Brooklyn Lawmakers on the Move Nov. 16, 2020

News Site Brooklyn

Velázquez, Nadler Lobby Gov for Wind Factory in Sunset Park

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez
U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler

U.S. Reps. Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-Brooklyn, Queens, Lower Manhattan)and  Jerrold Nadler (D-Brooklyn, Manhattan) last week sent a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo in support of Empire Wind’s Port Infrastructure Improvement plan to build what would become the nation’s first offshore wind production hub at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal (SBMT) in Sunset Park.

The letter comes as the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) seeks proposals to expand the City’s offshore wind production capacity, Velázquez and Nadler are asking for “full and fair consideration” for Empire Wind’s proposal to build and operate a wind farm production hub at SBMT. 

The lawmakers argue the proposal is in line with the Sunset Park community’s commitment to environmental justice and to the creation of green jobs and a clean energy future. SBMT is located less than one day’s sail from each of the nine East Coast wind farm development areas.

“A project at SBMT will be part of the ecosystem of working waterfront we foster in Brooklyn,” wrote the lawmakers. “It is also located in an environmental justice community and can offer equitable economic opportunity for residents and area small businesses through training, workforce development and contracting. Indeed, this project is well suited to meet the goals set out five years ago by the Sunset Park Waterfront Planning and Jobs Task Force to maximize the waterfront’s potential as an economic hub of traditional and innovating industries, job creation and workforce development,” the lawmakers wrote.

“While the Mayor committed $57 million for the project at SBMT earlier this year, State resources play a critical role in making the project possible. We fully support retooling our economy for a green energy future while adding real manufacturing jobs right here in Brooklyn,” they added.

Frontus to Host Roundtable on High School Admissions Tests

Mathylde Frontus
Assembly Member Mathylde Frontus

Assemblywoman Mathylde Frontus (D-Coney Island, Bath Beach, Bay Ridge, Brighton Beach, Gravesend) will host a forum discussing New York’s standardized tests in comparison to other states.

The forum will include a presentation from Dr. Josh Starr, chief executive officer of PDK International, an educators’ advocacy group, who will address the issues around specialized high school admissions and what approaches have been successful in other states.

Frontus established the Southern Brooklyn Community Roundtable to solicit the expertise and knowledge of local residents and facilitate community discussion on issues important to the community.

This event is slated to take place at 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov 27. To register click this link:  

Felder: Keep Schools Open

Sen. Simcha Felder

State Sen. Simcha Felder (D-Boro Park, Midwood) Friday called on Governor Cuomo to keep the schools open. 

“Mayor de Blasio said this week that a closure of city schools is imminent if the current citywide testing positivity rate exceeds 3 percent. Governor Cuomo has never agreed to that metric, maintaining that schools would close if the positivity rate exceeds 9 percent- and closing schools is not something the mayor can do without state approval. NYC Schools are subject to the Governor’s authority,” said Felder.

 “I am working closely with the Governor to ensure that our schools stay open. It is abundantly clear by now, that closing schools has a profound impact on children, families and society. Our children’s educational, social-emotional and developmental needs are best served in a classroom with other children. When there is so little to be gained, sacrificing their future is simply too high a price. 

“The latest comprehensive data shows that children accounted for less than 5 percent of all coronavirus cases reported in 28 countries, and that schools are not high-risk environments for transmission when managed properly. Chancellor Merkel closed bars, restaurants, theaters, gyms and tattoo parlors, but kept schools and day care centers open. Ireland has a nationwide lockdown in effect, and keeps schools open. President Macron exempted schools from restrictions going into effect today.  

“The positivity rate of 2,800 NYC schools is currently just 0.17 percent. The fear that schools would be super-spreader sites has not borne out. Closing schools would make New York City a blatant outlier among developed countries across the globe, that are all keeping schools open,” concluded Felder.

Adams Launches the Hunger Truck 

Borough President Eric Adams
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams joined with Muslims Giving Back and Pakistani American Youth Society (PAYS), along with elected officials, to launch “The Hunger Truck.” 

The Hunger Truck project, which is in collaboration with Long Island Halal Guide, Artisans of Medicine, Freedom Bakeries, DH Care Home Agency, United Elite Group, and Nile Ridge Pharmacy, is meant to address the need for a rapid and mobile response to hunger throughout New York City. The launch comes as food insecurity is rising rapidly throughout the five boroughs, with two million New Yorkers expected to be facing food insecurity by the end of the year.

Senators Demand Relief Bill 

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

U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand demanded Senate Leader Mitch McConnell accept the mandate of the recent election and put a robust COVID relief bill on the Senate floor that delivers for the unemployed, renters, homeowners, small businesses, state and local governments, healthcare, schools and more.

“Instead of sending out this tweet, President Trump might have more success simply picking up the phone and calling the person who has been blocking COVID relief for months: Leader McConnell,” said Schumer. “The House passed the HEROES Act months ago, while Democrats in the Senate have urged action. The only one who has refused to lift a finger on COVID relief, even refusing to take part in negotiations, has been Senator McConnell.”

“The message today is one that urges this White House and Leader McConnell to come to terms with the election mandate and take this pandemic much more seriously. The American people want action. They want action on unemployment, rent relief, small businesses support, funds for state and local governments now being crushed under the case counts, and more. The good news is, these are the things a robust bill like the Heroes Act would help deliver if Leader McConnell would act,” Schumer added. 

“Unfortunately, President Trump, his administration, and Republicans in the Senate have not shown any kind of leadership during this crisis and have been unwilling to take real action to stem the spread of COVID-19,” said Gillibrand. “Congress needs to get back to the negotiating table and start from where the HEROES Act left off – with a plan that helps our communities and families weather this storm and recover. The next COVID relief package must contain tools to tackle food insecurity, rental assistance, universal paid leave, and the fair and equitable distribution of a vaccine, once it’s safe and ready to go. Anything less that that is unacceptable.”

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