Myrie Letter Demands NYCHA Heating Plan
State Sen. Zellnor Myrie (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Gowanus, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, South Slope, Sunset Park) fired off a letter to New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Chair Gregory Russ last Friday demanding that the authority comes up with an action plan that identifies, for each development, how NYCHA will respond to heating outages, taking into account resident populations, historical data about prior outages, the availability of on-site and remote maintenance personnel, and response times.
The plan, as Zellnor noted in the letter, was part of the federal court agreement between the U.S.Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and NYCHA, in which the action heating plan was to be in place by Oct. 1.
“I am writing today, on October 4, 2019, because the plan has not been made available nor posted online. As a member of the New York State Senate’s Housing Committee and representative of over 23 NYCHA developments, this delay is a source of incredible concern for me and my community and I am hoping that you can provide clarity,” wrote Myrie.
According to a Daily News Story posted yesterday, NYCHA submitted the heat action plan on Sept. 27 as per the terms of the agreement, and is now working with the court appointed federal monitor, Bart Schwartz, and the plan on Friday is expected to be finalized.
The plan and Myrie’s letter come as Oct. 1 marked the city’s ‘Heat Season,’ the period running through the end of May, which requires heat in every apartment — NYCHA units when the temperature outside drops below 55 degrees.
Lander KEYS Bill Heard In Committee
City Council Member Brad Lander (D-Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Columbia Waterfront, Gowanus, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Borough Park, Kensington) yesterday announced the council’s Committee on Housing and Buildings and Committee on Technology heard testimony on his proposed legislation that would require building owners to provide all tenants with a traditional key, and prevent landlords from mandating that tenants use facial recognition, biometric scanning, or other “smart” key technology to enter their apartment buildings or their individual unit.
The KEYS (Keep Entry to Your home Surveillance-free) Act would prevent tenants from being forced to give up their privacy rights in order to enter their own homes.
“No one should be required to have their movements tracked, just to enter their own home,” said Lander. “Landlords’ increasing use of smart keys, facial recognition, biometric scanning, and other technology poses a serious threat to the rights of tenants, one that falls disproportionately on lower-income communities of color who are already subject to greater surveillance in their daily lives. Requiring owners to give every tenant a traditional key, and prohibiting them from requiring the use of tracking technology, are important steps toward preventing landlords from surveilling and intimidating their tenants.”
Lander noted increasingly, tenants are pushing back against the use of surveillance technology in their housing. Tenants have raised concerns about the location information collected by smart keys being used to harass or intimidate tenants. In addition to concerns about misuse of location data by landlords, tenants worry about smart key companies using such data for marketing purposes.
In Brownsville, tenants are fighting the proposed installation of facial recognition technology in their buildings at the rent-stabilized Atlantic Plaza Towers complex. Tenants filed a formal legal complaint with the New York State’s Homes and Community Renewal seeking to block the use of facial recognition technology.
Treyger Wants Hate Crimes Included In NYPD’s CompStats
City Council Member Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Gravesend, Bath Beach) yesterday urged the New York Police Department (NYPD) to include hate crimes in their weekly CompStat reports which has been credited in helping drive down major crimes in New York City.
“Hate crimes are left out and not tracked via CompStat, an important weekly and localized reporting tool. I believe we should assess what we value. We should value tolerance and ensuring every person feels safe, welcome, and supported in New York City. This is why excluding data on hate crimes is a glaring omission,” said Treyger.
“CompStat helped lead to precision community policing by targeting resources to those communities most impacted by crime to develop proactive strategies to bring crime numbers down. The same level of urgency, transparency, and accountability must be applied to hate crimes perpetrated against Jews, Muslims, Catholics, LGBTQ, people of color, immigrants, and other marginalized communities,” he added.
Treyger made the appeal, along with City Council Member Donovan Richards (D-Queens), Chair of the Public Safety Committee, to NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill.
Eugene Partnering To Provide Free Legal Assistance For Constituents
City Council Member Mathieu Eugene (D-Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Flatbush, East Flatbush) in partnership with the New York Legal Assistance Group tomorrow and for one day in November and December will provide free civil legal services for constituents at his district office.
“I want to commend the New York Legal Assistance Group for their ongoing commitment to providing free legal services to the community,” said Eugene. “Our residents are hardworking people who may not be in a position to access the legal counsel that they require. NYLAG has been a valued partner in our advocacy to help members of the underserved community, and I am most appreciative for the resources they provide to New Yorkers.”
The Mobile Legal Help Center will park from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., tomorrow, Ovt. 9 at Eugene’s District Office, 900 Rogers Avenue in East Flatbush. It will also be staioned in front of his office on Thursday, Nov. 14 and Thursday, Dec. 12. Please call 718-287-8762 to make an appointment.
Colton Sponsors Very Successful Community Clean Up
Assemblyman William Colton (D–Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Dyker Heights), in conjunction with the United Progressive Democratic Club President Nino Magali and 47th Assembly District Leader Nancy Tong, announced they had a very successful volunteer neighborhood clean-up on Saturday.
“Over a hundred cheerful volunteers, which included 45th Assembly District Leader Ari Kagan, Brian Gotlieb, founder of Toys for Tots organization, and Dr. Tim Law and Angel Wu, founders of the Chinese American Social Services Center, came out in this chilly weather to clean up our neighborhood. Debris was cleaned from 86 Street, Seth Low Park, Avenue O, Bay Parkway, Bath Avenue, and Kings Highway. The City Department of Sanitation must do a better job of enforcing the law, while also helping to change attitudes about the importance of keeping our streets clean,” Colton said.
“For many years I have mobilized neighborhood clean ups. The army of high school students who have participated in these clean ups over the years have become ambassadors of spreading the word to family, friends and fellow students that cleaner streets mean a better quality of life for everyone in the community and it brings out a positive impact on the businesses, especially in customer satisfaction. We are coaching our future population of the importance of clean streets, which also means a better environment and at the same time educating business owners to keep our streets clean,” he added.
The volunteers collected cans, bottles, paper and cups. A number of catch basins were cleared of leaves, papers and other garbage.
Persaud Lauds Signing of the Non-Consensual Pelvic Exam Bill
State Sen. Roxanne Persaud (D-Canarsie, East New York, Brownsville, Mill Basin, Sheepshead Bay, Bergen Beach, Marine Park, Flatlands, Ocean Hill, Starrett City) and Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages (D-Long Island) lauded Governor Cuomo for signing their legislation S1092B/A6325A, making it an act of professional misconduct for a provider to supervise or perform a pelvic exam on an anesthetized or unconscious patient without first obtaining the patient’s informed consent.
The law also prohibits a doctor from administering a non-consensual pelvic exam unless it is part of the medical procedure or the patient is unconscious and it is medically necessary and required for diagnosis. According to a recent survey of medical students commissioned by Elle Magazine, over 60% reported performing a pelvic exam without explicit patient consent.
“Thank you to Governor Cuomo for signing this important piece of legislation and ending this immoral behavior,” said Persaud. “Pelvic exams, while a necessity, should not be used as an arbitrary teaching tool at the whim of medical practitioners. A patient has enough to worry about when surgery is needed, without the additional trauma of wondering if multiple persons who are not on their medical team will invade their most private body parts. Informed consent will prevent this from happening. No one should have to worry about what unauthorized procedure can be done to their anesthetized body.”
The new law will take effect 180 days after its signing yesterday.
TJ Club Postpones Thursday Meetings
The Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club will postpone their next two regular Thursday meetings – Oct. 10 and Oct. 17 to join in celebrating all the Jewish holidays with its members, families and friends.
The club is located at 77 Conklin Avenue in Canarsie.