Good Morning, Brooklyn: Tuesday, April 12, 2022
HOCHUL PRAISES CRACKDOWN ON GHOST GUNS: New York Gov. Kathy Hochul commended the new steps that President Joe Biden and the U.S. Dept. of Justice are taking to crack down on ghost guns by making the “buy, build, shoot” kits subject to the same federal laws that apply to conventional firearms. Hochul said, “No one should be able to circumvent the process to gain access to deadly weapons, especially those that take just 30 minutes to assemble and whose parts often cost less than $100.
“We are treating gun violence as the public health and safety crisis that it is, devoting a historic $227 million in our FY2023 budget for gun violence prevention programs that aim to address the root causes of this epidemic,” said Gov. Hochul.
NY ATTORNEY GENERAL JOINS PRAISE FOR GHOST GUN REGULATIONS: Likewise, New York Attorney General Letitia James applauded the new federal regulations to crack down on ghost guns. These regulations are significant steps in addressing gun violence that is plaguing communities across New York and the country, and Attorney General James previously called on the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to regulate ghost guns under federal law.
Moreover, Attorney General James had already begun taking significant action to support gun safety measures, last August joining a coalition of 22 attorneys general in urging DOJ to finalize regulations that would make clear that ghost guns are firearms under federal law, and vowing to defend a New York state law that restores the ability of the state and localities to bring civil liability actions against firearm manufacturers and sellers for their own bad conduct.
MAYOR ADAMS PRAISES SELECTION OF NEW ATF DIRECTOR: At the municipal level, Mayor Eric Adams, co-chair of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, also praised the nomination of a new Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) director and the finalization of a rule to rein in the proliferation of ghost guns, “The NYPD has taken nearly 1,800 guns off the street this year alone, yet the guns just keep flowing into our city — leaving a trail of death and destruction in their wake.”
While Adams said, “the Biden administration deserves real credit for taking strong steps to tackle the problem of ghosts guns,” he emphasized, “these actions are not enough. We need an aggressive ATF, we need more regulation from Congress, and we need our entire federal government to be focused on addressing this crisis.”
BISHOP BRENNAN BEGINS HOLY WEEK WITH NEIGHBORHOOD PROCESSION: The Most Reverend Robert Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn, began his first Holy Week as leader of the Diocese of Brooklyn with a noontime Palm Sunday procession originating at Grand Army Plaza. Hundreds of Catholics took part as Bishop Brennan began with an opening prayer before he blessed the palms. And prayed and sang while walking down Vanderbilt Avenue, making their way to the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph at 856 Pacific St.
The procession commemorated the triumphant entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem, where those who greeted Jesus waved palms and set them on the ground along His path. Palms are recognized as a symbol of victory and peace.
‘DOWN PAYMENT FOR A STRONGER SUNY’: Praising members of statue legislature, particularly the Brooklyn delegation, who tenaciously advocated for the State University of New York system during the budget process, Dr. Frederick E. Kowal, Ph.D., president of the United University Professions (UUP), the nation’s largest higher education union, said, “UUP has long-advocated for leaders in Albany to reverse the decades-long disinvestment in SUNY that has weakened our higher education system and limited opportunities for students and employees. While there is more work to do, we applaud Governor Hochul and the Legislature for taking an important step that will allow SUNY to turn a corner by putting it on a path to a stronger future.
“As a result of their hard work, the state will finally provide capital debt services to SUNY teaching hospitals that are a literal lifeline to so many historically underserved communities,” said Dr. Kowal. In addition to support for SUNY, the budget agreement provided funding for frontline healthcare workers who have fought the COVID-19 pandemic, including thousands of UUP members.
NEW LAW FACILITATES VOTING ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES: As a part of the new budget, the New York State Legislature and Gov. Kathy Hochul have passed legislation to mandate polling places on college campuses, starting with Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, in with 300 or more registered students or at a nearby site proposed by the college.
The legislation will also prevent the division of college campuses into multiple voting districts.
