Tuesday, August 30, 2011


The New York City Department of Education today announced that it will open 12 Student Registration Centers on Wednesday, August 31, to enroll new students for the opening of school. Procedures vary across the following categories of students:

• All new high school students or those re-entering the system after an absence—both general education and special education— should register at a Student Registration Center in their borough of residence.
• New or re-entering general education elementary and middle school students without a zoned school should also register at a Student Registration Center in their borough of residence.
• New elementary and middle school students who have zoned schools should register at their zoned schools starting Thursday, September 8.
• New elementary or middle school students who require special education placements should register at Special Education Enrollment Sites assigned to their districts of residence.

Parents can find their children’s zoned schools, the nearest Student Registration Centers, or Special Education Enrollment Sites by calling 311 or visiting the Department’s Web site at schools.nyc.gov. Enrollment staff at Student Registration Centers will meet with students and their parents to facilitate registration. Interpretation services will be available at each center. All forms and parent materials will be available in English and translated into nine languages (Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, French, Haitian Creole, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Urdu).

Beginning Wednesday, August 31, through Friday, September 16, the Student Registration Centers will be open five days a week from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The centers will be closed on Monday, September 5, for Labor Day.

Parents must bring their children with them to register. In addition, the following documents are required:

• Proof of residence;
• Child’s birth certificate or passport;
• Child’s immunization records;
• Child's latest report card/transcript (if available);
• Child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) and/or 504 Accommodation Plan (if applicable and available).

Brooklyn Student Registration Centers:
The Montauk - 4200 16th Avenue
Brooklyn Technical High School - 29 Fort Greene Place (Basement)
Brooklyn High School of the Arts - 345 Dean Street
Clara Barton High School - 901 Classon Avenue

Brooklyn Special Education Enrollment Sites:
Districts 17, 18, 22 - 5619 Flatlands Avenue
Districts 20, 21 - 415 89th Street, 5th floor
Districts 13, 14, 15, 16 - 131 Livingston Street
Districts 19, 23, 32 - 1665 St. Marks Avenue

Monday, August 29, 2011

Update: Property Damage and Tree Removal (Hurricane Irene)

Individuals whose property has incurred damage due to Hurricane Irene are encouraged to report any damage to 311 ASAP, or report damage online.

The City investigates reports of damage to homes or building structures caused by severe weather. This includes:

• Unstable sidewalk sheds or scaffolds
• Debris falling from a building
• Defective or cracking interior and exterior walls

Please report damage here:

Tree Removal
The City removes street trees and large branches that have fallen to the ground in front of houses, in parks, and in other public spaces. The City also removes trees or branches that are blocking sidewalks or streets, as well as branches that are cracked or hanging, and about to fall. Removal may be delayed during a storm if the branches are not blocking streets or sidewalks.

The City is not responsible for:
• Any non-City tree that falls on private property
• Any small non-City tree branch that falls on private property
• Any tree that is on private property

Property owners must consult with a private landscape contractor to arrange for the removal of non-City trees or tree branches. Property owners are responsible for knowing whether a tree is on their property or on the City's property. Trees can appear to be growing on your property but actually be on City property. Reference your title survey to verify property lines before removing a tree or conducting any tree work on or around trees in your front yard.

The Department of Parks and Recreation is not accepting requests for removal of standing dead trees until Tuesday, August 30. You may request forestry service action here: http://gis.nyc.gov/parks/forms/

Otherwise, you are encouraged to contact 311 with any reports, or with further questions.

Update: Food Stamp Replacement Benefits (Hurricane Irene)

If you are receiving food stamps and you have lost food that you purchased with your food stamp benefits, you can have the monetary value of that food replaced. New York State has made replacement food stamp benefits available for food stamp recipients who lost food during Hurricane Irene (due to flooding, power loss, etc.). In order to receive replacement benefits, your food loss must be reported within 10 days.

More information can be found at Food Bank NYC here: www.foodbanknyc.org/news/hurricane-irene-food-stamp-replacement-notice

The request form (LDSS-2291) must be completed. Please call Food Bank NYC at 212.894.8060 for further assistance.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

CM James: Updates on Hurricane Irene- 35th District Information

The following is information regarding New York City’s preparations for Hurricane Irene, and the recommended steps New Yorkers should take to prepare.

