For the fourth consecutive year, Senator Serrano participated in "It's My Park Day," an event sponsored by William Casari and Partnerships for Parks. Partnerships for Parks is a joint program of City Parks Foundation and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.This fall, the Senator and his family helped clean up Franz Sigel Park in the Bronx, where they picked up garbage, dug soil, and planted bulbs.
"I always look forward to helping out when 'It's My Park Day' comes around," said Senator Serrano. "With our busy day-to-day schedules, it is easy for our local parks to go unnoticed and unattended. We must all continue to work together to keep our parks clean so that we can enjoy them for generations to come."
Senator Serrano and his family attended Roosevelt Island's 6th Annual "Fall for Arts" Festival in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month today. The festival hosted free events for children and adults such as music, entertainment, art galleries, and crafts.
"Roosevelt Island has so much talent to contribute to arts and culture," said Senator Serrano, who serves as the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks, and Recreation. "For the last six years, 'Fall for Arts' has been exposing the local community and people from outside the island to the wonderful world of the arts. My family and I enjoy attending this event and look forward to attending again next year."
(Albany, NY) State Senator José M. Serrano (D-Manhattan/Bronx) was the ranked one of the most environmentally conscious members of the New York State Senate in 2011. The EPL/Environmental Advocates scorecard, which tracks legislators' votes on bills affecting New York's environment, gave Senator Serrano a score of 99, tying him for the highest score among his Senate Colleagues. State Senators Thomas Duane, Bill Perkins, Gustavo Rivera also received a score of 99. The final 2011 scorecard issued by the EPL/Environmental Advocates follows their preliminary scorecard issued in June, which, similarly, ranked Senator Serrano tops among his peers.
Senator Serrano visited La Finca del Sur today. La Finca del Sur is an urban farm located in the South Bronx and provides healthy foods and educational programs for the residents of the South Bronx. La Finca is maintained through the help of members and volunteers, who either help through the physical maintenance of the farm or through obtaining more resources for the beautiful community space.
Senator Serrano joined activists, concerned citizens, and local elected officials in the "Occupy Wall Street" protest tonight. "Occupy Wall Street" has been an ongoing peaceful protest, originally based at Zucotti Park in the financial district, primarily focused on speaking out against the current social and economic inequalities between the rich and poor. It was announced by the Bloomberg administration that the park must be vacated on October 14 for cleaning."Freedom of speech is one of the most fundamental rights in our nation," said Senator Serrano. "We must make sure that this basic right is preserved for everyone. The 'Occupy Wall Street' protestors have an inherent right to peacefully protest as long as they do not obstruct the law."
Senator Serrano visited the Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN) Studios in East Harlem for a rollout of their new facilities. “I’m very proud to be here today to see, firsthand, the wonderful results of a project for which the whole community is excited," said Senator Serrano. "I’m keenly aware of the importance of preserving and fostering the cultural enrichment of this neighborhood. This studio will go a long way in maintaining the cultural significance of East Harlem and giving our youth an active voice in community affairs and a chance to be involved in media.”
Senator Serrano joined Comptroller John Liu and Assemblywoman Vanessa Gibson at Highbridge Senior Center for a meet and greet with local Seniors. "It’s always a pleasure to spend time in Highbridge, and hear questions and concerns from the community," said Senator Serrano. "John Liu is a terrific colleague who has done great work for the Bronx, and it’s wonderful to have him here today.”The event was one part of a full day of Highbridge activities that the Comptroller was scheduled to attend. Also present were Councilmember Helen Diane Foster and various community residents.
Today Senator José M. Serrano (D-Manhattan/Bronx) praised Governor Andrew Cuomo for issuing an Executive Order to provide language assistance services at 27 state agencies that have direct interaction with the public. These agencies will be required to provide official documents, forms, instructions, and translation services in six languages.
Senator Serrano joined the Morris Heights Community for a Prayer Vigil and Peace Rally organized by Assemblywoman Vanessa Gibson. The event, themed "Community in Crisis", took place in the Sedgwick Avenue Playground in the Bronx, and was structured as a forum to speak out against the high volume of gun related violence that has recently plagued the community. "The recent shootings are a strong indication that all of us- parents, teachers, community residents, and elected officials- must work together to educate our youth", said Senator Serrano. "The youth are an integral part of our future and we must provide them with positive outlets where they can focus their attention, and safe alternatives to the streets."
