Lawmakers on the Move Nov. 14, 2019

News Site Brooklyn

CM Mathieu Eugene to Offer Free Civil Legal Services

Council Member Mathieu Eugene (D-Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Kensington, Midwood, Prospect Park, Prospect Lefferts Gardens) is partnering with the New York Legal Assistance Group to provide free civil legal services courtesy of the Mobile Legal Help Center. 

Mathieu Eugene
City Council Member Mathieu Eugene

“I want to commend the New York Legal Assistance Group for their ongoing commitment to providing free legal services to the community,” said Eugene. “Our residents are hardworking people who may not be in a position to access the legal counsel that they require. NYLAG has been a valued partner in our advocacy to help members of the underserved community, and I am most appreciative for the resources they provide to New Yorkers.” 

The Mobile Legal Help Center will be stationed at the District Office (900 Rogers Avenue) on Nov. 13 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. and on Dec. 12. Please call 718-287-8762 to make an appointment.

Senators Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Myrie Hold Maternal Health Meeting

State Senator Zellnor Myrie
State Senator Zellnor Myrie

New York State Senator Zellnor Y. Myrie (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Gowanus, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, South Slope, Sunset Park) convened a community meeting recently at SUNY Downstate Hospital to discuss the crisis of maternal mortality in Brooklyn and how to address it.

The rate of maternal mortality is on the rise in the U.S. and is highest among black women, who are 3.5 times as likely to die during pregnancy or childbirth as white women. These health disparities are even more pronounced in certain areas of Brooklyn, many of which are in Sen. Myrie’s district, such as East Flatbush, which according to the NYC Dept. of Health, has one of the highest infant mortality rates in New York City.

“No woman should live in fear of receiving inadequate care during one of life’s most precious moments simply because she is black,” said Myrie. “There is no excuse for allowing women to die due to lack of care, lack of resources, and preventable complications. I am proud that the legislature has taken action to address this crisis, but there is much more work to do.” 

Sen. Myrie was joined by Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Bronx), Senator Gustavo Rivera (D-Bronx), and 44 additional participants including clinicians, medical providers, community-based organizations, maternal health experts, physicians, advocates, doulas, midwives, nurses, and government partners. 

During the roundtable, this wide range of stakeholders discussed how community-based providers, hospitals, and government can work together in collaboration to address the high rates of maternal mortality and morbidity in our communities with a focus on Brooklyn.

Cuomo Awards Mobile Markets as Part of ‘Vital Brooklyn’ Initiative

Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced that nearly $250,000 was awarded to support three additional mobile farmers’ markets and food pantries through the second round of the Mobile Markets Grant Program, which was launched last year as part of the Governor’s $1.4 billion Vital Brooklyn initiative. 

“Through the Vital Brooklyn initiative and the Mobile Markets Grant program, we have increased access to fresh produce and other quality foods for our Central Brooklyn residents,” Cuomo said. “Not only is this initiative ensuring that we reach underserved neighborhoods, we are also providing our farmers with new markets to sell their products and grow their businesses.”

The program funds mobile farmers’ markets and food pantries that supply fresh produce and other quality foods, increasing food access and addressing chronic food insecurity for residents in Central Brooklyn communities. 

Senator Velmanette Montgomery photographed by tracy collins
Senator Velmanette Montgomery

“We are pleased to announce these Vital Brooklyn grants which will allow for the expansion of our mobile markets. This means that more high-quality fresh foods and prepared foods will be within reach for residents throughout Central Brooklyn,” said Sen. Velmanette Montgomery (D-Red Hook, Bed-Stuy). “Proper nutrition is critical to our seniors’ health, the school performance of our children and the quality of life for all of our residents. This program will make it easier for families in Central Brooklyn to access foods they need to put wholesome food on the table.”

Currently, eight of the ten community districts facing the highest rates of food insecurity in Brooklyn and the fastest-growing rates of food insecurity in the city are in Central Brooklyn. Analysis has shown that low-income residents in Brooklyn may travel three times farther to access groceries than higher-income residents.

The Mobile Pantry Project will increase access to healthy, fresh, locally sourced food for underserved residents of Central Brooklyn. Services will reach Crown Heights, Canarsie, East Flatbush and East New York. 

“We are excited that these three mobile markets will be able to bring more fresh and nutritious foods to our families in Central Brooklyn,” said Sen. Kevin Parker (D-.East Flatbush, Flatbush, Midwood, Ditmas Park, Kensington, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace). “We know that nutrition is essential for learning and having access to more fresh ingredients and wholesome prepared meals will be a game-changer for our community. Today we further ensure that we meet the basic needs of our children so they can focus on school to develop into the leaders that we know they can be.”

Rose Passes Legislation to Make VA Facilities Work for Women Veterans

Rep. Max Rose (D-South Brooklyn, Staten Island), an Army combat veteran and member of the bipartisan Women Veterans Task Force, passed his Breaking Barriers for Women Veterans Act through the House of Representatives this week. This legislation, which was included in a larger package of proposals meant to improve care for women veterans, will require the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to take steps to ensure that its healthcare facilities have the proper fixtures, materials, and staffing to provide proper care and support to an increasing population of female veterans.

Max Rose
U.S. Rep. Max Rose

“With the number of women veterans skyrocketing, it’s ridiculous and downright unacceptable that our VA facilities don’t have the capability to properly give women the treatment they require,” said Rose. “Fighting for our veterans is not just a one-day affair, it’s an everyday job. That’s why I am proud to pass this important legislation to make sure VA facilities across the country can provide women with the services they need—and given all that women veterans have sacrificed for our nation, I see no reason why the Senate won’t quickly follow suit.”

Rose’s legislation, which passed as part of Rep. Julia Brownley’s (D-CA) Deborah Sampson Act, directs VA to retrofit existing medical facilities with the proper fixtures and materials to support the provision of care to women veterans. In addition, this bill compels VA to ensure that each of their medical facilities has not fewer than one full-time or part-time women’s health primary care provider, while also appropriating $1,000,000 each fiscal year for the Women Veterans Health Care Mini-Residency Program, and ensuring that providers in the community network are equipped with training modules specific to women veterans. To verify that these standards are being met, this bill also instructs VA to conduct a study to make sure that staffing levels specific to women veterans are appropriate.

Deutsch Lauds NYPD For Collaring Suspect In Anti-Semitic Egg Attacks

City Councilman Chaim Deutsch

City Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D-Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach, Homecrest, Midwood), chair of the council’s Jewish Caucus, yesterday lauded the swift work of the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force in apprehending a suspect in last weekend’s anti-Semitic egg attacks in the Borough Park area.

“We are sending a clear message that hatred and bias of any kind will not be tolerated in New York City. No stone will be left unturned in the pursuit of the perpetrators. I will continue to partner with my colleagues to push for harsher penalties in these cases,” said Deutsch.

“Boro Park Shomrim, as well as Councilman Kalman Yeger and Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein, and other community leaders deserve enormous credit for their vigilance and persistence as we face a rise in hate crimes here in NYC, and specifically in Boro Park. I am committed to continuing to fight for the resources we need to combat hate, including education in schools, additional police coverage, and aggressive penalties,” he added.

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