July 2016 Updates

Please note my office will be closed from July 4th – July 8th. If you have an emergency please call 311 or 911. 

Rosie Votes No on the 2017 Budget and the Council to Adopt
On June 14, 2016 the City Council adopted Fiscal Year 2017 by a vote of 48 to 1, with Rosie being the only dissenting vote. Rosie stood on the floor of the Chambers and stated that she could not in good conscience vote on a inflated budget that was being rushed through with very little participation of the entire council and less transparency than ever before. Rosie stated: “Madame Speaker, you say this budget is equitable and responsible, and it may be. However, as a member of a borough delegation I sat in approximately 20 hours of budget meetings and I feel that this process has not been transparent or inclusive of this entire body. We rushed through a budget last year and I am still working on resolving the problems from last year’s budget and I don’t know if all my issues were addressed this year. This budget is inflated and for all those reasons I don’t feel comfortable rushing into this vote. I vote “No”.”
In the days that followed, Rosie and her staff were able to determine that in fact Rosie successfully directed approximately $710,000 from the Fiscal 2017 budget to nearly 100 non-profit organizations that provide critical services to our youth, the elderly and all residents of this district. These small grants, the vast majority of which were between $3,500-$5,000 assist non-profit organizations continue the critical work they do. A total of $5,300,000 was allocated towards capital improvements for schools, parks, art institutions and non-profit organizations that serve the community.
Rosie believes that government and the non-profit community have complementary roles in serving the cultural, educational, and diverse needs of her community. Rosie is very proud to support such organizations. Since the public trust in government is based on transparency and accountably, Rosie and her colleagues have posted a list of all funded organizations and the amounts each received on “Schedule C” on the New York City Council Website. You can review the allocations via this link: http://council.nyc.gov/html/budget/2017/skedc.pdf For a list of the capital allocations, please call our office.

Beth Israel / Mount Sinai
In May, Rosie as well as her elected colleagues were invited to attend two briefings about changes to the Beth Israel/Mount Sinai (BIMS) campus. One briefing included the Chairs of the lower Manhattan Community Boards 1-6. It is estimated that the process will take nearly four years. At the end the BIMS campus will look different. However, during that time the hospital will continue to offer normal services such an Emergency Department, inpatient services, as well as those services offered at the Union Square offices as well as at the Eye and Ear building on 14th Street and 2nd Avenue.
The down-sizing of this critical component of health care services in our community is disconcerting. Beth Israel has been a vital component of the East Side community for over a century and Rosie will work to ensure that medical services and jobs are protected.
“While changes to the provision of health care continue which in turn changes the nature of how those services are provided, it is important that BIMS remain an anchor institution within our community. I will not sit idly by and watch another hospital shutter its doors. Since 2000, 19 hospitals have closed their doors and left our City with holes in medical services across our City. I will work with my colleagues in government, the City, and Mount Sinai to ensure that the services we have come to rely on change to the smallest extent possible and that workers who provide those services protected. That the campus serves both our health care needs and any other community needs as this process moves forward,” said Rosie. “While we don’t know exactly what consolidation will look like when the process is complete, we will have a full service medical facility remaining in our community. I will work with BIMS to ensure that this process is transparent, and that the health of the hospital is maintained and protected while at the same time ensuring that we have an adequate number of beds and that our community’s health and well-being are protected.”
Rosie will work closely with the Community Board leadership, stakeholders, and her colleagues as this process moves forward. Her office will continue to provide information to constituents who have questions.

Rosie Reflects on the Anti-LGBT, Anti-Latino, Orlando Shooting
On June 13th, a day after the mass shooting of LGBT individuals on Latin night at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, a candlelight vigil organized by the Stonewall Democrats was held outside the Stonewall Inn. Advocates from the LGBT and the Islamic community, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill DeBlasio and Rosie spoke at the vigil that was followed by a reading of the names with the ages of the 49 victims.
“Today we simultaneously celebrated the contributions of LGBTRicans at the Puerto Rican Day Parade while we mourned the loss of over 50 LGBT individuals in the nightclub massacre in Orlando, Florida. My thoughts and prayers are with the family and the friends of all of the victims we lost in this tragic and horrific event. As we wait for an investigation that may explain the motive behind this tragic event, we ask President Obama and the U.S. Legislators to strengthen our nation’s gun laws so as to prevent the quick and easy purchase of handguns and semi-automatic assault style weapons. Unfortunately we will continue to suffer these senseless acts of gun violence until our nation reforms the existing legislation.”
The LGBT Caucus and the Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus released the following statement: https://rosiecitycouncil.wordpress.com/2016/06/14/lgbt-caucus-blac-joint-statement-on-orlando-shooting/
The LGBT Caucus Responds to the New York State Senate’s Orlando Shooting Resolution: https://rosiecitycouncil.wordpress.com/2016/06/16/for-immediate-release-lgbt-caucus-responds-to-new-york-state-senates-orlando-resolution/

