Good Morning, Brooklyn: Thursday, July 8, 2021
HAITIAN BROOKLYNITES REACT TO TRAGEDY: State Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn & Councilmember Farah Louis held a joint press conference to discuss the tragedy unfolding in Haiti after the Caribbean nation’s president, Jovenel Moïse, 53, was assassinated in a military raid on his home overnight to Wednesday. Haiti’s first lady, Martine Moïse, was also wounded in the attack, which added more chaos on the Caribbean country already enduring gang violence, soaring inflation and a decades-long history of political upheaval.
The two elected officials of Haitian heritage convened at the intersection of Nostrand and Newkirk avenues, a neighborhood with a strong Haitian population. As of press time, Councilmember Farah Louis had issued a statement.
CONDEMNS MOÏSE’S ASSASSINATION: Councilmember Farah N. Louis (D-Brooklyn), Vice Co-Chair of the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus, issued the following statement after Haitian President Jovenel Moïse’s assassination early Wednesday in Port-au-Prince. Identifying as the daughter of Haitian immigrants, Councilmember Louis said, “The assassination of President Jovenel Moïse was a cowardly act and a misguided attempt to resolve systemic issues faced by several administrations. Unfortunately, the violence that took place overnight will likely perpetuate fear and deepen divisions that have delayed progress for people who have longed for change and peace.”
Declaring that Haiti cannot depend on force to solve problems, she said, “Our resilient spirit is the essence of who we are and how we can rebuild a nation that withstood so much devastation by working more collaboratively with the brilliant, young minds who can help envision a more equitable future.”
WILLIAMS SAYS VIOLENCE NOT A SOLUTION: NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, who has Caribbean parentage, also issued a statement on Haitian President Jovenel Moïse’s assassination. “We offer prayers of peace and comfort to the family of President Moïse and his wife Martine, as well as to the Haitian people -both on the island and throughout the diaspora in the wake of this horrific attack on not just a person, but a nation. Violence is not a solution to the discord and pain that Haiti is experiencing, it will only perpetuate them.”
“As the world watches — a world which was eager to appear before cameras in the wake of natural disaster but long ago abandoned the work of recovery — we pray for the people still suffering, and we all must follow our prayers and posts with assistance,” said Public Advocate Williams.
GUN INDUSTRY LIABILITY BILL BECOMES LAW: Senator Zellnor Y. Myrie (D-Brooklyn) on Tuesday joined Governor Andrew Cuomo, Assemblymember Patricia Fahy (D-Albany) and gun violence survivors, families of victims and advocates for the signing of a new law that Myrie sponsored, allowing civil suits to proceed against gun manufacturers and dealers who irresponsibly fuel the criminal firearm market. A federal law makes it virtually impossible to hold bad actors in the gun industry accountable, but allows states to pass laws enabling such suits to proceed. “Our federal laws have granted extraordinary protections to the gun industry, while leaving New Yorkers— especially Black and Brown communities— vulnerable to its deadly products,” said Senator Myrie.
Pastor Gil Monrose, president of the 67th Precinct Clergy Council (The GodSquad), said, “We are very pleased today to witness firsthand Governor Cuomo signing the gun industry accountability bill into law. We believe that this is an important step in the right direction because public safety is a shared responsibility and stronger legislation can definitely help ensure that more of us play a role in making our communities safer.”
BROOKLYN TO GET NEW JUDICIAL SEAT: A bill signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week adds new judicial seats in 11 of the 13 judicial districts that cover New York, including one in Brooklyn, reports the New York Law Journal. Voters in the second judicial district (Brooklyn) and the 10th judicial district will each get to decide seven Supreme Court seats in the general election—the most among judicial districts this next election cycle, according to the Board of Elections. The state elections board has certified a total of 46 state Supreme Court seats across New York for the November general election.
State Supreme Court races do not have primaries in New York. Instead, political parties select their candidates at judicial conventions, scheduled to be held between Aug. 5-11, according to the state Board of Elections’ political calendar.
PROTESTS BIOMETRIC SCREENING AT HOME: “Someone living in public housing should not be the guinea pig for the emerging technology of biometric facial screening just to enter their own home.” So say Congressmembers Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) and Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), who reintroduced their bill, titled the “No Biometric Barriers to Housing Act of 2021.” The “No Biometric Barriers Housing Act of 2021” will prohibit the usage of facial and biometric recognition in most federally funded public housing and will require the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to submit a report to Congress about how this emerging technology interplays within the public housing sector and its tenants.
Rep. Clarke saw the need to craft legislation on the federal level after tenants at Atlantic Towers, a rent-stabilized community in her district, spoke out against their landlord’s wanting to install facial recognition technology in their apartment complex.
CAPITAL FOR GROUPS THAT ENCOURAGE COVID-19 VACCINE: The NYC Vaccine Referral Bonus Initiative will provide up to $4 million in direct payments to civic, faith, tenant, and other associations for referring New Yorkers to vaccine appointments. Community organizations, associations, civic groups and small businesses will be eligible to receive a $100 bonus for each community member that they refer and who receives the safe and effective COVID vaccine at a city-run site or in-home vaccination.
Each organization is eligible to receive a maximum of $20,000 through August 31st. 501 (c) 3 status is not required, and organizations that are currently receiving city funding can apply. To apply, fill out a simple form available at nyc.gov/VaccineReferralBonus.
E. WILIAMSBURG GETS NEW CURBSIDE CHARGERS: Today, Thursday, July 8, Con Edison will begin construction for the installation of an Electric Vehicle Curbside Charger Location on Meeker Avenue between Metropolitan Ave. and Rodney St. in East Williamsburg. These locations are electric vehicle chargers that are accessible for public curbside parking. Six parking spaces adjacent to the chargers on Meeker Avenue will be reserved for electric vehicles, with existing parking regulations remaining in effect for each parking site.
The Meeker Avenue multiple-vehicle charger is scheduled to be operable on August 11, 2021 (pending construction completion). This is part of a citywide project, in partnership with New York City Department of Transportation and the FLO Network, to install over 100 curbside electric vehicle charging ports across New York City.
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