Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Nov. 4, 2019

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Cymbrowitz Urges Cuomo To Release NYCHA Funds

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach) on Friday urged Gov. Andrew Cuomo to release $450 million in funding that New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) federal monitor Bart Schwartz signed off on for new boilers and 

“I’m pleased that the $450 million previously allocated for NYCHA is finally moving forward,” said Cymbrowitz, Chair of the Assembly’s Housing Committee. “The State’s long-term disinvestment was one of the multiple levels of governmental neglect that left so many of NYCHA’s essential capital needs unmet and contributed to the serious challenges that NYCHA currently faces.”

The $450 million includes $250 million allocated as part of the 2018-19 SFY budget and $200 million allocated the previous year. In addition to the $450 million allocated between 2017 and 2019, NYCHA also received $100 million in the 2015-2016 SFY budget for capital revitalization, approximately $70 million of which has been expended to perform repairs and upgrades in various developments across the City.

“The dangerous mold in apartments, thousands of tenants freezing in the middle of winter — these and NYCHA’s other serious problems did not develop overnight but rather are the result of decades of neglect exacerbated by HUD and state government deciding long ago to forsake their responsibility to NYCHA tenants,” Cymbrowitz said.

Cymbrowitz said he appealed to Cuomo on numerous occasions to release the $450 million in withheld NYCHA funds, citing NYCHA’s urgent capital needs and the failure of both the state and federal governments to adequately assist tenants living without heat and in substandard conditions. 

NYCHA is the largest public housing authority in the nation, operating 326 developments throughout the five boroughs.

“There are still billions of dollars in critical infrastructure needs remaining at NYCHA that must be addressed. We’ll be continuing our discussions regarding additional funding for the State’s housing needs, including NYCHA and upstate public housing authorities,” Cymbrowitz said. 

Adams Supports City Sanitation & Animal Rights Legislation

Borough President Eric Adams
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams (D) last week expressed support for both the establishment of commercial waste zones and animal welfare legislation which passed the city council last week.

Adams said the status quo of commercial waste collection in New York City represents a continuing and significant hazard to safe streets, clean air, and livable neighborhoods. After years of debate and negotiation, the City Council’s voting to create commercial waste zones that restrict garbage pick-ups to a few companies is a step in the right direction. 

“The breadth of support that Intro 1574-A has garnered from business, environmental, labor, and transit advocates is notable, and I join them in supporting passage of this bill. DSNY [Departmnet of Sanitation] will need to carefully review and evaluate the efficacy of the commercial waste zone system, ensuring that communities aren’t unfairly affected and that costs don’t endanger the vitality of our small businesses. I commend everyone who has weighed in on this important issue, and I hope everyone will stay engaged in this conversation going forward,” said Adams.

Adams, a vegan and animal rights activist, also applauded the city council for speaking up compassionately and sensibly for animals that share this city.

“I am particularly proud to have added my voice during this legislative process for the long-awaited ban on foie gras as well as the resolution on citywide Meatless Mondays that was catalyzed by our office’s successful efforts in our hospitals and schools. It is our obligation as policymakers to ensure that New York City agencies and institutions do not continue to force-feed our health care crisis or perpetuate the suffering of animals,” said Adams.

“These landmark measures, along with bills that will establish an Office of Animal Welfare, ban the trafficking of wild birds, and prohibit the operation of horse carriages in extreme heat conditions, are good policies that advance the welfare of all New Yorkers, human or otherwise.”

Cuomo To Take Legal Action Against Trump’s LGBTQ Adoption Policy

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo yesterday said the state would take legal action against a proposed Trump administration policy change that would allow foster care and adoption agencies to deny their services to LGBTQ families on faith-based grounds.

The Department of Health and Human Services released the rule change on Friday, which would roll back a 2016 discrimination regulation that the Obama administration instituted that included sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes

“Once again the Trump administration is attacking the hard-earned rights and protections of the LGBTQ community, this time proposing a new measure that would give foster care and adoption agencies license to discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Cuomo.

“Trump’s proposal isn’t just discriminatory and repugnant to our values — it’s also heartless and dumb as it would deny countless children a loving family and a safe place to call home. If he moves forward with this rule, we’ll take legal action to stop it. 

“No matter what happens in Washington, New York State is and will continue to be a beacon of equality in this country. Our Human Rights Law and adoption regulations expressly prohibit discrimination against the LGBTQ community, including when it comes to adoption. I encourage any LGBTQ New Yorker who feels they are a victim of this discrimination to contact the State Division of Human Rights for assistance,” the governor added.

Clarke Explores Voting Rights Of The Formerly Incarcerated

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) on Friday hosted the “Pardon My Vote” panel discussion in her district focusing on voting rights of formerly incarcerated and currently paroled New Yorkers. 

