Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Sept. 27, 2019

News Site Brooklyn

Nadler Decries Trump Order Setting Refugee Admission Ceiling 

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Borough Park, Kensington, parts of Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights, Red Hook, Sunset Park, Midwood, Western Manhattan), chair of the House Judiciary Committee, and U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), chair of the subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship, yesterday decried President Trump’s recent  executive decision setting the refugee admissions ceiling of 18,000 for the coming fiscal year.

“The Trump Administration’s proposal to cut refugee admissions to a historic low of 18,000 is an affront to our nation’s values. This number is nearly half of the fiscal year 2019’s historically low number and drastically lower than the historic average admissions ceiling of 95,000.  Until now, U.S. refugee resettlement was never a partisan issue, nor a political one. Presidents from both parties have long recognized that the refugee program is essential to global stability and our reputation as a leader on the world stage. Yet, the Administration has repeatedly rejected the clear evidence that resettling refugees improves the U.S. economy and is important to our defense interests,” the lawmakers said in a joint statement.

“For the past two fiscal years, the Administration has also side-stepped or only nominally complied with critical legal requirements for congressional consultation.  Even though the law requires it, to date the Administration has made no effort to schedule an in-person consultation for Fiscal Year 2020. This approach to the consultation process undermines our ability to conduct meaningful oversight of U.S. refugee policy, which is a key component of the Refugee Act of 1980—a bipartisan law that Congress unanimously passed,” they added.

Velázquez, Nadler Respond To Brooklyn Jail Report

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

U.S. Reps. Nydia Velázquez (D-Brooklyn, Queens, Lower Manhattan) and Jerrold Nadler (D-Brooklyn, Manhattan) yesterday said they expect the federal Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) to adhere to the recommendations from the recently released Inspector General (IG) of the Justice Department review of the facility.

The two lawmakers requested the review, which details numerous problems with respect to the heating and cooling systems at MDC Brooklyn and the response of the facility’s management during a particularly cold period at the facility during a particularly cold period in late January and early February of this year.  

Among the conclusions, the IG found that the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) failed to adequately address preexisting heating and cooling issues at MDC Brooklyn, did not effectively address heating issues during this time period, during which there were “significant flaws in the facility’s management,” did not have an alternative visitation plan for legal and social visitations, and did not appropriately accommodate inmates who used CPAP machines.

“We thank the Inspector General for conducting the review that we requested with our colleagues, and issuing a report detailing findings and recommendations. The report concludes that there were ‘significant flaws in the facility’s management” during the time period in question earlier this year, when inmates were subject to inappropriate conditions, lack of adequate medical services, and insufficient access to counsel,” the lawmakers said in a joint statement.

“These are the very conditions we observed when we visited MDC Brooklyn. We expect the Bureau of Prisons and the management of MDC to comply with the IG’s recommendations so that there is not a recurrence of this failure and that the facility is better prepared in case there unfortunately were to be any similar incident in the future. However, the bottom line is that what we observed at MDC Brooklyn was unacceptable and should not be allowed to happen again,” they added.

Treyger Scores Traffic Safety Win For Coney Island

Council Member Mark Treyger

City Council Member Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend) this week announced this week that the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) informed him that they will be installing turn signals at the West 5th Street and Neptune Avenue intersection, eastbound and westbound lanes. 

“I’ve adamantly advocated for years requesting that the DOT address this problematic intersection to reduce speeds and enforce safe turning behavior. We will finally receive a traffic calming solution with the addition of the turn signals at West 5th Street and Neptune Avenue,” said Treyger.

“From 2018 to 2019, the NYPD reports that there has been a 15% increase in the number of pedestrian fatalities due to traffic crashes. It is imperative that we continue to advocate for the implementation of additional traffic calming measures and better street design in Southern Brooklyn and citywide to make our streets safer for all types of commuters. Thank you to DOT Commissioner Trottenberg and DOT Brooklyn Commissioner Bray for granting my request. I’m told the work should start soon and could take a few weeks to a month to complete. I’ll continue to monitor the progress to ensure it’s installed,” he added.

