Friday, December 21, 2012

CM James Comments on Gun Control In The Wake of Sandy Hook Elementary School Tragedy

DECEMBER 20, 2012

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

Council Member Letitia James Comments on Gun Control In The Wake of Sandy Hook Elementary School Tragedy

(New York, NY)— “In the wake of the tragic school shooting that took place at Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School, claiming the lives of 27 innocents, the time has come to engage in a serious dialogue on gun control both on a local and national level.

I applaud Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other leaders who have called on President Obama to take bold action on gun control. Mayor Bloomberg, founder of “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” recently called on the President to re-introduce the assault-weapons ban bill, and order the Department of Justice to aggressively pursue those who lie on weapons background check forms.

I echo Mayor Bloomberg, and further urge the New York State Legislature to tighten restrictions on assault weapons, and pass legislation requiring gun manufacturers to use bullet microstamping technology. This technology inscribes a gun’s make and model numbers on the firing pin, imprinting those numbers on the shell casings. This would allow shell casings picked up at crime scenes to be tracked to the gun that fired it. The utilization of this technology would offer the NYPD a new tool in fighting gun crime.

I recognize the work that the NYPD has done to seize and remove illegal guns from the streets of New York. For instance, in October 2012, the NYPD seized 100 illegal guns from weapons trafficking rings, including AK-47 assault rifles. The rings were believed to be selling illegal weapons brought into New York from pawn shops in South Carolina. However, it is equally important that the NYPD re-evaluate the sale of weapon’s materials (such as shell casings) to other states and municipalities with far more lax gun laws.

In 2012, New York City sold more than 28,000 pounds of the NYPD’s spent gun shell casings to a Georgia ammunition store. As per the laws in the state of Georgia, no identification or registration is required to purchase these materials. This is a practice that needs to be re-evaluated if New York is to continue to be seen as one of the most regulated gun-control states in the nation.

I again offer my deepest condolences to the families of those who were affected by this national tragedy.”

Council Member Letitia James introduced Int. 955-2012 into the Council, which would require the administration to report on the disposal of ammunition shell casings.


Friday, December 14, 2012


**Media Advisory**

It’s Parents vs. Kids at Annual Soccer Challenge!

(Brooklyn, NY) December 13, 2012 – Young Rock Soccer Academy and several Brooklyn organizations will announce a boost to their active, healthy living programming on Saturday, December 15th at Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus in conjunction with the Coca-Cola Foundation’s active, healthy living grant initiative.

Young Rock Soccer parents and youth will challenge each other to a game of soccer on Saturday morning at Schwartz Gym at LIU’s Brooklyn Campus. The event will kick off with brief remarks by Borough President Marty Markowitz and New York City Council Members, Letitia “Tish” James and Diana Reyna.

The grant donation to Young Rock Soccer Academy will provide soccer lessons for kids ages 4 through 16, and continue programming that aims to develop discipline, character and achievement for local area youth.

The following organizations are also grant recipients and will participate in the event: Body Sculpt, Coalition for Hispanic Family Services, El Puente, Seeds in the Middle, and Woodhull Kids Ride Club. 

The Coca-Cola Foundation is the philanthropic arm of The Coca-Cola Company. The grant is part of the Company’s initiative to aid local organizations in their quest to promote health and wellness, advance education, and spark environmental stewardship.

WHO: Magnus Mukoro, Co-Director, Young Rock Soccer Academy
Diana Reyna, New York City Council Member (District 34)
Letitia “Tish” James, New York City Council Member (District 35)
Donna Cirolia, VP, Public Affairs, Coca-Cola Refreshments
Representatives from Body Sculpt, Coalition for Hispanic Family Services,
El Puente, Seeds in the Middle, and Woodhull Kids Ride Club.

WHAT: Young Soccer Academy Annual Parent vs. Children Soccer Game

WHEN: Saturday, December 15, 2012, 10 am-12 pm Remarks – 10:15 am, Soccer game to follow WHERE: Long Island University – Schwartz Gymnasium
1 University Plaza (corner of DeKalb and Flatbush Avenues)

# # #

CM James Comments On DSK Civil Settlement

DECEMBER 10, 2012

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

Council Member Letitia James Comments On DSK Civil Settlement

(New York, NY)— On Monday, December 10, 2012, former IMF-head and French Diplomat Dominique Strauss-Kahn signed a settlement agreement regarding his civil suit with Nafissatou Diallo, a Guinean housekeeper who charged him with sexually assaulting her.

“As a strong advocate for victim’s rights, I am relieved that on some level justice has been served,” said Council Member Letitia James. “I hope this sends a strong message to those who would think that power and influence affords them the right to violate the rights of woman.” 

The criminal case against Strauss-Kahn provoked harsh media scrutiny into the life and personal history of Ms. Diallo, who at one point was falsely labeled as a prostitute. In August 2011, Council Member James held a press conference with women’s advocacy organizations calling for a fair criminal trial for Ms. Diallo, and an end to personal attacks.


Friday, December 7, 2012

Friends of Clinton Hill Library Book and Bake Sale!

Friends of Clinton Hill Library Book and Bake Sale!
Saturday, December 8th 10 AM—4 PM

• Raise funds for programs and materials at the Clinton Hill branch.
• FREE tattoos for kids!

To help staff the sale or to donate baked goods, please call 718-398- 8713 during library hours.

Clinton Hill Branch,  380 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn
M/Tu/Th/Fri 10-6
Wed 1-8
Sat 10-5

CM James Comments on Supreme Court Deliberation of Historic Marriage Equality Cases

DECEMBER 7, 2012

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

Council Member Letitia James Comments on Supreme Court Deliberation of Historic Marriage Equality Cases

(New York, NY)— On Friday, December 07, 2012, the United States Supreme Court announced that two marriage equality cases would be heard in the nation’s highest court in early 2013— California’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in that state; and the Windsor case, which addresses the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The Ms. Edie Windsor, 83, was required to over $363,000 in United States estate taxes after the death of her spouse Dr. Thea Spyer, because DOMA prohibits their marriage from being recognized under federal law. If Ms. Windsor had a heterosexual marriage, no federal estate tax would have been owed.

"I am deeply pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision to hear these important cases, and hope that we are on the road to overcoming DOMA and the over 1,000 federal benefits it denies same-sex spouses,” said Council Member Letitia James. “Ms. Windsor and Dr. Spyer’s love story was beautifully told in the documentary Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement, which captured their 42 years together, culminating in their 2009 wedding in Canada. It is fitting that a woman who challenged stereotypes to become a computer programmer in the 1960’s stand today as a champion for equal legal rights. I stand with many in hope that these historic challenges usher on the federal recognition of the legitimacy of same-sex."


CM James Comments on Interfaith Medical Center Hospital Recently Announced Plans to Declare Bankruptcy If Funding Is Not Secured

 DECEMBER 3, 2012

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

Council Member Letitia James Comments on Interfaith Medical Center Hospital Recently Announced Plans to Declare Bankruptcy If Funding Is Not Secured 

(New York, NY)— On Sunday, December 2, 2012, officials representing Interfaith Medical Center announced plans for the hospital to declare bankruptcy if necessary funding is not secured. Interfaith Hospital, which provides service to the Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights communities, has experienced significant financial hardship in the past few years, and has depended heavily on New York State aid.

In January 2012, the Medicaid Re-design plan (Berger Commission report) laid-out a number of existing issues in Brooklyn hospitals, and placed the bulk of the blame on hospital boards and management. The report found hospital boards failed to properly evaluate financial and clinical performance, or set strategic goals. In response to the findings, Wyckoff Hospital, Interfaith Medical Center, and Brooklyn Hospital Center (three of the hospital identified as ‘vulnerable’ in the report) seeked to agree to terms that would initiate a merger. Interfaith Hospital has expressed their interest in reconfiguring organizational operations to address current issues. However, Interfaith was not able to establish a reconfiguration plan that allowed them to maintain control over their functioning and leadership, and officials are deeply concerned that a merger that effectively folds one hospital into another will lead to the closure of Interfaith and the loss of those health resources in the Central Brooklyn community.

