Brooklyn Political Roundup, February 28: Nadler re-introduces assault weapons ban bill
In Public Service, From The Political Staff Of The Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Nadler re-introduces assault weapons ban bill
U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Brooklyn-Manhattan), the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, joined and other House Democrats in an effort to revive a bill to ban assault weapons in the wake of the Parkland, Florida, massacre.
“It is long past due for the House to consider legislation to prevent gun violence. Our calls for hearings and for action on gun violence prevention legislation have been met with silence. After Sandy Hook five years ago, Republican members of Congress blocked our efforts to better protect our children from gun violence. Inaction is unacceptable, and moments of silence are completely inadequate. Our citizens demand that we act without delay,” Nadler said in a statement.
When an assault weapon is used in a shooting, the number of victims who are killed increases by 63 percent, according to Nadler, who said there have been more than 8,000 incidents of gun violence in the U.S. so far in 2018.
“Assault weapons have no legitimate purpose on the streets of America. Their sole purpose is to enable shooters to rapidly kill large numbers of people, so it is no surprise that these high-power firearms have become the weapon of choice for mass killers,” said Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum.
Congress voted to ban assault weapons in 1994. The law expired 10 years later, in 2004. – PK
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Treyger blasts Coney Island NRA fundraiser
Councilmember Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island-Gravesend-Bensonhurst) is one of several Democratic elected officials who are asking the owners of Gargiulo’s Restaurant to pull out of a fundraiser for the group Brooklyn Friends of National Rifle Association (NRA) scheduled to take place April 12 at the famous Coney Island eatery.
Treyger issued a joint statement with U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, state Sen. Diane Savino, New York City Public Advocate Letitia James and City Comptroller Scott Stringer. The statement mentions the recent shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school in which 17 people were killed.
“At a time when our country is mourning the loss of 17 lives in a mass shooting, it is profoundly disappointing that a storied Coney Island institution, with a long history of being a strong civic and community partner, is choosing to host a National Rifle Association fundraising event that includes raffle giveaways of guns. Bringing an event like this to Coney Island is an affront to all of the hard work that our community has done to address gun violence in our neighborhood. There is no room in Coney Island or our city for events like this. We urge Gargiulo’s to expeditiously cancel this event,” the statement reads.
In an interview with the Daily News, Anthony Russo, the owner of Gargiulo’s Restaurant, defended the decision to have his eatery host the Friends group and said the fundraiser was planned long before the Florida tragedy.
“This party was booked well before that. We’re trying to address the issue with Friends of the NRA. We don’t want issues with anybody. Our hearts go out to the families of the victims,” Russo told the News. – PK
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Adams: Brooklyn supports gun reforms
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams also spoke out on the Brooklyn Friends of NRA, charging that the organizers are out of step with the borough.
“There are far more friends of gun reform in Brooklyn, including responsible gun owners like me, than friends of the NRA who think it’s responsible to raffle off rifles at a fundraiser,” Adams said.
Young people have started a national gun reform movement that people shouldn’t dismiss, according to Adams.
“Students from Park Slope to Parkland are leading a national movement demanding action to save lives amid our gun violence epidemic, and I believe our borough’s young people will have plenty to say about this event happening in our own backyard,” Adams said. – PK
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Reform Party endorses Donovan
U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan (R-C-Bay Ridge-Southwest Brooklyn-Staten Island) has been endorsed by the New York Reform Party. Last week, the New York State Conservative Party endorsed him.
Donovan is running for re-election in November. He faces a challenge in the Republican Primary from former congress member Michael Grimm.
Reform Party Chairman Curtis Sliwa called Donovan “the rare combination of an effective leader who governs with integrity” and said he is effective.
“Whether it’s his work on behalf of law enforcement, our [Superstorm] Sandy victims or the overburdened taxpayer, Dan has distinguished himself as a true representative of our community who stands up and fights for what’s right. We are proud to enthusiastically endorse him as our candidate so he can continue to carry the reform mantle in Washington,” Sliwa said.
Bob Capano, chairman of the Kings County Reform Party, praised Donovan for standing by his principles.
“Whether its standing up for small businesses, ensuring our nation’s heroes get the care they deserve at the Brooklyn Veterans Hospital or standing with our military at the Fort Hamilton Army Base and across our nation, Dan Donovan has been a fighter for Brooklyn,” Capano said.
Donovan said he is grateful for the endorsement.
“I’ve always said that my job is to represent the people who elected me, not Washington’s special interests, and that’s exactly what the Reform Party movement stands for. I’m honored to have the Reform Party’s endorsement as I fight to make our government work better for the people of Staten Island and South Brooklyn,” Donovan stated. – PK
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GOPer wants equal time from CBS
A Republican candidate running against Democratic U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is demanding equal time from CBS after Gillibrand appeared on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on Feb. 20.
