Brooklyn Lawmakers on the Move Feb. 8, 2021

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Clarke Calls for Rejection of President in Haiti

U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke

U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-East Flatbush, Central Brooklyn) co-led a letter with House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks (D-Queens) to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken encouraging the United States to unambiguously reject the undemocratic actions of  President Moïse to retain power in Haiti.

“The human rights situation in Haiti is equally perilous. Civil rights are under siege, and those who advocate for them are often facing literal attacks. Seemingly state-sanctioned violence targets those who challenge the state. Victims of such violence have no path towards accountability and justice. Meanwhile, Haiti remains gripped in a cascade of economic, public health, and political crises.

“Members of the opposition have sent President Moïse an unmistakable message that his term must end on February 7. There have also been clear calls for a legitimate transitional government to be promptly established so that democratic elections can resume. The people of Haiti deserve a voice in their own governance, and the United States must extend its own voice to that critical cause.

“We look forward to working with you to advance democracy, the rule of law, and human rights around the world. To that end, we hope that the State Department will closely monitor the unfolding events in Haiti, take swift steps to condemn President Moïse’s undemocratic actions, and support the establishment of a transitional government,” they wrote. 

Felder: Raising Property Tax- Chutzpah!

Sen. Simcha Felder

State Sen. Simcha Felder (D-Boro Park, Midwood) is demanding New York City skip the annual rise in property tax this year.

“Considering the health and economic crisis we are facing, it is the height of chutzpah that New York City would increase property taxes during the peak of this pandemic, especially after New Yorkers have been asked to sacrifice so much,” he said.

In a letter sent Friday to Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Corey Johnson, Felder argues against over-burdening homeowners who are struggling under the economic hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Both our city and state governments have worked to provide much-needed relief for renters and tenants. All the while, property owners have mortgages, utilities, taxes and other expenses they continue to accrue. Sadly, it appears that homeowners are continuously overlooked and no help is coming. I strongly believe that if the government is asking its citizens to sacrifice for the greater good, we must also be willing to make sacrifices. Freezing property taxes would provide much-needed relief to homeowners in need and help many people at a time when they need it most,” he added. 

Adams Urges for Resuming Team Sports

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams joined About U Outreach, an organization dedicated to the empowerment and academic success of student athletes across New York City, along with coaches of various team sports ranging in grades from elementary to high school, to urge the City to allow public schools to resume team sports. 

The call comes after a speech by a student-athlete from Harlem went viral during a recent rally, explaining in personal terms how the lack of in-person schooling and extracurricular activities were affecting him and his peers. Last month, the State issued new guidelines allowing school and recreational sports to resume if county health departments provided their sign-off, based on several public health criteria. Studies have shown that student-athletes tend to perform better academically and are less likely to drop out than non-student-athletes. 

 Adams and participants of the rally argued that the policy of keeping team sports closed, despite evidence that it does not cause an increase in COVID-19 infection rates, is having a long-term negative impact on students.  

 Senators Announce Millions for Presbyterian Hospital 

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) yesterday announced $7,835,049.80 in funding for New York Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital. 

The funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and will be used to cover previous COVID-19 response and operational costs, including approximately 111,000 hours of overtime and 72,700 surge staff hours. To meet increased demands, the hospital has exceeded its normal operating budget. These additional funds will help alleviate the cost required to treat and protect both patients and health care workers during the pandemic. 

 “I’m proud to deliver these federal funds to help cover the costs of increased staffing and protective measures for hospitals likeNew York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital. The staff at local hospitals and health centers have valiantly served our communities throughout the pandemic and continue to do so to help beat back the virus,” said Schumer. “I will continue to support our local hospitals as we work towards a safe and effective recovery from the unprecedented health and economic crises New York continues to face. The safety of healthcare workers and patients alike, and increased staffing for our healthcare facilities, will continue to be a top priority for me when fighting for federal funding.”

“For over a year, COVID-19 has put our health workers at risk and pushed our health care system to its limit,” said Gillibrand. “This funding will give New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital the support needed to continue providing pay for additional staff, supplies, and equipment during the pandemic. I will work to get our hospitals and health systems the federal dollars they need to thrive so they can continue to keep our communities safe.” 



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