightmare affecting his district. Representatives from both New York City Transit and the city’s Department of Transportation will be in attendance.

“The needs of Staten Island and South Brooklyn have been left out of major transit improvements for far too long,” Rose said. “I’m proud of what we’ve done in just 9 months to turn that tide, but there’s no one silver bullet, and no one single agency that can solve our commuting nightmare. I’m looking forward to bringing the city, the state, and the federal government together in the same room so the people of Staten Island and South Brooklyn can hold all of us accountable.”

The Brooklyn Town Hall is slated for 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 4 at Il Centro, 8711 18th Avenue in Bath Beach.

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