Brookyn Lawmakers on the Move May 29, 2020

News Site Brooklyn

Colton Strongly Supports Cuomo’s $100 Million Loan for Small Business

Assembly Member William Colton

Assemblyman William Colton (D–Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, and Dyker Heights) yesterday threw his support behind Governor Cuomo’s launching of the $100 million New York Forward Loan Fund to provide help for small businesses – mostly minority and women-owned small businesses – who did not receive any federal COVID-19 crisis assistance.

“A substantial number of small businesses has suffered during the COVID-19 crisis especially when Governor Cuomo announced that all non-essential businesses must close. Our government should provide help for small businesses and it must be their high priority. I strongly support Governor Cuomo in launching a $100 million NY Forward Loan Fund, which will significantly help small businesses and at the same time improve our economy,” Colton said.  

“I believe that the state is taking a great approach in giving out these loans and that it mainly will be focusing on businesses with 20 or fewer employees and less than $3 million in gross revenue. The New York Forward Loan Fund is specifically designed to support businesses and organizations as they start to reopen and have upfront expenses. All applications will be reviewed on a regular basis and priority will be given to the industries and regions that have been reopened. 

Pre-applications for the New York Forward Loan Fund are open now and anyone who’s interested in receiving a loan should visit: esd.ny.gov/nyforwardloans.


Cumbo Remins Constituents of Last Day for Voter Registration 

City Council Member Laurie Cumbo

City Council Member Laurie Cumbo (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Downtown Brooklyn, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights) yesterday reminded voters that today is the last day to register to vote in next month’s presidential and state primaries.

“If you’re wondering about how to register to vote. It’s very simple: f you have a driver’s license or state ID, you can do it online here. If you do not, print and complete this form and mail it to your county Board of Elections,” aid Cumbo in her e-newsletter.

Please Note – to vote in a New York primary election, you must be registered to vote with the corresponding political party. To vote by mail, you must request your absentee ballot by June 16th. The process differs by county. For New York City, request it online here. For other counties, check here and submit your application accordingly.

When you request an absentee ballot, check the box Temporary Illness as the reason for your application. For this election Temporary Illness is defined as anyone who is affected by COVID-19 or with the potential of contracting the virus, meaning that all registered New York voters can request an absentee ballot. 

“It is critical that not only we register to vote, but we make sure to send in our ballots this year, in both the Presidential Primary/Special Elections in June, and the general elections in November. Our vote is our voice, and we are dying to be heard,” said Cumbo.


Persaud, AM Williams Host Immigrant Affairs, 2020 Census Town Hall  

Roxanne J. Persaud
State Senator Roxanne J. Persaud
Assemblymember Jaime R. Williams
Assemblymember Jaime R. Williams

State Sen. Roxanne J. Persaud (D-Canarsie, East New York, Brownsville, Mill Basin, Sheepshead Bay, Bergen Beach, Marine Park, Flatlands, Mill Island, Georgetown, Ocean Hill, Starrett City) and Assembly Member Jaime R. Williams (D-Canarsie, Georgetown, Mill Basin, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach) in partnership with NYC Census 2020, New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) and Mobilization for Justice, will host a Virtual Town Hall Discussion on Immigrant Affairs and the 2020 Census on Monday.

“I am honored to partner with Assembly Member Williams, NYC Census 2020, NYLAG and Mobilization for Justice to host this online event to answer questions and clarify concerns regarding immigration issues,” said Senator Persaud, Chair of the NYS Senate Social Services Committee.

“Additionally, we will discuss the reservations and concerns some New Yorkers may continue to have regarding participation in the 2020 Census. During these unprecedented times, it is more important than ever that everyone in Senate District 19 is counted to ensure that proper funding and resources will reach our community. Unfortunately, it has taken the coronavirus pandemic to bring to light how a lack of funding can adversely affect New Yorkers’ access to healthcare, public schools, infrastructure projects, and cause a loss of Congressional representation.” 

