Brewer, Rivera, Sanchez urge state passage of Hotel Conversion bill
Manhattan City Council Members Gale Brewer and Carlina Rivera, and Pierina Sanchez (D-Bronx) yesterday fired off a letter to Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, and Housing Committee Chairs Senator Brian Kavanagh, and Assembly Member Steve Cymbrowitz urging the passage of A6262, the Hotel Conversion bill.
The legislation would allow hotels that currently can be converted to transitional shelters instead be converted to permanently affordable supportive housing, the kind of housing that New York City desperately needs. The bill has support from Mayor Eric Adams, Speaker Adrienne Adams, the NY Hotel Trades Council, and advocates of supportive housing.
With passage of this bill, hotels that currently can be converted to transitional shelters can instead be converted to permanently affordable supportive housing, the kind of housing that New York City desperately needs.
“In the 1970’s, 80’s, and 90’s these kinds of conversions were allowed. Non-profits such as Breaking Ground converted the Prince George, a former hotel, to a beautiful home for homeless New Yorkers; Project Find converted the Woodstock, a former hotel, to a great home for New Yorkers who were unhoused. This past year, two non-profits were not able to do the same with two hotels (and close to 500 units) because the New York City Department of Buildings maintains that legislative action is required for authorization,” the lawmakers wrote.
‘These bills retain local control and avoid some of the lengthy new zoning requirements if certain criteria are met. These bills do not allow hotels to be rezoned; they permit them to be used as housing. In fact, in some cases, people are currently living as hotel stabilized tenants in the buildings to be converted.
“These bills offer timely regulatory relief that the City Council cannot provide, while still preserving local control and safeguards. With very few days left in the time to pass any legislation in Albany, we look forward to your support.”
Nadler lauds White House celebration of new policing executive order
Congress Member Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn), chair of the House Judiciary Committee yesterday lauded in advance the ceremony at the White House to celebrate the signing of a new and long-overdue policing Executive Order.
The Executive Order comes on the second anniversary of the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. The Order will direct federal law enforcement agencies to revise their use-of-force policies and restrict the use of life-threatening tactics like no-knock warrants and chokeholds. The Order will also create a national registry for officers fired for abuse or misconduct and moderate the dispersion of military equipment to police.
“This is a much-needed and well-thought-through move by President Biden,” said Nadler. “Almost two years ago, the Judiciary Committee passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act which included many of the provisions that are listed in this Executive Order. Unlike our Republican colleagues in the Senate, President Biden has made it clear he will not allow the momentum of police reform to fizzle out. This Order is an exceptional step in the right direction, and while there is more work to be done, I am thrilled to have an ally like President Biden in this fight.”
Stavisky legislation to help combat hate crimes passes senate
Senator Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Queens) yesterday saw the Senate pass her legislation (S6570) that will mandate counseling and education for anyone convicted of a hate crime.
Stavisky introduced this legislation a year ago after an Asian teenager was attacked in Rego Park, Queens, because of his Asian heritage. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic there has been a disturbing increase in acts of violence against members of the AAPI community.
“We are living in an era of disinformation. Lies and divisive rhetoric are fomenting hatred and that hatred is leading to unprovoked acts of violence,” says Stavisky. “The ‘fear of the other’ has historically been used as a tool to drive disunity and social media outlets are only making it easier and faster to spread. We must do more than simply punish these attackers. These attacks are rooted in ignorance and resentment. This legislation will help educate perpetrators in an attempt to help break this troubling cycle.”
Assemblywoman Rebecca Seawright (D-Manhattan) carried the measure in the lower chamber where it also passed. It now moves to Gov. Kathy Hochul for signature.
Cunningham, Joseph, Mealy host Women of Distinction event
Newly elected Assembly Member Brian Cunningham (D-Brooklyn) today will host his first Women of Distinction: Spring Flowers event honoring the inspiring variety of women entrepreneurs and community activists in his district covering the neighborhoods of Prospect Lefferts Gardens, East Flatbush and Crown Heights.
The purpose of this event is to honor women in the district who have shown a commitment to uplifting the community through business entrepreneurship and/or community engagement. Brooklyn City Council Members Rita Joseph Darlene Mealy and Rita Joseph are co-sponsoring the event.
“I am constantly inspired by the leadership of our community,” said Cunningham. “These women have uplifted all of us, and I am grateful for the opportunity to celebrate them. As we face new daunting challenges, these women show that to find hope, we can look right here. The time for renewal is now. And these are the people who are showing us the way.”
The event is slated for 7-9 p.m., today, May 26 at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum rooftop, 145 Brooklyn Avenue in Brooklyn.