Reynoso explains why he voted no on city budget

File photo

On Tuesday night, the New York City Council voted to pass the $88 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2021.

For weeks, advocates marching and protesting across the city have called for defunding the NYPD by at least $1 billion. The demonstrations have resulted in an occupation of City Hall Park, where activists called on the City Council to decrease the police budget significantly.

However, as City Council Speaker Corey Johnson later admitted, negotiations for the $1 billion in cuts fell short.

When the vote for the budget came, 37 members voted in favor, while 12 voted against. North Brooklyn Councilman Antonio Reynoso was one of the no votes.

“I hear my constituents and fellow New Yorkers loud and clear: our systems of policing in New York City are rotten to the core,” he said. “This is not a new truth – our criminal justice system has been plagued by racist and oppressive practices since the founding of our nation, and I have spent my entire career in office fighting against it.

“Divestment in policing, a restructuring of our justice system, and meaningful investment in our communities is what New Yorkers have been demanding,” he added, “and it is our duty as elected representatives to deliver on those demands.”

Reynoso noted that while the nearly $1 billion in NYPD cuts was “the most we could have achieved” with this City Council, the mayor’s proposed budget had nearly zero cuts, he said.

“It is my belief that the budget we are voting on today will not bring about the level of systemic change being demanded by myself, my constituents and groups like Communities United for Police Reform, the Brooklyn Movement Center, VOCAL and Make the Road NY,” he added.

“I have prided myself on always working collaboratively to achieve results, but on this issue there is too much at stake. I cannot compromise or settle for half measures.”

Maloney, Lentol ahead in close primary races

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney holds a slight edge over challenger Suraj Patel.

In New York’s first primary election since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, tens of thousands of voters cast their ballots for federal, state and other elected offices.

But with tens of thousands of absentee ballots waiting to be counted, many of these primary races are up in the air, and won’t be decided for another week or so.

That’s exactly the case in north Brooklyn, where incumbents are holding on to small leads over upstart challengers.

We’ll start with the 12th Congressional District, where longtime Representative Carolyn Maloney is leading second-time candidate Suraj Patel by a small margin. CD-12 includes the East Side of Manhattan, Long Island City and Greenpoint.

With 97 percent of precincts reporting, Maloney has 16,473 votes, or 41.56 percent of the vote. Patel, a former Obama administration official, activist and businessman, has 15,825 votes, good for nearly 40 percent.

Two progressive newcomers, Lauren Ashcraft and Peter Harrison, collected 5,268 votes (13 percent) and 1,933 votes (5 percent) in the race.

It wasn’t nearly as close in the 7th Congressional District, where Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, who represents large swaths of north Brooklyn, topped challenger Paperboy Love Prince, 32,965 (79.5 percent) to 8,278 (20 percent).

Moving onto the State Senate, first-term State Senator Julia Salazar easily defeated her more conservative challenger, Andy Marte, with 18,101 votes, good for a whopping 84 percent.

Marte only received 3,394 votes, or about 16 percent of the district.

Assemblyman Joe Lentol is ahead of challenger Emily Gallagher by 15 percent.

Another close race to keep an eye on is the 50th Assembly District, where longtime Assemblyman Joe Lentol is ahead of challenger Emily Gallagher.

With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Lentol, who has spent decades in office and whose family has a long legacy in the district, won 6,608 votes, or 57 percent of the vote.

Gallagher, a well-known community activist making her second bid for elective office, won 4,845 votes, or 42 percent.

This is a race that will be decided by absentee ballots.

One last race we’re keeping an eye on is the Female State Committee Member for the 50th Assembly District.

Longtime incumbent Linda Munucci is ahead of challenger Kristina Naplatarski, 5,324 votes (55.9 percent) to 4,186 votes (43.7 percent).

Read more about the race here.

Outreach provides substance abuse outpatient service via tele-practice

Screen shot via Google Maps

Alcoholism and substance abuse services provider Outreach is reminding the community that its outpatient services have continued through tele-practice during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Outreach says it’s offering same-day access to tele-health services on an easy-to-use platform.

Services include:

  • Medication Assisted Treatment, including induction
  • Psychosocial, Medical and Psychiatric Treatment
  • Individual and Group Counseling
  • Case Management Services
  • Vocational Services
  • Peer Services

“For those who need our services, we are here,” said Outreach president and CEO Debra Pantin. “Our staff is doing its utmost to meet the needs of those who are suffering during this very difficult time.”

Outreach serves individuals and families in Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island.

For outpatient services in Brooklyn, call 718-383-7200.

Brooklyn A to host virtual tenants’ rights town hall

Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A is hosting a series of Know-Your-Rights virtual town halls, with the latest set for Thursday, May 28 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

The town hall will focus on recent updates to the eviction moratorium, the status of housing court, forming tenant associations and the rights of tenants when facing housing discrimination.

Attorneys from BKA’s Preserving Affordable Housing Program will be presenting on those issues. There will be a Q&A session as well.

Join the virtual town hall on Zoom here.

McCarren Park included in Open Streets initiative

Google Maps

Since the mayor launched the new Open Streets initiative, allowing more pedestrians and cyclists to have room to recreate and walk, several north Brooklyn streets have been included in the program.

