Rose Town Hall Discusses Transit Issues
U.S. Rep. Max Rose (D-South Brooklyn, Staten Island) on Friday Helt a Bay Ridge Town Hall discussing transit accessibility and the upcoming Brooklyn bus redesign, split tolling on the Verrazzano Bridge and efforts to decrease congestion, and public safety—among other issues.
“We have serious transit needs, but for too long South Brooklyn has been forgotten and left behind,” said Rose. “It was great to bring together so many passionate constituents along with city leaders to have the important conversations that are critical to our community. I promised to be open, accessible and honest with my constituents including holding regular town halls. I’m proud to have kept that promise and look I forward to more to come.”
Rose was joined at the town hall by City Councilmember Justin Brannan (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bath Beach, Bensonhurst) and both transit officials and city transportation officials.
The town hall came as Rose and fellow Brooklyn Representatives recently called for the federal government to support a project to improve bus safety and accessibility in South Brooklyn.
Schumer Pushes Dominican Tourism
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer and U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-Manhattan, Bronx) on Friday called for continued collaboration between the United States and the Dominican Republic to ensure ongoing economic development and security.
The lawmakers call came as in the past year, 10 American citizens have died in the Dominican Republic, some as tourists others as long-term visitors. While the deaths have been attributed to natural causes, tourism dollars have fallen according to ForwardKeys, which found that bookings for July and August from the United States to the Dominican Republic have fallen by 74.3 percent compared to the same period in 2018.
“After pushing the feds to investigate the root of what was causing illness in the Dominican Republic, the country pledged to do all they could to ensure the safety of its millions of annual visitors. Now they are doing just that by increasing the number of tourist agents, national police, by increasing the number of tourist agents, national police, and public security cameras, in addition to forging a partnership to train tourism service organizations and inspectors. I’m proud to stand with Congressman Espaillat to tout the Dominican Republic, a crucial partner of the United States, and a beautiful tourist destination,” said Schumer.
Adams Unveils “Age-Friendly Brooklyn
Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) President Judith A. Salerno, MD, MS today will unveil the results of a borough-wide survey of nearly 2,000 older Brooklynites and recommendations to improve their quality of life, as part of their “Age-friendly Brooklyn” joint initiative to ensure that people of all ages and abilities can enjoy and contribute to the borough.
They will announce the report’s key findings during Active Aging Week, a weeklong campaign created by the International Council on Active Aging that promotes healthy lifestyles for seniors.
The release of the report comes as Brooklyn’s aging population continues to grow: a report from the Center for an Urban Future this year found that Brooklyn has the greatest amount of older adult residents of any county in the state, and the aging population in the borough has grown by 18% over the past decade.
The unveiling is slated for 10 a.m., today, Oct. 7 at St. John’s Recreation Center, 1251 Prospect Place in Crown Heights.
Carroll Sheds Light On October being Dyslexia Awareness Month
Assemblymember Robert Carroll (D-Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington, Ditmas Park) on Friday noted that October marks Dyslexia Awareness Month, and the month also marks the first anniversary of a video he released along with a petition to call on the state to fund universal screening for dyslexia for all K-2nd Graders and to institute curriculum changes in elementary schools to utilize multi-sensory phonics-based approaches as part of a universal literacy program.
“Our country is in the midst of a literacy crisis and we aren’t doing nearly enough about it. A disproportionate amount of the over 50% of students who aren’t reading at grade-level are dyslexic,” said Carroll in his emailed newsletter. “But our literacy problem touches all types of students – and stems from improper curriculum and a lack of screening of students for phonological awareness issues.”
Carroll is inviting the public for a special forum on diagnosing and addressing dyslexia in the state. It is slated for 2:30 p.m.at the Rockefeller Institute of Government in Albany. See Details for the event below and RSVP here.
Persaud Public Assistance Exemption Calculations signed into Law
State Sen. Roxanne Persaud (D-Canarsie, East New York, Brownsville, Mill Basin, Sheepshead Bay, Bergen Beach, Marine Park, Flatlands, Ocean Hill and Starrett Citylast week saw Governor Andrew Cuomo sign her sponsored legislative bills S1089/A5016 and S5402/A7187 which will prevent certain funds from being used in calculations of how much public assistance an individual or family will receive.
Under the new laws, funds that are in a qualified tuition program that satisfies the requirement of section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, and funds that are stored in a ‘New York Achieving a Better Life Experience (NY-ABLE) savings account, will both be exempt/disregarded. ‘529 accounts’ are used to help families save money for college tuition, and ‘NY-ABLE’ accounts seek to help disabled New Yorker’s save money for future expenses that stem from their disabilities.
“Families that are saving money for things like college and healthcare expenses shouldn’t be penalized for doing so,” said Persaud. “These new laws will ensure that families can save without the worry of losing needed public benefits. I thank Assembly Member Andrew Hevesi and Assembly Member Michele Titus for championing these bills with me, and I commend the Governor for bringing the legislation across the finish line.”
