Roundtable on COVID with Brooklyn Leaders
U.S. Rep. Max Rose (D-Southern Brooklyn, Staten Island) hosted a virtual roundtable discussion with fellow Brooklyn electeds including State Sen. Andrew Gounardes (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend, Gerritsen Beach, Manhattan Beach, Marine Park), City Councilman Justin Brannan (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach) and City Councilman Kalman Yeger (D-Borough Park, Bensonhurst, Midwood) on lessons learned from the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and preparations for a potential second wave.
“The purpose of this meeting is to try and do something that is very rare in governing – which is to cogently and calmly try to plan for the future and to try to see if there are any lessons learned,” said Rose. “We have here representatives from all levels of government, and if there’s anything I’ve learned in my two years as a member of the United States Congress, it’s that that’s often the only way we can get stuff done.”
The discussion focused primarily on the challenges and work needed to ensure necessary hospital capacity, staffing, and medical supplies, continuing to increase testing and to continue building on the close coordination between hospitals, elected officials and the community.
Myrie Expands Gun Criminal Nuisance Law
State Sen. Zellnor Myrie (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Gowanus, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, South Slope, Sunset Park) introduced legislation that would amend New York State’s criminal nuisance law to include the sale or manufacture of products which endanger peoples’ health or safety.
“In the wake of a gun violence epidemic plaguing the city, state, and nation, we have a duty to hold all responsible parties accountable,” said Myrie “While communities of color have died disproportionately from gun violence and COVID-19 over the past five months, gun manufacturers have seen their stocks and profits soar. Something isn’t right with that equation.”
Myrie’s legislation would add language to the state’s existing penal code which criminalizes “creat[ing] or maintain[ing] a condition which endangers the safety or health of a considerable number of persons.” The new language would expressly include the sale or manufacture of items which endanger health or safety, and would enable individuals to bring suit against companies or individuals who violate this law.
A 2005 federal law, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) generally shields gun manufacturers and sellers from liability, unlike most other commercial enterprises. However, the PLCAA specifically excludes manufacturers who knowingly violate state laws that regulate the gun industry. Myrie’s amendment would clarify that the state’s existing Criminal Nuisance law does, in fact, apply to the manufacture and sale of dangerous weapons.
Jeffries, Clarke lead #DontMessWithUSPS Day
U.S. Reps. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn, Queens) and Yvette Clarke (D-East Flatbush, Central Brooklyn) today will lead a Brooklyn local version of #DontMessWithUSPS day to save the Post Office.
The Postal Service is enshrined in the Constitution and essential for delivering medicine, paychecks, social security benefits, ballots and other essential items to millions of Americans.
Democrats allege that since his appointment in May, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has pushed new operational changes that degrade postal service, delay the mail and threaten to deny the ability of eligible Americans to cast their votes through the mail in the upcoming elections. Last month, the Postal Service warned New York and 45 other states that voters may be disenfranchised by delayed mail-in ballots.
In response, House Democrats today are hosting a Day of Action at postal facilities across the nation to send the message of #DontMessWithUSPS to President Trump and Postmaster General DeJoy.
Jeffries and Clarke will further discuss the issue at 4:30 p.m., today, Aug. 18 outside the Cadman Plaza Post Office, 271 Cadman Plaza East in Brooklyn Heights.
Colton Calls for Safety Plan to Reopen Schools
Assemblyman William Colton (Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Dyker Heights) is calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza to come up with a detailed safety plan for reopening NYC Public Schools which ensures that the safety of parents, students, and staff is adequately provided.
“Schools have been closed since March 2020 due to COVID-19. Now when we are one month away from the new school year to begin, controversies have started about schools reopening. Why did no one bother to think about or discuss safety plans in advance, so that the new school year can begin safely? Everyone is talking about that there isn’t enough money in the budget to cover the cost of disinfecting schools every night and that many schools lack proper ventilation, but nothing about a safety plan for September 10 schools opening. Putting a nurse in every public school is a great approach, but Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza must show, how you can reassure parents, teachers, and most of all our children, that they are going back safely and the environment is virus-free,” Colton stated.
“Governor Cuomo said that schools can open, but he didn’t say that they must open. Schools can’t open unless city officials have a safe plan for the reopening. I more than agree with UFT President Michael Mulgrew who said, “that we cannot reopen schools unless they are safe for students and staff.” Therefore, I am calling upon Mayor De Blasio and Chancellor Carranza to come up with a clear detailed safety plan as soon as possible which will demonstrate that opening schools in September will be safe for students and staff. No parent should be afraid to send their kids to school,” Colton said.
“My office will be prepared to assist parents with any specific concerns related to a safe reopening of our District 21 and 20 schools by calling my office at (718) 236-1598,” Colton added.