Daniel L. Squadron's Blog

Community Convention

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    Please join State Senator Daniel Squadron at the:


    SECOND ANNUAL
    25TH SENATE DISTRICT
    COMMUNITY CONVENTION


    Sunday, April 11
    2:00 to 5:00 p.m.
    Borough of Manhattan Community College
    199 Chambers Street (just west of Greenwich)


    RSVP to Rosemarie Diaz at 212-298-5565 or rdiaz@senate.state.ny.us.



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    Please join me on Sunday, April 11th, at the second annual 25th Senate District Community Convention.


    At the convention, I will ask you about your thoughts and ideas on legislative and community priorities.


    Last year, more than 400 community members attended and offered valuable feedback on topics as far-ranging as school overcrowding, park planning and nightlife concerns.  We divided into small discussion groups so each attendee could participate actively, and the great ideas I heard influenced my work at home and in Albany.


    I hope you will join me this year to offer your input on those topics, as well as  tenants' rights, health care, ethics reform and more than 20 others.


    Will you join me at the community convention on Sunday, April 11th? Please RSVP to Rosemarie Diaz in my office at 212-298-5565 or rdiaz@senate.state.ny.us.  I hope to see you there!


    Sincerely,


    Daniel
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    DISCUSSION TOPICS WILL INCLUDE:



    Brooklyn Bridge Park and Open Space


    Just last month, along with Assembly Member Joan Millman, I reached an agreement for New York City to open and move forward with Brooklyn Bridge Park, with more amenities and a serious consideration of alternatives to housing.  And, I’ve worked with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to keep Governors Island open every summer.  What are your ideas for how we can build and preserve New York’s great parks?



    Education and Schools


    This year I introduced a bill that will help fight overcrowding in the schools, successfully pushed to improve admissions in District 1, and supported local schools from Carroll gardens to Lower Manhattan to the Lower East Side.  What other ideas would help us build a world-class public education system for our kids?



    Buses, Subways and MTA Issues


    Last year, I had the MTA release a first-of-its-kind report on the F train, a step toward transparency.  Today, we are unacceptably facing a “Doomsday” budget again.  We need a more reliable, long-term approach to funding mass transit.  Please bring your ideas to this very timely discussion.



    Mitchell-Lama, Section 8 and Tenants’ Rights:


    I fought successfully to restore funds for tenant counseling—a wise investment that helps keep people in their homes.  I sponsor legislation that would close legal loopholes that some unscrupulous landlords use to evict tenants.    And in developments like 10 Stanton Street and Independence Plaza North, I have worked with tenants to protect affordability.  How else can we help protect tenants in this economy?



    Environmental Sustainability


    Last year, we passed the Bigger Better Bottle Bill and a green jobs program.  And I wrote bills to cut down on idling and help consumers buy more fuel-efficient cars.  What are some other creative ideas for how we can fight climate change and protect the environment?



    Ethics Reform


    Albany needs reform.  We passed a new law, S6439 (Squadron/A9559 (Silver) that makes it illegal for public officers to use state resources for their own for-profit business.  And we crafted an ethics package that was supported by Citizens Union, the League of Women Voters and the New York Public Interest Research Group, and passed the Senate and Assembly.  What are your priorities for much-needed Albany
    reform?



    Pedestrian Safety, Street Changes, Bicycle Lanes and Traffic Control


    I worked with advocates to write a leading pedestrian safety bill and am working to pass it this year.  I am also fighting for funding for street changes that will make crossing safer for seniors and kids. What else can we be doing to better protect pedestrians?



    Health and Health Care


    Last summer, along with my colleagues including Borough President Marty Markowitz and Assembly Member Joan Millman, I fought successfully to preserve school-based health clinics at four schools where they were threatened with closure.  I also commend Congress Member Yvette Clarke, Jerrold Nadler, Carolyn Maloney, Ed Towns, and Nydia Velazquez as well as Senators Chuck Schumer and Kristen Gillibrand, for passing nationwide health care reform!  I would love to hear your thoughts on other smart, cost-effective ways to keep New Yorkers healthier.



    Public Housing


    This spring, I sponsored the bill in the State Senate to allow NYCHA to access more than $400 million in up-front investment and $75 million every year from the federal government.  That money that will help fix broken elevators, prevent heat outages and improve basic maintenance.  What does public housing need next?



    Marriage Equality and LGBT Civil Rights


    I voted, and argued, and fought for passage of marriage equality and was disappointed the Senate didn’t pass it last year.  Please share your ideas for how to pass marriage equality and other LGBT civil rights legislation like the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) into law.



    Jobs, Workers’ Rights and Economic Development


    As chair of the Senate Committee on Social Services this year, I was proud that we invested in new jobs and training programs to put New Yorkers to work right now.  In this difficult economy, what are your priorities for jobs and workforce issues?



    Quality of Life: Construction, Bars and Nightclubs


    I wrote laws this year that closed loopholes in nightlife laws so community boards’ opinions must be taken into account and the rules are clear and consistent for everyone.  Please share your suggestions on other ways I can help communities manage quality of life and noise problems.



    Rent regulations


    I sponsor a bill that will close the “owner occupancy loophole” and keep tenants in their homes, and I am fighting for other vital tenant protection legislation like an end to vacancy decontrol.  What are your priorities for rent regulation laws?  What else can I do that will help keep New York affordable and keep tenants in safe, decent and affordable homes?


     


    Disability Access


    I fought against MTA cuts that would have slashed Access-a-Ride funding and for funds to repair broken elevators in NYCHA, to make the buildings more accessible.  What are your ideas for how we can make our state more accessible for New Yorkers with disabilities?


    Zoning and Neighborhood Preservation


    I believe communities should be more involved in the land use and zoning process—that’s why I found state funding for the Chinatown Working Group and I supported neighborhood preservation efforts in Brooklyn and Manhattan.  This year, I hope you will come tell me your priorities for community planning.


    Criminal Justice and Civil Rights


    Our justice system clearly needs reform.  I helped reform the Rockefeller drug laws and move from juvenile detention to crime prevention, but there is much more to be done.  What are your ideas for making our communities safer and fairer?



    Election Access and Participation


    I wrote bills that would close campaign finance loopholes, reduce contribution limits and guarantee that voters know where every campaign dollar is coming from.  What are your ideas for how to pass these bills and others?



    Public Assistance and Social Services


    I fought successfully in the budget for forward-thinking investments in local settlement houses, home visiting programs and homelessness prevention.  Have you come across smart programs that will help protect vulnerable New Yorkers and provide good jobs?



    Emergency Preparedness


    We can’t predict emergencies, but we can be prepared.  That’s why I am so supportive of our Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT teams). What are our strengths and weaknesses in preparedness?



    Senior Citizens’ Concerns


    I found more than $100,000 for senior services in the neighborhood, including grants for home visiting, home security upgrades, and assistance with shopping and other errands.    What are your ideas for how we can better serve seniors in our community?



    Neighborhood Issues—Chinese-language discussion


    Last year, I launched the first-ever 25th Senate District Chinese-language hotline, so Chinese-speaking residents can call my office every day.  I hosted a Citizenship Day to provide free immigration assistance from legal experts.  And I have fought for safer streets, safer housing and much-needed senior services for Chinatown.  If you or your neighbors speak Chinese and want to join the conversation, we will have a discussion group for you!



    Neighborhood Issues: a Spanish-language conversation


    Last year, Spanish-speaking participants talked about declining bus service on the Lower East Side, trouble finding an affordable apartment, and more.  I fought to preserve buses and protect public housing for years to come.  The group also talked about the importance of early childhood intervention for families that are struggling—and I won state funding for that intervention with the Nurse Family Partnership. If you or your neighbors speak Spanish, I hope you will join this vital discussion at the convention.