The A and C trains are some of the worst in the city, with frequent delays, overcrowded train cars, and poor conditions at stations. I recently signed on to a letter to MTA New York City Transit President Carmen Bianco thanking him for agreeing to conduct a Full Line Review of the A and C lines and asking him to prioritize community concerns throughout this review. The letter cites issues with service levels, station conditions, and communication with riders, and includes specific problems in our neighborhood such as station damage caused by water leaks. The Full Line Review is expected to be completed sometime in 2015.
On December 11, I submitted testimony to the New York City Council regarding the proposed merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable. I believe that this merger, by combining the nation’s two largest cable operators, would create a highly monopolized environment for cable and internet services, and would therefore be antithetical to the public interest. Such domination of this marketplace would likely increase prices, reduce the quality of service, and limit consumer choice. However, should the merger be approved, it must be conditioned on expanded broadband access for low-income New Yorkers.
On December 4, I wrote to State Liquor Authority (SLA) Chairman Dennis Rosen, asking him and the Authority to take a proactive approach to seasonal bar crawls. As our community knows, bar crawls often end with heavily intoxicated individuals, who disrespect our neighborhoods. I urged the SLA to remind participating establishments of all applicable rules, regulations and laws in order to avoid disturbing neighbors during the holiday season.
New York, NY— Today, Senator Hoylman sent a letter to New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) Chair Srinivasan and issued the following statement in response to the proposed LPC “de-calendaring” of potential landmarks.
Earlier this month, I submitted testimony to the New York City Council Health Committee, chaired by Council Member Corey Johnson, in support of two bills under consideration. Under the legislation, those who wish to amend the gender markers on their birth certificates will simply be required to provide certification from licensed health or mental health professionals that the applicant’s sex designation on their birth certificate does not align with the applicant’s affirmed sex or gender identity.
On November 7, I joined Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal, Borough President Gale Brewer and other elected officials in writing to the Commissioner of the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) regarding its 2014-2017 contract cycle. Changes in the new cycle had resulted in the loss $1.19 million in funding to five nonprofit organizations providing eviction prevention services to our constituents in Manhattan. At a time when New York City faces record homelessness, government should not be cutting funding to the very programs designed to protect the most vulnerable and keep them in their homes.
Last month, I wrote to MTA New York City Transit (NYCT) President Carmen Bianco about restoration of M104 bus service across 42nd Street from Times Square to First Avenue, which previously allowed Upper West Side residents to travel to the East Side without transferring before the 2010 budget cuts. I also requested that NYCT reverse recent service reductions that have led to overcrowded and late buses.
Last week I submitted testimony to the New York City Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) opposing the owner's request for variances to the New York State Multiple Dwelling Law at 515 East 5th Street. Nearly a decade ago, the owner illegally constructed two additional floors to the building. I do not believe the owner, who has a long and egrigious record intimidating and harassing tenants, should be rewarded for illegal construction and consistently ignoring DOB and BSA's orders to remove the floors and bring the building up to code.
“Today, rent-stabilized tenants across New York City can breathe a sigh of relief. The New York State Court of Appeals decided that their leases are exempt from bankruptcy proceedings, which means these tenants can’t be required to sell their leases and forced from their homes as a result of bankruptcy. I’m very pleased the Court of Appeals decision maintains the integrity of long-standing tenant protections and am proud to have taken the lead on an amicus brief on behalf of my constituent Mary Veronica Santiago-Monteverde. Ms. Santiago-Monteverde’s perseverance and courage in the face of this legal struggle has redounded to the benefit of millions of tenants across the city. I’m extremely grateful to Latham & Watkins for their pro bono support of this important case.”
New York, NY— Today, State Senator Brad Hoylman (D – Manhattan), ranking member of the New York State Senate Investigations and Government Operations Committee, hailed the New Jersey State House’s passage of legislation to close the loophole that exempts the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey from the New York’s and New Jersey’s freedom of information laws.
The New York State legislature passed identical legislation in June of this year. Pursuant to the interstate compact that created the Port Authority, any new laws affecting the agency must be enacted by both New York and New Jersey.
After learning on October 23 that the pastor of Our Lady of Pompeii Church at 25 Carmine Street doesn’t intend to renew the lease of its longstanding senior center, I helped spearhead a letter to Cardinal Timothy Dolan seeking intervention by the Archdiocese. I was joined by Congressman Jerry Nadler, Borough President Gale Brewer, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Assembly Member Deborah Glick and Council Members Corey Johnson and Margaret Chin. I have personally urged the pastor to negotiate with Greenwich House, the not-for-profit organization which operates the senior center. Please join me and my colleagues in government, Greenwich House and seniors at a rally and press conference this coming Monday, November 3 at 12:30 p.m.
Congressman Jerrold Nadler and I recently spearheaded a letter, also signed by Senator Chuck Schumer, Assembly Member Deborah Glick and Council Member Corey Johnson, to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), asking the agency to extend reverse mortgages to co-op owners. Under HUD’s Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program, homeowners over age 62 can apply for reverse mortgages to leverage some of the equity in their homes for other expenses. Currently co-op owners, who face rising maintenance fees and other costs of living, aren’t eligible for the program.
I’m pleased to have received the highest State Senate score from the Albany-based non-profit EPL/Environmental Advocates, which recently issued its annual scorecard grading members of the New York State Legislature on their positions and votes on key legislation affecting New York’s air, land, water, wildlife and public health. For more information about the EPL/Environmental Advocates scorecard or to read the entire report please visit www.eplvotersguide.org
On September 29, I joined Council Member Rosie Mendez, Save Our Community Center CHARAS-64, East Village Community Coalition, Good Old Lower East Side, Community Board 3 and many other elected officials and community organizations at a rally celebrating the Stop Work Order issued by the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) at the former P.S. 64/CHARAS building (605 East 9th Street). This site has always been intended for the public benefit. For over a year, Council Member Mendez has called on DOB to deny the building owner’s alteration application to create dorm rooms for Cooper Union and the Joffrey Ballet School because the contractual lease agreements with the schools do not conform to requirements.
As a result of action taken at the state and local level, the household income cap for New York City’s Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) and Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE) programs have been increased to $50,000. To help senior and disabled constituents determine their eligibility and apply for these critical rent freezes, I’m hosting a SCRIE/DRIE Workshop on Friday, October 10 from 3 - 5 p.m. at the Greenwich House - Our Lady of Pompeii Senior Center, 25 Carmine Street (corner of Bleecker Street). Please see below for more information, including event co-sponsors, eligibility guidelines and what documentation to bring.
Last year, I requested that State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli audit the oversight and management of New York's Hate Crimes Law. The request was part of a report I released in the wake of a 30% surge in bias crimes across the state against religious and ethnic minorities and LGBT people.