Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Oct. 22, 2019

News Site Brooklyn

Brannan, Bay Ridge Electeds Call For Hate Crimes Task Force Investigation

Justin Brannan
City Council Member Justin Brannan

City Councilmember Justin Brannan (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bath Beach, Bensonhurst) and fellow electeds representing Bay Ridge including U.S. Rep. Max Rose, State Sen. Andrew Gounardes and Assembly Member Mathylde Frontus yesterday formally asked the New York City Police Departmnetment (NYPD) Hate Crime Task Force to look into the incident this past Saturday at TJ Maxx in Bay Ridge.

In a letter to NYPD Deputy Inspector Mark Molinari, the commanding officer of the Hate Crime Task Force, the lawmakers wrote it is their understanding, “that on Saturday two of our Muslim constituents were verbally harassed and physically assaulted while shopping for gifts for their children, during which the perpetrator told the constituents to ‘go back to their country.’ 

“The perpetrator can be seen on tape hitting the constituent and further threatening him. The altercation, which took place in a local store, was reportedly recorded on security camera, and multiple witnesses were present. At minimum, this warrants an investigation by the Task Force, if not the charge of a hate crime, due to assault or menacing based on religion or perceived national origin,” they wrote.

“Bay Ridge is a diverse community where residents of all different faiths, races, and backgrounds live together peacefully. When an incident like this goes unpunished, it threatens the very fabric of this community and makes our constituents feel less safe in their own neighborhood. Bay Ridge is not a place where one can openly assault another person out of bigotry and expect to avoid consequences. That is contrary to the values and the spirit of this community. Furthermore, as a neighborhood which is home to one of the largest Muslim communities in the country, it is imperative that incidents of this kind be responded to swiftly and seriously,” the lawmakers added.

Myrie Visits Voting Machine Warehouse, Holds Senior Fair

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 Park, chair of the Senate Committee on Elections, today will tour of a voting machine warehouse with Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris (D-Queens) as New Yorkers can now vote early. 

Beginning Oct. 26 thru Nov. 3, New Yorkers can vote before Election Day at their designated early voting site. The tour will include a demonstration of the new electronic poll book and ballot on-demand printing system that New Yorkers can expect to see at their Early Voting sites.

The tour is slated for 9:30 a.m., today, Oct. 22 at the Brooklyn Voting Machine Facility, 5112 2nd Avenue in Sunset Park.

Then later in the day, Myrie will hold a senior Resource fair, in which the lawmaker will convene 20+ organizations to provide free resources and information to seniors in Brownsville and provide lunch.

The senior fair is slated for 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., today, Oct. 22 at the New York City Housing Authority Seth Low Senior Center, 137 Belmont Avenue in Brownsville.

Cumbo Says Arts Grant Opportunities Are Open

City Council Member Laurie Cumbo

City Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights) is putting out the word to cultural organizations and individual artists that the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) is releasing Fiscal 2020 SU-CASA applications. 

This City Council initiative will support arts engagement programs in New York City’s senior centers provided by cultural organizations and individual artists.

Residency grants to organizations are $15,000 each, inclusive of a $2,000 stipend to be paid by the grantee to the partner senior center. Applicant organizations will submit a proposal to DCA, which will be vetted by the agency. Vetted proposals will be forwarded to council members, who will match organizations with council-designated centers in their districts. Organizations may select up to ten council districts in which to be considered. Proposed programs should be adaptable and will be customized in collaboration with the senior center partner.

The DEADLINE for the FY20 SU-CASA proposal is Monday, Oct. 28. Click here to access the application, guidelines and instructions. Organizations will be required to upload a completed application to the DCA website, along with links to their supplemental materials, before the deadline.

Colton Announces Hispanic Heritage Essay Contest

Assemblyman William Colton (D-Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Dyker Heights) is pleased to publicize the essay contest to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month to all middle and high school students.

Assembly Member William Colton

“The essay must be 500 words or less. The topic is to name a Latino or Hispanic, past or present, who inspires you to dream big and why. The deadline for submitting an essay contest to Altice USA is October 31, 2019,” said Colton.

The contest is introduced by the Altice USA and brought by Optimum and Suddenlink to honor October Hispanic History month. 

For further information visit, for contest rules. Prizes will be awarded by the Altice USA. The Grand Prize will be a $1,500 scholarship. Three finalists will win an iPad.

Montgomery Bill Providing Breastfeeding Mothers Jury Duty Exemption Enacted

Senator Velmanette Montgomery photographed by tracy collins
Senator Velmanette Montgomery

State Sen. Velmanette Montgomery (D-Fort Greene, Boerum Hill, Red Hook, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Sunset Park, Gowanus, Park Slope) yesterday saw Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo sign her legislation (S.748/A.5424) providing an exemption from jury duty for breastfeeding women. The service may be postponed up to two years.

