Brooklyn Lawmakers on the Move Dec. 16, 2020

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James on Biden Win and Barr’s Resignation

Attorney General of NY Letitia James
New York Attorney General Letitia James

New York Attorney General Letitia James released the following statement after she and other members of the electoral college cast their votes for President-elect Joseph Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris

“Today, I and other electoral college members from around the nation fulfilled the will of the American people and took the final steps to ensure Joe Biden and Kamala Harris become the next president and vice president of the United States. Our nation’s voters can be proud that the electoral process works, and that Americans’ voices have been heard.” 

Separately, James released the following statement after it was announced that U.S. Attorney General William Barr would resign from the Trump Administration later this month:

“This evening, President Trump announced that U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr would be leaving office later this month. As this lame duck administration’s days come to an end, I would remind President Trump that the rule of law will prevail and that I, and others, will fight to protect and defend the rights enshrined in our Constitution every single day, no matter who is attorney general.”

Lentol Applauds DOT for Improvements to Bicycle Infrastructure

Assemblymember Joseph Lentol
Assemblymember Joseph Lentol

Assembly Member Joseph R. Lentol (D-Williamsburg, Greenpoint) North Brooklyn) is pleased to announce that the Brooklyn Borough Department of Transportation has made some important additions to the cycling infrastructure of North Brooklyn. 

A new bike lane has been added to North 14th Street between Kent Avenue and Berry Street. The lane is painted green and protected with a floating parking lane. These improvements are in addition to the one million dollars invested by Lentol in 2019 for roadway safety infrastructure improvements for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists in North Brooklyn.

“This change will protect cyclists from vehicular traffic and creates another safe option in the ever-expanding network of bike lanes in North Brooklyn,” Lentol said. Also receiving a brand-new coat of green paint is the West Street section of the Brooklyn Greenway from Quay Street to Eagle Street.

“The importance of this change cannot be overstated,” said Lentol. “West Street has had problems with vehicles habitually entering its new bike lane ever since reconstruction ended more than a year ago. The green paint is a clear signal to drivers that this space is off limits.”

Lentol has been working with DOT on the West Street issue, as well as the redesigned connector on Kent Avenue and Franklin Street from North 14th Street to Quay Street, for over a year. “These changes have been a long time coming. My thanks to Brooklyn Borough DOT and to the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative for staying on top of this and for not settling for less,” Lentol concluded.

Colton: Stop the Shut Down of Small Businesses

Assembly Member William Colton

Assemblyman William Colton (D – Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Dyker Heights) doesn’t believe that shutting down restaurants for indoor dining is the sole factor in slowing the coronavirus spread.

 “The chart released by Governor Cuomo between September and November of 2020, clearly showing that out of 46,000 data points of Exposure the percentage of infection rate tracing data is concluding that 73.81 % of exposure is from private household gatherings. The health care services are at 7.81% which is a second-high tracing exposure rate. The education employees are at 2%, travel is at 1.05%, religious services at 0.69%, retail at 0.61%, transit and parks are at 0.96%. Ironically restaurants and bars are at 1.43%, which is far lower than private household gatherings and health care services. Yet only they were ordered to shutdown indoor dining which is the only way of surviving for small businesses especially during the winter season,” Colton stated.

 “We need to look at the data pointing to sources of infection more carefully. Making decisions on business closure clearly indicates that we should reconsider the closing of indoor dining. The family holiday get-togethers and social gatherings must be planned more carefully. We can avoid penalizing businesses that are complying and avoid another business shutdown and still bring infection rates down by being diligent in wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and washing hands frequently. Let’s beat this virus together and avoid another shutdown!” Colton added. 

Gillibrand to Urge for Paid Sick Leave

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand will hold a video press conference to urge Congress to extend the bipartisan paid sick days and family leave provisions, authorized in March under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), in the next COVID relief package. 

The provisions are set to expire at the end of December, in the midst of the second wave of coronavirus that has prompted communities to renew stay-at-home orders and roll back business and school reopenings. 

 Now, as COVID-19 cases surge across the country and with paid sick and family leave set to expire, millions of workers are being forced to decide between their paycheck or the health of themselves and their families. Gillibrand who introduced the PAID Leave Act in March to provide all employees 14 emergency paid sick days and 12 weeks emergency paid family and medical leave will highlight how these policies are critical to protect public health and our economic recovery, and call for the inclusion of the PAID Leave Act, in addition to an extension to the current emergency paid leave provisions, in the next relief package. 

Menchaca: Victory for Due Process and Justice

City Councilman Carlos Menchaca
City Councilman Carlos Menchaca

City Council Member Carlos Menchaca (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook) yesterday applauded Gov. Cuomo’s signing the Protect Our Courts Act (S00425A/A2176A) that prevents Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from making warrantless arrests in New York State courts.

“Today is a victory for due process and justice. Every New Yorker, regardless of their immigration status, deserves their day in court without the fear of being detained and deported by ICE.,” said Menchaca, chair of the Committee on Immigration.

“We can’t stop there, however. The state and the city  must continue to strengthen our policies, like passing bold legislation that Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez (D-Upper Manhattan) and I are leading to allow non-citizens to vote to ensure we are truly a building a sanctuary city and state.”

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