Good Morning, Brooklyn: Friday, June 3, 2022
PRAISES PASSAGE OF PUBLIC HOUSING PRESERVATION TRUST: Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-45), Chair of the Assembly Housing Committee, praised yesterday’s passage of legislation to establish the NYC Public Housing Preservation Trust, which will facilitate repairs to NYCHA buildings. The Trust will unlock billions in federal funding to accelerate repairs and make long- overdue investments for NYCHA residents across all five boroughs, and the legislation will preserve all tenant resident rights and protections, including a guarantee that no NYCHA resident will have to pay more than 30 percent of their income toward rent.
The legislation, which passed the Assembly on Wednesday and the Senate on Thursday afternoon, will next head to Gov. Hochul for signature. Earlier on Thursday, Mayor Eric Adams also praised the Assembly’s passage of the bill.
WARNING ABOUT CRYPTOCURRENCIES: New York Attorney General Letitia James is alerting New Yorkers to what she warns are dangerous risks of investing in cryptocurrencies, which are subject to extreme and unpredictably high price swings that make them among the most high-risk investments on the market.
Last month, some of those risks materialized as the price of multiple virtual currencies — from the newest coins to the most well-established coins — plunged deeply and wiped away hundreds of billions in investments.
BROOLKLYN SCHOOL PARTICIPATES IN BRIGHTER BITES PARTNERSHIP: Brighter Bites, a nonprofit organization that delivers fresh fruits and vegetables, along with nutrition education resources directly into families’ hands, has formed a partnership with DoorDash via its Project DASH initiative to increase fresh produce accessibility to children and their families in NYC, Houston, and Washington D.C. Project DASH makes it possible for families facing transportation barriers to participate in the Brighter Bites program, with select enrolled schools gathering the produce boxes and deliver them directly to families’ doorstep.
A participating school in Brooklyn is P.S. 327 – Dr. Rose B. English School in Brownsville.
CORPORATE PROTECTION AGAINST LEGIONNAIRE’S DISEASE: New York Attorney General Letitia James has reached an agreement with Verizon to ensure that the company takes swift and comprehensive action to prevent the spread of Legionnaires’ disease in New York state. An investigation by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) found that since 2017, there were at least 225 alleged violations of city and state laws at 45 of Verizon’s cooling tower locations throughout the state, which contributed to an outbreak of the often-deadly Legionnaires’ disease.
As part of the agreement, Verizon will adopt official policies and procedures to ensure full, ongoing compliance with the law and pay a $118,000 penalty for the violations, which will be used by OAG to address the health impacts of air pollution.
STRENGTHENING GUN SAFETY MEASURES: The New York State Senate Democratic Majority is passing legislation to strengthen gun safety measures and ensure deadly weapons stay out of the wrong hands. The proposed legislation will update the criminal code to make the threat of mass harm a crime; require microstamping of ammunition; strengthen measures to prevent those with criminal backgrounds from obtaining guns and ammo; allow health care providers to file extreme risk protection orders, strengthen regulations for high capacity ammo, feeding devices, and body armor, and more broadly define the term “firearm.”
State Senator Brian Kavanagh (D-26), whose western Brooklyn waterfront district stretches from Greenpoint to Cobble Hill, sponsored two of the bills.
ORDINATIONS: The Most Reverend Robert Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn, will preside over his first ordination in the Diocese of Brooklyn tomorrow, Saturday, June 4, at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph. The three ordinands include Andrew Tsui, who will become will be the first American-born Chinese priest to serve the Diocese of Brooklyn; Alexander Olszewski, a former businessman wanting to help redevelop a passion for the faith among people, and Dung (Vincent) Vu, a native of Vietnam who started to feel the calling to the priesthood while attending college in Ho Chi Minh City.
GARDENING AT CATHOLIC ACADEMY: Students at Our Lady of Trust Catholic Academy, in partnership with Cornell University and 4 H, will kick off a vegetable garden planting initiative today in Canarsie. Working with Cornell and 4 H in creating a healthy living agricultural program which will include 10 planters, the students will plant a variety of seeds, including tomatoes, onion, basil, parsley, and collard greens, after which they will help paint a mural that will in part read “God’s Love Grows at OLTCA.”
Cornell University Cooperative Extension-NYC (CUCE-NYC) “engages NYC communities in experiential learning opportunities. CUCE-NYC’s programs are the fruit of a long-standing partnership of Cornell Cooperative Extension, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and the College of Human Ecology to support extension education in NYC, according to CUCE-NYC’s website.
IPS NEWS: PROBING KUSHNER INVESTMENTS: U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-12/northern Brooklyn) has launched a probe of Saudi Government’s $2 Billion Investment in Jared Kushner’s investment firm, and has requested documents on a major investment in his firm, A Fin Management, LLC (Affinity) by the Saudi Government. The Committee on Oversight and Reform, which Maloney chairs, is also investigating whether Mr. Kushner’s personal financial interests improperly influenced U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East under the Trump Administration.
Saudi Arabia reportedly made this investment despite senior officials’ concerns about the “inexperience of the Affinity Fund management” and after concluding that Affinity’s operations were “unsatisfactory in all aspects,” concerns that were reportedly overridden by PIF’s board, led by the Crown Prince.
MALLIOTAKIS NAMED GRAND MARSHAL: U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-11/Southwestern Brooklyn) has been named as a grand marshal for New York’s Greek Independence Day Parade, taking place this Sunday, June 5, on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. Malliotakis, the daughter of a Greek immigrant, last month met with Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, following his address to a Joint Session of Congress. During the meetings, the lawmakers discussed several issues important to U.S.-Greece relations, including energy independence, military cooperation, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and Turkish aggression.
Other grand marshals include His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, members of the Congressional Hellenic Caucus, Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), and Greek Olympic gold medalist Fani Chalkia.
OPPOSES CHANGES TO SCHOOL SYSTEM: NYC Schools Chancellor David C. Banks is taking issue with proposed changes to the NY City School system that he believes, with its emphasis on reducing class size, would hurt some students enrolled in special programs. Identifying as a life-long educator, Banks pointed out on Thursday that “the proposed multibillion-dollar unfunded mandate in this bill forces school leaders to prioritize class size above critical school safety programs, dyslexia screenings, social workers, school nurses, summer programming, supports for special student populations, and even the expansion of community schools.”
“If the State Legislature is going to move forward with the bill on class size limits, my appeal to our state legislators in Albany is to fully fund the bill. If this class size issue is so critical to the future of our young people, then we must ensure that the state put its financial resources behind this bill,” said Banks.
ASSEMBLYMEMBER SIMON LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN FOR CONGRESS: State Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon (D-52nd Assembly District) yesterday announced her Congressional campaign for New York’s newly-created 10th District. Simon, who has served as State Assemblymember since January 1, 2015, is also a disability civil rights lawyer, teacher of deaf students, community activist, and progressive legislator who has spent three decades, and has passed legislation on gender equity, gun violence prevention, education, and campaign finance reform. (See page 1.)
Assemblymember Simon joins an already- crowded field of candidates for the new District 10, which will stretch from DUMBO to Sunset Park.
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