Interfaith needs New York State to guarantee an estimated $20 million in what is called ‘debtor-in-possession financing’ to underwrite its operating costs during the reorganization. According to media reports, hospital officials have stated that the State Dormitory Authority, which holds $130 million of the hospital's debt, refused to provide the financing unless Interfaith would first sign an agreement to merge with Brooklyn Hospital.

“New York State needs to step up and secure the $20 million needed to guarantee another year of health services for Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights residents,” said Council Member Letitia James. “Under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, I believe a merger that incorporates the vision of Interfaith can be established. It is imperative that we move towards that goal to save this comprehensive hospital, and the 1,600 jobs that would otherwise be eliminated.”

New York State requires vulnerable hospitals seeking to apply for public funding or merge to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) outlining the terms of the agreement.


ATTENTION: Putnam Court Affordable Housing Application

Putnam Court is an affordable housing development being built in Clinton Hill by Dunn Development (the developer of the Navy Green projects). There are 24 studio apartments with a rent of $613, for those making an annual income between $22,068 and $29,050. The application is available here: An additional 34 apartments will house those in need of supportive housing. The application must be postmarked by January 15, 2013.

More information on the project is available here:

ATTENTION: Holiday Party, Toy Drive; 12/12; Clinton Hill

The Brooklyn community is invited to a 2012 Holiday Celebration and Toy Drive for children in need. All attendees are asked to donate a new or unwrapped toy. You may also drop off toys at the Office of Council Member Letitia James between the hours of 9:30 am – 5:30pm, located at 67 Hanson Place, Ground Floor.

WHEN: Wednesday, December 12, 2012
TIME: 6:00pm until 10:00pm
WHERE: Sanders Studio
525 Waverly Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11238
(between Fulton Street and Atlantic Avenue)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Job Opportunity: Barclays Positions!

Barclays Center is currently hiring for positions in Concession and Housekeeping.

Pre-screening events will be held in Downtown Brooklyn this Wednesday through Friday (11/28 to 11/30). All interested and qualified candidates must attend a pre-screening event to be considered for a position. Registration is required to attend pre-screening events. More information (and registration) is available here:

Final interviews will be conducted starting Friday, November 30th in Downtown Brooklyn.

ATTENTION: Love Your Block Application DUE 11/30

The Citizens Committee for New York City and NYC Service invite volunteer-led neighborhood groups to apply for a Love Your Block award.

Groups will be awarded grants of $1,000 for projects to clean up, beautify, and improve their blocks. In addition to funding, groups will receive support of City services from the Department of Transportation, Department of Sanitation, and Parks and Recreation to complete the projects.

The application is available here (, and the deadline is November 30, 2012.

Friday, November 9, 2012

ATTENTION: Office of CM James Now Collecting Supplies

The Office of Council Member Letitia James at 67 Hanson Place (Ground Floor) is now collecting donated items for those affected by Hurricane Sandy:

The following items are being accepting:

- non-perishable food (including baby formula, etc.)

- NEW or CLEAN clothing (including winter coats and boots, etc.)

- unopened toiletries (including soap, deodorant, toothpaste, diapers, shampoo and conditioner, etc.)

- personal and home items (including NEW or GENTLY USED bath towels, bed sheets, unopened boxes of tissues, etc.)

Office of Council Member Letitia James 67 Hanson Place (Ground Floor) Brooklyn, NY 11217 Donations will be accepted between the hours of 9:00AM and 6:00PM.

COOKED FOOD and MONETARY DONATION will NOT be accepted. For more information, please contact the District Office at (718) 260-9191.

ATTENTION: SNAP/ Food Stamp Reimbursement

Please see the following information concerning SNAP (food stamps) and lost food reimbursement:

Individuals who receive SNAP (food stamps) will be reimbursed on their EBT card, for 50% of their monthly allotment to help purchase food lost due to the storm.

People who receive SNAP that lost more than 50% of their food for the month because of the storm, may be able to get reimbursed for more of their lost food by completing and submitting the following form:

People who receive SNAP will be able to temporarily purchase hot/prepared food from retailers licensed by the Food and Nutrition Service of the USDA, using their SNAP benefits. This is important because SNAP recipients are generally prohibited from purchasing hot/prepared food. However, because of many people left without electricity or ways to cook food, this prohibition will be waived until November 30th.

People who lost food but not on food stamps, MAY be eligible for a reimbursement to cover the cost of spoiled food due to power outages from ConEdison. The application for that program is attached and available by following the link here:

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

ATTENTION: Energy Self-Certification For Sandy-Affected Buildings

Property Owner,

If your building was damaged by Hurricane Sandy, a licensed contractor must certify that your energy equipment has been repaired and inspected before Con Edison can reenergize your property. A simplified process for turn-on requests will speed service restoration to damaged buildings. This process is coordinated through the NYC Department of Buildings.

While Con Edison recovers from the storm, the city is allowing building owners to file a Self-Certification Form directly with utilities, to restore service faster.

Self-Certification is a three-step process:
1. Get your electrical equipment inspected, cleaned, repaired by a licensed electrician.
2. Direct your electrician to complete a Self Certification Form (Electrician-Inspection or Self Certification Form– Electrician-Repair0
3. E-mail your Self Certification Form to your home borough: Brooklyn

Self Certification forms are also available in Customer Outreach vans in communities most affected by flooding. Con Edison staff will also accept completed forms, and will schedule your service turn-on once certification is received. For more information, please contact Con Edison Energy Services at 718-802-6349, Brooklyn.

ATTENTION: NYCHA/ Section 8 Emergency Transfer


Please note, you may need to provide documentation to confirm your displacement and NYCHA will review each request on a case by case basis. Please note that not all situations may be deemed an emergency.

To obtain a Transfer Request form: Call the NYCHA Call Center at 718-707-7771 or Visit any of NYCHA’s Customer Contact Center location for Brooklyn/Staten Island at 787 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, 2nd floor.

ATTENTION: NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation Pumping Heating Oil From Home Basements


If you have a home heating oil (HHO) tank and it has leaked into your basement and/or has been damaged by the storm please contact the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation at (718) 482-7376. The Department can come and pump the oil out of your basement or damaged tank. There will be no charge for this service.

When you call, please know the location and size of HHO tank, status of tank (full, partially full, empty), estimated amount of oil released into basement, approximate depth of oil/water in your basement, and accessibility of basement.

Please Note: At this time, the Department is NOT pumping flood waters from basements, only HHO. Homeowners whose boilers may have leaked in their basements. If left uncleaned for long periods of time, this may produce a public health risk.

Monday, November 5, 2012

ATTENTION: Updated Volunteer and Donation Information

The Office of Council Member Letitia James would like the share the following updated information concerning volunteering and donation services:

The NYPD is accepting donations at the following location:
Resort World Casino (Former Aqueduct Racetrack)
110-00 Rockaway Blvd
Jamaica, NY 11420
{Next to JFK airport)

Those delivering items should enter from 109th Street and Rockaway Blvd. The following items are being accepted:
Food - Canned goods; Non-perishable food items; Individual snacks (chips, cookies, fruit snacks, granola bars, pudding); Canned Milk; Bottled Water
Items - Paper products (facial tissue, toilet paper, paper towels); Baby care products (diapers, formula, wipes) Trash bags; Aluminum foil, plastic wrap and sandwich bags; Cleaning products (bleach, sponges, dishwashing liquid); Bath and bedroom items (towels, sheets and pillow cases); Personal care products (deodorant, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, conditioner; feminine hygiene products)
Clothing - All types of clothing for all ages and genders, particularly clothing for the approaching colder weather.

