Thursday, April 28, 2011
April 28, 2011
Contact Amyre Loomis at (718) 260-9191
Council Member James, Chair of the Council’s Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste Supports Legislation to Ease Alternate Side Parking Burden on Brooklyn Residents
New law reduces alt-side requirements for areas that meet cleanliness standards
(Brooklyn, NY) A proposed law, (Int 287-A) addresses the Mayor’s Office of Operation’s Scorecard Cleanliness Report, which determines street cleanliness. In March 2010, my office sent a letter to the department requesting to be included in any updates on the scorecard methodology, specifically any streets chosen to be “representative” streets for the purposes of the report.
This bill, sponsored by Council Member Brad Lander empowers community boards with an average cleanliness rating of 90%, over 2 consecutive years, to submit a request to the department to receive reduced street cleaning by one day (for a qualifying district). All community boards located within the 35th CD: 2, 3, 8, and 9 are eligible for this reduction. The department would have the option to resume the original street cleaning schedule if the sanitation district receives an average score of less than 90% under the Mayor's office of operations scorecard program for any period of three consecutive months, or if the average score of the sanitation district falls below 90% over a period of two consecutive fiscal years.
“After working with the Mayor’s Office of Operations regarding their scorecard cleanliness methodology, I am pleased with the legislation being put forth. The quality of life will be better for everyone in New York City when parking becomes easier and more available,” said Council Member James. “This is good news and should decrease the amount of expensive tickets given to drivers, as well as the hassle of moving cars. Also, I believe that through giving community boards with high cleanliness ratings the option to reduce street cleaning, we are empowering communities to make independent decisions in the best interest of local residents.”
To be eligible for the American Federation of Teachers Black Caucus Scholarship:
- You must be a resident of New York City;
- You must be a high school senior of a New York State public school with a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale (or the equivalent);
- You must be in pursuit of a career in education/public service;
- You must be able to demonstrate improvement in your academic performance and personal achievement.
The applicant must submit a completed application packet (including attached essay response) postmarked no later than April 29, 2011 to:
AFT Black Caucus Scholarship Trust
P.O. Box 636
Westchester Square Station
BRONX, NY 10461
Those interested may email a request to The Office of Council Member Letitia James at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
The Society For Clinton Hill will soon be hosting their 2011 House Tour.
Queen of All Saints Church
300 Vanderbilt Avenue
(Rain or Shine)
For both a tour and audio ticket - $25.00
· Pillow Cafe
· Outpost Cafe/ Lounge
· Sister's Hardware
· Still-Hip Maternity
· Root Stock
· Urban Vintage
· Aguayo & Huebener Realty
· Polish Bar of Brooklyn
· Olivino Wine shop
· YU Interiors
· Greenlight Bookstore
· Brooklyn Flea
· Fort Greene Farmers Market
The Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation is again planning its summer program for college-age young adults. The goal of the Summer Young Adult Skills Introduction Program is to place young people directly in private sector work environments and give them the opportunity to learn about the work-place and specific skills needed for certain industries. The program will be for eight weeks, beginning in late June.
Under the program, BNYDC will hire up to 30 qualified college-aged youth to assist with operations, and to provide administrative and clerical help in the offices. Students must be at least 18 years old.
The application may be found here: http://www.brooklynnavyyard.org/jobopp/2010EmploymentApp.pdf. Completed applications may be mailed to email@example.com. THE DEADLINE FOR ALL APPLICATIONS IS JUNE 3, 2011.
For more information, you may contact (718) 907-5924.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
April 26, 2011
Contact: Aja Worthy-Davis at (212) 788-7081
Council Member Letitia James Commends City Council Restoration of Funds for SWMP Implementation
Important Plan Addresses Borough Equity and Environmental Responsibility In Waste Handling
“Last week, the New York City Council restored important capital funding for the implementation of the 2006 Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP). During recent Preliminary Budget discussions, the administration proposed a budget that all but gutted SWMP by eliminating funding for critical infrastructure, and delaying that funding as far into the future as Fiscal Year 2019.
