In Public Service- December 9, 2019

James, Myrie, Richardson going door-to-door

Attorney General Letitia James, State Sen. Zellnor Myrie and Assemblymember Diana Richardson will be going door-to-door in Crown Heights on Dec. 14 to talk to homeowners and raise awareness of the crime of deed theft.

The idea, according to Myrie, is to “to help protect vulnerable homeowners in our community.”

Deed theft occurs when thieves come into gentrifying neighborhoods to steal homes and equity from homeowners to turn a profit. It’s a major problem in Central Brooklyn, said Myrie, a Democrat representing Crown Heights and parts of Park Slope and Sunset Park.

New York City has received approximately 3,000 deed theft complaints since 2014, 45 percent of which came from Brooklyn homeowners, officials said.

Carroll blasts Campaign Financing Commission

Assemblymember Robert Carroll, who voted against the creation of the Public Campaign Financing Commission, said he has a number of concerns about the panel’s list of recommendations issued on Dec. 1

“I am an ardent supporter of public financing of elections, but I voted against the creation of the commission because I believe that it was unconstitutional, would not create an effective public financing system and would empower nine unelected individuals to redraw New York’s election laws. Unfortunately, with the release of the commission’s final recommendations, my concerns were proven true,” said Carroll, a Democrat representing Park Slope and Windsor Terrace.

Carroll charged that the commission “created an overly complicated and ineffectual public financing system which keeps large dollar donors at the center of our elections.”

Carroll also objected to the recommendation to change ballots access rules for third parties.

Rose returns $1.2 million to constituents

U.S. Rep. Max Rose announced that he has been successful in retrieving a total of $1.2 million for his constituents, including Social Security payments, since he took office in January.

“That’s real money, and it makes a real difference,” said Rose, a Democrat representing Southwest Brooklyn and Staten Island “Often times it’s the difference between making a mortgage payment and putting food on the table, and the ground falling out from underneath someone. These are hardworking people who needed help, but they’re not alone, so if anyone is having any issues similar or not, please reach out. We’re here to serve.”

The $1.2 million that Rose and his staff have helped return to constituents included: $490,000 in 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund benefits; $230,316 in Social Security benefits; and $107,412 in veterans’ benefits.

Nadler introduces condo disaster aid bill

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler led a bipartisan group of House members in introducing the Disaster Assistance Equity Act, a bill to ensure that common interest communities, including co-ops and condos, are eligible for the same Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance available to other homeowners.

The bill would make common elements of a common interest community (such as a roof, exterior wall, heating and cooling equipment, elevator, stairwell, utility access, plumbing and electricity) eligible under FEMA’s Federal Assistance to Individuals and Households Program.

“Seven years ago, thousands of New Yorkers and other Americans were shocked to learn that FEMA’s eligibility rules left them with no way of restoring their homes in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy,” said Nadler a Democrat whose district includes parts of Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst. “Since that time, common interest communities across the country have faced similar hardships. This is simply unacceptable. A natural disaster doesn’t care what type of home you live in, and FEMA should treat all homeowners equally.”

Adams expands Operation Safe Shopper

Borough President Eric Adams was joined by the Nostrand Avenue Merchants Association, police from the 71st Precinct and elected officials as he announced the expansion of Operation Safe Shopper, a program spearheaded by his office to deploy security cameras outside of stores to help police investigate crimes.

The program has been expanded to include Nostrand Avenue, from Crown Heights to Prospect-Lefferts Gardens.

Adams, a former NYPD captain, has allocated more than $30,000 to the program since its inception, including the $5,000 in funding to expand it.

“The holiday shopping season is a joyous time for New Yorkers, and one of the busiest times of the year for small businesses throughout Brooklyn.  With increased activity along commercial corridors, we have to ensure the safety and security of residents, shoppers and businesses,” Adams said.

Schumer: Congress close to paid family leave bill

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer announced that Congressional lawmakers are close to reaching an agreement that would bring 12 weeks of paid parental leave to all federal employees to care for a newborn or adopted child, including nearly 115,000 workers throughout New York State.

The parental leave would be included in the National Defense Authorization Act.

Under current federal law, federal civilian workers are only eligible for 12 weeks of unpaid leave, a situation that often leaves them in financially precarious positions, Schumer said.

“The U.S. is the only industrialized nation that does not have paid parental leave. It’s high time that we caught up,” said Schumer.  “And as the nation’s largest employer, the federal government offering 12 weeks to its millions of employees across our nation and here in New York is a step in the right direction.”

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