Bronx City Councilman Fernando Cabrera was ready to defy established order.
He sensed that Speaker Christine Quinn was losing her grip on the legislative body.
“I’m scared,” he told Politicker at the time. He kept the petitions he gathered at home–just to be safe.
Mr. Cabrera, a pastor, quietly went from colleague to colleague to rally support for two bills that the speaker had stalled, one that would let churches rent school property and another codifying a Tenants’ Bill of Rights. He said he gathered the dozen signatures necessary to give him the power to force a vote—a tactic, called a motion to discharge, that has not been deployed during Ms. Quinn’s tenure.
Assemblyman Dov Hikind held a press conference in front of his home this afternoon responding to the uproar over a story that first appeared on Politicker today about his “black basketball player” Purim costume. In front of a small crowd of reporters, Mr. Hikind apologized that people were “offended” and reiterated his initial defense that the getup, which consisted of an orange jersey, brown face paint, an afro wig and sunglasses was merely a costume to celebrate the Jewish Purim holiday. However, even after Mr. Hikind addressed the firestorm, several members of the City Council sent letters to the Assemblyman arguing his apology did not go far enough.
“Anyone who was offended by the outfit that I was wearing on Purim yesterday … it was not meant to offend anyone or hurt anyone in any fashion,” Mr. Hikind began. “That is not what I am all about for the past 31 years in pub office and before that.”
nuts4nuts needs help
The City Council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus is renewing a push to reform the way that street vendors are fined. In a letter to Consumer Affairs Committee Chair Dan Garodnick, the co-chairs of the caucus, Robert Jackson and Fernando Cabrera, advocate legislation to significantly reduce the financial burden of these fines.
“Under current regulations, distance-from-the-curb violations and license-display violations command the payment of fines ranging from $50 to $1000, based upon the number of subsequent violations,” the letter explained. “The Caucus believes that this fine structure is unfair to the vendors because it compoundsviolations that may not be related.”
This afternoon, Bronx Councilman Fernando Cabrera will be marching across the Brooklyn Bridge to ask Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Department of Education to reverse the upcoming ban on religious institutions using public school buildings on weekends for meetings and worship.
“We stand firm on our position. Equal access for houses of worship makes New York City communities better. Mayor Bloomberg and the Department of Education need to see just how many people are on this side
of the debate,” Mr. Cabrera said in a statement announcing the March.
Old Time Religion
In a case of what may turn over a question of who is the Occupied and who the Occupier, Bronx City Councilman Fernando Cabrera was arrested this morning as part of a protest against the New York City Law Department’s decision to evict houses of worship from city-owned properties.
“Today we are seeing the first indication that the churches in New York City, and nationally, are awakening,” Mr. Cabrera said. “Together, we will fight these restrictive laws that discriminate against hundreds of thousands of Church-goers.”
Mayor Bl0omberg has said that there will be no clergy or formal prayers at the tenth anniversary ceremonies for the 9/11 attacks next month, and Fernando Cabrera, a City Councilman from the Bronx, has taken up the campaign to change his mind.
“I am urging the Mayor to reconsider the decision to exclude prayer from the 10th Anniversary 9/11 ceremony,” Cabrera said in a statement. “During 9/11, the faith community served as pillars for many New Yorker’s coping with the tragedy. As a pastor during the tumultuous aftermath, I know firsthand that it was a time where people were searching for meaning and things bigger than themselves. People’s faith helped fill this void and continue to serve as spiritual and emotional support.”