Issues: New York City

Sanders Blasts HUD for Turning Sandy Recovery into “Game Show”

(Far Rockaway, NY) - Senator James Sanders Jr. (D- Rochdale Village) has sent a letter to Secretary Shaun Donovan, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) blasting HUD’s recent proposal to divert $1 billion or more of money designated for the rebuilding of the communities impacted by Hurricane Sandy into a nationwide competition for disaster resiliency projects. The money would come from funds diverted from the final $3.6 billion that HUD has to distribute for Sandy-related projects.

In the letter to Secretary Donovan, Senator Sanders stated, “Every day I witness my neighbors and constituents struggling to recover from the storm. Our communities are still in desperate need of rebuilding and recovery funds.

April 24, 2014
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Governor Cuomo’s Tenant Protection Unit Targets Rent Regulated Saboteurs

Governor Cuomo announced that the state’s Tenant Protection Unit (TPU) has served a subpoena on JBI Management to investigate allegations of intentionally sabotaging rent regulated apartments to drive tenants out.

Senator Dilan introduced legislation to bolster the state’s Tenant Protection Unit’s ability to root out unscrupulous landlords. The measure would make sabotage of a rent regulated unit a felony. Harassment of tenants is currently a felony under existing law.

April 24, 2014
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SENATOR SQUADRON TESTIMONY ON EQUITY IN PARKS FUNDING

Senator Highlights Parks Conservancies Are Not Independent Non-Profits, Part of Larger System

NEW YORK – Today, Senator Daniel Squadron submitted testimony at the City Council’s hearing on equity in parks funding. Senator Squadron argued that since parks conservancies are not independent non-profits – they are entities that exist as the result of a contractual relationship with the City – the City has a right and the responsibility to set the terms of a relationship around its broader values and needs.

April 23, 2014
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Local Merchants Discuss New Regulations at Queens Forum

As reported by NY1 News:

State Senator Jose Peralta hosted a forum for restaurateurs and small business owners to learn about proposed changes to the restaurant letter-grade and fine system, the new paid sick leave law and securing access to capital.

For full video, click here.

April 23, 2014
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State Senator Wants Investigation Into Emergency Response to Fatal Queens Fire

Far Rockaway - New York State Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Queens), appearing alongside the family of recently deceased four-year-old fire victims Jai'Launi and Aniya Tinglin, called for an independent investigation into the delayed response by emergency services to the deadly fire that claimed the young children's lives last Saturday, and appealed to the public to show its compassion for the Tinglin family's loss by donating money to help pay for their funeral service expenses.

April 23, 2014
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NYS Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Queens) Issues Statement on Kids Death by Fire: Parents Requesting Help with Funeral Costs

NYS Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Queens) Issues Statement on Kids Death by Fire: Parents Requesting Help with Funeral Costs

Far Rockaway - State Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Queens) and the parents of four year olds Jai'Launi Tinglin and his half-sister Aniya Tinglin, victims of a tragic fire in Far Rockaway last Saturday, are asking for help with funeral expenses. State Senator Sanders visited the parents of the two children, killed in a basement fire of a two-story house on Saturday night, earlier.

April 22, 2014
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Senator Dilan Joins NYC DOT, NYPD to Announce Arterial Slow Zone on McGuiness Blvd

Senator Dilan joined state representatives, city officials and advocates at the intersection of McGuinness Boulevard and Nassau Avenue to welcome the latest of 25 planned arterial slow zones throughout the city. McGuinness Boulevard joins Atlantic Avenue and the Grand Concourse as a 25 mph arterial slow zone, with signal re-timings and new signage to be added in the coming weeks.

April 22, 2014
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SQUADRON, ROZIC, & LOW WAGE WORKERS ANNOUNCE “FAIR WAGE” ACT

Bill Would Require Large Businesses Who Can Most Afford It To Pay Employees $15/Hour

NEW YORK – Today, State Senator Daniel Squadron and Assemblymember Nily Rozic, along with Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, members of New York Communities for Change, the Working Families Party, and Make the Road New York, low wage workers, and elected officials announced the “Fair Wage” Act (S6455) which would require large employers and chain stores to pay their employees a real living wage of $15 an hour indexed to inflation.

