Friday, February 27, 2009

Fort Greene Apartment Available!

A good friend to Team Tish has an apartment available at One Hanson Place.

She states that it’s the largest studio in the landmark building with views of the Statue of Liberty, the harbor, Downtown Brooklyn, and Lower Manhattan. It’s brand new with high end appliances, fixtures, etc. Rental available immediately at $2,000 a month. Amenities in the building include a gym, storage facility, office center, laundry room, and 24 hour doorman. Those interested should email us at (as you'll notice, we've added a new staff email, where we can be reached collectively. If you are trying to reach a specific member of Council Member James' staff, or trying to reach Council Member James directly, we'd still suggest you send a direct email. Time-sensitive requests or anything directly related to the New York City Council should be sent directly to the individual or individuals you are trying to reach through the New York City Council email service).

UPDATE: Suspects arrested in Sucuzhanay Attack.

CNN reported on Wednesday, February 25, 2009, that Hakim Scott was arrested and charged with second degree murder as a hate crime for his possible involvement in the death of Jose Sucuzhanay. Jose and his brother Romel were savagely beaten on December 7, 2008, and the assailant(s) was heard yelling anti-gay and ant-Latino slurs at the brothers. Jose suffered head injuries, and later passed. Today, The New York Times' City Room reports that a second suspect was taken into custody in Yonkers.

On December 14, 2008, Council Member James joined her colleagues in the City Council in a public mourning of this senseless crime. Tish commends Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Kelly for their leadership and communication with the Bushwick community regarding this hate crime, and hopes that this tragedy will help bring much-needed attention to the work we all have left to do in ending prejudice and violence within our communities.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

ATTENTION: NYU Pre-College Program

We wanted to make you aware of New York University's Pre-College program for high school students. Pre-College programs are great for preparing high school students for the rigors of university courses (I did one at Cornell University), and we encourage all interested to contact NYU for more information.


PROGRAM: NYU Precollege | New York University - Office of Undergraduate Admission
DEADLINE: International students and those applying for scholarships is April 1, 2009.
All other applications are due April 15, 2009.
(Applications will be accepted beginning February 1, 2009, and the application deadline is April 15, 2009.) Students are accepted and placed in courses on a rolling basis. Preference is given to early applicants.
COST: $2,452 - $4,644 depending on courses and credits chosen. (Financial Aid is available, but students must attend the information session to learn more!)
LOCATION: NYU Precollege Sessions
Palladium Multi-Purpose Room
140 East 14th Street
New York, New York
DATE(S): June 29-August 7th, 2009
LENGTH: 6 Weeks

*REQUIREMENTS: Current Sophomore or Junior in High School Student
Attendees must RSVP to participate in an information session
New York University Precollege Information Sessions
Monday, February 2nd and Thursday, February 19th, 7pm
Palladium Multi-Purpose Room
140 East 14th Street
New York, New York

New York University
Office of Special Sessions
110 East 14th Street, Lower Level
New York, NY 10003-4170
Telephone: 212-998-2292
Fax: 212-995-4642

INFORMATION: NYU Precollege is a 6 week non-residential program for sophomores and juniors in high school. Students take up to two NYU courses and earn college credit while participating in college planning workshops, a summer college fair, and free student activities on and off campus. For more information regarding the program, visit the NYU Precollege Website.

Students are invited to learn more about NYU Precollege 2009 at one of our two on-campus information sessions in February. Join us and meet the NYU Staff who coordinate the program, hear from past participants of Precollege 2008, pick up a brochure and application for Precollege 2009, and get your questions answered. Space is limited and attendees must RSVP to participate in an information session.

New York University Precollege Information Sessions
Monday, February 2nd and Thursday, February 19th, 7pm
Palladium Multi-Purpose Room, 140 E. 14th Street

Please note that this session will be focused on the 6-week non-residential high school summer program. It will not provide information on New York University's undergraduate schools or the admissions process for degree programs at NYU.

CM James Co-Sponsors Economic Empowerment Expo With Credit and Tax Advisement

On Tuesday, February 17 from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM, the Brooklyn Bureau of Community Service's Metro Club Clubhouse hosted its first Economic Empowerment Expo, co-sponsored by New York City Council Member Letitia James, to connect Metro Club members and the community-at-large to entitlements and to provide them with financial know-how. The Expo was held at Metro Club's program site at 25 Chapel Street, Suite 1204 in Downtown, Brooklyn.

