As 2017 comes to a close, I’m so thankful for so many blessings.  I was able to provide $7.2 million in capital and discretionary funds for youth and education; affordable housing; public safety; seniors’ transportation; parks and recreation and the arts.  I honored Bronx native and Iraq War hero Marine Corporal Ramona Valdez and Bronx hip-hop legend D.J. Scott LaRock with street co-requires certain city agencies to disseminate information on the senior citizen rent increase exemption program (SCRIE) to everyone identified as age 62 or older namings; requiring licensing for e-cigarette retailers; requiring on-going training for ACS preventive services workers; and addressing the importance of properly meeting the healthcare needs of detained youth,  and keeping them connected to community, family and other positive adult role models. I provided a new, state of the art music studio for B.R.A.G. our anti-gun violence program at Good Shepherd Services.  I added a monthly SCRIE/DRIE clinic for seniors and people with disabilities who need rent increase exemptions to the complement of free services in my office.

In November, I was re-elected to a third term in the New York City Council with 84% of the vote.  I am honored to continue to serving this community.  Best wishes for the holiday season!

Raising the Age of Criminal Responsibility & Moving Youth off Rikers Island- Tracking the City’s Progress

On December 6 I convened a Juvenile Justice Committee Oversight Hearing on DYFJ’s efforts in implementing raising the age of criminal responsibility. We must track this progress to ensure the safety of youth and staff at facilities. We must ensure adequate staffing, training, on-time completion of renovations to the Crossroads facility and that Crossroads/Horizons can appropriately and safely house different youth populations.

Intro 1590-A Passed by NY City Council. New Law to Require Ongoing Training for ACS Preventive Services Workers

My bill, Intro 1590-A was passed by the General Welfare Committee on November 29th and passed by the City Council on November 30th.  This bill requires ACS to provide training to all individuals providing preventive services on an ongoing basis and no less frequently than once per year.  Ongoing training will help these workers to better protect children and prevent them from going to foster care, keeping families together


Work Learn Grow Application Deadline Extended to October 20th

The NYC Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) has extended the application for its Work Learn Grow program for 2017 SYEP participants age 16-21 who are “in school” – middle school, high school, college or other post-secondary program.

For more information on Work Learn Grow visit

Mayor deBlasio Signs Package of Juvenile Justice Bills into Law

IMG_5519IMG_5521On September 8th Mayor Bill deBlasio signed into law my package of Juvenile Justice bills that will allow detained youth to designate non-family members, such as a pastor, a teacher or a coach,as visitors, allow youth and family to video conference and require ACS to review its system of keeping medical records. Reforming the juvenile justice system to focus on rehabilitation, not punishment.