Ampry-Samuel Voices Concern Over Lack Of Permanent NYCHA Chair
City Council member Alicka Ampry-Samuel (D-Brownsville), Chair of the Council Committee on Housing, yesterday raised concern that New York City Housing (NYCHA) residents will be left in limbo because of the City’s inability to select a permanent Chair and CEO.
Ampry-Samuel’s concerns come as the January 31 deadline for the City to appoint new leadership as part of the agreement between NYCHA and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has come and gone. According to Mayor de Blasio, “We all want to get it right, so we’re all going to work on this a little bit longer.”
As part of the agreement brokered earlier this year, a federal monitor was to be selected by HUD and the Southern District of New York (SDNY) with input from the City. The monitor is supposed to submit quarterly reports to HUD and SDNY, which will be made publicly available. In early April, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Stanley Brezenoff as Interim Chair of the embattled housing authority, succeeding Shola Olatoye.
NYCHA is the nation’s largest public housing authority, home to 400,000 residents—1 in 14 New Yorkers.
“I am sure it is difficult to find someone to take on the past faults of NYCHA. However, without permanent leadership, it poses a challenge when trying to hold NYCHA accountable. NYCHA is in crisis and business, as usual, is no longer acceptable,” said Ampry-Samuel.
The residents of NYCHA deserve better and more than what they are receiving now. With every missed deadline, the residents are the ones that are losing. I expect all parties involved to put the needs of the residents first. Resident voices must always be at the table during any decision-making process so that change happens with them and not to them,” added Ampry-Samuel.
BP Adams, Chancellor Carranza To Announce Grant To Establish Yoga & Mindfulness In BK Classrooms
Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza will announce a landmark grant from the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President to create the Yoga and Mindfulness Teacher Preparation Program.
The program is part of a partnership to create the institutional foundation that will help establish mindfulness and yoga in classrooms across Brooklyn in the years ahead.
On Friday, Adams and Carranza will share the news together at Vista Academy, a middle school in East New York that has built deep breathing exercises and meditation into the academic day as part of their focus on social and emotional learning.
The event is slated for 11 a.m., today April 5, at Vista Academy, 350 Linwood Street in East New York.
Malliotakis Pushes To Save Small Community-Based Pre-K Centers
Assembly member Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I,Ref-South Brooklyn, Staten Island), Executive Director of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Preschool Alice Mulligan and other local pre-school operators from around New York City will alert Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carranza that the over-saturation of Department of Education (DOE) pre-K centers is threatening to put small community-based programs out of business.
According to Malliotakis, the city has spent millions creating unneeded Department of Education Universal pre-K Centers taking students from community based programs that have existed for years. At the event, the South Brooklyn lawmaker will also discuss the pay disparity between teachers at DOE programs and teachers at community based programs.
Universal Pre-K first came into being in 2015, letting parents of four-year-olds send their children to full-day preschool programs for free, and was expanded last year to include 3-K for three-year-olds as well.
The event is slated for 1 p.m., today, April 5, at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Preschool, 414 80th Street in Bay Ridge.
Rose Announces House Renewal Of Violence Against Women Act, Adds Texting To Crisis Lines
Congressman Max Rose (D-South Brooklyn, Staten Island) yesterday vote to pass reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which included his amendment to allow text messages to federally funded crisis hotlines for victims and those seeking assistance.
Rose’s amendment, which was passed by the House of Representatives Wednesday night by voice vote, would require federally funded domestic violence hotlines to include the voluntary feature of text messaging to ensure all methods of communication are available to those in need.
The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019 is a bipartisan, robust, long-term Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorization. The landmark VAWA of 1994 ushered in transformative progress by calling for the protection of all Americans from violence and abuse, and working to ensure survivors had access to essential services and to justice.
This reauthorization fulfills Congress’s responsibility to protect all Americans, as well as including vital improvements to address gaps in current law that have been identified by victims, survivors and advocates. The bipartisan bill:
- Improves the services available for victims and survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking;
- Expands the housing protections and financial assistance available for victims and survivors;
- Improves protections for Native women, including by reaffirming tribal criminal jurisdiction over non-Indian perpetrators of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking;
- Closes the “Boyfriend Loophole” in current firearm laws in order help prevent “intimate partner” homicides, by prohibiting persons convicted of misdemeanor stalking or dating violence from possessing firearms; and
- Invests in tools and resources for law enforcement and evidence-based prevention programs that make our communities safer.
“Making sure women in crisis can quickly and easily get help by texting the crisis hotline should be a no-brainer. The technology exists and has been proven to be effective by other organizations helping those in need. This isn’t rocket science. If we apply modern day technology to combat dating violence and sexual assault, we can keep survivors and their families safe, while holding the perpetrators accountable,” said Rose.
Menchaca Announces Sunset Park Fire Community Fund Link
City Council member Carlos Menchaca (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook) yesterday announced a community fund link for victims of the Sunset Park 44th Street Fire yesterday.
On April 3, a massive 6-alarm fire destroyed a Sunset Park apartment building, injuring 23 people and leaving more than 100 residents homeless, fire officials said, according to initial reports. The fire was reported at about 4:30 p.m. on the fifth floor of 702 44th Street, a six-story H-type building that is split into two wings.
The first firefighters on the scene said they found fire in a closet of the fifth floor and others reported finding fire in the cockloft when they cut a hole in the roof to vent the fire.
Nineteen of the injured were firefighters with burns, smoke inhalation and other minor injuries. Four people were treated for smoke inhalation and shortness of breath, but none of the injuries was considered life-threatening, officials said.
“Residents have had to sleep at local hotels and are unable to enter the building to retrieve their belongings. Any support you may provide them would be incredibly beneficial right now and as the initial impact settles. Local residents and community based organizations have created a GoFundMe page,” said Menchaca.
“I encourage all who are able to do so, to donate to the Sunset Park 44th Street Fire Community Fund or donate personal care items to the Sunset Park BID office during their regular office hours,” added Menchaca.
Those looking to support, can contact Councilman Menchaca’s staff member Ivan Valladares at [email protected]
Link to donate: to the Sunset Park 44th Street Fire Community Fund.