Berry Street between North 12th Street and Broadway, stretching nearly a mile, will be managed by the local police precinct.

So will South 9th Street between Berry Street and Driggs Avenue, a 0.17-mile area, and Grand Street between Roebling Street and Marcy Avenue, covering 0.16 miles.

At McCarren Park, Nassau Avenue between Banker Street and Lorimer Street, covering 0.14 miles, will be closed off to cars.

The streets around Maria Hernandez Park in Bushwick and Cooper Park in East Williamsburg are also part of the initiative.

Leasing has launched at The Dime in South Williamsburg

The Dime, a 23-story residential tower in South Williamsburg, has begun leasing.

Jointly developed by Charney Companies and Tavros Holdings, the complex offers 177 apartments offering plenty of amenities.

Douglas Elliman’s development marketing arm has launched a virtual, no-contact leasing program to allow renters to safely explore new living spaces.

The building is comprised of studio through three-bedroom apartments, topped by two penthouses. Apartments have floor-to-ceiling windows, offering sweet views of the New York City skyline.

Amenities include an expansive terrace, a community garden, space for yoga, a cooking area with grills, dining tables and lush greenery. Residents also have a half basketball court and fitness center to use.

The building is located one block from the Marcy station on the J/M/Z trains. It’s also near two ferry stops, nine bus lines and a Citi Bike station.

Prices start around $3,000 for studios and over $7,000 for three-bedroom apartments. Penthouses are priced from $13,000.

For more information, visit their website here.

Brooklyn sailor serves in the Philippine Sea

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Cody Beam

The Navy Office of Community Outreach reached out to us to share this photo of Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Reshawn Wallace, a Brooklyn native.

Wallace can be seen here manning the helm aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Mustin.

The Mustin is conducting operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific, according to the Navy Office.

Remote learning technology delivered to Brooklyn Catholic school

Photo courtesy of the Diocese of Brooklyn

The Diocese of Brooklyn’s Emergency Task Force is working in partnership with DeSales Media Group to bring remote learning technology to students in Catholic schools throughout Brooklyn and Queens.

Last week, the task force delivered nearly 500 devices for students at six academies, including St. Brigid-St Frances Cabrini in Bushwick.

“Since the first day we had to shut down our school system, many of our students were already equipped to transition to distance learning,” said Monsignor Kieran E. Harrington, chairman and president of DeSales Media Group.

“As COVID-19 continues to keep our schools closed, additional schools in our network have reached out to DeSales to help remotely educate their students.”

Town Square cancels April events

Due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, Town Square has canceled its Greencycle Spring-Cleaning Swap, originally scheduled for Saturday, April 4.

It’s also canceling the Spring Egg Hunt, which was set for Sunday, April 5.

Town Square says it has fully refunded everyone’s egg hunt tickets.

“Hopefully this difficult time will be over soon and we’ll all celebrate together at Go Green Brooklyn Festival in June,” the group says.

“In the meantime, be well and stay healthy.”

Grand Street eateries open for business

File photo

New York City is limiting restaurants and bars to only delivery and takeout amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

But that doesn’t mean businesses on Grand Street in Williamsburg are not open for business.

According to the Grand Street Business Improvement District, these following restaurants are providing special offers for customers:

  • Ammazzacaffe: ““Order delivery or take out directly through the restaurant and our staff will bring it to your door! (No third party commissions all revenue and tips will go back to us & our lovely staff) We thank you for your support to local businesses during this hard time! – we will deliver to All Williamsburg and Greenpoint area / Morgan stop Bushwick – give us a call 929 250 2875” Pre-made cocktails, spirit, amaro, wine 30% off available. 6pm – 9:30pm.”
  • Bushwick Country Club: “$20 you can take home a 200ml bottle holding 2 cocktails. A portion of all proceeds will go to the @usbg National charity that is currently dispersing money amongst tipped wage employees who are being displaced from the workplace.”
  • Crystal Lake Brooklyn: “Open for ‘Tacos lokos 4ever’ delivery and takeout. Available via grubhub, seamless, or call 347-725-3337.”
  • Dar 525: “Open for regular delivery + takeout. Call 347-422-0401”
  • Eleva Coffee: “10am to 4pm for our Grand St location. Order online at www.elevagplorders.com”
  • Landline: ““Please help us make it through this mess by investing in Barry Bonds. A $50 bond gets you $55 in drinks, with bigger discounts for bigger bonds.” https://www.gofundme.com/f/booze-bonds”
  • Los Tacos McOndo: “Open for delivery and takeout until 1am.”
  • Mad for Chicken: “Open for delivery + takeout noon to 8pm”
  • Rome to Brooklyn Pizza: ““if you would like a contact free delivery please instruct our staff as such. If you know of anyone that can’t leave their home or is in need of food during this difficult period, please DM us the details and we’ll send them pizza on us.” 718-269-3239 or order online www.rometobrooklynpizza.com.
  • Second Chance Saloon: “If you are wondering how to support this family of hard workers while we are unemployed, you can donate via Venmo carolinamckee and all “tips” will be equally divvied up amongst the staff”
  • Taco Edition: “Open for delivery and takeout.”