We understand that many residents cannot travel to this location and would prefer to donate to a more local location:

Queen of All Saints at 300 Vanderbilt Avenue in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn is collecting non-perishable food for the Hurricane Sandy Relief Effort. More information on collection times is available here:
The church can be contacted at (718) 638-7625.

Brooklyn Masonic Temple at 317 Clermont Avenue is collecting personal items, non-perishables, paper products, diapers, cleaning supplies, clothing, batteries, flashlights, and blankets. Items will be collected throughout November each Saturday at 12noon. The temple may be reached at 718-638-1256 from Monday through Friday (11AM -8PM). Volunteers are encourages to join in distributing donations to the Red Hook Initiative.

Red Hook Initiative at 767 Hicks Street in the Carroll Gardens/ Red Hook area of Brooklyn is one of the hurricane relief headquarters.
Those Looking To Volunteer-- Please report to 402 Van Brunt Street (10am - 5pm)
Those Looking To Deliver Hot Meals-- Hot meals should be delivered to the Red Hook Initiative headquarters at 767 Hicks Street (11am - 5pm ). Please call (718) 858-6782  if you plan to deliver hot food and at what time.  If you plan to bring a meal, send an email to
Please Deliver Cleaning Supplies / Water Pumps/Generators / Dehumidifiers-- to 402 Van Brunt Street (10am - 5pm)
Please Deliver Canned Food/ Non-perishables / Flashlights/ Candles/ Blankets-- to Good Shepherd Services, 173 Conover Street. Good Shepard Services can be reached at (212) 243-7070.

CM James Calls on MTA to Provide Temporary Shuttle Bus Service Along L, G Subway Lines


Contact: Aja Worthy-Davis at (718) 260-9191

Council Member Letitia James Calls on MTA to Provide Temporary Shuttle Bus Service Along L, G Subway Lines

(Brooklyn, NY)— The Metropolitan Transit Authority’s (MTA) has worked steadily to restore subway service that was halted due to the damage inflicted by Hurricane Sandy. By Friday, November 1, 2012, 60% of subway service was restored, and more service was returned daily.

By Saturday, November 3, 2012, the 4/5/6/7 and J-train resumed full service. And by Monday, November 5, 2012, the MTA expects that subway service will be restored by 84%, returning service to most of Lower Manhattan. Due to the steady resumption of subway service, on Saturday, November 3rd, the MTA ceased running shuttle buses that were traveling from Downtown Brooklyn to Manhattan.

“The shuttle buses were very helpful in helping residents travel during the halted subway service,” said Council Member Letitia James. “It would be wonderful if the MTA could provide temporary shuttle service along the L and G subway lines until full service is restored. Although the G train does not extend to Manhattan, it is a vital subway line in parts of the 35th District.”


Please note that a petition has been started calling on the MTA to implement shuttle service along the L and G lines. Please see here:

Friday, November 2, 2012

ATTENTION: Citywide Food and Water Distribution

There will be food and water distribution sites throughout the five boroughs. The details of these sites, including the exact locations and hours of operation, can be found here:
The two Brooklyn sites are Coffey Park at Richards Street (1PM - 5PM), and West 25th Street and Surf Avenue (1PM-5PM).

At the sites:
- Each person will be able to take three meals and five bottles of water.
- People should bring their own bags to carry their food and water.
- There will be 500,000+ flyers in English, Spanish, and Chinese to get word out to these impacted communities.
- 400 members of the National Guard, 150 volunteers from NYC Service, and 24 staff from the Salvation Army will help implement this program.
- Supplies are being delivered by FEMA in coordination with the Governor’s Office of Emergency Management.
- AT&T will bring pods that provide cell service and charging stations to the areas around the food distribution sites. These distribution centers will be open for as long as they are needed.

ATTENTION: Legal Aid Society Providing Assistance for Those Affected by Sandy

The Legal Aid Society is providing disaster relief legal assistance for families and individuals affected by Hurricane Sandy. Please visit for a list of our services and local offices in your area or call the central telephone number at 212-577-3300.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

ATTENTION: Post-Sandy Updates

The Office of Council Member Letitia James is available at the District Office at 67 Hanson Place, and has been assisting residents in emergency shelters, and facilitating fallen tree removal and other Hurricane Sandy-related issues. The District Office may be contacted at (718) 260-9191.

Important information has been sent to local community organizations over the last 72 hours, and is summarized below:

Con Ed/ Electricity
As of October 31, 2012, Con Edison was able to return service to many Manhattan and Brooklyn customers who have been without service since Hurricane Sandy touched down. If you are still without service, please report to 1-800-75-CONED. The Con Ed outage map is available here:
Please be aware that the NYPD has set-up light towers in areas that continue to be without power.

The Department of Buildings has begun inspecting buildings in  Zone A areas to assess their structural integrity. By and large, these inspections are taking place outside of the 35th District.

However, please be aware that buildings will be tagged with one of three color placards to indicate their safety: ​
Green: the building is safe to enter
Red: the building is not safe and may not be entered
Yellow: it can be occupied conditionally (i.e. one floor may be safe while another is not.) These conditions would be explained on a placard attached to the building.

As the MTA and New York City Transit recover, Governor Andrews Cuomo has announced that free transit will be available for Thursday (Nov 1) and Friday (Nov 2), and limited subway service will be available. WNYC has a helpful Transit Tracker available here: Multiple outlets are reporting that the MTA-operated Brooklyn-Manhattan "bus bridge" is slow-moving, as is acquiring gas. Please be aware that cars entering Manhattan must have 3 passengers between the hours of 6:00AM to midnight. Roughly 4,000 taxis and livery cabs are available and allowed to do street hails and pick-up multiple fares. The city suggests an additional $10 charge per fare and notes that drivers must quote prices up front.

The Department of Education schools are closed Thursday (Nov 1) and Friday (Nov 2). Teachers and administrators are expected to report to work on Friday for updates.

CUNY is open on Friday (Nov 2), except: Borough of Manhattan Community College, College of Staten Island, Baruch College and Kingsborough Community College.

The Department of Sanitation is making scheduled garbage collections as conditions permit. Recycling collections are suspended at this time.

This is a list of the local emergency shelters:

• NYC Technical College, 300 Jay Street
• I.S. 117, 300 Willoughby Avenue
• I.S. 55, 2021 Bergen Street
• Brooklyn Tech High School, 29 Fort Greene Place
• Boys and Girls High School, 1700 Fulton Street
• Clara Barton High School, 901 Classon Avenue

You may additionally find your local emergency shelter location here: The Park Slope Armory and Brooklyn Technical High School in Fort Greene are hosting a large number of people, specifically seniors and people with disabilities. Those looking to volunteer or donate supplies should stop by. Otherwise, you may volunteer with NYC Service by contacting 311 or A list of volunteering opportunities is available here:

Homeowners (Who Have Sustained Loss)
Residents and business owners who sustained losses may begin applying for assistance, or 800-621-FEMA(3362). Additionally, please log your application with New York City Communities for Change at

The Federal Small Business Administration (SBA) provides low interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private, nonprofit organizations to repair or replace real estate, personal property, equipment, inventory, etc. that have been damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster. Further information is available here:

Businesses (Who Have Sustained Loss)
The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce has created a resource guide with vital information and phone numbers businesses need to contact in order to get assistance and emergency loans. The guide can be accessed here Emergency loans will be made available to small-to-midsize businesses through the City, with caps at $10,000. Please see here:, or call 311 for NYC Business Solutions.

