Jeffries Introduces Bill to Protect Communication Between Lawyers and Incarcerated Clients
U.S. Representatives Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Doug Collins (R-GA), members of the House Judiciary Committee, introduced the bipartisan Effective Assistance of Counsel in the Digital Era Act.
Jeffries said, “Most fair-minded people would agree that our system of justice requires a dynamic where individuals are able to have the effective assistance of counsel necessary to adequately defend themselves. Email is the most efficient way for an attorney to communicate with an incarcerated client and should enjoy the same protection as telephone calls and other forms of private communication.”
This legislation would bring prison regulations into the 21st century by applying the attorney-client privilege to electronic communications sent or received through the Bureau of Prisons’ (BOP) email system. Other forms of communication, including telephone calls, currently receive this kind of protection. Unlike other forms of communication, inmates who use the email system at BOP facilities must currently consent to the government review of their attorney-client communications, the contents of which can be accessed by prosecutors. This bill would prohibit BOP from monitoring privileged email communications, allowing incarcerated individuals to communicate with their attorneys efficiently and privately.
Rose Delivers Floor Speech to Address Rising Anti-Semitism
U.S. Rep. Max Rose (D-South Brooklyn, Staten Island), the first Jewish Member of Congress from Staten Island, gave a speech before the House of Representatives on the rising levels of anti-Semitic attacks and hate crimes across New York City, as well as his continued efforts to address this crisis.
“Since December 23rd, there have been over a dozen attacks on Jews across New York City, this after the terror attack in Jersey City that claimed three innocent lives and a horrific terrorist attack in Monsey, New York,” said Rose in a speech on the House floor. “This City, where Jews have come for 366 years to freely practice their religion. Enough is enough. Tweets and words of support are not enough. At a time of crisis like this, we must have action. It is for that reason, on January 15th, the Homeland subcommittee that I chair will hold a hearing on the rise of anti-Semitism. We have got to explore increased funding mosques and synagogues and churches, increased focus on a domestic terrorism charge, and increased focus on the rise of a neo-Nazi movement both nationally and globally.”
Cornegy to Host Tenants Rights and Resources Meeting
Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr. (D-Bed-Stuy, Crown Heights) will hold the first monthly advisory board meeting of 2020 focused on tenant rights and resources. IMPACCT Brooklyn, Fair Housing Justice Center, HRA Tenant Support, Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit, Public Utility Law Project, NYPD 79th Precinct, and more will be in attendance.
New York State passed sweeping new rent reform laws that have made a dramatic impact on eviction rates. New York City Council is proposing Intros 1104 and 1529, which would strengthen tenants’ rights even further. Cornegy is a co-sponsor of each bill.
According to the NY Daily News, evictions in NYC are down nearly 20% in the six months since Albany lawmakers enacted sweeping new tenant protection laws. Other topics covered during the meeting will include tenant displacement, income discrimination, tenant protections, rights for utility consumers, and illegal evictions.
Join the meeting from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 11, at Restoration Plaza, 1368 Fulton Street, 4th Floor, in Bed-Stuy.
Williams, Brannan Introduce Bill to Fight Flooding
Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams introduced legislation with Council Members Justin Brannan (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach) and Costa Constanides (D-Queens). Intro 1845 would update and expand upon the requirements for the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to maintain catch basin drainage systems around the city. Clogged or otherwise damaged catch basins have led to inland flooding in areas around the city. The DEP has reported a 39% increase in catch basin complaints over the last six months.
“For parts of this city, clogged catch basins have led to mass flooding in the streets. It’s an issue that not only inconveniences neighborhoods but can cause significant water damage to property,” said Williams. “We made great progress four years ago by increasing inspections and reporting on the conditions of catch basins, but the problem persists. To preserve our environment and the quality of our roadways, we need to build on that success. Increased reporting and accelerated response times will provide much-needed relief.”
While a Council Member in 2015, Williams passed legislation that required annual inspections of and semi-annual reporting on the condition of catch basins and set a nine-day mandatory response time to respond to any reports of clogged catch basins. Under the new legislation, quarterly reports to the Public Advocate, Mayor, and Council Speaker would discuss the inspection, cleanup, maintenance and repair of catch basins, disaggregated by community district.
Myrie, Richardson and AG James to Inform Broolyners of Deed Theft
State Senator Zellnor Myrie (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Gowanus, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, South Slope, and Sunset Park) is going door-to-door with N.Y. Attorney General Letitia James and
Assembly Member Diana C. Richardson (D-Crown Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens) to help protect vulnerable homeowners in our community from deed theft.
Deed theft — when scammers target gentrifying communities to steal homes and homeowners’ hard-won equity in order to turn a profit — is a big problem in Central Brooklyn. NYC has received around 3,000 complaints about deed theft since 2014, 45% of which came from Brooklyn, and that needs to end.
Three elected officials are going to go door-to-door to raise awareness of deed theft, let people know how to spot scammers in our community, and give people information on what to do if they are the targets of harassment.
Sign up for a shift to participate Saturday, Jan. 11. The walk will begin at Fenimore St. Church in Crown Heights. If you have any questions about the day of action, reach out to Myrie’s office (718-284-4700).