Friday, January 30, 2009

ATTENTION: 2009 Lien Information

A lien sale is when the City sells debt to a private collector (known as a lien holder) who assumes the right to collect the debt, set fees and interest, and even move to foreclosure. The City may do this depending on how much is owed and how old the debt is. In a lien, the lienholder assumes the debt, not property.

The 2009 Lien Exemptions apply to:
-1, 2, and 3-family homes with Senior citizen Homeowner Exemption (SCHE); Disabled Homeowner Exemption (DHE); or Real Property Circuit Breaker Personal Income Tax Credit (Circuit Breaker PIT);
-active duty military personnel may also request an exemption.

-1-family homes;
-2-and-3-family homes with SCHE, DHE, Circuit Breaker PIT.

*There are 24,111 “at-risk” properties in New York City; 10,670 in Brooklyn (highest number in all boroughs).
-20,089 of the total number (46,830) of liens sold in New York City from 1996-2008 were from Brooklyn properties.

*There are approximately 8,771 lien sale eligible accounts in Brooklyn (from a total of 260,503 “active” accounts), or 3.4% of accounts.
-of 8,771 eligible accounts, 7,057 of those accounts are made eligible due to water liens alone.

*DEP has the authority to conduct stand-alone lien sales on delinquent water and sewer accounts.

DEP Payment Incentive Program (PIP3):

*Through April 7, 2009, DEP will offer a Payment Incentive Program to Residential Mixed Use properties and Condos.
-Customers who make payments in full or enter into a payment agreement by that date, will have 100% of their late payment charges removed;
-Customers owing more than $2,500 after these reductions will be able to enter into a payment agreement on this reduced amount;
-Customers who don’t enroll will have to pay the full, original charged on their account. If the lien goes to sale, customers will pay an additional 5% surcharge and 18% per year in interest.

*As of January 2009, there were 4,000 Residential Mixed use and Condo Properties PIP3 eligible accounts with a total delinquency of approximately $85.3Million, including late payment charges;

*The total incentive being offered is nearly $15.4Million, leaving an approximate settlement amount of $70Million.

*For customers having difficulty making payment, DEP has developed a Safety New Referral program.
-Seniors, low-income customers, and those affected by the national mortgage and foreclosure crisis who request assistance via DEP’s call center will be referred to one of these partner agencies, who can enroll customers in programs of: mortgage and foreclosure counseling/legal advice, emergency grants to cover household expenses, assistance with energy costs, and food stamps.

DEP Contacts:
Brooklyn Office-(718) 923-2601

2009 Lien Sale Important Dates:

February 3: 90-Day Mailing & Publishing
March 3: 60-Day Mailing
April 1: 30-Day Mailing
April 22: 10-Day Publication
May 1: Last Day To Pay
May 4: 2009 Lien Sale

*There is a 2009 Lien Sale Outreach Session in Brooklyn on April 2, 2009 at the-
Brooklyn Finance Business Center
210 Joralemon Street, 1st Floor*

How to pay your water bill:
Send check or money order with account number to—
NYC Water Board
P.O. Box 410
Church Street Station
New York, NY 10008-0410

Bring check to Brooklyn office at—
250 Livingston Street
8th floor, btwn Hoyt and Bond Streets
(alt. entrance at Schermehorn Street)


PAY over the TELEPHONE at (866) 622-8292 (must have DEP account number, bank number, and checking account routing number available)

*Those needing further information on the 2009 lien sale, or any of the programs mentioned are encouraged to visit, or call—

Finance Tax Lien Ombudsperson
(212) 504-4039

Senior Citizen’s Tax Lien Ombudsperson
(212) 504-4037

DEP Ombuds Unit and Dispute Resolution
(718) 595-6628

Customer Relations Helpline
(212) 504-4080

Business & Community Outreach
(212) 232-1776

Crown Height Revitalization Movement: Bedford Armory Coalition

The Crown Heights Revitalization Movement (CHARM) has been keeping Council Member James and Team Tish updated on the progress to halt the Department of Homeless Service's plan to move the Men's Manhattan Intake Center from Manhattan to the Bedford/Atlantic Armory Shelter.

CHARM asserts:

· DHS commissioner Robert Hess stated at a recent City Council hearing that the Department intends to start-up the intake center at Bed/Atlantic in the spring*

· The plan is to have 230 beds in that shelter. 200 for intake and assessment, and 30 beds for a detox unit.*

· It is likely the Peter Young shelter will become a 28-day drug rehab facility.*

Council Member James feels strongly that it is the responsibility of government to care for those in our society that are less fortunate, however she joins CHARM in their concern that the Crown Heights community, and the borough of Brooklyn, hold an unfair share of that responsibility. Multiple homeless advocates, community board 8, and other elected officials have asserted that this move will be detrimental to the Crown Heights community and its ability to serve the homeless population.

Council Member James has held numerous press conferences and other events to raise awareness of this matter, and to inform the administration of the concerns throughout the community. She continues to work with advocacy agencies such as CHARM on this issue. Currently, anyone interested in working with CHARM in regards to this issue should email to join the mailing list.

*Please note that these are not finalized plans.

UPDATE: Increased posting on Job Market

Here at Team Tish, we're making a conscious effort to post more often about job opportunities, specifically in the 35th District. We are well-aware of the job market, and we want to post as many employment opportunities as we become aware of. This may mean a decrease on City Hall-related posts, but please be aware that we will try to keep up relevant posting concerning Council Member James' activities within the New York City Council, as well as community events and opportunites.


Job Opportunity- HIV/AIDS Counseling and Testing Specialist Vacancy

HIV/AIDS Counseling and Testing Specialist

Vacancy Posting: JAN. 16, 2009

Background: Amethyst Women's Project seeks a dynamic, dedicated HIV/AIDS Counseling and Testing Specialist.

Amethyst Women Project is a fast-growing nonprofit organization founded in 1999 to serve low-income women and their children in Brooklyn's Coney Island community, with programs addressing HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, domestic violence and various related social, medical and legal issues. Education, HIV prevention, counseling, testing and referrals services are provided to women at high risk, including sex workers, women out of prison, and homeless women. Amethyst currently has a staff of five and is funded by government, foundation and corporate grants, as well as individual supporters and volunteers. They seek an HIV/AIDS Counseling and Testing Specialist to work on-site and in the field conducting HIV testing, counseling and referral services.

