August News + COVID-19 Update #15: Phase 4, Reopening Schools, Scaffolding, Esplanade, Graffiti, Affordable Housing, and First Friday
Last month, we continued to be accountable to you in our sixth Annual Report with more than 70 concrete accomplishments that we’ve achieved together as we focus our efforts on what remains in the last 17 months of my term as your Council Member.
Two weeks ago, we entered the 4th and final phase of our City's reopening, though indoor dining still beyond reach. As you may have read in the Daily News, we’ve been focused on one of the most difficult part of reopening-- that is, how to keep our children safe, where we can find enough space to socially distance, and providing full-time nurses for every school.
As we mourn the loss of voting rights advocate and national treasure, Congressmember John Lewis, we must pass a new voting rights act in his name. Here in New York, we must finally fix the broken Board of Elections that has disenfranchised over 100,000 voters and ensure everyone can vote by mail.
Meanwhile we face a crumbling city. A façade collapse claiming yet another life making it more important than ever to pass my law to get buildings repaired and scaffolding down. Another portion of the East River Esplanade collapsed despite securing more than $275 million as Co-Chair of the Taskforce with Congress Member Maloney and we want to see that money used to make repairs immediately. You may have also noticed graffiti everywhere and that's because removal was defunded in the budget, but rest assured we will clean up graffiti here in the district.
As you may have read in the New York Times, this summer we will see 2,500 affordable homes come back on the market thanks to a law I authored to bring existing hundreds of thousands of units of affordable housing back for new applicants that I hope will increase affordable housing by as much as 50%. Please be sure to apply on Housing Connect.
This month, we continue to distribute free face masks and hand sanitizer as well as opening our office online and by phone for First Friday at 8am on August 7th. We also invite you to join us as we celebrate a part of our borough’s rich cultural heritage and co-sponsor Harlem Week from August 16th through the 23rd with conferences, music, food and more.
As we move forward with reopening through during this pandemic I am eager to hear any ideas you might have on how we may do so safely.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Reflecting on Six Years as Your Council Member
- Fix the Board of Elections Before the November Election
CORONAVIRUS: PUBLIC HEALTH & EDUCATION
- Demanding a Plan to Open Schools
- Socially Distanced Student Learning Centers Using Empty Schools and Storefronts
- Pushing for One-Way Sidewalks to Give New Yorkers More Space
- Public Schools Don’t Have Full-Time Nurses and We Need Them Now
- New York City Enters Phase 4
- Fight to Keep Civil Court Remote
- Warm Weather Advisory and Free Water Bottles
QUALITY OF LIFE
- Demanding Sidewalk Shed and Scaffolding Reform in Wake of Recent Death
- Graffiti Removal Zeroed Out of City’s Budget
PARKS & TRANSPORTATION
- Esplanade Collapse Already Slated for Repair
- New York Times Letter to the Editor: Make Queensboro Bridge Car-Free
AFFORDABLE HOUSING & OVERDEVELOPMENT
- Join the New Housing Connect for 2,500 Re-Rentals Thanks to My Law
- Suing to Improve Conditions in Public Housing
- Celebrating Our Cultural and Architectural Heritage of Nivola
- City Parks Foundation Launches SummerStage Anywhere
- NYU Langone Health’s Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias Family Support Program
- Search and Care Counseling Program: “Talkin’ it Out”
- New York Legal Assistance Group COVID-19 Legal Resource Hotline
- Free Commercial Driving Training with Red Hook On The Road
- New Art Residency Initiative on Governors Island