In Public Service – September 24, 2019

September 24, 2019 Paula Katinas
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Cymbrowitz says new rent law helps seniors

A recent change in state law will allow more senior citizens and people with disabilities to qualify for programs that freeze rents, according to Assemblymember Steven Cymbrowitz, chairperson of the Assembly Housing Committee.

The new law, which Cymbrowitz sponsored, allows renters to benefit from so-called preferential rents for as long as they remain in their apartments. Preferential rents involve landlords charging a “preferential” amount under the rent-stabilization law.

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In addition, under the old system, tenants paying preferential rents were forced to wait until their rent reached a certain level to benefit from the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) and Disabled Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE) programs.

“So many senior and disabled tenants in my district and across our city who paid preferential rents lived in fear of not being able to afford their apartments once their lease was up for renewal. But at the same time, they couldn’t qualify for the city’s rent freeze programs until their rent was increased to a level they couldn’t afford,” said Cymbrowitz, a Democrat representing Sheepshead Bay.

Myrie, Richardson to host events

State Sen. Zellnor Myrie and Assemblymember Diana Richardson will be hosting community events in their district over the coming days.

Myrie, a Democrat who represents Crown Heights and parts of Park Slope and Sunset Park, will be leading a Mid-Autumn Festival and China Day on Sunday, Sept. 29, on Eighth Avenue between 50th and 56th streets in Sunset Park, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“Join us for some family-friendly fun,” Myrie wrote in a newsletter to constituents.

Richardson, a Democrat representing Crown Heights and Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, will host her annual Black College Expo on Saturday, Sept. 28, at Medgar Evers College, 1650 Bedford Ave., from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Participants can learn about scholarships, information on internships and careers.

Ortiz’s community gardens bill now law

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill sponsored by Assemblymember Félix Ortiz to expand the production of fruits and vegetables grown in community gardens. The bill signing took place on Sept. 13.

The new law will encourage the expansion of the production of fruits and vegetables in areas served by community gardens and will assist in the sharing of resources between community garden organizations and state agencies, according to Ortiz, a Democrat who represents Sunset Park and parts of Bay Ridge.

“I am passionate about increasing good health habits of adults and children in New York and decreasing obesity rates. This law will increase the availability of healthy, affordable food in areas that don’t have easy access and encourage movement through gardening,” Ortiz said.

Rose demands criminal charges for Purdue Pharma

U.S. Rep. Max Rose, a Democrat representing Southwest Brooklyn and Staten Island, urged the Department of Justice to bring criminal charges against Purdue Pharma, the maker of Oxycontin, and the Sackler family, which owns the company, over the nation’s opioid epidemic.

In my short time in office, I’ve met with so many parents who have lost their child to the epidemic and so many people who struggle with opioid addiction themselves,” Rose wrote in a letter to U.S. Attorney General William Barr. Every time a mother or a father or a sister or a brother has to come to my office after losing a loved one, they simply ask for the government to finally do something, do anything. This is your chance to do that. I strongly urge you and the Department of Justice to file the overdue criminal charges against Purdue Pharma and the Sacklers.”

The House and Senate passed the Fentanyl Sanctions Act to apply sanctions on drug manufacturers in China who provide fentanyl to traffickers. The House Committee on Homeland Security passed Rose’s bill to crack down on the inflow of foreign fentanyl and other opioids into the U.S.

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