Thank you for giving me the opportunity to testify today. My name is Daniel Squadron and I represent the 25th Senate District in the New York State Senate. My district includes Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Vinegar Hill, Fulton Ferry, Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens and Gowanus in Brooklyn, and the neighborhoods of Tribeca, Battery Park City, the Lower East Side, Chinatown, the Financial District, Little Italy, SoHo and the East Village in Manhattan. As a representative of this district, I enthusiastically support the expansion of the SoHo Cast Iron District.
I was proud to assist the New York State Department of Transportation in re-opening the Rector Street Bridge on schedule. I facilitated the acceleration of electrical work by ConEdison, which allowed the enhanced lighting to be in place in time for the October 9 opening of the bridge.
As chair of the Senate Cities Committee, I hosted a public hearing on retail diversity and neighborhood health on September 19th. Too often, New York City neighborhoods suffer from a drought of diverse retail or suffer as locally owned businesses are driven out. My hearing brought together small business owners, government officials, and community members to discuss the problem and identify potential solutions. The goal is to develop state policies to promote local and diverse retail. If you have ideas for how to promote retail diversity and neighborhood health
On October 13, I hosted a discussion on nightlife concerns, bringing together State Liquor Authority (SLA) Chairman Dennis Rosen, SLA CEO Trina Mead, SLA Deputy Commissioner of Licensing Kerri O’Brien, SLA Deputy CEO for New York City Michael Jones, Councilmember Rosie Mendez, Margaret Chin, representatives from the offices of Assembly Members Silver, Kavanagh, and Glick, and leaders from district community boards.
As many of you know, for the past three weeks I have been hosting a series of conference calls that have served as an update on the goals and priorities we outlined at the first-ever 25th District Community Convention I held in March. The fourth and final call will be tomorrow evening, Wednesday, October 15, at 5:30. We’ll be discussing:
Last week I also launched the first-ever 25th Senate District Chinese-language hotline, a service that allows Mandarin and Cantonese-speaking constituents to contact my office directly with their concerns.Constituents can access the hotline by calling 917-254-3138 from 10 AM to 6 PM, Monday-Friday.
My staff and I handed out thousands of the first-ever 25th Senate District Parent Resource Guides on the first day of school last month. My guide offers parents and educators a comprehensive list of government, civic and educational resources available in the 25th Senate district. I am happy to offer this to my constituents, and eager for input and feedback on how we can improve future editions. I hope it is helpful, and please contact my office to receive your own copy.
As you may know, I do not just represent this neighborhood in the State Senate; I live here too. As a resident and a representative, I continue to support a comprehensive, contextual rezoning of the entire community, from the Gowanus Canal to the water. A rezoning is a vital component of a broader strategy to preserve the unique nature of the community and protect its character from irresponsible, non-contextual development.
I am proud to sponsor an initiative, along with Speaker Sheldon Silver, that will reduce the cost of doing business in Lower Manhattan. The Commercial Rent Tax Exemption makes certain existing and new commercial leases eligible for reduced rent, and the New York State Sales Tax Exemption helps Lower Manhattan businesses purchase equipment for their offices--but both incentives are about to expire.
TESTIMONY OF STATE SENATOR DANIEL SQUADRON REGARDING THE DRAFT ANNUAL PLAN FOR THE NEW YORK CITY HOUSING AUTHORITY, JUNE 23, 2009.
My name is Daniel Squadron and I represent the 25th Senate District in the New York State Senate. My district includes the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Vinegar Hill, Fulton Ferry, Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens and Gowanus, and the Manhattan neighborhoods of Tribeca, Battery Park City, the Lower East Side, Chinatown, the Financial District, Little Italy, SoHo and the East Village.
I was honored to join hundreds of students and their families for graduations at schools across the district, where I presented the Service And Government Engagement (S.A.G.E.) Award to students who have served their communities and participated in local government.
I introduced legislation that will extend loft law protections to tenants who are inhabiting some buildings that are currently zoned for manufacturing uses. This legislation, sponsored in the Assembly by Assembly Member Vito Lopez, will help thousands of New York City loft tenants, including some Tribeca, SoHo and DUMBO residents, access the protections of the Loft Law.
On June 6, I was thrilled to celebrate the launch of free ferry service between Fulton Ferry Landing and Governors Island. The restoration of ferry service is something I have long pushed for and it is another positive step toward the vision of a Central Harbor Park for the 21st century. This summer, we will have:
The Women of Distinction Award honors an outstanding woman from our community. I am honored to recognize Mrs. Charlotte Miles’ work and to celebrate her as one of New York’s Women of Distinction.
Charlotte is a true advocate for issues facing the Lower East Side community. She moved to the Lower East Side when she was two years old and has lived in the community ever since. She has three children and five grandchildren.
On April 8, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it had nominated the Gowanus Canal for consideration to be added to the National Priorities List (NPL), more commonly known as the Superfund list. If added to the NPL, the Gowanus would be entered into the EPA's cleanup program, which would include intensive study and analysis of the nature of the hazardous materials and pollutants within the canal, identification of the parties that have been responsible for the pollution, and a supervised cleanup. Though the pressure to immediately announce a position