Good Morning, Brooklyn: Thursday, December 2, 2021
TOUR OF LANDMARK LEMMON CASE EXHIBIT: The Historical Society of the New York Courts, in collaboration with the New York State Courts, last month began a 90-week tour to 45 courthouses across New York State of an exhibit titled, “The Lemmon Case: 1852-1860, A Prelude to the Civil War.” This panel exhibit of the landmark Court of Appeals case, featuring a video narration by James Earl Jones and introduction by Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, is intended to educate the public on the role of the New York courts in paving the way for the abolition of slavery. While the physical exhibit is on display at the Putnam County Courthouse, New York City viewers may visit the Historical Society’s website at history.nycourts.gov/the-lemmon-slave-case to watch the film and see the tour schedule.
The Historical Society of New York Courts is a non-profit organization that then-New York State Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye. founded in 2002 to preserve, protect and promote the legal history of New York, including the proud heritage of its courts and the development of the Rule of Law.
ADL: FACEBOOK NOT ENFORCING BAN ON HOLOCAUST DENIAL: A new report from the Anti-Defamation League shows that while Facebook has removed major Holocaust denial posts on its platform, gaps in enforcing its ban remain one year after it went into effect. According to a Religion News Service article published December 1, the ADL report found nine troubling posts that overtly violated Facebook’s hate speech policy. As of Wednesday (Dec.1), the ADL said three of the nine remain.
The ADL, which investigates antisemitism through its Center on Extremism, has been advocating for years to push Facebook to change its policy on Holocaust denial, which is blamed for the growing number of antisemitic incidents in the U.S. Facebook last year classified Holocaust denial as hate speech rather than misinformation.
BROOKLYNITES HONORED AT ROBIN HOOD BREAKFAST: Three Brooklynites, Derrick Nkosi Cain of Touchdown NYC, Marcus Pass of Partnership with Children and Yahaira Moore of NPower were honored December 1 at Robin Hood’s 2nd Annual Heroes Breakfast. Robin Hood, a prominent poverty-fighting organization, focused this year’s event centered on the stories of these three remarkable New Yorkers who overcame adversity to build better lives for themselves and their communities.
Each of the three hero organizations – NPower, Partnership with Children, and Touchdown NYC – received a $50,000 grant from Robin Hood to honor their leadership in the fight against poverty.
MEET THE ROBIN HOOD HONOREES: Nkosi Cain worked with a mentor who helped him transform his life from serving an 18-year sentence to goals that led him to transform the criminal justice system. He recently founded Touchdown NYC, a social-good startup that matches transformative mentors with returning citizens to help them to create a strong foundation for their success. Marcus Pass, who grew up in a tough Brooklyn neighborhood, discovered his passion working with children when he started an after-school job to help support his mother. He now serves as a Community School Director at P.S. 165 in Brownsville, through Partnership with Children, working to ensure that his students and their families have the resources and support
Yahaira Moore was forced to leave college when she became pregnant while in an abusive marriage. While staying at a shelter, she enrolled in NPower’s intensive tech education program while still in the shelter. Through persistence and passion, Yahaira graduated with an internship at Deloitte and three amazing job offers.
BROOKLYNITE WILL JUDGE IN UPCOMING WESTMINSTER KENNEL SHOW: Dr. Don Sturz of Brooklyn will judge Best in Show at the 146th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Dr. Sturz brings a lifetime of experience, starting from his childhood, as a breeder, exhibitor and judge to the most prestigious judging assignment in the sport of purebred dogs. While growing up in the sport, Dr. Sturz trained and exhibited dogs in a variety of American Kennel Club events including conformation, obedience and field trials, earning numerous awards and titles.
This annual dog show, presented by Purina Pro Plan® at Madison Square Garden on January 26, has been held continuously since 1877.
CITY FILES LAWSUIT RE: FAILURE TO PAY FREELANCERS: New York City’s Law Department and the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) have filed a lawsuit against L’Officiel USA, the American subsidiary of the French-owned global media company that operates several print and digital magazines about fashion, beauty, music, film, literature, culture, politics, lifestyle, and wellness. The lawsuit, which was filed in New York County Supreme Court, alleges that L’Officiel has engaged in a pattern of failing to pay freelancers on time or at all, including writers, editors, photographers, videographers, graphic designers and illustrators.
The lawsuit is based on NYC’s Freelance Isn’t Free Act, the first law of its kind in the country, which gives freelance workers the legal right to written contracts, timely payment, and freedom from retaliation. While the law established a Court Navigation Program as one avenue to assist freelancers in getting paid and accessing other resources, it also authorizes the city to file cases against businesses with a systemic pattern and practice of violating the law.
IPS NEWS: CONNECTING NEW YORKERS WITH JOBS— A new initiative that Gov. Kathy Hochul announced this week will build upon extensive efforts already underway by the New York State Department of Labor to connect job seekers to more than 220,000 available jobs, tools and training resources. The New York State Department of Labor continues to proactively connect New Yorkers with jobs through recruitment, skill-matching, marketing, community outreach, virtual career services, a broadcast and social media campaign, and other ongoing efforts as part of New York State’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Through this new initiative, the New York State Department of Labor will expand those existing services to collaborate with additional community partners across the state to educate New Yorkers about no-cost resources available to connect them with jobs.
The Department of Labor will also partner with Community Based Organizations, including those who assisted New Yorkers through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) to connect those in need to jobs, training and other resources.
IPS: FORUM ON THE OPEN MEETINGS LAW: The New York Coalition for Open Government and its president, Paul Wolf, Esq., will be holding a Zoom forum regarding the Open Meetings Law, pursuant to temporary legislation which expires January 15, 2022. As New York legislators consider how to change the Open Meetings Law going forward, forum participants will learn how meetings are done in California and Florida. Each presenter will give a 5-to-10-minute overview of their state’s open meeting law as far as how remote meetings- work, posting of meeting documents, posting of meeting minutes, whether public comments are mandated by law and how enforcement of the law works.
This forum is geared to members of the public, reporters, legislators and their staff. Register via https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81479894917?pwd=Q0pJRmRQSUNDRXppZ2Ric2xtdW9JZz09
IPS NEWS: DEMAND NYCHA CONEY ISLAND RESTORE HEAT AND HOT WATER — Assemblymember Mathylde Frontus will join residents of Coney Island Houses today, December 2, at 11 a.m. to demand immediate action from NYCHA in response to ongoing issues with lack of heat and hot water that residents have been enduring for weeks. Tenants say this has resulted in children sleeping in winter coats and residents resorting to drastic and unsafe measures such as sleeping with ovens on to keep their apartments warm.
In addition to demanding NYCHA action, the speakers will discuss their efforts to explore legal remedies to hold the city accountable for this basic human rights abuse.
IPS NEWS: PROTECTING CONSUMERS—U.S. Rep Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09) and U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland) have introduced new bicameral legislation to protect consumers from online free trial scams and deceptive marketing tactics. The lawmakers’ new bill, titled the Consumer Online Payment Transparency and Integrity Act, or Consumer OPT-IN Act – puts the onus on companies, instead of consumers, in renewing or extending contracts. The Consumer OPT-in Act will protect consumers from deceptive free trials and marketing tactics by requiring companies to get express informed consent from consumers before converting free trials into automatically renewing contracts and charging consumers.
From 2017-2019, the Better Business Bureau received 58,400 complaints related to free trials scams. Additionally, the BBB reports that companies often use software and interfaces, called dark patterns that subtly trick users and make it harder for consumers to end these subscriptions and stop unwanted charges.
IPS NEWS: NEW #VAXTOSCHOOL SITES ANNOUNCED: Governor Kathy Hochul today announced 18 new #VaxtoSchool pop-up vaccination sites—including one in Brooklyn, open to children five years and older—to increase vaccination rates among school-aged New Yorkers. Governor Hochul and the State’s Department of Health urge all eligible New Yorkers, including and especially young New Yorkers, to get fully vaccinated for winter and as the State monitors for the Omicron variant. That Brooklyn site, at Christ Fellowship Baptist Church, 11 Sumpter Street in zip code 11233, will offer those age 12 and up the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Janssen/J&J this Saturday, December 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event partner is the National Association of Black Churches.
A community-based medical professional will be available at each site to answer any questions parents and guardians of school-aged New Yorkers may have. As yet another tool to promote the vaccine, #VaxtoSchool buses — mobile vaccination efforts — continue to support these efforts statewide.
IPS NEWS: POSSIBLE STRIKE AVERTED— An agreement with 1199SEIU and the Greater New York Health Care Facilities Association is credited with averting a potential strike in New York State’s nursing homes. The new, three-year agreement, that Gov. Hochul announced on December 1, covers worker wages and benefits, ensuring health care heroes are treated fairly and nursing home residents have the care they need, Governor Kathy Hochul today announced.
Earlier this month, 1199SEIU workers in nursing homes and long-term care facilities authorized a strike if an agreement was not reached. The notice for a strike was withdrawn after Governor Hochul brought both sides to the table to craft an agreement.
IPS NEWS: PROTECTING WOMEN’S RIGHT TO AN ABORTION, Declaring that “There is no democracy in this country if women cannot make decisions about their own health care and their bodies, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-12th District) said on Wednesday, reacting to a hearing of oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the court case that directly challenges Roe v. Wade and the constitutional right to abortion. In September, Congressmember Maloney held an Oversight Committee hearing titled “A State of Crisis: Examining the Urgent Need to Protect and Expand Abortion Rights and Access,” which examined the threat to abortion rights and access posed by extreme anti-choice state governments and a Supreme Court that is hostile to reproductive rights.
“Earlier this year, in anticipation of this court case, the House passed the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would establish a statutory right to abortion care across our country,” said Rep. Maloney. “I urge my colleagues in the Senate to pass this legislation immediately, so that all people are free to make their own decisions about their bodies.
IPS NEWS: REP. MALLIOTAKIS ACCUSES NYC OF SQUANDERING FUNDSL U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11) yesterday introduced two bills in Congress that bills would create Special Inspectors General to oversee the spending of federal dollars given to state governments and governments of major cities with populations greater than one million people. Calling some mental health and suicide-prevention programs like Thrive NYC “wasteful,” Malliotakis also denounced New York “state’s decision to give unemployment, stimulus, and disaster relief aid to those in the country illegally. My goal is to ensure tax dollars are spent appropriately on their intended purpose and not squandered.”
The Special Inspector General for Major Metropolitan Areas (SIGMMA) Act and the Special Inspector General for State Spending and Waste (SIGSSAW) Act are both modeled after language that established the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction in 2008.
IPS NEWS: DENOUNCING EXPANSION OF VOTE TO ‘NON-CITIZENS’: New York Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy and NYC Council Minority Leader Joe Borelli will pledge action against the City Council’s upcoming vote to allow what they say are hundreds of thousands of non-citizens to vote at a press conference taking place today, December 2, at 11:30 a.m. on the steps of New York City Hall.
However, proponents of the legislation, named “The Municipal Voting Rights Bill” and which has the support of municipal unions, say that it will restore the rights of immigrants to participate in local elections. “Undoubtedly, New York City will become a model for which other cities may follow in the fight to enfranchise immigrants who hold a green card or work authorization,” said Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez, who sponsored the bill.
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