Brad Hoylman

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Statement by NYS Senator Hoylman Condemning Torture

Albany, NY (April 23, 2013) – “I deplore the comments made in recent days by the Chairman of the New York State Senate Homeland Security Committee that the suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing should be tortured. Torture can never be justified to extract information or a confession from suspects. The law is clear: U.S. law, the U.N. Convention against Torture, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights all impose an absolute ban torture, even during wartime.

April 23, 2013
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NYS Senator Brad Hoylman Issues Earth Day Call to Action Against Fracking

“Forty-three years ago today, U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin organized a nationwide grassroots demonstration and teach-in for a sustainable environment and called it ‘Earth Day.’ The rallies held in cities, towns and universities united millions of Americans behind a concerted call for action, ushering in creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.  

April 22, 2013
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Statement of NYS Senator Hoylman on Continued Discrimination by Boy Scouts of America

New York, NY (April 19, 2013) —Today, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) released its proposed revision to the Membership Standards Resolution, which, if approved, would end the organization’s ban on gay youths but would maintain its exclusion of gay and lesbian adult leaders.As the only openly-gay New York State Senator and as an Eagle Scout (Troop 70, Lewisburg, WV), I am dismayed by BSA’s continued failure to remove all barriers to participation in its organization based on sexual orientation. If adopted, the organization’s latest proposal would maintain the ban on gay and lesbian adult leaders.

April 19, 2013
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Introducing Legislation to Create Free Online Tax Prep For All

I marked Tax Day, April 15, by introducing legislation (S4570) directing the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance to create an online program to allow all New Yorkers to prepare and file their federal and state income tax returns free of charge.  Currently, New York only has limited free online tax preparation services, all of which are provided by outside vendors with a profit motive. So-called “free file” programs are run by for-profit third parties, include hidden fees and are available only to taxpayers who meet income guidelines. 

April 15, 2013
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Calling for New Open Space to Offset Impact of Culture Shed

On April 10, I submitted testimony to the New York City Planning Commission (CPC) regarding the City Department of Cultural Affairs’ (DCA) proposed Culture Shed, an expandable structure intended to house a variety of public and private cultural uses at West 30th Street and 11th Avenue in the emerging Hudson Yards development. The innovative facility will feature retractable canopies which, when fully deployed, will completely enclose an adjacent 20,000 square foot plaza that was promised to the local community as open-to-the-sky, publicly accessible space after lengthy negotiations on the 2005 Hudson Yards rezoning. DCA’s dynamic project promises to bolster the city’s cultural landscape as a vibrant backdrop for events and exhibitions.

File: 
BH_CultureShed.pdf

April 10, 2013
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Weighing in on Madison Square Garden Special Permit Applications

Earlier today, I submitted testimony to the New York City Planning Commission on Madison Square Garden’s (MSG) application for two special permits -- one to allow the operation in perpetuity of its 22,000 seat arena in area zoned to allow an arena of only 2,500 seats, and another to allow large LED advertising signs that exceed the surface area and use restrictions of the site’s existing zoning. As you may know, the original special permit expired on January 24, 2013 after a term of 50 years.

File: 
MSG CPC Testimony BH.pdf

April 10, 2013
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Declaring Solidarity with NYC Fast Food Workers

I’m proud to declare my solidarity with the hundreds of fast food workers who are returning to work after walking out yesterday to protest decades of exploitation and to demand better pay. Just as the growth of the national economy -- and the so-called recovery from the Great Recession -- has left behind average Americans, low-wage fast food workers have not seen any benefits from the record profits made by the large chains that employ them. Average hourly pay for fast food workers is the lowest of any occupation in the city, and even those who get full-time work earn less than federal poverty guidelines. 

April 5, 2013
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Renewing the Call for Campaign Finance Reform as Recent Scandals Give New Impetus for Rules Overhaul

“The indictments of public officials from both parties over the last week underscore the rotten and pervasive ‘pay-to-play’ culture in Albany. We need to increase transparency dramatically and wean Albany off a system that rewards legislators with campaign contributions for supporting causes backed by special interests. I congratulate the U.S. Attorney for pursuing these cases and agree with him that they raise alarming questions about the pervasiveness of the corruption in New York State government. But with every crisis there is an opportunity. In addition to prosecuting to the fullest extent of the law those who have violated the voters’ trust, we should take this opportunity to promulgate steps to systematically reform campaign finance. 

April 5, 2013
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Announcing April 22 Town Hall Meeting on Peter Stuyvesant Post Office Relocation

As you may know, the United States Postal Services (USPS) recently announced that it is seeking to relocate from the Peter Stuyvesant Post Office at 432 East 14th Street, where its lease is up for renewal. The agency would move the delivery carrier operation to its Madison Square facility at 149 East 23rd Street, and retail operations would be housed in another as-yet-unidentified local facility. There will be a Town Hall meeting about this proposed relocation at Campos Plaza (611 East 13th St.) on April 22 at 6:30pm. If you are concerned about this issue and would like to weigh in on USPS’ plans, I encourage to attend and let your voice be heard. Convenient access to postal services is a crucial issue for residents and small businesses.

April 4, 2013
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Read Senator Hoylman's April Community Report

Senator Hoylman's April Community Report is available for download as a .pdf below or can be viewed here.

