Monday, January 28, 2013

CM James Questions AY Modular Development At City Council Oversight Hearing

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

Council Member Letitia James Questions AY Modular Development At City Council Oversight Hearing 

(New York, NY)— On Tuesday, January 22, 2013, at a New York City Council Housing Committee Oversight Hearing, Council Member Letitia James joined her colleagues, union-aligned contractors, and others in discussing modular building development. Modular or pre-fabricated construction refers to a building method in which building portions are constructed off-site (often in a factory). SHoP Architects have designed modular residential towers that should allow Atlantic Yards developer Forest City Ratner (FCR) to save considerable costs.

Council Member Letitia James, representing Brooklyn’s 35th Council District which houses Barclay’s Arena and the developing Atlantic Yards site, asserted that modular development has the risk of producing low-quality construction. For a comprehensive construction such as Atlantic Yards—where the 32-story modular residential tower currently in development will stand as the nation’s largest modular development—this constitutes an experiment that may not stand the test of time.

Recent media reports have stated that the steel panels that line Barclays Arena “have occasionally dripped rusty orange blossoms onto the sidewalk,” noting that “iron workers have replaced hundreds of bolts that anchor the panels to the building’s structure. Engineers determined that weaker ones were originally installed, raising concerns about the structure’s integrity.”

Representatives of the city’s Department of Buildings and FCR testified at the hearing that there were considerable benefits to high-rise modular construction, while union representatives argued that prefabricated (off-site) construction could permit the developer to work without the supervision of licensed plumbers, electricians, and other experts.

“I am deeply concerned that we are compromising safety for the bottom line,” said Council Member Letitia James.

-- Epoch Times: Prefab High Rises: Future of Construction or Imminent Failure? (
Atlantic Yards Report: At Council hearing, Department of Buildings slammed for allowing Forest City to build modular without licensed trades; did developer get city to bend rules? (

Thursday, January 24, 2013

ATTENTION: CM James Joins DA Hynes and Commissioner Kelly In Sponsoring Gun Buy Back Event; 2/2; Church of the Open Door

WHEN: Saturday, February 2, 2013
10:00AM- 4:00PM

WHERE: Church of the Open Door
201 Gold Street
      Brooklyn, NY 11201

Operable handguns may be turned in for a $200 bank card-- no questions asked. Operable rifles and shotguns may be turned-in for a $20 bank card.

The Cash for Guns program is sponsored in conjunction with Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes and NYPD Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly. Rev. Mark V.C. Taylor and Church of the Open Door have graciously offered to host the gun buy-back.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

ATTENTION: Fulton Street Vision Plan Released, Includes Ideas for Enhancing Fulton St. Commercial Strip

The Fulton Area Business District (FAB Alliance) has released the FULTON STREET VISION PLAN online. The Plan includes ideas and concepts for enhancing the public spaces of the Fulton Street commercial corridor in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. Comments and ideas may be submitted through completion of the Community Input Survey. Please see more here:

Thursday, January 17, 2013

ATTENTION: CM James Hosts Property Owners Forum; 1/30; Crown Heights

On Wednesday, January 30th, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development will join Council Member Letitia James in hosting a Homeowners Forum. This is an opportunity for residential property owners to get information on issues such as property tax exemptions, foreclosure prevention, NYC Department of Building, lead/pest control, low-interest home repair loans, NYC Sanitation, and water/sewer issues.

WHEN: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
6:30PM- 8:00PM

WHERE: Public School 161 (Auditorium)
330 Crown Street
Brooklyn, NY

Friday, January 11, 2013

CM James Applauds NYS Governor for Women’s Equality Act

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

Council Member Letitia James Applauds NYS Governor for Women’s Equality Act 

(New York, NY)— On Wednesday, January 9, 2013, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed a 10-point Women’s Equality Act. The policy will address— among other issues— pay equity, human trafficking, and reproductive choice.

The Governor announced that the administration would be seeking to pass State legislation with the goal of achieving pay equity, as well as putting abortion rights into law and enacting tougher penalties for sexual harassment in the workplace. In 2012, the NYS Assembly and Senate passed the Women’s Workforce Bill with bi-partisan support. This landmark bill was the first law in state history to acknowledge and present proposals to address the gender wage gap.

“As a long-time advocate for pay equity throughout New York State, I am eager to see these proposals implemented,” said Council Member Letitia James. “Women of color living in New York State experience the widest wage disparities— in one year, the average Black woman earns approximately $12,197 less than men. It is time that a comprehensive approach to pay equity is put into place— one that recognizes how poverty is often tied to other issues that affect women and families.”

The Governor also proposed an increase in the State minimum wage from the current $7.25 an hour, to $8.75 an hour, and acknowledged the disproportionate application of the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

ATTENTION: Crown Heights Mediation Center Hosts FREE Mammography Screening; 1/23

WHEN: Wednesday, January 23, 2013

WHERE: Crown Heights Community Mediation Center
256 Kingston Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11213

All insurance plans and accepted. Co-payments and deductibles are waived. Women should be aged 40 or older, and have been without a mammogram in the past year. Please call (800) 564-6868 to make an appointment.