Brad Hoylman 's Blog entries

Hailing State Supreme Court Ruling on NYU Expansion Plan

I am gratified that earlier this month State Supreme Court Justice Donna Mills affirmed what we in the community have said for years: the public park strips on Mercer Street and LaGuardia Place cannot be given to NYU without approval by the State Legislature. The gardens and playground on the city-owned land NYU would co-opt were developed and have long been maintained by local residents on behalf of our open-space-starved neighborhood. I was proud to help lead Manhattan Community Board 2 when it passed its resounding resolution in opposition to the NYU 2031 plan. With this decision, NYU must go back to square one and develop a plan that protects our public open space and respects the character of the neighborhood.

File: 
1.24.14 NYU Expansion Joint Letter.pdf

January 24, 2014
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Protecting the New York Public Library

This week I sent a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio applauding his opposition to the renovation plan for the New York Public Library’s Central Library as New York City Public Advocate. I expressed my deep concern about several of the proposed changes presented in the plan, namely the displacement of the historic stacks and consolidation of the Mid-Manhattan and Science, Industry and Business Libraries into a space less than one-third their current size. Numerous community groups are also opposed to the plan, and I joined their call to halt the process and for an independent, evaluative review of the financial risks of and possible alternatives to the current plan. Please see my letter below.

File: 
Hoylman Letter to Mayor re NYPL.pdf

January 23, 2014
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Kicking off the NYC Coalition Against Hunger’s Annual MLK Servathon

This Martin Luther King, Jr. day I was pleased to join Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, City Council Member Ben Kallos, and local teens to kick off the the NYC Coalition Against Hunger’s thirteenth annual MLK Servathon. Volunteers at this year’s servathon honored Dr. King’s legacy by preparing and serving food at soup kitchen’s and engaging in outreach efforts across the city to ensure everyone who is eligible for nutritional assistance programs has access to them. While federal funding to fight hunger continues to decline, there are currently 1.4 million low-income New Yorkers who can’t afford enough food for their families.

January 23, 2014
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Clinical Guidelines Released on Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis for HIV

On January 14, the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute released long-awaited clinical guidelines for the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV infection among those at high risk. PrEP is a relatively new intervention to prevent HIV transmission, in which people who do not have HIV take a daily pill (Truvada, manufactured by Gilead) to reduce their risk of becoming infected. A lack of awareness and understanding of PrEP among both providers and prospective patients has suppressed its use.

January 17, 2014
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Screening of Gasland 2 Documentary on Fracking

Next Thursday, I am co-sponsoring a screening hosted by Assembly Member Glick of Gasland 2. Other co-sponsors include Community Board 3, Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh, Councilmember Rosie Mendez, and State Senator Daniel Squadron. Gasland 2 is a documentary that details the harmful effects of hydraulic fracturing. The screening is free and open to the public, and will take place on Thursday, January 23 between 6:30-9:00 PM at Teatro Circulo, 64 E 4th Street (between the Bowery and 2nd Ave).

January 17, 2014
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Fighting Dangerous LGBT Conversion “Therapy”

This week I reintroduced legislation that would bar licensed mental health providers from engaging patients under 18 in sexual orientation change efforts, which are sometimes known as conversion “therapy.” Since the legislature gaveled out last spring, New Jersey and California passed groundbreaking legislation banning this so-called “therapy” and now is the time for New York to do the same. This practice has been thoroughly discredited by experts, including the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics and poses a serious threat to the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.

January 17, 2014
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Concerns about High Stakes Testing in our Schools

 I am deeply concerned about the emphasis on high-stakes testing as a measure of student learning, teacher effectiveness and school performance. We need to broaden our understanding of education, move away from “teaching to the test,” and relieve the pressure on our students. Toward that end, I am a co-sponsor of legislation (S.4764-A) prohibiting high-stakes, standardized testing for schoolchildren in pre-K through second grade and support other measures to reduce excessive testing. This year, the terms of 4 of the 17 members of the State Board of Regents will expire.

January 17, 2014
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Supporting Justice for Rape Victims

This past week, I joined Congresswoman Maloney, Assembly Member Dan Quart and brave Manhattan rape survivor Natasha Alexenko to call on the federal government to reduce the dangerous national rape-kit backlog and reauthorize the Justice for All Act. Natasha was forced to wait 15 years for the evidence she needed to convict her attacker due to the rape-kit processing backlog, currently estimated at 400,000. This act will increase funding for DNA evidence processing to ensure that medical examiners across the country have the tools to process evidence for criminal cases quickly and accurately.

January 17, 2014
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Push for Major Hike in Education Aid

Today I joined the Alliance for Quality Education at a press conference calling on Governor Cuomo to increase school aid by $1.9 billion when he releases the Fiscal Year 2014-15 Executive Budget next week. I also joined 82 State Senate and Assembly colleagues in sending the Governor a letter to the same effect. Despite education funding increases in New York’s past two budgets, the state is still lagging in funding public schools. We must fully and equitably fund the New York City education system and school districts throughout the state, as mandated by the Court of Appeals’ order in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit.

