This morning my staff and I joined parents, students, and educators at five schools across our Senate District in protesting high-stakes testing and the lack of testing transparency.
I am proud to stand with our school communities in opposition to high-stakes testing, and in particular its use as a measure of student learning, teacher effectiveness, and school performance. We must broaden our understanding of education, move away from ”teaching to the test,” and relieve the pressure on our students. We also must to do more to safeguard sensitive student data.
On Tuesday, April 22, I’ll be celebrating Earth Day with an open house at my office from 4:00-6:00 PM. My staff and I will be on hand to talk about what’s going on in the district or any other issues that are on your mind, and we’ll be serving up light refreshments. We’ll also be collecting your used batteries for recycling, and conducting other activities and giveaways. Please plan to join me for this event at my District Office, located at 322 8th Avenue (at the corner of 26th Street), Suite 1700. For more information or to RSVP please contact my office at (212) 633-8052.
On April 6, I was proud to join Save 16th Street, the West 100 16th Street Block Association, and Save Chelsea, along with Assembly Member Richard Gottfried and Council Member Corey Johnson in rallying against the proposed 11-story, mid-block development at 124 and 126-128 West 16th Street. Previously, I joined with Assembly Member Gottfried and Council Member Johnson in writing to the Einhorn Development Group to request that it reconsider its plans. The mass of the building will severely undermine the low-rise character of the neighborhood, while depriving many of the surrounding residents of vital light and air. Please see our letter below.
On March 25, the New York Senate passed a resolution I introduced mourning the death of Lee Lorch, who was a leader in the effort to desegregate Stuyvesant Town. Metropolitan Life, which built the complex, barred African-American residents from the time it opened in 1947 until August 1950, when the company capitulated under pressure Mr. Lorch did much to create. I was proud to have the opportunity to speak on the floor of the Senate about the life and legacy of this respected math professor and hero of the civil rights movement, who died on February 28, 2014.
Assembly Member Amy Paulin and I held a public forum on our legislation, known as The Child-Parent Security Act (S.4617/A.6701), which would legalize enforceable gestational surrogacy agreements in New York State. New York law has failed to keep pace with medical advances in assisted reproduction, causing uncertainty about who the legal parents of a child are upon birth. Parents, reproductive health providers, and family planning advocates traveled to Albany to testify on the positive impact lifting New York’s outdated and unusually restrictive ban on surrogacy agreements would have on the lives of parents, children, gestational carriers, and gamete donors.
“Tonight, the New York State Senate passed the State Budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year. While the budget contained many sound progressive policies supported by the Senate Democratic Conference, such as funding for Universal Pre-K, instituting a 30% rent cap for low-income New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS, an increase to the SCRIE eligibility threshold to provide relief for seniors, and an increase in funding for rape crisis centers, it also contained several items that I could not support.
On March 27, I was honored to be recognized by Bailey House, the non-profit provider of housing and support for people living with HIV/AIDS, as a winner of its Rodger McFarlane AIDS Warrior Award. Along with my co-honorees, State Assembly Member Robert Rodriguez and advocacy organization VOCAL-NY, I helped spearhead the successful effort to secure a 30%-of-income rent cap for people in the city’s HIV/AIDS Services Administration Rental Assistance Program.
On Tuesday, April 22, I’ll be celebrating Earth Day with an open house at my office from 4:00-6:00 PM. My staff and I will be on hand to talk about what’s going on in the district or any other issues that are on your mind, and we’ll be serving up light refreshments. We’ll also be collecting your used batteries for recycling, and conducting other activities and giveaways. Please plan to join me for this event at my District Office, located at 322 8th Avenue (at the corner of 26th Street), Suite 1700. I hope you can drop by. For more information or to RSVP please email me at email@example.com or call me at 212-633-8052.
"The passage of the NYCHA Real Property Public Review Act (S.04641/A.06964), which I carry with Assembly Member Keith Wright, by the New York State Assembly is a necessary step towards empowering NYCHA residents and the broader communities to which they belong. This legislation will ensure those who live in and around NYCHA developments have a voice in the authority's land use decisions through the same fair and transparent public review process adhered to by city agencies. NYCHA residents and their neighbors deserve no less. I hope that the Senate will follow suit and pass this important legislation."