To apply, please send cover letter & resume to:, or direct mail to: Amethyst Women Project 1907 Mermaid Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11224.

Job Opportunity- Air Traffic Controller

If you have or know kids between the ages of 18-31 with a high school diploma, the Federal Aviation Association (FAA) is taking applications for air traffic controller school. The FAA is offering salaries as high as (or over) $100,000 with benefits in about 3 years! You need only a high school diploma to apply and credit is given for college on the exam.

Anyone interested should go to for details and to fill out the online application immediately- please be aware that it may take them months to call.

This is an ongoing opportunity, so if you are not sure whether you're interested at this time, check the FAA website at a later time.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

ATTENTION: Love Your (NYC) Block Contest, Applications due 2/15

Trees-- New York Citizen Pruners

Love Your (NYC) Block Contest, Applications due February 15

Mayor Bloomberg and Citizens Committee for New York City invite your volunteer-led neighborhood group to apply for a $1,000 cash award to transform the public spaces on your block. Twelve groups from across the five boroughs will be selected as finalists, and each will receive a $1,000 grant to beautify their block. The group that demonstrates the most impressive transformation will win an additional $3,000 to be used toward future block improvements. The groups will be supported by services from multiple City agencies, including the Mayor’s Office and the Community Affairs Unit; and the departments of Transportation, Sanitation, and Parks. For more information, visit or contact Saleen Shah at 212.989.0909 or

From King to Obama: The Significance of the 2008 Presidential Election

The Significance of the 2008 Presidential Election & Where do We Go from Here?

A Community Forum & Panel Discussion featuring:

NORMAN SEABROOK - PRESIDENT, Correction Officers Benevolent Association

BERTHA LEWIS - Co-CHAIR, New York State Working Families Party & CEO/CHIEF ORGANIZER, ACORN National

ERROL LOUIS - COLUMNIST, NY Daily News & HOST of the Morning Show WWRL Radio, 1600 AM

FAYE MOORE - PRESIDENT, Social Service Employees Union

DC 37 Local 371

DATE: WEDNESDAY, January 28, 2009
TIME: 6 pm
LOCATION: Teen Challenge Center
444 Clinton Avenue (btwn. Greene & Gates Aves.)
Brooklyn, N.Y.


The 57th Assembly District Democratic Organization

The Working Families Party North Brooklyn/Crown Heights Club

(347)298.7018 /

Olanike Alabi, District Leader – 57th Assembly District

(718)398.0750 /

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Legacy of The Underground Railroad


A Black History Celebration

The Long Road To Freedom Runs Through Brooklyn The Legacy of “The Underground Railroad”

DATE: Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Brooklyn Supreme Court
320 Jay Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
2nd Fl. Central Jury Room

For More Information Call: 718-250-4850
Free Event To All; Light Refreshments

The Fortune Society- Manager of Institutional Giving

The Fortune Society is a non-profit organization whose mission is twofold: to educate the public about criminal justice issues and to help those involved in the criminal justice system to break the cycle of crime and incarceration.

Position: Manager, Institutional Giving

Job Description: The Manager, Institutional Giving will be responsible for the day-to-day oversight of the government grant application process and is primarily responsible for the following-

* Day-to-day managing of the government application process internally amongst development, finance, research and program staff;

* Researching government funding opportunities;

* Writing and preparing government grant proposals;

* Supervising the work of other staff and outside consultants in writing government grant proposals;

* Working with other staff and outside consultants in securing government appropriations; and

* Writing and preparing of fundraising materials for government officials, including concept papers, information packets, brochures, etc.

* Developing and implementing agency's yearly fundraising goals and plan of action, in conjunction with the board, development team and upper management teams;

* Researching appropriations prospects and strategizing the agency's approach to government officials;

* Attending and participating in meetings and case conferences within and outside the agency;

* Engaging in his/her own ongoing professional development; and

* Participating in other development-related activities, when
needed and appropriate.


* Excellent Internet research skills

* Excellent writing skills

* Advanced degree (MPA, MBA or JD) preferred, but not required if candidate has 2-4 years of grant writing experience

* Commitment to the mission of the agency, helping those involved in the criminal justice system to break the cycle of crime and incarceration.


**All resumes must be submitted along with a cover letter specifying the position for which you are applying, in addition to salary requirement to No calls or faxes please.

**Formerly-incarcerated individuals and ex-substance abusers, who have successfully made the transition from confinement into a stable, productive lifestyle in the community, including sustained employment since release, are eligible to apply.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Job Opportunity- Production Assistant Training Program

Brooklyn Workforce Innovations (BWI), a nonprofit organization, along with The New York City Mayor's office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting is now accepting applications for the thirteenth cycle of The "Made in NY" Production Assistant Training Program. This FREE skills training and job placement program aims to promote diversity in NYC's production industry and create new career opportunities for young adults who are unemployed or low-income. For more information about this free program visit our website

Application Deadline for February's Training Cycle: Tuesday, January 27th @ 1pm SHARP.

LAST OPEN HOUSE FOR NEW APPLICANTS: Tuesday, January 27th at 1PM Sharp

Please arrive 10-15 minutes early. Doors Close at 1PM

(Open to all those who qualify: NO APPT. NEEDED)
621 DEGRAW STREET, BROOKLYN, NY (Directions and more info below)

*In order to be considered for February's training cycle interested individuals must attend the January 27th Open House.*

Friday, January 23, 2009

Public Safety Alert- Show your Strength and Attend Emergency Press Conference at 3PM, 1/23, Fort Greene

Public Safety Alert - Show your Strength and Attend Emergency Press Conference at 3PM, Today


Council Member Letitia James; State Senator Velmanette Montgomery; Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries; the Fort Greene/Clinton Hill Public Safety Task Force; and concerned residents will gather on the corner of St. Felix Street and Fulton Street for an emergency press conference on Friday, Jan. 23rd, at 3 pm, to discuss this incident and the need for practicing self-protection.

