Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Oct. 29, 2019

News Site Brooklyn

Adams Calls For Establishing Diwali As City-Recognized Holiday

Borough President Eric Adams
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams yesterday called for the Hindu holiday of Diwali to become a city-recognized holiday.

Diwali, which is celebrated every autumn in the northern hemisphere is a festive holiday symbolizing the spiritual “victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.”

“The diversity of our city must be reflected in the diversity of our officially recognized holidays. In the last few years, our communities have come together to garner school holidays that recognize the Muslim observances of Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr as well as the Lunar New Year that is celebrated in many of our East and Southeast Asian cultures,” said Adams.

“As progressive as we believe we have been, our progress has left out New Yorkers across the five boroughs who take part in Diwali. This colorful festival of lights is a deeply significant family occasion for more than 200,000 members of our city’s South Asian communities, including Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and some Buddhists. I believe it’s time we embrace the rich cultural traditions of our South Asian neighbors and make it a City-recognized holiday. If I had the power to do so, I‘d do it right away,” he added.

AM Williams Tours New York Farms

Assemblymember Jaime R. Williams
Assemblymember Jaime R. Williams

Assemblymember Jaime Williams (D-Canarsie, Georgetown, Mill Basin, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach) last week toured a myriad of farms with the assistance of the Institute for Rural Vitality to observe the need and importance farming contributes to New York State. 

New York is a leading agricultural state, worth $5.75 billion in revenue. Dairy and milk production accounts for nearly 26,000 jobs in New York State. All sectors of agriculture, including processing, are responsible for nearly 200,000 jobs in the state. 

Assemblymember Chris Tague (R-Schoharie) hosted the bipartisan tour, which included a number of other state lawmakers. The electeds saw firsthand the need and contribution that New York’s farm adds to the patch-work that is New York. 

“Farming and agriculture are a cornerstone and backbone of New York State let alone the Leatherstocking region of New York and the northern Catskills economy, despite the reliance on technology the importance of agriculture and farming have not diminished.  As such it falls on all representatives of the varied communities of New York to protect this industry and those invested in it and thrive from it. The need to possibly add a study and class curriculum in the science and importance of farming may be a stepping stone to making sure this vital industry to New York remains and will contribute to the policies that advance the sustainability of safe, nutritious, and local food for all New Yorkers,” said Williams.

Walker, Ampry-Samuel Bring Construction Jobs To District

Assemblywoman Latrice Walker
Alicka Ampry-Samuel
City Council Member Alicka Ampry-Samuel

Brownsville lawmakers Assemblywoman Latrice Walker (D) and City Councilwoman Alicka Ampry-Samuel (D), along with Building Skills New York yesterday announced four workers have gained full-time jobs in the construction industry following a recent recruitment information session held in Walker’s district office.

The session gave attendees information about construction job opportunities through Building Skills. The Building Skills team discussed OSHA-30 requirements as well equipment requirements such as such as hardhats, glasses, and work boots. Attendees were interviewed by Building Skills about their past experience and what type of construction work they may be interested in. Those who did not have OSHA-30 were added to a list and notified of upcoming OSHA-30 training opportunities.

“Many of the construction sites that we are seeing in our district have not had a real pipeline to ensure local hiring at all entry points from those seeking OSHA-30, to flaggers, to more experienced and seasoned construction workers. This recruitment session was a means to get my constituents employed and on the developments happening in their backyard,” said Walker.

“Working with my colleague and friend Assemblymember Latrice Walker on providing our constituents with the services and opportunities to receive the necessary skill certifications that ensures they may find jobs that advance their careers and opens up new opportunities in life. Assemblymember Walker’s dedication to workforce development in Brooklyn and our work with Building Skills New York is a positive partnership I hope to continue for years to come,” said Ampry-Samuel.

Felder Bill to Increase Tax Credit for Volunteer First Responders

Sen. Simcha Felder

State Senator Simcha Felder (D-Midwood, Borough Park, Flatbush) and Assemblywomen Aileen Gunther (D-Forestburgh) introduced legislation (S6802) recently that would increase the Volunteer Firefighter and EMS State income tax credit for the first time in 12 years. 

The $200 tax credit currently available to active volunteers has remained unchanged since first established in 2007. This legislation would increase the credit to $500 for eligible individuals and $1000 for married joint filers who do not receive any direct monetary compensation for their service. If enacted, the credit would go into effect for taxable years beginning in 2020.

