Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Oct. 4, 2019

News Site Brooklyn

Jeffries Announces Congressional AP Challange Open To District Students

Congressman Hakeem Jeffries

U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Bed-Stuy, Brownsville, East New York, Canarsie, Mill Basin, Coney Island, along with South Ozone Park and Howard Beach in Queens) announced yesterday that the “Congressional App Challenge” (CAC) is now open to middle and high school students in his New York’s 8th Congressional District.  

The House CAC initiative is designed to encourage all students nationwide to use their creativity to inspire new apps for a mobile, tablet, or computer devices in the Congressional Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Academic Challenge. 

This contest is an ideal stepping stone for young coders and programmers. It gives students the opportunity to showcase their amazing abilities and to compete to have their applications featured on the official CAC website.

By giving participants extensive exposure and accessibility to resources such as the opportunity to practice coding hands-on, students can discover and grasp their capabilities in STEM and subsequently excel in the field.

Winning students or teams will be invited to the #HouseofCode Capitol Hill Reception in Washington D.C. where winners will demonstrate their apps to their representatives and connect with other coders from around the country during a demo day reception.

Students wishing to participate in the CAC must submit their app source code by the Friday, November 1, 2019 deadline. For more information visit or or call Jeffries’ central office at (718) 237-2211.

Adams Mourns Passing Of James “Rocky” Robinson

Borough President Eric Adams
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams last Friday mourned the death of Bedford-Stuyvesant Ambulance Corps Founder James “Rocky” Robinson. He was 79.

Robinson founded the volunteer ambulance corps at the corner of Marcus Garvey Blvd. and Greene Avenue in 1988 after his niece was hit by a car. He is credited with giving EMT certification to may in the neighborhood that went on to carriers as an EMT.

“It is with deep and personal sorrow that I recognize the loss of one of Brooklyn’s greatest sons, Commander James “Rocky” Robinson. Rocky was a trusted friend and a partner in making our borough a safer place to raise healthy children and families. His service to our community, locally and nationally, was marked with honor, distinction, and true care for underserved communities. Rocky founded America’s first volunteer ambulance corps of color, building it from humble beginnings to a force that was a model for emergency service and youth empowerment,” said Adams.“Rocky is a legend in Bedford-Stuyvesant and beyond, and his hard work is responsible for saving and uplifting the lives of countless women and men. The way to truly honor a legacy and mission as vital as his is to erect a permanent state-of-the-art facility to house his ambulance corps and to provide CPR training to the community. I am making it my mission to see Rocky’s mission be finally realized.”

Louis Launches First Annual Take A Stand Series

Council Member Farah Louis
Council Member Farah Louis

City Council Member Farah N. Louis (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Marine Park, Flatlands, Kensington), a survivor of domestic violence, will launch her First Annual Take A Stand Series in commemoration of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month today.

According to Louis’ office of the 111,330 intimate partner domestic incidents reported in the city, the majority or 32,560 were in Brooklyn. In the heart of the 45th Council District, there were over 4,200 such incidents in Flatbush, East Flatbush, and Midwood.

Given the prevalence of domestic, intimate, or gender-based violence incidents in her district, Louis has partnered with city agencies and community-based organizations to advance prevention education while expanding access for survivors and their families to critical supportive services.

The multi-part series will begin with a co-ed course on basic verbal and physical techniques to protect themselves against potential attacks and threats under the instruction of renowned self-defense coach Tyrone Turner. In addition, FITBK will host a soca cardio dance fitness class.

The kickoff is from 6 – 8:30 p.m., today, Oct. 4 at the Flatbush YMCA, 1401 Flatbush Avenue in Flatbush. 

Other events include:

“Walk A Mile in My Shoes” outreach event from 6-8:30 p.m. Oct. 11 at The Bridge Multicultural Advocacy Project, 1894 Flatbush Avenue in Flatbush.

A Forum on Domestic or Intimate Partner Violence slated for 7-9 p.m., Oct. 15 at Natrabella Skincare & Day Spa, 1169 Flatbush Avenue in Flatbush.

The Fifth Annual Surviving & Thriving Domestic Violence Awareness Day of Empowerment with Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon Street in Downtown Brooklyn.

Colton To Host Trick Or Treat Halloween Candy Distribution

Assembly Member William Colton

Assemblyman Bill Colton (D-Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Dyker Heights) announced that his district office once again will be open for Trick or Treaters come Halloween.

“For the past few years my office has been hosting candy distribution for the children in the neighborhood. I know that it’s a lot fun for kids, which makes me happy,” said Colton. 

What’s most important here is to keep our community united no matter what your background is. We will be distributing Halloween safety tips for parents and puzzles for the children. I believe that this kind of event will bring out a positive attitude in parents and happiness for all kids. I wish everyone a safe and Happy Halloween,” he added.