To postpone jury duty, the applicant must submit a note from a physician with her postponement application to verify she is breastfeeding. The service must not have already been postponed or excused. The provision takes effect immediately.

“Nursing mothers have extraordinary commitments and this new law will remove one extra source of stress for them. I thank Governor Cuomo for signing this bill so we can provide some real relief to breastfeeding moms by allowing them to postpone jury duty,” said Montgomery.

Rose Outline Proposals To Lower Prescription Drug Prices

Max Rose
U.S. Rep. Max Rose

U.S. Rep. Max Rose (D-South Brooklyn, Staten Island) on Saturday hosted a roundtable with Brooklyn seniors from the AARP Bay Ridge Chapter 3630 on Saturday where he outlined his proposals to take on pharmaceutical companies to lower prescription drug prices.

“We’ve been letting Big Pharma price gouge and rip off our seniors for far too long,” said Rose, a former non-profit healthcare executive. “It’s time to change the law to let Medicare negotiate drug prices, and put those savings back in our seniors’ pockets. I appreciated having the opportunity to hear directly from those who have been hit hardest by skyrocketing prescription drug costs and look forward to getting this done.”

Rose is supporting the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which would lower prescription drug prices through direct negotiation, and now includes Rose’s More Help for Seniors Act of 2019, which would use savings from negotiations to lower Medicare Part D costs for low-income seniors.

The combined legislation:

  • Ends the blanket ban on Medicare negotiating directly with the drug companies, and creates powerful new tools to force drug companies to the table to agree to real price reductions, while ensuring seniors never lose access to the prescriptions they need. 
  • Makes the lower drug prices negotiated by Medicare available to Americans with private insurance, not just Medicare beneficiaries.
  • Stops drug companies ripping off Americans while charging other countries less for the same drugs, limiting the maximum price for any negotiated drug to be in line with the average price in countries like ours, where drug companies charge less for the same drugs—and admit they still make a profit.
  • Creates a new, $2,000 out-of-pocket limit on prescription drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries, and reverses years of unfair price hikes above inflation across thousands of drugs in Medicare. 
  • Lowers costs for low-income seniors by using savings to the Medicare Part D program to raise the income limits for eligibility under the Medicare Part D low-income subsidy program, which would help low-income seniors and individuals with disabilities afford needed medications by lowering copays and premiums for Medicare Part D.
  • Reinvests in innovation and the search for new cures and treatments, using some of the savings from lowering the unjustified drug prices that are bankrolling Big Pharma’s stock-buybacks to reinvest billions of dollars in the search for new breakthrough treatments and cures at the National Institutes of Health.

Treyger Introduces Legislative Package Advancing New Yorker Rights

Council Member Mark Treyger

City Council Member Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Dyker Heights), chair of the Education Committee, last week introduced two bills and three resolutions advancing the rights of New Yorkers.

The measures include:

Introduction 1771: Student and Parent Rights. This bill amends the city’s administrative code to require the Department of Education (DOE) to report the number of individualized education programs (IEP) that are translated. This reporting bill would require the DOE to report on the number of IEPs that are translated

Resolution 1097: This resolution supports State Senate bill S6687 allowing mental health days for students. A child having a bad day shouldn’t be punished for needing a day off.

Resolution 1096: Consumer Rights. The resolution addresses the recent series of dangerous and disruptive power outages across New York City this past summer. It requests a formal state inquiry into the recent power outages throughout the five boroughs, including an investigation into the criteria Con Edison used to turn off power in certain neighborhoods. 

Resolution 1095: Labor Rights. As the law stands now, New York City employees who wish to donate an organ(s) do not have the right to paid medical time off. This resolution will direct the Mayor to grant paid medical leave for New York City employees who provide an organ donation. Currently, 10,000 New Yorkers need a life-saving transplant and only 10% of the nation’s organ transplant waiting list is comprised of New Yorkers. 

Introduction 1772: Healthcare Rights. This bill would require the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to report on the availability of in-person interpreters, health care form translations, and any service or combination of services provided for patients with varying degrees of literacy for post-visit instructions and care across all health care providers administered by city agencies. New York City is home to 3.1 million immigrants with more than 800 languages spoken. 

“The legislation I introduced will benefit and enhance city life for all residents. It’s common-sense legislation to address student welfare, language access for Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and health care notifications, food reimbursements during power outages, and paid leave for organ donors. I am confident that my bills will lead to better outcomes for New Yorkers and I look forward to my initiatives progressing through the Council’s legislative process,” said Treyger.