April 16, 2014
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Brooklyn lawmakers push to criminalize ‘rent sabotage’

By Ryan Hutchins

Capital New York

A bill in the state legislature would criminalize the act of “rent sabotage,” making it a felony for landlords to destroy their own buildings in the hopes of forcing out tenants living in rent-controlled units.

The measure was introduced this month following continued reports of hostilities between renters and property owners in increasingly gentrified Brooklyn neighborhoods. Tenants who've spent many years in the same apartments without problems have accused landlords of sending in men with sledgehammers and power saws to make the properties unliveable.

April 14, 2014
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Senator Dilan Introduces Measure to Make Sabotage of Regulated Rentals a Criminal Act

In response to the recent spate of rent regulated building owners  intentionally destroying units in attempts to drive tenants out,   Senator Martin Malavé Dilan (D-Bushwick) and Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol (D-North Brooklyn) have introduced new legislation making the practice a criminal act.

S. 6941 would expand tenant protections by establishing the crime of Sabotage of Rent Regulated Accommodations, a class D felony. Existing tenant protections  prohibit the harassment of rent regulated tenants in an attempt to drive them out. However, the recent rise in intentional destruction of regulated units, and the severity of the damage, are well beyond the scope of current law.

April 14, 2014
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Despite lower penalties, fines are set to rise

As reported by Crain's New York Business: 

Mayor Bill de Blasio campaigned on a promise to lower fines against small businesses, criticizing what he deemed the punitive, "revenue-focused" enforcement of city laws.

But his preliminary budget indicates that his administration plans to collect even more in levies than city agencies did under Michael Bloomberg last year.

Revenue from fines soared 72% during the Bloomberg administration, to $799 million in 2013 from $467 million in 2002. The initial de Blasio budget unveiled last month indicates that fine revenue will grow to $807.5 million this year. That's just $5 million less than the Bloomberg administration had projected for 2014.

"There was a sigh of relief among small business owners when this mayor was elected," said Queens state Sen. Jose Peralta. "There hasn't been much to show so far, though, and a lot of business owners are getting nervous. You have to give the mayor time to breathe and soak it all in, but it's now time to tackle this in a positive way."

A day after Mr. de Blasio signed the legislation, the City Council issued rules putting into effect a law signed by Mr. Bloomberg to reduce fines against restaurants. Those changes are part of a wider overhaul of the city's letter-grading system for eateries and the suspected quota system that has led to an outcry from inspectors and restaurateurs. 

In the meantime, Mr. Peralta has called on the mayor to adopt an amnesty program under which proprietors can seek to have fines incurred during the Bloomberg administration dismissed by the new mayor.

For full article, click here.

April 9, 2014
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SENATOR SQUADRON, ELECTEDS, & ADVOCATES HOLD TOWN HALL ON 5-WEEK SUMMER SUSPENSION OF G TRAIN

Squadron: Shutdown can’t mean stranded commuters

Electeds, agencies, and community come together to offer alternatives

BROOKLYN – State Senator Daniel Squadron was set to be joined by City Comptroller Stringer, Brooklyn Borough President Adams, State Senator Dilan, and Assemblymembers Lentol and Davila for a town hall with community members and representatives from the MTA, City DOT, EDC, and the NYPD on solutions to the 5-week suspension of the G train between Nassau Avenue and Long Island City planned for this summer.

The G train is a vital lifeline for residents and businesses throughout Brooklyn and Queens. With the Sandy-related closure of the G train tunnel between the boroughs, the town hall provides an opportunity to raise concerns and suggest solutions to ensure riders are not stranded. 

“A closure like this is going to be painful, but we have to make sure the shutdown doesn’t mean stranded businesses and residents,” said State Senator Daniel Squadron. “By having the city and state come together now, we're letting the community provide solutions so that people have options. I look forward to working with the agencies and my colleagues to make the solutions suggested tonight a reality.”

