BY ASSEMBLYMEMBER ALAN MAISEL
While we all have pride that we live in Brooklyn, I think we can agree that too many people are hurt each and every day because of crime. It’s often difficult to read or watch the news; however, if we work together as a community, we can perhaps save lives.
National Night Out is an annual summer event designed to strengthen community spirit and raise awareness about crime and drug prevention, and to generate support and participation in local programs.
In addition to endorsing National Night Out, I have also supported legislation in the Assembly that builds on my commitment to keeping Brooklyn safe.
This year, the Assembly passed the SAFEAct, the most comprehensive gun safety legislation in the nation, as well as measures to increase aid and assistance for crime victims and their families in order to better allow them to rebuild their lives. The legislation would:
•Expand eligibility for compensation from the Crime Victims Board for out-of-pocket losses and counseling expenses incurred by loved ones of homicide victims (A.4024);
•Allow courts to direct all or a portion of certain fines and civil penalties to the Office of Victim Services to help fund essential programs that help victims regain control over their finances and get back on their feet (A.5386); and
•Change the reporting requirements relating to restitution and fair treatment standards for the Office of Victim Services to allow for a more thorough analysis of how crime victims’ needs are met (A.5388).
The Assembly majority is also committed to putting policies in place to stop the deeply disturbing practice of human trafficking. In April, we passed legislation that helps law enforcement crack down on the criminals who take part in this heinous activity (A.5538-A).
We renewed our commitment to fight against human trafficking in June, by passing the omnibus Women’s Equality Act, which includes sweeping changes to criminal law in order to combat against this crime (A.8070).
As we work in Albany to pass measures to keep our communities safe, we also recognize that when a community comes together to raise awareness there is a greater chance of preventing crime.
The first National Night Out took place in 1984 with 2.5 million Americans participating across 400 communities in 23 states. National Night Out now involves over 37 million people and 15,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide.
This important annual event demonstrates our community’s strength to work together. If you have any questions on it or any other community issue, please call me at 718-968-2770 or contact my office via email at email@example.com.