As the Chairperson of the New York City Council’s Committee on Sanitation and Waste, I believe that SWMP is both timely and integral to achieving the City's vital goal of diminishing the impact of exporting our waste outside of the City, and addressing the injustice of siting solid waste infrastructure in low-income communities.
For over ten years since the premature closure of the Fresh Kills landfill, New York City has operated under an ‘Interim Plan’ for handling waste. This system relies on privately-owned waste transfer stations concentrated in low-income communities that unfairly bear the brunt of waste-handling. In addition, the system depends heavily on long-haul trucks to export waste out of the City. In 2006, SWMP was passed in an effort to serve the critical goals of equity and environmental responsibility for the City of New York. Central to this Plan was a system of marine- and rail-based transfer stations located throughout the City that would eliminate millions of miles of truck traffic each year, as well as advance borough equity.
The Department of Sanitation’s Preliminary Budget would have effectively eliminated funding for four Marine Transfer Stations (MTSs), including all three MTSs to be sited in Manhattan (approximately 40% of the new waste-handling capacity envisioned in the SWMP plan). If this proposed budget had been implemented, this would have cut borough equity out of the SWMP, dramatically reduced its environmental benefits, and betrayed commitments made by the administration to both the City Council and the stakeholders that worked to pass the Plan. In fact, the proposal would have effectively undermined the Plan under the guise of delaying capital funding beyond the current administration. Waste and recyclables that would otherwise go to these facilities would instead be trucked to overburdened communities, and back out of the City.
I have stood by my colleagues in the New York City Council— some of whom represent districts overburdened with waste-handling facilities— to support SWMP and its important goals. In the coming years, City Council oversight will be integral as the administration and the department move forward with the construction of these facilities.”
There is a proposed alteration of the New York City Water Board's water and sewer rates and billing policies for FY12, which would take effect July 1, 2011.
An increase of 7.5% has been proposed. This would raise the annual water-and-sewer charge for an average single-family home from approximately $816 in FY 2011 to $877 in FY 2012, an increase of $61 per year or $5 per month. However, the FY12 proposal also includes a one-year, 2% discount for metered customers who subscribe to receive their water bills via email, and have their billed charges automatically debited from their checking accounts or paid via credit card. For customers who participate in both the paperless billing and direct debit programs, the net rate increase is reduced to 5.4%, which equates to $44 per year for the average single-family homeowner.
In addition to the general 7.5% increase and the 2% discount for meter-billed customers who participate in the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) direct debit and paperless billing programs, the Board is considering the following changes:
(1) Installment payment agreement terms will be revised to include options for no down payment, a repayment period of up to ten years, and new default provisions;
(2) Customers subject to a denial of access proceeding currently receive all three required notices by both first-class and certified mail. The Board proposes to change the delivery of the first required notice, which has no concurrent financial impact on the customer, to first-class mail only; the final two required notices will continue to be sent by both first-class and certified mail;
(3) The maximum fixture flow-rates to qualify for a reduced water rate pursuant to the Board’s Comprehensive Water Reuse program will be conformed to recent changes to the NYC Plumbing Code;
(4) For registered participants in the lead and copper monitoring program, a new credit of $25 will be applied to a customer’s water bill upon successful completion of a lead and copper monitoring test.
In accordance with the Public Authorities Law, the Water Board will hold public hearings in each borough of the City on the proposed FY 2012 rates and charges for water and sewer service--
Public School 102
211 72nd Street
Brooklyn, NY 11209
May 4, 2011
Please call the Office of Council Member Letitia James at (212) 788-7081 if you have any further questions, or would like to testify at the public hearing.
The Summer Youth Employment Program is designed to:
-Emphasize real-world labor expectations;
-Increase awareness of services offered by local community-based organizations;
-Provide opportunities for career instruction, financial literacy training, academic improvement, and social growth.
"Deconstructing the Steel Band Panorama"
WHEN: Thursday, April 28
Medgar Evers College
Admission is free.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Selected Weekend Service Advisories:
New York City Transit (NYCT) has scheduled planned service changes for April 23-25, including these changes locally:
No. 4 train — 12:01 am Saturday to 5:00 am Monday: No service between Utica Av and Brooklyn Bridge.
