Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Oct. 28, 2019

News Site Brooklyn

Schumer: We Must Stay Vigilant After Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi Raid

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) yesterday lauded President Trump’s announcement that U.S. special forces carried a raid in Northwestern Syria, resulting in the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, but said the U.S. must remain vigilant.

“The death of al-Baghdadi is great victory for the safety of our country and the safety of our allies and partners abroad. All Americans especially salute the special operations forces who executed this mission, the intelligence community whose work helped make this mission possible, and our foreign allies and partners, particularly the Syrian Kurds.

“Despite this great victory, we must not confuse the death of this evil man with the total defeat of ISIS. There are still potentially hundreds of ISIS prisoners and sympathizers who have escaped in recent weeks. We still need a plan for how we will deal with the escaped prisoners and ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS.

“New Yorkers know all too well the destruction a small group of terrorists thousands of miles overseas can cause from so far away. I look forward to receiving a briefing about this raid and the plan to deal with the escaped ISIS prisoners,” said Schumer.

Adams On Brawl Between Cops & Teens In Subway

Borough President Eric Adams
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams today will meet with media in response to startling footage shared online over the weekend that shows a fight between teenagers and police officers in the Jay Street-Metrotech station. 

“I have watched the video footage of the fight that took place between a number of police officers and teenagers inside the Jay Street-Metrotech station in Downtown Brooklyn. Based on my observations, while all of the responding officers were trying to bring a dangerous situation under control, one of the officers appeared to have escalated the matter by punching two of the teens in two separate interactions,” said Adams.

Teenagers who were at the scene of the incident will join Adams to meet the press today and the borough president will call for the officer who punched the teen to be placed on modified assignment pending further investigation, and for the NYPD to place a greater emphasis on de-escalation training for all officers. 

The event is slated for 2 p.m., today, Oct. 28, outside of the Jay Street-Metrotech MTA station at the intersection of Jay Street and Willoughby Street in Downtown Brooklyn.

Nadler, Maloney, Velazquez Introduce Bill Banning Nonessential Helicopters

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler
U.S Rep. Carolyn Maloney
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

U. S. Reps Jerrold Nadler (Brooklyn, Manhattan) Carolyn B. Maloney (Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan) and Nydia M. Velazquez (Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan) on Friday joined local elected officials and community groups to announce legislation that would prohibit nonessential helicopters from flying within New York City airspace and drastically reduce helicopter traffic.

The lawmaker’s Improving Helicopter Safety Act of 2019 addresses New York City being one of the most densely populated cities in the United States and has one of the highest rates of helicopter use in the world, which creates intolerable safety risks to the community and negatively impacts the quality of life of its residents. 

The measure would improve residents’ safety and reduce noise pollution by prohibiting nonessential helicopters from flying within New York City airspace and drastically reduce helicopter traffic, the lawmakers and advocates say.

“This past June, we were all reminded of the safety threat posed by non-essential helicopters when a pilot attempted to make an emergency landing and crashed into the AXA Equitable Center in my district in Midtown Manhattan. My colleagues and I have called on the FAA [Federal Aviation Administration] numerous times to impose additional regulations that would make New York City airspace safer, but we have yet to see sufficient measures be taken,” said Maloney.

“That is why we have introduced the Improving Helicopter Safety Act of 2019 to finally protect the safety and wellbeing of New Yorkers. The bottom line is, the risks that commuter, charter, and tourism helicopter flights pose to New Yorkers far outweigh the benefit to the very small number of people who use them. There is absolutely no margin for error when you fly over somewhere as densely populated as New York,” she added.

“Since 1980, there have been at least 30 helicopter crashes in New York City, many of which have been fatal,” said Nadler. “Despite my colleagues and I having called on the FAA numerous times to take simple and prudent action to protect our city, the FAA has refused to sufficiently act. That is why I joined Representatives Maloney and Velázquez in authoring legislation to protect our skies by banning non-essential flights over New York City. There is simply no justification for allowing tourists to joy-ride over our city, endangering lives and creating unnecessary noise pollution.