Hurricane Irene is deemed as a Category 3 hurricane (downgraded to Category 2 on Friday), which is presently leaving the Bahamas and heading up the east coast towards Long Island and New York City. Although Hurricane Irene is moving slowly and the forecast remains uncertain, it is expected to hit NYC on Sunday with about 6-12 inches of rain.

According to the Office of Emergency Management (OEM), NYC developed a hurricane response plan since 2007 in reaction to the destruction of Hurricane Katrina. The plan is available online HERE. OEM is working closely with the National Weather Service to monitor the storm. At this time, the Mayor has not concluded that a full evacuation is necessary. Nonetheless, the city is preparing shelters in case of an emergency evacuation, especially for Category 1/Zone A communities (low-lying areas most at risk of flooding). The NYC Health Department and the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation are readily prepared to service elderly and disabled populations if the storm the hits. Yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg ordered an evacuation of the hospitals, nursing homes, and senior centers within Zone A.

The Hurricane Evacuation zones can be found HERE. The 35th District overlaps with Zone A. The Brooklyn evacuation sites are listed below--











IS 117


IS 136

4004 4TH AVE.

IS 187

1171 65TH ST.

PS 189


IS 246


PS 249


IS 271


IS 292


IS 383


JHS 57



237 7TH AVE.


300 JAY ST.


5800 20TH AVE.

OEM is recommending that New York residents have a "emergency bag" prepared, and that people stock up on supplies in advance of the storm.

The MTA is actively preparing for the impact of Hurricane Irene. The agency is making arrangements to bring in extra personnel over the weekend, preparing facilities and infrastructure by clearing drains, securing work sites against possible high winds, checking and fueling equipment, stocking supplies, and establishing plans to move equipment and supplies away from low-lying areas as needed. Because of the severity of the wind and rain associated with a hurricane, there may be partial or full shut down of services to ensure the safety of customers and employees.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

UPDATE: Regarding FG Chase Bank Robbery

A suspect is in custody following a recent robbery at the Myrtle Avenue branch of Chase Manhattan Bank. Fortunately, no one was hurt during this incident. According to the New York Times- Local blog,
"Devon Stevens, 34, was arrested...and charged with robbery, grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, menacing and harassment." [NYT- Local]

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Arrest Made In Fatal Shooting in FG Walt Whitman Housing on 8/23

On Monday, August 23, 2011, Jashaya Stanley (19) was fatally shot following a domestic dispute in Fort Greene's Walt Whitman housing. Ms. Stanley’s boyfriend Joshua Knox (19), who is the father of her 3-year-old daughter, was taken into custody as a suspect yesterday evening.

Ms. Stanley was shot three times in the chest, and was pronounced deceased at Brooklyn Hospital.

Council Member James' public comments from yesterday can be read below--



Council Member Letitia James Comments on Fatal Shooting in Fort Greene’s Walt Whitman Houses

“The tragic death of such a young woman is senseless and heartbreaking,” said Council Member Letitia James. “Gun violence is one of the most horrifying and preventable crimes in our society. Today, a young child is left without a mother, and a family is forever altered. I extend my heartfelt condolences to the Stanley family for their loss.”

CM James Joins Advocates In Support of Fair Trail for Diallo Case

August 22, 2011

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

Elected Officials and Women’s Advocacy Organizations Hold Press Conference In Support Of Fair Trial for Diallo Case

Request Continuation of Manhattan Criminal Case; Criticize Public Scrutiny of Diallo

New York, NY— On May 14, 2011, former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested and charged with the sexual assault of 32-year-old Nafissatou Diallo, a Guinean housekeeper at the Sofitel New York Hotel in New York City.

By May 19, Mr. Strauss-Kahn was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury on seven criminal counts, two of which are first-degree criminal sexual acts. His bail was set at $1M, with additional 24-hour home detention and an electronic monitoring ankle bracelet. After Mr. Strauss-Kahn turned over his passport and posted an additional $5M bail bond, he was placed under house arrest in Manhattan. On July 1, a special hearing was called in which Manhattan District Attorney prosecutors cited credibility issues in regards to Ms. Diallo’s background, and released Mr. Strauss-Kahn on his own recognizance. He was arraigned on June 6, and pled not guilty to the charges against him.

As these events unfolded, media outlets have used alleged sources from the Manhattan DA’s office to imply that the criminal case against Mr. Strauss-Kahn was unstable. These same alleged sources have been used to paint Ms. Diallo as a liar, a prostitute, and a con artist; as well as accuse her of lying in her application for asylum in the United States by describing a false gang rape in Guinea.

