NY Lawmakers on the Move, Aug. 15, 2022

Lawmakers on the Move

CM Brooks-Powers on death of cabbie Kutin Gyimah

City Council Member Selvena N. Brooks-Powers

City Council Majority Whip Selvena N. Brooks-Powers (D-Queens), chair of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, yesterday, mourned the death of New York City yellow cab driver Kutin Gyimah.

According to the police, Gyimah, 52, was killed Saturday when he chased down a group of passengers who tried to rob him in Queens. A punch from one of the suspects sent Gyimah flying into the pavement on Beach 54th Street and Arverne Boulevard in the Rockaways. He hit his head on the street and died, police said.

“A keystone in the Bronx Ghanaian community, Kutin Gyimah was committed to serving all New Yorkers, especially Rockaway residents, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Kutin Gyimah’s death is a loss for all New Yorkers and we must get justice for his family. Anyone with knowledge of his final moments, immediately contact crime stopper at 800-577-TIPS,” said Brooks-Powers. 

“Violence will not and cannot be tolerated. I applaud the NYS Federation of Taxi Drivers, the Ghana United Methodist Church, and especially Big Apple Taxi, where Mr. Gyimah worked, for covering his funeral expenses. I am committed to working with the TLC and driver advocates to champion safety concerns for all TLC drivers. My thoughts and prayers remain with Mr Gyimah’s loved ones during this most difficult time.”

Reynoso, Cymbrowitz, Colton help NYCHA Dedicate Marlboro Houses Recreational Area as Sara Lee McWhite Park

Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso
Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz
Assemblymember William Colton

Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso and Assemblymembers Steve Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn) and William Colton (D-Brooklyn) on Saturday joined with Marlboro Houses residents and resident leaders to celebrate the dedication of a newly refurbished recreational area known locally as “the skatepark” as the Sara Lee McWhite Park.

Cymbrowitz and Colton, in partnership with the New York State Dormitory Authority (DASNY), gave a $2 million grant to revitalize the skatepark at the corner of West 11 Street and Avenue X with new benches, trees, fencing, pavement and barbeque pits, and held a ribbon cutting during last year’s Family Day on August 14, 2021, to celebrate the reopening. 

Residents, led by Tenant Association President Amarilys Herrera, petitioned to rename the area after Sara Lee McWhite, a longtime Marlboro Houses resident, NYCHA employee and community advocate, who founded Marlboro Prep, the first-ever high school diploma and general equivalency program in a public housing development, and served as a NYCHA Community Coordinator from February 1985 until her death in October 2008.

“Sara Lee McWhite loved Marlboro Houses and believed deeply in the power of community to make the world a better place,” said Cymbrowitz. “She would be pleased that this newly-renovated space will serve as a gathering place for people of all generations to share conversations, relax, play games and enjoy experiences that bring them closer together.”

“This grant reflects something that the Marlboro residents needed, and I am glad that we were able to make it happen,” said Colton. “I am gratified that working together with the State Dormitory Authority and NYCHA, these improvements were provided to the residents of Marlboro Housing. Sara Lee McWhite was a longtime resident who always dreamed of such a facility, which Marlboro families will be able to enjoy and remember her.”

“It is only fitting that we’re renaming the Marlboro Houses public space after a long-time advocate of this community, Ms. Sara Lee McWhite,” said Reynoso. “Ms. McWhite was not only a resident of Marlboro Houses for over two decades, but she made sure she was an active and positive member of this community, creating the first GED program in a public housing development, supporting substance use disorder programs for youth, and advocating against redistricting that would split their community in two. Today, we are memorializing Ms. McWhite’s contributions with this renaming and encouraging more residents to leave their mark in their neighborhood.”

Meeks statement on passage of Inflation Reduction Act

U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks

U.S. Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (D-Queens) released the following statement after he voted in favor of and the House passed the Inflation Reduction Act,.

“This legislation takes a critical step towards easing everyday costs for American families. From the American Rescue Plan to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to the Infrastructure Reduction Act, Democrats have prioritized providing relief for families and creating a more sustainable future for our communities,” said Meeks. 

“This is the biggest investment in energy security and climate action and protects the health of our planet while creating millions of good-paying jobs. I am proud to have supported this legislation because it will help the many families and communities in my district who need relief,” he added.

The Inflation Reduction Act will provide an affordable and safe livelihood for all Americans by:

  • Lowering prescription drug prices: It gives Medicare the ability to negotiate the price of prescription drugs, prevents excessive price hikes, caps Insulin costs at $35 a month for Medicare beneficiaries, and caps out-of-pocket costs to $2,000.
  • Lowering the cost of health care: It extends Affordable Care Act subsidies for three more years and locks in lower health care premiums that save 13 million people an average of $800 a year.
  • Lowering energy costs and delivering largest-ever climate action: It invests in domestic energy production, manufacturing, and security, while reducing carbon emissions by roughly 40% by 2030.
  • Lowering the deficit and helping fight inflation: It provides a historic down payment on deficit reduction of approximately $300 billion to fight inflation.

Maloney requests national security damage assessment of info recovered at Mar-a-Lago 

Congressional primary
U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney

U.S. Reps. Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens), chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Adam Schiff (D-CA), chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, on Friday sent a letter to Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines requesting an immediate review and damage assessment following reports that former President Trump removed and retained highly classified information at his personal residence at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida.

The lawmakers said Trump’s actions were in potential violation of the Presidential Records Act and laws protecting national security, including the Espionage Act.

“Those entrusted with access to classified information have a duty and an obligation to protect it,” the Chairs wrote.  “Yet, a recently unsealed court-authorized search warrant and the inventory of property recovered at the Mar-a-Lago Club describe numerous classified documents held by former President Trump, including Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) material—among the most sensitive and highly protected information in the U.S. Government.  Former President Trump’s conduct has potentially put our national security at grave risk.  This issue demands a full review, in addition to the ongoing law enforcement inquiry.”

On Monday, August 8, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducted a court-authorized search of former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club and removed at least 27 boxes of materials.  

The search followed months of reported back-and-forth between federal investigators and the former President regarding U.S. Government property that may have been improperly retained following the end of the Trump Administration, some of which was reportedly kept in a storage area at the Mar-a-Lago Club.