Cornegy Supports De Blasio Decision To Not Eliminate SHSAT

City Councilman Robert Cornegy Jr

City Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr. (D-Brownsville, Northern Crown Heights) yesterday expressed general agreement with Mayor Bill de Blasio dropping his plan to eliminate the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT).

“I am glad that the Mayor and his office were responsive to the concerns of New York City parents, and dropped his plans to scrap the Specialized High School Admissions Test. It is my hope that the administration engages in honest and open-minded dialogue that identifies truly effective solutions for maximizing opportunity for students of all backgrounds to gain admission to our city’s specialized high schools,” said Cornegy.

“As the father of six children, I have seen many iterations of the Department of Education, and have concerns about the ability of the administration to effectively implement policies that desegregate our school system without impeding on opportunity for high-performing students.  The state of diversity in our schools is completely unacceptable, with significant underrepresentation of black and Hispanic students in the city’s specialized high schools. The Mayor and Chancellor have a responsibility to ensure that any reforms made are reflective of the input of a wide-range of parents and stakeholders.

“The City must focus on improving and expanding programming that prepares students of all backgrounds for greater success, both later in their academic careers, and in their lives more broadly. This means reforming and expanding the gifted and talented program and creating more enrichment opportunities in middle schools to better equip students for the SHSAT,” he added.

Eugene To Host 2019 NYC Haitian Day Celebration

Mathieu Eugene
City Council Member Mathieu Eugene

City Council Member Mathieu Eugene (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Prospect Lefferts Garden) announced yesterday he will host two days of 2019 NYC Haitian Day Celebration – October 12 and 13.

Three years ago, Eugene introduced two pieces of legislation – Resolutions 687 and 664 – asking the City of New York, the State of New York and the federal government to establish October 9 – the date of the Battle of Savannah, Georgia as NYC Haitian Day in recognition of Haitian contributions to the United States. Both resolutions were overwhelmingly passed. 

However as the day falls in the middle of the week, Eugene in partnership with The Haiti History and Culture, Inc, Haitian Solidarity, For The Love of Haiti, the Haitian American Council for Unity and Empowerment decided to make the celebration over the weekend.

The 2019 New York City Haitian Day will consist of a two-day celebration:

The first event is the Haitian Flag Raising Ceremony at 12 noon, Saturday, Oct. 12at Bowling Green’s Charging Bull Triangle in the Financial District. The second event is from 7-10 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 13 at the Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway.

Maloney Calls Second Quarter GDP Flat

U.S Rep. Carolyn Maloney

U.S. Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens), vice-chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, issued the following statement after the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its third and final estimate of second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP). 

The report showed that GDP expanded at an annual rate of 2.0 percent in the second three months of 2019, unchanged from the second estimate of 2.0 percent growth for Q2, which in turn was a downward revision of the advance estimate of 2.1 percent.

“This number falls far short of the more than 3 percent rate that the President has promised and it’s nowhere near the 6 percent growth that he had predicted two years ago. “This disappointing number is partly the result of chaos caused by the President’s haphazard trade policies. This hurts manufacturers, farmers and in the end American consumers,” said Maloney.

“The BEA report includes a downward revision of consumer spending and private investment, which was supposed to receive a permanent boost from the Republican tax cuts. Meanwhile, manufacturing is demonstrating weakness and we have seen signs of waning consumer confidence.

“Clearly the President’s tax cuts gave the economy a sugar high that has already faded and resulted in growing budget deficits. I am also deeply concerned that these tax giveaways to the fortunate few are inflating the gender and racial income gaps. That’s why I have introduced legislation that would require BEA to report growth by income decile. The bill would help us craft policies to help Americans who are being left behind in this economy,” she added.