In today’s example of Politics At Its Worst, noise in our neighborhood from the BQE project is being made a pawn in the school safety bet, with state Senate Republicans tying streamlining the BQE project to a provision that would require guns in schools in New York City.
As reported by Brooklyn Paper in an article with the dismayingly clever headline “Troubleshooting: Electeds tie faster BQE fix with (sic) deploying gun-toting cops in schools,” Republican state senators will agree to allow the city to use design-build to facilitate the work on the BQE–and thus minimize its effects on our neighborhood–if “firearm-carrying officers” are required “in public learning houses.”
Unsurprisingly, this idea has not gone over well.
“I find it very distressing that they would connect these two issues,” said Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon, whose Democratic majority in the lower chamber released its own one-house budget that included authorization for design-build without any conditions. “I don’t think the recent events inspire confidence in that approach — this is a very troubling proposal.”
Senators Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge) and Simcha Felder (D–Midwood) are reported to have drafted a simple proposal with Democrat Brian Kavanagh, a state senator whose district includes Brooklyn Heights, likened the proposal to New Jersey’s infamous Bridgegate.
“Is this an example of the majority, if they don’t get their way on a certain policy issue, however legitimate, suggesting that perhaps ‘it’s time for traffic problems in Brooklyn,’ to borrow a phrase from New Jersey?” said Democrat Brian Kavanagh.
The state budget, of which these provisions would be a part, has a deadline of April 1 for approval, so if you want to make your feelings on this issue known, now is the time to call. And, if I may editorialize for a moment, this is a despicable union of two entirely unrelated issues, and we should let the state know that as concerned as we are about the BQE project, putting more guns in schools is not the way to address those concerns.
Get the full story at Brooklyn Paper…
Photo: Jim Henderson via Wikimedia Commons. Used with permission.