This unfortunate criminal attack happened on Thursday during the early morning hours. Elected officials and residents are using the incident as an opportunity to call for more police presence in the community. Also, it is an occasion for everyone to remember to increase their awareness when walking alone, and specifically for women to remember safety tips, and practice awareness and self-defense tactics at all times.

WHO: Elected Officials, Public Safety Task Force Members, and Residents

WHAT: Press Conference to Address Criminal Attacks, as well as Self-Protection and Safety Tips

WHEN: January 23rd at 3:00 pm

WHERE: Corner of St. Felix and Fulton Streets in Fort Greene, Brooklyn

Contact: Amyre Loomis and/or Alfred Chiodo at (718) 260-9191

Be and Act Aware, Take Charge, Get Help -

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Economic Stimulus Package and Fair Housing

Fair Housing advocacy is an issue of utmost importance to Council Member James. We, along with the nation, eagerly await the changes the Obama administration will bring to the United States. It is imperative that during this shift, we take a hard look at the issues that affect Brooklynites and other New Yorkers. Both Governor Paterson and Mayor Bloomberg stressed the importance of fiscal responsibility during this current economic state, and put forth budget proposals to strengthen the economy of New York.

While our focus is often on the City of New York, we think that it is equally important for New York residents to appeal to federal elected officials to represent their position on important issues. For those who share an interest in fair housing, please be aware that U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer chairs the Senate Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development within the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

Senator Schumer should know that affordable and fair housing development is important in New York City, and should be a primary component of the Obama administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (also know as the Economic Stimulus Package of 2009).

The Supportive Housing Network of New York cites the following needs:

Adequate capital for affordable housing development by funding the National Housing Trust Fund and other sources at $10 billion—

· 200,000 Section 8 Vouchers to ensure that tenants of all incomes are housed.
· $2 billion in Emergency Shelter Grants to prevent homelessness and rapidly re-house people when they become homeless.
· Quick fixes to increase investment in the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program. Include provisions to address the steep drop-off of investment in Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits, the primary funding source for affordable and supportive housing. Without immediate fixes to this successful program, investment in affordable housing development will lag, even with new funding.

If this issue is important to you, please contact Senator Schumer to help ensure that fair and affordable housing opportunities are included in the stimulus package.

Please see Senator Schumer’s contact information here:

The Supportive Housing Network of New York may be found here:

A Historic Time

We hope that you watched President Obama’s inauguration on TV, or attended a viewing event, if you were not able to head down to D.C. This election marks a historic moment in American history, and we feel incredibly lucky to be working in politics now.

You are invited to share your views on the ‘changes’ proposed by the Obama administration.

Please click the picture below for further information.

Location: Our Lady of Victory
MacDonough Street and Throop Avenue

Date: January 24, 2009

Time: 6PM- 10PM

Friday, January 16, 2009

Inaugural Parties in the 35th District

For those of you who won't be able to make it to Washington, D.C. for President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration, feel free to participate in any of the following activities on inauguration day!

"The Hideout" Cocktail Lounge
The weekend kicks off Jan.16th through the 20th, with a 10% discount on all drinks from 7pm-9pm, Friday and Saturday; and from 7pm-closing on Sunday; The Hideout will open on Tuesday morning at 9am, to view the inauguration ceremony on a flat plasma screen, while serving coffee, tea, muffins, sandwiches, all complimentary.

266 Adelphi Street
Brooklyn, NY 11205
(718) 855-3010

Free Screenings of the 2009 Presidential Inauguration

Emmanuel Baptist Church
279 Lafayette Avenue
Brooklyn, N.Y.

You may call (718) 622-1107 for further information.

Grace Agard Harewood Center (Fort Greene Senior Citizens Center)
966 Fulton St. (b/w Grand Ave. & St. James Pl.)
Brooklyn, N.Y.


Lunch will be served at 12:30pm.
Donation: $3.00

The Center may be reached at (718) 638-6910.

Fort Greene Senior Center
196 Albany Ave
Brooklyn, NY
(at the corner of Prospect Place)

Inaugural breakfast from 9:30AM-11AM. The inauguration ceremonies will be broadcast live on a big-screen television. At 1PM, lunch will be served. The event is open to adults 60 and older.

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
515 Malcolm X Blvd
N.Y., N.Y. 10037


Please call (212) 491-2200 for further information.

Two Steps Down Restaurant
240 Dekalb Ave.
Brooklyn, N.Y.


Free Admission. Please call (718) 399-2020 for further information.

Hope City Empowerment Center
650-656 Washington Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11238
(between Bergen & Dean Streets)

TIME: 8:30AM-10:30AM

Breakfast served. Please call (718) 857-5698 for further information.

The following information is from The Daily News (the article may be found here:

1/16- Jazz 966 hosts a Pre-Inauguration Ball, featuring the Tulani Kinard Sextet. Patrons are urged to wear of display Obama paraphernalia. Doors open at 7 p.m. Shows are at 8 p.m. and 1 a.m. Donation: $15. Dinner, snacks and nonalcoholic beverages will be available (BYOB permitted). 966 Fulton St. between St. James Place and Grand Ave.

1/18- Rock the Vote, Kevin Powell, the Fort Greene Association present "Dr. King, Hip Hop and Barack Obama" at the Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts at Long Island University on Flatbush Ave., across from Junior's Restaurant. Doors open at 3p.m. Seating is on a first-come basis. Also on Sunday at the Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Pkwy., WNYC Radio will present "A Journey of Hope: From Protest to Presidency, an Afternoon of Conversation, Celebration, Music and Poetry," hosted by Brian Lehrer. The RSVP list for this event, from 3 to 5 p.m., is full, but there will be a standby line at 2:30 p.m.

1/20/09 The Brooklyn Academy of Music, 430 Lafayette, Ave., will broadcast the inauguration ceremonies, including the parade after the swearing-in of President-elect Obama, in its Rose Cinemas. The event is free and open to the public, with tickets available beginning at 11 a.m.