Midsize-to-large businesses that need to rebuild should contact the NYC Economic Development Corporation for further information on an emergency sales tax letter from New York City Industrial Development Authority (IDA) that will allow businesses to avoid payment of New York City and New York State sales taxes on materials purchased for rebuilding. IDA will also waive all fees and look to streamline its normal procedure. This program is expected to offer economic benefits to reconstruction projects costing $500,000 or more. Please contact Shin Mitsugi at for further information on this program.

Finally, office space at Brooklyn Army Terminal is available free of charge. This space includes approximately 40,000 square feet of warehouse area.

The Federal SBA is assisting small businesses with several loans that have been made available since New York City has been declared a Disaster Area. Please see further information here:
Application Filing Deadlines:
Physical Damage: December 31, 2012
Economic Injury: July 31, 2013

Monday, October 22, 2012

BK District Attorney Drops Charges Against Man Beaten By NYPD In Jewish Center

OCTOBER 22, 2012

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

Brooklyn District Attorney Dismisses Charges Against Ehud H. Halevi
Video Shows Homeless Man Was Beaten By Police Officers

(Brooklyn, NY)— On Monday, October 8, 2012, NYPD was contacted about a man who was sleeping in the lounge of the ALIYA Institute, a synagogue and outreach center, on East New York Avenue. The homeless man, Mr. Ehud H. Halevi, had permission to sleep in the center by the Director of ALIYA, Rabbi Moshe Feiglin. Video shows that two officers from the 71st Precinct approached Mr. Halevi and attempted to place him under arrest. In the process, Mr. Halevi appears to have been pepper-sprayed, and was repeatedly punched violently. Other officers later entered the center to subdue Mr. Halevi.

On October 15, 2012, Council Member Letitia James joined other elected officials in denouncing this incident of police brutality. Today, the Office of Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes announced that charges were dropped against Mr. Halevi.

"I applaud District Attorney Hynes for quickly reviewing the evidence of the case, and dismissing the charges against Mr. Halevi," said Council Member Letitia James.

Council Member Letitia James is a co-sponsor of the package of legislative bills known as the Community Safety Act that would address the stop-and-frisk policy, and appoint an independent Inspector General to oversee the NYPD.


Monday, October 15, 2012

ATTENTION: PACC Free Tree Giveaway; 11/3; Bed-Stuy

Pratt Area Community Council will be hosting a Fall 2012 Tree Giveaway where 100 trees will be given away.

WHEN: November 3, 2012
11:00AM- 1:00PM

WHERE: Magnolia Plaza (between Marcy and Tompkins)
686 Lafayette Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11216

More information is available at

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


SEPTEMBER 26, 2012

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


(New York, NY)— On Monday, September 21, 2012, Council Member Letitia James introduced a resolution into the New York City Council. The resolution calls on the New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) to further protect local communities through more thoroughly communicating with residents, community leaders, and local elected officials concerning liquor licensing; and to require liquor license applications for large venues to include thorough security and community safety plans.

Currently, the SLA requires any business entity applying for a liquor license to submit a 30-day notification form to the local community board. The 30-day notification process is meant to afford all those affected an opportunity to voice their position. A Brooklyn Speaks petition signed by nearly 1,400 residents requested that Barclays Center’s license be limited to serving drinks during ticketed arena events only, and must mandate an end to liquor sales after half time at an NBA game, 45 minutes before the end of an event, or at 10:00PM—whichever comes first. Although Barclay’s Center complied with the 30-day notification requirement, and public hearings were held, developer Forest City Ratner and the SLA did not implement an early cutoff for alcohol sales (as had been consistently requested and outlined in the community-centered Barclays Center Neighborhood Protection Plan). Instead, the Board voted to impose a 1:00AM cut off for liquor sales at the arena.

“It is important that the State Liquor Authority understand that even with the most meticulous crowd management imaginable, the opening of an arena that serves alcohol into the morning will affect residential life in the surrounding community,” said Council Member Letitia James. “I would certainly hope that when the next big arena is developed in New York City, the SLA would make more of an effort to address quality-of-life concerns raised by the community.”

Stakeholders also requested that SLA require Forest City Ratner to clarify and make transparent their security and community safety plan prior to granting the license.

Barclay’s Center will soon be holding sporting events and concerts that seat up to 20,000 individuals.


CM James Joins Parents, School Advocates In Rally Against DOE Co-location of Success-Academy Charter School Brooklyn 5

October 10, 2012

CONTACT: Barbara Sherman (718) 260-9191 /


(Brooklyn, NY)-- Please join Council Member Letitia James Thursday, October 11th at 4:00pm at a press conference opposing Eva Moskowitz’s Success-Academy Charter School Brooklyn 5 that will serve K through fifth grade to be co-located with Susan McKinney K265 and P369@265, a secondary school, sixth through twelfth grades in school District 13. The District 13 School Field Office (KN13) and a community based organization Partnership with Children is also located in K265. 

The co -location of Success Academy School Brooklyn 5 will compromise and or eliminate the mandated services for District 75 students and students with an Individualized Education Plan (“IEP”). In addition, the co-location will diminish the educational mandate of Susan McKinney Secondary School of the Arts ability to offer classes in drama, chorus, dance, and visual arts to students in grades 6 to 12. 

DOE’s Educational Impact Study purports that the school will operate at 102%. Operating at above capacity will endanger students, compromise education, and eliminate state mandated resource rooms for children who attend P369@k265 and students with IEP’s. 

DOE’s expansion of charter schools has led to greater inequities, and a higher concentration of need in our district public schools at the same time they have taken up increased amounts of critical space from the district schools that educate the neediest students, including in many cases libraries, classrooms, and intervention spaces leading to unacceptable conditions. 

WHO: NYC Council Member Letitia James 
WHAT: The New York Department of Education Office of Portfolio proposal to co-locate Success Academy Charter School Brooklyn 5 at Susan McKinney K265 and P369@265 
WHEN: Thursday October 11, 2012 4:00PM EST 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Friday, September 21, 2012

CMs James, Williams, Gentile Sound Alarm on Recent Voting Problems Ahead of Election Day

September 20, 2012


On September 20th, 2012, Council Members Jumaane D. Williams (D-Brooklyn), Vincent J. Gentile (D-Brooklyn) and Letitia James (D-Brooklyn) joined their elected colleagues and good government groups, including Common Cause-NY and Citizens Union, in voicing serious concern over widespread voting problems that occurred during last Thursday's primary election. Joined by Council Members Charles Barron (D-Brooklyn), Gale Brewer (D-Manhattan), Leroy Comrie (D-Jamaica) and Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn), they also sounded the alarm on the impact such issues, if unaddressed by the Board of Elections (BOE), could have on New Yorkers' ability to vote in the general election taking place in less than two months.

Difficulties across the city affected a vast number of the primary electorate, notably seniors and immigrant communities. Of particular distress was the amount of voters unaware that their poll site had changed; some individuals were sent to multiple locations by poll workers. Small font size on the ballots also stymied New Yorkers, especially in Manhattan and Brooklyn where the type was only seven point.

"While the BOE may not have intended to disenfranchise New Yorkers, their negligence in addressing key voting issues had that accidental and unfortunate effect," said Council Member Williams. "In my travels on Primary Day, I saw voters leaving poll sites screaming and cursing over the general chaos. Many were redirected and misdirected to the point that they lost the will to cast a ballot, and that cannot be our status quo. The BOE must address these issues, particularly for groups like seniors and immigrants that fall on the other half of the digital divide."

"Voting is a right that should not require a magnifying glass," said Council Member Gentile. "Perhaps I'm living in the Twilight Zone, but I think rule #1 should be to print ballots that people can actually read."

