On June 26, I submitted testimony in strong support of the New York City Landmark Preservation Commission’s (LPC) proposed East Village/Lower East Side Historic District. As a longtime advocate for the preservation of the Lower East Side, I am pleased that LPC is moving forward with the designation of this important place in New York history, and I am grateful for the Commission's incorporation of proposals by CB3 and local preservation groups to expand the proposed district’s boundaries and ensure the protection of our community’s rich architectural heritage and historic character.
For some time, I and my staff have been working with Manhattan Community Board 4 (CB4), Clinton/Hell's Kitchen Coalition for Pedestrian Safety and other local elected officials to set limits on Megabus, the low-cost, inter-city bus service, which maintains a fleet of buses that park on and travel through Midtown streets without regard for neighborhood residents. I am pleased that in early June, the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) heeded our call to not renew Megabus’ permit for a loading stations outside the Port Authority Bus Terminal. DOT recently announced that the loading site will be moved to West 34th Street between 11th and 12th Avenues—the block that I along with CB4 had long recommended—on August 1st. I applaud the agency for its responsivenes
On Father’s Day, June 17, I joined thousands of other concerned New Yorkers in a silent march down Fifth Avenue from 110th Street to 78th Street to protest the New York Police Department’s (“NYPD”) discriminatory Stop, Question and Frisk (“Stop and Frisk”) policy. Organized by a coalition including civil rights, faith, labor, and community groups, the march proceeded in silence as an illustration of both the tragedy and serious threat Stop and Frisk and other forms of racial profiling present to our society.
When a local block association president alerted me to an illegal transient occupancy unit (TOU), or “illegal hotel,” on her block, my office contacted the director of the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement, the agency which has the task of investigating and prosecuting operators of such illegal units. Shortly after our outreach, the landlord received six Environmental Control Board violations for the TOUs and related conditions. As you may know, the issue of TOUs is one that I and many other elected officials have worked to resolve for years. Nearly two years ago, we were able to pass legislation, sponsored by New York State Senator Liz Krueger and New York State Assemblymember Dick Gottfried and crafted as a result of the Illegal Hotel Task Force that I helped cre
Below please find a comprehensive list of articles, editorials, letters to the editor, press releases, testimonies and resolutions regarding horizontal drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus Shale formation in and around New York State.
I have also provided links to environmental advocacy organizations that are working to ensure that this method of natural gas drilling does not proceed without adequate protection for our precious natural resources.
The announcement on May 9 by President Barack Obama in support of marriage equality was historic. If you would have told me five years ago that a sitting President of the United States would publicly express the right of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) citizens to marry, and for full equality for our families, I would not have believed it. As the first openly gay State Senator in the State of New York, I was the original and prime sponsor of New York’s historic Marriage Equality Act. As proud as I was of New York for its passage of Marriage Equality, so too am I proud of President Obama’s courageous decision to publicly support it nationwide.
Each year, the New York State Senate honors a select group of women from across New York who have dedicated themselves to improving the lives of others, enriching their communities and strengthening our state. This year, I had the privilege of naming East Midtown Plaza resident Jeanne S.
On May 10, I joined day care and Head Start employees from District Council 1707, parents and other elected officials at a City Hall press conference denouncing Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed cuts to early childhood education as well his ill-conceived formula for allocating dwindling resources.
On May 3, I joined New York State Senator Daniel Squadron, U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, New York City Councilmember Margaret Chin, and Independence Plaza North (IPN) residents to call on the New York State Court of Appeals to give IPN tenants permission to appeal a New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division decision that jeopardizes not only IPN residents but tens of thousands of other tenants living in buildings that receive New York City J-51 tax benefits.
In response to the revelation of plans by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) to house the City’s Municipal Lifeguard Training Program (MLTP) in the Gertrude Ederle Recreation Center on West 60th Street, I joined CB7 and other elected officials in calling on DPR to ensure ample and convenient year-round community access to this newly renovated public amenity. Without any community input, the agency developed plans for the MLTP to occupy the pool, the teen room and other
On May 1, I sent a letter to the SUNY Charter Schools Institute and the New York State Board of Regents urging them to reject Success Charter Network's application to operate two new charter schools in existing public school buildings in Community School District 2 (D2).
