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District 36

Robert E. Cornegy, Jr.

Bedford Stuyvesant, Northern Crown Heights

Honoring Juneteenth 2021

2021 marks 402 years since the first enslaved Africans were brought to these shores. There are so many aspects of that four centuries long history worth reflecting on – especially worth reflecting on as we mark the 156th Juneteenth. Just that contrast, 402 years on these shores and just 156 years since Juneteenth – that is just 56 years since the Voting Rights Act.

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Let’s honor George Floyd by first remembering his life. Let’s honor his family, and remember the incredible strength and passion for justice they’ve shown by speaking out for justice. Let’s send a special prayer to his children, especially his youngest daughter, Gianna Floyd. As we fight for universal justice, we should not neglect the fact that there is a family coping with profound loss.

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New! We have just published a Grandparents and Seniors Resource Guide! Download your copy here.

You are welcome to get a printout in person at our upcoming Wellness Wednesday free grocery distribution at Restoration Plaza on Wednesday May 19 at 11:00 am.

This morning I had the pleasure partnering with Mayor Bill de Blasio and DCLA announcing The Artist Corp, a multimillion dollar investment in local artists throughout NYC. New York City has achieved such great wealth in part because of its artistic residents. Clearly, funding the arts is a great fiscal investment. The money injected into the arts world has a multiplying effect on the economy.

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This morning, I chaired the Housing and Buildings committee regarding the dangers to privacy of Fobs and new electronic house keys that have the ability to track the movements of tenants. We see these systems in residential buildings all over the City—key fobs, key pads, or even facial recognition technology—taking the place of traditional mechanical keys.

While it is exciting to see the City’s housing stock come into the 21st century, improvements to residential buildings should always be made with the tenant in mind.

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Earth Day 2021

Earth Day is a call to action. We can celebrate it in many ways, from gardening to cleaning up your neighborhood. But I hold the New York City Council responsible for structural changes, to take the collective action beyond the scope of any individual or block association.

That is why I am extremely proud that the New York City Council voted today to support a Public Bank here.

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This afternoon I joined #BlackVeteransForSocialJustice and my colleagues at #Brooklyn#BoroughHall to condemn the treatment by Windsor, VA police against Lt. Caron Nazario. I want to commend Lieutenant Caron Nazario for exemplifying what is best about our country. He showed restraint and professionalism, and showed that Americans in uniform can uphold the law with dignity and grace.

What is profoundly disturbing is that he faced representatives of Windsor, Virginia who saw an American in uniform and treated that person as an enemy.

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Today I feel very lucky to be a part of the New York City Council. We are considering several bills that treat the causes of violence, with less emphasis on punishing people for problems that could have been prevented.

Violence in our community is not inevitable. To say that violence spreads like a disease is not a metaphor—it is what the science now shows.

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I have been working to change the narrative. As a country, we must reformulate how we speak and act as we witness the dreadful and never ending news of African-Americans being killed for no reason. In June of 2020, we did our part when our office and community painted a massed Black Lives Matter mural in Bed-Stuy, showing the world that compassion for all is possible.

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