Monday, November 4, 2013

ATTENTION: 9-Year-Old Boy Killed In Fort Greene Vehicular Incident

November 2, 2013

Contact: Aja Worthy-Davis (212) 788-7081 

9-Year-Old Boy Killed In Fort Greene Vehicular Incident

(Brooklyn, NY)-- Around 12:45PM on Saturday, November 2, 2013, a man driving a red SUV Ford Expedition west along Fort Greene's DeKalb Avenue, moved to turn left onto Clermont Avenue and collided with another vehicle.

According to reports, the driver of the SUV then lost control of his brakes, mounted the sidewalk, and crashed into a nearby building.

The tragic accident caused pedestrian injuries, and killed a 9-year-old boy. Witnesses state that the 9-year-old boy, his sibling (a 5-year-old boy), their 47-year-old mother, and another 28-year-old woman were among those injured. The 9-year-old boy was pronounced dead at the scene of the incident, while the other victims suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

"My heart goes out to the victims and loved ones affected by the tragic vehicular incident that took place in Fort Greene today," said Council Member Letitia James. "I will be working with the Department of Transportation to review the details of the incident, and specifically determine what measures can be taken to increase driver and pedestrian safety along De Kalb Avenue."


Thursday, October 24, 2013

ATTENTION: The Future of Stop & Frisk Discussion; 11/12; FG

WHEN: Tuesday, November 12, 2013

WHERE: Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church
85 South Oxford Street
(between Lafayette Avenue and Fulton Street)

WHAT: Panel discussion and Q & A regarding the future of Stop & Frisk

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


If you or someone you know took the GED and passed some but not all parts of the test, time is limited. The old scores will expire and testers will have to take a completely different test as of January 2014.

The “Finish Your GED in 2013” campaign can help testers with sections of the tests they didn’t pass. For more info go to or call (718) 557-2525.

CM James Announces 2014 Clinton Hill Slow Zone

OCTOBER 15, 2013

Contact: Aja Worthy-Davis (212) 788-7081

Council Member Letitia James Announces 2014 Clinton Hill Slow Zone
Crown Heights and Prospect Heights To Receive Slow Zones By 2016

(Brooklyn, NY)— On Friday, October 11, 2013, the NYC Department of Transportation’s Neighborhood Slow Zones Initiative announced five new slow zones for the City of New York, including one for Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.

The 2014 slow zones, which lower speed limits from 30 mph to 20 mph where needed (in addition to adding new signage, street markings, and speed bumps to city blocks) will help combat speeding in a Downtown Brooklyn area that is seeing increased commercial and residential development, as well as a sharp increase in bike riding.

Clinton Hill was selected for the program following strong community support. The administration also announced an additional 10 slow zones to be placed throughout the city— including the 35th District neighborhoods of Crown Heights and Prospect Heights, in 2015 and 2016 respectively. For the 2014 slow zone, the area borders Lafayette Avenue to Fulton Street, and Washington Avenue stretching beyond Classon Avenue, extending two blocks into Bedford-Stuyvesant.

“I am pleased to announce the Clinton Hill Slow Zone,” said Council Member Letitia James. “Clinton Hill is beginning to experience record high traffic, on par with its neighbor Fort Greene. With numerous schools and day care centers that span this strip of Clinton Hill and Bedford-Stuyvesant, I hope that these traffic calming measures will create a safer community for all.”


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

ATTENTION: 2nd Fowler Square Redesign Session; 10/19; Fowler Square

FAB Alliance will be hosting the 2nd Public Workshop for the FOWLER SQUARE REDESIGN, the next step in the on-going community input process for the redesign and construction of a permanent plaza at Fulton Street and Lafayette Avenue in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

There will be a presentation of preliminary design plans and opportunities for attendees to provide feedback.

The workshop will be held outdoors at Fowler Square, Saturday, October 19, 2013, 11am-1pm (Presentation by the design team at 12:00 noon).

(Presentation by the design team at 12:00 noon)
WHERE: Fort Greene's Fowler Square

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


SEPTEMBER 27, 2013

Contact: Aja Worthy-Davis (212) 788-7081

Administration Misrepresented Legal Positions; Judge Rules Companies Must Repay Lost Wages

(New York, NY)— Recently, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that New York City’s busing companies will be required to repay school bus drivers and matrons lost wages and benefits following an illegally declared impasse last spring.

Earlier this year, I called on the City Council to launch a full investigation of the administration’s previous negotiations regarding the school bus driver’s strike, following misrepresentations surrounding their legal ability to bargain with Local 1181. Mayor Bloomberg, Department of Education Chancellor Dennis Walcott, and representatives of Corporation Counsel previously presented to the City Council information regarding the solicitation of contracts for school bus transportation services— specifically the decision not to include traditional Employee Protection Provisions (“EPPs”) for school bus drivers, matrons, and mechanics. They claimed that including the EPPs in the solicitation for bids was something “we are not legally permitted to do”, a claim that was false.