“‘Pardon My Vote’ is an educational initiative I launched to help educate about how formerly-incarcerated and currently paroled New York State residents have the right to vote through a conditional voting pardon that was issued in an executive order by Governor Cuomo in 2018. At the end of the day, formerly incarcerated individuals who have paid their debts to society should have citizenship rights including the right to vote,” said Clarke.

The panel discussion held at Medgar Evers College in Crown Heights was moderated by professor Jasmine Young and featured celebrity guests, actress Naturi Naughton of the STARZ Original “Power” and rapper Casanova of RocNation. 

Other panelists included Jarret Berg of Vote Early NY, Chuck Creekmur of, Brandon Hicks who is the Director of African-American Affairs from the office of Governor Cuomo and activist Shanduke McPhatter of Gangstas Making Astronomical Community Change. 

Some topics of the panel discussion included: criminal justice reform, the power of each person’s vote and the steps for formerly-incarcerated and paroled New York residents to register to vote.

“As Americans, we must push for criminal justice reform, which is why this ‘Pardon My Vote’ event is so important because I believe in the power of redemption,” said Clarke.

Salazar, Mosley Join Demands For Housing Works Unionization

Julia Salazar
State Sen. Julia Salazar
Assemblyman Walter Mosley

State Sen. Julia Salazar (D-Bushwick, Cypress Hills, Greenpoint, Williamsburg, parts of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brownsville, East New York) and Assembly Member Walter Mosley (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, Bedford-Stuyvesant) are joining a number of other lawmakers today in delivering deliver a letter signed by more than 40 elected officials to Housing Works management demanding they sign a neutrality agreement with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU).

Housing Works is a non-profit organization, whose twin mission is to fight the crises of AIDS and homelessness. The delegation and sign-on letter comes less than a week after 100+ Workers across Housing Works’ New York City locations walked off the job to demand the non-profit hear their workplace concerns. 

During the walkout workers also attempted to deliver Unfair Labor Practice charges (ULPs) that they filed with the National Labor Relations Board to their employer. The union has been demanding management sign a neutrality agreement that ensures a fair unionization process free from pressure or coercion of any kind. After the walk-out workers returned to work later that day to make sure their clients’ care was not disrupted.

The lawmakers and union activists will deliver the letter after assembling at 11 a.m., today, Nov. 4, at Pearl Street and Willoughby Street for a brief planning discussion. They will then walk to Housing Works’ Headquarters at 57 Willoughby Street on the corner of Lawrence Street to deliver the letter in Downtown Brooklyn.

Rose Rallies Against Double-Digit Flood Insurance Hikes

Max Rose
U.S. Rep. Max Rose

U.S. Rep. Max Rose (D-Southern Brooklyn, Staten Island), following the recent Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announcement that flood insurance renewal premiums will increase an average of 11.3-14.8 percent, is working with a bipartisan group of lawmakers to prevent double-digit flood insurance premium increases and to delay the implementation of Risk Rating 2.0 to provide a much needed relief for homeowners on Staten Island and in South Brooklyn.

“The National Flood Insurance Program is the perfect example of everything that’s wrong with Washington,” Rose said. “Rather than bringing everyone around a table to come up with a long-term solution that protects homeowners, Congress has kicked the can down the road with short-term extensions 13 different times now. In the meantime, they’ve created unnecessary anxiety for homeowners and small businesses in my district who, seven years later, are still struggling to rebuild from Hurricane Sandy. It’s time to fix the issues with flood insurance, not slap another band-aid on the problem and then leave my constituents with the bill.”

With the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) authorization expiring on November 21 and Congressional efforts underway to pass a long-term reauthorization, Rose joined a bipartisan group of 49 other Members of Congress in calling on House leadership to include provisions to prevent double-digit flood insurance rate hikes for homeowners by delaying the implementation of Risk Rating 2.0 and lowering premium caps.

Frontus Informs Coney Island Residents On Housing Construction Projects

Mathylde Frontus
Assembly Member Mathylde Frontus

Assemblymember Mathylde Frontus (D-Coney Island, Bay Ridge, Brighton Beach, Gravesend) last week held a housing information workshop to inform residents about proposed and ongoing housing construction projects on Coney Island.

“Throughout my first year in the assembly, I’ve been committed to revitalizing our local neighborhoods and making Coney Island an even better place to live,” Frontus said. “These new housing units will provide better options for families to call home and help us manage our ever-growing community. I was happy to see many residents join us for this workshop and get all their questions answered about the new housing options coming their way.”

The event, held in partnership with Community Board 13, included representatives from various housing development sites who provided further information about the new housing units and answered questions from residents.

TJ Club To Be Open Tomorrow Night

Kings County Democratic Party Chair Frank Seddio

The Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club will be open tomorrow night – election night at 8 p.m. to watch the election results and congratulate our candidates.  We will be serving food and drinks. 

The Club will not be open for its’ regular Thursday night meeting.

Kings County Democratic Party Chair Frank Seddio will be available tomorrow night to meet with anyone wishing to talk to him. All are invited.

The TJ Club is located at 77 Conklin Avenue in Canarsie.

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