Trick or treat hours are slated from 2:45 – 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31 at Colton’s District Office, 155 Kings Highway (between West 12th and West 13th Streets) in Bensonhurst.

Gounardes Lauds Grant Recipients To Improve Southern Brooklyn

State Senator Andrew Gounardes
State Senator Andrew Gounardes

State Sen. Andrew Gounardes (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bath Beach, Bensonhurst, Gravesend, Homecrest, Manhattan Beach, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, parts of Sheepshead Bay, Borough Park, Midwood) this week met with residents representing four grassroots community groups and joined with the Citizens Committee for New York City (CCNYC) CEO Peter H. Kostmayer at the New Utrecht Public Library to celebrate their work to improve the quality of life in southern Brooklyn.

The event featured local resident-led groups that have received CCNYC grants and support for neighborhood projects that improve local quality of life and bring neighbors together. The groups that CCNYC and Gounardes honored included Friends of New Utrecht Library, which is creating a safe environment for LGBTQIA teens through art workshops; My Friends Place, which is improving residents’ mental health through dance and aerobics; 400 Bay Ridge Parkway Block Association, which is leading community beautification efforts; and Bay Ridge Cares, which refurbished the lobby and kitchen of a local senior center and beautified the outdoor area with new planters, plants and benches with the help of more than 100 volunteers from around the neighborhood.

“As a community, we’re grateful to the grassroots groups working to improve southern Brooklyn and to Citizens Committee for New York City for providing grants so they can do their vital work. From programs for LGBTQIA teens to senior center beautification and more, the diverse array of grassroots community programs demonstrates the vibrancy of our neighborhoods. These groups demonstrate what ‘philoxenia,’ the Greek word for love of strangers, is all about,” said Gounardes.

Community groups are invited to apply now for CCNYC’s Neighborhood Grants program, which provides up to $3,000 for community and school improvement projects carried out by resident-led groups to address issues they identify in their neighborhood.  Please see here for more information. The deadline to apply is January 20th, 2020.

Cymbrowitz Announces Start of ‘Heat Season’

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Sheephead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach), noted yesterday that with autumn weather finally kicking in, the city’s official “heat season” is now underway.

From October 1 through May 31, all residential building owners are required to maintain indoor temperatures at 68 degrees when outdoor temperatures fall below 55 degrees during the day. Indoor temperatures must be a minimum of 62 degrees overnight regardless of outdoor temperatures. Building owners are legally required to provide hot water at 120 degrees year-round.

“Despite the warm weather we’ve been enjoying, winter temperatures will be here before we know it,” said Cymbrowitz, chair of the Assembly’s Housing Committee. “To ensure a safe winter for all, it’s important for both tenants and landlords to understand the city’s heat season requirements and to know what to do in the event of a heat or hot water issue.”

If an apartment lacks appropriate heat and/or hot water, tenants should first attempt to notify the building owner, managing agent or superintendent. If service is not restored, the tenant should register an official complaint via 311. To file a complaint, tenants can call 311, visit 311 online or use the app 311Mobile (on Android and iOS devices) to file a complaint. Hearing-impaired tenants can register complaints via a Touchtone Device for the Deaf (TDD) at (212) 504-4115

Additionally, the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) responds to all heat and hot water complaints, and encourages tenants to check the HPD online webpage to learn the result of the complaint. Tenants can also receive complaint status updates via text if a phone number is provided when a complaint is submitted. If a landlord fails to provide heat entirely, HPD’s Emergency Repair Program or Housing Litigation Division will intervene to seek the restoration of heat.

Low-income property owners having trouble maintaining heat in their homes should contact the Home Energy Assistance Program at 1-800-692-0557. Eligible households can learn more information about assistance in paying heating bills or repairing heating equipment.

Velázquez Seek More Fed Funding For NYCHA 

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

U.S. Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-Brooklyn, Queens, Lower Manhattan) this week announced she introduced of the Public Housing Emergency Response Act – federal legislation to allocate $70 billion for public housing capital repairs and upgrades nationally. 

Under the proposal, $32 billion would flow to the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). According to a recent NYCHA  report conducted by its newly-appointed monitor, physical infrastructure, such as broken pipes, leaking radiators and toxic liquids, has resulted in unsuitable living conditions for residents. 

In response, Velázquez’s legislation would yield a historic infusion of public housing resources necessary to eliminate the repair backlog and remedy living conditions for residents.

Velázquez noted that NYCHA used to serve as a national model for affordable housing.

“Now, it has devolved into a man-made health crisis for working families and our most vulnerable neighbors. Seniors are living without heat, children in public housing suffer from asthma, and families are exposed to toxic lead. We must act boldly to reinvest in the marginalized communities public housing was created to serve,” she said.