As predicted, through the administration’s removal of EPPs, bus drivers lost job security. Bus contractors no longer had an incentive to keep existing bus drivers who were likely to request fair wages and benefits for their labor. The actions of the administration, and their enabling of bus companies, effectively dismantled union power and hurt workers. The wage cuts implemented following the illegal impasse resulted in a 7.5 percent loss for drivers and 3.5 percent for matrons. The companies also reduced overtime, and made major cuts in health insurance contributions.

The NLRB’s ruling found that the employers violated the law by declaring impasse on March 19, 2013, and unlawfully walked away from the bargaining table to impose drastic wage cuts. The ruling comes on the heels of a Federal Court ruling earlier this month which also agreed the companies had improperly issued an impasse, and ordered all wage reductions overturned moving forward.

“The administration failed to act in good faith in these negotiations from the beginning, and it was the workers who were hurt. I hope that as we move forward the bus companies and the City can work together to finalize a fair agreement,” said Council Member Letitia James.



The Basic School Tax Relief (STAR) registration program is administered by the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, and provides homeowners with partial exemptions from school property taxes. If you earn less than $500,000 and own and live in your home, you are probably eligible for the STAR exemption.

New York State legislation requires all homeowners receiving a Basic STAR exemption to register with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance in order to receive the exemption in 2014 and subsequent years. Homeowners may register:

Homeowners receiving Enhanced STAR do not have to register for this program.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

CM James Urges NYS To Reject DOE Request to Waive Minimum Requirements

AUGUST 19, 2013

Contact: Barbara Sherman (212) 788-7081

Council Member Letitia James Urges New York State To Reject DOE Request to Waive Minimum Requirements
Renews Call for DOE to Meet New York State Standards Requiring Librarians In Public Schools

(New York, NY)— In May 2013, following a City Council Committee on Education hearing, Council Member Letitia James called on the New York City Department of Education (DOE) to reach compliance with New York State regarding the number of librarians in public schools. According to data provided by the DOE, there were only 306 librarians employed by the agency citywide at the time. The breakdown included 33 librarians placed in elementary schools, 95 in middle schools, and 178 librarians in public high schools.

Last week, the DOE asked for New York State to grant them a waiver so schools are no longer required to have librarians. Already, more than half of the City’s high schools are in violation of State regulations that requires a specific number of librarians in schools, and the quantity of librarians in our schools have been in a steady decline.

“We cannot lose our school librarians, who are so instrumental to our children’s education and their future success,” said Council Member Letitia James. “College-preparation and career-readiness will be more difficult for students who do not have access to school libraries that teach them invaluable research skills. In light of the DOE’s recent standardized test scores, it would seem the department would work harder to meet this basic standard for student achievement.”

For the Department of Education to be in compliance with State regulations, the DOE would have to hire approximately 280 librarians for placement in middle and high schools at a cost of $24 million. According to the administration’s FY14 Budget, library services for public schools remain flat, while charter school funding will increase by approximately $70 million for the fiscal year.


Monday, August 12, 2013

CM Letitia James: “Today’s ruling reflects the urgency many of us feel about reforming stop and frisk”

AUGUST 12, 2013

Contact: Aja Worthy-Davis (212) 788-7081

Council Member Letitia James: “Today’s ruling reflects the urgency many of us feel about reforming stop and frisk” 
Federal Judge Rules Stop and Frisk Violated Constitutional Rights of Thousands of New Yorkers

(New York, NY)— Today, Manhattan Federal District Court Judge Shira A. Scheindlin ruled in Floyd vs. the City of New York that the New York City Police Department (NYPD) stop-and-frisk policy violated the constitutional rights of tens of thousands of New Yorkers.

In the decision, Judge Scheindlin recognized that police officers have systematically stopped people without any objective reason to suspect them of criminal behavior, and thus violation individual’s Fourth Amendment rights.

In January 2013, Judge Scheindlin ruled that the NYPD’s policy of stopping individuals suspected of trespassing outside private buildings in the Bronx was also unconstitutional. This was a practice common in private residences participating in the Trespass Affidavit Program (TAP). Judge Scheindlin ruled in Ligon vs. the City of New York that reasonable suspicion of trespassing was necessary for such arrests, while acknowledging that the department must determine where to draw the line between justified and unjustified stops. The court ruled that the NYPD must create a formal policy ‘specifying the limited circumstances in which it is legally permissible to stop a person outside a TAP building on a suspicion of trespass’.

Similarly, in today’s ruling, Judge Scheindlin called for a federal monitor to oversee departmental reforms, and stated her intention to assign an independent attorney to monitor the NYPD’s compliance with the Constitution moving forward.

“Today’s ruling reflects the urgency many of us feel about reforming stop and frisk in New York, and preserving the liberties of Black and Latino youth throughout this City,” said Council Member Letitia James. “It is imperative that the administration and the police department move to make transparent the rationale for street stops, as well as define long-used terms such as ‘furtive movements’. I hope that following these federal rulings, the administration moves towards making the necessary changes to facilitate a healthier relationship with minority communities.”