Last summer, Darla Childs, a Greenpoint resident of 16 years, was ready to leave the neighborhood. After months of trying to get her son into a Pre-K program at neighborhood public schools, she was at her wit’s end.
“He’s supposed to go to school in a month and we’re not enrolled anywhere,” she said in an interview with Greenpointers. Childs’ son, who has severe food allergies, had only been offered a seat in East Williamsburg, a 45-minute walk from her home.
“I need him to be at a school that’s within walking distance so that I can meet an ambulance if there’s an emergency,” she explained.
Childs’ difficulty in enrolling her son in a nearby public school reflects a growing problem in Greenpoint. Despite statistics from the Department of Education (DOE) that depict a large swath of northern Brooklyn as under capacity, Greenpoint’s Pre-K and elementary schools are filled to the brim, parents and elected officials say. Continue reading →
A new state law that began in Greenpoint as a crowdfunding campaign to provide sexual assault victims free transportation home from the hospital following treatment is headed to Governor Andrew Cuomo for final approval.
Deborah Spiroff, a Greenpoint resident since 2004, and a volunteer for the past two years at Wycoff Heights Medical Center’s Violence Intervention Treatment Program raised concerns for sexual assault survivors who have no choice but to walk home alone after being discharged from the hospital.
“I’ve had more than one case where after the person has been treated they’re just released, and they literally were walking home from Wycoff Hospital at 2 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 4 o’clock in the morning,” Spiroff told Greenpointers last winter when the bill was first introduced.
My bill A5775A, known as the Safe Way Home Act, has passed. This bill provides sexual assault crime victims and crime victim advocates shall be entitled to free transportation to and from medical facilities.
Thanks to @SalazarSenate for partnering with me on this important bill.
Sprioff launched the initial GoFundMe campaign raising $750 for survivors and began reaching out to local elected officials. State Assemblyman Joe Lentol introduced the Safe Way Home Act after meeting with Spiroff and State Senator Julia Salazar sponsored the bill.
The Safe Way Home Act ensures that survivors of sexual violence are provided safe transportation home from the hospital, at no cost to them.
“The creation of programs to better our communities frequently come straight from those experiencing problems,” Lentol said in a statement. “I am happy to say the Safe Way Home Act was yet another incredible achievement spearheaded from a constituent. Deborah Spiroff saw a problem and found a solution,” he said.
“Sexual assault survivors deserve the highest standard of care, and part of that includes a ride home after what is often the most traumatic day of the victim’s life,” Salazar said in a separate statement. “This is common-sense legislation that shows the positive results of people getting involved in their community and in their government. I am grateful to Deborah Spiroff for bringing this issue to my attention and to Assemblyman Lentol for working with me to pass this bill into law.”
A town hall hosted by state Senator Julia Salazar and Assemblyman Joe Lentol will take place in Williamsburg next week.
The “groundbreaking bills passed this year” and the “goals for next year’s legislative session” will be the topics of discussion at the town hall happening Thursday, August 15, at Bushwick Inlet Park Community Room (86 Kent Ave.) from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
The next public meeting regarding real estate development and Superfund sites in North Brooklyn is happening Thursday, Feb. 28 at the Polish Slavic Center (176 Java St.) from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. The meeting is hosted by Assembly Member Joseph Lentol, Senator Julia Salazar and NYC Council Member Stephen Levin.
Topics including the former Nuhart Plastics Superfund site and community air monitoring will be discussed with representatives from the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s Office of Environmental Remediation.