Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Feb. 7, 2020

News Site Brooklyn

Adams, Other Electeds Demand Answers After ICE Shooting

Borough President Eric Adams
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and elected leaders today will demand accountability from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after a 26-year-old Gravesend resident was shot during an arrest.  

According to media reports, Erick Diaz was shot in the face at his home on West 12th Street near Quentin Road at around 8 a.m. yesterday during an altercation with ICE agents, who were seeking to arrest another individual. 

The shooting comes as relations between city and federal law enforcement agencies continue to be frayed over the city’s “Sanctuary City”  policy which harbors undocumented immigrants that ICE is seeking to arrest. 

President Trump highlighted once such case in his State of the Union address this week where he blamed the “Sanctuary City” designation for causing the brutal rape and murder of a 92-year-old woman last month by failing to turn over a criminal alien to the federal government for deportation.

Among those calling for a full investigation of yesterday’s shooting include Assemblyman William Colton (D-Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Dyker Heights) and U.S. Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-Brooklyn, Manhattan) and Nydia M. Velázquez (D-Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan).

Adams and others will hold a press conference on the incident at 10:30 a.m., today, Feb. 7 outside of Maimonides Medical Center, 4802 10th Avenue in Borough Park.

Frontus Blasts CUNY Tuition Hikes, Calls for Counseling for Students

Mathylde Frontus
Assembly Member Mathylde Frontus

Assemblymember Mathylde Frontus (D-Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Bay Ridge) yesterday blasted the CUNY Board of Trustees’ latest tuition hikes, calling a new “health and wellness” fee unacceptable.

Frontus comments come as CUNY students, faculty and supporters rallied at Baruch College in Manhattan yesterday protesting the Board’s approval of a $200 per year tuition hike and a new $120 fee to fund expanded health center hours, mental health counseling and support for LGBTQ students and those facing housing and food insecurity.

“CUNY is the people’s university. It has been the path to a better future for generations of New Yorkers and an economic engine for the city and state,” Frontus said. “Making access to an education more difficult for students who are already struggling is unacceptable.”

Nearly half of all CUNY students reported that they were food insecure in the last month, while more than half were housing insecure in the previous year. One in seven CUNY students was homeless within the last year.[1] Frontus called for fully funding CUNY and improving access to mental health counseling for all CUNY students.

“Students who struggle to find food to eat and a place to sleep come to CUNY to work toward a better life,” Frontus said. “We must make mental health counseling available to all students, not put more barriers in their path.”

Ortiz Troubled Over Trump’s Crackdown against New York Travelers

Assembly Member Felix Ortiz

Assistant Assembly Speaker Felix Ortiz (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook) said he is “extremely troubled and disappointed by the Department of Homeland Security’s announcement that it is barring New Yorkers from critical travel programs open to all Americans. 

Ortiz’s words come after the Department of Homeland Security announced it will bar thousands of New Yorkers from enrolling in programs that allow travelers to speed through airport lines and borders on the justification that the state had endangered national security with a new law allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.

New York is one of more than a dozen states that have passed laws allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses, arguing it would make the roads safer and reduce the fear of undocumented immigrants from being deported for a driving violation.

But unlike the other states, New York has a provision that restricts federal immigration agencies’ access to the Department of Motor Vehicles records without a court order.

Global Entry” permits travelers reduced wait times when returning to the United States from abroad after they submit documents and pay an advance fee. Trusted Traveler programs NEXUS, Sentri, and FAST would also be denied to New Yorkers. Under this new draconian and completely unfair new Trump policy, New Yorkers won’t be able to sign up for these programs and those currently enrolled will be removed by the end of the year,” said Ortiz.

“Donald Trump is denying basic government programs to New Yorkers because we are making it easier for our undocumented immigrant residents to obtain drivers licenses through New York’s “Green Light Law.” I urge our state’s Attorney General to take immediate legal action to prevent this policy from going into effect. New York is the capitol of the world. Treating New Yorkers like second class citizens cheapens respect for everyone. This is not the American way,” he added.

Clarke Introduces Legislation to Expand Access to Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke

U.S. Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (D-Central Brooklyn) yesterday introduced H.R. 5751, the Electric Vehicles for Underserved Communities Act. 

This legislation promotes increased deployment of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure across American cities, with a focus on including low-income communities and communities of color, which are often left out of technological advancements.

Electric vehicles are predicted to become the main form of transportation within the next 30 years as cities and states around the country craft policy goals to shift from fossil fuel-burning cars, busses and trucks to electric zero-emissions vehicles by 2050. 

“If we are going to successfully make the transition to electric vehicles in the next 30 years then electric vehicles and their charging infrastructure need to become highly accessible to all communities and fast. But as I walk around my Brooklyn neighborhood and other cities, I struggle to see a sufficient electric-charging infrastructure, especially in low-income communities and communities of color,” Clarke said.

“I introduced federal legislation, the Electric Vehicles for Underserved Communities Act, to increase access to EV charging infrastructure, especially in those communities that have historically been left behind time and time again when it comes to clean technological investment,” she added.

Eugene To Provide Free Civil Legal Services

Mathieu Eugene
City Council Member Mathieu Eugene

City Council Member Mathieu Eugene (D-East Flatbush, Flatbush, Prospect Lefferts Garden), in partnership with the New York Legal Assistance Group, will host the Mobile Legal Help Center today and other days at his district office.

“I want to thank the New York Legal Assistance Group for their valued partnership as we work together to provide free civil legal services to the community. There are so many hardworking New Yorkers in this area who may need legal help, but are unable to afford it. The staff of NYLAG is providing an enormous benefit to the community, and I am honored to support for their work and the invaluable services they bring to my constituents,” said Eugene.

The Mobile Legal Help Center will be stationed from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., today,  Feb. 7, Friday, April 3, Tuesday, May 12, and Tuesday, June 2 at his office, 900 Rogers Avenue in East Flatbush. For an appointment, please call 718-287-8762.

Deutsch Brings Department Of Buildings To His District

City Councilman Chaim Deutsch

City Councilmember Chaim Deutsch (D-Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach, Homecrest, Midwood) on Monday will bring the Department of Buildings (DOB) mobile office to his district.

“I’ll be welcoming officials from the Department of Buildings to my district office to answer any and all of your Buildings-related questions. From “how do I build an extension to my house?” to “is my curb cut legal?”, no question is too big or too small for this event,” said Deutsch in his newsletter to constituents.

The DOB will be on hand from 6-8 p.m., Monday, Feb. 10 at 2401 Avenue U (corner East 24th Street) in Homecrest. For any questions call 718-368-9176.