Lentol Urges His Criminal Justice Bill Be Signed
Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol (D-Greenpoint, Williamsburg) North Brooklyn) on Friday urged Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to sign a criminal justice bill he sponsored that passed with overwhelming support from Republicans and Democrats.
The bill, (A07584), will ensure that individuals convicted of petty offenses will have their records sealed by default and not available to any person or public or private agency unless a judge determines otherwise.
Law enforcement agencies were consistently not sealing cases where the top charge was a violation or traffic infraction. This means that low-level violations that many individuals thought had been sealed – like a criminal violation of marijuana possession for having a joint– were not.
“There were problems with how law enforcement on the local level was applying a 1994 law we passed. We needed to clarify the intent of the original bill that aimed to seal petty offenses,” said Lentol. “We are confident that this bill will ensure that those cases that the court determines can be sealed will be sealed. This bill is a no brainer for creating a more fair and equitable criminal justice system. We passed monumental criminal justice reforms and this is another win for New Yorkers.”
Montgomery Lauds Carranza’s Commitment To Bed-Stuy Students
State Sen. Velmanette Montgomery (D-Fort Greene, Boerum Hill, Red Hook, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Sunset Park, Gowanus, and Park Slope) last week welcomed the City’s Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza back to Bedford Stuyvesant to meet with the principals of Boys and Girls High School Campus and members of the Boys and Girls High Advisory Board to discuss the needs of the students and their schools.
The meeting was a follow-up from the summer when Montgomery invited the Chancellor to visit Boys & Girls High to hear directly from student representatives at each school. The students were bright, eloquent and very clear in communicating their priorities. These included:
- Access to advanced placement (AP) classes
- Assessment and repair of the Welding Unit
- Upgrade Electrical Units in the Engineering Suite
- Lighting, Electrical and Technology upgrade for auditorium
- Plumbing and Electrical upgrade for Washer and Dryer
- Resources for the Research and Service Pantry
- Bleachers and stadium lighting for Nelson Mandela field
The Chancellor shared that since the summer meeting, eight AP classes have been added including Environmental Science, US and World History, Calculus, Language and Literature. Additionally, funding was provided to the Research and Service food pantry, which serves all the students on campus and upgrades to the student laundry are expected to be completed by Oct. 7.
Carranza committed to have a comprehensive assessment done within the next two weeks to determine the needs of the building’s electrical system, which will include the welding unit, engineering suite and auditorium.
Maloney Committee Report Finds Economic Power of Latinos Growing
U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Greenpoint, Manhattan, Queens), Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC), and Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), jointly released a new report last week examining the economic state of the Latino community in the United States.
The study was prepared in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from Sept. 15 – Oct. 15.
The study finds that the almost 60 million Latinos in the United States already account for $2.3 trillion in economic activity, which on its own would rank as the eighth largest economy in the world. The economic clout of Latinos is expected to rise as about one in four Americans will be of Latino or Hispanic heritage by 2060.
This increase – combined with high rates of labor force participation among Latinos, their relative youth and increased level of educational attainment – will be a key driver of overall U.S. economic growth. That will help offset downward pressures on the U.S. economy stemming from the rising number of retirements and plateauing labor force.
“For too long, too little attention has been paid to the economic contributions of Latinos. This report helps dispel the fog of ignorance surrounding the fact that not only our future, but our present as well, depends upon Latino economic contributions to make America thrive,” said Maloney.
“Latinos are more likely to be in the workforce than the population as a whole. They are more likely to be entrepreneurs, as nearly one in four new businesses in this country are Latino-owned. These are but two examples demonstrating how our future economic success is created by Latinos in every part of the nation,” she added.
Deutsch: How to Recognize a Phone Scam
City Councilmember Chaim Deutsch (D-Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach, Homecrest, Midowwd) recently warned constituents of the increasing number of phone scams such as when someone calls you on an unrecognizable line and says things like: “You’re being audited by the IRS” or “You owe thousands on your National Grid bill” or “Your granddaughter has been kidnapped and she needs you to wire money immediately for her rescue” or even “You’ve just won the lottery – here’s how to claim your prize”.
“Anyone can be a victim of one of these scams – the callers can often be convincing, they have valid sounding credentials, and they somehow know personal information about you that makes it sound legitimate. Though scammers often target the vulnerable – usually older adults – nobody is immune,” said Deutsch in his newsletter.
“The best defense you have against one of these scams is your own gut. Trust your instincts: if something sounds unusual, fishy, or too good to be true – hang up the phone,” he added.
Some tips about how to recognize a scam:
– If they say they’re calling from the government and you need to give them money over the phone – they’re not, and you don’t. The government is never going to call you and demand payment on the spot.
– If they ask for payment in the form of a money order, cash, or gift cards – it’s a scam.
– If they tell you the police are going to arrest you if you don’t comply – hang up the phone.
– If they give you a phone number to call them back – don’t use it. Check the name of the company that is listed on their website or on your monthly bill, and call that number.
“Always feel free to reach out to my office, and we can verify the validity of a call for you. My office number is 718-368-9176 and my email address is [email protected].”