Brooklyn Lawmakers on the Move August 19, 2020

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Adams, Felder, Eichenstein, Yeger: Stop Sanitation Summons Issued During COVID

Borough President Eric Adams
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams
Assembly Member Simcha Eichenstein
Assembly Member Simcha Eichenstein
Sen. Simcha Felder

Borough President Eric Adams joined State Senator Simcha Felder (D-Boro Park, Midwood), Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein (D-Borough Park, Midwood) and Councilman Kalman Yeger (D-Borough Park, Bensonhurst, Midwood), calling on NYC Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia to dismiss all sanitation tickets issued during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the area of the BK12 sanitation garage, covering Midwood and Borough Park, at a time when the governor and mayor were urging everyone to stay inside, sanitation agents were aggressively issuing tickets to residents who had not gone outside to clean their sidewalks. 

“We are keenly aware of the many summonses issued in the Brooklyn Garage 12 catchment area during this time period, as well as concerned that similar blitzes may have been conducted in other parts of the city. Accordingly, we urge you to administratively withdraw all summonses issued between Wednesday, March 18th and Monday, June 8th, when our city entered Phase One of the reopening process. While clean streets and sidewalks are important, health and safety must be our priority during times of unprecedented crisis,” they wrote. 

Simon Holds Legislative Roundtable on Diploma Privilege

Jo Anne Simon
Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon

Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon (D-Brooklyn Heights, Downtown Brooklyn, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Gowanus, Park Slope, Boerum Hill, DUMBO) along with Senator Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan) held a roundtable discussion on yesterday about the impact of COVID-19 on recent law school graduates, New York’s plan to administer an online bar exam in October, and alternate pathways to attorney admission, including diploma privilege.

“We need to carefully examine the current plan to have an online exam for the State bar this Fall, and the reliability and accessibility barriers that may come along with that approach. Many recent law graduates have taken on enormous student debt or have found their anticipated jobs have evaporated, and we need to ensure that they can equitably and safely begin to practice law. I’m looking forward to hearing more from law graduates and experts at the upcoming legislative roundtable with Senator Hoylman, and to discuss our bill to establish diploma privilege,” said Simon

Senator Hoylman and Assemblymember Simon sponsor legislation (S.8682-A/A.10794 and S.8827-A/A.10846) to create a form of diploma privilege during the COVID-19 State of Emergency to allow admission of law school graduates as attorneys in New York without having to take the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE).

Gillibrand Calls for Mental Health Funding 

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) yesterday urged Senate leadership to include robust funding for substance use disorder and mental health care services in the next coronavirus relief package.

“As the addiction crisis grows, individuals and their families are in dire need of resources to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. The coronavirus pandemic has placed a heavy burden on mental health care and substance use disorder support services and we must ensure they are able to help the millions of Americans in need” said Gillibrand. “This funding, and the inclusion of my bipartisan Family Support Services for Addiction Act in the next relief package, would establish a funding stream so that nonprofits and organizations that support those recovering from substance use disorder, and their families, can keep their doors open. As increased isolation and anxiety collides with treatment and support system disruptions, those struggling with mental health and addiction, and their caregivers, need our support more than ever.”

 Due to the pandemic, the combination of social distancing, lost jobs, increased financial stress, lack of structured time, and uncertainty about the future have caused drug overdoses to nearly double. Compared to 2019, overdoses increased by 18% in March, 29% in April, and 42% in May. Additionally, the COVID-19 crisis has interrupted traditional care services — many mental health and addiction support providers, which were overburdened before the pandemic, are facing financial strain and are at risk of shutting their doors. In New York alone, one in three community behavioral health organizations expects to close their doors within the next six months due to financial uncertainty. 

Cornegy’s Wellness Wednesday to Include Community Baby Shower

City Councilman Robert Cornegy Jr

City Council Member Robert E. Cornegy Jr. (D-Bedford-Stuyvesant, Northern Crown Heights) today continues the Wellness Wednesday food and essential supplies distribution series in partnership with Fresh Direct.

However, in conjunction with that event today, Cornegy hosts the 3rd Annual Community Baby Shower that will have grab and go giveaways to new and expectant mothers, presented in partnership with The Campaign Against Hunger, Little Essentials, Bedford Stuyvesant Family Health Center, Brooklyn Book Bodega, Bed Stuy Restoration, and additional community partners.

Community partners in the day’s events also include the US Census Bureau, Brooklyn Book Bodega, Bridge Street Development Corporation MY BASE (Motivated Youth Believing in All Self Empowerment), Children of Promise, Brooklyn Neighborhood Services, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Bed Stuy Restoration.

The event is slated for 11 a.m., today, Aug. 19, at Restoration Plaza, 1360 Fulton Street in Bed-Stuy.

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