Velázquez Announces Multi-Million Dollar Grant for Sunset Park Health Council
Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-Brooklyn Heights, Sunset Park, East New York, Queens, Lower Manhattan) announced Tuesday that a local Sunset Park health center within New York’s 7th Congressional District has received nearly $6.5 million in federal resources to boost their public health program.
“I am proud to announce that Sunset Park Health Council, Inc. will receive federal funding to continue offering community-based health programs sensitive to cultural, ethnic and linguistic identities,” said Velázquez. “This is a sizeable grant and demonstrates the extensive, positive impact this organization has had and will continue having on our Sunset Park community.”
Sunset Park Health Council, Inc. has served Sunset Park for over 40 years with comprehensive primary and dental care for children, youth, adults and families. From counseling to health education, the organization has successfully implemented best practices in medicine and community-building. It was announced this week that the Department of Health and Human Services has awarded Sunset Park Health Council, Inc. with $6,467,323 in federal funds to continue its Health Center Cluster program.
“Providing culturally relevant health services in our community is vital to ending health disparities,” said Velázquez. “Sunset Park Health Council is a critical community anchor and I’m excited it’s receiving this significant federal investment.”
Council Mandates Construction Workers are Provided with Safety Training Info
Council Member Robert E. Cornegy Jr., introduced a bill that passed Tuesday. Introduction No. 1661-A requires permit holders to make information about site safety training requirements available to each worker during site safety orientations and periodic site safety refreshers. This information would need to be available in each of the designated citywide languages and any other languages required by the Department of Buildings. This bill also includes a technical amendment to Int. No. 720, which the Council recently passed.
“New York City is the most diverse city on the face of the planet and continues to be built by people from all over the world. In our effort to enhance and bolster construction site safety, for both workers and the public, we should ensure that permit holders make information about site safety training requirement available and that the information is available in each of the designated citywide languages, and any other languages required by the Department of Buildings,” said Cornegy. “As the construction boom continues, we must take every step to maximize safety.”
This bill would take effect 30 days after becoming law, but the amendment to Int. No. 720 will be deemed to have been in full force and effect on the effective date of that bill.
Rep. Rose Pressures TSA to Prohibit Potentially Dangerous Cookers from Airplanes
Congressman Max Rose (D-South Brooklyn, Staten Island), Chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence & Counterterrorism and Congressman Josh Gottheimer held a press conference at Newark Liberty International Airport today to call on the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to include pressure cookers on the list of prohibited items. Pressure cookers have often been used as homemade bombs by terrorists, and recently the mere presence of an unattended pressure cooker on a New York City subway platform led to serious disruption and investigation.
“To be quite honest, I couldn’t believe that pressure cookers weren’t already prohibited from being a carry-on. Safe and efficient travel should be our priority, and the sight of an unattended pressure cooker on a plane or in an airport terminal could wreak havoc during the busy holiday travel season,” Rep. Rose said. “On one of the busiest travel days of the year, it’s important we thank those who work day in and day out to let us travel safely and securely—but the last thing we want on days like today is for a major scare, or even worse, a terrorist attack. Which is why before we witness a tragedy or a chaotic shutdown of an airport, we’re calling on TSA to add pressure cookers to the list of prohibited carry-on items.”
Rose sent a letter to the head of the TSA along with several of their colleagues outlining the history of destruction and disruption pressure cookers have caused. In the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing, terrorists used pressure cooker bombs which killed three and wounded over 260 innocent bystanders. In 2016, a pressure cooker was used in the Chelsea neighborhood bombing in New York City which injured over thirty people and caused property damage across a 650-foot crime scene. This August, the mere presence of pressure cookers in the Fulton Street subway station brought major sections of the subway system to a standstill as the station was evacuated and the New York Police Department Bomb Squad investigated.
Persaud Ensures Summer Youth Employment Program Income will be Exempt from Public Assistance Determination
Senator Roxanne J. Persaud (D-Canarsie, East New York, Brownsville, Mill Basin, Sheepshead Bay, Bergen Beach, Marine Park, Flatlands, Mill Island, Georgetown, Ocean Hill and Starrett City) introduced a bill with Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein (D-Borough Park, Midwood) that was written into law Tuesday.
Intro S6443/A6753 is effective immediately, stating earned income from participation in the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) will be excluded from the calculation of family income for Public Assistance applicants. The law applies to all SYEP participants up to the age of twenty-four.
“Struggling families need all the help available to them,” said Sen. Persaud, Chair of the Senate Social Services Committee. “It doesn’t make sense that temporary income earned by Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) participants could ultimately disqualify their household from needed benefits. I was proud to join Assemblymember Eichenstein in sponsoring this bill in the Legislature, and thank the Governor for signing this into law.”
SYEP is the United States’ top youth employment program, connecting New York City youth aged 14-24 with career exploration opportunities and paid work each summer. Youth can explore different career interests, develop transferable workplace skills, and participate in experiences that help in developing the skills needed to lead a productive life in society.
“I am thrilled that more young people will now be able to take advantage of these hugely beneficial summer employment experiences,” said Assemblyman Eichenstein.
Previously, income earned through SYEP could push a family above the income cut off for public assistance. This led many parents to restrict their children’s participation in SYEP. Now that there is a law exempting the income from SYEP from the calculation of household income as it relates to eligibility for public assistance, young adults can be free to participate in this valuable summer employment experience without fear that their family will lose their most vital government assistance.
Eichenstein continued, “This bill will greatly improve the lives of young adults from low-income families and ensure equal access for all to participate in the Summer Youth Employment Program.”