Brooklyn Lawmakers on the Move Nov. 20, 2020

News Site Brooklyn

Treyger on School Reopening 

Council Member Mark Treyger

Council Member Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend) released the following statement in response to the return to fully remote learning in the city’s public schools. 

“All school closing and reopening decisions should be guided by science, safety, and equity. The safety and health of our school staff, students, and families must be our first priority. However, this is not March. It has been abundantly clear that we were on a trajectory to meet the 3% threshold, but, because the City once again failed to adequately plan for a smooth transition to remote learning, school communities and families are now scrambling to try to distribute and collect learning materials, figure out what school looks like tomorrow, and arrange childcare.

“The City still has not ensured that every child from every zip code has access to reliable internet, a necessity for remote learning. Schools will close without a clear process for families to access childcare, or a clear plan on how the City will dramatically increase the capacity at Learning Labs and Learning Bridges to meet increased demand. There is no articulated plan for what health and safety thresholds need to be met in order to reopen schools.

“With every week of remote and hybrid learning that has passed, many of our most vulnerable learners have experienced learning loss and regression, perpetuating and deepening pre existing academic disparities. As we plan for school reopening a second time, we need to be laser-focused on equity, in addition to safety. Phased-in approaches, like my school reopening proposal from July, prioritize access to in-person instruction for those who are most developmentally and academically dependent on it: pre-K and elementary school students, students with disabilities, multilingual learners, families experiencing homelessness, and children in foster care. Since July, the scientific consensus around low transmission rates in elementary school students has only grown. Now is the time for us to prepare to shift to a more equitable phased-in model, grounded in science.

“In the meantime, we need to move mountains to ensure that every child has access to high-quality remote instruction and the necessary technology; that all families have access to appropriate child care options, including students with disabilities; and that there is constant communication with schools and families,” said Treyger. 


Frontus to Host Career Day 

Mathylde Frontus
Assembly Member Mathylde Frontus

Assemblywoman Mathylde Frontus (D-Coney Island, Bath Beach, Bay Ridge, Brighton Beach, Gravesend) will host a virtual career day this Sunday for Coney Island high school and college students.

Frontus partnered with Abraham Lincoln High School, Rachel Carson High School for Coastal Studies, John Dewey High School, and Kingsborough Community College to bring the event to Coney Island. Participants will hear career guidance from 19 current and former Coney Island residents representing a variety of professions. 

This event is slated to take place from 3-5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 22. To register for the forum, go to https://tinyurl.com/FrontusCareerDay.  


Velázquez Bill to Grant TPS Protections 

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-Northern Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan, Queens) has introduced the Hurricane Eta Relief Act of 2020, to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to countries impacted by the devastation of Hurricanes Eta and Iota including Nicaragua, Honduras, and Guatemala.

Both Hurricanes Eta and Iota hit these countries, with their destructive force inducing devastating floods and landslides.

“Right now, thousands of families are losing their homes, livelihoods, and lives to flash floods and torrential mudslides,” said Velázquez. “These families had everything they hold dear taken from them in a matter of days, and the death toll from these hurricanes continues to rise. The people of Nicaragua, Honduras, and Guatemala are suffering, and the United States has an obligation to respond to the aftermath of this natural disaster. Absent leadership from the White House, Congress must act to provide appropriate protections that are available under law. Whether it be the hurricane today or another danger years from now, the TPS program is effective at saving lives. Activating the TPS program in response to Hurricanes Eta and Iota is the right thing to do.”

Temporary Protected Status is a designation given to individuals from specific countries of origin that now temporarily reside within the United States. This status is typically granted to individuals from countries facing armed conflict, natural disasters, or other serious conditions that prevent safe return. 


Adams Urges for more MTA Funding  

Borough President Eric Adams
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams yesterday released a letter to U. S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) addressing the dire need for federal funding to assist the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). 

“Our transit system is the lifeblood of our city. We cannot allow the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic to drain it away. Not only would the drastic service cutbacks sketched out by the MTA hinder our city’s economic recovery, but they would also fall hardest on Black and Brown workers who were on the front lines in the early days of the pandemic. New York City is a major economic driver of this country, and has contributed more than its share. Now it’s time for the Federal government to step up and return the favor, by providing urgently needed assistance to the MTA. I urge Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader McConnell to work out a deal that prioritizes our transit system — we can’t afford any more delays,” said Adams. 

In the letter, Borough President Adams notes that ridership on the City’s mass transit system has plummeted by 70 percent, costing the MTA billions of dollars in lost revenue. The MTA has requested $12 billion in federal funding. Even with the potential cuts, the MTA said, they would still be facing a $3.1 billion budget deficit by the end of next year. 

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