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Saturday, October 21, 2017 - 5:05pm
NEW YORK— On Thursday, October 26, Mayor Bill de Blasio will host a town hall with Council Member Brad Lander for residents of the 39th Council District, encompassing the neighborhoods of Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Columbia Waterfront, Gowanus, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Borough Park and Kensington. The event is co-sponsored by Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, U.S. Representative Nydia Velázquez, State Senator Jesse E. Hamilton and Assembly Member Jo Ann Simon. Residents of the 39th Council District are asked to RSVP via email at email@example.com or by calling (212) 788-7929. Space is limited. Co-sponsors for the town hall include Community Board 6, Community Board 12, Park Slope Civic Council, Park Slope Neighbors, Fifth Avenue Committee and Cobble Hill Association. WHAT: Council District 39 Town Hall WHEN: Thursday, October 26, 2017 Doors open at 6:30 P.M. Program begins at 7:30 P.M. WHERE: M.S. 51 William Alexander Middle School 350 5th Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11215
Saturday, October 21, 2017 - 7:35am
In first 16 weeks under the Criminal Justice Reform Act, 50,000 fewer criminal court summonses were issued citywide – reducing the number of unnecessary warrants and arrests NEW YORK— Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Mark-Viverito announced today that the City's enforcement of certain minor offenses, specifically giving officers the option of issuing a civil ticket instead of a criminal court summons under the Criminal Justice Reform Act (CJRA), has led to a historic 90 percent drop in criminal court summonses being issued while crime has continued to decline citywide. This steep reduction in criminal court summonses means thousands of New Yorkers will never face the threat of arrest for failure to appear in court for a low-level offense. "Nobody's destiny should hinge on a minor non-violent offense," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "This summer's results of record-low crime, paired with record-low summonses, show that we can smartly enforce key low-level offenses without sacrificing New Yorkers' quality of life or safety." "Making New York City a more fair and just place for all people has been the guiding force of this City Council since I first became Speaker," said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. "The Criminal Justice Reform Act has provided fairer and more proportionate outcomes for tens of thousands of New Yorkers in just the first few months of its existence. This historic decrease in criminal summonses is proof that meaningful criminal justice reform is possible without any cost to public safety or order. I thank the NYPD and the de Blasio administration for working with the Council on necessary reforms to make our City more responsive to the needs of all New Yorkers." "The City of New York is experiencing a continued, historic decline in crime," said NYPD Commissioner James P. O'Neill. "Accordingly, arrests and criminal court summonses are also down, and the statistics from today's announcement show that NYPD officers are exercising their discretion to issue civil summonses to address quality of life offenses like littering, public urination and unreasonable noise. The Department worked closely with the Mayor, the Speaker and the Council on the legislation that gave officers this additional tool, so I want to thank them for their collaborative efforts. This is one of many steps that the NYPD has taken to fine-tune precision policing and strengthen the bonds between the police and the communities they serve." During the first sixteen weeks between when CJRA took effect on June 13 and October 1, 2017, there were 50,854 fewer criminal court summonses written than during the same period in 2016 for offenses covered by CJRA (55,224 vs. 4,370). Additionally, during this same period, preliminary data shows a corresponding uptick in civil enforcement. Between June 13 and September 30, 2017, the number of civil tickets for offenses covered by CJRA amounted to 26,154. While the increase was not perfectly proportional to the decrease in criminal summonses, a dip in enforcement is common during a transition to new policies. The Criminal Justice Reform Act (CJRA), first proposed by the Council last year and signed into law by the Mayor, went into effect on June 13, 2017. By creating the option for officers to issue a civil ticket in response to low-level offenses, such as littering, appropriate low-level cases bypass the criminal system altogether, avoiding the possibility of a warrant for failure to appear for a criminal summons. In addition, these civil summonses are adjudicated by the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH) rather than in the summons part of Criminal Court. Preliminary figures show that for the OATH summonses covered by CJRA, 56 percent were paid, with 40 percent admitted to and paid prior to the hearing. In 2016, prior to CJRA, a majority of the 267,000 criminal summonses issued were for low-level offenses, and 39 percent of litigants failed to show up for their Summons Court appearance, which led to tens of thousands of warrants. Police retain the right to issue criminal summonses, but give preference to civil tickets unless the offender has two or more prior felony arrests in the past two years, three or more unanswered civil summonses in the past eight years, is on parole or probation, or there is another legitimate law enforcement reason, approved by a supervisor. OATH is the City court where nearly all enforcement and regulatory agencies file their summonses for hearings, including the Departments of Sanitation, Buildings, Fire, Consumer Affairs, Health and Mental Hygiene, Environmental Protection and the Taxi and Limousine Commission, among others, but OATH is not where parking tickets or traffic tickets are heard. In 2016, OATH received approximately 840,000 summonses from these City agencies. In 2016, approximately 38 percent of all summonses filed at OATH for hearings were admitted to and paid prior to the hearing. OATH allows litigants to contest charges by phone or online, offers litigants who received a summons covered by the CJRA the option of performing community service in lieu of a fine, and is piloting extended evening and weekend hours. This preliminary data suggest CJRA has advanced the administration's goals of preserving public safety and building stronger and safer neighborhoods while reducing arrests and lightening the touch of low-level enforcement. OATH has Help Centers at every hearing location throughout the five boroughs, where self-represented litigants can receive assistance navigating the hearing process, filling out forms and getting access to computers and public City records. With more options for adjudicating tickets than exist in Criminal Summons Court, OATH allows recipients of tickets to admit or fight the charge online, by phone, by webcam, by regular mail, or by going to an in person hearing at OATH. For the quality of life summonses covered by CJRA that are responded to in person, OATH offers an option to perform community service instead of paying a fine so that financial hardship does not lead to non-compliance. As of September 30, 2017, 249 people had accepted community service as the penalty in their case after admitting to the charge or being found in violation after a hearing in person. The community service programs are administered to respondents at the OATH hearing office location where the respondent appears and educational group programs, which can be completed the same day as their appearance. OATH will also be offering an e-learning video module as an option to complete the required community service. The curriculum taught is aimed at changing the personal behavior for which the respondent was cited and making sure the respondent understands that they may be issued a criminal summons in the future if they are caught repeating that behavior. "OATH has a long and successful history of taking on new case types and caseloads. Sanitation violations went to Criminal Court before they were moved in the 1980's and today they are heard at the OATH Hearings Division along with many other administrative and civil summonses," said OATH Commissioner and Chief Administrative Law Judge, Fidel F. Del Valle. "New Yorkers summoned to OATH should know that as the City's independent administrative law court, OATH's top priority is to make it as easy as possible for them to have their day in court." Elizabeth Glazer, Director of the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice, said, "The Criminal Justice Reform Act continues this administration's work to make our city ever safer and fairer. With the number of summonses issued down 37 percent since the Mayor took office, even as quality of life is maintained, the Act now introduces systemwide proportionality in the response to low level offending. Ensuring appropriate accountability will increase the credibility of our justice system and, in turn, encourage increasing compliance with rules that make our cities livable." OATH is also piloting a program to test whether having the court open for evening and weekend hours provides more convenience and access to justice for those who are summoned to the City's administrative law court. Now through January 30, 2018, OATH's Brooklyn Hearing Office remains open until 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday nights and is open from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays, with a few exceptions due to holidays. The full range of OATH services, including walk-in hearings, on-site community service and Help Center assistance is available during these extra hours of operation. For both civil and criminal summonses, the City is working to increase court appearance rates with redesigned, plain-language summons forms and other initiatives, such as text messages that remind people of their upcoming court dates at OATH or criminal court as well as to alert them when they have missed a scheduled hearing so that they can address consequences that may arise as a result. The Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice is engaging John Jay College over the next year and a half to evaluate the implementation and short-term outcomes of CJRA. Specifically John Jay will examine how the issuance, disposition, and outcomes (e.g. open warrants for failure to appear) of summonses vary pre- and post-CJRA implementation in addition to surveying perceptions of the ease of use and procedural justice of the new process among system users. The City has taken a number of additional steps to prevent minor offenses from leading to arrests, which can have serious consequences. The number of summonses issued citywide in 2016 (267,763) is down 37 percent compared to 2013. The Mayor's Office, Speaker Mark-Viverito and the City Council also worked with four district attorneys to dismiss over 644,000 outstanding warrants for minor offenses like drinking alcohol in public or entering a park after hours. Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz, Chairman of the Assembly Judiciary Committee, said, "There is no disputing that our criminal justice system is overloaded, causing delays which put the right to a speedy trial in jeopardy. The ability for police officers to grant a civil summons as opposed to a criminal summons is not only helping our courts run more efficiently, but also is helping prevent tens of thousands of otherwise law-abiding citizens from entering the criminal justice system."' "Preventing arrests for minor offenses is the first step to reducing incarceration and ensuring a fair criminal justice system for all New Yorkers" said Assembly Member David Weprin, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Correction. "By allowing officers the option to cite minor offenses as civil tickets over criminal summonses through the Criminal Justice Reform Act, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito have prevented the unnecessary arrest of New Yorkers while maintaining that officers have the discretion to detain the worst offenders." Assembly Member Luis R. Sepúlveda said "One had only to walk into any criminal court building in the city a few years ago to see the crowded, somewhat chaotic and demeaning conditions. This change has been like night and day. I salute Mayor de Blasio and his administration for bringing better and true justice to the court system." "Too many Bronxites and New Yorkers are burdened with the threat of arrest for failure to report in court for low level arrests," said Assembly Member Michael A. Blake. "The repercussions of these minor offenses many times lead to harsher and unnecessary punishment because of this injustice. This type of justice is not restorative, it is punitive. With the launch of this historic program, we are now seeing a critical turning point for families. Now, justice will act to restore confidence in law enforcement within our communities and work effectively to keep community members safe and accountable. I commend Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Mark-Vivereto, and City Council for their steadfast work to secure such an effective program." "Today's announcement confirms that proportional penalties for non-violent offenses, like those enacted through the CJRA, have successfully kept our city safe while diminishing the interaction between low-level offenders and criminal courts. Simply put, far too many New Yorkers, predominantly young men and women of color, have been disproportionately impacted by harsh penalties for low-level offenses. The collateral consequences of those penalties have serious consequences on these low-level offenders' lives, impacting one's ability to secure housing, financial aid and employment. The CJRA is a blueprint for meaningful criminal justice reform and as Public Safety Chair, I am grateful to Speaker Mellissa Mark-Viverito for her commitment to criminal justice reform and for her willingness to identify measures that bring fairness to the justice system while still holding individuals accountable for their actions. I also thank Mayor de Blasio, the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice, and the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings for their partnership in enacting and overseeing these much needed changes to our justice system that improve fairness and equity for all," said Council Member Vanessa Gibson, Chair of the Committee on Public Safety. "I derive a great deal of satisfaction in learning that the Criminal Justice Reform Act (CJRA),is achieving many of its intended benchmarks ; a reduction in criminal court summons coupled with an increase in civil enforcement," said Council Member Fernando Cabrera. "Non-violent, minor offenders have no place in criminal court," said Council Member Rafael Espinal. "NYC is once again leading the way by driving down crime, while also supporting the positive futures of our residents and I congratulate the de Blasio administration on its commitment to this mission." Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland said, "I'm pleased with the significant reduction of criminal summonses issued in our City for low-level offenses. No one should have to go jail for committing a minor, non-violent infraction. It is counterproductive to the offender and expensive for taxpayers. I'm very proud to have supported the criminal justice reform last year under the leadership of Speaker Melisa Mark-Viverito and I want to thank her and Mayor de Blasio for their commitment to making sure minor transgressions are enforced appropriately." "When the City Council passed the Criminal Justice Reform Act (CRJA) we did so with the intention of giving our constituents an opportunity to bypass the criminal justice system while still be held accountable for the tickets they've received," said Council Member Andy King. "This is a step in the right direction on how our City is reforming our Criminal Justice system without disrupting families, damaging the academic futures of our youth, or creating a blemish anyone's credit report." "These results show that the Criminal Justice Reform Act is doing what it set out to do. The drastic reduction in the number of criminal summonses will prevent low-level offenders from carrying a criminal record for life, which would limit future opportunities and could make it more likely they commit higher offenses. It is my sincere hope that as we continue to see this Act implemented and review data on what areas and groups are most affected, it will lead to greater equity of enforcement, reduction in disparity in policing practices, and more positive relationships between the NYPD and the communities they serve; especially the low-income communities that are often the most impacted by criminal summonses," said Council Member Jumaane D. Williams. "I think the progress being made is a wonderful thing. I hope we can keep it up," said Council Member Karen Koslowitz. "Reducing the number of criminal court summonses under the Criminal Justice Reform Act by 90% is a huge accomplishment and a critical first step in our work to reform our criminal justice system and close Rikers," says Council Member Brad Lander, Deputy Leader for Policy at the Council. "Comprehensive criminal