Serrano At Anti-displacement Town Hall

Senator Serrano took part in the Anti-Displacement Task Force Town Hall, held Thursday night at the East Harlem Multi-Service Center.

The purpose of the Town Hall was to create a conversation between elected officials and their constituents. As such, a diverse group of residents and advocates delivered opening statements and posed questions to the Senator and his colleagues.

"The overwhelming majority of constituents who walk into my office have housing problems," said the Senator, who called affordable housing his number one priority.

January 15, 2009

Serrano Named To Rules Reform Committee

New York, NY – Senator José M. Serrano (D-Manhattan/Bronx) today commented on his appointment to a new Senate committee on rules reform, and expressed his strong desire to create a more functional and bi-partisan legislative body.

The Temporary Senate Committee on Rules and Administration Reform was launched by Majority Leader Malcolm A. Smith as part of a package of forward-thinking changes. The committee, comprised of members from both sides of the aisle, will report back to the full Senate within 90 days with proposals to further increase accountability and transparency.

January 14, 2009

Serrano Applauds Paterson Healthy Food Initiative

Albany, NY – State Senator José M. Serrano (D-Manhattan/Bronx) expressed strong support for Governor Paterson's plan to fund healthy food markets in low-income neighborhoods, which was announced in today's State of the State address. He praised the Governor for listening to legislators and constituents, and responding with action and energy.

January 7, 2009

Serrano Celebrates Three Kings

Senator Serrano celebrated Three Kings Day, an annual holiday event, which culminated in the traditional parade through the streets of East Harlem.

The Senator praised organizers during a morning breakfast at El Museo del Barrio, which sponsored the 32nd Annual Parade. "This is one of the most anticipated days of the year. Live camels in East Harlem during winter is definitely a spectacle. But it's also more than that. It's a reminder of our roots, and of the heritage we must protect."

January 6, 2009

Serrano Fights For Arts Education

Senator Serrano sent the following letter to Dept. of Education Chancellor Joel Klein in regards to art space for students:

January 6, 2009 Joel L. Klein Chancellor, New York City Department of Education 52 Chambers Street New York, New York 10007

Dear Chancellor Klein,

January 6, 2009

Serrano Urges Mayor To Consider Threat Of "predatory Equity" In Selection Of New Hpd Chief

New York, NY - State Senator José M. Serrano today called upon Mayor Bloomberg to select a new housing chief who will carry on efforts to combat "predatory equity" real estate investment in New York City.

His statement followed news that Shaun Donovan, the well-regarded Commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), will leave to join President Obama's Cabinet.

December 15, 2008

Serrano Supports Union Workers At 1520 Sedgwick

Senator Serrano returned to 1520 Sedgwick, The Birthplace of Hip Hop, on Thursday night, this time to support the rights of the hard-working union staff. The building's new owner, Mark Karasick, has threatened massive cuts to salary and benefits.

"Karasick first came to strip the affordability of the building. Not surprisingly, he's now looking to trample on workers' rights, by ignoring union contracts and cutting wages," said the Senator.

December 11, 2008

Serrano Says Repeal Vacancy Decontrol

Senator Serrano urged greater protection for the city's rent-regulated apartments at a major housing rally on Tuesday evening. Under weakened state law, affordable units are lost to the unfettered market when monthly rent hits $2,000 per month. The process, known as high rent / vacancy decontrol, has claimed more than 50,000 units in the past three years. Serrano and several Senate colleagues signed a pledge to repeal decontrol. 

December 9, 2008

Serrano Receives Award At Reece School Gala

Senator Serrano attended the Reece School's 60th Anniversary Gala at the Museum of the City of New York, where he was presented the "Builder of Reece" award, the school's highest honor. Executive Director, Dr. Thomas Colasuonno, thanked the Senator for providing invaluable support during the school's relocation into a new East Harlem facility.