Council Member James stated, "I am so pleased to partner with the Brooklyn Bureau of Community Service's Metro Club Clubhouse for the Economic Empowerment Expo. Free tax preparation, budgeting workshops and presentations on entitlements are exactly the kind of services that the community needs during these critical economic times. What I appreciate most about the Brooklyn Bureau is that in its 143-year history, it continues to be relevant, adapting its services to meet the changing needs of the community. We will continue to work together to provide the community with the programs and services it needs to make Brooklyn a better place to live and work for everyone."

Metro Club Clubhouse provides adults with severe and persistent mental illness with a safe, non-institutional setting for psychiatric rehabilitation. The minimal income Clubhouse members receive through government benefits may be threatened as the recession continues to deepen. Members will face cuts in their provisions and other necessities as government funding to social service agencies dries up.

In response to the economic crisis, Metro Club has developed the Economic Empowerment Expo to ensure that its members, and members of the community, are informed and educated on how to navigate through this economic tsunami.

The Expo provided innovative workshops and array of free on-site services including:

􀀃 Free Tax Preparation by certified tax preparers from Food Bank for New York City

􀁸 Entitlement Eligibility Counseling by Access NYC

􀁸 Free Checking and Direct Deposit of government disability checks by Amalgamated Bank and Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union

􀁸 Social Security Benefits information from the Social Security Administration

􀁸 Free Credit Counseling, and Workshops on Budgeting, Home Ownership and Building Savings with SaveNYC and other NYC programs from the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Financial Empowerment

􀁸 Employment Counseling by the Brooklyn Bureau of Community Service and more

To be a part of the next Economic Empowerment Expo presented by Council Member Letitia James and the Brooklyn Bureau of Community Service, please contact Cheryl Todmann, Director of Community Relations at 718-310-5761 or Media representatives interested in attending the Expo should contact Cheryl Todmann. We also want to remind those who have not done so to get started on handling this season's taxes. If you need help, a good place to start is the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance here:

About Brooklyn Bureau of Community Service

The Brooklyn Bureau of Community Service is one of Brooklyn's first and largest providers of social services to more than 13,000 disadvantaged children and families, and adults with disabilities. For more than 143 years, the Brooklyn Bureau of Community Service has been one of Brooklyn's most critical community resources for people in need.

Brooklyn Bureau of Community Service
285 Schermerhorn Street
Brooklyn, NY 11217

Wednesday, February 25, 2009



Come Join Us For Another Hilarious Jokesercise!

Date: Thursday, February 26, 2009
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: Brown Memorial Baptist Church Fellowship Hall
484 Washington Ave Enter on Gates bt. Washington & Waverly
Call 718-260-9191 - Bus Pick Up 9:30 AM

Have Fun Exercising & Laughing Yourself Fit
Refreshments Served

A Message from Council Member James

Create new Schools and Investment during this Fiscal Crisis by Supporting Innovative Private-Public Partnership

Over the next several months, the City Council is going to negotiate a New York City budget that will require a huge number of difficult choices. The financial crisis gripping the nation has hit New York City’s municipal budget especially hard, so we are going to have to find innovative ways to address the growing needs of our residents.

In areas ranging from health care to public education, new and thoughtful approaches to providing City services are going to be required. The hope of the City Council is to help maintain the quality of life that all of our fellow New Yorkers need and deserve. Fortunately, at least in one small area there is a slight glimmer of hope to be found – the development of new public schools to address growing overcrowding in our classrooms.

Faced with little available capital funding and virtually no buildable sites in many neighborhoods, the City has started to embrace the creation of private-public partnerships that will build new public schools as part of private development projects. If done correctly, these types of partnerships can become win-win scenarios for communities and developers alike. In fact, a May 2008 report by Comptroller Thompson on the challenges of building new schools specifically recommended this approach, which he noted would accelerate school construction “without adding to the already strained DOE capital budget.”

One such proposed partnership, a new building in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn, called Dock Street DUMBO holds the promise of hundreds of new middle school seats for public school children in Downtown Brooklyn and surrounding communities. This is exactly the type of thoughtful development we should be pursuing. Dock Street DUMBO proposes building a 300-seat public middle school in a privately funded, LEED-certified “green” residential building that will also create DUMBO’s first ever affordable housing.

The developer is also donating a significant portion of the cost of the school to the City – a financial contribution worth over $40 million to the City – and has already reached out to the surrounding community (including several public housing developments) regarding job opportunities and other economic development benefits. The Department of Education, which has been looking for a middle school site in the neighborhood for more than two years, agrees that this is the only feasible location, and is committed to moving forward on the Dock Street School as well.

Sounds like a no-brainer, right? Sadly, no. Despite having earned the overwhelming approval of the local Community Board (in a 30-7 vote), and the support of numerous elected officials, parents, clergy, civic leaders and even the school Principals’ union, Dock Street DUMBO is opposed by some local groups. They argue that the building would block views of and from the Brooklyn Bridge, and no level of objective evidence to the contrary (including a scale model, numerous renderings and thoughtful analysis by noted architects and design professionals) is going to convince them otherwise.

