Brooklyn Lawmakers on the Move Oct. 7, 2020

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Brooklyn Jewish lawmakers disgusted with Cuomo 

Sen. Simcha Felder
City Councilman Chaim Deutsch
Assembly Member Simcha Eichenstein
Assembly Member Simcha Eichenstein

State Sen. Simcha Felder (D-Boro Park, Midwood), Councilman Chaim Deutsch (Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach, Homecrest), Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein (D-Borough Park, Midwood) and City Councilman Kalman Yeger (D-Borough Park, Bensonhurst, Midwood) released a joint statement yesterday on Governor Cuomo’s action to close schools, limit gatherings at religious institutions and shutter non-essential businesses largely in the borough’s religious Jewish communities in an effort to curtail an uptick in COVID-19 cases. 

“What occurred today can only be described as a duplicitous bait-and-switch. The governor informed Jewish community leaders in a conference call that synagogues in “red zones” would be permitted to operate at 50%, and he requested community cooperation (which he was assured would happen). Outrageously, just hours later, Governor Cuomo announced a draconian return to restrictions that would shutter thousands of New York businesses and limit houses of worship to a maximum capacity of 10 (no matter the maximum capacity of the building).  

“Even worse, his rhetoric in recent days has been irresponsible and pejorative, particularly to a community of Holocaust survivors and their descendants, for whom his language was reminiscent of past verbal attacks on Jewish communities. Governor Cuomo’s choice to single out a particular religious group, complete with a slideshow of photos to highlight his point, was outrageous. His language was dangerous and divisive, and left the implication that Orthodox Jews alone are responsible for rising COVID cases in New York State. This implication is not born out by the state’s own data.

“We will continue to encourage total compliance with mask-wearing and social distance guidelines in our communities. In recent weeks, we have seen a vast increase in compliance throughout our communities. We have personally organized massive mask distributions in areas that have seen an uptick in positive cases – distributing hundreds of thousands of masks to our constituents. Sadly, instead of working alongside our community to build on our work, the governor has instead chosen to respond with threats and aggressive enforcement — a tactic which has historically failed in all communities throughout New York.

“That said, it is disgraceful that Governor Cuomo would impose these restrictions targeting our community in the midst of our Jewish holidays. Because of his unilateral and irresponsible acts, our community is rightfully shocked, angered and highly frustrated. Americans are constitutionally permitted to worship freely, and Governor Cuomo may be assured that we intend to exercise that right without his interference. G-d Bless America,” they wrote. 

Rose on Trump calling off aid

Max Rose
U.S. Rep. Max Rose

U.S. Rep. Max Rose (D-Southern Brooklyn, Staten Island) issued the following statement on the President calling off COVID-19 relief negotiations over state and local aid and about his opponent in the upcoming general election, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-Bay Ridge, Staten Island) siding with Trump.

“For the Republicans to walk away from negotiations when we are this close to a deal is a total abdication of responsibility,” said Rose.

“Make no mistake this decision will lead to first responders being fired, higher tolls and property taxes, schools closing and our restaurants and small businesses shutting down forever. We could have risen to this moment and prevented an economic disaster, instead Republicans are pushing us right off the ledge—and Nicole Malliotakis stood with them every step of the way. When lives are on the line we cannot afford party hacks—we need to put the country first. No matter what though I will not walk away. I will continue working with anyone, Republican and Democrat, to salvage a deal. Failure is not an option,” he added. 

Schumer, Gillibrand announce millions in funding for roads 

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Minority Leader Charles Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $35,767,672.72 in funding to support emergency repairs to federal roads across New York State. 

“I’m proud to deliver these federal funds that will help New York revamp its disaster-impacted roads and highways to improve safety and efficiency for all drivers and passengers,” said Schumer. “No disaster can break New York’s tough spirit, and together, we will rebuild New York from the ground up.”

 “Delivering the resources to repair and rebuild New York’s transportation infrastructure and help our communities recover from these devastating events is a top priority,” said Gillibrand. “This federal funding supports restoration efforts and emergency repairs to fix federally-owned highways and roads that suffered damage from natural disasters and the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. I will always fight for the federal dollars New Yorkers need to rebuild and move forward in the aftermath of catastrophic events.”

The funding was allocated through the US Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Highway Administration’s Emergency Relief for Federally Owned Roads program, and will be used to restore roads and highway infrastructure damaged as a result of the World Trade Center attacks, Superstorm Sandy, and the 2018 North East flooding

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