April 4, 2014
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Senator Dilan Announces Passage of 2014 – 2015 State Budget

$138 billion spending plan funds citywide Pre-K, increases to TAP and higher-ed opportunity programs.Senator Martin Malavé Dilan (D-Bushwick) announced the passage of  a $138 billion budget that includes $300 million for universal Pre Kindergarten programs in New York City, new government reforms and increased funding to social programs.“This year’s budget has made great strides to meet new, and greater demands while continuing to offset the gaps left by previous year’s cuts. I commend Governor Cuomo and my Senate Colleagues for delivering a responsible spending plan that spends smart, invests in our students, and offers some much-needed relief for our working families,” said Senator Dilan.  

April 1, 2014
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SENATOR VALESKY HAILS PASSAGE OF FOURTH CONSECUTIVE ON-TIME STATE BUDGET

ALBANY, NY—State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) today lauded the passage of the state’s fourth and historic consecutive on-time budget. This has not been accomplished with the same Governor and legislative leaders in more than 40 years.

April 1, 2014
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SENATOR SQUADRON TESTIMONY ON CITY PARKS BUDGET

Senator Pushes Neighborhood Conservancies to “Change The Game” on Parks Funding

NEW YORK CITY – Today, Senator Daniel Squadron submitted testimony on the City’s Parks budget at the New York City Council’s Fiscal Year 2015 Preliminary Budget hearing. Senator Squadron argued that his proposal to connect well-financed conservancies and parks most in need -- called the Neighborhood Parks Alliance -- would be a “game changer” for the Parks budget overall.

March 27, 2014
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STATEMENT BY SENATOR FELDER DENOUNCING REVIVAL OF PROPOSED PLASTIC BAG TAX

“I was disheartened to learn that this absurd plastic bag tax legislation requiring consumers to pay 10 cents for paper and plastic bags at retail and grocery stores has once again reared its ugly head in the City Council.

March 25, 2014
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Community Town Hall on the Summer Shutdown of the G Train

State Senator Dilan will join Senator Squadron, US Rep. Maloney, Assemblyman Lentol, Councilmember Levin, Borough President Adams and CB1  for a community town hall on the summer shutdown of the G Train on Thursday, April 3, 6 p.m. On July 26, through September 1, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will suspend G Train service between Long Island City and Nassau Avenue to make Superstorm Sandy-related repairs. Although, the MTA will provide full shuttle service for G riders, Senator Dilan, local elected and rider advocates want to provide the community a forum to discuss additional measures that may be taken to accommodate riders.

March 13, 2014
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Senator Kevin Parker Calls for Support of Legislation to Improve Emergency Responses Involving ‘Emotionally Disturbed’

(Brooklyn, NY) –  Today, State Senator Kevin Parker stood in solidarity with Communities for Crisis Intervention Teams (www.ccitnyc.org) – a coalition of 50 behavioral health providers and concerned citizens, and Brooklyn Borough President and retired New York Police Department Captain, Eric Adams, on City Hall steps to urge the Governor and Mayor to support the creation of specially trained Crisis Intervention Teams (CITs). The proposed CIT training would enable the NYPD to better respond to the 100,000 ‘emotionally disturbed person’ (EDP) calls received annually.

February 19, 2014
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Sen. Krueger's Statement on Sen. Skelos' Plan to Block Vote on Home-Rule Request for Universal Pre-K

Sen. Krueger issued the following statement in reaction to Majority Co-Leader Dean Skelos' statements today announcing his intention to block a vote on New York City's home-rule request for a local tax increase to fund universal pre-kindergarten:

"Contrary to Sen. Skelos' statements, New York City seeking permission to tax itself to pay for universal pre-K is the dictionary definition of a home rule request. It will not cost the state anything, and it will not limit the options for universal pre-K in other locations. We have to make tough decisions here in Albany all the time. This is not one of them."

February 10, 2014
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State Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein Secures $300,000 Grant for Operation SNUG, an Innovative Gun and Gang Violence Prevention Program for The Bronx

BRONX - Today a cutting-edge statewide gun and gang violence prevention program – Operation SNUG – received a $300,000 award from State Senator Jeff Klein to operate in The Bronx’s Jacobi Medical Center. The hospital also generously chipped in another $50,000 to the anti-gun violence effort.

February 7, 2014
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