Manhattan Lawmakers On The Move Jan. 6, 2020

Manhattan Lawmakers on the Move bannner

Brewer Calls On Chancellor Carranza For More School Social Workers

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer last week called on Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza to make more mental health care available to students by working for a 2021 budget that fully funds one full-time social worker per school.

DOE data shows that despite a small commitment made last year to fund more social workers in schools, there are still not nearly enough to meet the needs of city students.

In a letter to Chancellor Carranza, Brewer stressed the great need for a full time social worker in every school, and asked for clarification on the execution for the baseline commitment for 285 new social workers allocated in the 2020 budget. 

“Like so much else, the funding for additional social workers this past year seems to be caught up in the execution,“ said Brewer. “The mental health crisis faced by New York City students is very real, and we need tangible solutions. One full time social worker in every school, while still short of the National Association for Social Workers standard of 1 for every 250 students, is a much needed step in the right direction.”

Brewer’s letter also asks for clarification on:

  • Where the additional, newly-funded Bridging the Gap social workers have been placed this school year
  • What the process was by which the 100 new middle school social workers were assigned, and at which schools they are currently placed
  • If each full-time school-based social worker is assigned to one location
  • How many Thrive NYC funded social workers have been assigned to schools
  • If bilingual social workers are being matched with schools whose students need support in languages other than English

Rosenthal, Kallos Rikers Island Bills To Get Council Hearing

Council Member Helen Rosenthal
Council Member Helen Rosenthal
Council Member Ben Kallos
Council Member Ben Kallos

City Council Members Helen Rosenthal (D-Central Park, Lincoln Square, Upper West Side, Clinton) and Ben Kallos (D-Upper East Side’s Yorkville, Lenox Hill, Carnegie Hill, Roosevelt Island, Midtown East, Sutton Place, El Barrio in East Harlem) this month will see their package of Renewable Rikers Act legislation get an airing before the Council’s Evironmental Protection Committee.

The proposed measures include:
Intro.  1591: Which will determine whether a vacated Rikers Island would support a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment;

Intro. 1592: Would transfer control of the island from the Department of Correction to the Department of Environmental Protection within five years of the bill’s passage; 

Intro. 1593: Which will study how much renewable energy can be generated on the island. 

The bills are built upon the Lippman Commission’s recommendation to use a vacated Rikers for critical infrastructure in its groundbreaking 2017 report, “A More Just NYC.” 

The hearing is slated for Jan. 27 at as a yet to be determined time at City Hall in Lower Manhattan.

Cuomo Announces $45 Million In Addition Funding To Protect Religious-Based Institutions

Governor Andrew Cuomo
Governor Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo at yesterday’s “No Hate. No Fear.” Solidarity March from Lower Manhattan into Brooklyn announced an additional $45 million in funding is available to help protect New York’s religious-based institutions, including non-public schools and cultural centers, against hate crimes. 

Funding is being made available through Requests for Applications under New York’s Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes Grant Program. Created by Governor Cuomo in 2017, the program provides funding to strengthen security measures and prevent hate crimes against non-profit daycare centers, community centers, cultural museums, day camps and non-public schools, which may be vulnerable because of their ideology, beliefs or mission.

Since the program’s inception, more than 500 such projects have been supported by $25 million in state funding. The Governor also announced the creation of a new tip line that New Yorkers should call if they experience bias or discrimination – 1-877-NO-HATE-NY. Additionally, the Governor announced that State Police will continue increased patrols and security in Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods across the state.

“The recent rash of anti-Semitic and other hate-fueled attacks in New York and across the nation are understandably causing anxiety, but we will not be intimidated,” said Cuomo. “In New York we stand up to those who try to sow division and fear, and this new funding will provide religious and cultural institutions the support they need to help protect themselves and keep people safe. We will not let the cancer of hate and intolerance weaken us – we will continue to stand up and denounce it every time it rears its ugly head.”

The grants, which will be directed by the New York State Division of the Budget, provide up to $50,000 in funding for additional security training, cameras, door-hardening, improved lighting, state-of-the-art technology and other related security upgrades at each eligible facility. Organizations that operate more than one facility have the opportunity to submit up to five applications.