Medgar Evers College will broadcast the inauguration in Founders Auditorium, 1650 Bedford Ave., Crown Heights. Doors will open at 10 a.m.

The Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry will hold a screening of the swearing-in ceremony at the Flatbush Caton Market on Flatbush Ave., between Lenox Road and Caton Ave.

1/20/09 NIGHT PARTIES Peaches Restaurant, 393 Lewis Ave., Bedford-Stuyvesant will host a four-course dinner. Cocktail hour starts at 5 p.m.; dinner at 7 p.m.

From 7 to 11 p.m., a Brooklyn Inaugural Ball benefitting Public School 261 will take place at the Bell House, 149 7th St., between Second and Third Aves. The evening will include food, wine, music and dancing. For ticket information, go to and search under Brooklyn Inaugural Ball.

The City Council Inauguration Day Viewing has reached capacity, but other viewing information may be seen on the front page of the City Council website here:

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Council Member Letitia James Extends Congratulations to BK State Elected Officials On New Chair Appointments- Sens. Montgomery, Adams.

(Brooklyn, NY) – “First, I want to congratulate Senator Malcolm A. Smith (D-Queens), who secured a Democratic Majority for the first time in 43 years, and will serve as the Senate’s Majority Leader. When the control of leadership was turned over to New York’s 32-member Senate Democratic Conference during the official start of the 2009 Legislative Session, I was pleased that six of my Brooklyn colleagues accepted assignments as newly appointed Chairpersons of Senate Committees.

Senator Velmanette Montgomery was appointed Chair of Children and Families; Senator Eric Adams received the appointment as Chair of Homeland Security and Military Affairs; Senator John Sampson was appointed Chair of Judiciary; Senator Kevin Parker accepted his appointment as Chair of Energy and Telecommunications; Senator Martin Malave Dilan was appointed Chair of Transportation, and Senator Daniel Squadron will Chair the Committee on Cities.

I would like to commend and congratulate each of my colleagues in government for their well-deserved appointments. I am certain that my mentor, Senator Montgomery will make excellent decisions as Committee Chair (based on her vast experience), particularly when overseeing legislative issues and policy decisions regarding New York families. She will carry on her critical work in assisting families, teenagers and children with achieving goals, and realizing better futures for themselves.

Senator Adams will continue to lend his high level of expertise, stemming from more than 20 years of experience in law enforcement, to his appointment as Chair. Senator Sampson brings his extensive legal experience and an unyielding commitment to community to his Chair position. Senator Parker offers a broad legislative and leadership background in public service to his position as Chair. Senator Dilan’s 10 year tenure as City Council Member allows him to provide superb oversight to his Committee Chair assignment. Lastly, Senator Squadron’s work as top aid for U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer influenced his progressive vision for improving the quality of life across the state, and will be an asset to his appointment as Chair.

I am honored to continue working diligently with all state elected officials in downtown and central Brooklyn, specifically with the aforementioned Senators in order to serve the constituents of New York, and provide a strong voice for all.”

Contact: Amyre Loomis at (718) 260-9191


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Statement from CMs Bill de Blasio and Letitia James Regarding Decision on Term Limits Case


January 13, 2009

Statement from Council Members Bill de Blasio and Letitia James Regarding Today’s Decision in the Term Limits Case

City Hall - Today, Council Member Bill de Blasio and Council Member Letitia James released the following statements regarding Judge Charles P. Sifton's decision to deny the plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment.

Council Member de Blasio said: “This is a sad day for democracy in New York City, but this fight is not over because the voters have still not been heard; we must and will defend democracy. I would like to thank the large and diverse coalition of plaintiffs who joined me in standing up for New Yorkers, as well as co-counsel who ably argued this case. The action taken by the Mayor and the City Council to extend their own term limits via legislation was wrong, and the voters deserve their say on this matter. We are reviewing the court's decision and will make a determination regarding our next steps in the very near future. We never expected that the first judge to hear this issue would be the last.”

Council Member James said: “This is not the end, but the beginning of a campaign to realize term limits at the ballot box in November. We stand firmly in our belief that the voters should decide the question of term limits, as they have twice expressed their opinion on this issue. As elected officials charged with representing the voters of New York City, we will not let the public be cut out of this process - we will review our legal options and come to a decision shortly. No one is above the law, even billionaires; democracy should not be tailored to meet the needs of any one individual.”

A diverse coalition of local elected officials, candidates, good-government groups, and voters filed the lawsuit in November to challenge the term limits extension that was passed by the City Council and signed into law by Mayor Bloomberg this fall. The plaintiffs were seeking to invalidate the law, and further seeking the court's declaration that a fundamental change in the City's term-limits law, such as the extension enacted by the Council and the Mayor, requires a public referendum.

Contact: Gwen Rocco - (212) 788-6969 / (410) 440-5808, and Amyre Loomis - (718) 260-9191 / (646) 201-8183


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Will the Economy Overshadow the Environment?

Will green jobs really change the way we operate? Will the climate crisis be overshadowed by the economic crisis? Where does the new administration stand on issues of the environment anyway?

Join the Center for the Urban Environment at their monthly "Third Thursday" forum to discuss post-election strategies and campaigns around environmental issues. Listen in as experts dissect the recent election’s impact on national, state and local environmental politics—including the role NYC's local communities will play in ushering in a new clean energy economy by holding our newly elected officials to their campaign promises and demanding real solutions to the climate crisis now.

Come to CUE's Third Thursday to network, learn more, and take action.

Josh Nachowitz, NYS Policy Director for the New York League of Conservation Voters
Rob Crauderueff, Policy Director for Sustainable South Bronx

Thursday January 15, 2009
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
168 7 Street, Brooklyn
$10 Suggested Donation
Light Refreshments

Limited Seating. RSVP to
Rebeccah Welch at by Wed January 14th

Society for Clinton Hill: General Meeting

The Society for Clinton Hill has an upcoming General Meeting that will be of particular interest to individuals that want to learn more about the Fulton Street BID (that was recently signed into law). Those who attend will be able to receive information on street, construction, retail vacancies, marketing activities, etc.

There will also be representatives from the New York City Tax Commission to discuss tax increases throughout the City of New York.