“Volunteer firefighters and first responders including Hatzalah members are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. No matter the weather, the conditions or the time of day, these extraordinary people answer the call to keep New Yorkers safe,” said Felder. “It is time to recognize their invaluable contribution by updating and increasing this tax credit.”

The number of volunteer firefighters in the state has dropped from 110,000 in 1990 to fewer than 100,000 today. Increasing the tax credit can strengthen recruitment at a time when many fire departments and EMS agencies throughout the state are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit and retain the next generation of volunteers.

Cumbo, Levin Call For Investigation Of Subway Brawl

City Council Member Laurie Cumbo
City Councilman Stephen Levin

City Council Members Laurie Cumbo (D) and Stephen Levin (D), both of who represent portions of Downtown Brooklyn, yesterday issued a joint statement following the weekend brawl on the Jay Street/Metrotech subway platform between cops and a group of teens.

“As the two Council Members who represent Downtown Brooklyn, we are very disturbed by the video posted Saturday showing a clearly chaotic scene on the Jay Street/Metrotech subway platform. While we do not know everything that happened prior to the video starting, the video clearly shows an NYPD officer punching multiple young people, including one young person who seems to be walking past, without provocation,” the lawmakers said.

“We believe there must be a thorough investigation into the way this episode was handled and discipline for any and all officers found to have acted inappropriately or used excessive force,” they added.

Myrie To Hold Bike Equity Forum

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, Sunset Park) tomorrow will host a Bike Equity Forum.

“We’ll talk about how we can make cycling safe and accessible to everyone, particularly in low-income communities of color,” Myrie said in his e-newsletter. “In the first of our Transit Equity events, we’ll talk about how we can make cycling safe and accessible to everyone.”

The forum is slated for 6-8 p.m., tomorrow, Oct. 30 at Brightpoint Health 803 Sterling Place in Crown Heights. RSVP on Eventbrite or on Facebook here.

Schumer Announces New Clean Cars Plan

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) last week, citing a state law he helped push to pass, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act,  requiring a net-zero carbon economy by 2050, announced the first major step to help the state meet the target. 

Schumer detailed how his new national plan to tackle climate change and get clean cars on the roads is also a boon for New York families and explained how New York and Long Island households would save thousands under his plan as he detailed how new car purchases and better miles per gallon (MPG) options will be accessible to locals.

“This national climate plan for clean cars is also a plan for New York because it advances the first major step to help the state meet its ambitious 2050 carbon-free target,” said Schumer. “New York and Long Island families would save thousands and new clean auto, electric car purchases will be accessible to all. New Yorkers are sick and tired of the dependence on gas stations, and it is high time to pursue a new front that will drive jobs, make new car purchases easier and less costly, while helping to kick carbon for good.”   

There are three major components to Schumer’s proposal:

  •         Making clean vehicles affordable by giving consumers a substantial cash voucher to trade-in their gas-powered cars and buy a U.S.-assembled and affordable plug-in electric, plug-in hybrid, or hydrogen fuel cell car. 
  •         Making charging infrastructure accessible through a new grant program to states and localities to ensure all Americans have access to charging infrastructure. 
  •         Reasserting U.S. leadership in clean car manufacturing with robust incentives for manufacturers to build new factories or re-tool existing factories in the United States to assemble zero-emission vehicles or manufacture charging equipment. 

Eugene, Maimonides Hold Successful 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 this weekend hosted a Free Stroke Symposium and Dinner at John Hus Moravian Church in Flatbush to provide valuable information on stroke awareness and prevention. 

The symposium was a collaboration between the medical center and Eugene to educate residents on the warning signs, symptoms, and prevention methods that will help families handle the occurrence of strokes. The symposium drew more than 100 local residents, including many who had suffered from a stroke or had family members recovering from the health issue.

“I want to thank Rev. Dr. Michael Johnson for his hospitality this evening,” said Eugene. “He and I were talking about the issues facing the community, and how we will together to address them. I also want to thank the two brilliant doctors who have joined us here to discuss stroke awareness and prevention, Dr. Daniel Zumofen and Dr. Tony Wang. Maimonides Medical Center and I have been collaborating on this type of symposium for many years, because this is valuable information that has helped save lives in this community. It is important that residents who have family members who have suffered strokes or are concerned about their occurrence understand the warning signs and the steps to take for prevention.”