NYCT recommends the 3 train and special J shuttle trains for alternate service.
Brooklyn-bound R trains — 6:30 am to midnight, Saturday and Sunday: Trains will run over the Manhattan Bridge from Canal St to DeKalb Av. There will be no Brooklyn-bound trains at City Hall, Rector St, Whitehall St, Court St and Jay St MetroTech. Have a great Holiday Weekend.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Film Shoot Info:
APPROXIMATE TIME: 7am-3pm
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. announces a 2011 Summer Internship Program called "The Legal Bound Program". The program is designed for rising high school juniors and seniors who reside in Manhattan.
New York, New York 10013
Project Safe Surrender is a community program that helps individuals resolve summons/warrants. It also helps individuals re-enter society by connecting them with vital social assistance in the areas of health, housing, employment, employment training and education. This program was inspired by a successful United States Marshall’s initiative in 2006 called “Fugitive Safe Surrender” in which 14 cities participated and over 40,000 people surrendered voluntarily. The program offers the opportunity for individuals with warrants/summons to turn themselves in to clergy and law enforcement and to have their warrants/summons lifted and their cases adjudicated in a safe environment. This is not a pardon; but rather a solution that is favorable.
On April 22-23, 20011, from 9:00AM- 5:00PM, Project Safe Surrender will open its doors at Antioch Baptist Church and Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church for people who have open warrants/summons for the following charges:
· Unlawful possession of Alcohol under age 21
· Consumption of Alcohol in Public
· Aggressive Solicitation
· Unlawful possession of handcuffs
· Riding a bicycle on the sidewalk
· Making unreasonable noise
· Animal nuisance
· Failure to have a dog license
· Unleashed dog
· Disorderly conduct
· Unlawfully in a park after hours
· Failure to comply with posted signs in park
Friday, April 15, 2011
April 14, 2011
Contact: Amyre Loomis (718) 260-9191
COUNCIL MEMBER JAMES AND THE COMMUNITY HOLD PRESS CONFERENCE TO SUPPORT FORT GREENE’S F + S TIRES - OWNED BY HAITIAN FAMILY, SATURDAY, APRIL 16 AT 2PM, ON FULTON STREET & SOUTH PORTLAND AVE. - IN FRONT OF HABANA OUTPOST
The family business was closed down by the City after 26 years of service
Backstory: The Joseph brothers came to this country from their native Haiti and have been business and property owners for over 26 years. Two weeks ago, they were informed that their building on South Oxford Street in Fort Greene, Brooklyn could not legally house their business - F + S Tire Shop. While tires were changed on the South Oxford corner (for nearly three decades), the brownstone neighborhood has improved around F + S. Crime has been pushed out, and the downtown Brooklyn location is once again prime real estate.
Numerous fines were imposed upon F + S Tire Shop (more than $24,000 for building violations such as garbage in basement, improper support beams, no sprinkler system), and a DOB inspector informed the Joseph brothers that hundreds of thousands dollars were needed to obtain a new certificate of occupancy.
“The Joseph brothers feel they are fighting against the City, and I intend to let them know they can work with government. Many residents and businesses have contacted my office to express support of F + S Tire Shop, as well as gratitude for the owner’s hard work and generosity throughout the years,” said Council Member Letitia James. Also, I’ve heard rumors of harassing telephone calls made to the brothers, which is not acceptable on my watch. This community will do everything it can to help the Joseph Brothers maintain their American dream.”
A Department of Buildings hearing for violations is scheduled for May 16. The Pratt Area Community Council (PACC), the Fulton Area Business Alliance (FAB), and the office of Council Member Letitia James are assisting the Joseph brothers.
