Brooklyn Lawmakers on the Move Feb. 12, 2021

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Brannan’s Law Prevents Corrupt Officials from Running Again

Justin Brannan
City Council Member Justin Brannan

City Councilman Justin Brannan’s (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach) bill, 374-A, which disqualifies elected officials who have abused the public trust while in office from seeking elected office again as Mayor, Public Advocate, Comptroller, Borough President, or City Council Member passed the city council yesterday.

 The legislation will prevent anyone who has been convicted with crimes while in office, including bribery, defrauding the government, larceny of public funds, and extortion. from seeking citywide office again. This good government legislation is intended to protect the public from those who seek elected office for the purpose of personal gain.

 “Serving the public in elected office is a privilege, not a right, and we should treat it like one. Today, when trust in government is at an all-time low, the last thing we need are elected officials who use their position of power to enrich themselves or their friends, get caught, and then come back looking for more,” said Brannan.

 “We have enormous challenges facing us as a city, and now more than ever, we need elected officials who seek public office because they are determined to build a better future for New Yorkers. With today’s vote, we send a message to those who wish to use an elected office to abuse the public trust: corruption is not welcome in New York City. And you don’t get a second chance to betray New Yorkers,” he finished.

Colton Presents Education Budget at School Board Meeting

Assembly Member William Colton

Assemblyman William Colton (D – Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Dyker Heights) spoke at the CEC 20 school board meeting in February regarding the education budget and the additional expected federal stimulus funds down the road..

“The good news is that Congress will be voting on the Stimulus Package next week which will include $50 billion in emergency funds for New York State. From that money, $10 billion dollars will be allocated to use for education and that is good news. We must make sure that these monies will be spent wisely,” Colton stated.

“There is also bad news. The bad news is that New York State owes under CFE [Campiagn for Fiscal Equity] $4.5 billion. Under the current State Budget, the foundation aid for education is flat as last year. I strongly believe that as soon as the State receives an emergency stimulus package, the Governor will make the right decision and will repay the $4.5 billion toward CFE. That money can be used to reduce class size, recommending and initiating enrichment programs like remedial, gifted and talented, special education, and bilingual needs of the children. I’m alerting all parents that the expected federal billions are an opportunity to start demanding needed aid so that the opportunity will not be lost,” Colton added.

Tannousis Appointed to Commissions Hazardous Waste

Assemblyman Michael Tannousis

Assemblyman Michael Tannousis (R- Bay Ridge, Staten Island) has been selected by Assembly Minority Leader William Barclay to serve on the Legislative Commission on Solid Waste Management and the Commission on Toxic Substances and Hazardous Waste for the 2021-2022 legislative term.

 These commissions are tasked with researching new methods by which the state of New York can improve the way waste and toxic materials are handled and disposed of, as well as finding policy solutions to the environmental challenges.

 “I am honored to be chosen by Minority Leader Barclay to serve on the Legislative Commission on Solid Waste Management and the Commission on Toxic Substances and Hazardous Waste,” said Tannousis. “These commissions are an important force in making sure that hazardous and potentially dangerous waste materials are handled responsibly. We must be diligent in protecting our citizens and protecting our environment.

 “This is just another way for me to fight for our residents, and I’m grateful for the opportunity. I’m ready to get to work,” said Tannousis.

Clarke Speaks with ICE

U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke

U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-East Flatbush, Central Brooklyn) released the following statement on a call she and Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Bennie G. Thompson had with Tae Johnson, Acting Director of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

“As members of the House Homeland Security Committee, this call was imperative. Haiti is facing a delicate political landscape that could cause disproportionate harm to wrongfully deported immigrants,” said Clarke. “As the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, I can confidently say, our immigration system is broken. The targeted deportation to Haiti illustrates the violence exacted on immigrant communities — particularly immigrant communities of color. I realize ICE must carry out its mission in line with legal precedents. However, this must be done in a way that is sensitive to humanitarian needs for recent border crossers.”

“As the Biden Administration implements immigration policies that are more in line with our American values and priorities, it is imperative that they assist migrants from Haiti and take into account conditions on the ground in their country,” added Chairman Thompson.“Continuing with deportations to Haiti risks further destabilization, and I encourage the administration to consider all possible options to prevent further harm.”

On January 20, 2021, President Biden issued an executive order directing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to revise its immigration enforcement guidance to “safeguard the dignity and well-being of all families and communities. In response, Acting Secretary David Pekoske imposed an immediate, 100-day moratorium on the vast majority of deportations. However, on January 26, a Texas judge suspended President Biden’s moratorium.

“Let me be very clear, the administration’s moratorium on deportations is not only lawful but necessary to ensure that families are not separated, and people are not subjected to unnecessary danger while the administration reviews the past actions of the xenophobic Trump administration,” said Clarke.

Clarke also joined a coalition of Democrats in penning a letter to the Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, on February 8, demanding a halt in the mass deportations of Black immigrants. The Text of the letter can be found here.