State Senator Brian Kavanagh will host his first annual District Community Convention on Sunday (May 6), at Stuyvesant High School (345 Chambers Street, at the corner of North End Avenue), from 2:00 through 5:00 pm. Constituents are invited to hear informational presentations about issues of local concern, ask the Senator questions, and participate in working groups that will help Mr. Kavanagh to set legislative priorities for the year ahead.
“My staff and I work hard every day to support our communities and make New York a better, fairer place to call home,” observes Senator Kavanagh. “We look forward to hearing from everyone at the Convention about the issues people care about and how we can all focus our energy on making government work better. I hope we’ll have a big turnout of constituents from Battery Park City and all across the district, and some great conversations about enhancing coastal resiliency, improving our transportation infrastructure, making our streets safer, and so many other topics.”
Among the topics that the Senator will focus on during Sunday’s discussions will be public education; tenants’ rights and affordability; enhancing resiliency; election and campaign-finance reform; priorities for improving streets, transportation, and infrastructure; civil rights protections and criminal justice reform; and expanding access to affordable health care. He will additionally lead a discussion on neighborhood preservation, based on the observation that, “overdevelopment has touched nearly every neighborhood in our city. What’s the right balance between embracing positive changes and preserving our communities?” Other panels will concentrate on protecting quality of life for seniors residents, and supporting public housing.
“I’m proud that over the last five months, we’ve allocated $250 million to make critical repairs in public housing, enacted a law prohibiting domestic abusers from having guns, guaranteed Battery Park City residents have two seats on the Battery Park City Authority Board, and so much more,” Senator Kavanagh adds.
During his time in the Senate (which he joined earlier this year, after a special election to fill the seat vacated by Daniel Squadron, who resigned in the middle of his term, in mid-2017), Mr. Kavanagh has taken the lead on gun violence issues. As chair of two, related public service groups — American State Legislators for Gun Violence Prevention and New York Legislators for Gun Violence Prevention — he pushed for passage of legislation that tightened New York’s gun laws by prohibiting people convicted of certain domestic violence offenses from possessing guns. He is now spearheading the charge to ratify a similar measure that would allow courts to issue “extreme risk protection orders” (ERPOs), which would apply to people that a judge has found likely to harm themselves or others. In such cases, the new law would require the person named to temporarily surrender any guns they possess, and prohibit them from purchasing other guns.
Apart from gun-violence measures, Senator Kavanagh has introduced more than 70 other pieces of legislation since the current session in Albany began, in January. These cover a range of issues, from affordable housing and funding for naturally occurring retirement communities, to campaign finance laws and the environment.