January 13, 2014
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Promoting MulchFest 2014

Today, I participated in a press conference announcing MulchFest, an annual citywide event, sponsored by the New York City Parks Department, Department of Sanitation and GreeNYC, that allows New Yorkers to recycle their Christmas trees so they can be turned into eco-friendly compost. Mulching is a great reuse of trees that would otherwise end up in landfills and benefits parks and gardens throughout the City.

January 9, 2014
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Fighting for Fire Safety

As you may have heard, on January 5 there was a fire in a high-rise in our district, in which one person died and another was critically injured. In response to this tragedy, I will be introducing statewide legislation along with my colleague Assembly Member Richard Gottfried, to require commercial and residential buildings in New York State over 125 feet tall to feature emergency stairwell public address systems.

January 7, 2014
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Statement by Senator Brad Hoylman on Ruling on NYU’s Expansion Plan

“State Supreme Court Justice Donna Mills’ ruling is a great victory for our community,” said State Senator Brad Hoylman, who prior to his election in 2012 led Manhattan Community Board 2's resounding opposition to NYU's expansion plan. 

January 7, 2014
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Exercise Caution During Extreme Cold Weather

Frigid temperatures like those we’ve had in New York City lately pose a real threat to people’s health and well-being. It may seem obvious, but dressing appropriately for the weather—including gloves, hats, insulated outerwear and waterproof footwear—while limiting your time outdoors is the only truly effective way to stay safe and healthy during a cold snap. Additionally, New Yorkers should make every effort to check in on elderly and vulnerable neighbors to ensure their safety. Also, remember, landlords are legally required to maintain an inside, daytime temperature of at least 68° F if the outside temperature falls below 55° F, and a nighttime, inside temperature of at least 55° F if the outside temperature outside falls below 40° F.

January 7, 2014
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Supporting Free Kayaking in Hudson River Park

In response to the Hudson River Park Trust’s recent request for proposals for several of the park’s public boathouses, I wrote to encourage the Trust to maintain free public kayaking programming at Piers 26 and 96. In a city with limited opportunities for people to interact with nature in a meaningful and healthy way, I urged the Trust to continue to make kayaking available to New Yorkers and visitors regardless of economic status. Please see my letter below.

File: 
Kayaking HRPT Letter 12.20.13.pdf

December 23, 2013
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Read Senator Hoylman’s December Community Report

Senator Hoylman’s December Community Report is available for download as a .pdf below.

File: 
Hoylman December 2013 Community Report.pdf

December 23, 2013
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Statement by Senator Brad Hoylman on Proposed Boycott of Times Square Businesses

“I’m dismayed there would be a call by a government official for a boycott of businesses in Times Square, which is in my Senate district, over a billboard message for which these businesses bear no responsibility,” said Senator Hoylman (D,WFP—Manhattan).  “It’s a bedrock principle of our democracy that citizens have the right to espouse their beliefs, and for others to express their disagreement. However, to attempt to penalize hardworking New Yorkers over this flap simply because they work in Times Square is as nonsensical as it is abhorrent.”

December 20, 2013
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Additional Free Mammogram Event on January 10

Due to the overwhelming response to the free mammography event I hosted in mid-December, I have added a second date. On Friday, January 10, from 1:30-4:00 p.m., Project Renewal’s Scan Van will once again be parked on First Avenue between 16th and 17th Streets to provide free mammograms, by appointment, to women 40 and over who haven’t had one in the past year. Annual mammograms help detect breast cancer in its earliest, most treatable stage and can save lives. Space is limited, so please call (800) 564-6868 to make your appointment. For more information please see the flyer below or contact my office at (212) 633-8052.

 

File: 
Free Mammograms -1-10-14.pdf

December 18, 2013
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Statement on South Village Historic District Designation Vote

“I am happy to report that today the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to landmark the second phase of the South Village Historic District,” said State Senator Brad Hoylman (D, WFP – Manhattan). “The District is undeniably worthy of this important designation, which will help to protect the area’s largely-intact, historic architectural landscape and preserve its cultural character. For all of their hard work to achieve this designation, I’d like to thank New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Assembly Member Deborah Glick, Manhattan Community Board 2, and the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation."

December 17, 2013
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Standing with New York Voices Against Gun Violence

On the one year anniversary of the tragic Newtown shooting, I stood with New York Voices Against Gun Violence on the steps of City Hall to honor the victims and demand that Congress take action on comprehensive federal gun legislation. I am proud that at the beginning of this year, New York State passed groundbreaking gun reform legislation (the NY SAFE Act), but work is far from over on the State and Federal levels to stop gun violence. A report released by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence this week revealed that 90 percent of guns recovered in crimes in New York City come from other states with weak gun laws.

December 14, 2013
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Re-Opening Teresa’s Park

On December 12, I joined Assembly Member Richard Gottfried, Council Member Corey Johnson, Clinton Housing Development Company, Cultivate HKNY, and the Hell’s Kitchen Neighborhood Association, along with community residents and local businesses to open Teresa’s Park, located on Port Authority property on West 39th Street just west of 9th Avenue. Teresa’s Park joins three other new, Hell’s Kitchen green spaces and four future parks in development that can be accessed using “the HKNY Park KEY,” a common key distributed to members of the community by Manhattan Community Board 4. For the past several years this space has sat derelict and closed to the public, and was revived by the late Teresa Mattia.

December 13, 2013
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