Looking for a Free Summer Experience for Kids? Check out Fresh Air Fund!

Sign up for The Fresh Air Fund’s free overnight summer programs. The Fresh Air Fund is still accepting applications for the Friendly Towns Program, which gives New York City children the opportunity to stay with a volunteer host family for one week.

Fresh Air Fund gives kids the chance to travel to a new place, have new experiences and make new friends by visiting the suburban and rural areas in Long Island, New Jersey, Northern New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.  Favorite activities include learning to swim, going fishing, visiting local amusement parks, catching fireflies, riding bikes, camping out in the backyard, stargazing, and making s’mores.

APPLY HERE

Working for Justice for Taxi and For-Hire Vehicle Drivers

It’s unconscionable that taxi and drivers are resorting to suicide from the stress they’re experiencing.

I’ve introduced legislation that will ensure justice and fairness for drivers- requiring fair hearings, reasonable caps on TLC fines, elimination of duplicate violations charges and establishing parity between NYPD and TLC fines.

I’ve submitted legislation to create a WAGE FLOOR for all drivers based on the established meter regulated fare so that drivers can make a decent living from the work they do and the service they provide for New Yorkers.

Our drivers are an important part of the city’s economy and meet major transportation needs in our communities. I’m calling on my NYC Council colleagues to support justice and fairness for professional drivers.

Want More for Your Community Board?

Community boards play a vital role in key decisions that affect all our neighborhoods. This requires extensive work and reflects the strong commitment of board members and staff to the districts they serve.

As Chair of the Governmental Operations Committee and as a former community board member, I know firsthand the challenges you face.  Not only do I want to ensure that there are no cuts to community board budgets, I will be proposing a budget increase for community boards in the upcoming fiscal year.

Here’s some background on recent budget allocations for community boards:

  • In the four fiscal years between 2012 and 2015 there was no increase in the base budgets (Personal Services and Other than Personal Services)
  • Base budgets increased by $23,000 in 2016 but only increased by $4,016 in 2017
  • In FY 2018 there was no increase
  • The Mayor’s Preliminary Budget for 2019 does not show any change in community board budgets

The reality is that even when funding remains static, other things are changing.  Community development rezoning requires the expertise and skills of urban planners.  Rising costs of housing, overcrowding and strains on infrastructure and public services are reflected in the constituent concerns that community boards must address.  Outreach and increasing constituent participation in board meetings and input in land use decisions are restricted by inadequate space, and staff is overburdened.

I want to hear from you, about how a budget increase would assist your Community Board to better serve you!  Take the Community Board Survey

THANKS FOR A GREAT YEAR!

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

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