When: Thursday, January 15, 2009; 7PM-9PM

Where: Saint Joseph's College, Saint Angela Hall
267 Waverly Avenue (btwn DeKalb/Willoughby)

Please see the Society of Clinton Hill's website here:

City Planning News: Rezoning

The Fort Greene and Clinton Hill section of our Council District was re-zoned in July of 2007. Now, that effort is being extended to the rest of our Council District. The Department of City Planning (DCP) has a well-defined procedure for re-zoning called the Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP); you can learn more here:

A down-zoning effort is in the early stages in Community Board 8, and we hope to initiate a similar process soon in Community Board 9. In both cases, we will be working with the local Community Board and seeking volunteers to help with the process. Keep checking here for upcoming meeting information concerning re-zoing.

News from the Department of Transportation: Eastern Parkway

In February, the NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) will present to Community Board 8 the final design for the reconstruction of Eastern Parkway from Washington Avenue to Grand Army Plaza. This project will involve the complete rebuilding of all sewer, water, and utility lines, as well as the rebuilding of the roadway and sidewalks, including the median; construction is planned to begin in the Spring of 2010.

District 35 Landmarking Update

On October 28, 2008, the Landmark Preservation Commission (LPC) held the first Public Hearing on the proposed Prospect Heights Historic District, the first step in the designation process. This proposal, involving 15 blocks and over 500 buildings, will serve to protect the character of this neighborhood. It is hoped that designation will be completed within the year.

Other neighborhoods in our district that are also working towards landmark protection include: Crown Heights North (part two is in the works); Wallabout, north of Myrtle Avenue (which is being considered by the LPC); and Crow Hill, between Franklin and Bedford north of Eastern Parkway (in the very early stages of gaining community support).

We are working to seek landmark protection for the Sisters of Mercy Convent, located at Willoughby and Classon Avenues. This 146-year-old complex has become a burden to maintain, and there are plans to re-locate the nuns and sell the property. Many would like to see the buildings saved and Council Member James has asked the LPC to consider landmark designation. Stay in touch for more information on this issue.

The Fort Greene/ Clinton Hill Community Supported Agriculture Group, Tillies Coffee, 1/13, 8PM

Tonight at 8PM at Tillies (248 DeKalb Avenue), there will be a meeting of community members who would like to form a New Fort Greene/Clinton Hill CSA for the 2009 growing season. They are meeting to discuss the development of a CSA and will pass that info on to
FYI: a CSA is a Community Supported Agriculture group which is a group of people who get together and purchase their share of vegetables in advance from a farmer before the growing season begins. The farmer will deliver the food weekly to a pickup location (like a farmers market), and members will come to that location and pick up their share. CSA shares are always cheaper than buying retail because you cut out the middle man and often reduce the travel time and distance from the farm to the table. The share usually costs about $10-$20 per week from May/June to November. Almost always the veggies (which are organic and sometimes heirloom) cost less in the CSA than non-organic GMO varieties do at the local supermarket. CSAs are usually vegetable based but can also include fruit, eggs, dairy, meet, flowers, grains etc.

The Clinton Hill/Fort Greene neighborhood has 2 CSAs already (Clinton Hill CSA; Fort Greene CSA), but there are hundreds on their waiting lists. There are CSAs in almost every surrounding neighborhood, and they sell out/fill up quickly (DUMBO, Bed-stuy, williamsburg/Greenpoint, East Williamsburg, Brooklyn Heights, Bushwick, Caroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Pospect Heights, Park Slope, Prospect/Lefferts Garden, Red Hook etc). There is still a large demand for CSAs, and due to the nature of these arrangements, it's easier to form a new one than grow the existing ones. There are several local farmers who would like to do a CSA, but the farmers currently serving the CSAs in the area cannot fill all the orders that that are wanted and needed within the community.

There will be more meetings to come but this is the meeting where you get to voice your opinion on what the CSA goals and major principles will be.

Monday, January 12, 2009

ATTENTION: Nuts and Bolts

Just a quick update on our slightly-edited layout. We've heard your comments, and added the labels gadget to the side of the page, for easier access for readers; as well as a Newsreel for quick access to mass media.

We've also added a poll, which we hope you will vote on. If there's significant feedback, we'll add more polls in the future regarding local and national politics.

Thanks so much for reading (and giving valuable feedback),

Legal Aid Society in NYC- Brooklyn Office for the Aging

The Legal Aid Society in New York City is the largest and oldest provider of legal services to low-income individuals in the United States. The Legal Aid Society's Brooklyn Office for the Aging provides services to vulnerable seniors in areas such as:

Health Care
Government Benefits
Disability Benefits
Family Law

The office is available for advice and individual appointments by telephone only. Please call (718) 645-3111. For those seeking such services, it may also be helpful to reach out directly to the New York City Department for the Aging. See here:

ATTENTION: Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy 2009 Movies With A View Short Films

Fort Greene artists,

For those not aware, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy website can to accessed at The Conservancy works towards the goal of bringing a park to the Brooklyn waterfront.

The Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy is now soliciting submissions of short films for the 2009 Movies With A View outdoor movie series. Now in its 10th year, Movies With A View is one of New York City's premiere film series and runs for 8 Thursdays in July and August.

To be considered, short films should run no longer than 10 minutes and be suitable for a wide audience of 2,000-3,000. Unfortunately, we cannot accept films with subtitles. Preference is given to local filmmakers and those that involve Brooklyn in some way.

Final selections will be made in April 2008. Deadline to submit is March 1, 2009.

Please send a DVD screening copy of your short film to:

MWAV Film Committee
Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy
334 Furman Street
Brooklyn NY 11201

Include your name, address, e-mail, phone number and length of film on your entry. DVDs will not be returned unless a postage-paid envelope is included with your submission.

Short films will be screened and selected by a Volunteer Film Committee.

TeamTish encourages Brooklyn filmmakers and other artists to seek out local opportunities to showcase their work for their community, and wish all applicants good luck.

