With 7 line loaded with lead paint, State Senate passes bill to require that MTA study lead hazards

A bill sponsored by Queens Senator Jose Peralta to study the amount of lead in elevated train tracks has passed the senate.

The bill, which was introduced on April 28, passed unanimously on June 5 and is being considered in the Assembly.

After a local painters union found that paint chips falling from the elevated tracks on the 7 line contained extremely high levels of lead, Peralta introduced legislation along with Bronx Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz that would require the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and New York City Transit Authority (NYCT) to conduct a study on lead paint on elevated subway tracks and stations throughout the city.

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Peralta defends state funding for his district

Fifty-thousand dollars to the Center for the Integration and Advancement of New Americans (CIANA); another $50,000 to the Jewish Association Serving the Aging (JASA); $50,000 more to the APICHA Community Health Center.

In the last month, State Senator Jose Peralta has rolled out the allocation of nearly $450,000 in state funding to more than a half-dozen local organizations in his district.

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City expands Community Schools Initiative

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans to improve education across the city by expanding the Community Schools Initiative.

Up to 69 additional schools will serve up to 108,000 students by utilizing and supporting community resources to impact the growth of families across the five boroughs.

The unique approach to education incorporates the services available from neighborhood organizations to support the child and the family. The strategy is what one elected official called a “holistic” approach to academics, health and mental health services, youth development, expanded learning opportunities and family supports that are critical to improving student success.

 “Equity and Excellence is about evening the playing field for our students, and Community Schools help to do just that,” said de Blasio. “To reach success in their classes, our students often require some extra support outside the classroom. This expansion allows us to provide additional after-school activities, mental health counseling, enhanced family engagement, and so much more.”

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In video, IDC says ‘call the roll’ to find 32 Senate Dem votes

Timing is everything in politics: The day before a special election is expected to result in the addition of a 32nd Democrat to the state Senate, the eight members of the Independent Democratic Conference have released a video calling on all of the chamber’s Democrats to sign on the line which is dotted to show their support for a set of progressive agenda items.

The video, released Monday, comes after a week and a half of brutal coverage of the controversy over the Senate GOP majority’s controversial payment of lulus to its own members and a disproportionate number of IDC lawmakers for committee positions that they do not actually hold.

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Peralta Allocates $50K For Apicha Community Health Center’s Jackson Heights Location

State Senator Jose Peralta announced a $50,000 state allocation to the Apicha Community Health Center (CHC), an organization that provides affordable healthcare for vulnerable New Yorkers. The funding will be used to help Apicha expand its services and move into a new site in Jackson Heights.

“I am very glad I was able to secure this state allocation for Apicha Community Health Center as the organization will soon open its new location in Jackson Heights to offer services to our communities,” said Senator Peralta. “By having a presence in Jackson Heights, Apicha will be able to assist, among many others, immigrants, the LGBTQ community, women and children.”

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NY Lawmakers Propose Bill for Subway Lead Paint Study

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Two New York state lawmakers are introducing legislation to deal with the problem of lead paint in New York City’s aging subway system.

The Daily News reports (http://nydn.us/2pmxbSf ) that Senator Jose Peralta of Queens and Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz of the Bronx, both Democrats, are putting forward legislation that would require the MTA to survey its facilities for lead paint. The bill would give the MTA a year to complete the study for presentation to both state houses, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

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DOT installs new traffic light and crosswalks at Roosevelt Ave. and 90th Street

The Department of Transportation unveiled a new traffic signal and crosswalks on Roosevelt Ave. Friday as part of the Vision Zero campaign to increase street safety.

Following a safety study of the area, the DOT installed a new traffic light and two signalized crosswalks at 90th Street and Roosevelt Avenue in an effort to increase safety in the area.

The area is a busy transit hub under an elevated 7 train station, and was designated a “priority location” under the Vision Zero plan. The intersection saw two severe pedestrian injuries between 2010 and 2014, and the stretch of Roosevelt Avenue between Case Street and Elmhurst Avenue saw two pedestrian fatalities in 2013.

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IDC claims victory with Raise the Age but mainline Democrats disagree

Akeem Browder and fellow criminal justice advocates joined members of the breakaway Independent Democratic Conference Tuesday in calling on the city to plan to remove juveniles from Rikers Island within a year as required by recently passed Raise the Age legislation.

The older brother of Kalief Browder — who was arrested at the age of 16 and sent to Rikers for three years, spending much of it in solitary confinement — spoke on behalf of the 150 16- and 17-year-olds currently held at the prison complex each day.

“The deepest change begins with New York changing the age of criminal responsibility, acknowledging that our kids are just kids and deserve to be treated better than the treatment given to my brother Kalief Browder,” the elder Browder said. “My work isn’t finished yet.”

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IDC Protects Immigrant Communities With Largest Legal Aid Fund In State History

The Independent Democratic Conference made the largest commitment to immigrant legal aid in New York State history — securing $10 million for services in the 2017-2018 budget. IDC members worked with Gov. Andrew Cuomo to secure this major fund, which will work in conjunction with Gov. Cuomo’s Liberty Defense Project. The New York State Senate approved the budget last night.

Immigrant and legal defense groups praised the IDC for their steadfast commitment to immigrant rights. Funding awards include: $4 million to the Vera Institute of Justice, $1 million to the New York Immigration Coalition, $1 million to the Empire Justice Center, $1 million to the Northern Manhattan Immigration Coalition for Immigrant Rights, $2 million to the Hispanic Federation and $1 million to Catholic Charities Community Services.

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As ICE sweeps continue, lawmakers move to aid immigrant communities

Six foreign nationals living in Queens were among 31 arrested during a three-day sweep by agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

 Of those arrested during the enforcement action that ended Monday, 30 had criminal histories, while one had a pending drug charge.

As the ICE operation was ending, the Independent Democratic Conference announced it had made the largest commitment to immigrant legal aid in New York state history — securing $10 million for services in the 2017-2018 budget. The IDC fund will work in conjunction with Gov. Cuomo’s Liberty Defense Project.

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