"The primary election showed us that the Board of Elections needs to make some technological, language, and functional upgrades to make voting as simple as possible for New Yorkers," said Council Member James. "It is imperative that these issues are rectified before the November elections."

In addition to recounting individual and citywide obstacles, Council Members Williams, Gentile and James proposed several reforms, some of which have also been suggested by the good government community, to hopefully be enacted in advance of the general election.

This included changes such as, but not limited to:
• Utilizing standout print and/or ink color in all BOE informational communications.
• Sending an additional mailing to voters making clear their poll site may have changed.
• Increasing the font size on all ballots.
• Training poll workers on all resources, including new online tools.
• Having the BOE be more proactive in checking poll sites during Election Day.
• Quickly and publicly releasing detailed compilations of voter complaints.
• Expanding a voter education campaign to subways and bus shelters.
• Increasing BOE collaboration with elected officials, senior centers, civic associations and related stakeholders.

"It's clear that due to redistricting there was widespread confusion about polling locations which suppressed turnout and dissuaded eager voters from executing their constitutional right," said Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause-NY. "Any obstacle to a safe and legal election is unacceptable. This is now the second election in which our elections administration failed to serve the voters. There are constructive things which can be done to prevent problems in November. If the City and the Board of Elections fail to act now, there will be no excuse if November turns out to be strike three for our election administration."

"We put a man on the moon in less time than it's taken to modernize voting in New York City," said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio (D-New York). "This isn't rocket science: voters should be sent to the correct poll site, be able to understand the ballot, and have confidence that their vote counted. The window to fix these problems gets narrower every day. There is no excuse for a repeat of Primary Day's chaos come November."

"The primary election on September 13th was beset by numerous problems, despite the low turnout," said Council Member Gale Brewer (D-Manhattan), chair of the Committee on Governmental Operations. "In preparation for a hearing on October 15th, I conducted an informal survey of voters' experiences at the polls. The most common problems reported to my office were confusion about poll site and election district (ED) changes due to redistricting, misinformation from poll workers including directing voters to the wrong poll site or ED table, issues with the size of the font on the ballot, and problems with the ballot scanner including a lack of privacy when poll workers had to assist voters. However, it should be noted that the Board made several positive steps to increase voter awareness, including the launch of a newly designed website and a smartphone app, both complete with a poll site locator and sample ballot tool. I urge the Board to focus on correcting these problems before November, and I ask all stakeholders to take advantage of the voter outreach tools that the Board has made available."

"The act of voting is the gateway to political participation in our city and country; it is an inviolable right that is made manifest by the assurance that every vote is counted," said Council Member Rosie Mendez (D-Manhattan). "However, during the past two elections we have received numerous accounts of potentially disenfranchising outcomes, including unreadable ballots, machine errors, closed polling places, incorrect information regarding polling places, confusion with respect to redistricting changes and under-informed poll workers. Such outcomes are unacceptable because the social cost of disenfranchisement is absolute. That is why I am proud to join with my colleagues today to sound the alarm for November and redouble our efforts to provide proactive solutions that will empower voters and encourage meaningful participation this fall."

These complications will be raised during a scheduled hearing of the Committee on Governmental Operations on Monday, October 15th, as well as legislation that is aimed at improving the electoral process.

# # #


SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

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


(Brooklyn, NY)— Following yesterday’s violent attack of a Prospect Heights woman on Eastern Parkway between Underhill Avenue and Washington Avenue, Council Member Letitia James called on the 77th Precinct to secure the Underhill Avenue and Washington Avenue blocks spanning Bergen Street and Eastern Parkway.

There have been 10 violent attacks reported in Prospect Heights over the 2012 summer, as reported by the Patch. The vast majority of attacks were robberies, although in some cases the attacker left without taking the victim’s property. Recently, a 16-year-old was arrested and charged for three muggings in the community.

“It is imperative that the 77th Precinct move to address this rash of violent attacks through placing additional police presence in the nexus of these where these crimes are taking place,” said Council Member Letitia James. “It is incredibly fortunate that someone has not been more seriously injured over the summer.” 

According to the NYPD, there is no existing link between these crimes.


Friday, September 14, 2012

UPDATE: FAMILY LOCATED- CM James Calls on Relatives of Winston Gillett to Come Forward

UPDATE: Since this press release was sent, Mr. Gillett's family has been located and notified of his passing. We thank the media for their assistance in bringing closure during this difficult time.


SEPTEMBER 11, 2012

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

Mr. Gillett Was A Construction Worker Killed in A Fort Greene Roof Collapse 

(Brooklyn, NY)— Yesterday, a four-story building’s roof collapsed at the Fort Greene site of the developing Carlton Mews Townhouses at 227 Carlton Avenue. The roof collapse took the life of Mr. Winston Gillett, 67, a construction worker with TTNJ Community-Based Organization. Another worker, Mr. Clayton LaBoard, 43, remains hospitalized and in critical condition.

At this time, no relatives of Mr. Gillett have come forward. The Jamaican Consulate General has been contacted to assist in the search for family members. Mr. Gillett’s last known address was on Irving Avenue in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn.

“I urge anyone who recognizes Mr. Gillett to come forward so that we can provide closure to his family at this tragic time.” said Council Member Letitia James.

Any individual who recognizes Mr. Gillett, and is in contact with his relatives, should reach out to the Office of Council Member Letitia James at (212) 788-7081 immediately.


ATTENTION: Citizen's Cmte Hosts "Build A Greenhouse"; Crown Heights; 9/22

The Citizen's Committee of NYC will be hosting a 'Build A Greenhouse For Your Community Garden' workshop!

WHEN: Saturday, September 22, 2012
10:30AM- 3:30PM
WHERE: Westbrook Memorial Garden
Crown Heights

For more information, please contact (212) 822-9568.

CM James Comments on NYC Board of Health Passage of 'Soda Ban'

September 13, 2012

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


(New York, NY)— Today, New York City’s Board of Health voted 8-1 to ban the sale of sugary drinks over 16 ounces, amid strong criticism from elected officials and others that the ban would be both ineffective and selectively-applied. Council Member Letitia James has been a vocal criticizer of the plan, and put forth alternative proposals to the administration.

"Unfortunately— but unsurprisingly—the Mayor's proposal to ban sugary drinks over 16 ounces has been approved by the Board of Health despite the fact that 60% of NYC residents don't agree with it. Instead of limiting choices, this administration should be working with our community groups and education officials to expand physical fitness activities and teach our kids the benefits of a healthy lifestyle at an early age," said Council Member Letitia James.


ATTENTION: Forum on NYC Juvenile Justice "Close to Home" Program in Bed-Stuy

The NYC Department of Juvenile Justice will host "Close To Home", a community forum on how best to serve young people in the juvenile justice system.

WHEN: Tuesday, October 2, 2012
6PM- 8PM
WHERE: Bed-Stuy Restoration Plaza
1360 Fulton Street
Brooklyn, NY

For more information, or to RSVP, please call (347) 860-4818.

Monday, September 10, 2012

ATTENTION: CM James Comments on Collapse of FG Townhouse Roof

SEPTEMBER 10, 2012

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


(Brooklyn, NY)— On Monday, September 10, 2012, a four-story building’s roof collapsed at the site of the developing Carlton Mew Townhouses at 227 Carlton Avenue. The roof collapse, which took place at around 9:15AM, severely injured two construction workers—one who was pronounced deceased at Brooklyn Hospital. Additionally, two other workers were busy on the roof at the time of the collapse.

The development at both 225 and 227 Carlton held Department of Building (DOB) permits for proposed two-family homes. A representative of the DOB clarified that there were no open complaints or violations on the development (although some media reports state the site has at least 1 violation). However, the New York Times reported that a neighbor recently called 311 to complain about excessive vibrations coming from the construction site; but they did not file a formal complaint with the City. Various media reports echo poor construction at the development site.

