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.

Bronx Hero Marine Corporal Ramona Valdez Honored Forever at Fordham Road & Grand Concourse

On August 26, 2017 I dedicated Fordham Road & Grand Concourse as “Marine Corporal Ramona Valdez Square,” in honor of a true Bronx hero.  Corporal Valdez, born in the Dominican Republic and raised in the Bronx was the first woman to die in combat in the Iraq War. While we will always mourn the tragic loss of Cpl. Valdez, her legacy of love for her family and valiant military service will be honored forever through this dedication. I am proud to have sponsored the legislation that co-names this intersection for Corporal Valdez, a true Bronx hero who made the ultimate sacrifice in U.S. military service.  We will forever honor this US military hero and daughter of the Bronx and the Dominican Republic.



HELP FOR HURRICANE & EARTHQUAKE RELIEF EFFORTS- CRITICAL ITEMS NEEDED: Diapers, Baby Food, Batteries, First Aid Supplies, Feminine Hygiene Products

Donate Critical Items to Fire Houses and EMS Stations in the Bronx:

EMS Station 26 1624 Boston Road Bronx, NY 10456 (Morissania)

EMS Station 55 3134 Park Avenue Bronx, NY 10451 (Melrose)

Engine 64/Ladder 47 1224 Castle Hill Avenue Bronx, NY 10462 (Castle Hill)

Engine 63/Ladder 29 618 E. 138th Street Bronx, NY 10454 (Mott Haven/South Bronx)

Cinco de Mayo Place Honors Culture, History and Contributions of Mexican People in Kingsbridge

I’m proud to have sponsored the legislation that co-names Jerome Avenue and E. 193rd Street, Cinco de Mayo Place, recognizing Mexican culture and heritage.  The Mexican community is a strong force in the commercial and cultural vibrancy of the Kingsbridge neighborhood.  The new sign is an official recognition of this contribution.  On May 5th I was joined by Ambassador Diego Gomez Pickering, Consul General of Mexico; Congresswoman Maritza Marin, President of the Migrant Affairs Committee Estado Puebla Mexico;  Ernesto Leyva, Secretary of Migrant Affairs, Estado Puebla Mexico; and  Jairo Guzman, President of the Mexican Coalition for the unveiling of the new sign.

The Bronx is the only majority Hispanic borough in New York City.  Mexicans are the fastest growing Hispanic population in the city and the third largest segment of the Hispanic population in the Kingsbridge area.