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District 45

Jumaane D. Williams

Flatbush, East Flatbush, Flatlands, Midwood, Canarsie

By Councilman Jumaane Williams
Black Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, and now Blue Lives Matter… For the past couple of years we have been inundated with seemingly competing messages on whose lives should be given the most attention in the public sphere. Passionate advocates have rallied around these slogans and drawn their lines in the sand, all the while covered in fear that their issues and their concerns will be ignored. However, history shows us what we all know to be true: all lives do indeed matter, including blue ones, but it is the issues attached to black lives that are systematically thrown aside and ignored, making #BlackLivesMatter a necessary and absolute statement.

#LanguageMatters

By Councilman Jumaane Williams
A year ago this past Friday, Eric Garner was strangled to death for allegedly selling loose cigarettes. He was unarmed, non-violent, and standing on a sidewalk in broad daylight. He pleaded with his attacker to loosen his grip, saying repeatedly – 11 times, in fact – that he could not breathe. We know this because it was caught on camera, filmed in entirety by a bystander. His murderer was cleared of any wrongdoing by a Staten Island Grand Jury, though the death was ruled a homicide. Many people were, in fact, unsurprised by this. This is not speculation; these are the facts. This past Friday marks a year that he’s been gone.

By Councilman Jumaane Williams
NYPD Detective Brian Moore is one of the latest victims of a gun violence pandemic that has deeply wounded our city. This tragic event illuminates a stark reality: with this many guns on the street, senseless and random violence can happen in the blink of an eye. Despite improved efforts to take guns off the streets, engage youth in positive outlets, and interrupt the interstate gun pipeline (through which the gun used to kill Det. Moore came), gun violence continues to plague us.

By Councilman Jumaane Williams
The Bloomberg administration and the NYPD learned a very old lesson that most of us learn in our formative years — the end rarely justifies the means. Their own COMPSTAT statistics show that the current implementation of stop, question and frisk did little to get guns off the street and prevent gun violence.

By Councilman Jumaane Williams
Had a bystander not been there to film Saturday’s shooting, we may have never known the truth behind Walter Scott’s death. It is a tragic truth that even clear video may not result in justice, but the incident clearly indicates that police interactions must have video surveillance.

By Councilman Jumaane Williams
Recently there was an uproar about Oscar Lopez Rivera that was striking. Many people came out in opposition to the recently-released Rivera marching in the Puerto Rican Day Parade, in New York City, as an honored guest. Their criticisms of the Puerto Rican native related directly to his ties to the Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional (FALN), an organization – some will argue a terrorist one – that advocated for an independent Puerto Rico.

By Council Member Jumaane D. Williams

The new state budget, like almost all budgets, has some beneficial things that should be celebrated. However, to call this budget “progressive” clearly means that in this era of Trump, the term is being stretched to the point of possibly having no meaning at all. And frankly, we should also examine what it means to be part of the “resistance.”