Following Ms. Diallo’s accusations against Mr. Strauss-Kahn, a French writer also filed rape charges against Mr. Strauss-Kahn. In fact, the writer’s mother, who previously had a consensual relationship with Mr. Strauss-Kahn, described him as “a predator who isn't looking to please, but to take.” A French newspaper later published claims that Mr. Strauss-Kahn harassed female flight attendants of Air France to such a degree that the airline instituted a policy of placing male attendants on his flights.

Public scrutiny of women who accuse men of rape is itself a manifestation of misogyny. In this particular case, the fact that the accused is wealthy, politically connected, and white; while the accuser is poor, non-white, and immigrant suggests that there are unfortunate social stigmas at play that promote a victim-blaming mentality. The public “leaking” of confidential information regarding the criminal case— if these alleged sources are legitimate— directly interferes with the ongoing criminal case, and is unfair to all involved.

“This case is being tried in the media, when it should be decided in a court of law,” said Council Member Letitia James. “It is imperative that public opinion and spin not take attention away from the heinous nature of the crime Ms. Diallo has alleged was committed against her. The Manhattan DA should allow the facts to speak for themselves through continuing on with the criminal case.”

“Nafissatou Diallo deserves her day in court,” said Sonia Ossorio, Executive Director of the National Organization for Women (NOW-NYC). “Despite all the lies, innuendo and slander directed towards her, her allegation is credible. We urge the District Attorney to proceed with this case. Let a jury— not a media circus— decide Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s fate.”

“The New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault applauds Nafissatou Diallo and all the courageous victims of sexual assault who come forward to report the crime,” said Cathleen Cogswell, Interim Executive Director of NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault. “Victim blaming is a common defense tactic, and the risk is significantly higher in a high-profile case like this one. Here’s what we know about sexual violence: We know false accusations of sexual assault are extremely rare. We know immigrant women are more vulnerable and at greater risk for victimization and exploitation by individuals in a position of power or authority, due to factors such as immigration status, isolation, cultural and language barriers, as well as fear of, and uncertainty of seeking help from the police. We know there is no right way to act after a sexual assault. And finally, we know sexual assaults are crimes of violence and power, not passion. We stand in solidarity with Ms. Diallo and all victims of sexual violence.”

“None of us benefit when injustice is upheld, and when court systems or public opinion re-victimize and criminalize women by putting the onus and blame on them for only wanting justice for the harm inflicted upon them,” said Quentin Walcott, Director of CONNECT Training Institute and Community Empowerment Program. “The merits of this case have become solely about Ms. Diallo’s character and past and not the accused-- Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s. Let’s be clear that this case is about race, class, gender, and immigration status and that DSK benefits by having privilege where each are concerned."

“Women in NYC deserve to know that their charges will be taken seriously and that they will retain their privacy while seeking justice for a violent crime,” said Rebecca Andruszka, Chapter Director of Younger Women's Task Force (NYC Metro Chapter). “We remind the city that Mr. Strauss-Kahn is accused of a crime, not Ms. Diallo.”

“Since news of the sexual assault allegations against Dominique Strauss-Kahn first surfaced, Nafissatou Diallo has been on trial in the media and public eye,” said Emily Douglas and Jean Stevens, Co-Chairs of Women, Action and the Media (NYC Chapter). “Local and national media sources have repeatedly cast doubt on Diallo's credibility--based on information unrelated to the allegations. The forensic evidence supports Diallo's statements and Dominique Strauss-Kahn has a history of sexually inappropriate behavior. Diallo deserves to make her case in court.”

“In a society where sexual violence is a true public health issue, we cannot afford to sit idly by as another survivor’s voice is silenced by public scrutiny and shame.”— the Mount Sinai Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Program (SAVI)

“SisterSong NYC and the Coalition to Support Sexual Violence Victims and Survivors stand with Nafissatou Diallo because a reproductive-justice framework supports a woman’s bodily integrity,” said Andrea Plaid, Founder of the Coalition to Support Sexual Violence Victims and Survivors. “This means, as we say at the Coalition, everyone's body is their own, and no one has the right to take that right away. This means-- among the many ways— physically, sexually, journalistically, and legally.”

On Saturday, August 20, 2011, Ms. Diallo’s attorneys received a letter from the Manhattan DA’s office requesting a meeting. Ms. Diallo’s representatives remain concerned that the DA plans to drop the criminal case, or some of the charges. The next scheduled court appearance is Tuesday, August 23, 2011.