“Although we have previously called on the Federal Aviation Administration to ban all non-essential helicopter flights over New York City, we must do more,” said Velázquez. “While we all remember the terrible accident in June and others in previous years, safety is not the only concern. Many of my Brooklyn neighbors who live near the water’s edge suffer from incessant noise pollution, due to helicopter flights. That’s why I am proud to join my colleagues in authoring legislation to ban all non-essential flights over New York. Simply, our City is not a good fit for helicopter air traffic and it is time this practice was addressed once and for all.”

Persaud Applauds Savino Law Helping Kinship Caregivers

Roxanne J. Persaud
State Senator Roxanne J. Persaud
Senator Diane Savino
Senator Diane Savino (credit: Thomas Altfather Good)

State Sen. Roxanne Persaud (D-Canarsie, East New York, Brownsville, Mill Basin, Sheepshead Bay, Bergen Beach, Marine Park, Flatlands, Ocean Hill, Starrett City) applauded Governor Cuomo signing State Sen. Diane Savino’s (D-Coney Island, Sunset Park, State Island) Bill S2714, which clarifies how local social service districts will help kinship families by connecting them to information and services. 

Kinship Care is the raising of children by grandparents, other extended family members, and adults with whom they have a close family-like relationship such as godparents and close family friends.

Currently, local social services districts are required by Social Services Law Section 392 to inform kinship caregivers about the child-only grant, a grant intended to help caregivers cover the costs of providing kinship care. However, as reported by kinship caregivers and professionals, the provision of information is inconsistent and sometimes absent.

“Based on public assistance data, it is clear this new law is necessary,” said Persaud, who co-sponsored the legislation. “Currently, only 8 percent of potentially eligible children across this state are receiving the child-only grant. That needs to change, and it is my hope that this legislation will help more families access this much-needed aid. I applaud Senator Savino for championing this legislation, and thank Governor Cuomo for seeing the value this bill can have for kinship families across New York.”

Davila Hosts Seminar On New Rights for NY Sexual Abuse Survivors

Assemblywoman Maritza Davila

Assemblymember Maritza Davila (D-Williamsburg, Bushwick), along with The Zero Abuse Project, a leading nonprofit dedicated to stopping child sexual abuse and providing assistance to survivors, will host an event tonight educating constituents about the changes to the statute of limitations requirements for child sexual abuse in New York under the new Child Victims Act (CVA), which took effect in recent weeks. 

Co-sponsors of the event include the New York State Children’s Alliance, The Crime Victims Treatment Center, Voces Latinas, North Brooklyn Coalition Against Family Violence and NY Loves Kids.

Zero Abuse Project Chief Executive Officer Jeff Dion will guide a conversation with leading child welfare advocates, and sexual abuse prevention experts about the new opportunities under the CVA for survivors of sexual abuse to seek justice against their abusers and the institutions who covered for them.

The event is slated for 6:30-8 p.m., today, Oct. 28 at the Brooklyn Public Library DeKalb Library Branch, 790 Bushwick Avenue in Bushwick.

Frontus Welcomes Residents To New District Office

Mathylde Frontus
Assembly Member Mathylde Frontus

Assemblymember Mathylde Frontus (D-Coney Island, Bay Ridge, Brighton Beach) held an open house earlier this month welcoming residents to her new Coney Island district office located at 2002 Mermaid Avenue in Coney Island.

“Since I took office, I’ve fought to make Southern Brooklyn a better place to live and work,” Frontus said. “My new office provides another convenient location for residents to come with any questions or concerns, as well as the ability to access the critical services and support my staff provides.”

Frontus’ office can help residents connect with local services and state agencies; obtain benefits, government forms and applications; get information on programs like the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP); and answer questions about state government. 

Lentol Introduces Bill Package To Protect Small Homeowners 

Assemblymember Joseph Lentol
Assemblymember Joseph Lentol

Assembly Member Joseph R. Lentol (D-Greenpoint, Williamsburg) announced Friday he has introduced a package of bills to safeguard small homeowners’ properties from damages stemming from adjacent construction sites. 

The bills are in response to a high volume of constituent complaints in Lentol’s district where damages from adjacent construction and development activities have cost small homeowners significant amounts of money and lengthy court battles. 

