Samuels to Hold NYCHA Hearing
City Council Member Alicka Ampry-Samuel (D-Bedford-Stuyvesant, Ocean Hill-Brownsville, East Flatbush, Crown Heights), chair of the Committee on Public Housing today will hold a committee hearing to look at a measure involving the creation of New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) mold ombudsman.
City Councilmember Ritchie Torres (D-Bronx) introduced the measure, which would require an office or agency designated by the Mayor to mail to each NYCHA tenant a pamphlet that contains information about the court-appointed mold ombudsperson, the mold ombudsperson’s call center, and how to make a complaint to the mold ombudsperson.
The office would also be required to mail such pamphlet to local elected officials and certain community representatives and hold a public briefing at least once a year to provide information about the mold ombudsperson.and the Committee on Housing and Buildings.
This remote hearing is slated to take place 12 noon, today, Oct. 21, at this link.
Persaud, Nonprofits to Cuomo: Release CRF Money
State Sen. Roxanne Persaud (D- Canarsie, East New York, Brownsville, Mill Basin, Old Mill Basin, Sheepshead Bay, Bergen Beach, Marine Park, Flatlands, Mill Island, Georgetown, Ocean Hill, Starrett City) along with many other state lawmakers and non-profits will host a virtual press conference to call on Governor Cuomo to release the billions he has received in federal funds from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF).
Over $2 billion from the CRF remains at the state’s disposal. At the same time, service providers, including nonprofits, childcare providers, healthcare services, treatment centers, and many others, are in danger of collapse due to the withholding of billions of dollars in economic relief. The use of CRF funds to assist nonprofit service providers during the pandemic is permissible under the federal guidelines for use of CRF funds.
A recent study shows that 1,829 nonprofits in NY would go out of business because of the current crisis, one of the highest around the country. Legislators and advocates have been calling on Governor Cuomo to release these funds to save nonprofits since early September, having sent a letter with 185 signatories on September 8th and hosting a press conference of elected officials on September 29th.
This event is slated to take place 11 a.m. today, Oct. 21, register at this link.
Colton Wants Task Force to Deal with Garbage
Assemblyman William Colton (D – Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Dyker Heights) is calling on the City and State Departments of Health to form a joint task force of state and city government which will include the Departments of Sanitation, Transportation, Environmental Protection, Buildings, and Parks & Recreations to deal with the health emergency the city is facing due to garbage conditions.
“Yesterday I sent a letter to New York City and the New York State Departments of Health demanding them to form a task force together with city and state government which will fight the horrendous garbage problem throughout NYC. As I stated in the letter my office has been swamped by angry residents with complaints about the deplorable garbage conditions where rats are now overrunning streets in the neighborhood especially 86th Street from 26th Avenue through 19th Avenue and the adjacent residential Bay Streets between Cropsey Avenue and 86th Street, and Kings Highway from West 6th Street to West 10th Street,” Colton stated.
“The city is horrendously infested with rats and other rodents. These conditions are forming a real health issue for the public. This is disgraceful that in the 21 century New York City is facing unacceptable garbage conditions, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is obvious that the current City Government has mismanaged New York City significantly. We must act immediately before the city will completely deteriorate and turn into a garbage swamp,” Colton added.
Adams on Communication Failure
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams released a statement on city hall’s acknowledgment of failures of communicating COVID-19 safety messages in non-English dominant communities.
“For the last six months, I have been sounding the alarm with faith leaders and community advocates to demand the City’s outreach regarding the COVID-19 pandemic reflect the diversity of New York City, taking into account those who do not access traditional forms of media, those whose first language is not English, and others. Only today did Mayor de Blasio acknowledge that City Hall has fallen short on this mission. We have done a poor job of consistently communicating on the ground and recruiting credible messengers from within our communities. Recent spikes have proven that these challenges are bigger than one neighborhood or ethnic enclave; COVID-19 may not discriminate, but our policies in response to it have.
“I hope that this is a turning point, and that we work in partnership with credible messengers and ethnic media to spread the importance of wearing masks, getting tested, and socially distancing. I renew my call for a precision model of enforcement that would allow law enforcement to identify specific areas with high rates of non-compliance so credible messengers can flood the zone with informational materials in a variety of languages, PPE, and other resources,” he finished.
Clarke Bill Helps Fight the Climate Crisis
U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-East Flatbush, Central Brooklyn) and Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA) introduced a bill to create the first federal program to build 100-percent clean energy microgrids to power critical infrastructure for communities in the aftermath of an extreme weather event or power shut-off.
“I’m proud to be introducing the Energy Resilient Communities Act along with Congresswoman Barragán, which will support resilient and equitable clean energy systems across the nation while also growing clean energy jobs,” said Clarke. “From Superstorm Sandy to summer heatwaves, Brooklynites are all too familiar with the impacts of extreme weather on our communities and critical infrastructure. Unfortunately, we know that the climate crisis is only making these types of impacts more frequent and severe, particularly for those areas that have seen the greatest climate and pollution impacts yet received the least in renewable energy investment.
“And as our nation grapples with record fires out West, and a record hurricane season down South, we know that resilience and equity must be top of mind in all our efforts to build a better and cleaner future. Through the federal programs established by this legislation, local communities will have access to unparalleled grant funding and technical assistance to develop zero-emission microgrids that will simultaneously tackle the climate crisis while fortifying our essential services and infrastructure to the impacts of future climate disasters,” Clarke continued.
The Energy Resilient Communities Act prioritizes energy equity and environmental justice by putting grant applications from low-income communities and communities of color at the front of the line for clean energy microgrid grants that will help combat power outages and rolling blackouts, reduce pollution, create green jobs, and fight the climate crisis.
AG James Announces Investigation Into Google
New York Attorney General Letitia James and the attorney generals of Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced an antitrust lawsuit against tech giant Google:
“Over the last year, both the U.S. DOJ and state attorneys general have conducted separate but parallel investigations into Google’s anti-competitive market behavior. We appreciate the strong bipartisan cooperation among the states and the good working relationship with the DOJ on these serious issues.
“This is a historic time for both federal and state antitrust authorities, as we work to protect competition and innovation in our technology markets. We plan to conclude parts of our investigation of Google in the coming weeks. If we decide to file a complaint, we would file a motion to consolidate our case with the DOJ’s. We would then litigate the consolidated case cooperatively, much as we did in the Microsoft case,” they said.