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In Public Service – August 26, 2019

Carroll speaks out on gas service disruption

Assemblymember Robert Carroll, who said he has received numerous phone calls from angry constituents complaining that National Grid is refusing to connect their gas service, added that the Public Service Commission is investigating.

“This week, the PSC responded to my letter saying in part that they share our concerns and that they have engaged a consultant to ‘provide a thorough, independent analysis of the natural gas supply and demand balance in the downstate region,’” Carroll wrote in a newsletter to constituents on Aug. 23.

A National Grid spokesperson told the Home Reporter the company cannot provide new gas hook-ups unless New York State approves the Northeast Supply Enhancement Project, which includes construction of a new pipeline, to enable the company to increase capacity to meet increasing demand.

But Carroll, a Democrat representing Park Slope and Windsor Terrace, said National Grid has a lot of questions to answer.

Clarke hosts climate change roundtable

Democratic U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke plans to host a roundtable with a panel of experts to discuss ways that technology can make her Central Brooklyn congressional district more resilient in the wake of climate change.

The roundtable will take place at the main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library at 10 Grand Army Plaza from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The conversation will feature city-wide experts discussing how technology, innovation and policy can make the city more resilient and strengthen neighborhoods, according to Clarke.

The speakers are scheduled to include: Park Slope Councilmember Brad Lander; Ke Wei from the Mayor’s Office of Resiliency and Sustainability; David Armour of Siemens; Natalia Quintero of Transit Tech Lab; Thaddeus Pawlowski of the Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes at Columbia University; and William Solecki from the CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities.

Rose supports national suicide prevention hotline

In the wake of numerous suicides among NYPD officers in recent months, U.S. Rep. Max Rose is pushing for federal legislation to establish “988” as a universal, nationwide telephone number for suicide prevention, similar to what “911” is for emergencies.

“What we’ve seen with these tragic suicides among NYPD officers is that, all too often, the barriers for getting help are just too high. When people make the difficult decision to seek help, every second counts,” said Rose, a Democrat representing Southwest Brooklyn and Staten Island. “The data shows that suicide hotlines save lives, and we need to be doing everything we can to make them as accessible as possible.”

The National Suicide Hotline Designation Act, of which Rose is a co-sponsor, seeks to streamline the current patchwork of government agencies and nonprofits providing suicide prevention services, each with its own phone number.

Ortiz decries pay disparity

Calling the pay disparity between men and women “unacceptable,” Assemblymember Felix Ortiz said something has to be done to bring about equality in paychecks.

Ortiz, a Democrat representing Sunset Park and parts of Bay Ridge, spoke out on Women’s Equality Day, the day commemorating the passage of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote.

“Despite the efforts of many, not much has changed for women when it comes to salary inequality. Black and brown women are at an even greater disadvantage. In New York State, where we are close to closing the pay gap, the numbers are shocking and sobering,” Ortiz said, adding that in New York, white women make $13,147 less than their white male counterparts; black women make $24,370 less and Hispanic women make $30,023 less.

“Women’s Equality Day is a reminder that there is still much work to be done,” he said.

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