More on Local Issues
For all the rebuilding since Superstorm Sandy, damaged houses of worship have been left out in the cold due to federal prohibitions on direct aid to religious institutions. An attempt to amend the law and allow for such assistance in the case of natural disasters passed in the House but died in the Senate, and now one Congressman is asking local financial institutions to step up to the plate instead.
Community leaders in Brooklyn say a church there has been ignored in the two years since Sandy damaged it.
The pastor of the United Community Baptist Church in Coney Island says he needs about $2.5 million to repair the building.
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries sent letters to the four biggest banks in the country asking for help in funding the work.
He says the federal government can't help houses of worship because of the separation of church and state, but banks have a responsibility to the community.
BROOKLYN, NY: Today, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08) released the following statement condemning the act of vandalism of the 9/11 Memorial in Coney Island, New York on October 17.
Congressman Jeffries discusses P.J.'s Act, a bill named after P.J. Avitto, the Brooklynite who was tragically killed in an elevator that lacked the proper safety equipment. The bill is designed to boost security-related funding for public housing organizations. He also addresses the NYPD's inept broken windows policing policy.
In a locket around her neck, Aricka McClinton carries the ashes of her six-year-old son Prince Joshua "PJ" Avitto. She says the whole family does the same.
"We go nowhere without them. We wear them every day. Every day. This is our baby," McClinton says.
In June, Prince Joshua, known as PJ, and 7-year-old friend Mikayla Capers were stabbed in an elevator in the Boulevard Houses. Mikayla survived. Ex-convict Daniel St. Hubert is charged with the crime.
"It's never enough security, if you ask me," McClinton says.