By Brooklyn Reader

March 19, 2015, 4:32 pm

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Williams Give Obama Trip A Thumbs Up

City Councilman Jumaane Williams
City Councilman Jumaane Williams

Flatbush City Council member Jumaane Williams, yesterday, hailed the White House announcement that President Barack Obama will travel to Jamaica and Panama April 8-11.  In Jamaica, President Obama will meet with leaders from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and with Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller. The President will then travel to Panama where he will hold a bilateral meeting with Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela, and meet with leaders from the Central American Integration System (SICA).

“As a proud son of Caribbean immigrants, I applaud President Obama for planning a trip to Jamaica and Panama, where he will meet with both country’s leadership and with leaders of the CARICOM. It’s imperative that our government is engaged and supportive of the socio-economic success of this region, given the vast number of Caribbean-Americans living in our country and the millions of American tourists who visit the region each year,” said Williams.

“Just as the President normalized and improved relations in Cuba – which the CARICOM has long called for – it’s my hope that this trip will further our diplomatic ties throughout the Caribbean diaspora to foster more trade in the region. It’s also my hope this trip helps bolster comprehensive immigration reform by engaging these communities and cutting down barriers of bureaucracy that still exist.”

Adams Tackles Consumer Debt

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams today will announce a borough-wide challenge to tackle Brooklyn’s consumer debt crisis at the launch April being his second annual Brooklyn Financial Education Empowerment Month.

Partner organizations from the financial, grassroots and small business communities will join Adams at the noon event at Borough Hall where he will show data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York that shows the severity of the problem in Brooklyn, comparatively to the rest of the city, state, and nation.

Based on those statistics, he will unveil his aggressive goal for reducing consumer distress and initial steps on how the borough can achieve his call to action, including an education campaign next month targeting at-risk groups, such as small businesses, youth, and seniors.

Cumbo Ramps Up Pressure For A Woman on Budget Talks

Fort Greene City Council Member Laurie Cumbo and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer will lead a rally today at City Hall to call for the inclusion of State Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins as the first-ever woman at the table in Albany.

The rally is a follow-up call to events earlier this week to shed light on the state budget negotiations where only four male lawmakers are engaged in closed-door meetings to make critical decisions about the state’s $142 billion budget.

Women make up more than 51 percent of New York State’s population, yet their voices will once again go unrepresented at the budget negotiation table. Stewart-Cousins deserves a seat at the table to make key decisions on education, housing, employment, minimum wage, healthcare, and transportation, Cumbo said in her press advisory statement.

Golden Wants City To Pony Up More Mney For MTA

Bay Ridge State Sen. Marty Golden and Staten Island Assembly member Joe Borelli are calling on Mayor de Blasio to adjust for inflation the City’s contributions to the MTA Capital Plan Budget.

The current annual contribution from New York City is about $100 million – lower than it was in 1982, the two lawmakers noted.

De Blasio was in Albany earlier this month and indicated that the city would like to see the state make larger contributions to the capital plan budget to help close a multi-billion dollar funding gap. But the two lawmakers pointed out the state has contributed over $250 million each year for the last 3 years, more than double the City’s contribution.

From 1982-1986 New York City contributed about $136 million each year to the capital plan budget.

“The time for the City of New York to invest more in the MTA subways and buses, that transport millions throughout the five boroughs each day, is now.  It is rather alarming that New York City is contributing less to the MTA today then in the year 1982,” said Golden. “I think nothing from more than twenty-three years ago has avoided the cost of inflation except this financial contribution, and there is no denying that our transit system can use the additional funding.  We urge Mayor de Blasio to increase funding in the next City budget.”

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