Cumbo Celebrates Last African-American Pearl Harbor Vet
City Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights) tomorrow will join City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan), the Latino and Asian Caucus, and city council colleague to celebrate 100th Birthday of the last African-American Pearl Harbor Veteran on record, the Rev. Reverend James E. Blakely.
According to a Daily News story, Blakely, who now lives in Bed-Stuy, was born in segregated Arkansas, served in the segregated United States Navy as an officer’s cook aboard the USS St. Louis during the Pearl Harbor attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
He then served aboard three vessels in the war-torn Pacific Theater, including Iwo Jima, Lingayen Gulf and Guadalcanal.
The celebration is slated for 1 p.m., tomorrow, Jan. 23 at City Hall in Lower Manhattan.
Myrie To Offer Free Legal Advice Tax Prep
State Sen. Zellnor Myrie (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Gowanus, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, South Slope, Sunset Park) this week will offer constituents free legal advice and low-income tax preparation.
The free legal advice with the Metropolitan Black Bar Association if for anyone who needs legal assistance with housing or immigration issues.
The first session is slated for 6-8 p.m., tomorrow, Jan. 23 at the Sunset Park Library, 4201 4th Avenue in Sunset Park. Make an appointment by calling Myrie’s office at 718-284-4700.
The low-income tax prep assistance will begin in Myrie’s district office this week. Assistance will be available from 2-8 p.m., every Monday and Thursday at 1077 Nostrand Avenue in Crown Heights. Make an appointment by calling (347) 682-5606 or clicking “Flatbush @ Office of State Senator Myrie” here.
Eugene Committee Hears Bill Prohibiting Discrimination Based On Arrest Records
City Council Member Mathieu Eugene (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Lefferts Prospect Gardens), chair of the Committee on Civil and Human Rights, today will have the committee hear a proposed bill that would prohibit discrimination based on one’s arrest record, pending criminal accusations or criminal convictions
This bill would extend employment protections for individuals with pending adjournments in contemplation of dismissal (ACDs) and convictions for violations prior to sealing by adding unsealed violations and ACDs to the category of dispositions that may never be considered for the purpose of making employment-related decisions.
The bill also prohibits discrimination in licensing against applicants with convictions for violations, even prior to sealing. Additionally, this bill would clarify protections for applicants and employees with pending criminal cases by explicitly requiring an employer to make an individualized assessment of the relationship between the charged conduct and the job, much like what is required for consideration of an individual’s conviction history.
The hearing is slated for 10 a.m., today, Jan. 22 in the Committee Room at City Hall in Lower Manhattan.
Lander, Williams Decry Subway Diversion Program
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and City Council Member Brad Lander (D-Park Slope, Gowanus, Windsor Terrace, Kensington) yesterday decried the city’s Subway Diversion Program following a council oversite hearing on the program.
“The Subway Diversion Program, which deploys police officers to target homeless New Yorkers in the subway and coerce them off public transit with the threat of summonses, flies in the face of legislation we passed to combat discriminatory policing,” the lawmakers said in a joint statement.
“This is only compounded by our failure to build truly affordable, income-targeted housing for those who need it. The Community Safety Act, which we fought to pass over the objections of the Bloomberg administration in 2013 to curtail the rampant discrimination of stop, question and frisk policing, specifically prohibits police from using homelessness as a reason to profile and target someone.
“Reducing the criminalization of homelessness is a critical goal, but increased police harassment of homeless New Yorkers in the subway is not the solution. Homeless New Yorkers need increased access to services and housing, not increased surveillance and harassment.”
Gillibrand Recognized for Her Efforts to Defend Democracy From Dark Money
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) yesterday announced she received a 100% A+ rating on the 2019 legislative scorecard released last week by End Citizens United Action Fund.
This designation recognizes her strong record of fighting the power of special interests in Washington. The scorecard tracks members’ support for legislation to end the dominance of big money in politics, restore ethics in Washington, and protect and expand the right to vote.
“We have to get money out of politics and have publicly funded elections. Every day, corporations and the wealthy spend millions of dollars to highjack our democracy,” said Gillibrand. “Clean elections would fix the rot and greed at the center of Washington and help restore power back to the people. I am proud that End Citizen’s United Action Fund has recognized my work to combat corruption, and I will continue doing everything I can to create a true representative democracy.”
Gillibrand has been a leader in government transparency and accountability since her first election to the House in 2006. Gillibrand was the first member of Congress to post her official meetings, personal financial disclosures, earmark requests, and taxes online.
In 2019, Gillibrand rolled out a Clean Election Plan to create publicly funded federal elections. Gillibrand is also an original co-sponsor of the For the People Act (S. 949), a once-in-a-generation anti-corruption and government ethics reform bill that passed the House in March of 2019.
Malliotakis Hosting Presidents’ Day Essay Contest for Students
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-Bay Ridge, Staten Island) yesterday announced she is hosting her annual Presidents’ Day essay contest for students in Brooklyn and Staten Island to commemorate the holiday.
Elementary school students in grades 3 through 5 are encouraged to participate and write essays about what they would do to improve our community if they were president.
“I’m happy to announce my President’s Day essay contest and encourage teachers and parents to have their elementary school students participate as a way to gain interest in civics and community service,” said Malliotakis. “Last year we received thoughtful essays on littering, drug abuse, traffic and homelessness. I look forward to once again hearing from students about what problems they think need to be addressed and their refreshing ideas on how they would change their communities for the better.”
Each participant will receive a certificate of merit from Malliotakis and contest winners will receive a gift card to a local bookstore and an opportunity to meet with Malliotakis to discuss their ideas.
All essays must be submitted to [email protected] by Friday, Feb. 21, and must be no longer than 400 words in length. Please include student’s first and last name, grade, class, parent’s first and last name and contact information: name, address, phone number and email.