Senator Felder Is On The Job

Once again, New York State Senator Simcha Felder has caused a stir over his use of his pivotal position in the Senate to protect the rights of his many Orthodox Jewish constituents – this time to secure a police presence in religious schools on an equivalent basis as provided in public schools.

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Felder was elected as a Democrat but invariably votes with Senate Republicans which gives the Republicans a one-vote majority, which means that he enjoys outsized influence with the Republican leadership and membership.

It will be recalled that several months ago, Felder was able to successfully wield his leverage to beat back efforts by state officials and some disgruntled former yeshiva student activists to compromise the curricula of many yeshivos. Their plan was to require educational programs in those institutions that parents opposed on religious grounds. Felder held back his support on some budgetary issues until legislation protecting the religious rights of those parents and their children was adopted.

So Felder has now angered Senate Democrats, Mayor de Blasio, the City Council, and traffic safety advocates by conditioning his support for legislation that would reauthorize and expand from 140 to 290, New York City’s speed camera program – which is scheduled to expire on July 25 – on adoption of legislation that would provide day-to-day police protection for yeshivos.

Yasher Koach, Senator.

 

The De Blasio Housing Debacle

ast week the de Blasio administration and the Manhattan U.S. Attorney announced the settlement of a civil lawsuit brought by the federal government which had charged that city officials had covered up squalid conditions in public housing run by the city. The complaint said that the New York City Housing Authority violated basic health and safety regulations concerning lead paint, asbestos, mold, and keeping apartments free of roaches, mice, and other vermin.

The complaint also charged that tenants did not receive adequate heat and hot water. NYC agreed to correct the violations and to provide $2.2 billion in capital funding . The deal also calls for a court-appointed monitor  to oversee the remedial work.

But there is more. Within days of the filing of the lawsuit, federal and local investigators seized a trove of NYCHA records as part of a criminal investigation. They removed computers and other records in search for evidence that city officials schemed to shield the horrendous treatment of public housing tenants from federal inspectors and lied to them.

It should be kept firmly in mind that all of this involves the victimization of tenants in public housing, a group our outspokenly “progressive” mayor has pledged to protect. But his notion of protection apparently extends only to ruthlessly and relentlessly pursuing any and all complaints of whatever merit by “oppressed” tenants of private landlords.

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