Brooklyn Lawmakers on the Move March 16, 2020

News Site Brooklyn

Mayor de Blasio: Closing All Restaurants, Nightclubs, Theaters and Concerts

Mayor Bill de Blasio

Mayor de Blasio last night released a statement announcing that he will sign an Executive Order limiting restaurants, bars and cafes to food take-out and delivery and shutting Nightclubs, movie theaters, small theater houses, and concert venues.

The order will go into effect Tuesday, March 17 at 9:00 AM.

“Our lives are all changing in ways that were unimaginable just a week ago. We are taking a series of actions that we never would have taken otherwise in an effort to save the lives of loved ones and our neighbors. Now it is time to take yet another drastic step.  The virus can spread rapidly through the close interactions New Yorkers have in restaurants, bars and places where we sit close together. We have to break that cycle,” said de Blasio.

“This is not a decision I make lightly. These places are part of the heart and soul of our city. They are part of what it means to be a New Yorker. But our city is facing an unprecedented threat, and we must respond with a wartime mentality.

“We will come through this, but until we do, we must make whatever sacrifices necessary to help our fellow New Yorkers,” said the Mayor.

Two Brooklyn Lawmakers Contract Coronavirus 

Helene Weinstein
Assemblymember Helene Weinstein
Assembly Member Charles Barron

Brooklyn Assemblymembers Helene Weinstein (D-Sheepshead Bay, Flatlands, East Flatbush, Midwood, Canarsie) and Charles Barron (D-East New York), have been diagnosed with coronavirus. Governor Cuomo and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said in a statement over the weekend. 

“It has come to our attention that two of our Assembly colleagues – Helene Weinstein and Charles Barron – have been diagnosed with COVID-19. It is important to note that both members have not been in Albany since early March for separate reasons. Speaker Heastie has been in contact with both members and we are taking swift action to address this situation.

The lawmakers said they have spoken with the senate and are undertaking an intensive cleaning of the capital and the legislative office building. All legislators and staff that have come in contact with these members will be tested to ensure the safety of everyone. Additionally, out of an abundance of caution, they are closing the Capitol to visitors effective today. 

“We are working hand in glove to contain and mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 in New York but we will continue to act aggressively to protect the public health,” they said.

Clarke Demands Paid Sick Leave

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke

U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Kensington, Midwood, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Park Slope) voiced her approval for paid sick leave yesterday by sending around a digital petition for proponents to sign, demanding that the federal government enforce private business to provide paid sick leave to their employees.

“New York City is one of more than 40 cities and states that require employers to provide Paid Safe and Sick leave to workers — something the federal government does not require of private employers.The urgency of this issue has never been more apparent. With coronavirus causing a global health emergency, experts have identified national paid sick leave as an essential component of the plan to mitigate the risks of the virus spreading.

A few of my colleagues in Congress have self-quarantined after coming in contact with individuals who later contracted coronavirus. As members of Congress, we can stay on top of our work from home and do not have to worry about a lost paycheck in order to follow the guidance of public health officials. You shouldn’t have to be a member of congress to access paid sick leave. It’s just that simple,” Clarke wrote.

First Death in City Due to Coronavirus

Borough President Eric Adams
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams

Borough President Eric Adams reported over the weekend the city’s first death due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“We are saddened to learn of our city’s first reported death linked to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic — a senior resident of Brooklyn. Any death, at any time, is a tragedy, but her death is especially significant as it emphasizes just how closely this pandemic hits home.

“Our thoughts and prayers are extended to the family and other loved ones of this latest victim, and to all who have been touched personally by this national emergency. And we offer special appreciation to the staff at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center for their commendable efforts in attending to the victim — as well as to all healthcare workers who are working overtime to assist during this crisis. 

“Our office is moving swiftly and consistently to keep Brooklynites informed and safe as we work together to ensure public safety during these trying times. We urge the elderly and those with already compromised immune systems to take special precautions to remain safe, and that all residents routinely practice precautionary protocols that have been set by our state and local officials in an effort to stem the spread of this virus,” Adams said. 

Ortiz Demands Resources for Loss of Income

Assembly Member Feliz Ortiz

Assistant Assembly Speaker Felix Ortiz (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook) is calling on the Trump Administration to provide the resources to help protect people from loss of income, housing and access to health care.

“We have the resources to direct needed funding and services to the people in our communities,” Ortiz said. “It is infuriating that the first step in this pandemic that the President makes is to protect his cronies on Wall Street when we do not have testing kits for the coronavirus and people are already feeling the impact of the coronavirus in all areas of their lives.”

Last week Ortiz introduced legislation to require insurance companies to allow people to obtain an additional 30-day supply of prescription medications and a bill to ensure schools receive full annual funding if they are forced to close due to the Coronavirus. Ortiz also called for the immediate passage and enactment of the “New York Health Act” a bill he is co-sponsoring that would establish a single-payer health care system for New Yorkers. 

Levin Calls on New Yorkers to get Tested for COVID-19

City Councilman Stephen Levin

Council Member Stephen Levin (D-Boerum Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn Navy Yard, Downtown Brooklyn, Dumbo, Fulton Ferry, Greenpoint, Vinegar Hill, Williamsburg) is calling on all New Yorkers to join in a collective call to action to get 35,000 people tested for Coronavirus/COVID19 by April 1.

“When New Yorkers face a crisis, we come together in common cause. We did that after 9/11, we did that after Sandy, and we can do that right now. The New York civic spirit is second to none. Our moment calls for us to meet this public health challenge with that same spirit, and the most effective way New Yorkers can do this is by getting a test,” wrote Levin.

Levin said that the first individualizes to get tested should be older individuals presenting with the symptoms of fever, dry cough, and/or shortness of breath, anyone who has had close contact with someone who tested positive, anyone with recent international travel to affected areas and anyone with symptoms of dry cough, fever, and/or shortness of breath. Following this should be any individual who believes they are infected.