Blogs We Love: The Red Room (The New York City Council Blog)

We just wanted to make you aware of the City Council's New Blog "The Red Room." The blog is accessible on the City Council's website here, and can be accessed directly at the link here:

The blog is pretty new, but we encourage you to check it often for audio and video of Stated agendas and other influential City Council voting sessions, as well as reports from press conferences, special events, and Council initiatives.

For those readers who have been eager to see the City Council move in a more electronic information-accessible direction, we very much thank you for your input, and we hope to continue to provide district and City Council information and events for residents and media alike.



Obama-inspired special menus, drinks, discounts and other offers.
Friday, January 16-Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Brooklyn, NY-January 8, 2009 Twenty-eight restaurants, cafes, boutiques and retail stores of the Dekalb Avenue Merchants' Association in Fort Greene, (a Brooklyn neighborhood long known for its multi-cultural diversity) invite you to "Celebrate the Inauguration on Dekalb" and continue the electrifying celebration that began in the streets on election night and continues right through Inauguration Weekend, Friday, January 16-Tuesday, January 20, 2009.

Participating Dekalb Avenue businesses will be offering discounts, coupons, reduced-price prix-fixe menus, drink specials, vouchers for discounts on return visits or 2-for-1 specials all weekend long. Plus on the day of the Inauguration, locations with big screen TVs will be opening early to broadcast the ceremony and will have live music, DJs and even more specials throughout the day.

The list of participating merchants and their offers include... 20% discounts to celebrate the 20th of January, 2009... 44% discounts to celebrate the Inauguration of our 44th President... special menu creations reflecting President-elect Obama's multi-cultural background... plus coupons, vouchers and other special offers.

ALSO: "Obama" posters created by students at Dekalb Avenue's Ronald Edmonds Learning Center, Middle School 113, will be exhibited in windows up and down Dekalb during the celebration weekend. Come see the work of these young artists who have been so profoundly inspired. Plus students from the school's Academy of Performing Arts Choir and Band will be performing at select locations on Inauguration Day.

This event re-launches the Dekalb Avenue Merchants' Association (DAMA). The Association covers Dekalb Avenue from Washington Avenue to Ashland Place, plus businesses on intersecting side streets. The association is about businesses working together on issues of mutual interest, connecting with the community and promoting this vibrant strip in the heart of one of Brooklyn's great neighborhoods.


Friday, January 16-Tuesday, January 20, 2009 (unless otherwise noted below)

* -->Indicates locations also showing the live broadcast of the Inauguration of the 44th President of the United States of America on Tuesday, January 20, 2009.

(243 Dekalb @ Vanderbilt / 718-622-5300)
Special Menu Item: Tacos Al Pastor with a shot of tequila and blood orange juice, $12.00.

(241 Dekalb @ Vanderbilt / 718-638-2537)
10% off all baseball caps and other gear (Sat and Tues only)

(239 Dekalb @ Vanderbilt / 718-857-7272)
25% off grooming Fri-Mon. 44% off grooming on Inauguration Day.

(233 Dekalb @ Vanderbilt / 917-704-9237)
10% discount on all Salons Enhancement Services offered (Fri and Sat). Monday: Beauty in the Body Belly Dancing, 6:30pm-9:00pm (participation a must). Inauguration Day: 20% off Haircuts, Regularly $40. Appointments recommended (selected stylist only). Call 917-704-9237 for information.

(229 Dekalb @ Clermont / 718-222-1510)
Inaugural Luau - January 20, 2009
$20.09 Suckling Pig Dinner: Suckling Pig, Sweet Potato Mash, Grilled Pineapple,
Coconut Banana Cream Pie. $5 Mai Tai's all weekend.

(225 Dekalb @ Clermont / 718-643-3269)
10% off in-stock items. Free T-Shirts to first purchasing customers, Fri-Mon (while supplies last). Inauguration Day: 20% discounts.

(221 Dekalb @ Clermont / 718-855-5577)
10% off all non-sale items

(219 Dekalb @ Adelphi / 718-852-7273)
Lunch: $15 Prix-fixe menu with Free Mimosa or Bloody Mary - 11am to 5:30pm. Dinner: Prix-fixe 3-courses $20.09. On Inauguration evening: $5 Special B'amatini

(211 Dekalb @ Adelphi / 718-852-6250)
Prix-fixe for Peace: 3-courses prix fix menu Monday to Friday from 11-5:30 pm - $20.09 plus a very special cocktail menu consisting of: Rotten Republicans, Dirty Democrats and Yes-we-can-ohitos... all at $5 each

(266 Adelphi @ Dekalb / 718-855-3010)
10% off all drinks 7pm-9pm on Friday/Saturday, 7pm til closing Sunday. Closed on Monday. On Inauguration Day: 10am-4pm, complimentary coffee, tea, juices, and sandwiches. 10% off all drinks 7pm til closing.

(207 Dekalb @ Adelphi / 718-858-0058)
Special $4 Hawaiian and Indonesian appetizer menu.
Free glass of sake w/entrees.

(195 Dekalb @ Carlton Avenue / 718-855-9190)
Free Obama Mama Cocktails, Bloody Mary or Mimosa with lunch or dinner. Inauguration Day: Open at 11am, live music and drink and lunch specials.

(264 Carlton @ Dekalb / 718-624-4075)
20% discount on all items

(187 Dekalb @ Carlton / 718-596-7643)
20% off Champagne, to celebrate the 20th.

(185 Dekalb @ Carlton / 718-237-0797)
Free cup of "Brownstone Beans" coffee with the purchase of a homemade muffin.

* -->Indicates locations also showing the live broadcast of the Inauguration of the 44th President of the United States of America on Tuesday, January 20, 2009.

(248 Dekalb @ Vanderbilt / 718-783-6140)
15% discount on everything.

(246 Dekalb @ Vanderbilt / 718-789-2778)
Diners receive a voucher for 30% of their check total to use on next visit.

(242 Dekalb @ Vanderbilt / 718-783-8519)
$4 Pints of Stella (20% off) Sat-Tues

(240 Dekalb @ Vanderbilt / 718-399-2020)
2 for 1 drinks (Fri-Mon, excluding private party times). Inauguration evening: music, dancing and light buffet for customers, free.

