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Canarsie Courier: Jeffries Hosts Special Forum For City’s Weeklies

[[{“fid”:”826″,”view_mode”:”full”,”fields”:{“format”:”full”,”field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]”:””,”field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]”:”Media RT – April 2014″},”type”:”media”,”attributes”:{“title”:”Media RT – April 2014″,”style”:”height: 267px; width: 200px; border-width: 3px; border-style: solid; margin: 2px; float: left;”,”class”:”media-element file-full”}}]]Members of the media were treated to a special session hosted by Canarsie’s congressman – Hakeem Jeffries (8th Congressional District). Congressman Jeffries gave editors and reporters of the City’s weekly publications a unique opportunity, in an informal setting, to discuss local issues at a roundtable discussion held last week.

Jeffries told editors and reporters at his district office, located at 55 Hanson Place, that he is up to the challenge to make Brooklyn and Queens stronger and that he takes his role in ‘the fourth largest city’ in the country very seriously. “The diversity in Brooklyn is amazing. I represent areas where we have the most African-American, Caribbean- American, Jewish and Russian populations in the country. We have the most ethnic, religious, artistic and cultural diversity anywhere,” Jeffries said.

The congressman focused on two issues affecting his constituents: the healthcare crisis in central Brooklyn and the Sandy recovery efforts in Canarsie, Coney Island, Seagate, Mill Basin, Bergen Beach and Howard Beach.

Jeffries spoke about Brooklyn’s troubled hospitals, some of which are still in bankruptcy and others that were faced with financial trauma but are now on a positive trajectory. “I am proud to be part of the fight to get our city’s hospitals the help they need. We applied for a Medicaid waiver – and won. That will mean $8 billion in federal funding for our hospitals, including $1 billion to help a cash-strapped hospital utilized by many of my constituents.”

Jeffries described the city’s program to help storm-ravaged homeowners rebuild their homes as the “Build it Back Disaster” and said that he hopes the new reforms will put us on a positive pathway going forward. “This city must do its job and send funds to these struggling homeowners,” Jeffries said.

He compared the flood insurance crisis to “an out of control freight train” and told the group in attendance that he was a co-sponsor of a bill to reform the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012, which extends the National Flood Insurance Program for five years and could increase flood insurance rates for policyholders. Jeffries said, “Although it is important to improve the solvency of Biggert-Waters, the reform bill would put a cap on flood insurance increases, require affordability studies by FEMA and limit increases to grandfathered homeowners who have built their homes to code.”

Jeffries told the media, “I am pleased to be part of the effort to help homeowners and work to download the power of the federal government to make a difference for the people I serve.”

Locally, the congressman promised to look into trash and storm debris that has accumulated along the banks of Fresh Creek since Superstorm Sandy hit in October 2012.