Brad Hoylman 's Blog entries

Joining AG Schneiderman in Announcing Crack Down on Post-Sandy Gas Price Gouging

On May 2, I joined New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman as he announced he is filing lawsuits against four service stations for charging consumers excessively high gas prices in the days immediately following Hurricane Sandy last November. Attorney General Schneiderman also announced he has reached monetary settlements with 25 other service stations and has investigations pending against dozens more.

May 3, 2013
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Welcoming Participants in Empire State Pride Agenda’s Equality and Justice Day

On April 30, 2013, Empire State Pride Agenda, New York’s statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights and advocacy organization, held its Equality and Justice Day in Albany. This annual event, which features a rally at the Capitol, workshops, caucuses and visits with elected representatives, is an opportunity for the LGBT community to show its strength and depth of support. Following is a transcript of welcoming remarks I made to the event’s participants.

April 30, 2013
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Continuing the Fight to Save Old Chelsea Station

On Thursday, April 11th, I was proud to stand with local residents, other elected officials, and Chuck Zlatkin of the New York Metro Area Postal Workers Union at the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) public forum on its proposed closure and sale of Old Chelsea Station. At the meeting, which was sponsored by Community Board 4, I reiterated to Joseph Mulvey, USPS’s Real Estate Specialist, what I and my colleagues in government have been saying since we first learned of the proposed sale: that selling the facility and leasing new space elsewhere in the neighborhood simply does not make sense.

April 28, 2013
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Addressing Challenges Faced by New Yorkers Living with HIV/AIDS

On April 25, I was pleased to co-sponsor and speak at a seminar hosted by VNSNY CHOICE SelectHealth and St. Luke’s-Roosevelt’s Center for Comprehensive Care on improving care for people living with HIV and AIDS (PLHIV). As the representative of a district with one of the state’s highest concentrations of PLHIV, I especially appreciated the focus on obstacles individuals face in getting the care they need, and solutions that are applicable in their neighborhoods and communities. Particular attention was paid to the challenges of AIDS and aging, medication adherence and the stigma that continues to surround HIV/AIDS more than 30 years after the start of the epidemic.

April 27, 2013
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Rolling Out a New Campaign to Pass GENDA

On April 23, I joined New York State Senator Daniel Squadron and Assembly Member Richard Gottfried, the prime sponsors of the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), at a Housing Works press conference launching a new campaign calling for a vote on the bill this year and an end to the stalling of transgender civil rights in New York.

April 24, 2013
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Supporting a Proposal to Expand the Clinton School

The Clinton School for Writers and Artists (the Clinton School), which is temporarily located at 425 West 33 Street, will be moving into 10 East 15 Street—a building currently being prepared to house a middle and high school—for the 2014-15 school year. On April 16, I sent a letter to Alex Shub, Executive Director of New School Development at the New York City Department of Education, supporting a Letter of Intent submitted by the Clinton School Principal to expand what is currently a middle school to a middle and high school in its new home. The proposal, which is backed by the school’s Parent Association, would ensure that the new building houses one unified school with a coherent curriculum, under the direction of one principal. Please see my letter below.

File: 
Support LTR for Clinton 6-12 Proposal.pdf

April 17, 2013
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Introducing Legislation to Create Free Online Tax Prep For All

I marked Tax Day, April 15, by introducing legislation (S4570) directing the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance to create an online program to allow all New Yorkers to prepare and file their federal and state income tax returns free of charge.  Currently, New York only has limited free online tax preparation services, all of which are provided by outside vendors with a profit motive. So-called “free file” programs are run by for-profit third parties, include hidden fees and are available only to taxpayers who meet income guidelines. 

April 15, 2013
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Calling for New Open Space to Offset Impact of Culture Shed

On April 10, I submitted testimony to the New York City Planning Commission (CPC) regarding the City Department of Cultural Affairs’ (DCA) proposed Culture Shed, an expandable structure intended to house a variety of public and private cultural uses at West 30th Street and 11th Avenue in the emerging Hudson Yards development. The innovative facility will feature retractable canopies which, when fully deployed, will completely enclose an adjacent 20,000 square foot plaza that was promised to the local community as open-to-the-sky, publicly accessible space after lengthy negotiations on the 2005 Hudson Yards rezoning. DCA’s dynamic project promises to bolster the city’s cultural landscape as a vibrant backdrop for events and exhibitions.

File: 
BH_CultureShed.pdf

April 10, 2013
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Weighing in on Madison Square Garden Special Permit Applications

Earlier today, I submitted testimony to the New York City Planning Commission on Madison Square Garden’s (MSG) application for two special permits -- one to allow the operation in perpetuity of its 22,000 seat arena in area zoned to allow an arena of only 2,500 seats, and another to allow large LED advertising signs that exceed the surface area and use restrictions of the site’s existing zoning. As you may know, the original special permit expired on January 24, 2013 after a term of 50 years.

File: 
MSG CPC Testimony BH.pdf

April 10, 2013
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Declaring Solidarity with NYC Fast Food Workers

I’m proud to declare my solidarity with the hundreds of fast food workers who are returning to work after walking out yesterday to protest decades of exploitation and to demand better pay. Just as the growth of the national economy -- and the so-called recovery from the Great Recession -- has left behind average Americans, low-wage fast food workers have not seen any benefits from the record profits made by the large chains that employ them. Average hourly pay for fast food workers is the lowest of any occupation in the city, and even those who get full-time work earn less than federal poverty guidelines. 

