Brooklyn Lawmakers on the Move May 11, 2020

News Site Brooklyn

Ortiz Calls on Federal Gov to Pay for Everything 

Assembly Member Feliz Ortiz

Assemblyman Félix W. Ortiz (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook) is calling on the federal government today to pay restitution for their blatant lack of response to the needs of the Black and Hispanic families residing in his community.

“The Federal Government was aware of the devastation the coronavirus was having in China and it failed to act to keep my community safe,” said Ortiz. “Lack of planning on the part of the federal government cost my community many lives. Mothers, fathers, grandparents and even children have died from their lack of response.

“The spread of the virus within my largely Hispanic and Black community was made far worse by a lack of accessible early testing,” Ortiz said. “Knowing how quickly the virus spreads, the federal government should have provided tests and testing sites in areas where large populations of essential workers live. Instead, thousands were killed because the federal government failed to act or care. Some healthcare workers from my community contracted the virus and were told that their family members could not be tested because there weren’t enough tests to go around. I will not tolerate racism, and neither should anyone else.

“New York pays more into the federal government than any state in the nation, yet the cries for help from our community members have gone unanswered. The inaction of the federal government to respond to the needs of low-income minority communities during this pandemic is neglectful and borders on criminal. It’s racism in its truest form and it will not be tolerated or ignored.

“I’m calling on the federal government to make reparations to everyone in my community for the pain and suffering their neglectful actions have caused. I’m calling on them to pay the rents, student loans, and mortgages for every member of my community as well as canceling all credit card debt until this pandemic is over. The people in my community deserve to be given a helping hand by the federal government that deserted them in their time of need,” finished Ortiz.

Treyger Helps Massive Donation of Chargers

Council Member Mark Treyger

Council Member Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend) ensured that hospitals received multiple packages of cell phone chargers along with the coordination of community leader Priscilla Consolo.

“These cell phone chargers will fill a vital need for our heroic healthcare workers who are fighting COVID-19 on the front lines. It’s important for patients to be able to communicate with their loved ones while they are hospitalized,” said Treyger.

A few weeks ago, community leader Priscilla Consolo learned of an overlooked problem occurring at southern Brooklyn’s Coney Island Hospital: a lack of cell phone chargers. While healthcare professionals have made it known that there is a need for personal protective equipment and ventilators, and while generous donors have fundraised money for meals to be delivered to frontline workers, an equally-pressing challenge facing the hospital’s medical staff was the demand for cell phone chargers, which was desperately needed by patients being treated with COVID-19. AT&T donated 163 cell phone chargers in total to Coney Island Hospital, thanks to the coordination of Ari Kagan, Director of District Operations for Treyger’s office.

Bichotte Supports Child Victims Act

Rodneyse Bichotte
Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte

Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte (D-Flatbush, Ditmas Park), a victim of child sex abuse, supports The Child Victims Act, which provides a path for victims of child sex abuse to seek justice, and was signed into law by Governor Cuomo in 2019. For cases where a statute of limitations had been met, victims were given a one-year window to go back and file a claim. This window was set to expire on August 14, 2020, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday he will extend the deadline for filing claims until Jan. 14 due to the COVID pandemic.

Other COVID-19 Updates:


  • Governor Cuomo announced that a new investigation is under way regarding potential COVID-19 related cases in children. Cases reported have increased to a total of 73 in New York, up from 15.  Symptoms can be compared to Kawasaki disease and toxic shock-like syndrome.  The Department of Health issued an advisory of what’s called the “Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome,” and now requires healthcare providers to immediately report all related cases.


  • Unemployment claims have increased from 2.8% last month to 20% this month, exceeding the rate of unemployment since the Great Depression. While challenges exist in the speed of processing claims, $6.8 billion has been paid to 1.6 million people in the last 7 weeks.  In comparison, the year of 2019, a total of $2.1 billion in claims were paid. For information click, here.

  • Governor Cuomo will consider payment to COVID-19 related unemployed individuals who did not qualify for benefits due to length of work, if the federal government funds the state to do so. Currently, the federal government has a program to address individuals falling in that category, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

Racial Disparities:

  • Governor Cuomo announced that he will immediately address the disproportionate number of COVID-19 cases in Black and Latino communities.  20 of the 21 zip codes with the highest hospitalization cases are populated by a majority of Blacks and Latinos.