Rosie Calls for a Rent Rollback
Rosie submitted testimony to the Rent Guidelines Board before their final vote next week standing with residents, advocates and other elected officials calling for a rent rollback. On Monday, June 21, during a six-hour hearing at Cooper Union, dozens of individuals testified with their experiences and demanded some relief after years of feeling the pressure of rising rents, landlord harassment and increased costs of living. The board is considering proposed increases of 0 to 2% for one-year leases up for renewal between October 1, 2016 and September 30, 2017, and 0.5 to 3.5% for two-year leases for the city’s hundreds of thousands of rent-regulated apartments. Rosie supports the efforts of the Rent Justice Coalition and many other groups calling for a rollback, or at the very least a rent freeze, during a year when landlord operating costs are down. If you were not able to attend any of the public hearings and you would like to provide comment, you can still do so through the RGB website or by emailing board@nycrgb.org. The RGB votes at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, June 27 at Cooper Union.

Rosie Votes No on Intro 775-A – the Landmarks Calendaring Bill
On Monday, June 6 Rosie participated in a press conference on the steps of City Hall with advocates, residents and Council Members Corey Johnson and Ben Kallos to call on the Land Use Committee to make significant changes to Intro 775-A. Intro 775-A would institute a deadline for the landmarking of buildings and the designation of historic districts by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Rosie is not opposed to implementing time restrictions with a deadline, but did not think the amount of time proposed were sufficient. In addition, she felt that there were loopholes that would lead to the demolition of buildings that were addressed in the amended version, nor with an opportunity to adequately address those issues. With days notice given to the Council and no opportunity for the public to comment on the amended version, Rosie felt that process was not transparent or inclusive to the public. While the most egregious portion of the bill, the 5-year moratorium, was removed, she felt LPC needed additional time. In addition, she felt strongly that the vote should and could be delayed for another week or so while all stackholders could agree on a more appropriate timeline. Rosie and 9 other members including Councilmember Corey Johnson voted no on Intro 775-A but ultimately lost to a majority in favor.

Mahfar’s Proposed Rezoning of 255 East Houston Street
Samy Mahfar’s Proposed Rezoning of three blocks that includes 255 East Houston Street will be voted on by the City Planning Commission on July 13th. The land use application will then be delivered to the City Council at which point our 50 day clock starts to tick. The NYC Council will hold a public hearing this summer sometime during the month of August. The Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer has recommended to deny the application. This proposed rezoning would undo portions of our hard-fought-for contextual rezoning of 2008. Moreover, Samy Mahfar is a developer/landlord who has several Lower East Side buildings that had exorbitantly high lead dust levels, as well as allegations of tenant harassment by dozens of tenants in a multitude of buildings in Rosie’s and Councilwoman Margaret Chin’s districts.

Rosie and the NYC Council Honor the Earth School’s Kids 4 LGBT Rights Now
Kids 4 LGBT Rights Now, comprised of 4th and 5th grade students who attend the Earth School, were honored by Rosie, the NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and Councilmember Danny Dromm, the Education Committee Chair with a proclamation at City Hall on June 21st. The schoolchildren were honored for their campaign urging BrainPOP (an on-line educational program) to include LGBT history in the web-based curriculum. BrainPOP is used by 20% of all schools in the United States for educational research on a wide range of topics and did not include any information on LGBT rights but did have information for other social justice movements. The students created a video and outreached to BrainPOP to encourage them to include LGBT rights in their website and after 1,000 views online, the website company decided to meet the demands of the students. The student’s work garnered great acclaim and was also featured on ABC News and DNAinfo.

Rosie Celebrates NEST+m Students Receiving the Golden Apple Award
This academic year the schoolchildren at NEST+m from grades K-12 work collaboratively to reduce their daily cafeteria garbage. Working with Cafeteria Culture, a not-for-profit organization, the schoolkids reduced their garbage output from 350 pounds (30 bags) to less than 9 pounds (2 bags) per day by implementing the Cafeteria Ranger Program, a zero waste based program. On June 28th, 2016, Rosie greeted the students and joined Cafeteria Culture to celebrate the schoolchildren’s achievements. In addition, the 3rd grade class took a leadership and advocacy role to reduce local land-based plastic litter and wrote a song that they performed for cohorts, Rosie and their teachers. Big thanks goes out to Cafeteria Culture, the students, the faculty, security guards, custodians, and parents for their hard work toward a Zero Waste future.

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