Brooklyn Lawmakers on the Move March 18, 2020

News Site Brooklyn

DA Gonzalez Releases Prosecution Edict Relating to  Coronavirus 

Attorney Eric Gonzalez
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez released a statement yesterday on limiting low-level prosecutions for the safety of Brooklyn during the Coronavirus outbreak.

“In the coming weeks, my office will continue to provide essential services necessary to keep Brooklyn safe while adopting social distancing practices to keep our employees and visitors safe and to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“During this public health emergency, it is imperative that we also protect those who might be exposed to the Coronavirus during the procedures of arrest, processing and detention in Central Booking. 

“Therefore, in the interests of public health and safety, it is appropriate to exercise prosecutorial discretion, we will immediately decline to prosecute low-level offenses that don’t jeopardize public safety. 

“In addition, I am asking our defenders to alert us to clients in pre-trial detention who are vulnerable to infection and who we should consider releasing during this crisis,” said Gonzalez.

Savino: Don’t Forget 9/11 First Responders With Compromised Respiratory systems

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

State Sen. Diane Savino (D-Coney Island, Sunset Park, Staten Island) this week implored Gov. Cuomo to allow those impacted by the September 11th who have already compromised respiratory to have extraordinary leave and be allowed to remain home in an abundance of caution.

This includes first-responders, construction workers, residents in the area, students, business owners, and any others impacted from the Sept. 11 attack. 

“I am calling on the governor to put additional protections in place for those affected with 911 related respiratory illnesses. These individuals are extremely susceptible to the Coronavirus outbreak due to the toxicity they were exposed to after the 911 attack. As a state we must ensure that every measure is in place to not put them in further jeopardy,” said Savino.

“I thank the Governor and Mayor for their leadership during this critical time and look forward to seeing what steps will be put in place for the brave men and women and all the innocent people who still bear the scars that 9/11 leaves nearly 20 years later. It is the government’s duty to stand up for these people and ensure they get the extraordinary leave they deserve.” 

Lentol Calls for absentee Ballot Voting for Presidential Primary

Assemblymember Joseph Lentol
Assemblymember Joseph Lentol

Assembly Member Joseph Lentol (D-Greenpoint, Williamsburg) yesterday called for the state to allow for an all-absentee ballot election for the upcoming presidential primary instead of sending New Yorkers to the polls on April 28.

“In the current climate, people would be scared to go to the polls, and we have to assume that will still be the case at the end of April,” Lentol said. “At the same time, we need to keep our democracy functioning, not just for the good of the state but for the good of the nation.”

Earlier this week, a special election in Queens to elect a new borough president was postponed due to fear of spreading the coronavirus.

Menchaca: Suspend ICE

City Councilman Carlos Menchaca

Council Member Carlos Menchaca (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook, Greenwood Heights, Borough Park, Dyker Heights, Windsor Terrace) yesterday sent a letter on behalf of 20 members of the City Council calling on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) to suspend immigration enforcement, and release detainees to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of everyone in the immigration system. 

“As has been done in emergencies past, members of the New York City Council urge you to exercise bold leadership by suspending immigration enforcement in New York City, as well as the release of people in detention – or at minimum those who are elderly, pregnant, immunocompromised, or with other medical needs – to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” wrote Menchaca to the ICE Director. 

Frontus Calls for Emergency Universal Basic Income

Mathylde Frontus
Assembly Member Mathylde Frontus

Assemblymember Mathylde Frontus (D-Coney Island, Bay Ridge, Brighton Beach, Gravesend) yesterday joined the call to guarantee New Yorkers $1,000 a month as the coronavirus crisis shuts down businesses across the country,

“Business as usual is a public health risk. But it is a risk that people will take if they don’t have a way to feed their families,” Frontus said. 

Combined with an indefinite moratorium on evictions, a guaranteed income would ease New Yorkers’ economic anxiety while the state struggles to slow the spread of coronavirus, Frontus said.

State officials announced yesterday that the halt on evictions, originally planned to last three months, would be indefinite.

Rose Calls on Trump to Deploy Naval Hospital Ship

Max Rose
U.S. Rep. Max Rose

U.S. Rep. Max Rose (D-Southern Brooklyn, Staten Island) along with other city Congressional members are calling for President Trump to deploy a U.S. Naval hospital ship to New York City.

 “We write to ask that you immediately ready the naval hospital ship USNS Comfort, currently being refitted in Norfolk, VA for deployment to New York City in support of our city’s fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic,” wrote the Congressmembers.

 Each naval hospital ship, which has been deployed around the world in the aftermath of natural disasters, contains 1,000 beds, operating rooms, laboratories and oxygen-producing plants.

 The letter continues, “Deploying the USNS Comfort to New York City is an appropriate step given the severity of this crisis and the ship’s expertise dealing with national emergencies. The Comfort contains 12 fully-equipped operating rooms, 1,000 hospital beds, laboratory facilities, and an oxygen-producing plant. Comfort has deployed to crisis zones around the world, including Puerto Rico in 2017 and most recently to Central and South America. The Comfort has treated more than 550,000 disaster victims to date and has the opportunity to help many more if deployed to New York City.

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