Since the election, we’ve seen some deeply troubling signs, from cabinet appointments to an upsurge of acts of hate across our city and country. How our community responds to these challenges matters. For my part, the well-being of all residents in District 6 and across the city remains my highest priority.
Please join me for a Post-election Community Forum at John Jay College on Thursday, December 8th from 6-8pm. I want to hear your concerns, tell you my plan for upholding core values and policies as a city council representative, and for all of us to learn about and engage with groups that can channel concerns into organized action. Learn how to get involved and what the next steps will be under a Trump presidency. We will send out detailed information early next week and it will be posted on our website as well.
I will follow the Forum with an email outlining the information presented and how to get involved with different organizations and actions. There will be lots going on over the next few months and several years – from petition signing and letter writing to marches, field organizing, strategizing, planning, legal challenges, and more. There will be many different ways to engage, both at the city level and national level, and my office will help consolidate that information as much as possible. My office and website will stay updated to keep our community engaged.
As we begin to address the larger challenges that are now facing our nation and our city, there is still much to address in our own district backyard. Over the past month, the community approved an important school rezoning, we finished up the senior food bag program, participated in a local turkey raffle, and prepared to celebrate the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. As the holidays approach, my office is sponsoring another small business clinic and I hope you will support them by shopping local. Finally, you can read about my efforts as Chair of the Committee on Contracts to reform the city’s procurement system.
The Community Education Council of School District 3 voted YES to a school re-zone plan for schools located between 61st-116th streets. It is an extensive plan that came together after two years of detailed and in-depth discussions– you can find specific information on it here.
I have said that I would only support a plan that addressed 3 issues:
- Building capacity and overcrowding
- Increased diversity
- Educational excellence
I believe this plan does that and I fully support it. This school rezoning will ensure the success of our local public schools for this generation of students and future generations to come. I applaud the CEC3 for their hard work and commitment to the critical values of diversity and excellence in public education. You can find my full statement delivered at the CEC3 meeting here.
We finished another successful year of the Senior Food Bag program. I want to thank all the volunteers, pictured below, and the office of Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, for all their help in organizing, packing and delivering 2,475 bags of fresh produce to seniors throughout the district. The program ran from July through November and we had more participants than ever with an average of 250 bags per delivery. We look forward to next year and will send out information about it in late Spring.
Helen and Shula Warren (far left) from Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer’s office with the dedicated volunteers who pack and deliver food bags for seniors. (from right) Shirley Singer, Connie Cosner, Fran Chandler, Sarah Snook, Hyacinth Brea, Rochelle Shereff and Maria Terrero.
My District Office is hosting a TOY DRIVE for the holiday season. Toys will be donated through the 20th precinct to neighborhood family shelters and those in need. You can bring toys to my office between November 28th – December 15th. We are collecting toys for children 10 and under and accept NEW, wrapped or unwrapped toys. If you wrap a toy, please label it carefully so we know what it is and can give it to the appropriate child. The district office is open from 10am-6pm Monday-Thursday and 10am-4pm on Fridays. We are located at at 563 Columbus Avenue between 87th and 88th st. Thank you in advance for your generosity.
Community Board 7 Chair Roberta Semer, Helen Rosenthal, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Macy’s, and their elves celebrate the unveiling of the plaque commemorating the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, take a look at the street closures for our neighborhood for the balloons, floats, and parade. I was thrilled to join the celebration to inaugurate a plaque on Central Park West in front of the NY Historical Society to commemorate the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. For 90 years, Macy’s has sponsored this wonderful family event, seen nationwide, enshrined on the UWS.
The residents at Amsterdam Houses started the Thanksgiving holiday early with a turkey give-away. Our local NYPD 20th Precinct Officer Richards and her Explorers helped distribute turkeys and hammed it up.
Saturday, November 26th is Small Business Saturday! Please visit our local shops to do your holiday shopping. Neighborhood small businesses are counting on our support – shop small and shop local this year to help keep our UWS business community strong.
Local restaurant owners–save the date! My next Small Business Clinic will take place January 9, 2017 at 9am and will be geared towards helping local restaurants thrive. Small Business Services will lead a presentation on pertinent regulations, marketing strategies, and accounting tips. Attendees will also be able to sign up to speak to a pro-bono attorney on business related legal issues. Stay tuned for more information!
At City Hall, as Chair of the Contracts Committee, I held our third hearing about procurement reform in the beginning of November. As we’ve delved deeper into procurement, it is clear that vendex–the system that collects information about vendors bidding on contracts– must be simplified and made available on-line. During the hearing we heard from vendors who’ve had to submit the same paperwork repeatedly to city agencies who’ve lost papers or with whom they have separate contracts. We must reform, expedite, and make more transparent the way the City procures services from vendors. All three vendex reform bills move us in the right direction and I hope to pass them at the start of next year.
I am thankful this year for the engaged and active residents of the UWS. While there are many serious challenges ahead, as New Yorkers, they are challenges we will meet and I know the residents of the UWS will do their part.
Wishing you and your family a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving!