Brooklyn Lawmakers on the Move March 24, 2020

News Site Brooklyn

Frontus Delivers Hot Meals to Seniors and Disabled on Coney Island

Mathylde Frontus
Assembly Member Mathylde Frontus

Assemblymember Mathylde Frontus (D-Coney Island, Bay Ridge, Brighton Beach) yesterday announced she has coordinated with local churches and restaurants to deliver hot meals to the elderly and disabled on Coney Island.

Shortly after many local senior centers were closed to slow the spread of coronavirus, Frontus organized local volunteers to deliver more than 50 hot meals from church-based food pantries to needy seniors in developments across Coney Island, including Trump Village, Luna Park, Warbasse Houses, Ocean Towers, Sea Park North, and NYCHA properties. About a dozen volunteers joined the effort, including some members of the Guardian Angels. The next delivery is planned for Wednesday.

“We’re in this for the long haul, and we have to go where the needs are most acute,” Frontus said. “For people who are stuck inside, we reach out to make sure that nobody goes hungry.”

Earlier this month, Frontus floated a plan suggested by Don Lee, a home-care services executive, for the city and state to contract with struggling restaurants to prepare healthy meals for homebound seniors. Frontus said she hopes to expand the meal program.

State officials told Frontus that preventing hunger in vulnerable populations is a top priority, and an anticipated influx of federal funds will be used in part to support programs that bring food to homebound New Yorkers. Frontus’ office is reaching out to tenant leaders and senior centers to identify those most in need of assistance.


Cumbo Coronavirus Updates

City Council Member Laurie Cumbo

City Council Member Laurie Cumbo (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights) issued the following updates regarding the coronavirus:

New Facts:

1) Young people can get COVID-19 (18-49-year-olds represent 53% of total cases.)

2) Older people and those with underlying conditions have higher rates of fatalities from COVID-19.

This is not a short term event, but our recovery will depend on how we handle it. According to Governor Cuomo, 40% to 80% of the state’s population will get this virus. However, data has shown that fatalities from COVID-19 are often linked to pre-existing health conditions. The majority of people that come into contact with COVID-19 will live. Governor Cuomo is estimating that the pandemic will last 4-9 months.

The Governor also spoke about his executive order mandating hospitals to come up with a plan to increase hospital capacity by at least 50%. The goal is to double the amount of hospital beds, bringing the total bed count up from 55,000 to 100,000. All elective non-critical surgeries will be canceled as of tomorrow March 25. ICU capacity is limited by the number of ventilators, but the state is also utilizing additional beds by taking over residential facilities, hotels, and nursing homes (see more here).

Yesterday was a big day for the city’s school system as it launched remote learning enrichment centers for essential workers and families, and expanding grab and go meals to three free meals per day. Wifi ready devices are now available for families in need. For more information visit the DOE website here.

So what can we do?

  • Continue best practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (washing our hands frequently for 20 seconds, practicing social distancing, and avoiding large gatherings)
  • Use this time to reflect and cherish family, friends, and loved ones
  • Take breaks from the media and news outlets to focus on yourself
  • Make time for exercise daily, meditate, pray, and engage in other acts of self-care
  • Prioritize your health and happiness
  • Be kind to one another and remember those in need (Spread joy, not germs)

Food Info: Pantries, Deliveries, and More

Rescuing Leftover Cuisine, Inc. (“RLC”) fights food waste and hunger by bringing excess cuisine from food establishments to homeless shelters, soup kitchens, food pantries, public housing, and community centers. If you know of any restaurants looking to donate leftover inventory because of closures, they can contact RLC at [email protected].

Hope City Empowerment Center

650 Washington Avenue

Brooklyn, New York 11238

Food Pantry: Every other Friday 9-11 A.M 

The next food pantry giveaway will be on Apr 3.

Grab and go meals every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM. 

Contact: 718-857-5698

[email protected]   

www.Hopecityec.org

Art and Culture From the Couch:

Art Basel Online Viewing Rooms connecting the world’s premier galleries with collectors around the world.

MoCADA Digital is now LIVE and ready to deliver weekly art stories, community resources, articles, podcasts, music, interviews, films, and more from and about the diaspora.

The NAACP Hosts Black Census Week to Ensure Complete Count for Black Populations.