December 3, 2008

Serrano Hosts World Aids Day Event

State Senator José M. Serrano commemorated World AIDS Day at a community forum he sponsored in East Harlem. The event, held in the beautiful Poet's Den Theater, featured community leaders and advocates in the field. It ended with performances by local spoken word artists, who infused great energy and eloquence into the day's message of combating the epidemic.

December 2, 2008

Serrano Press Release On Alleged Hate Crime On Long Island

New York, NY - State Senator José M. Serrano mourned the loss of Long Island resident Marcello Lucero, originally from Ecuador, who died this past Saturday night. He was allegedly stabbed to death by a group of teenagers in search of an Hispanic victim.

"This is extremely painful news. If Mr. Lucero was the victim of a murderous hate crime, we must do all we can to look within, and readjust the moral compass of our state," said the Senator.

November 10, 2008

Serrano On Passing Of Councilmember Philip Reed

East Harlem, NY - State Senator José M. Serrano (D-Manhattan/Bronx) today mourned the loss of former City Councilmember Philip Reed, calling him a dauntless civil servant who will be dearly missed by colleagues and constituents alike.

"I was fortunate to serve with Phil on the City Council. He was an elected official who opened doors and opened minds," said Serrano.

November 7, 2008

Senator Serrano Responds To City's Proposed Five-year Capital Education Plan

Bronx, NY - State Senator José M. Serrano (D-Bronx/Manhattan) today praised the Department of Education for including a Highbridge middle school in its Proposed Five Year Capital Plan. But the Senator, a long-time advocate for the middle school, expressed some concern regarding the proposed capacity needs listed in the plan.

"The real heroes are the residents," said Serrano, a member of the Senate Education Committee. "You'd be hard-pressed to find a more engaged and hard-working group of parents in this city."

November 6, 2008

Serrano Fumes Over Bus Depot Debacle

100th Street Depot in East Harlem is Buckling and Shedding Bricks State Senator José M. Serrano (D-Manhattan/Bronx) today responded to a New York Daily News report that a four-year-old diesel bus depot in East Harlem is already "buckling and shedding bricks" and will require $1.1 million in renovations. "Six of seven diesel bus depots in Manhattan are located north of 96th Street," said Senator Serrano. "It's not enough they burden us with bad fumes. The MTA cannot ensure safe construction in the facilities they plop down in our community." 

October 28, 2008

Senator Serrano Rallies For Highbridge Middle School

With the Department of Education set to release a preliminary capital plan early next month, Senator Serrano stood with Highbridge residents to urge the inclusion of a new Middle School for the community in that plan. "We have waged this fight for years, and it's time the city listens," said the Senator. "Highbridge is one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in the city, with a large population of school-age children. This community desperately needs its first Middle School." 

October 27, 2008

Senator Serrano Turns On New Traffic Light At Busy Intersection

The Senator stood on 101st Street and Third Avenue for the launch of a new traffic light at the busy intersection. It was the culmination of a year-long effort by community leaders, foremost among them students from the Children's Aid Society. "When I met with these students in May, I was so impressed by their understanding and determination. We brainstormed ways to collaborate on the traffic light issue, and work toward this goal for the community," said the Senator. "Today is a celebration not just of the traffic light, but of their organizing efforts." 

October 27, 2008

Serrano Digs In At "it's My Park" Event

Senator Serrano participated in "It's My Park" day, an event sponsored by the City Parks Foundation, the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, and local organizations throughout the five boroughs. 

October 25, 2008

Serrano Fights Against Predatory Equity In East Harlem

Senator Serrano gathered with dozens of residents, as well as Congressman Charles Rangel, to protest the transfer of a city-owned lot to private equity developers Tahl Propp Equities (TPE). The lot, which is currently used as a parking lot for city officials, is the proposed site for a real-estate development deal that would net TPE 100 unrestricted market rate units, and generate only 40 units of affordable housing for the East Harlem community.

October 23, 2008