Chele Chiavacci Farley said it’s only fair that she be given equal time on the TV network. Gillibrand’s comedic segment on the Colbert show lasted 10 minutes.
“All we are asking for is CBS and all the mainstream media to follow the law, respect the voters and treat the race fairly,” Farley said in a statement.
Farley’s campaign filed the equal time request CBS and its affiliates in New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey and Vermont.
“Since her appointment to the United States Senate, Kirsten Gillibrand has pursued a national political agenda, at the expense of New York interests. As such, we have filed notice with CBS that her appearance on the ‘Late Show with Stephen Colbert’ show is a clear trigger of equal time provisions and the Farley for Senate campaign is seeking comparable time in markets beyond New York,” Dain Pascocello, Farley’s campaign manager, said in a statement.
In another development, Farley has received the endorsement of the New York State Conservative Party.
Conservative Party leaders met Monday night at the Knights of Columbus Hall John Hughes Council Hall in Dyker Heights to discuss the endorsement.
In accepting the nomination, Farley vowed to work to improve the lives of New Yorkers.
“From Conservative judges to health care reform and rebuilding our country’s infrastructure, this is our time to transform America and make a long-term difference. After the summer of hell for subway and rail commuters in the metropolitan area, I will deliver the funding we need to fix our mass transportation system and protect commuters,” she told party leaders following the endorsement. – PK
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Gounardes wins support from Run for Something
Andrew Gounardes, running against journalist Ross Barkan in the Democratic primary for the right to face state Sen. Marty Golden (R-C-Bay Ridge-Southwest Brooklyn) in November, has been endorsed by Run for Something, the group that is seeking to get young people across the country to run for public office.
Gounardes said his campaign is one of 232 races across the country to be endorsed by Run for Something.
“Politics is changing. For years, we forgot how important local politics were to our daily lives: fully-funded schools, affordable housing, safe streets, and healthcare for all are just a few of many examples. More local candidates running strong grassroots campaigns means more authentic leadership that speaks to the issues that matter to everyday voters. Our campaign for a better southern Brooklyn and a better New York is built on this very same idea. We will knock on every door and talk to every voter about the issues that matter to them,” Gounardes wrote in a letter to supporters.
Gounardes is chief counsel to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. – PK
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Brannan calls on state to allocate funds owed to NYC Public Schools
Councilmember Justin Brannan is calling on local officials to meet funding levels mandated for New York City public schools under the terms of a decade-old legal settlement and thanks to the efforts of the Campaign for Fiscal Equality (CFE).
Pointing to more than $40 million owed to local schools in the 43rd Council District, including $4 million owed to his own alma maters P.S. 185 and J.H.S. 259, Brannan has mounted an online social media campaign calling on parents and educators to see education dollars owed to individual schools using a new database created by advocates.
“Every New York child deserves a quality education. It’s a right enshrined in our state constitution and confirmed by the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit,” said Brannan. “More than 10 years after CFE was settled, New York City Public schools still aren’t getting their fair share from Albany. It’s time our elected officials stand up for public school students and fight for this funding in the current state budget.”
Brannan’s request comes in response to mounting pressure on state legislators to secure funding for New York City public schools as Albany lawmakers head into budget negotiations. According to the Alliance for Quality Education, the schools are owed $1.9 billion in so-called Foundation Aid intended to fund basic classroom operating costs and other school services.
This outstanding bill stems from a 2006 ruling by the New York State Court of Appeals that the state was failing to provide all New York students with basic resources essential to a “sound basic education,” in violation of the state’s constitution.
Parents can go to www.whatismyschoolowed.com to find out what funding their school should receive.
“Not every parent knows just how much their school is owed. Hopefully, this knowledge will help empower parents to join in fighting for the resources we deserve,” Brannan added. – JA
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Golden hosts Chinese New Year celebration
State Sen. Marty Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn), together with the Chinese American Partnership Inc., will host his annual Lunar New Year celebration on Sunday, March 4, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at New Utrecht High School, located at 1601 80th St.
The celebration will feature cultural presentations including the Lion Dance, Kung Fu and Tai Chi Martial Arts, Qi Pao Traditional Gown Show, singing and dancing from local schools and academy schools, and civic and community information booths.
The performances scheduled will feature an array of talents, including professional entertainers, senior, youth and children. Admission is free to all.
The celebration has more than 20 sponsors from the local business and individuals. All guests will receive fortune bags and a God Bless the USA Golden coin to celebrate. – JA