Carroll Coronavirus Updates

Robert Carroll
Assemblymember Robert Carroll

Assemblymember Robert Carroll (D-Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington, Ditmas Park) gave the following Coronavirus updates:

Important Requests from the State:

Amid a shortage of personal protective equipment — or PPE — products in the state, including gloves, masks and gowns, the State is asking all PPE product providers to sell to the state any products that are not essential or not currently being used. 

Businesses interested in selling products to the state should contact Simonida Subotic at 646 522-8477 or [email protected] 

The State is also encouraging any company with the proper equipment or personnel to begin to manufacture PPE products if possible. The state is willing to provide funding to any company to obtain the proper equipment and personnel.

Businesses interested in receiving state funding to manufacture PPE products should contact Eric Gertler at 212-803-3100 or [email protected]

For Qualified Health Professionals:

New York needs the help of qualified health professionals and related professionals to supplement our hospital capacity on a temporary basis to treat seriously ill coronavirus patients. Sign Up Here.

Frontline Organizations to Help Right Now:

Meals on Wheels: This organization delivers meals to the elderly population. Many of its local programs are struggling with the additional costs of delivering meals during the outbreak. You can find ways to help a local program here or donate to the national organization here.

NYC organizations: You can donate to several New York City–based food relief organizations that are working to ensure meals are delivered to the city’s elderly population or those who are too sick to cook or shop for food. 

  • Citymeals is taking donations to ensure “every one of our homebound elderly neighbors in need has nourishing meals during this dangerous outbreak.
  • God’s Love We Deliver, a nonsectarian organization that prepares and delivers “nutritious and medically tailored meals” to people living with illnesses, is looking for both volunteers as well as donations to sponsor their emergency meal bags of “shelf-stable food” to their clients.

The CDC Foundation: This nonprofit organization for the CDC is raising funds to help respond to the public health threat when federal and state funding is not available. The foundation said it will use the funds to support state and local health departments in the US as well as support the global response including logistics, personal protective equipment, and critical response supplies. Donate here.

The American Red Cross: As the number of coronavirus cases increases in the US, the number of people eligible to give blood and platelets for patients in need could decrease further, the Red Cross said. The organization is urging all eligible, healthy donors to donate blood and platelets to help maintain a sufficient blood supply flow and avoid potential shortages.  Check the American Association of Blood Banks locator, visit the Red Cross website, or call 1-800-RED-CROSS. You can also find information through the America’s Blood Centers website.

Important Phone Numbers and Links:

Reaching Carroll:

“While my district office is closed in the midst of this pandemic, my office is operating virtually.  Please continue to call (718) 788 -7221 or emailing [email protected] and I or a member of my staff will get back to you as soon as possible.  I am also posting updates on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for those of you on social media.  You can also reach me there. I will be in touch soon, but in the meantime, wash your hands, stay home and be kind to one another.  We’ll get through this together,” Carroll said.


Adams In Sheepshead Bay to Prepare Meals for First Responders

Borough President Eric Adams
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams will join local restaurant workers today to help prepare more than 1,500 meals for distribution to first responders throughout Brooklyn. 

The event is part of ‘Feed First Responders’ Initiative, launched in partnership with the Shorefront Coalition and the Pakistani American Youth Organization (PAYS), along with other community-based organizations, as New York City grapples with the spread of COVID-19. 

Adams will also recognize the heroic contributions of restaurant workers who are stepping up in this time of need to help those on the front lines of this crisis, including hospital workers, New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers, New York City Fire Department (FDNY) officers, emergency medical services (EMS) workers, transit workers, grocery store workers, and many more.

Aams will help prepare the meals today at 11 a.m., Tuesday, March 24 at OPera Café and Lounge, 2255 Emmons Avenue in Sheepshead Bay. 


Adams, Cornegy Propose $8B Renter’s Choice Stimulus Plan

City Councilman Robert Cornegy Jr

Brooklyn and Manhattan Borough Presidents Eric Adams and Gale Brewer, respectively, will join City Council Housing and Buildings Chair Robert Cornegy Jr. (D-Bedford-Stuyvesant, Northern Crown Heights) and Councilmember Keith Powers (D-Manhattan) today to introduce their plan to help New Yorkers cover rent payments for the month of April. 

The Renter’s Choice plan will require NYC landlords to offer every renter the option of applying their cash security deposit directly towards next month’s rent, unlocking around $8 billion of savings tied up in cash security deposits. 

The Renter’s Choice Plan would provide immediate financial relief to New Yorkers at a time when they need it most, ensuring that they do not fall behind on rent payments or see any impact to their credit. It would also ensure landlords are made whole on next month’s rent due and do not fall behind on any of their liabilities. Renters who opt-in to the rent relief program will have 30 days to replace the security deposit but, through this plan, will now be given the option to replace their cash deposit with low-cost insurance for just a few dollars a month – keeping critical savings in renter’s pockets.

Mayor de Blasio called for similar requirements to unlock cash security deposits via insurance alternatives during his State of the City speech in February. If the group can secure support from the Mayor and fellow Council members, this plan can be put into effect as soon as the end of this week. If scaled nationally, this plan will be a $45 billion stimulus into American pockets.

The lawmakers and advocates will talk more about the plan at 1 p.m., today, March 24 in a Tele-press conference.


Bichotte Coronavirus Update

Rodneyse Bichotte
Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte

Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bitchotte (D-Flatbush, Ditmas Park) gave the following Coronavirus updates:

Gov. Cuomo Announces:

  • Executive Order: Nurses are to enlist in support of the widespread need for healthcare providers as hospitals ramp up the expansion of bed capacity.
  • The entire retired healthcare community have been asked to sign-up.
  • Hospitals are under an emergency order to expand their hospital capacity by a minimum of 50%.
  • Testing in New York is being done at a higher rate, 16,000 tests per day.
  • New York will work on passing a budget but those budget items that are more complex will be put on hold until a later date.

Mayor de Blasio Announces:

  • A mandatory initiative has been put in place for government agencies to cut spending, with the exception of COVID expenses.
  • Social distancing in public outdoor areas will be enforced. Those not abiding by the guidelines will be asked to breakup the crowd and may further be asked to disperse. This new enforcement will be monitored to determine if further restrictions are required. So ALL are asked to abide by the guidelines to avoid further action. Several departments have been enlisted help with social distancing including NYPD, FDNY, DSNY, Parks and Recreation.

The National Guard arrives in New York City today at Jacob Javits Center in preparation for support of the expansion of hospitals. This is a group of the 7,300 members of the National Guard deployed by President Trump to serve around the Nation.

Services and resources

Due to the impact of COVID-19 on New York City’s workforce, the City of New York has developed a list of resources for those who may be unemployed due to COVID-19 or are seeking additional assistance. The list below will be updated frequently.

It has information on the following categories:

Employment Resources

Food Assistance

Health & Medical Assistance

Financial Assistance

Rent Arrears and Public Assistance

Emotional Support & Spiritual Care

Other Assistance

Visit this website for resources.

For questions, you can also reach out to the New York State’s novel coronavirus hotline at 1-888-364-3065. For continuous updates, you can visit the following websites:

The CDC also now has the option for you to sign up for weekly updates on COVID-19.

New Yorkers Can Sign Up for Email Updates Here and Ask

Questions About COVID-19 Here

New Yorkers Can Find More Information About the New COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Law Here


Colton Prepares to Serve Community with Stay Home Staff 

Assembly Member William Colton

Assemblyman William Colton (Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach and Dyker Heights) is grateful to Governor Cuomo who signed the “New York State on Pause” which will increase social distancing in hopes to slow the spread of Coronavirus. 

“We are clearly in a serious health crisis. It is normal to experience fear for ourselves and our loved ones. By working together we will overcome this common enemy of the Coronavirus. We will get through these difficult times and we will be stronger and better than ever before.

 “Although my District Office at 155 Kings Highway, as well as other Assembly 6 District Offices, have been directed to be closed for the duration of this order, it is important that we continue to provide assistance to the community. Therefore I am having my dedicated staff and myself to work from home to continue to provide this help and services. Calls to the 718 236 1598 are being transferred to an answering device which is being continuously monitored so staff can return these calls and respond as soon as possible. Persons must leave their name and telephone number and a very brief description of their concern so that a staff member can be assigned to respond. Also, any persons  can contact the office by emailing to [email protected] where a staff member, working from home has been provided with a mobile laptop to receive and forward emails to be acted upon by other staff members working from home as well as by me,” Colton said.

