Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries took a victory lap before an adoring audience on Wednesday, touting his legislative achievements while offering hints at the issues that he aims to tackle in 2011.
Jeffries, the assemblyman for the 57th District, which covers parts of Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Prospect Heights, highlighted several battles he waged in Albany last year during his fourth State of the District address at the Pratt Institute.
Jeffries opened by reiterating his of Cathie Black as Chancellor of the city’s schools.
“Now is not the time for on the job training,” said Jeffries, referring to Black’s limited experience in education.
But he added that the battle against her was lost. “I will work with [the Department of Education] when they’re right, and will continue to strongly oppose them when they’re wrong,” he said.
From there, Jeffries moved into more positive territory.
He recounted his sponsorship of a bill that eliminated the “stop and frisk” database compiled by the NYPD, which he derided as an egregious breach of privacy.
Jeffries recalled his fight to end a controversial policy — he called it gerrymandering — that counted prisoners as residents in the district where they were incarcerated, rather than in their home communities.
Lastly, he extolled his initiative meant to convert vacant luxury apartments into affordable housing, though he admitted progress was slowgoing.
“Since this law was passed several units of affordable housing have been created, but much work remains to be done,” Jeffries said. "We need more cooperation from financial institutions...some of them got more hustle than the fellas on 125th Street."
The Assemblyman only hinted at what was on his agenda next year, saying that the key to solving crime and poverty was jobs. Notably, he did not point to the Atlantic Yards project — often touted as a job creator — as a solution to the economic woes affecting neighborhoods in the vicinity of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues.