Tuesday, May 23, 2017

City Hall in Your Borough

  Today City agencies were made available to the public, as well as the mayor himself in the Rotunda of the Bronx County Building located at 851 Grand Concourse. There were not only Bronc commissioners, but also Citywide commissioners available to talk to and listen to the average citizen. The event lasted from 9 AM to 2 PM when Mayor Bill de Blasio went to various locations in the Bronx. At 12:30 PM the mayor toured Arthur Avenue to visit with Small Businesses. At 5 PM the mayor visited seniors along with Councilman Jimmy Vacca at Villa Barone Manor. Below are some photos of City Hall in your borough.

Above - Not only was Bronx Parks Commissioner Iris Rodriguez on hand, but her boss NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver was on hand also to hear about Bronx parks.
Below - Some of the behind the scene DOT people you don't always see. 

Above - Effie of the NYCEPA (formally DEP) listens to one Bronx resident who had a problem.
Below - A map of the current active CPC sites which are currently under study (in blue) at the City Planning table.  

Above and Below - You can see how each city agency or department had a table with experts in their field to help Bronx residents with any questions.

Above - The Department of Sanitation is well represented by its top supervisor Mr. Terranova.
Below - Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson stands with a few  Bronx police officers on hand including Chief Nikunen.

Above and Below - The mayor and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. get a few words in. Could it have been about their favorite baseball teams?

Above - The mayor is ready to take on questions from Bronx residents.
Below - The mayor listens to this Bronxite's comments.

Above - This bronx resident shows the mayor what her problem is, as one of the mayor's aids looks on.
Below - Dr. Cary Goodman (of the 161st Street BID) gives Mayor de Blasio a Derek Jeter Mother's Day retirement shirt the 161st Street BID had masw for the Yankee great's retirement celebration on Mother's Day.

Bronx Chamber of Commerce 2017 Golf Outing at Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point has been rescheduled to Thursday, June 8th

Due to yesterday's rain
The Bronx Chamber of Commerce 2017 Golf 
Outing at Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point
has been rescheduled to Thursday, June 8th



  State Senator Gustavo Rivera released the following statement today after bill S159 was reported out of the Senate Health Committee. This bill, which is sponsored by State Senator Gustavo Rivera in the New York Senate and Assemblymember Deborah Glick in the New York State Assembly, will allow freestanding diagnostic and treatment centers that receive comprehensive family planning reproductive health services grants, such as Planned Parenthood, to become eligible for state assistance for indigent care. The bill has now been referred to the Senate Finance Committee.

"I am incredibly proud that my colleagues in the Senate Health Committee have joined me in pushing this bill towards the next step of the legislative process. This vote represents legislative progress as our State works to ensure that the healthcare needs of New Yorkers, especially those of women, are adequately safeguarded," said State Senator Gustavo Rivera. "With the ongoing efforts from Washington to restrict funding for such organizations, I vow to continue working with my colleagues in both chambers to pass this measure as I refuse to sit idly by while the reproductive rights and the health of millions of women in New York State are irresponsibly put at risk"

Planned Parenthood praises new IDC legislation to shield Title X money in New York State used for vital women’s health services

  Members of the Independent Democratic Conference today introduced legislation to protect funding on a state level for vital women’s health services under Title X that have been threatened to be cut nationally and received praise from Planned Parenthood.

The bill, introduced on Tuesday by Senator Tony Avella, and co-sponsored by all IDC members, requires the state to maintain funding levels equal to those available now in the event of future federal budget cuts or a change to federal statute or regulations for Title X funding.

“Throughout my entire career I have always fought for women’s health services. Title X funding provides family planning services including cancer screenings, contraceptive care, infertility services, among other important care. We will not let the federal government impact the health and wellness of women in New York, and I’m proud to sponsor legislation that ensures Title X funding remains at the same level if the federal government tries to play politics with women’s health needs,” said Senator Avella.

“We must ensure that all communities have access to the care they need most. The Independent Democratic Conference understands family planning funding is not a political football. We applaud the IDC for recognizing that Federal attempts to dismantle our state’s health care delivery system is a non-starter in New York State,” said Robin Chappelle Goldstein, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts.

Planned Parenthood, and other organizations, provide important services through Title X funding for family planning, preventative health services, infertility services, contraceptive care, breast and cervical cancer screenings, STD and HIV prevention education, counseling, testing and referrals and other preventative health services.

Funding may also provide training grants for personnel working in family planning services projects and to fund research grants for projects in the biomedical, contraceptive development, behavioral and program implementation fields related to family planning and population. Projects conduct data analysis and related research and evaluation on issues of interest to the family planning field.

“We will not allow the federal government to jeopardize critical women’s health services in the name of politics. Title X funds must stay intact in New York State to ensure that organizations like Planned Parenthood can continue to deliver the care, screenings and services that are vital for women’s wellness,” said IDC Leader Jeff Klein.

“Women’s health services are vitally important and this legislation will ensure that we combat any attempt on the federal level to cut services that could negatively impact the health of New Yorkers. The IDC has always stood with Planned Parenthood and we will never allow life-saving preventative health care services and cancer screenings to be taken away from women,” said IDC Deputy Leader David Valesky.

“No woman should ever be deprived the care that she needs because Title X funding was taken away on the federal level. Our health is important and screenings for breast and cervical cancer, for preventative health care, for contraceptive care and family planning should not be ripped away from any woman and we will stand with Planned Parenthood and ensure that we protect these important funds here in New York State,” said Senator Diane Savino.

“The work that Planned Parenthood does for women across New York is incredibly important and deserves to be protected. Women from all over the state depend on the services that they provide, often times when they have nowhere else to turn to. This legislation shows our commitment to their mission,” said Senator Senator Jose Peralta.

“No woman should ever have to choose between their health and paying the bills. Title X funding provides organizations like Planned Parenthood crucial funding for important women’s health services that should never be threatened. Unfortunately, the federal government wants to play games with our health and I’m proud that the IDC has introduced a bill to keep Title X funds intact,” said Senator Marisol Alcantara.

“I have always stood with Planned Parenthood and I will never allow the federal government to strip important funding from women’s health services. This legislation ensures that we protect those vital funds that ensure organizations like Planned Parenthood are able to provide life-saving cancer screenings, contraceptive care, and other women’s health services that so many depend on,” said Senator Carlucci.

“It is unfair to deprive any woman of health care services that she needs. It is absurd that anyone on a federal level would deprive a woman of care and we will not let that impact funding to important organizations like Planned Parenthood,” said Senator Jesse Hamilton.


Engel Statement on Trump Administration’s Proposed Budget

   Congressman Eliot L. Engel, a top member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, issued the following statement on the Trump Administration’s budget proposal:

“To say the cuts in the Trump Administration’s budget proposal would hurt most Americans really doesn’t describe the amount of pain people would feel if it were somehow enacted. This proposal—save for the very rich—does not discriminate in who it hurts. It is disgraceful and, I believe, a total non-starter in Congress.

“Here are just some of the harmful cuts President Trump would like to make happen: After the President unambiguously promised not to cut Medicaid, he proposes a $610 billion cut; the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a program to prevent domestic hunger benefitting children and families, would see a $193 billion cut over 10 years; the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, which states and municipalities rely upon for funding local development and infrastructure projects, would be completely eliminated; the HOME program, which creates affordable housing, would be completely eliminated; and the National Institutes of Health would suffer billions of dollars in crippling cuts to research.  

“But that’s not all. The President is also proposing a 30 percent cut to the Environmental Protection Agency, which would include the zeroing out several clean energy and climate change programs. He wants to slash the Education Department by $9.2 billion, or 13 percent, and eliminate programs that serve children, including after-school programs and mental-health services. And he has proposed slashing the State Department by 28 percent, another extreme cut which I find particularly alarming as Ranking Member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

“This all amounts to a devastating assault on every American—our housing, health care, safety, education and environment are all put at risk. It represents a vision for America that is both cruel and unrealistic. We need to come up with a budget that works for the American people, not punishes them. I remain hopeful this budget will be rightfully rejected by my colleagues in the House, and a more realistic and sensible approach to our federal budget can be developed.”


Rep. Adriano Espaillat released the following statement today in response to President Trump’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2018 released earlier today.

