Brooklyn Lawmakers on the Move Jan. 28, 2021

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Treyger Plan to Expand Access to Vaccines for Seniors 

Council Member Mark Treyger

City Council Member Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend) joined by State Sen. Diane Savino (D-Coney Island, Staten Island), and others for a virtual press conference to announce a plan to expand access to vaccines for senior citizens in New York City, including for homebound seniors and residents.  

“Here we are, facing a global pandemic, with thousands of New Yorkers who have lost their lives, and who is again the forgotten group of people– the very people who need help the most, our senior citizen population,” said Treyger. “We still don’t have a comprehensive and cohesive plan to vaccinate homebound seniors or even an adequate plan to vaccinate seniors in general. I look forward to working with city leadership to ensure we are rolling out a vaccine plan that’s rooted in equity and accessibility.”

According to a 2019 report by the Center for an Urban Future, there is an estimate of 1.2 million seniors residing in NYC. The city has vaccinated over 650,000 New Yorkers so far prioritizing health care workers, essential workers and older adults 65 and over, yet, we still do not have a comprehensive plan to vaccinate homebound seniors – one of the most vulnerable populations in our communities. Before receiving the next package of vaccines, Treyger urges the de Blasio Administration to prioritize the homebound senior community and act with a sense of urgency to vaccinate the high-risk older adult population. His plan and suggestions for vaccinating seniors are focused on equity and utilizing existing city resources.

The proposal includes: Vaccine equity czar. Clear line of accountability under equity lens. Coordinate public and private efforts. Make the appointment registration process more senior-friendly and accessible for immigrant seniors. Double-down on partnerships with senior providers. Work with senior centers, NORCS, and other providers to help enroll seniors and provide transportation and more. 

Malliotakis on Cuomo Reopening School

U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis

U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (D-Southern Brooklyn, Staten Island)  yesterday sent a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio calling for the immediate reopening of public schools for middle and high school students: 

“It’s time for the Mayor to immediately resume in-person learning and the Public School Athletic League (PSAL) at our city’s middle and high schools to provide the critical away-from-home support many of our students so desperately need,” said Malliotakis. “As teachers and high-risk populations are immunized the public health situation in our city continues to improve. We cannot continue to let our students, staff and small businesses suffer if we are able to responsibly reopen our schools and economy.” 

On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a study stating schools should resume in-person learning as soon as possible as long as proper social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines are put in place. Additionally, Governor Cuomo announced that local municipalities can resume high-risk high school athletics.

Lander Plan to Invest in A New Generation of Social Housing 

City Council Member Brad Lander

Councilmember Brad Lander (D-Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Columbia Waterfront, Gowanus, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Borough Park, Kensington)  is putting forward a detailed plan to transform New York City’s modern housing landscape by investing in creating and preserving a new generation of social housing. 

Lander’s plan aims to curb real estate speculation and displacement in the wake of the pandemic by creating and preserving more than 500,000 units of permanently affordable housing. 

“New York’s affordability crisis isn’t going away anytime soon, in fact, it’s about to get a lot worse as private equity funds swoop in to buy up the homes that New Yorkers can no longer afford,” said Lander. “We have an opportunity now to take a lesson from New Yorkers of the past and invest in housing strategies that guarantee permanent affordability, prioritize community ownership and democratic control, and permanently insulate units from real estate speculation. By treating housing as a public good rather than a vehicle for profit, we can ensure that all New Yorkers have a home they can afford.”

Lander’s social housing plan would include: 

  • Preserving 100% of existing social housing units by combatting efforts to privatize Mitchell-Lama rentals and cooperatives, enforcing resale restrictions on HFDCs, supporting non-profits to access capital for repairs and reducing building emissions, and investment in NYCHA from every level of government.
  • Creating a NYC land bank to purchase real estate assets that fall into default, including single family homes, multi-family apartment buildings, and hotels. 
  • Requiring all housing developed on city-owned land to be social housing — owned by non-profits, community land trusts or limited equity cooperators. 
  • Dedicating a greater share of city capital funding to social housing rather than private developers.
  • Replacing the speculative tax lien sale with a model that keeps people in their homes in partnership with community land trusts.
  • Launching a new citywide shared equity homeownership program.

Bichotte Hermelyn’s Bill Reducing Signatures for Designating Petitions

Rodneyse Bichotte
Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn

Assemblymember Rodneys Bichotte Hermelyn (D-Flatbush, Ditmas Park) this week saw her bill temporarily reducing the number of signatures required for designating petitions to get on the ballot pass both chambers of the state legislature.

.”Yesterday, both houses of the state Legislature passed an election reform bill I introduced which will reduce the number of signatures for designating petitions by 70% for the upcoming election cycle. This will allow candidates to organize their campaigns, print their petitions, and collect voters’ signatures while respecting public health guidelines,” said Bichotte Hermelyn.

The measure also shortens the period to circulate petitions by two weeks, one week at the beginning and one week at the end (from March 2 to March 27); and changes the dates for filing the petitions to coincide with the last week of the petition period.

The bill is expected to be presented to the governor to be signed into law.”