WHO: F + S Tire Company Owners - the Joseph brothers, Council Member Letitia James, community leaders, fellow shop owners, advocates, neighbors and friends
WHAT: Press Conference to support F + S Tire Shop and the American dream
WHEN: Saturday, April 16 at 2pm
WHERE: Corner of Fulton Street and South Portland Avenue– in front of Habana Outpost restaurant
Please see the petition here: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/savefgtireshop/
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
April 12, 2011
FIFTY YEARS AFTER THE EQUAL PAY ACT BECAME LAW, AMERICAN WOMEN ON AVERAGE EARN ONLY 77 CENTS FOR EVERY DOLLAR EARNED BY THEIR MALE PEERS
April 12, 2011 is Equal Pay Day
“Today, many families rely on women's earnings, and the gender wage gap is a still a serious threat to all within this country. Statistics show that nearly 4 in 10 mothers are primary breadwinners for their families, and almost two thirds are primary or co-breadwinners.
Also, married mothers earn only 69 cents for every dollar compared to their male counterparts, and single mothers earn 58 cents for every dollar earned by married men with children. And the wage gap is most severe for women of color. In one year, the average black woman earns approximately $12,000 less, than the average white man does. For Latina women, the figure is $17,837 less.
The fight for pay equity is a battle taking place on the federal, state, and city levels.
In 2010, I introduced a resolution into the City Council calling upon Congress to pass and the President to sign into law the Paycheck Fairness Act. In October of last year, I wrote a letter to Senator Tom Harkin (Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions), as well as Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Rose DeLauro, and President Barack Obama, requesting that the legislation be passed. Unfortunately, it became clear in November 2010 that the Senate would fail in moving forward with the bill. However, President Barack Obama said in March 2011 that he will continue to fight for the goals in the Paycheck Fairness Act.
New York State is currently in the process of reviewing similar legislation— the New York State Fair Pay Act. The bill would make it an unlawful for an employer to discriminate on the basis of sex, race, and/or national origin through paying different wages to employees. Yesterday, this bill passed the State Assembly, and is currently in the New York State Senate.
I am working to create legislation on the citywide level that addresses the issue of pay equity. My efforts began with the help of New York Women’s Agenda in 2009. Although much authority to legislate wage issues lies with the State, I am confident that the New York City Council could pass legislation that eliminates wage-based discrimination, and secures pay equity for women throughout the City.
On this Equal Pay Day working women should know that their government supports them and fights for them against wage-based discrimination. Go to the link below to learn more. Lastly, please share with someone special that today, April 12, is Equal Pay Day.”
- Council Member Letitia James, 35th Council District, Brooklyn.
ATTENTION: CM James Joins Community Leaders and Advocates To Develop Recommendations For FG Supermarket; TODAY (4/14); FG
After five years of delay and unmet requests to confer with the local community on development, the developer recently announced that a new Red Apple Supermarket is slated to open later this summer on the corner of Myrtle and Ashland. The need for a nearby supermarket along that strip of Myrtle Avenue has been difficult for residents, specifically those in Ingersoll and Whitman houses (NYCHA). At this time, the developer has agreed to participate in an open public forum on the new supermarket today (April 14, 2011).
Local residents will be able to hear directly from representatives from the Red Apple Group, and to collectively draft community recommendations for the new supermarket, such as affordability, food selection/quality, senior citizen issues, and local hiring/job quality.
You may read FUREE's Food Fight Report (2009) for more information about the neighborhood's fight for accessible and healthy food.
When: Thursday, April 14, 2011
Where: Ingersoll Community Center
This event is co-sponsored by FUREE, Council Member Letitia James (35th CD), NYS Assembly District Leader Lincoln Restler (50th AD), and the Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project.
Monday, April 11, 2011
The owners received more than $24,000 in fines for building violations, such as for improper support beams, lacking a sprinkler system and garbage in the basement. The certificate of occupancy for the building is another major issue. A DOB inspector informed the Joseph brothers that it would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to obtain a new certificate of occupancy.
The Fulton Area Business Alliance (FAB) and the Pratt Area Community Council (PACC) are assisting F + S Tires, and a Department of Buildings hearing for the violations is scheduled May 16. Please join Council Member James and advocacy agencies in supporting F + S Tires, who perform a vital service to the Fort Greene community, by signing this petition.