WHEN: Monday, August 22, 2011
5:00PM- 7:00PM

WHERE: Manhattan Courthouse steps
100 Centre Street
New York, NY 10013

-National Organization for Women (NOW)
-New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault
-Connect NYC
-Younger Women's Task Force
-Women, Action and the Media (NYC Chapter)
-Mount Sinai’s Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Program (SAVI)/ Downstate Coalition for Crime Victims
-Sister Song NY
-Coalition To Support Sexual Violence Victims and Survivors
-Trust Black Women
-Permanent Wave

-Julianne Escobedo Shepherd [Culture Editor for the website AlterNet]
-Collier Meyerson [Writer for The Nation]
-Zeinab Eyega [Executive Director and Founder of the Sauti Yetu Center for African Women and Families]
-Amanda Marcotte [Author and Journalist]
-representative from New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault

Friday, August 19, 2011

CM James Sponsors "Beautify and Unify" To Encourage CrH/PH Revitalization; 8/20

Council Member Letitia James invites the Crown Heights and Prospect Heights communities to "Beautify and Unify", sponsored by Council Member Letitia James, NYC Community Cleanup, the Crown Heights Mediation Center, The Prospect Heights Street Tree Task Force, and the Executive Director of IKOKO!

The event is Saturday August 20th, beginning 10:00am (participants are encouraged to meet at 9:45am) on the corner of Sterling Place and Nostrand Avenue.

The clean-up day will encourage and assist in the ongoing North Crown Heights revitalization, and include graffiti removal, store front cleaning, garbage removal and street tree care. NYC Community Clean Up will provide these services (with the exception of street tree care) at no cost to the merchants and residents. Prospect Heights Street Tree Task Force will handle tree care which will include soil aeration, mulching, and pruning. The Crown Heights Mediation Center conceived of the clean-up day as a way to support new and existing businesses along Nostrand Avenue.

Council Member James encourages store owners along Nostrand to contact the Brooklyn Solution Center Branch of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, which provide alternate sources of capital and business solutions. Also, we encourage new store owners to access NBAT, New York City business acceleration initiative.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Jonathan Perez at the Office of Council Member Letitia James at 718-260-9191.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

CM James Urges Witnesses To Come Forward With Info About Recent Burglaries in FG/CH

August 17, 2011

Contact: Amyre Loomis at (718) 260-9191


(Brooklyn, NY) “It has come to light that an increase in burglaries has taken place in the Fort Greene-Clinton Hill area recently. I want to make the community aware of incidents that have occurred; business owners and residents should be alert and take precautions during these desperate times.

At 9:55 am this morning (on August 17) a black male described as 5’5”, possibly in his 40’s and wearing a black baseball cap displayed a firearm at CVS Pharmacy in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, left with approximately $100 from the cashier, then fled. Also, on Monday, August 15, at 9:48 am a black male, described as 6’0” and in his 30's, wearing a Baltimore Orioles cap and orange shirt handed a teller a note at the Chase bank branch located in Clinton Hill, and fled with approximately $1,000. Fortunately, no one was hurt during these incidents, but my office will help to provide any assistance needed.

I am requesting the 88th Precinct increase patrols on Myrtle Avenue, and I have spoken with these businesses about safety precautions. I ask if anyone has information that may lead to the arrest of these suspects to contact the NYPD. Tips can be left anonymously with the 88th Precinct police at (718) 636-6511.”

- Council Member Letitia James, 35 CD, Brooklyn


Crimestoppers- http://a056-crimestoppers.nyc.gov/crimestoppers/public/index.cfm

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

SAVE THE DATE: UFT 2nd Annual Parent Conference

The United Federation of Teachers and the Brooklyn Parent and Community Outreach Committee invites you to their 2nd Annual Parent Conference.

This event will offer workshops, exhibitors, resources, and a Q & A with experts, which focuses on empowering families to build greater educational partnerships.

Saturday, October 22, 2011
8:00am to 4:00pm
Brooklyn Technical High School
29 Fort Greene Place
Brooklyn, NY 11217

**Please note that this is only a save the date and an official registration brochure will be required. If you would like to receive a brochure and you are not currently on the UFT's mailing list, please contact Betty Zohar at 718-722-6937 or bzohar@uft.org. Brochures will be sent to the homes of interested persons in September 2011.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

ATTENTION: FCR Companies Provide FREE Waste Receptacles

FCR Companies Provide FREE Garbage Receptacles

Forest City Ratner (FCR) Companies will provide free waste receptacles to tenants, superintendents, and building owners near the Atlantic Yards project in an effort to address the Prospect Heights rodent infestation.

