MAHN Lawmakers On The Move April 24, 2019

Manhattan Lawmakers on the Move bannner
Assemblywoman Carmen De La Rosa

De Le Rosa Applauds Cuomo’s Suicide Prevention Task Force

Assembly member Carmen De la Rosa (D-Northern Manhattan) this week applauded the work of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Suicide Prevention Task Force for their work on increasing awareness of and access to supportive services for high-risk communities, like Latina adolescents.

On Monday, Cuomo released the task force’s first report in which a diverse group of experts examined current programs, services, and statewide suicide prevention policies in order to identify gaps in resources and strengthen coordination between State and local partners. Recommendations from the report include strengthening public health prevention efforts, integrating suicide prevention in healthcare, timely sharing of data for surveillance and planning, and infusing cultural competence throughout suicide prevention activities.

The report follows comes four months after de la Rosa’s bill, The Suicide Prevention Act, was signed into law last Dec. The measure streamlines the delivery of mental health services for at-risk populations through the Office of Mental Health, and requires the agency to evaluate different demographics like Latinas who suffer significantly higher suicide rates.

In 2015, one in four of New York State’s Hispanic youth considered suicide and one in seven attempted suicide. At the same time, only 35% of Hispanics with depression received care as opposed to 60% of whites. Furthermore, just 1% of the American Psychology Association identified themselves as Latino, and many bilingual Latinos are unable to find mental health treatment in their native language.

“The recommendations of the Task Force implement the goals of my legislation, signed by Governor Cuomo, and help move the conversation forward of New York’s commitment to preventing suicide among our most vulnerable populations, especially Latinas who have some of the highest rates of suicide in New York State, said de la Rosa.

Rivera Calls On MTA To Prioritize Bus Riders During L Train Repair

Council Member Carlina Rivera
Council Member Carlina Rivera

City Council member Carlina Rivera (D-East Village, Gramercy Park, Kips Bay, Lower East Side, Murray Hill, Rose Hill) yesterday in a social media post called on the New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to prioritize bus lanes and riders during the upcoming reconstruction project of the L train.

The highly anticipated shutdown of the Canarsie Tunnel is set to begin this week, Friday, April 26, dramatically changing service to just three trains per hour on evenings and weekends.

The transportation authority this week on social media told riders expected to be affected by the construction project that “buses might actually be your best bet,” causing Rider’s Alliance and others to call on Mayor Bill de Blasio to completely close 14th Street to cars in lieu of buses and dedicated express service.

“I’m very concerned the L Train repairs are going to present an unprecedented challenge for New York straphangers. A busway on 14th Street with pick-up/drop-off access for local residents is the only way we are going to be able to move people quickly over the next 15 months,” said Rivera.

Gillibrand Announces Push To Fund Federal Employment, Training Program To Help At-Risk Youth Adults

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) this week announced her push to secure millions in federal funding for a Department of Labor (DOL) program that helps at-risk young adults get jobs across New York State and the country as part of its Reintegration of Ex-Offenders program.

The program provides grants to national and regional nonprofit organizations that provide critical services that help at-risk youth, aged 16 to 24, attain the skills and education needed for success.

These services include case management, skills training, tutoring, and mentoring to put these young people on a pathway to a good job. The beneficiaries of the program are both unemployed and out of school, putting them at a greater risk of becoming involved in the juvenile and criminal justice systems.

“Every young person deserves the chance to get a good job and help their community thrive,. However, the high rate of youth unemployment, particularly for minorities and youth from underserved communities, is a testament to the obstacles that stand in the way of their success. We should invest in our youth and their full potential, even if they have made mistakes in the past,” said Gillibrand.