  • Mayor de Blasio announced the launch of Test and Trace Corps to suppress the spread of COVID-19. A dedicated group of professionals who have a wealth of knowledge and experience in healthcare will make up this group whose goal is to be swift in executing contact tracing.

  • Staffing of 1,000 by May, and 2,500 by June

  • Testing 20,000 test per day by May 25; and 50,000 test per day

Isolation Services:

  • Isolation for individuals requiring quarantine will be offered housing with support such as social services, wrap around services and clinical services (food, medical care, laundry, etc) .


  • 1,200 hotels to start will be made available in June.

  • Amtrak: Effective Monday, May 11th Amtrak will require passengers to wear face coverings when in the station and on trains and buses. They are booking 50% of cars’ capacity to allow passengers to maintain social distancing. For more information, click here.

  • Uber: Starting last week, Uber has distributed hand sanitizers to Uber drivers, and continuing into next week they will begin distributing face covering. Passengers are also to wear face coverings when in vehicles. Uber Ride-Share has been suspended until further notice. For more information, click here.

  • Lyft: Many drivers for Lyft have received hand sanitizers and face coverings to use and wear when transporting passengers or picking up/dropping off deliveries. Lyft Ride-Share has also been suspended until further notice. For more information, click here.

  • NYC TLC: Effective April 17th NYC TLC required drivers and passengers to wear face coverings. For more information, click here.

Jeffries Announced Churches Testing Sites

U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries

U.S. Rep. 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 Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in partnership with Northwell Health, announced that 24 churches in predominantly minority communities will become temporary COVID-19 testing sites.

“We know that this is an extraordinary pandemic and it requires an extraordinary governmental response at all levels of government, it’s all hands on deck at the city, the state and the federal level. And the New York delegation is committed to continuing to work with you to make sure that we can drive the federal resources into New York State to match the level of infection, pain, suffering and death that we’ve all had to endure. It’s an all of government moment and, of course, an all of America moment, as you’ve encouraged all of us to dig deeper here in New York and throughout.

“In that spirit, we know that the houses of worship, the spiritual community, has always been there to help the community get through a storm. These churches have been there through the crack cocaine epidemic to welcome people in while others were rejecting them. Our churches have been there, for instance, to address the high rates of gun violence in our community through gun buyback programs, taking thousands of guns off the streets in their congregation buildings. We also know that these houses of worships, our churches, our spiritual leaders, have been there to partner with the state and with law enforcement organizations like the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office through Begin Again initiatives to address old warrants and summons and citations that can impact the ability of people from communities of color to be able to get all of the opportunities to benefit from our full economy.

“So, now at this moment, thanks to their continued engagement and your leadership and willingness to partner, we can address this COVID-19 pandemic with these houses of worship and religious leaders who have the credibility, the authenticity and the capacity to reach those in the community who need to be tested. Because, at the end of the day, this is not over for any of us until it’s over for all of us. As you’ve indicated, we know that communities of color have been hit particularly hard. We are disproportionately overrepresented amongst our essential frontline workers, live in dense environments and have historically been under-resourced throughout the nation.

“This testing initiative will be incredibly essential to ensure we can turn the corner in communities of color such as those that I represent as well as those represented, of course, by great members of the delegation like Nydia Velázquez, Yvette Clarke, Greg Meeks, Adriano Espaillat and so many others,” said Jeffries.

Cornegy, Frontus to Deliver Meals to NYCHA’s Surfside Gardens

City Councilman Robert Cornegy Jr
Mathylde Frontus
Assembly Member Mathylde Frontus

City Council Member Robert Cornegy Jr. (D-Bedford-Stuyvesant, Northern Crown Heights) and Assemblymember Mathylde Frontus (D-Coney Island, Bay Ridge, Brighton Beach) today will deliver 300 meals to NYCHA residents at Surfside Gardens in Coney Island.

Cornegy has recently recovered from his own battle with COVID-19 and personally wants to support all those battling this public health crisis.

“Overcoming COVID-19 will mean our communities continuing to look out for one another – neighbor looking after neighbor, family members remaining in touch, and all our community residents ensuring the health and safety of one another. I am proud to stand in solidarity with NYCHA residents and deliver meals to ensure that none of our shared communities feels forgotten on left behind in the midst of this pandemic. Thanks to Assembly Member Frontus and all the community partners engaged in ensuring the well-being of NYCHA residents at Surfside Gardens and across our city,” said Cornegy.

The deliveries are slated to be made at 12 noon, today, May 11 Surfside Gardens, 2960 West 31st Street in Coney Island.