In Public Service – February 5, 2020

Velázquez blasts Trump’s SOTU

U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez was highly critical of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address Tuesday night, charging the president with lying during the speech.

“He spent significant time distorting economic figures in an attempt to burnish his record. In particular, the president’s lies about rising incomes and manufacturing expansion painted a rosy and wholly non-factual picture. While Donald Trump inherited a strong economy from President Obama, his administration has done little to expand on this opportunity and create additional, sustained prosperity. He continues trying to undermine the Affordable Care Attack and strip away pre-existing conditions for millions of Americans, through relentless litigation, regulation and legislation,” said Velázquez, a Democrat representing parts of Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan.

Velázquez also criticized Trump for what he didn’t say in the speech.

“In the more than 1,500 words in the speech, two words did not appear once: Puerto Rico,” she said, referring to the administration’s response to Hurricane Maria.

State Senate releases opioid report

The State Senate’s Democratic majority has released a report on opioid treatment and prevention as lawmakers passed bills forward to help residents combat substance abuse, officials said.

The report was written by the Joint Senate Task Force on Opioids, Addiction & Overdose Prevention. The task force held hearings, visited treatment sites, and spoke with experts and families impacted by opioid abuse.

State Sen. Kevin Parker, who sponsored one of the bills, said his legislation will help address injustices afflicting communities of color.

“The package of anti-opioid legislation that the Senate majority passed today is a long overdue step towards justice and fairness for black and brown people,” said Parker, a Democrat representing Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood and Ditmas Park.

State Sen. Roxanne Persaud, a Democrat representing Canarsie, East New York and Mill Basin, sponsored a bill aimed at improving counseling for individuals coping with substance abuse.

“When seeking treatment for substance abuse, an individual is at a particularly low point in life. It is vital that those responsible for providing counseling to these individuals understand that each person has had unique experiences, in order to provide them the best-individualized care as possible,” she said.

Rose introduces anti-corruption bill aimed at Congress

U.S. Rep. Max Rose has introduced legislation aimed at stopping convicted criminals who served in Congress from receiving government pensions.

The bill, which Rose introduced with U.S. Rep. Josh Harder of California, is called the No Pensions for Corrupt Politicians Act of 2020 and would prevent the payment of pensions to members of Congress who commit or conspire to commit campaign finance crimes.

“Serving in Congress is a privilege, not a right,” said Rose, a Democrat representing Southwest Brooklyn and Staten Island. “If you’re corrupt and break the law, you don’t deserve a taxpayer-funded pension.”

Members of Congress who commit crimes such as bribery, fraud and racketeering are already liable to lose their pensions. But there is currently no law preventing lawbreakers from receiving a pension if they commit fraud with campaign funds, Rose said.

Myrie plans SOTD Address

State Sen. Zellnor Myrie, who represents the 20th State Senate District, will be delivering a State of the District Address on Sunday, Feb. 23, at the Brooklyn Public Library’s Central Branch at Grand Army Plaza, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

“Hear about the progress we’ve made so far and our agenda for the work ahead,” Myrie wrote in a community newsletter.

Myrie, a Democrat representing Crown Heights and parts of Park Slope and Sunset Park, will be introduced by U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries.

In addition to the State of the District Address, the event will feature food, performances. Residents will also have an opportunity to take a picture with Myrie.

For more information, call Myrie’s office at 718-284-4700 or RSVP online at:

Richardson marks Black History Month

February is Black History Month and Assemblymember Diana Richardson is calling on the public to mark the event by reflecting on the achievements and struggles of black Americans.

“We are embarking upon Black History Month, a time where we highlight the significance of diversity and inclusion in this country. During this month, we recognize the central role African-Americans have played in United States history and we acknowledge the lives of those who struggled to make way for the generations to come,” Richardson, a Democrat representing Crown Heights and Prospect Lefferts Gardens, said in a statement.

“We must take the time to continue to find ways to encourage equality for all,” Richardson stated.

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