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In Public Service – October 2, 2019

Nadler, Velázquez, Maloney call for federal housing money

Three Democratic Brooklyn lawmakers, U.S. Reps. Jerrold Nadler, Nydia Velázquez and Carolyn Maloney joined tenants, housing groups and advocates for a press conference outside the Alfred E. Smith Houses in lower Manhattan on Oct. 2 to talk about the health risks New York City Housing Authority tenants are facing as a result, the elected officials said, of decades of federal disinvestment.

Brooklyn has several NYCHA housing developments.

Nadler’s district takes in parts of Manhattan, but also comes into Brooklyn to include parts of Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst. Velázquez represents parts of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. Maloney’s district is mainly centered in Manhattan but also includes Greenpoint and other areas of North Brooklyn.

Colton urges parents to keep up SHSAT fight

Assemblymember William Colton said he’s not impressed by recent statements made by Mayor Bill de Blasio in which the mayor appeared to be backing away from his campaign to eliminate the Specialized High School Admissions Test.

Colton, who noted that Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza has stated that he still firmly supports scrapping the SHSAT, said he is concerned that de Blasio is simply trying to convince parents to give up their fight to keep the test.

“The parents must not be fooled into thinking that the fight is over. It’s far from being over,” said Colton, a Democrat representing Gravesend and parts of Bensonhurst and Dyker Heights.

Instead of eliminating the SHSAT, the city’s Department of Education should expand its gifted education program to all schools to enable more youngsters to pass the SHSAT and gain admission to the city’s elite high schools, according to Colton.

“The mayor’s statement continues to ignore the DOE’s failure to provide gifted classes in all neighborhoods in the city. Therefore, it continues the policy utilized under this mayor and the prior mayor to deny gifted education to middle and early school aged children in those very school districts where the mayor claims children are being underrepresented in the specialized high schools,” he said.

Lentol touts criminal justice reform bills

Assemblymember Joseph Lentol, who sponsored several bills aimed at reforming the state’s criminal justice system, said the legislation goes into effect this month.

“We pass many important laws in the New York State Assembly.  These laws include crucial legislation protecting victims of domestic violence, tenants, children, and improving services for those with developmental disabilities. Each new law represents the efforts of hard working New Yorkers who worked with legislators to improve the lives of others,” said Lentol, a Democrat representing parts of Williamsburg, Greenpoint and North Brooklyn.

The new laws include raising the age in which young defendants  can be tried as adults from 16 to 18. Another bill allows domestic violence victims to report the crime in any jurisdiction in New York State, no matter where the incident took place.

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