Health Department-approved lidded, heavy-duty trash cans are being offered by FCR to help keep rodents away from buildings.

**To be eligible, your building must be located: south of Atlantic Avenue from 4th Avneue to Vanderbilt Avenue; Vanderbilt Avenue from Atlantic Avenue to Bergen Street; Bergen Street from Vanderbilt Avenue to 4th Avenue; 4th Avenue (East side only) from Bergen Street to Atlantic Avenue.

How to get your free garbage can:
1. Make sure your building is located within the boundaries and has 12 units or fewer;
2. At pick-up, provide photo ID and proof of address by showing a utility bill with your unit number dated within the last three months;
3. Visit the Atlantic Yards Community Liaison Office located in the trailer on Carlton Avenue (between Pacific and Dean Streets).

Cans will be available during the following hours:
Monday, August 15th- 10am-4pm
Tuesday, August 16th- 10am-3pm and 6pm-8pm
Wednesday, August 17th- 10am-4pm
Thursday, August 18th- 10am-3pm and 6pm-8pm
Friday, August 19th- 10am-1pm

For more information on how to prevent rodents, please attend an educational forum hosted by Empire State Development and New York City Departments of Health and Sanitation at the Pacific Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library on--
Wednesday, August 17, 2011 from 6pm-8pm

For more information, please contact the Atlantic Yards Community Liaison Office at 1-866-923-5315 or communityliaison@atlanticyards.com.

Traffic Meter/ MTA Transit Updates

Parking Meters

The NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced that between August 2011 and June 2012 they will be replacing all remaining single-space parking meters with muni-meters throughout Brooklyn.

Also, effective August 9, 2011, DOT will begin increasing parking meter rates throughout Brooklyn. The new parking meter rates will be $1.00 an hour for short-term parking ($0.25 for 15 minutes), and $8.00 a day at all long-term metered spaces.

Please call the DOT Brooklyn Borough Commissioner at (718) 222-7259 with any further questions.

G-train Service

MTA/ NYC Transit will be operating shuttle buses along portions of the G subway line during 3 upcoming weekends due to track maintenance work. The 3 weekends for alternate service are as follows:

* August 27-29: G service suspended between Hoyt-Schermerhorn and Court Square F station, replaced by shuttle buses
* September 24-26: G service suspended between Bedford-Nostrand Aves. and Court Square F station, replaced by shuttle buses
* October 1-3: same as September 24-26 weekend

All weekend work will start at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday and end at 5:00 a.m. on Monday. All service diversions will be noted on posters at each affected station in advance of the weekend work, and MTA NYC Transit staff will be available throughout these weekends at the affected stations to assist our customers get to where they need to go.

Please call the MTA/NYC Transit at (718) 330-1234 with any further questions.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

CM James Announced First Annual Building Bridges Bike Day; Sat. Aug. 13; Grand Army Plaza

August 9, 2011

Contacts: Jonathan A. Perez at (718) 260-9191


Building Bridges Bike Day was founded by Council Member Letitia James to work with the public and other community officials, public officials, and advocates to raise awareness about public safety. The event is taking place at the crossroads of three major bike lanes, running lanes, and pedestrian walkways, and is a symbol of the bridge between these diverse groups.

The purpose of the event is to inform the public about safety concerns, and a table and tent for the Building Bridges Bike Day will be located in the center of the Green Market at Grand Army Plaza on this Saturday afternoon. Participants will coordinate between the local riders and pedestrians to create a greater awareness of rules, regulations, and safe streets in New York City.

Starting at 11 a.m. (during peak time of the Grand Army Plaza Green Market), the Building Bridges Bike Day table will feature Council Member Letitia James, Council Member Steve Levin, Council Member Brad Lander, and the initiative run by staff of Council Member James’ Office. Following presentations by elected officials and safety advocates, ambassadors from Transportation Alternatives and Recycle-A-Bicycle will talk to riders at the market and along Prospect Park’s bike lanes. Safety information, maps, other literature and bicycle donation information will be available.

