At a press conference earlier today on the steps of the City Hall, Council Speaker Corey Johnson did not mix words for the two Brooklyn Senators – Simcha Felder and Marty Golden at the end of his prepared remarks. He was joined by council members Alicka Amprey Samuels, Mark Treyger, and Brad Lander from Brooklyn, among others. The rally took place before the council’s Transportation Committee hearing on the issue – three weeks before school starts on September 5.
“I want Senator Marty Golden, and I want Senator Simcha Felder, and Senator Andy Lanza, and Senator John Flanagan, I want these senators to look into the eyes of the family members who are here who have to live with the loss every single day, of losing a loved one, and explain why the inaction must continue.”
“Shame on you Marty Golden. Shame on you Simcha Felder. Shame on you Andy Lanza. Shame on you John Flanagan. Shame on all of you for playing a political game with children’s lives. You will be held accountable. We will not forget.
“Even if you do the right thing, which we want you to do, we will still not forget what you’ve done to us. You’ve created a dangerous situation and used children as a political football in New York City and we are not going to stand for it. We’ve had enough. Shame. Shame. Shame. Shame.”
You can listen to the full remarks above, below are the prepared remarks:
“If anyone here’s wondering why some people’s skepticism of government might harden into cynicism, look no further than Albany and the Republican-controlled state Senate.
Less than a month ago, 140-speed cameras helped protect school zones throughout the city.
Now, with the first day of school just weeks away, we effectively have zero speed camera enforcement as the State program to send out speed camera tickets has been halted.
We need to protect kids crossing the street to school. Speed cameras serve as a deterrent for drivers who are either too distracted or too thoughtless to care enough about how they drive near a school.
These cameras save lives. They have saved lives. And while they are not presently generating any tickets – any deterrent for bad actors behind the wheel – they still generate data.
And this data tells us that since they were rendered inactive by the state Senate’s inaction, they recorded 132,253 instances of speeding near schools. That’s from July 25 to August 10.
We’re here now because this is unacceptable. And it is unacceptable and inexcusable that state lawmakers who have been sworn to protect the interest of New Yorkers would choose not to renew this life-saving program for their own political gain and agenda. Shame on them.
It is unacceptable that they haven’t EXPANDED and STRENGTHENED the program, given all the good it’s done so far.
It is almost surreal to find ourselves at this point, again, asking Republicans in Albany to simply do the right thing, do the common sense thing, for children.
This is not about statistics. It’s about lives. And do it before they go back to school. Time is running out, but Republicans can still do what’s right before they have innocent blood on their hands.
We keep asking. And we keep being met with deafening silence. But we are not giving up.
Today, we’ll be talking about a package of bills that – while they won’t replace speed cameras – would make our streets safer.
These bills would create tougher consequences for reckless driving, a city study on dangerous driving and a street design checklist to better ensure streets are safe.”
“They are by no means the entire solution to making our streets safer, but coupled with a renewed speed camera law, they would go a long way toward keeping our kids safe.
Let’s keep the pressure on Albany, and let’s keep doing what we can to continue reducing the number of car crashes and pedestrian fatalities on city streets.”