Northern Brooklyn Electeds Update IND Club

State Sen. Brian Kavanagh (1)

Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon (D-Brooklyn Heights, Downtown Brooklyn, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Gowanus, Park Slope, Boerum Hill, DUMBO) and State Sen. Brian Kavanagh (D-Dumbo, Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Downtown Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan) yesterday gave their legislative updates and news to the Independent Neighborhood Democrats club (IND) at their monthly general meeting through Zoom and live streamed over Facebook.

Simon said a lot of her energy has been put toward working on the census in her 52nd Assembly District.

Jo Anne Simon
Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon

According to Simon, the neighborhoods of Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill are currently under the Brooklyn average for completion, compounding what a later speaker said about the state of New York being behind the national average for the census.

“We really need for people to complete the census,” she said. “I can’t tell you how important it is to everything. It is not just about how many seats we have in Congress, which is phenomenally important. People don’t realize that if you need to have ‘x’ number of psychiatric beds in hospitals, if you need ‘x’ numbers of ICU units, if you want to know where you can get a bus route — all of these things rely on the census data . . . The census information is critical to everything we do in our lives.”

Simon also mentioned that she’s been encouraging members of her district, as well as all voters, to support female candidates.

“I also want to encourage you, in the words of Abigail Adams, and that is to remember the women,” she said. “So, let’s remember to support women candidates, particularly those women who are looking to flip red seats in the U.S. Congress.”

State Senator Brian Kavanagh
State Senator Brian Kavanagh

Kavanaugh discussed the COVID-19 recovery lease program bill that the state legislature has been working on that would allow up to 10 years of property tax breaks for landlords, which would effectively aid small businesses by reducing the pressure on them to pay rent.

The senator also touched on other issues his office has been working on, including Brooklyn Queens Expressway repair legislation, F train line and Rutgers tube repairs and housing discrimination.

Additionally, Kavanaugh said that both he and State Sen. Zellnor Myrie (D- Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Gowanus, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, South Slope, Sunset Park) are working on bills to extend the current eviction moratorium, which is slated to end on Sept. 30. The federal eviction moratorium ends on Dec. 31.

Kavanaugh’s bill would extend the moratorium through Jan. 20, while Myrie’s would extend it even longer. 

“The eviction moratorium in New York State is still in place, that’s the good news,” he explained. “The bad news is that it currently expires Sept. 30. We began pushing from the beginning, from the very early days of COVID, the notion that you can’t have evictions going on during a public health crisis.”

IND President served as moderator and introduced all the electeds as well as state senate candidate Jabari Brisport (D- Fort Greene, Boerum Hill, Red Hook, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Sunset Park, Gowanus, and Park Slope).

Also present at the meeting were incoming Female District Leader for the 52nd Assembly District Jesse Pierce, who spoke about her recent efforts in recruiting poll workers, and former State Sen. Martin Connor, who explained in detail about election and polling issues.