“I’ve started bicycle riding myself this summer, and my hope is that a renewed culture of respect for pedestrians and bicyclists will continue to grow as the outcome of this very important initiative,” said Council Member Letitia.

Who: Council Member Letitia James, Council Member Steve Levin, Council Member Brad Lander, Transportation Alternatives, Recycle a Bicycle, Safety Advocates
What: Building Bridges Bike Day
When: Saturday, August 13, 2011 from 11a.m. - 2 p.m.
Where: Grand Army Plaza Green Market between Vanderbilt, Flatbush and Plaza Street


Friday, August 5, 2011

Afro-Punk Festival- 8/27-28; Commodore Barry Park

The Afro-punk Festival is returning to Brooklyn's Commodore Barry Park for its 7th edition on August 27-28 2011. This year has the most stellar line up yet with Cee Lo Green, Santigold, Janelle Monae, Fishbone, Toro Y Moi, Toshi Reagon and BIGLovely, Ninjasonik, Cerebral Ballzy, Gordon Voidwell, Reggie Watts, Res, Joi, Rocky Business, Straight Line Stitch.

Just added: Gym Class Heroes, Das Racist, Kenna, Tamar-kali, Bad Raddbits, Joe Jordans Experiment, Jersey Klan, Radkey, and DJ's Stack-Aly, Jillionaire, Dances with White Girls, D://BOi, dj.shErOck, toni*K!

In addition, the Nike Battle For the Streets Skate and BMX Competition, the largest street skate and BMX competition in NYC will return with the nation's top amateur skaters and BMX riders in a competition to be judged by top professionals in both sports including Nigel Sylvester and P-Rod.

There are some very exciting new additions to the festival this year! Over 20 of the NYC area's hottest food trucks and vendors have been brought together for the Afro-Punk Bites and Beats Food Truck Festival which will bring cuisine from around the world and the 5 boroughs to the event.

Please visit http://www.afropunk.com/page/afropunk-festival-11 for additional information.

Job Opportunity- Chase Hiring Customer Service Reps in BK

Chase bank plans to hire 1,000 new customer service staff in Brooklyn in the coming months.

The bank is hosting a job fair on August 11, 2011 from 11AM- 7PM at 4 Chase MetroTech Center.

More information is here, and interested candidates are encouraged to apply online at www.chase.com/careers (requisition number 110064425).

Job Opportunity- NYPD Hiring School Crossing Guards

The NYPD is presently hiring school crossing guards. Pay for these positions starts at $9.88 an hour and rises to $12.90 after three years. Health insurance is available with 20 hours of work per week. These positions give people an opportunity to work in their communities.

Applicants must be able to speak and be understood in English. No formal education or experience is required for the job. All potential guards go through a training program.

Crossing guards provide a crucial service to our communities by helping our kids get to school safely. Applications are available at all precincts. You can find more information on the NYPD website at: http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/html/careers/school_crossing_guard.shtml

CM James’ Statement Regarding Resignation of Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith

August 4, 2011

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

Council Member Letitia James’ Statement Regarding Resignation of Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith

(New York, NY)— After serving fourteen months with the administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Operations Stephen Goldsmith today publicly announced his resignation from this position.

In this position, Deputy Mayor Goldsmith was integral to the development of “NYC Simplicity”, a comprehensive online system created to make City services more focused, innovative, and efficient. He was also involved with the updates to PlaNYC, the mayor’s comprehensive sustainability plan; as well as increased efficiency to the Department of Building’s construction approval process.

Deputy Mayor Goldsmith oversaw operational management during the Snow Blizzard of 2010, during which the administration failed to adequately respond to unplowed streets and overflowing garbage in many communities. At the time Council Member Letitia James, chair of the Council’s Sanitation Committee, joined many of her colleagues in chastising the administration for its poor response to the blizzard, as well as being out-of-touch with the conditions in outer boroughs. In April 2011, the City Council passed a legislative package with the intent of increasing intergovernmental communications and transparency during snow emergencies. Deputy Mayor Goldsmith was also heavily involved in the City’s contracting agreement, which has seen a number of high-profile errors related to poor management and insufficient oversight— the most visible being the CityTime disaster.

“I have always believed Deputy Mayor Goldsmith to be both hard-working and responsive,” said Council Member Letitia James. “I do not believe one man is responsible for the administration’s numerous blunders, and I sincerely hope he is not being punished for poor polling numbers. I look forward to working with Commissioner Holloway in his new capacity.”

