Brooklyn Lawmakers on the Move May 26, 2020

News Site Brooklyn

Adams Leads Group Meditation for First Responders 

Borough President Eric Adams
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams held a group guided meditation for first responders and veterans on Coney Island Beach to express gratitude for their efforts to combat COVID-19 and their service for our country in honor of Memorial Day.

“Even as our city continues to fight the COVID-19 crisis, a new health crisis is emerging, and our frontline workers are yet again bearing the brunt. The trauma of fighting this virus and witnessing deaths day after day takes a major toll on people’s mental health, and I am deeply concerned that if we do not take proactive steps to address it, we will all be feeling the adverse impacts for years to come. Meditation saved my life when I left the police department, and I believe it can help alleviate and mitigate some of the trauma our frontline workers and veterans are experiencing now. I thank the Brooklyn Meditation Center for leading this meditation today, and for all who joined us,” said Adams.

A practitioner of meditation himself, Adams has long advocated for the City to incorporate mindfulness as a tool to address mental health challenges with which many New Yorkers are struggling, especially during this pandemic. He has allocated funding toward a first-of-its-kind program to provide meditation instruction to students in Brooklyn public schools, and called for the New York City Police Department (NYPD) to incorporate mindfulness into its in-service training for officers.

1199SEIU Endorses Wright for Senate

Tremaine Wright
Assemblymember Tremaine Wright

Assemblymember Tremaine Wright (D-Bed-Stuy, Northern Crown Heights) has gained the endorsement of the largest healthcare worker union in the nation, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East. 

“I am honored to have the support of 1199SEIU,” said Assemblywoman Wright. “The healthcare workers of 1199SEIU are fiercely dedicated to building a better New York. I share their commitment to improving the lives of their members and working people in every community.”

1199SEIU represents over 250,000 hospitals, nursing homes, home care and other healthcare workers in the New York City area. The union’s membership totals over 450,000 workers throughout the East Coast. The Democratic primary election will take place on Tuesday, June 23. Early voting is currently scheduled to begin on June 13th.

Menchaca to Lead Virtual Story Time with BPL

City Councilman Carlos Menchaca

City Councilmember Carlos Menchaca (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook, Greenwood Heights, Borough Park, Dyker Heights, Windsor Terrace) will share the joy of books with the library’s youngest patrons today. 

“I know that during this story time the next Council Member of this district, the next Mayor of this City, is finding their voice. I cannot wait to follow their lead one day,” said Menchaca. “More than ever, we must give our youth the tools to build on our success and correct our mistakes. We must also find the humility to listen to them. They have a lot to teach us.”

He will read Toma Toma Toma written by Verónica Carbajal with illustrations by Xitlhali Treviño. The bilingual book of poems is inspired by the true story of Toma, the dog Carbajal’s family adopted when she was a girl.

 The reading will take place at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 26 at the  Sunset Park Library Facebook Page.

Rose Calls for Use of Defense Production Act 

Max Rose
U.S. Rep. Max Rose

U.S. Rep. Max Rose (South Brooklyn, Staten Island) called on President Trump and his Administration to use the full force of the federal government, including through the Defense Production Act, to ensure businesses have access to the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) and supplies to safely reopen.

 “Small business owners are hanging on by a thread and are on the brink of losing everything,” Rose said. “It would be government-sanctioned cruelty if we finally allow them to re-open, but they can’t due to a lack of PPE and supplies.”

 In order for businesses to reopen, they will need to meet state and local requirements to ensure safety of employees and customers, including the use and availability of PPE and other necessary equipment that have been in short supply, such as hand sanitizer.

Colton Connects COVID-19 and Memorial Day

Assembly Member William Colton

Assemblyman William Colton (Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, and Dyker Heights) made a statement about Memorial Day during COVID-19.

“Today our country is experiencing a crisis which it had never experienced before, and so many senseless deaths in the new different kind of war, the war against the invisible enemy COVID-19. Indeed many of the veterans who survived in the Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iran, Afghanistan and the war against terrorism these days are in the for front among our essential workers who are out there every day and who continue risking their lives to protect us all here in America,

“So let’s remember all of those who died in American wars, as well as we continue to thank and remember all those police officers, firefighters, sanitation workers, transit workers, health care workers, doctors, nurses, aides, hospital and medical office staff, retail workers, truckers and all those risking their lives to keep all of us safe and well. Have a safe and Healthy Memorial Weekend, continue to practice social distancing as we celebrate Memorial Day weekend,” Colton added. 

Brooklyn Reps Urge Cuomo to Release More Inmates 

U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries
Congresswoman Yvette Clarke

U.S. Reps. 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 U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Kensington, Midwood, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Park Slope) led a letter to governor Cuomo, along with other congressional members, urging him to release more inmates, making available widespread, accessible testing, providing PPE and health supplies, and rigorously enforcing social distancing for the inmate and staff populations.

“Tragically, New York is the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States and prisons are undeniably among the locations at greatest risk for COVID-19 outbreaks,” said Reps. Nadler and Jeffries. “If we hope to stem the spread of COVID-19 behind bars and throughout New York’s local communities, we must create space for social distancing by releasing vulnerable people and reducing the prison population. We urge New York State to exercise leadership and compassion to protect people living and working in jails and prisons. Releasing a significant number of incarcerated people and ensuring compliance with public health standards will surely save lives, both of those who are incarcerated and of others living in the community.”

“For months, public health experts, elected officials, incarcerated people and their loved ones, correctional officers, and advocates have said loud and clear that the only way to mitigate the imminent danger people in jails and prisons face from the spread of COVID-19 is to release those most vulnerable and to significantly reduce the overall population,” wrote a coalition of organizations.

Frontus Leads Letter to Cuomo to Expand Voting 

Mathylde Frontus
Assembly Member Mathylde Frontus

Assemblymember Mathylde Frontus (D-Coney Island, Bay Ridge, Brighton Beach, Gravesend) and eight Democratic assembly colleagues sent a letter to governor Cuomo saying the pandemic and the uncertain financial condition of the U.S. The Postal Service threatens states’ ability to conduct safe elections. 

“Free and fair elections are an essential service in our democracy. By acting now, New York can protect voters’ health and safeguard the democratic process,” the letter said.

Legislators have introduced bills to implement universal absentee balloting and to begin early voting 49 days before election day. The extended in-person procedures would allow local election officials to stagger hours and sanitize voting machinery consistent with guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. 

The letter recommends that New York: expand voting by mail via no-excuse absentee ballots and access to online voter registration. It also suggests extending early voting to 49 days before election day and the number of polling places, stagger hours and sanitized voting facilities.