CHILDREN’S LITERACY FROM AROUND THE WORLD: The Brooklyn Public Library will join public and school libraries around the country to El Día Los Niños, also known as Día, a free program that fosters literacy for children from all backgrounds each April. Partnering with Apple Bank, the BPL will host programs starting this Thursday, April 14, at 11 a.m. with Italian Storytime.
Later this month, BPL will feature Irish Dancing with Patricia McManus, Irish dancer extraordinaire and founder of the McManus School of Irish Dance; and with the Ba Ban Chinese Music Society leading with a virtual music odyssey to explore China. Full listings are available on the BPL website.
JUNETEENTH NOW A PAID CITY HOLIDAY: Juneteenth for the first time in NYC history is now officially a paid city holiday, thanks to Mayor Eric Adams. Juneteenth, (June 19) which marks the anniversary of the day federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1865 to announce that all enslaved people were free. Coming two and half years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, it is recognized as the effective end of slavery in the United States. Designated as a federal holiday on June 17, 2021, Juneteenth is widely considered the longest-running African American holiday.
“As the second Black mayor of New York City, I know that I stand on the shoulders of countless heroes and sheroes who put their lives on the line to secure a more perfect union. Now is the time for me to do a small part and recognize one of our nation’s greatest wrongs,” said Adams.
TAX DAY IS APRIL 18: The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance reminds New Yorkers that the deadline to file a completed personal income tax return and pay any taxes owed is 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) Monday, April 18. Taxpayers with income of $73,000 or less in 2021 can electronically complete and submit their federal and New York State income tax returns now through the Tax Department website, www.tax.ny.gov.
The deadline to file federal taxes is on Monday, April 18, this year because the Internal Revenue Service’s District of Columbia offices will be closed on Friday, April 15, in observance of the locally recognized Emancipation Day, and the state deadlines normally follow this schedule, with some exceptions in New England for Patriots Day. The fact that Good Friday and the start of Passover are also observed on April 15 are not official reasons for the change.
PUSHING FOR BILL ON EMERGENCY EVACUATION PLAN: Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams pushed for passage of flash flooding emergency response legislation Monday as a City Council joint oversight hearing focused on storm preparedness. The bill, first introduced in the wake of Hurricane Ida, would require the city to create and publicize an evacuation plan for flash flood emergencies targeted at residents of multiple dwellings, and engage in outreach to ensure that residents are aware of the plan.
The bill would additionally require that in the event of a flash flood emergency, OEM must report on the implementation of its plan within 60 days. That report would include the number of multiple dwellings, including basement and 1st floor apartments evacuated during a flash flood emergency; addresses and council districts of evacuated dwellings; the number of people evacuated; and challenges in implementing plans.
IPS NEWS: TWU LOCAL 100 ENDORSES GOV. HOCHUL: Brooklyn-based TWU Local 100 on Monday endorsed Governor Kathy Hochul for a full term. As New York’s largest industrial transportation union, TWU Local 100 (with offices on Montague St. near Downtown Brooklyn) represents 41,000 workers in the public and private transportation industries throughout the New York City metropolitan area.
Union leadership applauded Governor Hochul’s economic recovery efforts and commitment to improving the quality, safety, and efficiency of New York City’s transportation systems.
NEW MATERNAL HEALTH TASKFORCE: Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso has appointed the initial members of his Maternal Health Taskforce. The co-chaired is NYC Health + Hospitals Chief Women’s Health Service Officer Dr. Wendy Wilcox and NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull Director of Midwifery Services Helena Grant, with additional members of the taskforce including former NYC Councilmember Hon. Una S. T. Clarke; Assistant Commissioner of Brooklyn Neighborhood Health at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) Dr. Zahirah McNatt; Executive Director at Brooklyn Perinatal Network, Inc. Ngozi Moses; and mental health advocate Christina Sparrock. (See story, page 1.)
The Maternal Health Taskforce, now in its groundwork phase, fulfills Borough President Reynoso’s commitment to reduce disparities of maternal mortality and morbidity found between birthing people of color and their white counterparts. Currently, Black birthing people in New York City are 9.4 times more likely to die due to childbirth complications than their white counterparts.
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