Brooklyn Lawmakers on the Move Jan. 3, 2020

News Site Brooklyn

Savino Applauds Legislation to Improve Elevator Safety

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation (S.4080-C/A.4509) to improve elevator safety. This new law requires all individuals engaged in the design, construction, inspection, maintenance and repair of elevators or other automated people moving conveyances to be licensed by New York State. The law also creates the New York State Elevator Safety and Standards Advisory Board to help establish recommendations for elevator inspections, examinations to satisfy licensing requirements, and enforcement to ensure compliance and promote public safety.

Senator Diane Savino
Senator Diane Savino (credit: Thomas Altfather Good)

Senator Diane J. Savino (D-South Brooklyn, Staten Island) said, “The Elevator Safety Act will transform elevator safety in New York State by setting minimum education and training standards for elevator mechanics. New York State has 10 percent of all the elevators in this country and this commonsense law will protect the safety of New Yorkers. I thank Governor Cuomo for recognizing the urgency of this bill and signing it into law – ensuring trained professionals are working on the elevators that transport thousands of people daily is a great start to 2020.”

The use of unsafe and defective elevators and other automated people moving conveyances exposes the public to unsafe conditions and can potentially cause serious injury or death. Additionally, the improper and uninformed manner in which some contractors and their employees’ design, construct, inspect, maintain, alter and repair elevators and other such conveyances create an unnecessary, and preventable, health and safety risk to the public. Recently, there have been multiple deaths and injuries related to elevator malfunctions in New York State.

“Millions of New Yorkers rely on elevators to get safely to and from work, school and home, and for many disabled New Yorkers it is their only means of access,” Cuomo said. “For too long unsafe and defective elevators have led to unnecessary injuries and even deaths, and this new law will help ensure all individuals working with elevators have the proper training and credentials to make sure these machines meet the safety standards necessary to provide reliable service.”

This new law will help protect the public and prevent injury from unsafe and poorly maintained elevators by requiring all individuals who work with elevators and other automated people moving conveyances to be licensed by New York State. In order to receive a license, these individuals will need to meet the necessary qualifications and participate in training and continuing education.

Eichenstein Introduces Bill to Hold Hate Crime Perpetrators Accountable

Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein (D-Borough Park, Midwood) announced new legislation today that would include hate crimes as qualifying offenses of which a judge will have discretion setting bail, on the grounds that those who commit hate crimes are individuals who harbor irrational and harmful hate and are more likely to be repeat offenders.

Assembly Member Simcha Eichenstein
Assembly Member Simcha Eichenstein

“I fear that the trend of criminals who commit heinous, violent crimes being released onto the streets without bail could become the new normal in New York unless we rectify the law to consider perpetrators of hate crimes in a separate category, to be arraigned under the previous system of pretrial monetary bail or pending a judge’s discretion,” said Eichenstein. “Recent events have proven that those who commit hate crimes constitute a category of their own. Their crimes are fueled by an inner hateful passion that is often irrational, uncompromising, and unstoppable.”

In March of 2019, New York passed wide-ranging bail reform legislation that strictly curtails the use of cash bail and pre-trial detention for many offenders. That legislation went into effect on January 1, 2020 and has already been implemented in many cases. The legislation was passed by lawmakers in an effort to update and reform bail laws that have been in effect since 1971 and is meant to improve a system of criminal justice that is considered unfair to offenders accused of misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies. Many of these offenders did not have the means to post bail and were destined to sit in prison while awaiting their trial.

Eichenstein continued “It’s been a difficult few weeks for many of us in New York, and our elected officials, by and large, have effectively called out the hate and expressed solidarity. Now it’s time for us to put words into action and ensure individuals fueled by hate are not granted an immediate opportunity to strike again. For the sake of the victims and for all New Yorkers, let’s safeguard all our communities by including hate crimes in the list of offenses of which a judge has the discretion setting bail.”  

Federal hate crime data released last month by the FBI indicates that once again in 2018, the Jewish community was more likely to be the target of hate crimes than any other religious group. Of crimes motivated by religious bias, most of the incidents, 57.8%, were anti-Jewish, according to the FBI.

Cornegy, Adams Call on NYPD to Support Working Mothers

Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr (D-Bed-Stuy, Crown Heights) joined Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, along with fellow lawmakers and advocates, to demand the expedited passage of City Council legislation that would

City Councilman Robert Cornegy Jr

ensure lactation rooms are safe and sanitary. After a class-action lawsuit by current and former New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers revealed horrific conditions for nursing mothers on the force, including a lack of sanitary facilities and ridicule from fellow officers, lawmakers and advocates held a meeting to call on the New York City Comptroller’s office to conduct a comprehensive audit on the issue.

“I would like to commend the courage of the named plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit against the NYPD seeking redress for the agency’s failure to comply with various laws that aim to support new and breastfeeding mothers,” said Cornegy. “This policy fight, which I and colleagues have been in front of, is not just a fight for the equality of women in our society, and our workforce, but a fight to embrace family values and make our government more family-friendly. I call on the NYPD to come into compliance with all laws requiring lactation accommodations, and on City Council to bring Intro 1662-2019 to a hearing, and to get it passed as soon as possible.”

Legislation sponsored by Council Member Cornegy and introduced by the request of Borough President Adams, Intro 1662, would require the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) to provide mandatory annual training to

Borough President Eric Adams
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams

staff at locations required to make lactation rooms available. It would also require DOHMH to inspect the lactation rooms at least quarterly for cleanliness, safety, and accessibility.

“The disturbing allegations in this lawsuit show that our City is failing working mothers. We cannot claim we are leading on gender equality when women are unable to safely pump breast milk without facing ridicule or dangerous conditions. I urge the City Council to expeditiously pass Intro 1662, which would ensure lactation rooms are safe and sanitary for working mothers in the NYPD and throughout the city. I also call on the Comptroller’s office to conduct a comprehensive audit of this issue so we can understand the full extent of the challenges faced by working mothers in New York’s Finest. The boys’ club culture in our law enforcement must change to embrace and support mothers who are trying to balance the demands of work and family,” said Adams.

Electeds Join Rabbi Timoner and African American Clergy for Unity Prayer

U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries

Rabbi Rachel Timoner of Congregation Beth Elohim will join Reverend Dr. Robert Waterman and elected officials including U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn, Queens), Assemblywoman Latrice Walker (D-Brownsville), Attorney General Letitia James, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, Councilman Robert Cornegy (D-Bed-Stuy, Crown Heights), Councilman Brad Lander (D-,Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Columbia Waterfront, Gowanus, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Borough Park, Kensington), Assemblyman Walter Mosley (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, and parts of Crown Heights and Bedford Stuyvesant), AACEO Executive Board, Elected Officials, Clergy and community members at the African American Clergy and Elected Officials breakfast to deliver a unity prayer in the wake of recent anti-Semitic attacks in the New York area.

Join the meeting at 9:00 – 11:00 a.m., today, Friday, Jan. 3, at Antioch Baptist Church, 828 Greene Avenue, in Bed-Stuy. Unification Prayer will begin at 11:00 a.m. outside Antioch immediately following the meeting.