Brooklyn Lawmakers on the Move Dec. 10, 2020

News Site Brooklyn

AG James Leads Lawsuit Seeking to End Facebook

Attorney General of NY Letitia James
New York Attorney General Letitia James

New York Attorney General Letitia James announced yesterday she filed a lawsuit against Facebook Inc. alleging that, over the last decade, the social networking giant illegally acquired competitors in a predatory manner and cut services to smaller threats — depriving users from the benefits of competition and reducing privacy protections and services along the way — all in an effort to boost its bottom line through increased advertising revenue.

James leads a bipartisan coalition of 48 attorneys general from around the nation in filing today’s lawsuit to stop Facebook’s anticompetitive conduct. 

“For nearly a decade, Facebook has used its dominance and monopoly power to crush smaller rivals and snuff out competition, all at the expense of everyday users,” said James. “Today, we are taking action to stand up for the millions of consumers and many small businesses that have been harmed by Facebook’s illegal behavior. Instead of competing on the merits, Facebook used its power to suppress competition so it could take advantage of users and make billions by converting personal data into a cash cow. Almost every state in this nation has joined this bipartisan lawsuit because Facebook’s efforts to dominate the market were as illegal as they were harmful. Today’s suit should send a clear message to Facebook and every other company that any efforts to stifle competition, reduce innovation, or cut privacy protections will be met with the full force of our offices.”

Eugene to Give Free Food

Councilmember Mathieu Eugene Photo by Phoebe Taylor Vuolo

Council Member Mathieu Eugene (D-Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Kensington, Midwood, Prospect Park, Prospect Lefferts Gardens) is partnering with local organizations to provide free food and masks to residents facing food insecurity and to help protect them during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Since August, I have been fortunate to partner with community organizations to provide free food and masks to hundreds of underserved residents and their families,” said Eugene. “The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a serious public health issue for all New Yorkers, and we still have friends and neighbors in this area who are at-risk and need resources to stay healthy. By providing food and masks to those who are dealing with financial instability and food insecurity, we are helping numerous families get through this crisis. 

“It is important to me to demonstrate what is possible when we work together as a society and do what is right for our neighbors who are struggling. I am very appreciative to the organizations and volunteers who have assisted with this event, and I remain committed to doing everything in my power to provide these resources to those who need them most.”

This event is slated for 3 p.m. today, Dec. 10 at 900 Rogers Avenue in East Flatbush.

Adams to Celebrate the Festival of Lights

Borough President Eric Adams
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams today will hold his annual menorah lighting at Brooklyn Borough Hall to mark the beginning of Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights, with prominent rabbis from throughout the borough. 

Adams will deliver remarks focusing on the importance of upholding meaningful traditions during the holiday season while observing City, State, and Federal public health guidance to reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

 Joining Adams will be Fire Department of New York (FDNY) Chaplain Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Chaplain Rabbi Harry Berkovitz, Jewish Community Relations Council Rabbi Michael Miller, United Jewish Organizations Executive Director Rabbi David Niederman, Borough Park Jewish Community Center Director Rabbi Avraham Greenstein, Crown Heights Jewish Community Council Rabbi Eli Cohen, Flatbush Jewish Community Coalition Chairman Josh Mehlman, Rabbi Bernard Freilich, community activist Devorah Halberstam

This event is slated to take place 3:30 p.m. today, Dec. 10, at the Brooklyn Borough Hall steps- 209 Joralemon Street in Downtown Brooklyn. 

Ortiz Declares Climate Victory

Assembly Member Feliz Ortiz

Assistant Assembly Speaker Felix W. Ortiz (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook) is declaring climate victory after yesterday’s announcement that the NYS Comptroller has adopted a goal to transition the NYS Pension Fund portfolio to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2040. 

The Comptroller’s plan is modeled on the Fossil Fuel Divestment Act (A.1536-A/S.2126-B), a bill introduced in the Assembly in 2015 by Ortiz.

 “As a lifelong champion of the environment, I am delighted that my initiative has become a part of New York’s progressive environmental agenda,” said Ortiz. “Today’s announcement is a win for all New Yorkers. Investing in companies that produce, support or promote fossil fuels is hazardous to the future of the climate and pensioner’s finances. All of us have the ability and the responsibility to enact powerful positive change for future generations through advocacy and determination.  New York can’t afford to wait.”

Gillibrand on Increasing Funding for Hospitals 

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand will hold a video press conference to urge Congress to deliver increased funding for hospitals and health care providers in the next coronavirus relief package. 

 New York’s hospital systems and health care providers have treated millions of patients with limited resources since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, depleting already strained resources. While the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and CARES Act delivered some relief to hospitals and health care providers, the alarming surge of COVID-19 cases throughout the fall and winter make increased federal relief critical to their survival. 

In just over a year, hospitals across New York State could suffer up to $25 billion in losses and increased expenses in response to the current public health crisis. New York’s hospitals and health systems contribute $170 billion in economic activity annually – making up 10% of the state’s gross domestic product – and are in desperate need of immediate congressional relief to sustain operations. 

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