Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Oct. 25, 2019

News Site Brooklyn

Brannan, Gounardes Demand Answers On Why Muslim Families Prohibited From NYC Ferries

Justin Brannan
City Council Member Justin Brannan
State Senator Andrew Gounardes
State Senator Andrew Gounardes

City Councilmember Justin Brannan (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach), State Sen. Andrew Gounardes (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bath Beach, Bensonhurst, Gravesend, Homecrest, Manhattan Beach, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, Sheepshead Bay, Borough Park, Midwood) and Assembly Member Aravella Simotas (D-Queens) yesterday fired off a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio demanding an explanation for media reports of discriminatory acts against three Muslim families headed to Brooklyn Pier 6.

According to the media reports, the families were denied entry onto the ferry due to an alleged “security issue.”

The lawmakers are now urging the Mayor to explain the humiliating treatment the families endured from crew members and to provide a list of remedial steps to be taken by the ferry operator to avoid this incident from ever happening again. The legislators strongly feel that New York City is responsible for the documented yet unmitigated discriminatory acts of its third-party contractors.

“The details about this incident are concerning to say the least. We need a full accounting of what actually went down, why these families were not allowed to board the ferry, and what NYC Ferry plans on doing to make sure this kind of discrimination does not happen in the future. This is New York City. We celebrate our diversity here, not fear it, and nobody should be made to feel like they are not welcome based on their religion or where they come from,” said Brannan.

“No family should have to endure embarrassment and humiliation when simply trying to take a summer outing. What happened on the NYC Ferry was unacceptable, and the City must prevent it from happening again. I will do everything I can to combat bias and discrimination wherever it occurs and protect each person’s fundamental rights. Discrimination on the basis of religion, or for any reason, cannot be allowed to flourish in our great City,” said Gounardes. 

Gillibrand Calls For Repeal Of 2002 Authorization For Use Of Military Force

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), both members of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), yesterday announced their call on Senate leadership to repeal the outdated 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF). 

The 2002 AUMF was originally drafted to authorize military operations against Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq, but it has since been used to expand U.S. military presence in the region.

In a letter to SASC Chairman James M. Inhofe (R-OK) and Ranking Member Jack Reed (D-RI), Gillibrand and Duckworth noted that if left unchallenged, the 2002 AUMF could erode Congress’s ability to check the President’s military power. Repealing the authorization would reflect its original intent — it was never intended to be an unlimited authorization for the use of military force, which could justify military operations without end, against new adversaries, and in additional countries. This would also be an important first step to determining whether additional Congressional authorizations are necessary to protect our nation’s security interests. 

“Despite clear congressional intent and the plain language of the 2002 AUMF, successive administrations have sought to weaken the Legislative Branch’s Article I power to declare war by claiming that the 2002 AUMF provides authority for counter ISIS operations initiated long after the death of Saddam Hussein, and more recently, as an authorization to address threats to, or stemming from, Iraq,” the Senators wrote. “Expansive interpretations of the 2002 AUMF not only fail to accurately reflect the reality that Congress authorized a war in Iraq that formally concluded in 2011, but if left unchallenged, weaken the Legislative Branch’s ability to check an increasingly aggressive Executive Branch.”

Clarke Flaots Climate Change Bill Package

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke

U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke (D- Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Kensington, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Midwood, Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, Prospect Lefferts Gardens) this week saw movement on two pieces of her climate change legislation.

Clarke introduced The FEMA Climate Change Preparedness Act to better protect all Americans, especially vulnerable communities, from the short- and long-term threats that climate change poses to our homes, communities and critical infrastructure. This bill ensures that America’s emergency management community is fully prepared for all current and future disasters by comprehensively incorporating climate change mitigation, adaptation and resilience building throughout FEMA’s policies, strategies and programs. 

“If Trump’s FEMA will not address climate change on its own, then it is up to Congress to step in. As the agency charged with protecting Americans from natural disaster threats and impacts, it is inexplicable to me that climate change is not mentioned once throughout FEMA’s current strategic plan,” said Clarke.

Clarke’s second piece of legislation, the Department of Homeland Security Climate Change Research Act (H.R. 4737), was marked up and passed by the House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday. This bill requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to conduct research and take action to confront the effects of climate change on America’s national security.  

“We must recognize the multi-faceted nature of the climate crisis, and that includes taking action to address its geopolitical implications. The national security impacts of climate change are extremely difficult to overstate, yet our lack of research in this area leaves America vulnerable to a wide range of threats–China and Russia are exploiting melting Arctic sea lanes to their advantage, increased droughts and food insecurity are creating ideal conditions for extremism to flourish and our coastal critical infrastructure is under siege by rising seas. My legislation, the Homeland Security Climate Change Research Act, takes important action to address America’s national security concerns in the face of climate change and has passed the Homeland Security Committee,” said Clarke.

AM Williams Gives Students Awards For Summer Reading 

Assemblymember Jaime R. Williams
Assemblymember Jaime R. Williams

Assemblymember Jaime Williams (D-Canarsie, Georgetown, Mill Basin, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach)  this week awarded more than 120 students at P.S. 312 and P.S. 236 with certificates of achievement for successfully completing the 2019 Assembly Summer Reading Challenge. 