Please see the petition here: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/savefgtireshop/
CM James Joins BK Community Service in Opposition To Closure of Duffield Children's Center; 4/12; 5PM; City Hall
Duffield Children's Center is at risk of closing due to the City's proposed budget to cut as many as 16,000 subsidized child care slots.
The April 12, 2011 rally will be an opportunity to influence Mayor Bloomberg before he releases his budget at the end of April, so please join Brooklyn Community Services and other advocates at City Hall to advocate for Duffield Children's Center.
When: Tuesday, April 12th
Where: City Hall Steps
Who: Brooklyn Community Services
Council Member Letitia James
Read more here: http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/City-to-Announce-116276129.html
Friday, April 8, 2011
April 8, 2011
Contact Simone Hawkins at (212) 788-7081
Council Member Letitia James Opposes the NYC Department of Education’s Revised Proposal to Co-locate BEC in P.S. 9
“While New York City settles to the idea of a new schools chancellor, the Department of Education (DOE) continues on its wrath of mass co-locations. In December of 2010, the DOE released the Educational Impact Statement (EIS) proposing the phase-out of M.S. 571 - The Bergen Upper School and a re-siting and co-location of Brooklyn East Collegiate Charter School (BEC) in the 13K009 building in Prospect Heights. However, on March 31, 2011 New York Education Commissioner David Steiner annulled the Panel for Educational Policy (PEP) February vote to place Brooklyn East Collegiate Charter School inside the PS 9 building.
The Commissioner’s decision sides with seven parents who filed a lawsuit charging many oversights in the DOE’s proposal, including that it had not provided required details about the effect of the co-location on the use of common spaces. Although the Commissioner approved the parents’ petition, the decision still allows for the DOE to re-propose the co-location of BEC in the P.S. 9 building as long as they release a new plan that includes the missing information.
Without any delay, the DOE has released a revised EIS and revised BUP requesting for the co-location of BEC in the 13K009 building. This revised notice, which will be subject to a new vote by the PEP, provides information about a new unscheduled joint public hearing. The PEP is scheduled to vote on this Proposal May 18th, which will still allow for the re-siting/co-location this Fall.
P.S. 9 has achieved magnificent things and should be given an opportunity to expand. It is evident that the DOE will continue to advance their agenda and resultantly impede the possible growth and expansion of P.S. 9. As mentioned previously, I believe all co-locations and school closures should be suspended until a complete assessment of this impact on the school system has been made considering the absence of a fully appointed Chancellor. I will continue to stand with the families of P.S. 9 in opposition to this proposal.”
Thursday, April 7, 2011
By late afternoon, a Brownstoner post elicited various responses (including one in which we were Kanye'd).
We appreciate the lively discussion, but we'd like to raise a few points for those interested:
1). It is standard for a Council Member to write support letters to City agencies (and offer other types of support; in this case, assist in addressing violations) for struggling local businesses. (CM James has done this before, in fact, for a great little Clinton Hill pet store.)
2). Lending support to a long-time small business does not mean that a politician is anti-new-business. We happen to like coffee shops and specialty food shops throughout the District. We're passionately pro-snacking.
3). Since the subject was brought up in the comments, Council Member James is a strong advocate for Community Roots Charter School, and we have a great relationship with that school. She's all for their expansion and continued development- but not at the cost of removing resources from another school.
4). Aside from following this blog, you can always contact our staff at firstname.lastname@example.org or (718) 260-9191/ (212) 788-7081 for accurate information about Council Member James activities in the community or positions.
April 7, 2011
Contact Simone Hawkins at (212) 788-7081
Council Member Letitia James Comments On Departure of Cathleen Black as NYC Department of Education (DOE) Chancellor
“As coverage develops surrounding the sudden exit of Cathie Black, it demonstrates the Mayor’s senseless appointment of Ms. Black as schools chancellor. According to reports, the decision comes just a day after Santiago Taveras, Deputy Chancellor for Community Engagement, quit the department to join the private sector. This is a total exit four high-level deputies since Black’s short tenure.
