In Public Service – September 16, 2019

Frontus demands quick action from NYCHA

Assemblymember Mathylde Frontus is calling on the New York City Housing Authority to take quicker action in the future in the event of gas outages at the Coney Island Houses.

Frontus, a Democrat representing Coney Island and parts of Dyker Heights and Bay Ridge, said more than 100 tenants in the Coney Island Houses lived without gas service for nearly a month before NYCHA addressed the situation.

Frontus blasted NYCHA for how it handled the situation — giving every apartment a single hot plate — and for how long it took to restore gas.

The lack of gas services created a health and safety hazard for tenants, according to Frontus.

She is demanding assurances from NYCHA that any future gas service disruptions be addressed in a timely manner.

Gounardes organizes salsa dancing events

State Sen. Andrew Gounardes wants his constituents to put on their dancing shoes.

Gounardes is sponsoring free salsa dancing events in his Senate district for people of all ages to learn how to salsa and practice social dancing.

The first dance will take place on Friday, Sept 20, at the 69th Street Pier from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. 

The second event will be in Marine Park on Sunday, Sept 22, outside the Carmine Carro Center. The entrance is at Fillmore Ave and Marine Parkway. The dancing takes place from 4:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.

“I am happy to host two fun and energetic dancing events as a way to bring our community together. Southern Brooklyn is the home of ‘Saturday Night Fever,’ so let’s get out there and dance! I hope that many people will enjoy these free lessons,” said Gounardes, a Democrat representing Bay Ridge and Southwest Brooklyn.

Myrie testifies on fusion voting

State Sen. Zellnor Myrie, chairperson of the Senate Elections Committee, has submitted testimony to the Public Financing Commission, arguing that the panel should not be considering fusion voting as it mulls publicly financed elections for New York State because fusion voting is not within the bounds of its authority.

“There is no credible nexus between creating a public financing system and fusion voting,” Myrie said in his written testimony. “There is a time and place for a robust discussion about fusion voting. We have certainly arrived at that time. This commission is just as certainly not the place.”

Myrie, a Democrat, represents Crown Heights and parts of Park Slope and Sunset Park.

Fusion voting is the system in which candidates for public office are allowed to appear on multiple party lines on the ballot.

The state legislature created the Public Financing Commission as part of the state budget earlier this year with the mandate of developing a statewide public financing system. But last month, the commission motioned to include fusion voting as part of its agenda.

Clarke, CBC file amicus brief in Public Charge suit

Rep. Yvette Clarke and fellow members of the Congressional Black Caucus filed an amicus brief in a lawsuit filed by immigrant rights’ groups against the Trump administration’s changes to the country’s “public charge” rule. The new rule seeks to deny immigrants entrance into the U.S. if it is deemed they are likely to become a “public charge” and apply for public assistance programs. The “public charge” rule would also slow down the green card process for immigrants living in the U.S. who are on public assistance.

The new regulations are set to go into effect on Oct. 15.

In addition to the CBC, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus signed the amicus brief.

“The rule is yet another attempt by the Trump administration to create an immigration system that is stacked against non-European, non-white immigrants in favor of the wealthy. If this rule goes into effect, its impact on communities of color will be staggering. Under the rule, immigrants who utilize benefit programs they are legally entitled to or who fail to meet specific income thresholds would have negative factors applied to their applications for admission or requests for changes to their immigration status or classification,” the lawmakers said in a statement.

Clarke, a Democrat, represents Central Brooklyn.

Colton says de Blasio tree rule helps his constituents

Democratic Assemblymember Bill Colton said a new policy announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio to absolve homeowners of the responsibility of paying for repairs of sidewalks damaged by trees planted by the city will help constituents in his Gravesend-Bensonhurst-Dyker Heights district.

The mayor recently announced that the city will no longer issue violations to homeowners for sidewalk damage caused by city trees. The city will also stop imposing liens on one, two and three -amily properties that have sidewalk damage caused by city trees.

The Department of Transportation will be reviewing current violations to determine which were caused by city-planted trees and cancel the liens on the properties that meet the criteria, Colton said.

“I believe that it is great news for the homeowners, and in many cases it will take a burden off of their shoulders, especially seniors,” Colton said.

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