April 5, 2013
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Renewing the Call for Campaign Finance Reform as Recent Scandals Give New Impetus for Rules Overhaul

“The indictments of public officials from both parties over the last week underscore the rotten and pervasive ‘pay-to-play’ culture in Albany. We need to increase transparency dramatically and wean Albany off a system that rewards legislators with campaign contributions for supporting causes backed by special interests. I congratulate the U.S. Attorney for pursuing these cases and agree with him that they raise alarming questions about the pervasiveness of the corruption in New York State government. But with every crisis there is an opportunity. In addition to prosecuting to the fullest extent of the law those who have violated the voters’ trust, we should take this opportunity to promulgate steps to systematically reform campaign finance. 

April 5, 2013
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Announcing April 22 Town Hall Meeting on Peter Stuyvesant Post Office Relocation

As you may know, the United States Postal Services (USPS) recently announced that it is seeking to relocate from the Peter Stuyvesant Post Office at 432 East 14th Street, where its lease is up for renewal. The agency would move the delivery carrier operation to its Madison Square facility at 149 East 23rd Street, and retail operations would be housed in another as-yet-unidentified local facility. There will be a Town Hall meeting about this proposed relocation at Campos Plaza (611 East 13th St.) on April 22 at 6:30pm. If you are concerned about this issue and would like to weigh in on USPS’ plans, I encourage to attend and let your voice be heard. Convenient access to postal services is a crucial issue for residents and small businesses.

April 4, 2013
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Recommending Landmark Designation for the Rose Reading Room

On April 1, I sent a letter to the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) echoing Community Board 5’s Request for Evaluation for the designation of The Deborah, Jonathan F. P., Samuel Priest, and Adam R. Rose Main Reading Room (Rose Reading Room), located at 476 Fifth Avenue, as an Interior Landmark. As a member of the Senate Select Committee on Libraries and the Senator whose district includes NYPL’s Central Building, I strongly believe that the Rose Reading Room merits favorable consideration for interior landmark designation.  Please see my letter below. 

File: 
LPC LTR re Rose Reading Room.pdf

April 2, 2013
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Every Day is Earth Day!

Earth Day is celebrated each year on April 22 but it is important that we take action every day to protect and sustain our environment. 

The following information will assist you in developing and encouraging recycling programs in your school and community.

 

April 1, 2013
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Read Senator Hoylman's April Community Report

Senator Hoylman's April Community Report is available for download as a .pdf below or can be viewed here.

File: 
April 2013 Newsletter.pdf

April 1, 2013
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Calling for City to Subject Any P.S 191/P.S. 199 Redevelopment to ULURP

As you may know, the New York City Education Construction Fund (ECF) is planning to solicit proposals for the redevelopment of the current sites of P.S. 191 and P.S. 199 as residential towers with new school facilities. On March 28, I sent a letter to the New York City Department of Education and ECF echoing CB7’s call for robust community engagement before issuing any Request for Proposals (RFP) and to guarantee that any redevelopment would be subject to the City’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP).

March 29, 2013
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Welcoming ‘On Deck,’ Newest Addition to NYC Tech Sector

On March 28, I joined Mayor Bloomberg and On Deck Capital CEO Noah Breslow in a press conference announcing the opening of the company’s New York City headquarters at 1400 Broadway. On Deck, which describes itself as a “technology-powered Main Street lender,” is a welcome addition to our city’s blossoming tech sector and a vital resource for small brick and mortar businesses that do not qualify for traditional bank loans. Since the company launched six years ago, it has provided more than $14 million in small loans (an average of $30,000 each) to local businesses, and more than $37 million to New York State-based businesses.

March 29, 2013
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Senator Hoylman Denounces Political Budget Gimmicks and Cuts to Programs for State’s Most Vulnerable

Albany, NY, March 27, 2013— Early this morning, the New York State Senate passed the final bills in the budget package for Fiscal Year 2013-2014.New York State Senator Brad Hoylman reserved the bulk of his comments for the debate over the revenue bill and delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor:“Mr. President, Groucho Marx once said:Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.That's what this revenue bill does. It diagnoses the incorrect problem and applies the wrong remedies.Mr. President, the problem with New York's economy is not taxes on families with children earning between $40,000 and $300,000.

March 27, 2013
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Speaking up for People with Developmental Disabilities

On March 15, 2013, I addressed the Manhattan Developmental Disabilities Council’s annual legislative breakfast (MDDC). Of particular concern to the organization is Governor Cuomo’s proposed 6% ($120 million) cut to the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) in the Fiscal Year 2013-14 New York State Budget. This would result in a massive $240 million reduction in funding for community-based supports and services to people with developmental disabilities because New York would lose $120 million in federal matching funds as well.

March 15, 2013
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Seeking to Prevent the State from Sharing Sensitive Student Data

Recently, I heard from a number of constituents who were very disturbed to read in a Reuters article that the New York State Education Department (NYSED) plans to share confidential student information with the non-profit corporation inBloom Inc., with which the agency contracted to provide a K-12 student database. The article noted that for-profit tech companies and other commercial vendors could have access to this data, and that the company “cannot guarantee the security of the information stored.” I immediately reached out to New York State’s Education Commissioner to clarify these plans and to urge that our State not proceed with any initiatives that could compromise the privacy of our public school students and their families.

File: 
NYSED inBloom letter.pdf

March 15, 2013
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