Cuomo Launches Holiday School Supply Drive to Benefit New Yorkers in Need
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a statewide holiday drive to benefit families in need across New York. Donations of new unwrapped toys, coats and school supplies are being sought to assist community-based organizations during the holiday giving season.
“Helping those in need is a long-standing tradition in New York, and this holiday season is no different,” Cuomo said. “We want to help ensure the holidays are a joyous time for everyone so I encourage all New Yorkers to open their hearts and donate an unwrapped coat or toy or school supplies to assist those who are less fortunate.”
The Office of General Services has set up drop-off locations across the state for businesses and individuals to bring the new unwrapped toys, coats and school supplies, which will be distributed to families in underserved communities throughout New York.
The drop-off location in Brooklyn is located at the Shirley A. Chisholm State Office Building at 55 Hanson Place. Donations will be collected from Monday, Nov. 25 through Friday, Dec. 13.
De Blasio Administration to Create Over 200 Units of Affordable Housing
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today that it is entering the second phase of the City’s plan to convert more cluster buildings into permanent housing for homeless New Yorkers. Through this preservation transaction, the City will help not-for-profit housing developers acquire and rehabilitate another 14 residential “cluster site” buildings, currently used to house homeless families, and convert them into over 200 permanent affordable housing units to continue addressing the homelessness crisis.
“We’re making good on our promise to transform the shelter system and create more, high-quality permanent housing for New Yorkers in need,” said de Blasio. “With these conversions, over 200 families will have homes of their own, setting them on a path to lasting stability for generations to come.”
As a result, more than 200 homeless families will receive permanent affordable housing with rent-stabilized leases, regulatory
protections, and rehabilitated apartments. When this transaction is complete, this Administration will have reduced city-wide cluster use by nearly 70 percent citywide.
“I’m glad that the Mayor and Commissioner Banks are moving forward with eliminating the very problematic approach of using so-called cluster sites as a temporary shelter, and emphasizing permanent housing,” said State Senator Brian Kavanagh (D-Lower Manhattan, Brooklyn Waterfront), Chair of the Senate Housing Committee. “I look forward to working with the Mayor, the Commissioner, and our colleagues in city and state government to provide more resources and better solutions to end homelessness in New York City and throughout the state.”
Earlier this year, in the first completed conversion, the City financed not-for-profit developers’ acquisition of 17 such buildings,
creating permanent affordable housing for more than 450 homeless families and preserving hundreds of additional units of affordable housing in the process.
“Securing permanent, affordable housing for our most vulnerable residents has been a priority that we’ve worked hard to address on the city and state levels of government, and I’m pleased that we’re pursuing creative solutions that have allowed us to make significant progress toward this goal,” said Assembly Member Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach, Homecrest, Gravesend, Midwood), Chair of the Assembly’s Housing Committee. “The conversion of these additional units will represent hope, stability and a future for so many families in our city, and that’s exciting.”
Ortiz Statement on Adoptee Rights Bill Signed Into Law
Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the historic Clean Bill of Adoptee Rights (S3419 – Montgomery /A5494 – Weprin) into law to restore unrestricted access to original birth certificates for all adult adoptees. New York now joins nine other states that offer adoptees unrestricted access to their birth certificates. Previously, discriminatory measures required adoptees who wished to obtain vital records to go through judicial proceedings, which do not guarantee access.
“All New Yorkers should have easy access to their own birth record. For years, I’ve advocated for the right of adoptees to obtain the information contained in their birth certificates once they reach adulthood. Now they can. The Governor approved A.5494/S.3419 into law.” Said Assemblyman Felix Ortiz (D-Red Hook, Sunset Park). “Birth certificates can provide important information regarding heritage, family history and health. Adoptees and their descendants will now have access to information available to all people born in New York.”
Adoptees have been advocating for equal rights legislation across the country for more than 50 years. This will be the first time adult adoptees have such access since these records were sealed in 1936.
De Blasio Signs Safe Streets Bill Into Law
Mayor Bill de Blasio signed new safe streets legislation into law yesterday, the latest step in the Administration’s progress implementing Vison Zero to make New York City’s streets safer.
“I’m proud to sign this new safe streets legislation that will further the ambitious commitments we’ve begun under Vision Zero,” said de Blasio. “We thank Speaker Johnson for his leadership and look forward to continuing our work with elected officials and communities on creating new bus lanes and protected bike lanes in their districts even before this new plan takes effect. Over the next two years, we will continue to lay the critical groundwork that will allow this plan to be put into motion on Day One, and we are confident that this new plan firmly cements New York City’s reputation as the nation’s leader on street safety.”
Intro 1557-A was introduced by City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, Greenwich Village, West SoHo, Hudson Square, Times Square, Garment District, Flatiron, Upper West Side) and was passed last month by the New York City Council.
The new law requires DOT to implement a master plan for street design every five years, and contains specific targets for protected bike lanes, accessible pedestrian signals, transit signal priority and stop upgrades for buses, and new pedestrian public
space. As part of the first master plan, the City will build 50 miles of protected bus lanes and 30 miles of protected bike lanes annually. In the first two years, one million square feet of pedestrian space will also be constructed.
“Today we take a giant leap closer to reclaiming our streets and making them safer for our residents,” said Speaker Corey Johnson. “The Streets Master Plan, now signed into law, will revolutionize the way New Yorkers use our streets, creating more bus and bike lanes, more pedestrian space and safer street infrastructure. This law helps us make alternative transportation options more viable, which is necessary in our fight against climate change. Today would not have been possible without the hard work of transportation and street safety advocates, including families who lost love ones on our dangerous streets. Their persistence and passion led to a plan that will ultimately make New York City a more enjoyable place to live, work and play. New Yorkers for generations to come will be safer because of them.”