The Times also reports that other neighbors say they had noticed structural damage to their own homes since the construction started a few months ago.

“This tragic incident raises serious concerns about the safety practices at this construction site, and whether there was proper oversight of this construction by both the Department of Buildings and the developer,” said Council Member Letitia James. “I will be working closely with the Department to review the circumstances that led to this horrific incident. I believe this tragedy further underscores the need for greater safety precautions and worker safety training at major development sites throughout the City.”

The Carlton Mews Townhouses consist of five proposed townhouses along Carlton Avenue between Willoughby Avenue and Dekalb Avenue. The proposed completion date for the project was December 2012.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

ATTENTION: Barclays Arena Liquor License Approved; Cut-Off Time 1AM

Barclays Center was approved for its liquor license by the New York State Liquor Authority, despite concerns raised by Council Member James and community members (including a petition signed by nearly 1,400 residents). Contrary to requests for an early alcohol cut-off time, the Board voted to impose a 1:00AM cut off for liquor sales at the arena.

More information is available from Brooklyn Speaks here:

Monday, August 27, 2012

Council Member Letitia James and District Attorney Charles Hynes Put Brooklyn "Johns" on Alert

August 24, 2012

Contact: Barbara Sherman (718) 260-9191

Council Member Letitia James and District Attorney Charles Hynes Put Brooklyn "Johns" on Alert

(Brooklyn, NY)-- Council Member Letitia James and Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes along with the 79th and 88th precincts are mobilizing the community to help stop prostitution in the 35th District and throughout Brooklyn.

“It takes a village to keep our community safe. Prostitution is not a victimless crime. We need more police patrolling our streets in collaboration with community churches and local organizations. All these resources are needed to reach out to those in need,” said Council Member James.

" 'Johns'-- you have been put on alert, all eyes will be on you! I want to commend Police Commissioner Ray Kelly on his efforts to have officers focus not on supply but on demand, by arresting the clients, or 'johns'," said Council Member Letitia James.

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes said, “The members of my Sex Crimes Bureau will continue to work with the New York City Police Department and Community Leaders like Council Member James to rid their neighborhoods of prostitution. We are ready with a multi-pronged approach. We will prosecute anyone who profits to the fullest extent if the law. We offer alternatives to incarceration to victims that teach them other ways to support themselves. All 'johns' are offered the option to attend Project Respect - program that has proven very successful in reducing recidivism.”

When: Monday, August 27th at 9:00am
Where: Fulton and Classon Avenue, Brooklyn NY

Thursday, August 23, 2012


August 23, 2012

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


New York, NY— In December 2011, Council Member Letitia James and colleagues expressed outrage at the offensive and disrespectful comments made by some individuals affiliated with the New York City Police Department (NYPD) on the social-networking website “Facebook”.

Commenters on the Facebook group entitled “No More West Indian Day Detail” were found referring to parade participants as “animals”, “savages”, and “filth”; and the parade overall as a “scheduled riot”. Today, the New York Daily News reported that 17 officers were disciplined for their remarks— with 4 officers facing departmental trials on misconduct charges, 6 officers facing command disciplines, and 7 officers receiving lower levels of punishment.

“These comments were deeply offensive, specifically to the elected officials who every year work with the NYPD to address safety concerns related to the West Indian Day Parade,” said Council Member Letitia James. “I commend the NYPD for addressing this unacceptable behavior.”

The 2011 West Indian American Day Parade saw a total of nine shooting victims, with four of those victims shot along the parade’s route. Those who lost their life include Denise Gay, 56, who was shot while sitting on a stoop with her daughter.



August 21, 2012

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

Task Force Would Report Data to Mayor and City Council 

(New York, NY)— At tomorrow’s Council Stated, Council Member Letitia James will introduce legislation to re-implement the Citywide Anti-Graffiti Task Force in order to assess the scope of illegal graffiti throughout New York City— specifically bias-related graffiti and gang tags. The task force would additionally examine the effectiveness of existing provisions meant to curb illegal graffiti.

The legislation would require the New York Police Department Commissioner to serve as Chairperson of the task force. Annual reports would be sent to the Mayor and City Council.

In June 2012, the Brooklyn Bridge was defaced for the first time since 1998. That same month, synagogues in Brooklyn neighborhoods such as Borough Park, Kensington, and Williamsburg were plastered with swastikas. And recently, a Holocaust Memorial in Sheepshead Bay was defaced with profanity over victim’s names. Throughout many communities, gang graffiti aimed at intimidating others and marking territory remains prevalent.

“An anti-graffiti task force will help create safer neighborhoods by recommending long-term solutions through collaborative work, and assessment of anti-graffiti programs Citywide,” said Council Member Letitia James. “The task force would additionally review the progress of other jurisdictions.”

The Anti-Graffiti Task Force was first implemented in New York City by Mayor Rudy Giuliani in 1995.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

ATTENTION: RFP Released for Bedford-Atlantic Armory

The New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) are seeking proposals  from qualified developers for the ground lease, development, and operation of approximately 50,000 square feet of available space within the historic 23rd Regiment (also known as “Bedford-Atlantic”) Armory.

The Armory is located at 1322 Bedford Avenue in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Through this request for proposals (RFP), the EDC is seeking developers who:

(i) enhance the surrounding community’s access to the Drill Hall through potential neighborhood-serving uses,
(ii) cause minimal impact to DHS’s active operation within the Armory Head House,
(iii) ensure that future Drill Hall uses are community-serving,
(iv) create a financially feasible and economically viable project,
(v) complete necessary capital improvements, and
(vi) contemplate and preserve the historic character of the facility.

The EDC plans to select a qualified developer on the basis of factors stated in the RFP which include, but are not limited to: economic impact on New York City, experience of key staff identified in the proposal, the proposed project’s financial feasibility, demonstrated successful experience in performing services similar to those encompassed in the RFP, and the proposed lease terms.

Respondents may submit questions and/or request clarifications from the EDC no later than 4:00pm on Friday, October 5, 2012. Questions regarding the subject matter of this RFP should be directed to

The EDC will be holding an optional Info Session in September. Those who wish to attend should RSVP by email to by Friday, September 7, 2012.

DATE: Wednesday, September 12, 2012
TIME: 10:00am
LOCATION: 1322 Bedford Avenue
Crown Heights, Brooklyn

To access the RFP, please follow this link: MWBE Companies who have been certified with the New York City Small Business Services are strongly encouraged to apply.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

ATTENTION: Barclays Area Community Safety Meeting; 8/22

With the upcoming opening of Barclay Arena, and various Community Safety Concerns:

Please Join Council Member Letitia James and Captain Michael Ameri (of Brooklyn's 78th Precinct) to discuss and answer questions regarding the safety and quality of life concerns in residential communities after the September arena opening.

 • NYPD’s 78th Precinct will be responsible for policing the arena as well as enforcement of traffic and parking rules, protection of pedestrian safety and regulation of public behavior within a one-half mile radius around the arena block.