File: 
April 2013 Newsletter.pdf

April 1, 2013
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Calling for City to Subject Any P.S 191/P.S. 199 Redevelopment to ULURP

As you may know, the New York City Education Construction Fund (ECF) is planning to solicit proposals for the redevelopment of the current sites of P.S. 191 and P.S. 199 as residential towers with new school facilities. On March 28, I sent a letter to the New York City Department of Education and ECF echoing CB7’s call for robust community engagement before issuing any Request for Proposals (RFP) and to guarantee that any redevelopment would be subject to the City’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP).

March 29, 2013
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Welcoming ‘On Deck,’ Newest Addition to NYC Tech Sector

On March 28, I joined Mayor Bloomberg and On Deck Capital CEO Noah Breslow in a press conference announcing the opening of the company’s New York City headquarters at 1400 Broadway. On Deck, which describes itself as a “technology-powered Main Street lender,” is a welcome addition to our city’s blossoming tech sector and a vital resource for small brick and mortar businesses that do not qualify for traditional bank loans. Since the company launched six years ago, it has provided more than $14 million in small loans (an average of $30,000 each) to local businesses, and more than $37 million to New York State-based businesses.

March 29, 2013
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Senator Hoylman Denounces Political Budget Gimmicks and Cuts to Programs for State’s Most Vulnerable

Albany, NY, March 27, 2013— Early this morning, the New York State Senate passed the final bills in the budget package for Fiscal Year 2013-2014.New York State Senator Brad Hoylman reserved the bulk of his comments for the debate over the revenue bill and delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor:“Mr. President, Groucho Marx once said:Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.That's what this revenue bill does. It diagnoses the incorrect problem and applies the wrong remedies.Mr. President, the problem with New York's economy is not taxes on families with children earning between $40,000 and $300,000.

March 27, 2013
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Senator Hoylman Speaks on the Need for Increased Transparency in State Senate Operations

On March 25, 2013, Senator Hoylman spoke on the Senate Floor re: S3046, a bill that requires State Senate committee and floor votes to be made available online and session and committee meetings to be webcast.  Senator Hoylman voted yes on measure and cited the need for even more transparency and committee reform.

March 26, 2013
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NYS Senator Hoylman Voices Strong Support for Speed Camera Legislation

New York, NY— Earlier this year, New York State Assembly Member Deborah Glick introduced legislation (A4327) to establish a demonstration program to enforce maximum speed limits by means of speed limit photo devices, or “speed cameras,” in New York City.  It has been reported that New York State Senator Andrew Lanza will be introducing companion legislation in the Senate. Speed cameras have been credited with reducing speeding and crash rates in cities throughout the nation, including a 40% reduction in collisions in Paradise Valley, AZ.  Police in Washington D.C. reported a 56% reduction in traffic fatalities after speed cameras were installed.

March 19, 2013
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Speaking up for People with Developmental Disabilities

On March 15, 2013, I addressed the Manhattan Developmental Disabilities Council’s annual legislative breakfast (MDDC). Of particular concern to the organization is Governor Cuomo’s proposed 6% ($120 million) cut to the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) in the Fiscal Year 2013-14 New York State Budget. This would result in a massive $240 million reduction in funding for community-based supports and services to people with developmental disabilities because New York would lose $120 million in federal matching funds as well.

March 15, 2013
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Seeking to Prevent the State from Sharing Sensitive Student Data

Recently, I heard from a number of constituents who were very disturbed to read in a Reuters article that the New York State Education Department (NYSED) plans to share confidential student information with the non-profit corporation inBloom Inc., with which the agency contracted to provide a K-12 student database. The article noted that for-profit tech companies and other commercial vendors could have access to this data, and that the company “cannot guarantee the security of the information stored.” I immediately reached out to New York State’s Education Commissioner to clarify these plans and to urge that our State not proceed with any initiatives that could compromise the privacy of our public school students and their families.

File: 
NYSED inBloom letter.pdf

March 15, 2013
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NYS Senator Hoylman Voices Democratic Conference’s Opposition to Devastating Cuts to NYC Public Schools in GOP/IDC Budget Reso

ALBANY—Today, the New York State Senate passed its one-house budget resolution for Fiscal Year 2013-2014. New York State Senator Brad Hoylman joined 15 of his colleagues in voting ‘nay’ on the resolution, which was written behind closed doors by the Republican and Independent Democratic Conferences and rushed onto the Senate floor. On behalf of the Democratic Conference, Senator Hoylman specifically addressed the budget resolution’s $240 million in devastating cuts to New York City public schools.

March 11, 2013
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Sharing in the Thanks for Helping Westbeth after Sandy

On March 10, I was honored to participate in a "Thank You Reception," hosted by the Westbeth Community of Artists, for all who came to the aid of the hard-hit Westbeth Artists' Housing after Hurricane Sandy. Last November, I joined local elected officials, community members, volunteer art restorers and others who arrived en masse to do whatever was needed to make life more comfortable for the hundreds of residents left without heat, water and electricity, and whose boilers, elevators, laundry room, sculpture studio and art storage space were badly damaged.

March 10, 2013
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Urging Immediate Action on PCB Remediation at PS 87 and Schools Across NYC

On March 8, I joined State Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal, U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler, State Senator Jose M. Serrano, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, other local elected officials, and PS 87 Parent-Teacher Association co-president Ann Binstock at a press conference to express our outrage at the New York City Department of Education’s (DOE) woefully inadequate handling of a PCB leak discovered in a PS 87 light fixture last December 7 and not revealed to parents and the school’s administrators until March 4. It's distressing that nearly five years after dangerous levels of PCB contamination were first discovered in a half-dozen New York City public schools, the DOE continues to shirk transparency and accountability.

File: 
Hoylman-Serrano PS87 PCB letter.pdf

March 9, 2013
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