“It is a privilege to recognize the dedication towards the education of these extraordinary young individuals, a wonderful and auspicious sign that the youth of today will assuredly be our future leaders,” said Williams. 

To the delight of the students, parents, educators and administrators, Williams presided over a ceremony in which the importance of summer reading was clearly advocated and emphasized. All of the students left with a further appreciation of literature and brandished a smile in conjunction with their certificates. 

Louis, Bichotte To Hold Informational Workshop On Immigrant Rights

Council Member Farah Louis
Council Member Farah Louis
Rodneyse Bichotte
Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte

City Council Member Farah N. Louis (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Marine Park, Flatlands, Kensington and Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte (D-Flatbush, Ditmas Park) on Saturday in partnership with CUNY Citizenship Now! will host an informational workshop on immigrant rights and what to do during any encounters with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. 

CUNY Citizenship Now! attorneys will address immigration status inquiries among others on-site and provide referrals, as needed. Interested applicants must schedule an appointment by calling (646) 664-9400. 

The workshop is slated for between 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tomorrow, Oct. 26 at Brooklyn College Campus 2900 Bedford Avenue (Whitehead Hall, Room 222) in Flatbush.

Eugene Partners With Maimonides For Free Stroke Symposium

Mathieu Eugene
City Council Member Mathieu Eugene

City Council Member Mathieu Eugene (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Prospect Lefferts Gardens),  in partnership with Maimonides Medical Center, will host a free Stroke Symposium on Sunday.

The symposium will feature a discussion on the signs and symptoms of stroke, available treatments, and preventative care from experts in the field. The evening will feature presentations by Dr. Daniel Rosenbaum, Regional Chair of Neurology, Dr. Daniel Zumofen, Director of Vascular Neurosurgery, and Dr. Q. Tony Wang, Stroke Program Director, Neurointerventional and Vascular Surgery.

The symposium is slated for between 5-8 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 27 at the John Hus Moravian Church, 153 Ocean Avenue in Flatbush.

Rose Introduces Legislation To Rename Post Office For Mother Cabrini

Max Rose
U.S. Rep.-Elect Max Rose

U.S. Rep. Max Rose (D-South Brooklyn, Staten Island) this week introduced legislation to rename the Dyker Heights Post Office in honor of Mother Cabrini.

“Mother Cabrini’s unending dedication to helping others touched the lives of so many New Yorkers,” Rose said. “The incredible groundswell of support for her in our community is a testament to her example of compassion, service, and impact. I support all efforts to ensure Mother Cabrini’s legacy lives on, including the Governor’s announcement to build a statue. I’m proud to lead the charge in renaming the Dyker Heights Post Office in Mother Cabrini’s honor.”

Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini was born in Lodi, Northern Italy in 1850. In November 1880, Mother Cabrini and six other women who had taken religious vows with her founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a group committed to caring for, and educating, orphans. The Missionary Sisters opened a free primary school, established homes for the poor as well as a nursery. Her work received the attention of Pope Leo XIII, who met with her in 1880, whereupon she requested papal approval to go on a missionary trip to China.

The Pope directed Mother Cabrini instead to go “Not to the East, but to the West” to New York to help Italian immigrants to the United States struggling with poverty. Cabrini organized educational classes for Italian immigrants and provided for orphans throughout New York City. Cabrini and the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus founded Columbus Hospital in New York City’s Lower East Side (now a part of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center) to address the needs of Italian immigrants. Due to her success in New York, she was called upon to open schools around the world. Cabrini traveled across the United States as well as to Europe, Central, and South America.

Persaud To Hold Homeowner & Tenants Event

Roxanne J. Persaud
State Senator Roxanne J. Persaud

State Sen. Roxanne Persaud (D-Canarsie, East New York, Brownsville, Mill Basin, Sheepshead Bay, Bergen Beach, Marine Park, Flatlands, Ocean Hill, Starrett City) this weekend will host a Homeowner and Tenants Enrollment Event.

There will be a multitude of resources and assistance available for homeowners and tenants alike, who will be able to apply to different programs that will aid in lowering your property tax bill and/or freezing your rent. 

Officials from the city’s Department of Housing and Preservation & Development, NHS Brooklyn, Center for NYC Neighborhoods, NYC Department of Finance & NYC Environmental Protection will also be on hand.

The event is slated for 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., tomorrow, Oct. 26 at Canarsie High School (Cafeteria), 1600 Rockaway Parkway in Canarsie.

Maloney Releases “Guns and Suicide” Report 

U.S Rep. Carolyn Maloney

U.S. Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn), Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, this week released a new report, “Guns and Suicide,” that shows easy access to firearms is helping to fuel an epidemic of suicide.

The report, conducted by Democratic staff of the Joint Economic Committee, finds that having access to a gun triples the risk of death by suicide, which is a growing problem that takes the lives of 129 people every day in America. The report also provides the latest estimate on the economic cost of suicide and attempted suicide. 

“I asked my staff to look closely at how guns and suicides are connected, and to examine how suicide by firearm varies by race, gender, age, geography, veteran status and other factors,” Maloney said. “The link between the availability of firearms and suicide rates provides yet another strong case for gun safety reforms. We lose too many people, their skills, their contributions, their futures full of possibility and promise to suicide.”

Click here for a copy of the report.