When: August 22nd, 2012
Time: 6:00PM
Where: 78th Precinct, 65 6th Avenue Corner of Bergen Street (4th Floor Court Room)

Monday, August 13, 2012

ATTENTION: NYC Districting Commission Public Hearings

Public Hearings of the New York City Districting Commission begin TODAY:

BROOKLYN Monday, August 13th
Brooklyn Borough Hall
209 Joralemon Street
New York, NY 11209

By Subway: Borough Hall (Court Street) Station on the 2, 3, 4, 5, M, and R lines
By Bus: B25, B26, B37, B38, B41, B45, B51, B52, B54, B57, B61, B65, B67, B75, B103 serving Borough Hall area

MANHATTAN Thursday, August 16th
New York Law School
185 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013 

By Subway: Brooklyn Bridge Station on the 4, 5, and 6 lines; Chambers Street Station on the 1, 2 and 3 lines; City Hall Station on the N and R lines; Chambers Street Station on the A and C lines
By Bus: M1, M6, M15, M22, M103, B51, and express buses serving City Hall area

Individuals wishing to pre-register for speaking time or to submit written testimony in advance may do so by signing up online at Individuals wishing to speak at any hearing will be provided up to three minutes of speaking time.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

CMs James & Viverito Call on DOE to Combat Youth Obesity Through Expanded PE in Public Schools

August 6, 2012

Contact: Joe Taranto (CM Mark-Viverito): (917) 535-5531 |
Aja Worthy-Davis (CM James): (212) 788-7081 |


(New York, NY)— As the Bloomberg administration promotes its proposed ban on the sale of large sugary drinks, Council Members Melissa Mark-Viverito and Letitia James have spearheaded a letter to New York City Department of Education (DOE) Chancellor Dennis Walcott highlighting deficiencies in the City’s physical education (PE) program. The letter, which was signed by 32 other Council Members, points to several studies indicating that the city’s children, particularly in low-income communities of color, are not receiving the minimum required gym classes, despite the important role that regular physical activity plays in reducing obesity.

“With all the attention being placed on the Bloomberg administration’s proposed soda ban, we felt that there was a larger story to tell about how other policy choices by this administration are contributing to the obesity epidemic in this City,” said Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito. “The disparities between our city’s neighborhoods when it comes to physical education are unacceptable. We look forward to working with the DOE to achieve a marked improvement in the City’s physical education program, particularly in low-income communities of color.”

“Unlike the administration’s ‘soda ban’, the expansion of physical fitness activities and education in schools will go far to teach the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle from an early age.” said Council Member Letitia James, who has been working with “Let’s Move Brooklyn” (part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s national youth fitness campaign) this summer, speaking at their educational panel as well as hosting the “Brooklyn Olympic Fun Day Events” in Bedford-Stuyvesant last month.

According to a recent New York Times article, one in five city high school students reported not having gym class in an average week. Additionally, none of the 31 elementary schools visited by the NYC Comptroller’s Office last year met New York State standards on PE. And a 2012 study conducted by the NYC Strategic Alliance for Health found only 6 out of 74 elementary schools studied were meeting state requirements.

The New York State Education Department requires that PE classes be held every day for students in grades K to 3, and three times a week for grades 4 to 6, for a minimum of 120 minutes a week; and at least 90 minutes a week for grades 7 and 8. Three gym classes a week are required for grades 7 through 12 in one semester, and twice a week in another.

The communication to the Chancellor requested that his office provide the Council with data on the City’s PE program; clarification on the DOE’s policy on PE in co-located schools; and information regarding the DOE’s strategy to improve PE in schools and reduce PE disparities across neighborhoods.


Monday, July 30, 2012

ATTENTION: Back-To-School Supplies Drive


Council Member Letitia James is requesting assistance in securing school supplies for in-need students in the 35th Council District for the 2012-2013 school year.

"It is our duty to invest in our children’s future and what better way to invest than to make sure our young people are equipped and prepared with the tools they need to learn!"- Council Member Letitia James

Donations of pens, pencils, paper, backpacks, notebooks, calculators, protractors, crayons, paint, construction paper, etc. would be greatly appreciated. Collection of these items will be distributed at an event in September in time for the 2012-2013 school year.

If you require any further information, please feel free to contact (718) 260-9191. Thanking you in advance for your consideration and your cooperation.

ATTENTION: Beware of Raccoons!

Raccoons can carry rabies, and rabid raccoons have been found in New York City. Although, so far, there has not been a human case of rabies contracted from raccoons in New York City, this risk does exist and should be taken seriously.

To arrange for a raccoon to be picked up that appears to be staggering, convulsing, spitting, choking, or frothing at the mouth, call Animal Care and Control at 311, or your local police precinct.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

ATTENTION: Lafayette Ave. "Greenstreets" Presentation; TODAY 7/17; 6PM; Emmanuel Baptist Church

On July 17, 2012, Council Member Letitia James will host a presentation on the LAFAYETTE AVENUE “GREENSTREETS” PROJECT: a joint project of NYC Department of Parks & Recreation and NYC Department of Transportation.

The Lafayette Avenue “GREENSTREETS” Project is a Three-Phase Project that will transform the cobblestone “malls” into a green, beautiful strip of planted beds and pathways. Construction on Phase 1 is scheduled to begin this month, and completion is planned for the Summer 2013.

Please join us and learn more about the recently-completed final plans for this community improvement:

WHEN: Tuesday, July 17, 2012

WHERE: Emmanuel Baptist Church
279 Lafayette Avenue
(corner of St. James Place Parlor Room)

For further information, please contact Alfred Chiodo from the Office of Council Member Letitia James at (718) 260-9191.

Monday, July 16, 2012

ATTENTION: HDC Public Hearing on AY Housing; 7/18

The New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) will be holding a TEFRA (Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act) public hearing to provide information regarding the process of securing financing for a housing tower at Atlantic Yards.

The hearing will take place at the office of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) on July 18, 2012 in Conference Room 4A/B at 110 William Street, 4th Floor, at 1:00 p.m.

Interested members of the public are invited to attend, and individuals will have an opportunity to make brief statements. For more information, please contact (866) 923-5315.

This tower is projected to contain 363 rental apartments, of which 50% of these units will be affordable to low-, moderate-, and middle-income households.


July 13, 2012

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


(New York, NY)— “A growing concern in the effort to keep New York City streets clean is the lack of supplemental sanitation collection from public litter baskets in the outer boroughs, which is a service that is routinely provided in many Manhattan neighborhoods.

The City’s Sanitation Department (DSNY) provides Manhattan commercial strips with dedicated trucks whose sole purpose is to empty street litter baskets located in those commercial districts as frequently as several times per day. In the outer boroughs, street litter baskets are serviced only as often as residential pickup occurs (in most communities 2-3 times a week). This supplemental service keeps Manhattan streets cleaner than many streets in the outer boroughs.

Supplemental collection is costly and requires considerable resources. It is not something that can or should be implemented on every block within the five boroughs. Business Improvement Districts overseeing commercial strips relieve much of the burden of street cleaning along heavily-trafficked blocks. However, there needs to be a mechanism put into place that would allow residents to report areas where street litter baskets are consistently overflowing, and that would require the department to respond quickly. This would be especially useful in the 35th District, which is home to a busy transportation hub; vibrant commercial strips; and arts, cultural, and sports attractions.

I will be working with Department of Sanitation officials to discuss this matter in the coming weeks, and I hope to move forward in spearheading necessary changes to our City sanitation system.”

In 2010, Council Sanitation Committee Chair Letitia James pushed-through a revolutionary legislative recycling package that included expanding plastic recycling, a new clothing and textile recycling program, and improved public space recycling. This represented the first significant expansion of the City’s residential recycling program since it was created in 1989.

Residents may check their recycling and sanitation pickup schedule here:


Friday, July 13, 2012

ATTENTION: SchoolFood Summer Meals Program

The SchoolFood Summer Meals Program is designed to provide children and young adults with a healthy alternative to junk food. Lunch is available for all children under 19 years, and all handicapped persons (regardless of age) who participate in special education programs.

FREE Breakfast and lunch will be served during the Learn to Swim Program at pools in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens.

Nearest Location: Commodore Barry Pool
North Elliott between Flushing Avenue & Park Avenue
[Please contact (718) 965-6578 for more information]

Meals are provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) through SchoolFood, a part of the New York City Department of Education.

