Good Morning, Brooklyn: Tuesday, September 7, 2021
ASSISTANCE FOR STORM VICTIMS: Several elected officials serving Brooklyn, including State Senator Julia Salazar (D-18) want to get the word out that immediate help is available to Brooklynites affected by the remnant of Hurricane Ida, which struck New York City Wednesday night. The city is currently working with federal agencies on disaster declarations to bring more Relief Aid. Those with property damage should use 311 Online or call or text 311. To report downed power lines and outages to Con Edison, call (800)-752-6633.
Merchants who experienced property damages or losses may contact the Small Business Services Emergency Response Unit at (212) 618-8810.
STORM DAMAGE TOOL ON NYC.GOV WEBSITE: New Yorkers who sustained damage during last Wednesday’s destructive weather can access an online Damage Assessment Tool via the nyc.gov website. The tool, here, allows the city to immediately collect damage information from residents of the affected areas to assess the impact. Reporting damage with this form is for tracking purposes only.
Those wishing to report a specific concern should file a Service Request by visiting 311 online or calling 311 (212-639-9675 for Video Relay Service, or TTY: 212-504-4115).
SAFER, REGULATED BASEMENT UNITS: New York Attorney General Letitia James has called on the City of New York to provide special emergency housing vouchers to all New Yorkers living in unregulated basement apartments following the deaths and devastation caused by Hurricane Ida. “We know that New York’s housing crisis has gone too far when tenants have to risk their lives just to have a roof over their heads, said Attorney General James. “Extreme rainfall and other severe weather events are now the rule, not the exception, in New York.”
The Attorney General added that “it is our duty to move these New Yorkers out of harm’s way by offering them safer, regulated housing. To prevent these problems in the future, we must also ensure that basement units are safe for human occupancy and regularly inspected.
DEMAND POLICY CHANGES AT RIKERS: Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams has called for immediate investments and new policies for Rikers Island, following a tour he made last Friday of the jail facility. Adams, himself a retired law enforcement officer, noted that dangerous conditions there have led to increases in violence and disturbing incidents that are putting both inmates and corrections officers at risk. He called for increased funding for the prosecutor’s office located at Rikers Island to expedite criminal cases against inmates, an emergency build-out of off-site secure facilities that includes support for inmates who are dealing with mental health and substance abuse issues.
Adams also called for immediate policy changes to Rikers Island operations related to gangs including an end to housing them by affiliation, and a partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice and other government agencies to create a gangs and guns task force.
BIDEN APPROVES EMERGENCY DECLARATION: President Joe Biden has approved an Emergency Disaster Declaration for New York following the devastation caused by Tropical Depression Ida and its unprecedented, historic rainfall. Under an Emergency Declaration, up to $5 million in immediate federal funding is made available to impacted counties, which in this case includes all five boroughs, Long Island and the Hudson Valley region to support ongoing response and rescue operations prior to issuance of a traditional Major Disaster Declaration.
FEMA will work with the State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, as well as local partners to begin an expedited damage assessment process, which is required for a Major Disaster Declaration, and state emergency response assets are on the ground helping local partners with cleanup and restoration efforts.
BROOKLYNITE IN NAVY SERVES ON 9/11 NAMESAKE SHIP: As the Nation prepares to observe the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, a Brooklyn native is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS New York, a ship built using steel from the World Trade Center. Petty Officer 1st Class Lauren Evans, originally from Carroll Gardens and Red Hook, recalls sitting in math class during her sophomore year in Staten Island when the attacks took place. “To be a New Yorker serving on board the USS New York has been an honor,” said Evans, who joined the Navy 15 years ago, directly out of high school. “The first day I checked on board and got to see all the memorabilia from my city gave me goosebumps. To know that seven tons of steel from the 9/11 attacks is laid in her keel is mind blowing. It’s just been a great experience!”
According to Navy officials,“The Navy’s 9/11 namesake ships uphold the virtues of service, sacrifice and selflessness that have always been the source of America’s strength.”
ANNUAL 9/11 VIGIL ON PROMENADE: The Brooklyn Heights Interfaith Clergy Association continues a tradition begun shortly after the September 11 tragedy took place, the annual 9/11 candlelight vigil on the Promenade. This year’s observance, with local congregations participating, will take place on Saturday, Sept. 11 at 7:15 p.m. near the Montague St. entrance to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.
9/11 MEMORIAL IN CANARSIE PARK: Another 20th anniversary commemoration of 9/11 takes place in eastern Brooklyn next Saturday afternoon, Sept. 11. Several elected leaders, including Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, State Senator Roxanne J. Persaud, State Assemblymembers Jaime Williams and Nick Perry, and City Councilmember Alan Maisel are co-sponsoring the commemoration, taking place from 2 to 4 p.m. in Canarsie Park (entrance at Seaview Ave. and East 84th St., with COVID-19 guidelines being followed.
This 9/11 observance is organized in partnership with district leaders for the 59th Assembly District Frank Seddio and SueAnn Partnow; and Melba Brown, district leader for the 58th Assembly District.
INCLUDE FUNDING FOR WTC HEALTH PROGRAM: Aiming to prevent a shortfall in the World Trade Center Health Program, Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), both representing districts in Brooklyn and sponsors of the 9/11 Responder and Survivor Health Funding Correction Act, led a group of their colleagues in asking Congressional leaders to include funding in reconciliation legislation. They pointed out that the World Trade Center Health Program’s financial needs “now exceed the formula written into the law that calls for inflationary adjustments each year.
The sponsors aim to ensure that the program can continue to provide care for “all those still suffering the physical and mental impacts of 9/11.”
9/11 FAMILIES ‘DESERVE ANSWERS’: “9/11 is not just in the past – it is something these families live with each and every day. They deserve answers,” says Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-14th Congressional District), in applauding President Biden’s declassification of 9/11 documents. Maloney was responding to Friday’s executive order in which President Biden directed the Department of Justice and other relevant federal agencies to conduct a declassification review of documents relating to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Rep. Maloney, a sponsor of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, and other survivor health funds and 9/11 victim compensation acts, said “The declassification of these documents will hopefully bring 9/11 families some of the answers they have been seeking for two decades.”
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