(226 Dekalb @ Clermont / 718-852-9800)
Complimentary Loomi citrus drink (Sat-Tues)

(224 Dekalb @ Clermont / 718-260-9520)
20% off

(271 Adelphi @ Dekalb / 718-643-4352)
$10 coupon for your next visit. $5 drink specials. Inauguration day: complimentary hors dourves, DJ.

(184 Dekalb @ Carlton / 718-858-3712)
Breakfast: 44% off small coffee/tea with a koblihy pastry. Lunch: Brooklyn Omelet for only $5 (reg. 7.50) plus free soda or bottled water.

(180 Dekalb @ Carlton / 718-852-2556)
Free 10 oz. latte or cappuccino coupon when you spend $10 (good for next visit)

(166 Dekalb @ Cumberland / 718-858-2700)
$11 pre-fixe brunch special (Sat-Tues). Wine, sake and beer specials at dinner and free drink coupon for next visit.

(114 Dekalb @ St. Felix / 718-855-5870)
Purchase one custom-made hat at regular price, get 2nd hat at 44% off.

(112 Dekalb @ St. Felix / 718-855-6222)
Free bottle of wine for tables of 3-4 people. Free glass of wine or beer for each person at tables of 1-2 people.

(110 Dekalb @ St. Felix / 718-625-1248)
2 for 1 "Black & White" Cookies. 2 for 1 "Obama Latte" (Chocolate & Vanilla)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Universal Pre-K (for 4-year-olds) Slots Are Still Available!

Parents should contact individual programs to confirm seat availability and to register but the following tools noted below are available to help families find UPK programs with available seats:

Families can call 311 and ask for a UPK program in their neighborhood.

Call a toll free number (888) 469-5999 and speak with a parent counselor; NYCMap lets families search for UPK programs with available seats close to their home, work or school. Families can log on to, click on the “Universal Pre-K” hand icon, click on “locate a program,” and enter an address, and
The DOE Web site has a directory of programs with available seats at (

To assist with your outreach, a flyer has been created for your use. The flyers are available in English, Spanish and Chinese. To help target areas with the most vacancies, attached are updated maps of vacant slots by zip codes.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Tech Assistance Clinic: Partnerships Btwn Philanthropies and Communities, 2/5, 8:30AM-12Noon

We wanted to make you aware of an upcoming Brooklyn 'Meet The Grantmakers' Symposium hosted by the Neighborhood Technical Assistance Clinic with the purpose of strengthening partnerships between communities and philanthropies. It will take place on February 5, 2009, from 8:30AM-12Noon at the Concord Baptist Church of Christ at 833 Marcy Avenue.

See below:

"Doing Business With New York State"

Hosted By: Rev. Dr. Gary Simpson, Pastor, in collaboration with Marty Markowitz, Brooklyn Borough President

Invited Guest: Kate Sullivan, Co-Anchor of "CBS 2 News This Morning"

Invited Panelists: Brooklyn Arts Council, Con Edison, Emmanuael Baptist Church, JP Morgan Chase*, MACY'S*, NYS Crime Victims Board*, NYS Council on the Arts, NYS Office of Children and Family Services*, The Christ Fund, United Way of New York City, Viola Bernard Foundation
* confirmed

Presentation of the 7th Annual Community Capacity Building Awards

DATE: Thursday, February 5, 2009

TIME: 8:30 a.m. – 12 Noon


PLACE: Concord Baptist Church of Christ, 833 Marcy Avenue (Corner of Madison Avenue), Brooklyn, NY

Link and reservation info here:

Governor Paterson's State of the State Speech

On January 7, 2009, Governor David Paterson delivered his State of the State to prominent lawmakers in the New York State Assembly Chamber. The focus of the Governor's speech was the economy and healthcare/public health.

Council Member James, along with most of her colleagues in the New York City Council, attended the first Stated Council Meeting in the City Hall Council Chambers during the speech; but later applauded the leadership put forth by Governor Paterson.

You can view and hear the Governor's speech at the following links:

ATTENTION: Alternate Side Parking Rules Suspension- 2009

A quick update on the NYC Alternate Side Parking Rules Suspension Calendar for 2009.

The calendar can be found at the bottom of this page. The City provides quick access at the Citizen Service Center also known as "311"; please call this number if you have any questions about the NYC Parking Rules (or any non-emergency governmental services). You may also subscribe to DOT updates through the link above.

Obama Transition Team Health Care Discussion at City Hall. 1/12, 3pm-5pm

On Monday, January 12th, there will be an Obama-Biden Transition Project Health Care Reform Community Discussion in the Committee Room at City Hall from 3pm to 5pm.

This event is to engage the public in discussion concerning health care reform. This will help the Transition Health Policy Team flesh out key issues around health care and develop ideas about the best ways to promote the President-elect and Vice President-elect's vision of quality, affordable health care for all Americans. While the meeting is open to Council Members, the transition team's goal is to hear from real people with problems with access to health care as opposed to elected officials and advocates. Please join us in the discussion.

Update: Fulton Business Improvement District

It was only a short time ago that we posted about the progress of the Fulton Business Improvement District (see here:

We are happy to follow-up with Mayor Bloomberg's December 29th announcement that the Fulton Business Improvement District (BID) legislation has been signed into law.

According to a press release, the Mayor stated "BIDs are voluntarily formed community organizations that promote business development and improve the quality of life in neighborhoods across the City. Established by local law, BIDs are self-funded by local property owners and are overseen by the City's Department of Small Business Services. BIDs are valuable economic tools that strengthen and stabilize commercial and industrial areas."

On behalf of Council Member James, we express our gratitude towards the Fulton Street BID Steering Committee, Pratt Area Community Council, numerous local business owners, and Mayor Bloomberg in assisting the efforts to strengthen Clinton Hill/Fort Greene's vibrant business community.

Press Release from the Blue Room:

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

NYC Colleges and Universities- Tuition & Fees/Financial Aid Links

To follow-up on our post regarding Harvard University’s free tuition opportunities (see here:, we wanted to post a simple chart that outlined a bit more tuition and fees information for those New York City residents searching through NYC colleges and universities.

