by Kings County Politics
May 7, 2018
Adams Stands United With Sexual Assault Victim
Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams held stood united with the parents of a 14-year-old sexual assault victim from Canarsie yesterday.
On Sunday, Adams joined Marcus and Takisha Randall to raise awareness in the case of their child who was sexually abused several times by a teacher in a bathroom at his school. Andre Braddy, who taught at their son’s school — Lenox Academy, a middle school for gifted children in Canarsie that is part of PS 235 Janice Marie Knight School — has been charged with multiple counts of endangering the welfare of a child, engaging in criminal sexual acts, and sexual misconduct.
According to initial reports, Braddy was a math teacher at Lenox Academy in Canarsie. The Department of Education (DOE) says Braddy has been removed from the school while an investigation is underway.
Adams is currently working with DOE to make sure teacher-student interaction is more closely monitored across the borough.
Reynoso Calls For More Affordable NYCHA Senior Housing
City Council member Antonio Reynoso (D-Williamsburg, Bushwick) will call upon Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Administration to build more affordable senior housing on underutilized New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) land this week.
As part of the Mayor’s 2014 “Housing New York” plan, the administration set a goal to “increase the supply of affordable housing for seniors”, promising to build 15,000 senior homes and apartments throughout the city. The administration then took their commitment a step further in its “Housing New York 2.0” plan when they doubled the amount of units to be built to 30,000.
However, according to Reynoso the promise is yet to be fulfilled and several NYCHA campuses throughout the city have vacant infill land which the de Blasio administration could use to build affordable housing for senior citizens.
“It is time that this land is utilized to help house our City’s senior citizen population,” said Reynoso.
The event is slated for 10 a.m., Thursday, May 10, at Palmetto Gardens Senior Center, at 85 Palmetto Street in Bushwick.
Colton Condemns Increase In Hate Crimes In NYC
Assembly member William Colton (D-Bath Beach, Bensonhurst) condemn the recent surge in hate crimes across the five boroughs last week.
Colton has been disturbed by recent incidents including the attack on two Jewish men in Crown Heights in separate incidents and the assault of a Hispanic man on a train platform in April. Last week, two suspects were arrested after an alleged assault using a pipe on a Jewish man in Crown Heights again.
While overall crime in the city has been on the decline according to statistics reported by the New York Police Department (NYPD) earlier this year, hate crime incident reporting and arrests have seen increasing according to those same statistics. Statewide, incidents of anti-Semitism have jumped 90% in 2017.
“It makes no difference which group is targeted; an attack on any group is an assault on all groups. Living and working together is the backbone of our great democracy and hate crimes interfere with the social fabric of our city and state,” said Colton on the 3rd anniversary of NYPD PO Peter Liang’s sentencing.
“We must come together to fight for the things that we all need against the elements which are trying to tear us apart. United we stand, divided we fall,” added Colton.
CM Williams Unveils ‘Fairness Fees’ Plan
City Council member Jumaane D. Williams (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood) released his plan to reform New York State’s income and property tax structure last week.
The plan calls for the collection of fairness fees that would bring “greater justice to the collection of taxes” in the state while providing $20 Billion to be used for critical programs statewide. Williams has been a strong opponent to the “arbitrary cap on public spending is a shackle we cannot afford in good times, and even less when faced with a hostile Federal administration.” As part of the plan, Williams argues that spending caps have been implemented with political motivations and to the detriment of the working people of New York.
Williams identifies several sources of revenue for collecting billions in funding for statewide programs including – a stock transfer fee ($10-14 billion), a stock buyback transfer fee ($2 billion), a multi-millionaire’s fee ($4 billion), and the closure of the carried interest loophole ($3.5 billion) as well as a luxury real estate fee of ($500 million.)
The plan goes on to identify several key areas in which the fees collected could be used to provide relief to struggling New Yorkers; namely, housing, transportation, the environment, education and healthcare. He highlights these issue areas as being underfunded within the current structure, to the detriment of the people of New York. Williams says that the steps put forth in his plan will alleviate that burden and help to address this disparity.
“These measures are real, concrete, achievable, and necessary,” said Williams of the plan. “The level of inequity in New York State is staggering. The top 1% of people in New York make 45 times what the bottom 99% makes. That’s absurd. By instituting these fairness fees, actions which have broad support, we can put funding into areas that desperately need it and support New Yorkers in need,” said Williams.
Cymbrowitz Launches Rent-Freeze Enrollment Initiative
Assembly member Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach) launched a Rent-Freeze Enrollment initiative last week to help fixed-income seniors and those living with disabilities.
As part of the initiative, Cymbrowitz will host designated Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) and Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE) program enrollment days at his office through the end of June for those who qualify but aren’t yet enrolled in the city’s rent-freeze programs.
The initiative, launched in conjunction with the city’s Human Resources Administration (HRA), will help to keep local residents living on fixed-incomes in their apartments and communities.
Back in 2016, as Chair of the Assembly’s Aging Committee, Cymbrowitz introduced legislation – signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo – to allow SCRIE/DRIE enrollees who have experienced a non-recurring spike in income to re-apply and receive their previous benefit, rather than apply as a new applicant at their higher rent, and in 2014 supported raising the maximum income for the rent freeze program to $50,000. SCRIE currently requires recipients to be 62 or older, have a household income under $50,000, spend over 1/3 of their monthly income on rent, and reside in a rent regulated unit or Mitchell-Lama apartment.
“When I became Chair of the Assembly Housing Committee early in 2017, helping people to remain in affordable housing became one of my most urgent priorities. Housing is fundamental to our daily lives, and no one should be forced to leave the place they’ve called home because they’re retired and on a limited fixed income or they’re unable to work due to a disability,” said Cymbrowitz.
“Housing is fundamental to our daily lives, and every person deserves an equal opportunity to have safe, quality and affordable housing,” added Cymbrowitz.
The event is slated for May 8, May 22, June 5, and June 19 (all Wednesdays) from 10:30 am to 1 pm at Cymbrowitz’ District office, at 1800 Sheepshead Bay Road in Sheepshead Bay.
No appointments are needed for the enrollment days, but all applicants must bring proof of income for all household members for 2017, current lease and prior lease, ID showing that the person named on the lease is over 62 (for SCRIE) or proof of disability, such as Social Security Disability award letter (for DRIE). Residents can find a handy rent-freeze eligibility tool at http://www1.nyc.gov/site/rentfreeze/tools/rent-freeze- qualifier-tool.page.
HRA representatives will provide individualized enrollment assistance and fill out the applications on site.