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.
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.
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.
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."
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."
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."
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."
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.
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.
Senator Serrano, with fellow members of the Bronx Senate delegation, this week sent letters to both Governor Paterson and Mayor Bloomberg. The legislators have requested a halt to a centralization plan that would negatively impact senior citizens in the Bronx, and throughout New York City. Below is the text of both letters:
"With the recent debacle on Wall Street, it is ever more important that students and parents are aware of how to protect themselves," said the Senator, who sits on the Senate Education and Higher Education Committees. "Your tuition will be one of the largest investments you make in your life, and it will pay you back huge dividends. However, lenders must make sure the process regarding these loans is open and transparent."
Senator Serrano took part in the fifth annual Bronx Food Festival on Monday afternoon. The festival highlights community efforts to increase the availability and appeal of nutritious foods offered at local food establishments.
"This festival is about more than just food: It's about improving health in our communities, and it's about businesses addressing consumer demands," said the Senator. "We can reduce preventable disease, and we can reduce how much we pay in healthcare costs, with more nutritious food options."
Senator Serrano attended a college fair at the Academy of Mount St. Ursula to discuss opportunities in higher education with students in the Bronx.
"Every student should be aware of the programs offered at the state and federal level to help pay for college," said the Senator, discussing state programs such as HEOP. "If you have a will to further your education, government is committed to helping you find a way to achieve your dream."
On Friday, October 3rd, Senator Serrano congratulated Michelle Cruz, an East Harlem native, for the grand opening of her brainchild, The East Harlem Café.
The Café, which is located on the corner of 104th Street and Lexington Avenue will offer full service coffee and pastry services as well as serve as a place for artists and musicians to showcase their work.
Senator José M. Serrano celebrated the opening of the DREAM Charter School in East Harlem. The DREAM School, developed by local community-based organization Harlem RBI, will serve children grades K-8 and their families.
The Senator, who was joined by community and elected leaders, as well as New York Mets Center Fielder Carlos Beltran, welcomed students at the beginning of the school's first year.
The Supreme Court's decision in Kelo v. City of New London has renewed the debate over what steps state legislatures should take in defining the proper use of eminent domain. Numerous instances involving the transfer of property to private developers throughout New York State have put into sharp relief the shortcomings of New York's safeguards against the government abuse of this vast power.
The Senator applauded local students from Amber Charter School for the completion of a beautiful new mural on East 106th Street and 3rd Avenue. "This is a mural that tells the story of our community," said the Senator, "and at the same time it becomes part of that story." He praised local artist Maria Dominguez for her work with the students. "Ms. Dominguez is a brilliant artist who finds the time and the passion to share her talents with others."
Reiterates his Support for Gay Marriage in New York State
Bronx, NY – State Senator José M. Serrano (D-Manhattan/Bronx) today highlighted a recent UCLA report that showed a growing population of same-sex couples in the outer boroughs. He called it an exciting demographic trend that will positively benefit The Bronx.