On February 11, I joined Assembly Member Deborah Glick, Community Action Alliance on NYU 2031, Greenwich Village Block Associations, and Friends of LaGuardia Place for a rally to preserve the Village and in opposition to NYU’s 2031 plan to add nearly two and a half million square feet of campus space on its two superblocks south of Washington Square Park.
Last year, I and members of my staff joined the inspired initiative spearheaded by Carol Rinzler and Louis Dankberg to donate magazine subscriptions to the 30th Street Men’s Shelter. Simple, relatively inexpensive gestures such as donating magazine subscriptions can dramatically improve the shelter residents’ quality of life. As I renew my magazine subscriptions, I ask that you also consider renewing yours or donating a new one if you have not done so already. Subscriptions should be addressed to Frank Rivera, Director, 30th Street Men’s Shelter, 400-430 East 30 Street, New York, NY 10016.
After a number of Upper West Side parents expressed concern that Extell Development Company’s plans to sell two parcels of Riverside Center might delay the opening of the development’s new school, my office reached out to the company to request clarification. Below please find a response from Extell’s Vice President, Donna Gargano. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Jared Chausow in my office and he will relay them. Ms. Gargano’s response is reprinted below:“Thank you for your inquiry on the status of Riverside Center and the school that is being developed in Building 2 (the building at the southwest corner of West End Avenue and West 61st Street).
Since St. Vincent's Hospital closed in April 2010, my office has been compiling and updating a guide to primary care providers that have increased capacity to serve the hospital’s former patients and oupatient providers that have absorbed services formerly provided by St.
On Saturday, January 21, I joined U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney, New York State Assembly Members Micah Kellner, Dan Quart, and Aravella Simotas, New York City Councilmember Jessica Lappin, Donna Lieberman of the New York Civil Liberties Union, and Fabiola Carrión of Planned Parenthood of New York City in a news conference at City Hall to call attention to alarming legislative proposals from Congressional Republicans that would severely restrict women’s access to birth control and reproductive healthcare. I have always strongly believed that reproductive health is a fundamental and integral part of comprehensive care. For the past thirty-nine years, Roe v.
In response to numerous inquiries and some complaints about the proliferation of nightlife establishments in Hell’s Kitchen, as well as constituent uncertainty about how the New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) and other agencies make decisions, I recently hosted a forum on bar and nightlife issues. Approximately 100 local residents attended the event, at which representatives from the SLA, CB4, the New York City Police and Fire Departments and Departments of Consumer Affairs and Environmental Protection made presentations on their respective agencies’ roles and answered questions from the audience.
Because of my history of advocacy and leadership in the New York State Senate on HIV/AIDS issues, the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies’ AIDS Leadership Coalition invited me to address its first meeting of the year. I was honored to speak to this advisory group, composed of leaders of some of New York City’s most esteemed HIV/AIDS advocacy organizations and service providers, who work to identify and shape humane and just public health policies for New York communities affected by HIV and AIDS.
As you may be aware, Stein Senior Center’s lease at 340 East 24th Street expired at the end of 2011. It is very important to me and other local elected officials that the center has a smooth and successful transition to its new home in the community at the Uniformed Firefighters Association building at 204 East 23rd Street. Until that space is renovated, Stein Senior Center plans to operate out of the East End Temple, located at 245 East 17th Street. In this temporary home, the center is now serving lunch daily and continues to provide activities including belly dancing, Tai Chi, knitting, meditation, yoga, Spanish, and folk dancing. It is important to note that the center’s hours of operation have been adjusted to accommodate the East End Temple’s afternoon prog
On December 23, 2011, I joined New York City Council Member Dan Garodnick and New York State Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh in sending a letter to Deputy Mayor Robert Steel and Seth Pinsky, president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC), conveying our concern regarding the prospective siting of a sanitation garage on the Brookdale Campus of Hunter College. While no formal proposal has been made, it had come to our attention that EDC was considering such a plan. We questioned the appropriateness of sandwiching a sanitation garage between the Veterans Administration and Bellevue Hospitals and not far from NYU Medical School and an Administration for Children’s Services facility. In fact, it appears sanitation truck routes would have to pass immedia
On Sunday, December 18, I participated in a Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village (ST-PCV) Tenants Association (TA) Telephone Town Hall. The hour and fifteen minute event focused on residents’ questions about the TA’s recently announced proposal to partner with Brookfield Asset Management on a tenant-led, non-eviction conversion plan that would protect current residents and help preserve the middle-class character of this historic community. Nearly 25 questions were answered by Meredith Kane from Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison; Alex Rubin from Moelis & Co.; Jonathan Moore from Brookfield Asset Management; TA President Al Doyle; New York City Councilmember Dan Garodnick; New York State Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh and myself. The call was kicked off b
On December 15, I was honored to participate in a panel discussion on child sexual abuse, convened by the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault (“the Alliance”) following a performance of James X, a critically acclaimed play about the institutional child abuse scandal in Ireland. The 75-minute one-man show was directed by Gabriel Byrne and written and performed by Gerard Mannix Flynn, who also participated in the post-performance panel.
