Brooklyn Lawmakers on the Move April 21, 2020

News Site Brooklyn

Felder to Mayor: Don’t Cancel Summer Youth Programs

Sen. Simcha Felder

Senator Simcha Felder (D-Borough Park, Midwood, Flatbush, Ditmas Park, Kensington)  joined State Sen. Roxanne Persaud (D-Canarsie, East New York, Brownsville, Mill Basin, Sheepshead Bay, Bergen Beach, Marine Park, Flatlands, Mill Island, Georgetown, Ocean Hill, Starrett City) in condemning the decision to scrap the popular summer employment program (SYEP, or Youth Corps) affecting 75,000 New York City teens from low-income families.

“We all understand the health and safety concerns,” explained Senator Felder. “We are, however, deeply concerned by the complete lack of alternate planning or modified programming being presented for thousands of NYC teens.” 

Despite facing budgetary deficits, New York State maintained level funding in the 2020 budget for SYEP, including $45 million for the program statewide. In a strong response from the state, 43 state lawmakers signed on to express their shock and disappointment, and call on the administration to find a way to use those millions in allocated state funds to help low-income teens who have come to rely on the program. 

 “We are all dealing with a lot of uncertainty right now, but we all agree that what we need right now is resourcefulness, optimism and the best use of limited funds. For me, that always means investing in our children. Why would the city choose this time to force non-profits to lay-off staff adding to the unemployment rolls rather than allowing them to do what they do best and move forward with planning alternative ways to help people through this unprecedented challenge? This decision was short-sighted and I hope that the administration will correct it immediately,” Felder said.

Williams Shows Mount Sinai Staff Appreciation 

Assemblymember Jaime R. Williams
Assemblymember Jaime R. Williams

Assemblymember Jamie Williams (D-Canarsie, Georgetown, Mill Basin, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach) provided numerous meals to the doctors and staff of Mount Sinai Brooklyn’s ICU Department. 

“We are in unprecedented times, and we are at a point where many of us feel overwhelmed and frightened and to have the cornerstone of our ICU doctors and their unending and unyielding courage to battle this disease must be recognized and appreciated. To offer a warm meal in a time of constant battle is a small gesture to the staff and doctors and all health care professionals in Mount Sinai Brooklyn to say thank you,” said Williams. 

Williams and her staff along with the Chef Dimitri Karousis and the staff of Nick’s Lobster House located at 2777 Flatbush Avenue and the proprietor of Nick’s Lobster House, Francine and Mike Cannizzo stepped up and contributed numerous meals to the ICU staff, physicians and all health care workers of Mount Sinai Brooklyn to demonstrate the entire Assembly District’s appreciation for their devotion and courage.

Adams Calls on City to Provide Face Coverings

Borough President Eric Adams
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams called on the City to join other metropolises like Newark, New Jersey and Stamford, Connecticut that are providing free face coverings for all who request one in order to combat the spread of the virus and keep people safe. 

He made this call as he handed out hundreds of masks to transit riders leaving the Borough Hall subway station in Downtown Brooklyn to help slow the spread of COVID-19, after a statewide order went into effect on Friday night mandating that all New Yorkers wear masks in public spaces where social distancing isn’t possible.

Many of the essential employees commuting to work come from the communities of color that have been hit hardest by the pandemic, communities that are also under-resourced with the personal protective equipment (PPE) needed to combat COVID-19, said  Adams.

Providing our overburdened frontline workers with masks takes one thing off their plate. Providing our seniors and vulnerable populations with masks prevents them from being price gouged or even priced out of the public health practices that the City and State are asking everyone to follow. Many of the grateful commuters I connected with were using makeshift face coverings, sharing face coverings with their families, or had been wearing the same soiled mask for more than a week. The greatest city in the world can do better than that.

Rose Helps Secure Approvals for Antibody Testing

Max Rose
U.S. Rep. Max Rose

U.S. Rep. Max Rose (South Brooklyn, Staten Island) helped secure critical approvals and equipment for Brooklyn-based Lenco Diagnostic Laboratories who has begun COVID-19 antibody testing. 

“While we’re making progress in our fight against the coronavirus, there’s no path forward that doesn’t include massive amounts of testing and antibody testing—and I’m proud that Brooklyn’s own Lenco will be playing a critical role in that effort,” said Rose. “Securing all the necessary approvals and equipment has been a serious challenge for Lenco given the circumstances, and I’m proud we were able to break through the red-tape and help them begin running COVID-19 antibody testing.”

Antibody tests are performed using blood specimens collected from individuals who may have been infected with COVID-19. The tests help determine whether patients were recently infected or exposed to the COVID-19 infection in the past, and may determine an overall immune response to the virus.

Census Task Force Co-Chair Menchaca Joins NYC Census

City Councilman Carlos Menchaca

City Councilmember Carlos Menchaca (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook, Greenwood Heights, Borough Park, Dyker Heights, Windsor Terrace) along with Councilmember Carlina Rivera (D-Manhattan), co-chairs of the Census task force, led a text-a-thon with City Council colleagues and New York City Census to reach constituents in council districts and remind them about the importance on completing the Census. 

“As we confront the coronavirus crisis, one thing is clear. So many of the things that every New Yorker relies on today – from hospitals, to schools, to transportation infrastructure, to medical equipment – require federal funding. There is a way that New Yorkers can help to ensure that our city receives its fair share of federal funding: it’s called the Census, and right now, filling it out is so important,” said Menchaca.

About 30 Councilmembers participated in the initiative to reach thousands of constituents. In Menchaca’s District 38, volunteers texted approximately 11,000 constituents. 

“I hope other councilmembers can join us to get their neighbors to complete the Census,” concluded Menchaca. 

Clarke Demands PPE for Postal Workers

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke

U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Kensington, Midwood, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Park Slope) co-authored a letter to the Postmaster General demanding that every postal worker has access to personal protective equipment (PPE). 

This comes from earlier this month when a Brooklyn postal worker who believes they contracted COVID-19 on the job became ill. 

“The United States Postal Service (USPS) is a vital government institution. For those who cannot leave their home, USPS is a lifeline to prescriptions and food. And let’s not forget the vital role they will play in ensuring our elections will happen safely and securely on June 23rd. But here’s the thing — President Trump has signaled that he will veto any bill providing relief to the post office. This is no way to treat the 600,000 postal workers who have put their lives on the line by continuing to do their jobs during this public health emergency. This is no way to protect seniors or others who are at greater risk of serious illness due to COVID-19, and who rely on the postal service every day.”

To sign the petition, click here.

Myrie Shares Some Good News and Updates

State Senator Zellnor Myrie
State Senator Zellnor Myrie

State Senator Zellnor Myrie (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Gowanus, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, South Slope, Sunset Park) shared amazing news that the state announced that the number of hospitalizations has continued to fall for nearly a week. 


Sending Aid to Massachusetts:

  • In another sign that we could be past the worst of the crisis, Gov. Cuomo announced that the state is preparing to send 400 ventilators to Massachusetts if necessary, as they are experiencing a troubling spike in COVID cases.  

Antibody Testing:

  • Governor Cuomo announced that large-scale antibody testing will begin tomorrow. The testing will randomly sample 3,000 New Yorkers to estimate the percentage of those who are now immune. He cautioned that the state would need help from the federal government to bring it to the required scale.

Federal Aid

  • Over the weekend, both Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo repeated their calls on the federal government to deliver more aid to the city and state. On Sunday, de Blasio urged President Trump to “save your hometown,” and Cuomo said that unless New York gets more aid in the next stimulus package, the state will face major cuts, including to schools, local governments and hospitals.

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