NY Lawmakers on the Move, Aug. 8, 2022

Lawmakers on the Move

Rajkumar establishes task force to investigate domestic violence in South Asian community

Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar

Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar (D-Queens) yesterday vowed to establish a task force to investigate and report on domestic abuse in the South Asian American community foollowning the suicide of Richmond Hill resident Mandeep Kaur.

Days before she took her life, Kaur, 30, gave a video testimonial telling a horrifying tale of eight years of physical and psychological abuse by her husband. 

“Anyone who commits such morally depraved crimes must face the full consequences of our criminal justice system. I have already spoken with 102nd Precinct Commanding Officer Captain Jeremy Kivlin and he assured me that the NYPD is investigating the alarming accusations of domestic violence against Ms. Kaur,” said Rajkumar. 

“As the first South Asian woman elected to New York State Office, I view my office as a sanctuary for women who need help, particularly immigrant women whose nearest family may live an ocean away. If you are experiencing domestic violence, myself and the resources of the State of New York are here for you. You are not alone. As the only woman ever elected to this seat, let me also be abundantly clear: There will be zero tolerance for violence against women in my district,” she added.

Colton’s Office to Launch Neighborhood Watch Program

Assemblymember William Colton

Assemblyman William Colton (D-Brooklyn) plans to launch a Neighborhood Watch Program around his district following the shooting death of a 19-year-old Brooklyn Friday during an attempted robbery of his backpack in a BJ’s parking garage in Bath Beach, across the street from his 47th District. 

“Community safety always comes first,” said Colton, “I condemn any kind of violence in our neighborhood and send my deepest condolences to the victim’s family.” 

To answer calls of rising public safety concerns, Colton designated Susan Zhuang, his Chief of Staff, to start a Neighborhood Watch Program in Southwest Brooklyn. 

The Neighborhood Watch Program will focus on community safety through citizen involvement. The Program’s role includes neighborhood assistance, crime prevention, disaster recovery, emergency response coordination, etc. Colton calls on community leaders, civic groups, and neighborhood volunteers to actively engage in the Neighborhood Watch Program.

“[Our] community is a big family and family members help each other. Let’s enhance safety and create prosperity in our neighborhoods by watching and supporting each other’s backs,” he said.

Won agrees with BP Richards “no” vote on Innovation Queens

City Council Member Julie Won

City Councilwoman Julie Won (D-Queens) on Friday praised Queens Borough President Donovan Richards on his voting “no” on the Innovation Queens development project in her  district. 

“The neighborhood, which is made up of mostly working class and immigrant families, needs affordable housing. 87% of my residents are renters and 60% of them are rent burdened or severely rent burdened. The majority of residents in the area cannot afford to pay $2,430 to $5,190 in rent, and the current plan for Innovation QNS shows that developers failed to meet the community’s call for deep affordability,” said Won.

“In his recommendation, the borough president called for developers to make 50% of the units affordable to working class New Yorkers, including those making 30% AMI. Securing more affordable housing for this district is my top priority, and we will use the borough president’s recommendations and our own land use guidelines we released earlier this week to meet that goal,” then lawmaker added.

Won noted her District 26 is the second most developed in New York City, and any developer that wants to build in the district has to prioritize community engagement, deep affordability, community investment, and union labor. 

Malliotakis Unveils Recommendations to Restore Public Safety in New York City

U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis

U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (D-Staten Island, Brooklyn), a member of the American Security Law Enforcement Task Force (ASTF), Friday unveiled legislative recommendations the task force has proposed to restore public safety in cities across America should Republicans take back the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“As a member of the American Security Task Force, I’ve joined my colleagues in meeting with law enforcement officers from across the state to hear directly from them what tools are needed to help them more effectively do their jobs,” Malliotakis said. “Democrats’ lax bail policies have created a revolving-door justice system in our state, and after hearing officers’ concerns, we know these policies are putting residents, businesses, and visitors at risk. While most of the concerns brought up in our roundtables are with state and local laws like bail reform, budget cuts to law enforcement, and laws that tie their hands, our task force has been able to find ways that the federal government can hold local officials accountable and support law enforcement directly.”

The American Security Law Enforcement Task Force legislative recommendations include supporting and funding the police, tackle recruitment and retention issues with police departments, addressing crime against police officers and ensuring transparency from progressive prosecutors. 

Malliotakis has also drafted legislation to require every state to give judges the discretion to consider and set bail for individuals dangerous to society and hold states liable for any crimes committed by criminals released without cash bail.