Bklyn Lawmakers on the Move Jan. 12, 2021

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Louis on Ending Sexual Exploitation Once and For All 

Council Member Farah Louis
Council Member Farah Louis

City Council Member Farah Louis (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Marine Park, Flatlands, Kensington) wants to raise awareness on yesterday being National Human Trafficking Awareness Day to help end labor and sexual exploitation. 

“The lack of reporting data has hindered our ability to identify trends and hot spots, inform the public, or bolster resources that will help the NYPD prevent and pursue any perpetrators responsible for the disappearance of our loved ones. 

“Girls and young women of color are being targeted, followed, harassed, or abducted on their way to school, work, home, and especially in the shopping centers. The few who manage to escape are traumatized yet courageous enough to share their dangerous encounters with strange men and vans in the hopes that the information could help protect another potential victim. More needs to be done in communities of color to make our streets safer for all,” she said. 

Louis introduced two pieces of legislation that would help this problem: INTRO 1929 would create a public alert system to be used in missing persons cases where the person is believed to be in imminent danger and INTRO 1928 would require the NYPD to compile, send, and post a yearly missing persons report, disaggregated by race, age, gender, police precinct, percent of cases solved, and proportion of which cases involved human trafficking.

Deutsch Questions Department of Homeless Services

City Councilman Chaim Deutsch

Councilman Chaim Deutsch (Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach, Homecrest) questioned the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) and Core Services Group, a shelter provider, on plans to open a homeless shelter at 100 Neptune Avenue in Brighton Beach. 

The proposed shelter would be home to 170 adult single men, and would be operated by Core Services Group. Deutsch spoke to DHS and Core representatives at length about local concerns with the proposed site.

“Thank you to Community Board 13 Chair Lucy Acevedo for arranging today’s conference with DHS and Core. I appreciate the opportunity to speak on behalf of my constituents and ensure transparency in this process,” said Deutsch.

Among some of the problems Deutsch raised were emphasizing the need for a public comment period to allow local residents to speak directly to officials about concerns with the potential shelter, environmental concerns and that the proposed site is located within a high risk flood zone. 

“I expect thorough responses from DHS and Core regarding the issues that I introduced at today’s meeting. It is critical that community residents have a voice in the process and are offered an opportunity to speak directly to officials. I will continue to keep the community apprised of any developments, and publicize any open meetings regarding this proposed shelter,” said Duetsch. 

Menchaca on Reforming Police in Light of Riots

City Councilman Carlos Menchaca
City Councilman Carlos Menchaca

Councilmember Carlos Menchaca (D-Red Hook, Sunset Park) issued the following statement on reforming the police process. 

“What we saw last week in Washington D.C. was nothing less than an invasion against our country’s democracy. We saw first hand that the dangerous ideology of the far-right has violent and fatal consequences. It’s unacceptable that the NYPD did not immediately make a statement condemning the violence against not just our legislative branch but also towards other police officers. We see time and time again that high ranking NYPD officers abide by the same racist and extreme ideology like that of Donald Trump and QAnon. We need an immediate conclusion of the investigation of James Kobel, the commanding officer of the Equal Employment Opportunity office,  who posted obscene and racist comments on the internet. 

“Further, there must be an immediate investigation of NYPD Sergeants Union Chief Ed Mullions who appeared on Fox News with a QAnon mug behind him — the same group that was behind the attack against our country. And where there is one, there are more that follow just as we are seeing that some officers participated in the insurrection. It’s been clear that the NYPD needs reconstruction, it must not be piecemeal but transformative. I look forward to participating in today’s hearing that will explore reimagining public safety,” he said. 

Frontus Urge Cuomo to Prioritize Veterans 

Mathylde Frontus
Assembly Member Mathylde Frontus

Assemblywoman Mathylde Frontus (D-Coney Island, Bath Beach, Bay Ridge, Brighton Beach, Gravesend) and assembly colleagues urged Gov. Andrew Cuomo to prioritize elderly and immunocompromised veterans in distributing coronavirus vaccines. 

In a letter to the governor, assembly members asked that New York coordinate vaccine distribution with Veterans Administration facilities to identify older veterans and those with medical conditions that put them at greater risk of contracting severe COVID-19 related illnesses. New York is home to some of the largest populations of veterans of World War II and the Korean Conflict. Assembly members signing on included Frontus; Michelle C. Solange; Brian Barnwell; Marianne Buttenschon; Steve Stern; William C. Conrad III; Gina L. Sillitti; Sandy Galef; Harvey Epstein; Anna Kelles; Khaleel M. Anderson; and Steven Englebright.

With New Yorkers struggling to navigate city and state distribution procedures amid a sluggish start to a mass vaccination effort, some veterans who don’t live in group homes or meet the age requirements for groups eligible for vaccination can be kept waiting. By coordinating with veterans facilities, the lawmakers said the state can ensure that vulnerable veterans are not overlooked.