In Public Service – December 31, 2019

December 31, 2019 Paula Katinas
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Rose to hold hearing on hate crimes

The recent rash of hate crimes committed against Jews in New York is making heads turn in Washington D.C.

U.S. Rep. Max Rose, chairperson of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism, said he will hold a hearing Wednesday, Jan. 15 on the rise of anti-Semitic domestic terrorism attacks, the federal government’s response, and additional steps that can and should be taken to address the threats.

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“The unfortunate reality is that Jews are living in fear over the rise in anti-Semitism and domestic terrorist attacks. That’s a reality I refuse to accept,” said Rose, a Democrat representing Southwest Brooklyn and Staten Island.

“All levels of government need to rise to the challenge, ensure the safety and security of the Jewish community, and do everything in our power to combat the disgusting hate and pervasive anti-Semitism,” said Rose, who is the first Jewish person to represent Staten Island in Congress.

In 2019, Rose was part of a bipartisan group of House members that successfully pushed to double the funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, a federal initiative that provides support and protection to non-profit and religious institutions like synagogues, churches, mosques and community centers.

Malliotakis blasts bail reform law

Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis, who charged that New York State’s new bail reform law “dangerous,” is stepping up her call to make changes to the law.

“For months, my colleagues and I have pleaded with Gov. Cuomo to call the state legislature back to Albany to fix a misguided bail reform law that will lead to the release of individuals who have committed serious crimes back into our communities,” said Malliotakis, a Republican representing parts of Bay Ridge and Staten Island. 

“This new law does not consider an individual’s criminal history or the threat they pose to public safety,” Malliotakis said.

The new law, which went into effect on Jan. 1, eliminates cash bail and pre-trial detention for many criminal suspects.

Frontus lauds subway elevator plan

Assemblymember Mathylde Frontus said the plan by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to install elevators at 20 additional subway stations is good news for riders.

The F train station at Neptune Avenue in Coney Island is one of the stations slated to get an elevator.

“Every Brooklynite knows how important public transportation is. In fact, over 4.3 million New Yorkers rely on the subway system each day to go to work, school or simply get around the city. Yet for years, Coney Island seniors and residents with mobility impairments haven’t been able to utilize their local station because it wasn’t fully ADA-accessible. This is absolutely unacceptable and a terrible disservice to so many of our loved ones and neighbors,” said Frontus, a Democrat representing Coney Island, Seagate and parts of Dyker Heights and Bay Ridge.

“Every New Yorker should be able to get around the city they call home safely and efficiently. With these improvements soon underway, we’re moving in the right direction toward ensuring all residents have equal access to the services they need and deserve,” Frontus said.

Gounardes disappointed with Cuomo Rx veto

State Sen. Andrew Gounardes expressed concern in the wake of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s veto of a bill passed by the state legislature to provide additional oversight of pharmacy managers.

“I am disappointed and angry on behalf of our local pharmacies here in southern Brooklyn that the governor has vetoed a bill to bring oversight to pharmacy benefit managers in New York State. By vetoing this bill, he is putting big business over regular people struggling to pay for their healthcare,” said Gounardes, a Democrat whose district includes Bay Ridge and several other neighborhoods in Southwest Brooklyn.

Gounardes vowed to work to pass the legislation again.

“It is vital for both our local mom-and-pop shops as well as New Yorkers that this industry have some measure of transparency and accountability, and I will fight to protect our local pharmacies next session,” he said.

Treyger takes part in Menorah lighting ceremony

Councilmember Mark Treyger spent part of the last night of Hanukkah at a Menorah lighting ceremony in Coney Island.

The ceremony, which took place at Chabad of Coney Island on Surf Avenue, had a particular poignancy, according to Treyger, who noted the recent series of shocking hate crimes against Jews.

“These recent heinous acts of hate must not shatter our collective spirit, divide our families and de-humanize our humanity. An attack on one is an attack on all,” said Treyger, a Democrat who represents Coney Island, Gravesend and parts of Bensonhurst.

“We must stand united, in solidarity, and with inclusive conviction that we will not tolerate hate against any member of our community. The story of Hanukkah is a story of resilience and strength against all odds. We are one. We will overcome,” Treyger said.

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