Mayor Bloomberg has appointed Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Caswell F. Holloway to the Deputy Mayor for Operations position.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

CM James’ Response To Mayor Bloomberg's Efforts To Bridge Disparities Between Young Black/Latino Men

August 4, 2011

Contacts: Amyre Loomis at (718) 260-9191


(Brooklyn, NY) Mayor Bloomberg's legacy will be defined by his victories and his failures. One of his major failures can best be illustrated by his lack of investment and focus on issues affecting urban youth. Black and Latino young men represent the most disaffected and disconnected constituency in the City.

Despite repeated warnings by members of the City Council, leaders and organizations… crying out in the wilderness of central Brooklyn and other urban settings urging investment; who for too long have been dependent primarily upon religious and civic volunteers and their individual small donations - the Mayor is finally showing up late to the carnage.

The mountain of disparity has consistently been dangerously trending upward. And unfortunately, the Bloomberg administration’s response has often been short-sighted, and more focused on policing youth. Bloomberg’s stop and-frisk policy has led to the systematic humiliation and harassment of Black and Latino residents who are innocent of any wrongdoing. That response was a band aide approach to deep structural inequities.

I applaud the Mayor; I guess this initiative is better late than never. But, it does appear to look like a major ‘mea culpa’ in the final leg of his term, as he finally turns his attention (and vast wealth) to probably the most marginalized and historically ignored group of individuals, who truly needed it, and could have benefited early on from his philanthropy and administration the most.


Update: CUNY Rate Increase for 2011-2012 Year

More information concerning the City University of New York (CUNY) rate increase for the 2011-2012 year. Full-time resident undergraduate students at senior colleges will pay $300 more for the 2011 school year, raising the total annual cost to about $5,100 per student. Law students will pay $670 more in 2011, bringing the annual tuition up to roughly $11,400. Master’s degree students will pay anywhere from $480 to $710 more per year, depending on the program. (DNA Info)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

CM James Announces Pilot Co-op/Condo Council, Urges Finance Department To Cap Property Taxes

August 2, 2011

Contacts: Amyre Loomis at (718) 260-9191

It has long been acknowledged that housing cooperatives and condominiums pay more than their fair share of property taxes

(Brooklyn, NY) Serious concern about the New York City Department of Finance's assessments of real property values for cooperative and condominium properties exists. Some residents have seen increases in market value of up to one-hundred fifty percent, and the resulting real property tax increases could be extremely damaging to affordable housing in many neighborhoods.

Council Member James said: “I ask that co-op and condo owners in the 35th Council District who may be experiencing increases in property taxes and other issues related to their residences, call my office. The pilot Co-op and Condo Council that I am forming has three purposes: 1. to get condo taxes capped at an affordable rate in Brooklyn, 2. to create discounted purchasing opportunities, 3. to develop green initiatives, and 4. to share information.”

Property tax rates for co-op and condos were capped at 10% (only in the borough of Queens) for the 2011 year, and co-ops/condos in Brooklyn and Citywide should also be capped. It is still unclear what the cap will be for 2012. The City Council is currently working with a panel/commission to examine the issue.

Tamara Clements, a resident of co-ops located at 149 and 153 Clinton Avenue said: “My neighbors and I want to understand how things work in the tax and real estate areas. We will support any efforts to research and speak out against built-in and structural unfairness in government, specifically as it relates to property taxes.”

The general consensus is that because co-op ownership (and condo ownership to a smaller degree) is the most accessible way for working-class people to become property owners, it is unfair that this group should shoulder a larger tax burden than traditional homeowners (whose property is more valuable overall). The goal of this pilot initiative is to cap property tax rates for these owners at a maximum of 8%, as suggested by the City Council.

“I’m certain a joint effort by co-op and condo owners to force the capping of escalating real estate taxes is very possible in Brooklyn through the formation, and work of this pilot Co-op and Condo Council,” said Council Member James.


ATTENTION: Heart of Brooklyn Cultural Institutions Open Free 8/7!

Heart of Brooklyn- a partnership of the leading cultural institutions located in central Brooklyn- is sponsoring a special day of FREE admission, contests and prizes in celebration of their 10th anniversary. For the first time, all six HOB attractions (Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn Children's Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Public Library, Prospect Park and Prospect Park Zoo) will be open to the public free of charge on Sunday, August 7!

Please read more here: http://www.heartofbrooklyn.org/free