Bklyn Lawmakers on the Move Dec. 1, 2020

News Site Brooklyn

Savino, Weinstein Bill Protecting Rights of The Deceased Enacted

Senator Diane Savino
Senator Diane Savino (credit: Thomas Altfather Good)
Helene Weinstein
Assemblymember Helene Weinstein

State Sen. Diane Savino (D-Coney Island, Staten Island) and Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein (D-Sheepshead Bay, Flatlands, East Flatbush, Midwood, Canarsie) yesterday saw Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo sign their legislation (S5959D /A.5605-C) that establishes a “Right to Publicity” for deceased individuals to protect against the commercial exploitation, or unauthorized use, of their personal characteristics that have commercial value – their name, picture, voice or signature after their death. 

Additionally, these rights can be exercised by their descendants, giving performers estates the ability to control and protect their likeness or image after they have died. The legislation also creates new penalties for publishing sexually explicit depictions of individuals, protecting people from revenge porn and “deep fakes,” which are synthetic media that are increasingly being used in the digital age to create images of fake events.

“In the digital age, deceased individuals can often fall victim to bad actors that seek to capitalize on their death and profit off of their likeness after they pass away – that ends today,” said Cuomo.

“This legislation will protect artists and their image both today and after their death for years to come. It also takes the important step of protecting them from having their image superimposed onto pornographic imagery, which only looks to damage their reputations. These important steps will make our state a safer and fairer place for artists of all levels to call home,” said Savino.

“At present, tens of thousands of performers and broadcasters who call New York home have no protection from unscrupulous operators who steal their image and persona for commercial gain to use after their death. This bill creates significant legal protections against such wrongful conduct, and also protects those in the acting community from those who would use “deep fakes” to falsely depict them as engaging in sexual activity,” said Weinstein.

Colton Reminds Small Biz & Nonprofits of State Loan Program

Assembly Member William Colton

Assemblyman William Colton (D–Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Dyker Heights)is reminding eligible constituents that there is an economic recovery loan program called  New York Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF) which is aimed at supporting New York State small businesses, nonprofits, and small landlords as they reopen after the COVID-19 outbreak. 

“This past holiday weekend was designated as a day to shop at small businesses. I personally support small businesses and I urge people to make holiday purchases in our neighborhood stores. Small businesses are providing the lifeline for our neighborhoods since they hire so many neighborhood people, which is very important. Everyone should consider shopping at the neighborhood businesses, instead of online, wherever it is possible. Small businesses are greatly damaged by the COVID-19 crisis. I think that the commercial promotion idea for small businesses is something that we should consider doing on a constant basis,” said Colton.

 “The government must look for ways to help small businesses to survive during this crisis. The state programs should be increased and made it easier for the applicants. The New York Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF) is a program that loans money at interest rates between 2 to 3% to small businesses under 20 employees, nonprofits, and small landlords,” said Colton.

Colton’s office at 155 Kings Highway is available to help neighborhood businesses to apply for the New York Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF) program. To find out more about the loan program click here.

Clarke Leads Effort to Close Learning Gap in Schools  

U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke

U.S. Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Kensington, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Midwood, Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, Prospect Lefferts Gardens) last week led the way in firing off a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit V. Pai pushing to reform the E-Rate program to accommodate distanced learning and do more to close the ‘Learning Gap’.

“As we await the rollout of coronavirus vaccines in the coming months, we must not lose sight of the immediate needs of students that have been hurt the most by this pandemic. Nearly 30% of all US households lack broadband access rising to over 40% for low-income households. While many schools went remote in order to help slow the spread of the virus, these students have been effectively pushed out of school and left to fend for themselves. This disparate impact on the student population will only compound pre-existing inequities in academic achievement throughout the public school system,” Clarke said.

Currently, the FCC only authorizes E-Rate funds for efforts to wire school buildings and libraries. In light of the coronavirus pandemic, this funding has largely gone unutilized as schools and libraries predominantly remain closed. Local jurisdictions have been forced to scramble to help bridge this digital divide or face the consequences as students fall behind their peers. 

The E-Rate Program can help alleviate some of the burden by providing funding to cover some of the cost of more creative approaches taken by school districts. For example, these funds could be used to help pay for New York City’s tablet program to help give students wireless Internet access. 

If the FCC reconsiders its approach to the authority of the E-Rate program in light of the new realities created by the pandemic, up to $4.15 billion could become available to help provide connectivity to those in need.

“The scars from this pandemic will stay with us for years to come. With this effort, we hope that we can start that healing process now,” Clarke said. 

Reynoso Rallies Against Demolition of Historic Building in Bushwick

Antonio Reynoso
City Council Member Antonio Reynoso
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez
Julia Salazar
State Sen. Julia Salazar

City Council Member Antonio Reynoso (D-Greenpoint, Williamsburg) today will join U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-Brooklyn, Queens, Lower Manhattan) and State Sen. Julia Salazar (D- Williamsburg, Bushwick, East New York), along with Community Board 4, and Bushwick residents to denounce the demolition of the Charles Lindemann House in Bushwick.

Located on “The Historic Bushwick Corridor”, the Lindemann House is one of the last remaining historical buildings in the neighborhood. It holds significance within the community as a beautiful relic of the past, set in juxtaposition to the new development that has sprouted up throughout the neighborhood. Now, the building is undergoing demolition to make way for new construction.

Advocates for the building say the demolition of the Lindemann House is a loss for the community and encroaches upon the limited historical building stock that remains. Those gathered will denounce the demolition and call to reignite a landmarking proposal that was introduced as part of the Bushwick Community Plan.

The rally is slated for 12 noon, today Dec. 1 at the Charles Lindemann House, 1001 Bushwick Avenue in Bushwick.