“Small homeowners are the lifeblood of New York City. When it comes to construction activities, we must make sure that the small homeowners of our neighborhoods do not suffer because of development that only cares to get the job done no matter the cost,” said Assembly Member Lentol.

The package of bills includes the following measures:

  • Many insurance policies on construction sites have exclusions that limit responsibility for damages to an adjacent property even though construction often disturbs adjacent foundations, causing significant damage and cost to the adjacent properties. Having adequate insurance to pay for damages is essential. The intent of A8688 is to curb the practice of exclusions and require the New York City Department of Buildings to ensure complete insurance coverage.
  • Financial safeguards must be implemented to ensure that property damaged by nearby construction activities are promptly repaired and that adjoining homeowners are not footing the bill. A8710, known as the Good Neighbor Protection Act, will require the developer to set money aside in escrow in order to perform repairs on adjacent properties as necessary and will allow homeowners to select their own contractor for repairs.
  • In instances where construction activities are likely to result in damage to adjacent properties, A8687 will prohibit the self-certification of project plans in order to ensure that the permit application process is not rushed. This bill will also allow homeowners to review and negotiate these project applications for the sole purpose of avoiding damage to neighboring properties.

Clarke Honors Life and Legacy of Elijah E. Cummings

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke

U.S. Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Kensington, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Midwood, Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, Prospect Lefferts Gardens) remembered and eulogized the honorable U.S. Rep. Elijah Eugene Cummings (D-MD) who recently died and was laid to rest last week.

“Our great nation mourns the devastating loss of a giant, Chairman Elijah E. Cummings.

As one of seven children born to sharecroppers, it is safe to say that Chairman Cummings embodied the epitome of our ancestors’ wildest dreams, as one of the greatest leaders in the United States Congress. Chairman Cummings represented Baltimore, Maryland with pride and dignity, and dedicated his career to ensuring that his beloved community was never left behind,” said Clarke.

“As Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, Mr. Cummings used his voice to protect our democracy and Constitution until his last breath and we are forever indebted to his lifelong dedication to public service. He will be remembered as a steadfast advocate of the Congressional Black Caucus who used his voice to elevate our colleagues in leadership positions and to mentor black staffers. Let us take comfort in knowing that Chairman Cummings’ legacy will be forever ingrained in the halls of Congress through the next generation of leaders that his work impacted and inspired.

“Words cannot express the pain that our community feels during this time of sorrow, but we must lift our heads and continue to walk in the light of Chairman Cummings’ legacy. We are standing on the shoulders of a giant and we will live out his mission of creating a better America for all. On behalf of the Clarke Family and the Ninth Congressional District of New York, I am lifting Mrs. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, his children, and loved ones in prayer. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful spirit with the American people.”

AM Williams Unveils Student Environment Ambassador Program 

Assemblymember Jaime R. Williams
Assemblymember Jaime R. Williams

Assembly Member Jaime Williams (D-Canarsie, Georgetown, Mill Basin, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach) recently unveiled a Student Ambassador Program to promulgate innovative ideas and concepts to maintain, heal and promote the ecological wonders of the 59th Assembly District. 

Williams convened the first meeting of the program at her district office with the assistance of Alex Zablocki from the Jamaica Bay Conservancy, and the students and parents of IS 78, PS312, PS 203, PS 207, PS 276, PS 78, IS 278, PS 277, PS 115 and many other schools.

“I am forming an environmentally conscientious student group that will help lead our future and preserve and protect our environment. The Student Ambassadors are students who learn about sustainability issues and gain hands-on experience developing interpersonal skills while making a difference in their own community and the wonderful and diverse ecology within the 59th Assembly District,” said Williams.

The Student Ambassador program allows for a safe, creative space for environmentally conscience students to share ideas, learn, and pursue additional knowledge in all areas of sustainable development; raise awareness regarding the preservation of our environment and waterways which surround and bound our district; involve young adults in public service and create opportunities for them to make a difference locally, nationally, and even globally. 

As a Student Ambassador, the students will work with to explore plausible solutions to the freshwater crisis from multiple perspectives, preservation of our oceans and solutions to food production throughout the state.