GREENWICH VILLAGE (March 24, 2014) For seven years and through 3 successive Governors, elected officials and community activists have sought to have New York State sell the building at 75 Morton Street to the School Construction Authority to be used as a public middle school. Today, that dream moved one step closer to reality as New York State officially transferred the building to the School Construction Authority (SCA) who will now transform the site into a middle school that will hold at least 800 students. The school will open as soon as the SCA completes a through renovation of the building. Greenwich Village has not had a public middle school since 2010, when the Greenwich Village Middle School relocated to the financial district.
On March 20, Senator Daniel Squadron and I wrote to City Planning Commission (CPC) Chair Carl Weisbrod to urge the CPC to consider a contextual rezoning proposal for the South Village, which was recently presented by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and supported by CB2. The current zoning in the area roughly bounded by West 4th Street/Washington Square South to the North, Thompson Street/LaGuardia Place to the East, Canal Street to the South and Avenue of the America to the West, was established in 1961, when New York was a very different city.
As Sunshine Week — a national initiative to promote open and transparent government — draws to a close, subpoenas are flying while federal prosecutors seek records from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as part of the ever-expanding Bridgegate investigation. The recent flurry of activity from the U.S. Attorneys’ offices in New Jersey and New York and a joint committee of the New Jersey Legislature underlines the inherent struggle to obtain records from the Port Authority.
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMBER AMY PAULIN & NEW YORK STATE SENATOR BRAD HOYLMAN
PURPOSE: To hear from stakeholders regarding New York State’s Child-Parent Security Act (A. 6701/S.4617), and to discuss the impact the legislation would have on the lives of parents, children, gestational carriers, and gamete donors.
Tuesday April 1, 2014 10:30 A.M. Legislative Office Building Hearing Room C Albany, NY 12210
“Denying thousands of New York State undocumented public school students the opportunity to attend college is both unjust and shortsighted. The Dream Act would put these students on the path to being greater contributors to our state at a very small cost to taxpayers.
These undocumented students will continue to face steep odds to join the workforce, and by not acting today to help them we end up undermining the future of our city and state economy. I deeply regret that we failed to pass this important legislation today.”
I recently spearheaded a letter to Governor Cuomo, signed by 19 of my Senate colleagues, supporting a New York State Plan to End AIDS. We called for an additional $10 million appropriation for the New York State AIDS Institute and the appointment of a gubernatorial task force to develop a long-term strategy for ending the AIDS epidemic in our state. Although there is still no cure for AIDS, scientific advances and widespread health care coverage as a result of the Affordable Care Act have put an end to the epidemic within reach. Please see our letter below.
On Sunday, March 9, I joined Assembly Member Dick Gottfried, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Borough President Gale Brewer, other elected colleagues and community members in calling on Mayor de Blasio to cancel the city’s concession agreement for a high-end restaurant in Union Square Park’s pavilion. With dozens of places to eat within blocks of Union Square, it’s wrong and shortsighted to place yet another dining establishment in the park. Moreover, it violates the Public Trust Doctrine, which provides that once land has been acquired for use as a municipal park, it cannot be used for private ventures without approval from the State Legislature. I hope that the city will void this contract and restore the pavilion as part of a unified and non-commercial public space.
On Saturday, March 8, I joined Mayor Bill de Blasio, and many of my colleagues in city and state government at a National Action Network rally to support the Mayor’s plan for implementing Universal Pre-K and after-school programs in New York City. Studies show that for every $1 invested in pre-K, there is a $4-$9 measured benefit through reduced costs in special education, crime, welfare and increased economic activity. At the very least, New Yorkers deserve the authority to establish home rule and raise our own taxes to ensure all of our programs are stabilized through adequate funding sources.
On the morning of March 7, I was joined by City Council Member Corey Johnson in distributing fliers outside the West 4th Street subway station seeking information about an alleged anti-gay hate crime that took place on the platform earlier that week. In the incident, the perpetrator approached two men and asked them if they were gay. When they ignored the question, the man made a derogatory statement and punched one of the men in his face, breaking his nose and fracturing his orbital bone. This instance only reinforces the need for an audit of the State Hate Crimes Law, which New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli is currently conducting in response to a report I released on the topic last year.
This fall, the principal of P.S. 41 in the West Village saw firsthand the dangers of New York City streets. In front of the school’s W. 11th St. entrance, she witnessed an out-of-control taxi careen into a child and caregiver.