In Public Service — February 26, 2020

February 26, 2020 Paula Katinas
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Velázquez warns Trump budget hurts New York

U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez and other members of New York City’s congressional delegation have written to Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. Ben Carson opposing President Donald Trump’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget.

In their Feb. 24 letter, the lawmakers charge that proposed budget cuts to HUD would devastate the New York City Housing Authority and drastically raise rents for tenants who rely on the Section 8 housing voucher program.

“These budget cuts threaten the very future of affordable housing in New York City,” the lawmakers wrote in their letter.

Velázquez, a Democrat whose district includes parts of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, led the effort to send a letter to top administration officials.

Richardson calls for Census volunteers

Assemblymember Diana Richardson, who is leading a community canvass in Central Brooklyn on Feb. 29 to help spread the word about the importance of the U.S. Census, is seeking volunteers to join the effort.

The canvass, which Richardson is organizing with State Sen. Zellnor Myrie, will take place on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Myrie’s district office at 1077 Nostrand Ave. will serve as the meeting spot.

“In previous Census counts, Central Brooklyn has been undercounted, resulting in the loss of billions in federal funding for hospitals, public schools, transportation, emergency services and more. Let’s change the narrative in 2020!” Richardson, a Democrat representing Crown Heights, wrote in a community newsletter.

To sign up as a canvass volunteer, visit:

Rose, King introduce public housing sprinkler bill

U.S. Reps. Max Rose and Peter King introduced the Public Housing Fire Safety Act, a bill that would mandate the installation of sprinklers in public housing high-rises across the country.

The bill is necessary, according to Rose, who said that while federal laws require the installation of sprinklers in all new government-owned high-rise buildings, it did not mandate sprinkler systems in buildings constructed before 1992. That leaves hundreds of thousands of Americans at risk, including people who live in New York City Housing Authority developments, Rose said.

Persaud looking forward to housing resource fair

State Sen. Roxanne Persaud is finalizing preparations for a Housing Resource Fair she is sponsoring on Saturday, Feb. 29 at the Canarsie High School cafeteria, 1600 Rockaway Parkway.

The forum will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Persaud, a Democrat representing parts of East New York, Canarsie, Flatlands and Mill Basin, described the event as an information resource for homeowners and tenants that will help them navigate various city or state programs for which they might qualify.

 “Many tenants and homeowners struggle to find affordable housing or need help maintaining their homes. Increases in property taxes, struggling with utility bills and affordable housing options are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the housing burdens within my district and across this city and state,” Persaud said.

GOP taps Malliotakis in DHS fight

Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis has been tapped by Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay to lead the charge to get access to New York State’s DMV database restored for U.S. Department of Homeland Security agencies that, Republicans said, need the information to preserve national security and initiate criminal investigations.

The federal government lost access following the passage of the Green Light Law, which allows undocumented immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses but prohibits Immigration and Customs Enforcement from accessing the database.

“New York is the only state in the nation that currently does not comply with the regulations key to protecting our nation from a potential terrorist attack in a post-9/11 world. Fourteen other states provide driver’s licenses to those in the country illegally and those 14 other states comply with DHS requirements without an issue,” said Malliotakis, a Republican who represents parts of Bay Ridge and Staten Island.

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