Senator Serrano joined District Council 37 on the steps of City Hall for a rally against massive layoffs that would have a negative impact on our local schools. 705 layoffs of Local 372 members have been scheduled for next week, and 765 layoffs occurred at The Department of Education on October 7, 2011. "It is extremely unfortunate that these layoffs are being planned for a district that can’t afford to lose more staff", said Senator Serrano. "Not only will 705 people be unemployed, but our schools will suffer the consequences of losing dedicated parent coordinators and school aides. We must do everything we can to speak out against an action that threatens the quality of our children’s education.”
Today Senator Serrano joined Union Settlement Association and other elected officials in the official street re-naming of East 104th Street between Second and Third Avenues to "Union Settlement Way."Union Settlement Association has been serving East Harlem since its foundation in 1895 by providing social services and support for the community. As one of East Harlem's largest social service agencies, they provide social work programs for children, adults, and the elderly.
Today Senator Serrano attended the opening of the Hunter College’s Louis V. and Samuel J. Silberman School of Social Work Building. The building, located in the East Harlem community, houses the CUNY School of Public Health, the library and archives of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, the Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging and Longevity, and the Graduate Center Apartments."It is great for a building of this magnitude to be in the East Harlem community", said Senator Serrano. "Hunter College has one of the top social work programs in the nation, and having their main facility in East Harlem will be a great addition to the neighborhood. The services they offer will undoubtedly bring much-needed resources into our community.”
Senator Serrano joined community residents, environmental organizations, and other elected officials at Mill Pond Park for the second annual Harlem River Festival. The festival was hosted by the Harlem River Working Group, and included activities for children and residents to better educate them on the wonders of the Harlem River.
Senator Serrano attended Hope Community, Inc.'s 42nd Annual Community Service Awards Gala today, and presented an honorary award to Assemblyman Robert J. Rodriguez. Rodriguez was elected to the New York State Assembly in 2010 and serves the 68th Assembly District. "It's an honor to have the opportunity to present this award to Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez for his distinctive work in the East Harlem community. Having been born and raised in East Harlem, Robert has a keen understanding of the main issues affecting this community. He has demonstrated to not only be a great leader, but a great partner in tackling many of the most important struggles of the community."
The Bronx Chamber of Commerce hosted their Hispanic Heritage Month Leadership Luncheon and honored Senator Serrano with theLeadership Award for being an exemplary member of the Hispanic community. "I'm extremely honored to be presented with this award," said Senator Serrano. "Hispanics are a growing demographic in the United States and make up the 15th largest consumer economy in the world.
Senator Serrano celebrated Hispanic Heritage with Metropolitan Hospital. The event featured health education and screenings, cultural exhibits, music, food and entertainment. “Health disparities remain extremely high for minority residents. Although our hospitals have been threatened with budget cuts, the administration and staff at Metropolitan Hospital continues to demonstrate how essential their services are in to this community.”The theme of the event was "Keeping the Promise: Unity, Strength and Leadership, " and it was widely attended by local leaders, residents and community organizations.
Senator Serrano attended the Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center Senior and Family Day in the Bronx. The event, which took place on Lincoln's Hospital's "Great Lawn", hosted free blood pressure and glucose screenings and the entertainment included giveaways, food and music."It’s great to see the community come together to celebrate healthy living, and to get informed about the various programs available,” said Senator Serrano. "For years, Lincoln Hospital has been an important institution in this community, and to see local families gather to celebrate its leadership is a testament to their great work.” The event was sponsored by the NYC Department for the Aging Metroplus and Healthfirst.
Senator Serrano joined Yorkville residents for a rally at Ruppert Playground as part of a campaign to save the park from permanent closure.
Related Cos., has proposed building a 49 story building at the location, and is ready to begin preliminary work on the site. The park was closed on September 12th, and local elected officials are working to prevent any future construction and to once again make the park available for community use. Ruppert Park, which was opened in the 1970s, contains basketball, tennis and handball courts.
The East Harlem community honored Councilmember Philip Reed by naming the intersection of First Avenue and 111th Street “Philip Reed Way.”
Philip Reed was a member of the New York City Council from 1998 to 2005, where he represented District 8, which encompasses East Harlem, portions of the South Bronx, and Central Park. He was the first openly gay African American Council Member.