Constituents are encouraged to submit questions online by clicking HERE or at persaud.nysenate.gov. Questions will be accepted until 4 p.m., Monday, June 1. The Town Hall is slated for between 5:30 – 7 p.m., Monday, June 1. To participate in this virtual town hall event, please visit www.facebook.com/sd19senatorpersaud.


Ortiz Passes COVID-19 Legislative Package Provide Increased Support 

Assembly Member Feliz Ortiz

Assemblymember Felix W. Ortiz (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook) announced yesterday the passage  of legislation to address the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, protect the health and safety of New Yorkers and ensure the vital services that families rely on remain intact during this public health crisis. 

The package also included a bill Ortiz authored to ensure schools that had to close due to the pandemic will not suffer financially (A.10189-A).

“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has forced schools to close early, businesses to shut their doors and all of us to adjust to a new normal,” Ortiz said. “Communities across the state have been hit hard, but minority communities have been disproportionately affected by this disease and the economic crisis it created. I’ve  been working hard to help Brooklyn families in any way I can, but more needs to be done to get us through this incredibly trying time. The legislation is an important step forward, but there’s still more work to be done to support our communities and lay the groundwork for a stronger, more equitable future.”

Ortiz sponsored a bill that would ensure schools that have closed due to COVID-19 without the presence of a state or local state of emergency will not have state aid withheld (A.10189-A). 

Under state law, school districts are required to be in session for 180 days or risk losing state aid. School districts statewide were required to close and shouldn’t be financially punished for a decision that put the health of their students, teachers and administration first, especially when many districts are still working hard to teach children remotely, Ortiz noted.


Myrie’s Bill Authorizing Online Absentee Voting Applications Passes Senate

State Senator Zellnor Myrie
State Senator Zellnor Myrie

State Sen. Zellnor Y. Myrie (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Gowanus, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, South Slope, Sunset Park) which would allow New Yorkers to request absentee ballots online without a physical signature.

The bill, S8130D, also changes the postmark deadline on absentee ballots so that all ballots sent by the end of the day on election day will be counted. 

“After we’ve seen upwards of 23,000 New Yorkers die, we made the decision that their constitutional right to vote should not be impeded by a pandemic, that democracy, even in a pandemic, should survive,” said Myrie, who chairs the Senate’s elections committee. “That is what this bill is about. New Yorkers should not be impeded from picking their leaders because of this pandemic. Participating in your democracy is about picking the leaders who you want to lead us through this crisis.” 

You can watch the full video of Senator Myrie’s remarks on the Senate floor here.

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, New York State ranked among the lowest in the country in voter participation. In the 2016 general election, New York ranked 41st in turnout, and was the worst in the Northeast. 


Louis Introduces Legislation Addressing NYPD Accountability & Housing Services 

Council Member Farah Louis
Council Member Farah Louis

City Council Member Farah N. Louis (D-East Flatbush, Flatbush, Flatlands, Marine Park, and Midwood) yesterday introduced two pieces of legislation intended to keep the NYPD accountable and increase access to housing services, respectively. 

Introduction 1953 will mandate the NYPD to report on its Public Health Enforcement activities. This bill will provide critical data about previous community-police interactions, including the date, time, location, demographics of the individual, outcomes, and whether use of force was employed.

“COVID-19 has further exposed the systemic, institutional racism that causes our black and brown communities to suffer, and the NYPD is no exception,” said Louis. “My colleagues and I were disappointed in the City’s decision to disregard early calls to place social distancing support responsibilities with community-based organizations that are equipped to convey these orders in a rational, responsible, and culturally competent way. Now, it’s on us to hold these bad actors to account in the names of Donni Wright, Kameelah Rozier, and any black or brown New Yorker brutalized by police violence. Our communities deserve better.”

Resolution 1324 calls on the city’s Department of Education (DOE) to partner with not-for-profit organizations to provide on-site pro bono legal assistance related to housing issues. This legislation models a successful pilot program implemented in Atlanta, and follows a history of successful partnerships between the DOE and community-based organizations that provide students with a variety of social and health services. 