  “On a personal note, I do believe in the power of prayer, accompanied by us following necessary precautions and good faith efforts to help each other. I will be praying for you and for a swift end to this difficult time, while I do my best to serve you and your families. May God bless you and May God Bless America,” Colton added.


Rose: Use Ft. Hamilton as Site for Military Field Hospital Deployment

Max Rose
U.S. Rep. Max Rose

U.S. Rep. Max Rose (South Brooklyn, Staten Island) is requested Ft. Hamilton to be examined as a potential location for deployment, following Secretary of Defense Mark Esper stating today that the Department of Defense is prepared to deploy military field hospitals to help address the coronavirus surge. 

“We’re waging war on the coronavirus and here in New York City we desperately need reinforcements,” said Rose, an Army combat veteran. “We’ve already seen decisive action by the city, state, and federal government to drastically increase our hospital bed capacity, including to deploy the USNS Comfort to New York City, but we have so much more work to get ahead of the impending surge in patients. I believe as New York City’s only Army base and due to it’s easily accessible location, Ft. Hamilton is an ideal site for deployment of a medical field hospital.”

 “I write to urge you to consider the deployment of military field medical units to establish a field hospital with intensive-care unit (ICU) capabilities at Fort Hamilton, New York, and further develop that base to serve as a logistical center for military, FEMA, and inter-agency operations in New York City,” wrote Rose, “I urge you to study the suitability of Fort Hamilton for a military field hospital deployment to New York City, to help meet the need of our doctors, nurses, and support staff who are risking their lives to serve on the frontlines of this pandemic.”


Clarke, Jeffries, Rose Push Cost of Living Adjustment Stimulus Bill

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke
U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries
Max Rose
U.S. Rep. Max Rose

U.S. Reps. Yvette Clarke (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Kensington, Midwood, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Park Slope), Hakeem Jeffries (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brownsville, Canarsie, East New York, East Flatbush, Bergen Beach, Gerritsen Beach, Beach, Marine Park, Mill Basin, Brighton Beach, Coney Island), and Max Rose (D- South Brooklyn, Staten Island) were joined by a bipartisan group of other Members of the New York Congressional Delegation in calling for a cost of living adjustment (COLA) in calculating economic stimulus payments to individuals- which includes limits on coronavirus stimulus payments for individual with annual salaries over $75,000.

 “The figure in this bill, $75,000 might sound like a lot in Kentucky, but here in New York that’s just getting by,” Rose said. “We’re at the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, with businesses and workers hurting badly. They need real resources and support. This proposal from McConnell isn’t cutting it for the men and women on Staten Island and South Brooklyn.”

 “As you consider legislative responses to the novel coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the American economy, we request that you provide for cost of living adjustments when calculating eligibility and rates for economic stimulus payments,” wrote the group. 

“New York State has become the epicenter of the pandemic and will suffer the greatest economic impact, yet current proposals fall short of recognizing the true need in the state. … We therefore urge that in the forthcoming stimulus package you include adjustments that recognize the relative differences in costs of living across the country, and that middle-class Americans have access to economic relief no matter in which state they live,” they finished. 


Treyger Mourns Death of Brooklyn Principal 

Council Member Mark Treyger

City Councilmember Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend) yesterday mourned the death of Brooklyn principal, Dezann Romain, 36, who died from COVID-19.

“I am devastated to learn about the death of one of our own, Dezann Romain, and am keeping her family and school community at Brooklyn Democracy Academy in my prayers. This needs to serve as a wake-up call for DOHMH, DOE, and City Hall around their collective response to COVID-19 cases in school buildings, even as students are learning from home. Teachers, administrators, and school staff cannot be caught in bureaucratic morass between verification of cases and closing buildings down for deep cleaning. I have heard from school communities across the city who are confused and concerned about protocols when staff test positive. That needs to end tomorrow.”

This is the first known death of a public school staff member connected to the epidemic, city officials confirmed Monday evening. The principal, Dezann Romain, ran Brownsville’s Brooklyn Democracy Academy, a transfer school that serves students who have struggled at traditional high schools and are unlikely to graduate on time.

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