In light of the recent announcement that the City has approved the bid by Chef Driven Market LLC to operate a seasonal restaurant in the north end of Union Square Park, I wrote to New York City Parks and Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe on April 17 to reiterate my long-held opposition to the City’s misguided effort to allow a private use of this historic public space. I stated my belief that this auctioning of parkland is shortsighted and wrong and, moreover, that it violates widely-recognized case law.
Megabus, the low-cost, inter-city bus service, which currently maintains a fleet of buses that park on and travel through Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen and Chelsea streets, has caused many quality of life concerns that I have been working with my colleagues in government, Community Board staff and members, and neighborhood activists to address. I recently became aware of a study commissioned by Adirondack Transit Lines, with information provided by the New York State Police, that indicates Megabus’ double-decker buses may very well not be in compliance with city, state and federal weight limits for tandem axel vehicles. As a result, I spearheaded a joint letter from your local elected officials bringing this matter to the attention of New York State Department of Transportation Com
At the end of last year and early this year, I, along with other local elected officials held a series of meetings with a wide range of neighborhood stakeholders to discuss ways we can make the Christopher Street area safer for everyone who lives, works and visits here. One of the many strategies we identified was to ensure that our streets are as well-lit as possible.
I am extremely pleased that in concert with the St. Vincent’s redevelopment package, the New York City Department of Education has committed to enter into an agreement with New York State to purchase 75 Morton Street for use as a much needed public school. After many years of concerted advocacy by parents, community members and elected officials, I believe this agreement is an important step towards ensuring that there is sufficient school space to provide quality public education to Greenwich Village’s children in the future. I want to thank City Council Speaker Christine Quinn as well as Ann Kjellberg, Irene Kaufman and all the members of the Public School Parents Advocacy Committee, U.S.
On March 6, 2012, State Assembly Member Deborah Glick and I jointly submitted testimony to the New York City Council Land Use Committee opposing approval of the Rudin Management Company’s (Rudin) application for the redevelopment of the St. Vincent’s Hospital campus. Our testimony echoed many of CB2’s concerns. As you may know, the City Council voted to approve the project, but with modifications that address many of the objections we raised and that were underscored by CB2 throughout its exhaustive public review process.I would like to thank CB2 Chair Brad Hoylman and all the members of Board for the incredible time, care and effort they put into the review process and which was reflected in the Board’s powerful resolution on this application.
On March 10, I joined New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, New York City Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Ray Kelly, U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler, New York City Council Member Rosie Mendez, representatives of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and Madison Square Park Conservancy, as well as the husband and 12-year-old daughter of NYPD Officer Moira Smith at a ceremony dedicating the playground at Madison Square Park in her honor.
On March 8, I participated in a rally organized by New York City Councilmember Stephen Levin to express our gratitude and support for public school teachers and to fight back against the “blame the teachers” message of the so-called education reform movement. Earlier that morning, the New York Times ran a story entitled“Teacher Survey Shows Morale Is at a Low Point,”citing a survey that found teacher morale to be at its lowest in more than twenty years. While nobody would argue that New York City’s current education system is adequately serving all students—for example, barely half of black and Latino students graduate on time and far fewer are
As a longtime supporter of reforms to our transportation infrastructure that improve safety and convenience for all users, I am pleased that the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) is moving forward with plans to establish a Bike Share network. I am also gratified that the agency has proactively consulted communities Citywide as it identifies sites for bike stations, and has given special consideration to the needs of New Yorkers with disabilities.
On February 28, I joined United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew, public school parents, education advocates, and many other City and State elected officials in announcing support for proposed State legislation that would give local Community Education Councils—elected bodies of parent volunteers—veto power over proposed school co-locations in their districts. Currently New York City Department of Education (DOE) proposals to install schools inside other schools’ buildings must only be approved by the City’s Panel for Educational Policy, which has never rejected a DOE proposal. All too often such co-locations create rifts between school populations that negatively impact educational environments and result in an inequity of resources for students within the s