Political Odds & Morning, Nov. 18, 2021

Chalk loudspeaker and inscription odds and ends on black chalkboard
Black chalkboard with drawing of a loudspeaker and inscription odds and ends

Carroll Urges State Passage of Legislation to Curtail Drug Overdose Deaths

Robert Carroll
Assemblymember Robert Carroll

Assemblymember Robert Carroll (D-Brooklyn) yesterday urged the state legislature to pass his recently introduced measure, (A.8356/S.7485), to establish contingency management services including financial incentives for people with addiction disorders who successfully abstain from substance abuse and comply with treatment objectives.   

The measure comes as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recently reported an estimated 100,000 individuals have died from drug overdoses in the United States over the 12 month period that ended in April. This represents a nearly 30% increase over the previous 12 months and is more than double the amount of overdose deaths from 2015.  

New York State’s trajectory demonstrates a similar trend, according to the most recent available data from the CDC, almost 3,100 New Yorkers have died of drug overdoses over the same 12 month period ending in April, reflecting a 28% increase from the previous 12 months.  

“The opioid crisis and drug overdoses have impacted my family and almost every family in New York. With more deaths due to drug overdoses than guns and automobile crashes combined, the State must embrace novel and evidence-based treatments for individuals struggling to become and stay sober,” said Carroll.

“My bill would create contingency management services, which would use small incentives or payments for every negative drug test over a period of time. This is a method that has shown to be effective in helping decrease substance abuse and will help save lives,” he added.

Weprin Rallies To Save The United Nations International School

Assembly Member David Weprin

Assemblyman David I. Weprin (D-Queens) joined over 75 attendees this week to speak against the announced closure of the United Nations International School (UNIS), which has operated since 1947. 

Speakers at the rally included current and former staff, parents, students, and local government leaders.

The sudden and unexpected announcement of the closure of UNIS Queens at the conclusion of the 2020 – 2021 academic year represents a tremendous loss for the community. Over 100 families are currently served by the United Nations International School and the students have incredible opportunities to learn and grow in a unique environment.

“It has been a difficult few years. I don’t know all the factors that went into making the decision to close, but I hope that we can come together and find creative solutions to the challenges we’re facing,” said Weprin. “I hope that a constructive dialogue can be held between parents, staff, the student body, and school leadership. And I hope that we can come together to find creative solutions, engage in constructive dialogue, and I especially hope the decision to close UNIS Queens will be reconsidered and reversed.”

Weprin, who represents the district where UNIS Queens is located, has written to UN Secretary-General António Guterres asking for a delay and reconsideration of the decision.  

Ramos, Rozic Legislation Expanding Language Access for Workers’ Comp Cases Becomes Law

State Sen. Jessica Ramos
Assembly Member Nily Rozic

State Senator Jessica Ramos (D-Queens) and Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Queens) announced that legislation (A6466A/S1022A) they sponsored ensuring that the New York State Workers Compensation Board increases language access by providing interpretation services and translation of documents into the ten most common non-English languages has been signed into law.

“One of my top priorities as Labor Chair is to pass laws that create dignity, safety, and accessibility in the workplace — S1022A is an essential part of that effort,” said Ramos. “When a worker is injured on the job, they need to be able to understand their rights and access the support they need to recover. In a state as rich in diversity as New York, language is a key part of that accessibility. I’m thrilled to see this bill signed.” 

“Despite New York’s incredible diversity, there is still more to do to ensure adequate language access services,” said Rozic. “This legislation will ensure that all New Yorkers eligible for Workers’ Compensation have the interpretation and translation services they need to understand proceedings that are essential to their health and livelihood.”

This new law will codify and expand previous executive action to strengthen the state’s dedication to language access.

AM Williams Annual Bluefish Festival Celebrated 

Assemblymember Jaime R. Williams
Assemblymember Jaime R. Williams

Assemblymember Jaime Williams (D-Brooklyn), Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy and the National Park Service last week hosted the scholars of PS 272 for the 59th Assembly District’s 6th Annual Bluefish Festival Celebration. 

The Festival celebrates the local wildlife and marine environment while recognizing the need for the preservation and protection of the natural marine biomes of Canarsie Pier and Jamaica Bay. 

Volunteers and young scholars collected over 500lbs of debris from the shoreline, participated in an educational scavenger hunt and learned about the aquatic animals that live in the waterways of the 59th Assembly District. 

These young scholars participated with elation as they learned about the ecosystems around them while working to ensure the health and sustainability of their local wildlife. In the end, the students left the Blue Fish Festival with a newfound love, knowledge and respect for their local wildlife and tokens of appreciation for making positive impacts on their environment. 

“There exists a major importance in inspiring our youth to care and advocate for their local environment, this will create a love and appreciation for the local community of Canarsie Pier, Jamaica Bay and their surrounding shores to create a better world for us all,” said Williams.