Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Nov. 1, 2019

News Site Brooklyn

Treyger Applauds DOE Lifting Hiring Freeze On School Counselors 

Council Member Mark Treyger

City Council Member Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend) yesterday applauded the Department of Education (DOE) recent decision for lifting the hiring freeze on counselors in the city’s public schools.

“As a former teacher in our city’s schools, I’ve been an adamant advocate for social and emotional supports in schools for our students. I’m thrilled that the Department of Education has heeded my call to lift the hiring freeze on guidance counselors. This is a big win for our kids. Counselors play a pivotal role in the school community to ensure that our students have the resources to excel in and out of the classroom,” said Treyger.

“Currently there are over 200 schools that do not have a full-time guidance counselor. Counselors serve multiple roles at our schools from acting as mentors assisting students navigating the college preparation process to providing holistic mindfulness to our students. Counselors provide direct support to our kids and this definitely improve their academic outcomes. This has been a top priority of mine since I began my tenure as Chair of the Education Committee and is a step in the right direction towards the goal of one counselor and one social worker for every 250 students,” he added.

Gounardes Introduces Legislation To Expand Harassment Protections to Elected Officials’ Staff

State Senator Andrew Gounardes
State Senator Andrew Gounardes

State Sen. Andrew Gounardes (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend, Gerritsen Beach, Manhattan Beach, Marine Park) and Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou (D-Manhattan) yesterday introduced legislation that would expand harassment protections for those who work directly for elected officials and judges. 

In litigation, government lawyers have cited Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which excludes certain workers, to argue that so-called “personal staff” do not have protections against sexual harassment. This tactic has been employed in multiple lawsuits, even leading to dismissals in multiple cases against elected officials. Before becoming elected officials, both Gounardes and Niou were both “personal staff” of elected officials. 

“Sexual harassment has been a fact of life in the halls of power in New York State for far too long. An exception to sexual harassment laws for elected officials’ employees runs completely counter to efforts to root out, combat and deter harassment in government. We made historic reforms with last year’s legislation, but now we need to close a legal loophole and protect personal staff of elected officials and judges. Survivors of sexual harassment should not be gaslighted by the legal system. This law will make it crystal clear that employees of elected officials and judges work for the institutions that write their paychecks,” said Gounardes. 

Myrie Calls On Cuomo To Release Census Funds 

State Senator Zellnor Myrie
State Senator Zellnor Myrie

State Sen. Zellnor Y. Myrie (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Gowanus, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, South Slope, Sunset Park) today called on Governor Cuomo to release state funds for the census without further delay.

Myrie’s demand comes as he has held several census information sessions throughout district 20 and recently launched a Complete Count Committee with more than 20 community-based organizations in an effort to expand awareness and engagement in the census.

Additionally, Myrie penned a joined letter to the governor on the need to release these funds which were signed by a total of 33 Brooklyn elected officials, including all of Brooklyn’s members of Congress.

The state budget agreement included $20 million for census outreach, and the state-appointed Complete Count Commission released their recommendations on the use of the funds on October 8, 2019.

“Twenty-four days after the Complete Count Commission issued their report and 215 days since the state allocated $20 million for census outreach, our communities are still waiting for these vital funds. As we and 33 other elected officials warned, a potential undercount poses a grave risk to the rights, livelihood and well being of millions of people in Brooklyn and across the state. Yet we have seen no sign of the release of this money, no timeline, and no plan. This is unacceptable. The census gets closer every day and the time to act is now,” said Myrie.

Cuomo Announces Start Of State Health 2020 Open Enrollment Period

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo yesterday announced that today [Nov. 1] start’s the state’s open enrollment period for New Yorkers who want quality, low-cost health insurance coverage in 2020.

“New York is proud to be a national leader in providing access to health care to state residents through a robust and vibrant marketplace,” Cuomo said. “Despite continued aggressive threats at the federal level to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and block access to health care, we continue to move forward.  We believe health care is a right, not a luxury, and we will continue our efforts to provide New Yorkers with quality, affordable health coverage.”

In New York, the number of uninsured has been reduced by 1.2 million since 2010, including one million since the NY State of Health Marketplace opened in 2013. More than 4.8 million people are currently enrolled in coverage through NY State of Health. 

Open Enrollment for Qualified Health Plans begins November 1, 2019 and will continue through January 31, 2020. New enrollees can apply for coverage starting on November 1, 2019. Current enrollees may begin renewing coverage on November 16. The Marketplace offers a choice of health plans across all Marketplace programs in every county of the state, with free in-person assistance available to help consumers shop for and enroll in the best coverage for themselves and their families.

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Louis To Cut Ribbon On New Tilden Library

Council Member Farah Louis
Council Member Farah Louis

City Council Member Farah Louis (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Marine Park, Flatlands, Kensington)a member of the Council committees on Education and Youth Services, will join educators and students for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the newly upgraded campus library at the former Tilden High School.

First opened in 1930, Tilden High School has produced a number of famous alumni in the world of science, education, politics, business and science. In 2006, the Department of Education declared Tilden a failed school, and in 2007, the site became the Tilden Educational Complex, home to three separate small schools – the Cultural Academy for the Arts and Sciences (CAAS), the Kurt Hahn Expeditionary Learning School and It Takes A Village Academy (ITAVA). 

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new campus library is slated for 1 p.m., today, Nov. 1 at the Samuel J. Tilden Educational Complex, 5800 Tilden Avenue in East Flatbush.

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