Dear Friend,

As we mark the start of Black History Month, I would like to share this conversation I had with Cheryl Wills and Sulma Arzu-Brown.

Black History Month intersects with important work we must advance to accord everyone in our shared communities with dignity and respect. Grateful to Cheryl Wills and her team for our discussion on natural hair discrimination and the Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act on Spectrum News NY1 “In Focus with Cheryl Wills.” Thanks to NYC Commission On Human Rights Chair Carmelyn P. Malalis, activist and author Sulma Arzu-Brown, and to all those partners continuing to educate, advocate, and elaborate on the anti-discrimination measures we need to secure human rights.

Be sure to check out Sulma Arzu-Brown’s book, “My Hair Comes with Me – Shifting the Paradigm of What Success Looks Like,” the Oscar-nominated short, “Hair Love,” and the important work the NYC Commission on Human Rights!

You can check out my segment HERE

Here is a bit of what my office was up to over January of 2020:

January 2: NYPD Class Action Lawsuit

Women should not be forced to pump breastmilk in a car, a locker room, and NEVER a bathroom or restroom stall. I was proud to join NYPD employees that filed a class action lawsuit to demand that the City and its agencies meet legally mandated requirements to support new and breastfeeding mothers in their workforce.

This public policy fight, which I and colleagues have been in front of, is not just a fight for the equality of women in our society, and our workforce, but a fight to embrace family values and make our government more family friendly.

January 5: Solidarity March Against Anti-Semitism

If you truly denounce hate then you must denounce anti-Semitism. I will continue to stand with my brothers and sisters of all faiths, ensuring we form bonds and build our shared communities. It was truly moving to join thousands in a march for solidarity.

January 5: Three Kings Day Parade

Three Kings Day is a celebration that shines a light on the values that are the best in us: generosity, empathy, our looking out for one another, and our appreciation of one another. We must continue to remember the importance of uplifting and preserving the values of this season year round.

January 6: AIPAC Northeast Gala

It was great joining friends and colleagues at the AIPAC Northeast Gala. I commend the work of AIPAC and all those uniting to increase protections for a community increasingly the target of ridicule, hate, and violence. Our unity and our solidarity speaks volumes.

January 9: I Will Graduate Program

I had the pleasure of being one of the keynote speakers at the I Will Graduate Youth Development Program event at Kings Theatre. I want to give a huge shout out to this organization for the diligent work they do to inspire our youth by bringing together celebrities in entertainment and sports, elected officials and educators together to give back. It really takes a village!

January 11: Door Knocking to Raise Awareness of Deed Theft and Deed Fraud

My office joined our State Attorney General Letitia James and created our own task force of constituents from the community to go out door to door to their fellow neighbors educating them on the predatory practices of Deed Theft and Deed Fraud! I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Age Friendly, Brownstoners, Brooklyn Neighborhood Services and MyBase for volunteering for #TeamCornegy

January 11: Monthly Advisory Board: Tenants Rights and Resources

As part of my staff worked on an awareness campaign around deed theft and deed fraud, another part worked to raise awareness around tenant rights and resources. I would like to thank all of the presenters and attendees for joining us, moving forward very important work. In the face of changing economic and demographic circumstances, we must ensure our community is equipped with the resources they need to protect themselves.

January 13: Hearing on proposed amendments to Local Law 64 of 2018

Affordable housing in New York is a rare and precious commodity. 44% of our fellow New Yorkers are rent burdened, meaning that they pay at least 30% of their income in rent. Of those rent burdened New Yorkers, more than half are severely rent burdened, meaning that they pay at least 50% of their income in rent. These rent burdened and severely rent burdened New Yorkers are spending so much of their income on housing, that they are unable to afford routine medical care, transportation, food, and educational opportunities.

Thanks to my colleagues, and partners for your advocacy and partnership. Let’s keep working on improving access to affordable housing.

January 15: Small Business Town Hall

I continue to have an eye towards the important role small businesses play in our economy, and how fostering that positive environment for small business can help our shared neighborhoods thrive.

I could not ask for better partners in this work than Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, Brooklyn Borough President Adams, and Small Business Chair Council Member Gjonaj.

January 17: Millennium Brooklyn High School Career Day

It was awesome joining the Millennium Brooklyn High School this morning for their career day, where I spoke about my career in politics, the importance of voting, and being a good citizen. We all have a stake in our shared society, and we all have the capacity to make things better!