“As expected, President Trump’s budget proposal is cold and harsh toward the poor and those struggling to reach the middle class in America,” said Rep. Espaillat. “While significantly cutting the budgets for vital safety net programs such as Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that save millions of Americans from the deepest depths of poverty, and increasing the funding for defense spending, immigration raids, border patrol and building a divisive wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, Trump has essentially prioritized his own interests ahead of America’s poor and low-income families. This budget proposal is bad for America as it will burden our states and leave our most vulnerable communities behind.”


  Meeting business owners on The Bronx’s Arthur Avenue, Mayor de Blasio released a “Small Business Progress Report” outlining a 40% reduction in fines, a three-month reduction in the time it takes to open a restaurant, and a surge in certified Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs).

  “We’ve slashed unnecessary fines and helped stores open their doors faster because small businesses are the cornerstone of our economy. When someone from the City walks through a business’s door these days, we’re there to educate and to help. We want to see businesses thrive and grow in every borough,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

In the Bronx alone, the City has served over 3,800 businesses through its borough Business Solutions Center. In 2016, mobile business support program Chamber On-the-Go reached the storefronts of an additional 295 Bronx businesses. Since the start of the administration, the number of certified Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs) in the Bronx increased by 27% through supports from the City.  

“From boutiques to bodegas, small businesses are at the heart of the New York City economy,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “By helping these businesses to start, operate and grow, we’re building a vibrant city where economic mobility includes all New Yorkers.”

Small businesses employ more than half of New York City’s private sector workforce, and the Mayor’s plan has achieved the following results:

Reduced Fines While Protecting Consumers
·         Slashed fines by 40%
  • Helped small business owners to avoid more than $6 million in potential fees

Cut Red Tape, Helped Businesses Open Faster
  • Helped restaurants to open 3 months faster through expanded City programs (3 months compared to 6 without City support)
  • Provided 12,000 services to small businesses at innovative multi-agency service center, opened last year
  • Under Mayor de Blasio, nearly 95% of restaurants earned an ‘A’ letter grade as sanitary violations plummeted by more than 40%

Ensuring Access for All Business Owners 
  • Nearly doubled the percentage of the value of City contracts awarded to M/WBEs between fiscal year 2015 and fiscal year 2016, from 8% to 14.3%
  • Served more than 12,000 foreign-born entrepreneurs
  • The WE NYC initiative has helped over 2,000 women start and grow their businesses

Provided Free Legal Services to Protect Small Businesses
  • 500 business owners have received free legal advice since 2015, helping them negotiate more favorable lease terms 

"Thriving communities like the vibrant Arthur Avenue in the Bronx depend on small businesses, which create jobs, serve their neighbors, and are essential to the city's economy," said DCA Commissioner Lorelei Salas. "Thanks to our mayor, we are supporting our city's businesses with the fine reduction reforms that we've implemented, as well more education and language access. This more equitable approach to enforcement has translated into millions going directly back into the pockets of small business owners allowing them to reinvest their hard-earned money.”

"Small business corridors, such as Arthur Avenue, make up the backbone of our city's economy. For too long, small business owners and entrepreneurs have felt besieged by heavy fines and the red tape that comes with opening or expanding their business. Mayor de Blasio's commitment to a more streamlined process will help our small businesses expand and thrive, and I thank his administration and the Department of Small Business Services for developing more user-friendly policies to help our small business community," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.


  In order to better serve his constituents beyond the hours of 9-5, New York City Council Member Andy King and his staff will be hosting “Constituent Services Night” every other week in a different NYCHA housing development in the 12th Council District.

A Constituent Service Night Event will be held Tuesday, May 30, 5:00 -7:00 p.m. at Edenwald Houses at the corner of East 225th Street and Laconia Avenue, opposite C-Town supermarket. Services will include resources and solutions for housing, food stamps, immigration status and basic services. Representatives from Violence Intervention Program, Inc.,  a community based non-profit organization dedicated to the eradication of domestic and intimate partner violence, will be joining the King staff.

There are five NYCHA housing developments in the 12th District. They are Gun Hill Houses, Baychester Houses, Boston Secor, Eastchester Gardens and Edenwald.
NYCHA residents can preschedule an appointment by calling the Office of Council Member Andy King at (718) 684-5509. Ask for Stephannia Cleaton.