NY Lawmakers on the Move Feb. 23, 2022

Lawmakers on the Move

Lander, Sanchez Push for “Good Cause” Legislation

NYC Comptroller Brad Lander
City Council Member Pierina Sanchez

New York City Comptroller Brad Lander and City Council Member Pierina Sanchez (D-Bronx), will join with The Legal Aid Society, housing advocates, and tenants today to call on Albany to enact “Good Cause” legislation after private equity firm Glacier Equities purchased multiple Bronx buildings and deluged tenants with eviction notices as soon as the moratorium lifted, effectively displacing hundreds of long-term residents.

“Good Cause” legislation would provide tenants in unregulated units with basic protections to prevent unwarranted evictions and rent increases, the lawmakers and advocates say..

Many of the tenants have lived in their homes for decades and have strong ties to the community. Some are elderly, have significant health issues, or economic limitations that make it very difficult to leave their apartments. 

The call to action is slated for 10:30 a.m., today, Feb. 23 at 2265 University Avenue in the Bronx.

James Sanders Jr. Invites Constituents to Watch His Banking Roundtable

State Senator James Sanders Jr.

Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Queens) is inviting his constituents to watch his banking roundtable tomorrow where he will be joined by his colleagues in government: Senator Rachel May (D-Syracuse) and Assembly Members Pat Fahy (D-Albany) and Khaleel Anderson (D-Queens).

The topic will be: How to Solve the Lack of Access to Banking Services, which leads to unbanked and underbanked populations and communities. The panelists will explore the ways the invisible class can access capital. The invisible class is a term used to describe a population within a capitalist society whose needs are almost unmet and unseen.

“The battle is to figure out how to get the unbanked, banked.” Sanders said. “The battle is to figure out how we can help the poor become less poor, become middle class or anything else they desire. One of the roadblocks in this battle is institutional racism – systems that have grown used to not doing things. Studies have shown that if a white person and a person of color, who are equally matched, apply for a loan, the white person is far more likely to get the loan than the person of color. There’s something wrong here, and we have to find new ways. If that means we have to think outside of the structure of traditional banking, then that’s what we are going to do. We have to find ways of ensuring equality of opportunity in New York City, in New York State, and, indeed, America.”

The roundtable is slated for between 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., tomorrow, Feb. 24 and will be streamed on Sanders’ Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/STATESENATORJAMESSANDERSJR

Malliotakis: Biden’s Weak Foreign Policy, Europe’s Dependence on Russian Energy Has Led to Invasion of Ukraine

U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis. 

U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island, Brooklyn), a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, yesterday expressed concern about the impact Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will have on Ukraine’s sovereignty and energy costs for Europe and the United States.

“President Biden’s weak ‘wait and see’ foreign policy strategy has only emboldened Russia to accelerate its aggression towards Ukraine and our European allies,” said Malliotakis. “While President Biden talks tough on Russia, his actions – or lack thereof – speak louder, and have sent a clear message that the United States’ foreign policy is one of appeasement, not action. My colleagues and I urged President Biden to impose crippling sanctions against Russia, halt the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, and repeal his Executive Orders that hindered our energy production and security giving Russia and our adversaries more leverage. Deterrents should have been implemented either prior to the full buildup of Russian troops or at minimum when the intelligence became clear that they planned to invade.

“Making matters worse is that Europe has become increasingly dependent on Russian natural gas. This should serve as a great lesson to American politicians working overtime to eliminate our energy independence, and in turn, threaten our national security. Sadly, until President Biden and the Democrats recognize their domestic energy policy will take us down the same road of vulnerability as Europe, Americans will see further increases to gas, electricity, and heating costs.

“This isn’t just about Ukraine – it’s about freedom versus oppression. Following the debacle in Afghanistan, not taking early and decisive action against Putin’s aggression has sent a dangerous message of appeasement to our adversaries, including China, Iran, and North Korea, that are all itching to expand their power and territory during what they may perceive as a window of opportunity due to flawed leadership.”

Hudson Criticizes Adams’ Preliminary Budget

City Council Member Crystal Hudson

City Council Member Crystal Hudson (D-Brooklyn) in her email newsletter to constituents criticized Mayor Eric Adams preliminary $98.5 billion budget as not reflective of the city’s needs. 

Specifically, Hudson, chair of the Aging Committee, said her office is gravely disappointed with the proposed budget allocation of $460 million for the Department for the Aging, which is less than half of one percent of the City’s preliminary budget for next year, and demonstrates that the needs of older New Yorkers are not a priority for the new Administration.

“Simply put, balancing the city’s budget should not come at the expense of the wellbeing of the City’s 1.73 million older adults who rely on city-funded programs for their everyday needs,” wrote Hudson.

Brooklyn DA Gonzalez Announces Crackdown On Hate Crimes

Attorney Eric Gonzalez
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez this past week announced a pair of separate indictments relating to two incidents in which senior citizens were allegedly assaulted.

“Cowardly attacks against vulnerable members of our community will not be tolerated in Brooklyn. We will continue to work with our partners in communities across the borough to take a strong stand against hate crimes and pledge to bring to justice those who attack individuals based on their race, ethnicity, religion, gender or sexual orientation,” said Gonzalez.

On February 17, DA Gonzalez announced the indictment of a Brooklyn man for allegedly assaulting an Asian woman in an unprovoked attack in Clinton Hill. The incident occurred at about 9:18 a.m., Jan. 19 on Classon Avenue near Greene Street. Defendant Mercel Jackson, 52, of Crown Heights, was arraigned on charges of second-degree assault, second-degree attempted assault, and third-degree assault as a hate crime, among other charges.

On February 22, Gonzalez announced the indictment of a Bronx man after he allegedly assaulted a Spanish-speaking senior citizen in downtown Brooklyn. According to the investigation, at about 8:50 p.m., Jan. 18, defendant Lamont Dinkins, 43, allegedly cursed at a 72-year-old woman speaking Spanish and English into her cellphone on a subway platform. 

The defendant then allegedly punched the victim repeatedly in the face and head. He was later arraigned on charges of second-degree assault, second-degree attempted assault, third-degree assault as a hate crime, among other charges.

If you believe you have been a victim of a hate crime, please call the District Attorney’s Hate Crime Hotline at 718-250-4949.