Speaker Adams, local electeds call for clean streets, open spaces in southeast Queens
City Council Speaker Adrienne E. Adams (D-Queens) joined Majority Whip Selvena Brooks-Powers (D-Queens) and Senator Leroy Comrie (D-Queens) along with local leaders on Friday called for cleaner streets, parks, and open spaces in Southeast Queens.
Adams highlighted local efforts already underway to beautify the area, including Baisley Pond Park, where the rally was held. She encouraged community members to come together and get involved in volunteer projects.
“For decades, sanitation issues like illegal dumping and overflowing litter have negatively affected the quality of life for residents in Southeast Queens,” said Adams. “In recent years, pandemic-related budget cuts worsened conditions, impacting the health, safety, and well-being of our communities. In response, community leaders and organizations have stepped up to organize cleanups and involve their neighbors in beautification projects. When combined with deeper investments in sanitation services and funding for additional cleaning initiatives, our communities will finally have the clean streets, parks, and shared spaces that we deserve.”
“From Brookville Road to the Rockaway Beach Boardwalk, illegal dumping continues to pervade our communities,” said Brooks-Powers. “Investments in street sweeping, trash, and organics collection, and regular maintenance keep New York City streets and parks clean.”
“I was pleased to join Speaker Adams, our colleagues in government, and community leaders to join in the chorus of advocates calling for clean, green, and open spaces here in Southeast Queens,” said Comrie. “The pandemic highlighted the need for increased access to our parks and outdoor venues for families while also putting a spotlight on the need for more city services for sanitation pickups, street cleaning, and parks maintenance.”
DiNapoli audit shows mental health training in Schools is lacking
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli released an audit last week that sampled 20 school districts and found they did not provide mental health training to all staff for the 2020-21 school year by the State Education Department’s deadline of Sept. 15.
The purpose of the audit was to determine whether the school districts (Districts) used resources to provide the mental health component of the New York Safe Schools Against Violence in Education Act (SAVE Act) training requirement to staff.
However, the audit blamed the COVID pandemic for delaying district training programs.
“School personnel are often the first to notice if a student is having mental health challenges, and they need effective training to help them understand the signs and symptoms early on,” DiNapoli said. “Failure to do so can have devastating consequences for students, staff, families and communities. Unfortunately, my office has found much of this vital training is not taking place. School districts should follow SED guidance so everyone from the superintendent to the substitute teacher is properly trained to identify problems. Our nation is facing a mental health crisis, and we need to help our students.”
Adams, Reynoso, Clarke, Walker laud Brownsville mural
Mayor Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso, U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-Brooklyn) and Assemblywoman Latrice Walker (D-Brooklyn) on Friday lauded the unveiling of a mural honoring the history of Brownsville at the New York City Housing Authority’s (NYCHA) Van Dyke III development.
Artist William “GoodWill” Ellis unveiled the 60-foot by 20-foot mural – located at the northeast face of the building – painted 17 of Brownsville’s most inspiring role models throughout modern Brooklyn history, including among others civil rights activist Rosetta Gaston, actor/author Bern Nadette Stanis, chess grandmaster Maurice Ashley and boxing champions Mike Tyson, Riddick Bowe and Eddie Mustafa Muhammad.
“As a proud son of Brownsville, I am thrilled that the ‘We Are Brownsville’ mural will showcase the rich history of this vibrant community,” said Adams. “This new mural, and the recreational spaces that will accompany it, underscore our commitment to uplifting NYCHA residents while reminding them there is no limit to what they can achieve.”
“Pouring strategic investments and time into any community will always yield positive results,” said Reynoso. “Seeing a community come together and share in so many activities and celebration of culture and history will always leave a positive impact on our families. Thank you to all of our partners that have made this possible.”
“Our Brownsville family has witnessed many impeccable men and women walk from our streets straight into history throughout our lives. I am so pleased our community has elected to honor these great heroes through the immaculate and immense ‘We Are Brownsville’ mural, courtesy of one of our most esteemed artists, ‘GoodWill’ Ellis,” said Clarke.
“I’m excited for the unveiling of the ‘We Are Brownsville’ mural at Van Dyke III. It is a much needed reminder of the community’s long and storied history. It provides visual inspiration to young people in Brownsville — from the depiction of Mother Gaston to Dwayne “Pearl” Washington to boxing champions to Bern Nadette Stanis, who will forever be Thelma from ‘Good Times’ to me. The images on the mural should send a message to everyone who sees it: Anything is possible. Kudos to the artist, William ‘GoodWill’ Ellis,” said Walker.