ATTENTION: Free Summer Food Program

July 9- Aug. 31: City-wide Free Summer Food Program
Youth up to age 18 now have access to breakfast and lunch at locations citywide. Summer school enrollment is not required to participate in the program; no application is required; and meals are available at any of the open sites, regardless of where a child lives.

Nearest Location: Lafayette Gardens
415 Lafayette Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11205

Times: Mon. - Fri.— Breakfast: 9AM- 10AM
Lunch: 12PM- 1PM 

For additional information or to inquire about a location please call 311 or (212) 306-3358.

ATTENTION: DFS Foreclosure Prevention in Bed-Stuy; 7.14; Bed-Stuy

Gov. Cuomo recently announced that the Department of Financial Services (DFS), partnered with the Neighborhood Housing Services of Bedford-Stuyvesant, will provide help to homeowners struggling to keep their homes.

Foreclosure prevention specialists will be on hand in the DFS Mobile Command Center, at Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Plaza Saturday (tomorrow) from 10AM- 4PM. The program is part of the Community Health & Resource Day, and sponsored by local elected officials. Following this Saturday, the Mobile Command Center will be located at 380 Herkimer Street.

For more information, please contact the Neighborhood Housing Services of Bed-Stuy at (718) 919-2100.

Monday, July 9, 2012

ATTENTION: NYCHA New E-Payment Provider

If you are a public housing resident enrolled in the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) e-payment system, and you pay your monthly rent online through automatic recurring payments. Please note: NYCHA has a new electronic rent payment process provider. Any recurring rent payments scheduled after July 13, 2012 with the old e-payment provider will be terminated.

To ensure that your rent payments are made on time, please do the following:

1. Sign-up with NYCHA’s new electronic rent payment provider: (follow the instructions for Online Rent Payment).

2. Set-up a new recurring payment schedule

3. Enjoy the new features (free online rent statements with e-bill; no-fee online rent payments via e-check)

If you have any questions about the new online rent payment system, please call NYCHA at 212-306-4322.


July 6, 2012

Contact: Aja Worthy-Davis (212) 788-7081 (Council Member James)
Andrew King (212) 788-6960 (Council Member Mark Viverito)


(New York, NY)— City Council Members Letitia James and Melissa Mark-Viverito deplore the extreme and irresponsible action taken by the Con Edison utility company when it locked out 8,500 workers in the early morning hours of July 1st, without a moment’s notice, in the midst of contract negotiations.

Con Ed has blamed the union for the situation, when in fact the Utility Workers of America Local 1-2 did everything it could to avert this lockout, including offering to work without a contract to ensure that New Yorkers' safety was not compromised. This dangerous action will increase the likelihood of brown-outs and blackouts for New Yorkers during this heat wave!

Kevin Burke, CEO of Con Edison who has an $11 million salary, has cut off the healthcare benefits for all 8,500 workers and their families. This is a company that recently upped its rates by 10% (among the highest in the country) and made $5 billion in profits last year, gave its CEO a $25 million compensation package and an $18 million pension, and has over 40 senior staff making at least $300,000. Yet Con Ed wants to take away the pensions for its hardworking men and women and replace them with less-dependable 401k-style plans, as well as force workers to pay a 100% increase in health care contributions.

The company has made it clear that it’s willing to lock out its workers and jeopardize its customers rather than engage in fair and honest negotiations around pensions and healthcare plans. All 8,500 utility workers are ready to reach a deal and get a fair contract so they can go back to work but Con-Ed is disregarding everything but its own greed.

Council Member James and Council Member Mark-Viverito stand in solidarity with the Local 1-2 utility workers and their families and urge their colleagues and all New Yorkers who believe in justice and equality to do the same.


Friday, June 29, 2012

41st Annual International African Arts Festival; 6/30-7/4

The highly anticipated 41st Annual International African Arts Festival (IAAF) will take place Saturday, June 30 through Wednesday, July 4, 2012, 10 AM – 9 PM rain or shine at Commodore Barry Park (Navy Street at Park and Flushing Avenues) in Brooklyn, New York. The theme of this year’s IAAF is Baadenyya (baa-deny-ya), its English translation means brotherhood and sisterhood - derives from several ethnic groups of West Africa: Mandingo (Sierra Leone/Liberia), Bambara (Mali), Malenke (Guinea), Dioula (Ivory Coast).

The International African Arts Festival (IAAF) began in 1971 as the African Street Carnival, a PTA block party fundraiser for Uhura Sasa (Freedom Now School), an independent school in Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. Local entertainers, arts and crafts vendors, along with food prepared by the parents attracted an estimated 2,000 people who attended, making it an instant success. That early format of entertainment, food, and marketplace drew increasing crowds annually and became known as the African Street Carnival. Four years later, the festival moved to the field at Boys and Girls High School where it became the African Street Festival.

This year’s five-day IAAF has themes for each day with coinciding performances. Afro Latin Jazz sensation Cita Rodriquez, Daughters of Makeba Ensemble, Universal African Dance & Drum Ensemble are just a few artists scheduled to participate in Saturday’s opening day’s “Tribute to Women in the Arts”. In “Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Jamaica’s Independence & Bob Marley’s and Reggae’s Global Influence,” some of Sunday’s confirmed participants includes Sister Betty, New York Brass Band, K-Vibe & Ruff Scott, Destiny Africa - Children's Choir from Uganda, AKOM, Clarisa the Violin Diva, Secouba, Melame Gange and the Universal African Dance and Drum Ensemble.

In an effort to support the five-day IAAF’s production, attendees are asked to make minimum donations of $3 per adult and $1 per child for admission.

Visit learn more about the IAAF.
Like IAAF on Facebook to receive IAAF updates.
Follow IAAF on Twitter @IAAFtweet
International African Arts Festival Promo

Monday, June 25, 2012

Job Opportunity: School Safety Agent



[THE EXAM # IS 2345]


Friday, June 22, 2012

ATTENTION: NYC Pilot Booting Program

New York City’s pilot vehicle booting program begins in Brooklyn on Monday, June 25, 2012, and will be expanded to the other boroughs throughout the summer.

Booting is an enforcement tool used primarily by transportation authorities in lieu of towing (which is time-consuming, inconvenient, and doesn't allow you access to personal belongings, such as infant car seats, prescription drugs, or important paperwork). With booting, a device is attached to a wheel of your vehicle to prevent you from moving it. You can be booted for owing the city more than $350 in parking, or red light camera or bus lane violation tickets that are in judgment. If you do not pay the judgment debt and related fees within two business days of being booted, then your vehicle may then be towed.

We encourage you to review the attached paperwork, and contact the NYC Department of Finance (at 311) with questions or concerns.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

ATTENTION: Making Home Affordable Program Hosts Mortgage Assistance Event; 6/25; BK Marriott

The Obama Administration's Making Home Affordable Program, HOPE NOW and several local, non-profit partners and government agencies are hosting this event that will afford homeowners the unique opportunity to meet directly with their mortgage servicer and/or a HUD-approved housing counselor to find alternatives to foreclosure.

Several local, HUD-approved non-profit counseling organizations will be on-site as well to advise homeowners, including:

- American Debt Resources
- Neighborhood Housing Services of Jamaica, Inc.
- Bridge Street Development
- Brooklyn Housing and Family Services
- Neighbors Helping Neighbors
- Legal Services NYC
- Rockaway Development & Revitalization Corporation
- Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City, Inc.
- NID-HCA Greater New Jersey

WHEN: Monday, June 25, 2012
10AM- 8PM

WHERE: NY Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge
333 Adams Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

For more information, contact 1-888-995-HOPE (4673).