Brooklyn Lawmakers on the Move Jan. 25, 2021

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Eichenstein Calls for Safety on the Streets

Assembly Member Simcha Eichenstein
Assembly Member Simcha Eichenstein

Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein (D-Borough Park, Midwood) penned a letter to the NYC Department of Transportation Acting Commissioner Margaret Forgione, requesting the installation of a flashing light alert system on the Prospect Expressway. This flashing light signal, half a mile prior to the divide, would alert northbound drivers when the Hamilton Avenue drawbridge is lifted or will soon be lifted. This will allow them to avoid lengthy and unnecessary traffic delays.

Motorists approaching the merging point of the Prospect Expressway and the Brooklyn Queens Expressway often make a split-second decision about whether to continue onto the elevated ramp to the left, merging onto the BQE, or take the Hamilton Avenue Exit, heading towards a drawbridge that is frequently lifted, leading to extensive traffic delays.

“I have heard from many Brooklynites who have exited at Hamilton Avenue off the Prospect Expressway, only to immediately discover that the bridge is lifted for boats to pass underneath,” said Eichenstein. “As a result, they are caught in a traffic jam with no exit strategy. A simple signal installation half a mile before the divide would easily solve this problem for countless commuters.”

About 153,000 vehicles traverse the BQE daily, making it one of the busiest roadways in the country. Alerting drivers of potential upcoming traffic congestion would result in an improved and quicker commute. “A flashing alert system before the Hamilton Avenue exit is a simple yet effective solution that will improve the daily commute of countless New Yorkers,” said Eichenstein.

Felder Appointed to More Committees

Sen. Simcha Felder

State Sen. Simcha Felder (D-Boro Park, Midwood)  has been appointed to committees that include areas of longtime advocacy and local community interest. 

Those include: NYC Education; Aging; Mental Health; Disabilities; and Social Services Committees.

“These committees represent issues of major interest to the people in the 17th Senate District,” said Felder. “Seniors, Students and Individuals with Special Needs are among the hardest hit by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and I look forward to working with my colleagues to provide the help and support they deserve.”

“I thank Leader Stewart-Cousins for her confidence in me,” concluded Felder. “As part of these prestigious committees I can best advocate on behalf of my constituents, and all New Yorkers, on so many important issues.”

Effectively acting as the legislature’s watchdog, ARRC is responsible for monitoring the rules and regulatory actions of all State agencies to ensure their efficacy and legality. As the Commission’s Chairman, Felder is in a powerful position to combat regulations that hinder the economic growth and health of communities, businesses and all New Yorkers.

Adams Releasing Data on Vaccine Release 

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams yesterday in front of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) headquarters in Long Island City, Queens to announce that he is teaming up with famed civil rights attorney Norman Siegel on a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request to the City of New York demanding it release racial and ethnic data of those who have received the COVID-19 vaccine to date. 

Adams, who recently joined the City Council’s Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus to call for the City to implement a real-time reporting system for such data, is now demanding the release of the data collected to date to ensure the dosages of the vaccine are administered equitably.

Yesterday Governor Cuomo announced that the State had no more dosages of the vaccine left to administer. Although New York is expected to receive 250,000 doses next week, the slow pace of vaccinations has raised concerns about how quickly the city and state will be able to reach herd immunity.

A recent survey of data compiled by 16 states – not including New York – found that Black Americans are receiving the vaccine at far lower rates than White Americans. As the City and State prepare for new shipments of the vaccine, Adams believes greater transparency around who is receiving the vaccine through real-time reporting mechanisms must be utilized to buck this concerning nationwide trend.

Brannan, Menchaca, Leven Chair Council Committee Meetings

Justin Brannan
City Council Member Justin Brannan
City Councilmember Carlos Menchaca
City Councilman Stephen Levin

City Councilmembers Justin Brannan (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bath Beach, Bensonhurst), Carlos Menchaca (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook) and Stephen Levin (D-Boerum Hill, Downtown Brooklyn, Dumbo, NOrthern Brooklyn) today will all chair meetings of committees they head.

Brannan, who heads the Resiliency and Waterfronts Committee, among other items, will look at a proposed measure to would require the Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability (OLTPS) to develop climate resiliency design guidelines, pursuant to a pilot program, for City capital projects.

The virtual meeting starts at 10 a.m. Watch here.

Menchaca, who heads the Immigration Committee, will hold an oversight hearing on Reducing Barriers to Citizenship.

The virtual meeting starts at 10 a.m.  Watch here

Levin, who heads the General Welfare Committee, will review a proposed bill that would amend Local Law number 136 of 2017, the housing court right-to-counsel law, by requiring the immediate implementation of access to legal services for tenants facing eviction proceedings in housing court citywide.

The virtual meeting starts at 12 noon.  Watch here

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