January 19: Urban Dove Welcome Back 2020 Event

It was my pleasure to welcome students back from winter break with an exciting pep rally and basketball games. I wish you all the best in your move to Midwood! Make this year count and go be awesome.

January 20: 34th Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., presented by Brooklyn Art Museum

It was my great honor to pay tribute to Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr at the 34th Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., presented by Brooklyn Art Museum. One of the many benefits of this Day is the opportunity to re-engage with Dr. King’s life and with his legacy. An element Dr. King’s unique genius, was his ability to convey – in a flash – truly profound ideas as a Civil Rights leader, activist, minister and moral philosopher. Let us continue his work for greater equality, justice, and peace through our service and through our hearts full of grace.

January 23: Committee on Housing and Buildings approves a package of lead bills

On January 23, I was proud to chair a hearing where our committee approved a package of lead bills that will improve safety for our City’s families and children. I commend Council for continued focus on lead abatement and public health.

January 23: Proclamation celebrating the 100th Birthday of the Last African American Pearl Harbor Veteran Reverend James E. Blakely.

It was an honor to join with colleagues to lift up the service of Reverend James E. Blakely and acknowledge his considerable contributions to our country and to our communities. I salute Reverend Blakely’s distinguished service to our nation at Pearl Harbor and through World War II, and I was proud to be able to wish him a happy hundredth birthday. Let our recognition serve as a small token of our appreciation for Reverend Blakely’s many achievements.

January 27: Façade Inspection Oversight Hearing

I am glad to be working with Ben Kallos and DJI Global as we advocate for safer streets and innovation in the construction industry to protect human life and health. We need to move forward the necessary technology to expand our capabilities with facades, scaffolding, and sidewalk sheds.

When people walk our street, they presume that they are safe from danger. They are counting us here in Council and at City agencies to create and enforce regulations that promote safety.

January 29: Joint Hearing entitled “MWBEs in NYC Building on Successes, Overcoming Challenges, and Expanding Opportunities”

Our City government has a proactive role to play in promoting economic inclusion and the full participation of all our shared communities in the life of our City. Ultimately, our ambitious goals for MWBE success in New York only have real meaning when they deliver results – that’s contracts signed, businesses grown, and employees hired. Step by step, we must continue building up measures to ensure City government acts as a constructive partner in advancing shared prosperity for all New Yorkers.

January 31: Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A Ribbon Cutting

In the face of changing demographics and economics, and issues like deed theft, deed fraud, third party transfer, the lien sale, and more, the work of Brooklyn A helps protect our legacy residents, and ensures that people are not displaced or left out because of social & economic circumstance

January 31: LIRR Nostrand Avenue Station Opening

I would like to say thank you to MTA Long Island Railroad President Phil Eng, Governor Cuomo, and everyone involved in rebuilding the local Nostrand Avenue station. As the City moves to become more inclusive, we must continue making investments in ensuring our public transit stations are accessible to all users. These kinds of investments make don’t just make our neighborhoods more accessible to customers with disabilities, but it makes them more family friendly and walkable.

January 31: IDNYC Renewal Event at Macon Library

Our office is proud to collaborate with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs for events like these, where New Yorkers as young as 10 years old can feel included and residents can have peace of mind by accessing City services that come from having recognized identification.

We are also proud to support the Brooklyn Public Library System, especially the Macon Branch to ensure we keep the importance of literacy and access at the forefront for the community.

Upcoming:

Please note that our office will not be hosting a monthly advisory board meeting on the second Saturday of February.

We are looking forward to hosting our Third Annual Valentine’s Day Senior Brunch on February 14th. To RSVP, please contact Jacqueline Wright-Williams at 718-919-0740. Feel free to share the flyer above with friends and family!

Fiscal Year 2021 Discretionary Funding Expense Application Filing Period:

Please be advised that all not for profit community based organizations that wish to apply for discretionary funding for FY 2021 must submit a Council Application.

Apply for discretionary funding from Thursday, January 2, 2020 until Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Participatory budgeting is here! How would you spend $1 million dollars in our community? We are counting on YOU to participate in the participatory budgeting process to help make the improve our community deserves. Please contact Shawn Francis to get involved! sfrancis@council.nyc.gov