On December 14, I joined thousands of commercial building workers represented by SEIU 32BJ and their supporters at a rally to demand a fair contract from the Realty Advisory Board (RAB). The contract for the more than 22,000 workers expires on December 31 and the RAB has proposed a two-tier wage and benefit structure for new hires that would effectively create a second class of workers. As the commercial real estate industry has seen record profits, especially in the past quarter, I cannot support a contract that would put the interests of the 1% before that of the 99%. On December 1, the union members voted to call a strike if the contract negotiations did not progress and I will continue to stand with the 32BJ members who keep our office buildings clean and running w
On December 13, I presented testimony before the New York City Council’s Committee on Housing and Buildings regarding Introduction 404, which relates to the fines for illegal conversions from permanent residences to hotels. I have been working, along with advocates and my colleagues in government, for close to a decade to combat these “illegal hotels” which create hazardous conditions for short-term visitors and permanent residents alike.
Every December 1 since 1988, World AIDS Day has been observed around the globe. As New York State’s only openly-HIV-positive State legislator, and as the representative of a district that has one of the highest rates of known HIV infections in the country, HIV/AIDS is, for me, a daily concern. However, I recognize the importance of World AIDS Day in helping to bring the HIV/AIDS pandemic – and what each individual can do to bring an end to it – into focus for the wider public.
As you may know, I have been fighting for a statewide prohibition on high-volume hydraulic fracturing (fracking) since 2008. While I am truly proud of the work that environmental advocates, elected officials and concerned residents and business-owners from Upstate and Downstate have accomplished—passing the first statewide moratorium on fracking in the nation, raising awareness about the technique’s devastating impacts, and mobilizing immense opposition to its use in New York State—I am deeply concerned that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation continues to move forward with its ill-conceived plan to permit this dangerous drilling. New York must learn from the mistakes of states that already allow fracking and set an example for those that do not.
On November 30, I, along with New York City Councilmember Dan Garodnick, New York State Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer joined the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village (ST-PCV) Tenants Association (TA) and Brookfield Asset Management in a press conference announcing their partnership on a tenant-led bid to purchase the development with the goal of maintaining it as a haven for middle-class New Yorkers.
On November 29, 2011, I joined dozens of licensed New York City tour guides and representatives of Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 225 in a rally to save the jobs of more than 100 Gray Line tour bus guides at risk of being replaced by pre-recorded narration. The guides are currently negotiating a new contract with Gray Line New York, which, according to the union, has said it wants to automate operations and keep only a small number of its unionized guides for private group tours.
On Sunday, November 20, I joined Manhattan Community Board 2 (CB2) Chair Brad Hoylman and dozens of other West Village residents, business owners and community stakeholders in a march calling for increased public safety on and around Christopher Street. I applauded the West Village Coalition for organizing the march and the New York Police Department’s Sixth Precinct for its efforts to fight crime and protect all of us who call the West Village home. I and my colleagues in government are working with the Sixth Precinct, CB2, the West Village Coalition and representatives of FIERCE, The Door and other organizations that serve the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender youth who have historically congregated on the Christopher Street pier to develop new, collaborative strategi
On November 15, 2011, I held a public forum to address the controversy surrounding accusations of medical professionals’ participation in torture or “enhanced interrogation” as well as to analyze the potential impacts and implementation of proposed legislative responses. A number of court cases and petitions to state disciplinary boards have included evidence that licensed medical professionals abdicated their professional responsibility by taking part in torture. Since these professionals are licensed at the State level, it is within New York State’s jurisdiction to determine whether violations have occurred as well as the appropriate sanctions. The forum explored the legal, regulatory and ethical obligations of medical professionals relating to torture and other enha
As a longtime tenant advocate, I have always fought to preserve and expand New York State’s Emergency Tenant Protection Act and to ensure that tenants are armed with the information they need to defend themselves against harassment, neglect and unwarranted evictions. Toward that end, I was a proud sponsor the Sixth Annual West Side Tenants’ Conference on November 5, 2011, where I led a break-out session with New York State Assembly Member Dick Gottfried and Legal Aid staff attorney Ellen Davidson on the new rent laws, recent legal rulings and what tenants can do to help in the fight for stronger rent regulations. I focused my remarks on the struggles and gains of the past year’s rent law renewal fight, as well as the challenges that lay ahead. This annual conference, o