Cathleen Black has no educational experience in relation to the nation’s largest public school system, which demonstrates that she was ill-suited for this position. It is my opinion that as a result of the changing faces at the DOE, all co-locations and school closures should be suspended until a full assessment of the impact of these shifts on the school system has been made. Additionally, the DOE Preliminary Budget Hearing scheduled for tomorrow in front of the NYC Council should be postponed, particularly in light of the proposed budget cuts.
The city has been plagued with incompetent administrators, which weighed heaviest on the children of this city. I am confident that Deputy Mayor Dennis M. Walcott will work closely with all elected officials and communities to adequately assist our schools as Ms. Black’s replacement.
The Blizzard of 2011, CityTime, the Atlantic Yards project, and now this; many would consider this the third term curse.”
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
April 6, 2011
Contact Amyre Loomis at (718) 260-9191
Council Member James Supports Fort Greene Tire Shop Owned by Haitian Family
The small business is shut down after 26 years
F + S Tires, an old Fulton Street business has been closed by the Department of Buildings. The Joseph brothers, who came to this country from their native Haiti and have been business and property owners for 26 years were told that their building on South Oxford Street in Fort Greene, Brooklyn cannot legally house their business. While changing tires on their South Oxford corner, the downtown Brooklyn neighborhood has changed around them.
The brothers received more than $24,000 in fines for building violations, such as for improper support beams, lacking a sprinkler system and garbage in the basement. The certificate of occupancy for the building is another major issue. A DOB inspector informed the Joseph brothers that it would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to obtain a new certificate of occupancy.
“These Haitian immigrants have outlasted the dark days of drug dealers and crime in this neighborhood. They arrived before the recent renaissance, which began during the 90s, and they continued to thrive. Now, F + S Tire is struggling for survival amid specialty food shops, real estate offices and boutiques. The shop is located in the heart of prime real estate, and property is in high demand,” said Council Member James. “These brothers feel they are fighting against the City, and I intend to let them know they can work with government. I appreciate the will and desire it took for this family to achieve their American dream, and I will help the Joseph Brothers maintain their dream, however possible. If anyone wants more information, please contact staff at my office.”
The Fulton Area Business Alliance (FAB) and the Pratt Area Community Council (PACC) are assisting F + S Tires, and a hearing for violations will be held on May 16.
Friday, April 1, 2011
April 1, 2011
Contact Amyre Loomis at (718) 260-9191, (646) 201-8183
CONGRATULATIONS TO PS 9 STUDENTS, PARENTS AND THE COMMUNITY ON THEIR VICTORY
NY State Education Commissioner David Steiner overturned the decision by the DOE to co-locate Brooklyn East Collegiate Charter School in the Prospect Heights Building
This week, Commissioner of Education David Steiner annulled the Feb. 3 vote by the Panel for Educational Policy, which oversees New York City public schools, to co-locate a charter school in PS 9’s building at 80 Underhill Avenue. His response stated that the City’s plan for sharing the space was unfair.
“I am grateful for this decision, and I know that if the DOE had listened to parents, the community and elected officials regarding the building sharing of PS 9, the Bloomberg Administration would not have had to suffer this defeat. Proposed actions such as this one explain why the Mayor’s poll numbers remain low, despite his efforts to promote himself. This is the second time within a year the State Education Commissioner vetoed co-locating a City charter school,” said Council Member James.
Seven parents filed an appeal of the decision on March 7. The appeal was made under a new law that took effect last year authorizing an expedited process for co-location appeals in particular. The law set out strict rules for co-locations, including one that requires thorough details about their impact that Steiner concluded the City violated at PS 9.
Commissioner Steiner wrote: “I am unable to conclude that DOE’s failure to comply with the statute’s requirements in this respect was harmless error.”
“The fact that State continues to scrutinize the City’s adherence to the charter school law passed last year instills faith in government - the community’s voices were heard, and our children’s education does matter. Closing schools is bad public policy and excluding opinions of parents and teachers is also bad decision making. I am ecstatic, as are advocates of PS 9 that we prevailed,” said Council Member James.
Besides rescinding the decision, the commissioner also prohibited the DOE from moving forward with any phase of the co-location of Brooklyn East into 80 Underhill until it offers a more reasonable division of building resources.