Good Morning, Brooklyn: Monday, October 25, 2021
COMMUNITY BOARD 2 TO RECOMMEND FIVE PROPERTIES TO LANDMARK: Three buildings in Brooklyn Heights and two in Clinton Hill are being recommended to the Landmarks Preservation Commission tonight, October 25, during Community Board 2’s Executive Committee monthly meeting, held virtually. The Brooklyn Heights sites are a carriage house at 123 Joralemon St., a brownstone rowhouse at 36 Remsen St., and 155 Henry St. an apartment building. The two Clinton Hill properties are 265 Lafayette Ave. (the Apostolic Faith Mission, which is next door to Emmanuel Baptist Church), and a rowhouse at 141 Gates Ave.
Brooklyn Community Board 2 is home to 10 of the 30 historic districts in Brooklyn, including the very first (Brooklyn Heights Historic District) to be created in New York City, in 1965.
POST OFFICE RENAMING HONORS LONGTIME ASSEMBLYMEMBER: The Greenpoint Post Office on Saturday was re-named and designated Joseph R. Lentol Post Office,” in honor of the assemblymember’s lifelong public service. Last Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed a bill on the renaming, thanks to Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-12th District), who sponsored the bill. Lentol had, for 48 years, represented the 50th Assembly District, comprised of Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Fort Greene and parts of Clinton Hill, until he was defeated in the 2020 primary by Emily Gallagher.
Lentol comes from a political family — his father was State Senator and State Supreme Court Justice Edward S. Lentol. His grandfather also served in the Assembly. Before he was elected, Joe Lentol served as an assistant district attorney in Kings County. In 2001, he was elected as head of the Brooklyn Assembly Delegation.
RETIREMENT PLANS FOR PRIVATE SECTOR: Retirement plan options for private sector employees are now ensured, thanks to legislation that Governor Kathy Hochul signed on Thursday, Oct. 21. The new law requires that private sector employers who do not already provide their employees with a retirement plan automatically enroll their employees in New York State’s Secure Choice Savings Plan, which promotes retirement saving in a convenient, low cost, and portable manner. Employees are able to opt-out of the program at any time.
Established in 2015 by the “New York State Secure Choice Savings Program Act,” the Secure Choice Savings plan is a self-sufficient retirement savings program in the form of an automatic enrollment payroll deduction IRA.
REVISITING THE ERA: Coming on the heels of the 50th anniversary of House passage of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, chair of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, held a hearing last week to examine the final steps necessary to certify and publish the ERA as the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Ahead of the hearing, Rep. Maloney sent a letter to President Biden and Vice President Harris calling on the administration to rescind the Trump-era legal opinion from the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) that has needlessly held up the ERA’s certification despite having met the constitutional requirements for adoption after being ratified by 38 states.
Rep. Maloney also wrote in her capacity as committee chair to Archivist of the United States David Ferriero, urging him to certify and publish the ERA.
FREE VISION CARE FOR NEEDY FAMILIES: OneSight, a leading global vision care nonprofit, has collaborated with Fidelity Security Life Insurance Company to offer free eye exams and glasses as prescribed to 491 children and adults in the Brooklyn area. The five-day charitable clinic at Restoration Plaza in Bedford-Stuyvesant was sponsored by Fidelity Security Life Insurance Company, and addressed unresolved vision needs for individuals and families throughout Brooklyn who may otherwise lack access to eye exams and glasses.
OneSight, which provides free vision care globally, leveraged its proven clinic model and manufacturing capabilities to execute the clinic.
ALLOW GREEN CARD HOLDERS TO VOTE IN MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS: Several elected officials, including a delegation from Brooklyn, have sponsored and called on the city to pass Intro 1867, a bill that seeks to expand municipal voting rights for green card holders and individuals with work authorization. When passed, New York City would become the largest city in the Nation to enfranchise non-citizen immigrants so that they may have the opportunity to elect their local city leaders. Among the bill’s Brooklyn sponsors, who have joined a growing coalition of religious leaders, DACA recipients and immigration groups, are Councilmembers Carlos Menchaca, Brad Lander, Robert E. Cornegy, Jr., Farah N. Louis, Alicka Ampry-Samuel, Stephen T. Levin, Laurie A. Cumbo and Mathieu Eugene.
As it currently stands, there is no federal or state law explicitly denying undocumented immigrants the right to vote at the municipal level. New York City would not be the first city to pass such a bill, other municipalities have already passed legislation allowing immigrants to participate in their local elections.
RIBBON-CUTTING FOR NEW AFFORDABLE HOUSING: U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) took part in a ribbon-cutting on Friday for the new affordable housing complex Ebenezer Project in Brownsville. The Church of God of East Flatbush has partnered with the development team Ebenezer Plaza Owners LLC and a coalition of community stakeholders, including the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development and a number of elected officials to bring to fruition this project that features 315 affordable housing units for households at or below 60 percent of the area median income (AMI); over 7,500 sq ft of commercial/retail spaces for educational and food services which will be leased by small businesses currently servicing New York City communities and 40,000 sq. ft. of community facility space.
Leading partners in the Ebenezer Plaza plan were Bishop Dr. R.C. Hugh Nelson, Senior Pastor, Church of God of East Flatbush and an officer with the GodSquad/67th Precinct Clergy Council; Councilmember Inez Barron, 42nd District; Assemblymember Charles Barron, 60th District, State Sen. Roxanne Persaud, 19th District; and Viola Greene-Walker, district manager of Brooklyn Community Board 16.
GRANT FUNDING TO PROTECT AGAINST HATE CRIMES: The application period has opened for $25 million in grants to strengthen safety and security measures at facilities of nonprofit organizations at risk of hate crimes or attacks because of their ideology, beliefs, or missions, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced last Thursday. The funding is being administered through the Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes Program at the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services and allows for the purchase of additional security needs.
As defined by state law, hate crimes are those perpetrated against individuals, groups of individuals or property because of a perception or belief about race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, religion or other characteristics. Because these crimes adversely affect entire communities, not just the intended targets, New York State tracks these incidents separately from other crimes so trends can be monitored, and steps can be taken proactively in their prevention.
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