My annual Open House will be on Tuesday, September 27, and we would like to welcome you to our office with food and music. It will be a jam-packed evening: a ribbon cutting for the CityArts window display celebrating local businesses painted by high school students from the district, a pop-up Participatory Budgeting idea collection booth, and the always passionate discussion of Upper West Side neighbors. Check out the flyer, and bring a friend! Also, I want to make sure you all know about the free outdoor movies that are coming to the Upper West Side. You can catch a screening of Minions on Thursday, September 22 and Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice on Saturday, September 24.
The Department of Education (DOE) will release a 3rd zoning map proposal for School District 3 at a Sept 28th Community Education Council (CEC) meeting. We are still waiting for data to be released regarding their first two zoning map proposals. After many meetings and public comment, the DOE still hasn’t released information on the Kindergarten capacity needed for the district, how these draft plans will address that capacity now and in the long term, specific current population data for buildings, or specific criteria for how zone lines are drawn. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and I sent a letter to DOE calling on them to release this data and the 3rd draft proposal immediately so that all parties can assess that information and have time to make decisions that will significantly impact our neighborhood and hundreds of current and future families. You can read our letter here.
Last week the Council passed three bills that will make it easier for commuters to bike to work by expanding bike access to office and residential elevators. Included in the package is my bill to allow commuters to bring a foldable bike on any elevator in an office building (until now, you had to take the freight elevator). You can learn more about the bills from this article in AM New York.
As Chair of the Committee on Contracts, I was proud to hold hearings on and pass a package of legislation to support minority- and women-owned businesses (M/WBEs). The information we will glean from these bills will lay the groundwork for how the City can and will do better by our minority- and women-owned businesses. You can learn more about the issue from this article in Crain's.
Mayor Bill de Blasio signs Helen's accessibility bills into law (March 14, 2016). Credit: Ed Reed for the NYC Mayor's Office.
Last month the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) released Accessible NYC, the City's first ever Annual Report on the state of people with disabilities living in New York City. The Report pulls together the many programs, funding, and legislation geared toward serving the over 800,000 New Yorkers who have disabilities. It was satisfying to see the work of Upper West Siders and my office featured (p. 34 and p.45). I look forward to joining them this coming Sunday, September 25 at the Hearing Loss Association of America's NYC Walk4Hearing.