*Please note that the following chart notes the most recent tuition and fees information posted on the college/university website, this may not be accurate at this or a later date.

**Please note that the chart assumes a 4-year undergraduate program course of study. For 2-year college tuition and fees information, graduate program tuition and fees information, etc.; please view the college/university website.

***Please note that the chart includes only comprehensive colleges and universities within the City of New York.

Click images to enlarge:

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

CM James Ranks #1 on Urban Justice Center- Human Rights Report Card

Council Member James was honored and pleased to be ranked #1 on the Urban Justice Center’s 2008 Human Rights Report Card.

The Urban Justice Center’s Human Rights Project (HRP) is one of eight projects of the Urban Justice Center, an anti-poverty non profit organization that serves New York City's most vulnerable residents through a combination of direct legal service, systemic advocacy, community education, and political organizing. HRP is a project that works to apply globally accepted human rights standards to domestic social policy.

As a former Public Defender with the Legal Aid Society, Council Member James considers the strengthening of equal and fair human/civil rights to be the foundation of a strong society, and her dedication has been represented by her involvement on such issues as fair housing, eminent domain, and term limits.

Click the pictures for a larger view:

Legislatively, Council Member James has a strong record on human and civil rights through sponsoring bills that strengthen issues within health, housing, and equal rights.*


Law 2008/004 (Int. No. 293-2006)- Making applications for Child Health Plus available in public schools and day care centers.
A Local Law to amend the New York City charter and the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to distributing information on public health insurance options at day care centers.


Int. 805-2008- A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to providing paid family leave to private employees.

Int. 739-2008- A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to prohibiting the use of certain synthetic turf on surfaces used for recreational purposes.

Res. 1542-2008- Resolution calling upon the New York State Legislature to pass and the Governor to sign A.3477, currently pending in the New York State Assembly, which would expand eligibility for child care assistance by increasing the income eligibility minimum from two hundred percent of the state income standard to three hundred percent of the state income standard.

Res. 1418-2008- Resolution calling upon the Mayor of the City of New York to declare a state of emergency with respect to the HIV/AIDS crisis in the black MSM community in New York City, and urging the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to take necessary actions to address such health emergency.

Res. 1392-2008- Resolution calling upon the Department of Health to study the effects of fluoride in tap water.

Res. 1282-2008- Resolution calling upon the State of New York to pass A.3873/S.1865, legislation that would amend the Administrative Code of the City of New York and the retirement and social security law by expanding the term “physically taxing occupation” to include registered nurses and midwives employed by the City of New York or the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation.


Res. 1189-2007- Resolution expressing the Council’s support for the “Uterine Fibroid Research and Education Act of 2007” (H.R. 2349 and S. 1275), which would provide funding for research and education with respect to uterine fibroids.

Res. 1149-2007- Resolution calling for changes in the New York City Family Court system to better protect battered women and parents who reasonably believe that their child is threatened by child abuse or domestic violence that is perpetrated or permitted by the child’s other parent.

Res. 781-2007- Resolution calling upon the United States federal government to preserve immediate and non-contingent Medicaid eligibility for children born in the United States to undocumented immigrants.


Law 2007/029 (Int. No. 561-A-2007)- Alternative enforcement program by the department of housing preservation and development for violations of the housing maintenance code and multiple dwelling law.
A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to an alternative enforcement program by the department of housing preservation and development for violations of the housing maintenance code and multiple dwelling law.


Res. 1571-2008- A resolution calling upon the New York City Housing Authority to review its infrastructure and address a possible correlation between air vents, water pipes and asthma, which may result in an increase in asthma among its residents.


Res. 1084-2007- Resolution calling upon the New York City Housing Authority to devise Disaster Evacuation Plans for residents in Public Housing.

Equal Rights

Int. 844-2008 (along with CMs de Blasio and Vann)- A local law to amend the administrative code of the City of New York, in relation to requiring the Department of Homeless Services to maintain an intake center in Manhattan.

Res. 1617-2008- A resolution calling on the New York State Office of Court Administration to disclose and report to the Governor and the New York State Legislature on the process of selecting judges to preside at trials.

*This is a list of legislation from 2007-2008 alone. It does not include legislation co-sponsorships, and is not complete. We hope to have a full legislative 'check sheet' out in the next few months.

Click here: ( to learn more about the Human Rights Report Card itself.

Central Library- Sunday Services Eliminated

As many of you are likely aware, the Sunday service at the Central Library at Grand Army Plaza in Prospect Heights have been eliminated as of January 4, 2009.

Programs held in the Dweck Center will continue to be scheduled.

The service cuts are due to the City’s financial state, and cuts to the Brooklyn Public Library’s (BPL) budget for fiscal year 2009-2010. According to the Executive Director, the BPL expenses will be cut by $800,000 annually due to cutting Sunday services.

We hope that alternative budget proposals are implemented in the interest of lessening the budget cuts to NYC services like those provided by the BPL, and that any service cuts are temporary. We will post further information if we receive it.

For the notice from Brooklyn’s Central Library, see here:

Monday, January 5, 2009

ATTENTION: Calling All Artists

Please forward to interested artists! Thanks!


Celebrate 10 years of SONYA and great art
by joining the



Ft. Greene, Clinton Hill, and Wallabout, communities of Brooklyn

The Stroll is a self-guided tour of
SONYArtist members
studios and galleries
within our community
that attracts thousands of visitors from the NYC metro area.

Kickoff events include:

Arty Party & Prelude Exhibition, April 23 May 18

Curators Tour, May 13 14

and more!!

All professional visual artists, age 21+, who live, have a studio, or have exhibited their art
within the boundaries of Flatbush, Atlantic, Bedford and Flushing Avenues
(including the Brooklyn Navy Yard) are encouraged to register and participate.

Registration is open NOW! Early bird discount available till February 6th.
Final deadline is March 13th.
All requested materials including completed registration form, fee payment, artist bios,
and digital art samples must be received by Friday, March 13th, 2009.

See attached Membership Application and Studio Stroll Registration packet or download one at

Contact:,, 718-705-4911 (New #)

Please forward to interested artists! Thanks!