Brooklyn Lawmakers on the Move June 26, 2020

News Site Brooklyn

Adams to Unveil “Black Lives Matter” Mural

Borough President Eric Adams
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams will join today with Mayor Bill de Blasio, Black Lives Matter Brooklyn, City Council Member Stephen Levin (D-Boerum Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn Navy Yard, Downtown Brooklyn, Dumbo, Fulton Ferry, Greenpoint, Vinegar Hill, Williamsburg), Kings County Democratic Party Leader and Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte, additional elected officials, clergy leaders, and community advocates to unveil a new “Black Lives Matter” mural along the newly co-named “Black Lives Matter Way” on Joralemon Street in Brooklyn.

The event comes as weeks of ongoing protests in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis have forced a nationwide reckoning over systemic racism.

Adams, a co-founder of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, and others will pay tribute to those lives lost and urge broader societal change and police reforms to honor the memory of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, and others killed as the result of police violence.

The event is slated to take place at 112 noon, today June 26 at Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon Street in Downtown Brooklyn. 

Treyger COVID-19 Funding Tracker Bill Passes City Council

Council Member Mark Treyger

City Council Members Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Gravesend, Sea Gate) and Vanessa Gibson (D-Bronx) yesterday saw the full city council pass their COVID-19 Funding Tracker legislation.

This local law will establish a public database to track city spending now and in the future. The new city website will include expenditures of federal, state and local funding to address the pandemic, including grants, loans and city contracts exceeding $100,000.  

According to the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, infection and death rates of COVID-19 have disproportionately affected low-income New Yorkers. Coney Island has the fifth highest death rate per capita in the entire city, and yet is not included on the City’s list of “ hardest-hit communities”, which is being used to target resources. However, comparably less impacted, wealthier communities are being targeted for resources.

“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. I’m proud to have worked with Councilmember Gibson on this bill, which will bring additional oversight and accountability to COVID-19 related contracts and spending,” said Treyger.

“Coney Island didn’t receive a testing site until much later, but we proactively found a site. We had to fight to get masks after Southern Brooklyn was shut out of the distribution while Prospect Park had three free distribution sites. We are not included on the list of ‘hardest-hit communities’, while less impacted, whiter, wealthier neighborhoods are included, with no explanation from City Hall. As we continue to battle this crisis, it is imperative we ensure equity in the allocation of resources.”

Justin Brannan
City Council Member Justin Brannan

City Council Member Justin Brannan (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach) also lauded the legislation.

“As a person who was born and raised in, and now represents, an outer borough, I have all too often witnessed the disparity in how city funding is spent. There should be equity in city spending, and we need to make sure that our resources are allocated to the communities and neighborhoods that need it most,” said Brannan. “This tracker will be a powerful tool for lawmakers and civilians to be able to hold the city accountable for its spending, in times when the city budget is healthy and especially when it is not. I thank Councilmember Gibson and Councilmember Treyger for their leadership on this important effort.”

Eugene Distributes Free Face Masks 

Mathieu Eugene
City Council Member Mathieu Eugene

City Council Member Mathieu Eugene (D-Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Flatbush, East Flatbush) this week distributed free face masks on Church Avenue as part of his efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as New York City begins to reopen.

“This is a dangerous virus, and because there is no vaccine or treatment yet, it is important that our community remains vigilant and wears masks while in public,” said Eugene.

“By containing the spread of germs through face coverings, social distancing, and frequent hand washing, we will be able to emerge from the quarantine and resume life as it was before the pandemic.” 

Rose Leads Bipartisan Push to Negotiate Fair Labor Deal

Max Rose
U.S. Rep. Max Rose

U.S. Rep. Max Rose (South Brooklyn, Staten Island) led a bipartisan effort with 13 other New York Members of Congress in urging the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) and Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) to negotiate in good faith a fair and equitable contract. 

 “We are writing to urge you to adhere to long-standing tradition and fairness by negotiating in good faith for an equitable contract for MTA workers represented by the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) on Staten Island and in Queens,” wrote Rose “We understand that the MTA and ATU have yet to agree on a renewed contract, despite the MTA reaching an agreement with its largest union, Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 100, in January. Pattern bargaining has been a consistent feature of transit work in New York more broadly and will provide stability for our workforce throughout the current pandemic in which so many transit workers have risked their lives.”

 Joining Rose in signing the bipartisan letter are fellow New York Congressional Representatives Tom Suozzi, Lee Zeldin, Eliot Engel, Gregory Meeks, Adriano Espaillat, Yvette D. Clarke, Grace Meng, Kathleen Rice, Carolyn B. Maloney, José E. Serrano, Nydia Velázquez, Jerrold Nadler, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Colton Grateful for Clothing Bin Cleanup

Assembly Member William Colton

Assemblyman William Colton (Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Dyker Heights) thanked District Leader Charles Ragusa for contacting the corporate office of  Rite Aid on Kings Highway regarding the unsanitary condition caused by the clothing bin in their parking lot. 

“I greatly appreciate District Leader Charles Ragusa’s action in working on the health hazard caused by this clothing bin and on garbage dumping problems along commercial streets. I hope the people who commit this dumping understand that not only is it thoughtless but such dumping creates health hazards, especially during this pandemic crisis, we are facing and also it is a crime which can result in heavy fines,” Colton stated.

This clothing bin was constantly overflowing with dirty clothes, furniture, and toys, creating a health hazard during these pandemic times. The Assemblyman also thanks  Rite Aid for agreeing to remove the bin. In addition, Colton’s office has been working on the continuing problem of garbage being dumped along Stillwell Avenue, Kings Highway, and other commercial streets.  

Jeffries-Tired of Police Violence

U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries

U.S. Representative 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) spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives in support of H.R. 7120, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020. 

“To the protesters: we hear you, we see you, we are you. We’re sick and tired of being sick and tired. America is a great country; we’ve come a long way, we still have a long way to go. We’re tired of police violence in a country where the Declaration of Independence promises life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We’re tired of police violence in a country where the Pledge of Allegiance promises liberty and justice for all. We’re tired of police violence in a country where the Constitution promises equal protection under the law. We’re sick and tired of being sick and tired,” he said.

Jeffries urged his colleagues to act to end racial profiling, criminalize the chokehold, demilitarize the police, end qualified immunity, create a national standard on excessive use of force, create a database of brutal officers and expand the DOJ Office of Civil Rights’ jurisdiction.

Louis on Policing in our Communities

Council Member Farah Louis
Council Member Farah Louis

City Councilmember Farah Louis (Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Marine Park, Flatlands, Kensington) released the following statement on policing after a New York City Police Officer David Afanador was caught on video putting a Black man in an alleged chokehold on Sunday on Rockaway Beach in Queens.

Chokeholds are banned by the NYPD and illegal statewide. Officer Afanador is facing strangulation and attempted strangulation charges.

“Wearing a police uniform is supposed to indicate your dedication and service to the public. The laws of our city and state are applicable to every individual – with or without a badge. Instead, it has become a shield used to circumvent the law that these bad actors are supposed to uphold. The justice system has repeatedly failed our community as officers are acquitted of criminal charges then continue to subject Black and brown New Yorkers to the same brutality. Enough is enough. This cycle must end in order to restore peace in communities that have suffered tremendous violence and trauma at the hands of the police. I hope the City’s prosecutors will hold Officer Afanador and his peers on the force with a history of violence against civilians accountable,” said Louis.