If we are to have any hope of tackling the crisis of school overcrowding in our City and move forward as a community, we are going to have to convince folks that it is time to give real consideration to innovative ideas and partnerships like Dock Street DUMBO. If we truly take the time to analyze proposals fairly and objectively, we can separate the good from the bad and work to make thoughtful, appropriate projects a reality for our neighborhoods.

And should anyone think these words are the thoughts of a blind “pro-developer” Council Member, let us not forget that for the past several years I have been a leader in the fight against the Atlantic Yards development. I subjected the Atlantic Yards proposal to this very type of objective analysis (and concluded it was absolutely not an appropriate project).

Tough times call not only for tough choices, but for smart choices. Dock Street DUMBO, with its donated middle school and affordable housing commitment, is exactly the kind of smart, innovative public-private partnership needed for the future of our communities.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

CMs James and Barron Against B25 MTA Service Cuts, 2/28, 10AM

We’ve posted in the past concerning the MTA’s service cuts, specifically the crucial B25 bus line that previously traveled down Fulton Avenue towards Downtown Brooklyn.

In the past, we’ve stated:

"the MTA maintain(s) that the B25 is underused and already serviced by the A and C trains. Riders are expressing the exact opposite opinion; they say the B25 and B65 bus routes are vital life lines for Brooklyn residents, and that both buses often filled to capacity.

Taking the bus is simply a better option for the elderly and the handicapped because of the lack of elevators at most MTA subway stops."

In our efforts to continue to fight against unnecessary service cuts, the Brooklyn East New York Crisis Team & East New York United Concern Citizens

In conjunction with Council Member Charles Barron & Council Member Letitia James

Organize for a March & Caravan Against the Cut of the B25 Bus Route

Date: February 28, 2008

Time: 10am-1pm

Starting @ Van Sindern & Fulton Street
Ending @ 484 Washington & Fulton Ave
Brown Memorial Baptist Church

For More Info Contact:
Kevin McCall (347) 675-4210
Chris Banks (347) 240-3049
CM Charles Barron (718) 649-9495
CM Letitia James (718) 260-9191

CM James Guest Auctioneer at Bachelor/Silent Art Auction, 2/28, 6:30PM

Council Member Letitia James has gladly agreed to serve as the Guest Auctioneer at the Bedford Central Community Development Corp. Auction Fundraiser on Saturday, February 28, 2009. The Bedford Central Community Development (BCCD) Corp. conducts financial literacy seminars and economic development initiatives. BCCD has teamed with the Home Services for the Elderly in their mission to assess the needs of the elderly, and provide them with much-needed assistance and case management. In this collaborative effort, and along with generous sponsors, BCCD strives to make this unique event a tremendous success.

The event is a Bachelor Auction and Silent Art Auction on Saturday February 28, 2009.

Tickets: $10.00
The Spann Jones Fellowship Hall
(Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church)
760 DeKalb Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11216
For ticket information, contact: Wayne Devonish, 917-297-2365

For more information, see here:

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bedford Stuyvesant Business Improvement District

We've talked in the past about Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), and the process in creating the Fulton BID (see here and here).

Quick summary from the folks over at Bed-Stuy Gateway:

The Bed-Stuy Gateway BID Steering Committee notes that a BID would help in building a safe, clean and aesthetically attractive commercial and cultural destination;
• Foster thriving and profitable businesses;
• Provide a variety of retail goods and services from a mixture of national brand and locally-based companies, including minority and women-owned small businesses;
• Value the diverse history, culture and styles of the residents of the Bedford-Stuyvesant and wider Central Brooklyn communities by offering goods and services that respond to the community’s wants and desires.

Council Members James and Weprin have introduced Int. 906-2008, which would establish a Bed-Stuy Gateway BID (see here:, following Community Board 3's overwhelming support for the proposal. Tish remains committed to leadership in business, and strengthening the small businesses of Brooklyn.

If you want to learn more the Bed-Stuy Gateway BID proposal, please read here: We will continue to follow this proposal.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

On The Legislative Front: Parks Department Halts Crumb Rubber In Synthetic Turf

Council Member James would like to express her satisfaction with Mayor Bloomberg and the Parks Department for their changed stance on the use of crumb rubber (made from recycled tires) in artificial or synthetic turf in New York City parks and schools.