“Schools naturally act as community hubs for much-needed academic resources, but COVID-19 has shown us their unique abilities to expand their capacity and provide social services to students and families,” said Louis. 


Treyger Proposes COVID-19 Spending Tracker Website 

Council Member Mark Treyger

City Council Members Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend) and Vanessa L. Gibson (D-Bronx) yesterday introduced legislation that will establish a public database to track COVID-19 spending now and in the future.

The measure will create a city website that would include expenditures of federal, state and local funding to address the pandemic, including grants, loans and city contracts exceeding $100,000.

According to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the infection and death rates of COVID-19 have disproportionately affected low-income New Yorkers. This legislation would serve as a powerful accountability and transparency tool to ensure that resources are reaching the communities most impacted by the pandemic. 

“As we learned following Superstorm Sandy, transparency of emergency and relief spending is critical. We will be judged by our ability to deliver a fair, just, and equitable response to this pandemic. Coney Island has been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, and it is absolutely critical that we ensure resources are delivered to the hardest-hit communities. This powerful transparency tool will help the public track whether our response is following our North Star of equity,” said Treyger.


Clarke Helps Secure Free COVID-19 Testing For NYCHA Residents 

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke

U.S. Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Kensington, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Midwood, Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, Prospect Lefferts Gardens) and other elected officials last collaborated with Ready Responders to provide New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) residents with free testing in their homes. 

This initiative was a call to action following Governor Cuomo’s announcement on April 20 that there would be improved and affordable testing available for NYCHA residents. Clarke played a crucial role in ensuring that these resources were made readily available to NYCHA residents in her district, including families living in Albany 1 and 2 and Nostrand/Sheepshead Bay housing units. These efforts are Phase 2 of the goal set to ensure all NYCHA residents receive access to free testing.

“In this time of national crisis, I’m fighting for all individuals to have access to basic medical services such as COVID-19 testing, regardless of income, race, immigration status and place of residence. That is why I am proud to work with Ready Responders in order to make this vision a reality in my district, and for all NYCHA residents,” said Clarke.

“My goal is to have free, accessible testing ready for use throughout Brooklyn, so that we can do our best in fighting this virus so we can rebuild. It is crucial that we expand these services to where they are needed the most: in homes, apartment buildings and special care facilities,” she added.


Menchaca Update Constituents n Local Services

City Councilman Carlos Menchaca

City Councilmember Carlos Menchaca (D-Red Hook, Sunset Park)gave out the following updates to constituents.

TESTING

NEW Sites Opening: Two new, permanent COVID-19 testing sites are coming to the district. On May 28 at the Brooklyn Army Terminal, and on June 11 at 6315 14th Avenue. See here for a full list of testing sites with address, phone, and types of tests offered. The City also developed a useful website to locate testing sites.

Ready Responders for NYCHA: Residents of the NYCHA Red Hook Houses can now schedule FREE in-home COVID-19 tests and medical evaluations. Call 888-727-7014 to schedule an appointment. If you have privacy concerns or other questions, call our office at 718-439-9012.

BUSINESSES 

New York Loan Forward Program: If you are a business that did not receive assistance through the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), then you may qualify for the New York Loan Forward Program. For information on eligibility and how to apply, see here

Restaurant Guidance: As New York City moves closer to partially reopening, the Mayor’s Office issued guidelines for restaurants. Restaurants are still takeout and delivery only, so no service inside or tables and chairs placed outside. Customers must not gather in groups inside or outside and still remain six feet apart. Everyone must wear masks for face coverings.

VOTING

Vote by Mail: Everyone can vote by mail for the June 23rd primary election given the pandemic and stay-at-home orders. To receive a mail-in ballot:

  • Fill out an application and select “Temporary Illness or physical disability” in Box 1
  • Email or fax your application to the Board of Elections
  • Applications are available in multiple languages, see below.
  • Call 1-866-VOTE-NYC (1-866-868-3692) if you have any questions or concerns.

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