Good Morning, Brooklyn: Tuesday, May 3, 2022
FORMER LT. GOVERNOR SAID HE’D SIGN RESIGNATION PAPERS: Former NY Lt. Governor Brian Benjamin released a statement on Twitter, Monday, declaring he would sign the necessary paperwork to remove his name from the ballot (as running mate to Gov. Kathy Hochul, running for her first elected term to office.) Said Lt. Gov. Benjamin, “I am innocent of these unsubstantiated charges. However, I would be unable to serve under these circumstances.”
State lawmakers were working on a legal option for removing Mr. Benjamin from the primary ballot, following his indictment last month on federal bribery charges and his subsequent resignation. Under existing law, candidates who had formally accepted a party’s nomination could only be removed from the ballot through death, moving out of state, or via nomination to another office.
RACIAL JUSTICE COMMISSION GETS $5 MILLION: A $5 million commitment to the New York City Racial Justice Commission (RJC) to educate New Yorkers about the three ballot proposals on which they will vote during the November general election, Mayor Eric Adams announced yesterday. RJC outreach plans prioritize equity, accessibility, and language justice, while making a special effort to reach groups protected by the Voting Rights Act.
The RJC, formed on March 23, 2021, and empowered with the legal authority of a Charter Revision Commission, is identifying and proposing transformative structural changes and significant policy reforms to advance racial justice and equity.
HELPING MORE NEW YORKERS STAY COOL: Eligibility is expanding for the Home Energy Assistance Program, as Gov. Kathy Hochul makes available $15 million to help low-income individuals and families without air conditioning to stay cool during the upcoming summer months. To qualify for cooling assistance under the amended guidelines, applicants must meet HEAP eligibility criteria and income thresholds, which vary by household size. Applications for cooling assistance will be accepted at local departments of social services now through August 31, or until funding runs out.
Prior to this year, the cooling component of HEAP was only available to income-eligible households with an individual suffering from a documented medical condition exacerbated by extreme heat.
DEMANDING FREEZE ON RENT HIKES: The Legal Aid Society is calling for a freeze on all adjustments for rent stabilized apartments, lofts and hotels, ahead of the New York City Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) Preliminary Vote on proposed lease adjustments for rent stabilized apartments, lofts and hotels: “Tenants across New York City are still reeling financially from the pandemic, and increasing rents on some of our most vulnerable neighbors, the overwhelming majority of whom are from Black and Latinx communities, is not only immoral but simply flawed policy,” said Adriene Holder, Attorney-In-Charge of the Civil Practice at The Legal Aid Society.
Holder added, “Ahead of this week’s preliminary vote, we call for an outright freeze. Keeping tenants safely housed, and our finite stock of rent-stabilized apartments preserved, must remain a top priority for Board members.”
SMALL-BUSINESS WEEK BEGINS: Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Kevin D. Kim yesterday launched Small-Business Week with five days of events planned in all five boroughs. The events will raise awareness of the many resources and services that SBS offers to small businesses, encourage New Yorkers to shop local, salute the small businesses that are at the heart of the city’s economic recovery and growth, and recognize the city’s ethnically diverse neighborhoods and immigrant-owned businesses.
Mayor Adams also today signed Executive Order 15 that establishes a Small Business Advisory Commission, a key commitment in the “Rebuild, Renew, Reinvent, a Blueprint for New York City Economic Recovery.”
MARKETING AD AWARDS FOR BREWERY IN GOWANUS: The Gowanus-based Other Half Brewery won big at last week’s 2022 Craft Beer Marketing Awards, with three Gold and one Global Crushie Wins. The CBMAs is the only global awards competition to recognize and celebrate the importance of craft beer artwork, culture, retail marketing and design efforts as a key to success in this highly competitive marketplace. This year a judge panel of over 500 industry professionals from over 24 countries around the world have evaluated entries in over 30 categories from around the globe.
Craft Beer Marketing Awards was established in 2019 to give recognition to the best-of-the-best in the marketing realm of the brewing industry.
BROOKLYN’S ASIAN COMMUNITY DEMANDS OWN MAJORITY DISTRICT: Groups representing the local Asian American community in Brooklyn will gather today at noon at the corner of 8th Ave. and 66th St. in Sunset Park, to demand an Asian American Majority district which is reflective of the data collected in the recent census. They are concerned in particular that last week’s New York Court of Appeals decision will wind up disenfranchising Asian voters.
The coalition asserts that the court did not find any gerrymandering with the State Senate lines for districts made with significant community engagement and diligence.
NEW BENEFITS FOR IDNYC CARDHOLDERS: City residents with IDNYC can avail themselves of new benefits, including access to cultural institutions and other recreational centers thanks to a campaign that Mayor Adams has launched. IDNYC is the largest and most successful municipal ID program in the country, providing all New Yorkers with a broadly accepted government-issued photo identification, regardless of background or immigration status.
Tomorrow, the NYC Department of Social Services and the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs will lead an interagency and multilingual citywide effort to encourage New Yorkers to enroll for an IDNYC or renew their current card, with multilingual staff and volunteers available to help New Yorkers at train stations and other points in the city.
FILMING ‘GRAVESEND’ IN BAY RIDGE: A TV film shoot for “Gravesend Season 2 Unit 3 is scheduled to film scenes at 4th Avenue between 101 Street and Shore Road this Friday, May 6, between 10 a.m. and 11 p.m.
Parking restrictions will be in place on 101 Street between 4th Avenue and Fort Hamilton Parkway.
11TH AVENUE TO GET NEW GAS MAIN: National Grid is installing a new gas main on 11th Avenue between 86th and 85th streets, within Community Board Ten in southwest Brooklyn, according to an announcement from that body. All or part of residents’ service may have to be replaced, and National Grid must gain access to where the service enters the building, such as basements or crawlspaces. In such cases, affected residents will be contacted by a National Grid representative to make an appointment.
Work is scheduled to begin within the next few weeks and last for approximately 90 days.
MULTI-LINGUAL CAMPAIGN TO FIGHT TRAFFIC VIOLENCE: A new $4 million multi-platform, multi-lingual campaign has been launched to counteract rising traffic violence and curb dangerous driving behaviors, like speeding. The campaign, titled “Speeding Ruins Lives, Slow Down” and under the auspices of Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez, is considered the city’s largest and most concentrated investment in public awareness since the start of Vision Zero in 2014.
It also represents the largest education effort targeted at community and ethnic media with a $1.5 million commitment, helping to reach a range of communities across the five boroughs, with video ads and other content set to appear in a total of nine languages, including English and Spanish.
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