Since 1997, New York City installed 78 artificial turf fields, and as of mid-2008, another 27 were in design. The dependence on artificial turf by the Parks Department and the Board of Education was due to inadequate expense funding; the synthetic turfs generally require less supervision and resources to maintain, and are more resistant to everyday use.

Artificial or synthetic turf is constructed by applying infill tops onto a synthetic turf surface. The "crumb rubber" infill, often in tiny pellets, settles into the turf between the blades of grass to hold down the turf and assist in drainage. The pellets can be transported unknowingly quite easily. Crumb rubber infill can contain levels of lead and other substances, although the NYC Parks Department states that the crumb rubber infill widely used in NYC is non-toxic and safe for use.

Artificial or synthetic turf itself has been linked to cancer and birth defects, and it has been said to act as a developmental inhibitor and adversely affect asthma. Tests performed on NYC parks found polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that would be considered hazardous by the State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) if those levels were found in actual dirt.

Another concern is the amount of heat radiating from artificial turf fields. Surface temperatures taken on artificial turf fields on hot days during summer 2007 regularly reached 140 degrees to over 155 degrees. Natural grass, by comparison, measured as low as 83.3 degrees cooler. The heat of synthetic turf fields has been as issue in the past throughout New York City.

Council Members Baez, James, Gioia, and Mark-Viverito sponsored legislation prohibiting the use of certain synthetic or artificial turf throughout NYC recreational areas. Int. 739-2008 may be found here ( On Monday, February 9, 2009, the Parks Committee within the New York City Council held a hearing that included reviewing the before mentioned legislation.

The Daily News today reports that the Bloomberg administration has halted use of crumb rubber infill in artificial turf in NYC parks and schools.

Council Member James considers this a victory for all New York City residents, and specifically the children who will be playing in our public parks and schools come the spring. Removing this harmful surface from NYC artificial turf is the first step in examining the safety of artificial or synthetic turf itself.

Council Member James has additionally co-sponsored Int. 918-2008, which relates to the surface areas of playgrounds and playing fields (here:, and Res. 1782-2009, which calls upon the New York State Legislature to amend Section 399-DD of the General Business Law to allow municipalities to enact local laws regarding playground equipment and the Department of Parks and Recreation to require a temperature test for all equipment installed in parks and playgrounds (including safety surfacing, and to prohibit such materials from being installed that pose a health or burn danger to exposed skin). (See here:

If you are interested in learning more about this issue, you should read the following articles-
2/15/2008- The New York Times (
2/10/2009- The Daily News (

Friday, February 6, 2009

Brownstone Brooklyn Garden District presents...

Brownstone Brooklyn Garden District is pleased to announce their new web presence:

To learn more about the
Stereoscopic Garden Party - March 22, 2009
The 12th Annual Garden Walk - June 14, 2009

and other exciting upcoming events!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The BODY Project- Youth and Healthy Eating

On January 29, 2008, the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus of the New York City Council hosted a presentation by the BODY Project, a project of the NYU School of Medicine- Institute of Community Health and Research. The project researches the relationship between the epidemic of Type-2 Diabetes among urban youth of color, specifically, and provides at-risk youth education and intervention regarding diabetes and other weight-related health issues.

Council Member James and Team Tish feel strongly that consumers need to be educated about food health and the importance of consuming quality food, as we witness the increase of obesity rates in urban communities, especially in youth. Tish has worked for access to health care for youth through sponsoring Law 2008/04 (, which increased access to public health insurance options for parents of children in day care centers. However, conquering this problem must begin with increasing awareness about healthy eating habits and lifestyle habits.

Obesity runs hand in hand with Type-2 Diabetes, so it is important to target one before the other has a chance to develop. The BODY Project has gone into schools and calculated the Body Mass Index (BMI) of students to observe the relationship between weight, health, and diabetes. They have then worked with parents and guardians to educate them on how to eliminate the risk of development of health-related illnesses in their children and teens.

Here are some Quick Facts, and Tips for Parents in healthy eating:


• 1 in 5 (22%) adults are obese in New York City and 34% of them are overweight.
• 24% of children in NYC (grade K-5) are overweight and 19% are obese.
• The risk of diabetes is higher in those of East-Asian, American-Indian, and African-American descent.

• If one develops Type-2 Diabetes under the age of 30, it takes 23 years off a person’s life. The economic costs alone of diabetes are very high.


• Encourage your children to participate in active sports.
• Give your child a balanced and healthy diet – avoid buying fast foods all the time.
• Juice is not always the healthier option and a way to control high insulin and sugar levels in your children– A glass of pure apple juice can contain up to 10 apples!! Give them water instead!

To learn more about The BODY Project-

UPDATE: We're so happy to learn that Governor Paterson is supportive of healthy eating! (