Ortiz Speaks About Bill Reforms
Assistant Assembly Speaker Felix W. Ortiz (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook) said he expects the state legislature to return to Albany next week to take up several criminal justice reform bills.
“One of the most important, A, 2513, will repeal 50-a, a 1970s state law that protects all “personnel records used to evaluate performance towards continued employment or promotion” for police officers, firefighters and correction officers “confidential and not subject to inspection or review” except by court order. Our efforts to get the legislature to consider this legislation I am co-sponsoring have been successful. The Governor has also indicated that he will sign the bill if it’s sent to him. Repealing a-50-a is only the first step to achieve equality in our criminal justice system.
“Among other major criminal justice bills the legislature should consider is my bill (A.3566) to make falsely reporting certain criminal incidents a hate crime. My bill is quickly picking up co-sponsors after a woman called the NYPD to complain about a black man who asked her to leash her dog in Central Park last month.I am also supporting legislation to make the use of chokeholds by police actionable as a crime. Other bills to make our justice system more equitable are also expected to be considered and include efforts I am co-sponsoring to end police secrecy, make police statistics available, create special prosecutors, legalize marijuana, and reduce unnecessary arrests for non-criminal offenses.
“I want my constituents to know that as a member of the Assembly leadership team, I will do everything in my power to pass laws that will equalize the distribution of wealth to our communities. We must have equal access and opportunities for better housing, jobs, wages, education and health care. We cannot move forward without new, sound policies,” said Ortiz.
Myrie Introduces 13 Bills
State Sen. Zellnor Myrie (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Gowanus, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, South Slope, Sunset Park) joined together with advocates at the “I can’t Breathe” press conference.
“In the streets, we hear the refrain, “No Justice, No Peace,” and that is a two-part equation. Without justice, there will be no peace. The 13 bills we introduced today — including the repeal of 50-a and our bill to create independent oversight of police — will help bring our people the justice they have been denied for centuries,” Myrie wrote.
Some of the bills introduced are: repeal of 50-a (A.2513/S.3695, O’Donnell/Bailey), false 9-1-1 Complaints (A.3566, Ortiz/Benjamin), office of the Special Prosecutor (A.1601a/S.2574a, Perry/Bailey), police STAT Act (A.5472/S.1830b, Lentol/Hoylman), right to Monitor Act (A.1360a/S.3253, Perry/Parker), local Independent Oversight of Police (S.7527, Richardson/Myrie), medical Attention for Persons Under Arrest (A.8226/S.6601, Fernandez/Bailey), establishes the Crime of Strangulation (A.6144/S.6670a, Mosley/Benjamin),
Adams Joins with CLEAN to Invest in Youth
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams today will join with Financially CLEAN, a Brooklyn-based nonprofit that teaches financial literacy to young people, and Story Tellers and Creators, a local company at the Brooklyn Navy Yard that manufactures medical gowns, to highlight the work they are doing to help New York during the COVID-19 pandemic, and urge the City to invest in youth employment.
The call comes as youth across the city, and particularly in underserved areas, are entering summer with few opportunities for structured activity, due to proposed budget cuts stemming from the economic recession brought about by the current pandemic.
The City has proposed slashing funding for the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), which employs 75,000 youth each summer. Adams will promote the company, which employs people as young as 18 to work for 18 dollars an hour, as a model that can be scaled up in other areas across the city.