justice reform is no simple task, but it starts with ending the policy of locking people up for nonviolent, low-level offenses to reduce the number of people needlessly detained in the first place. I applaud Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Mayor de Blasio's for their success in reducing the number of unnecessary warrants and arrests and look forward to working alongside the Council and Administration to further reform our system and treat criminal justice reform with the urgency this issue deserves." "The dramatic reduction of criminal court summonses is a testament to this administration's commitment to employing sensible progressive policies. The Criminal Justice Reform Act provides New York City law enforcement with enhanced discretion and has ultimately lessened the burden placed on our criminal courts. As we continue to address low-level offenses with fair and proportionate penalties, I am confident we will improve our justice system without jeopardizing the quality of life in New York City," said Council Member Annabel Palma. "Through the Criminal Justice Reform Act, our City is finally addressing low-level offenses with the discretion and consideration that New Yorkers deserve," said Council Member Donovan Richards. "Too many residents, particularly in communities of color, were tossed into the criminal justice system for minor quality of life mistakes, which left them with a permanent taint on their record that and another large obstacle for them to overcome. Thankfully, Mayor de Blasio and the City Council tackled this issue head on and the results speak for themselves. Crime continues to drop, proving that the bad old days will remain in the past." "CJRA has kept tens of thousands of New Yorkers out of the court system resulting in fairer and more proportionate outcome for their actions. It also improves the efficiency of our court system saving the city time and money," said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. "I commend the Administration and OATH on their efforts educate the public through ACCES events on how to face civil summonses for low-level offenses, and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for her leadership in criminal justice reform." "In my community civil justice reform has had a monumental impact while maintaining our quality of life," said Council Member Rafael Salamanca, Jr. "With all of the problems that can come with an open summons, this is welcome news." "This data shows that the Criminal Justice Reform Act since its enactment into law is accomplishing its purpose of driving down summonses while keeping communities safe and improving police relations throughout the City," said Council Member Ritchie Torres.
Friday, October 20, 2017 - 5:05pm
Mayor Bill de Blasio: I’m impressed, Natasha. And the Rider’s Alliance is very smart to have you one of the people speaking on behalf of bus riders and straphangers and the people of New York City. Natasha, thank you. I had a great talk with Natasha coming over here and I said to her – I listened to her whole life story and I said, “Natasha, you’re a New York success story.” Grew up in St. Albans, Queens, went to our public high schools, and got a great education, got a lot of drive to go ahead and get out there in the workforce, and she succeeded. And she decided she wanted to start her own business which she did about a year ago and she’s making it work. She’s getting a big customer base. And she also knows because of the work she’s been doing how tough it is for people to get around. And I think I just heard a really eloquent statement on both the challenges we face as New Yorkers but also what we can do about it. So, I just want to congratulate you, Natasha, for your new business. And thank you for your beautiful statement. [Applause] Now, I want to say at the outset, this is a – Select Bus Service is a very good thing for New York City and something that has to grow, and grow rapidly. It’s also an example of real cooperation between the MTA and the City of New York. We can have a longer conversation about the MTA and about the challenges we face with our subways but what has been a real success story has been the working relationship between the MTA and the New York City Department of Transportation to create Select Bus Service routes and to get them online quickly. It takes a lot of work on both sides. It takes real investment. It takes making big, physical changes along the route to make it work. But then when it works it’s a tremendous step forward for everyday New Yorkers and it becomes very popular – that’s what you heard from Natasha. People who experience Select Bus Service really appreciate it. So, I want to thank, representing the MTA, Steve Vidal, the Vice President for the MTA, one of the leaders of the MTA’s work in providing Select Bus Service. Thank you for joining us, Steve. And thank you for the great work you do. We appreciate it. [Applause] Now, Natasha’s right. New Yorkers work hard. This is the most wonderful city in the world. It’s a city that rewards us in so many ways. It’s also a tough city to live in. It’s hard to get around. There’s a lot of congestion and people really the wear-and-tear of life in this city. So, our job is to make their lives easier. Our job is to lighten that burden. And we know if you can get around, if you can get around quickly everything else can work in your day. And if you can’t get around quickly it means missing a doctor appointment or a job interview or your kid’s little league game – things that really, really matter to people. So, this is about as basic as it gets in terms of making life in this city work. Again, a lot of attention goes on the subway system and for good reason. It carries a huge number of New Yorkers. But don’t forget the bus system. It’s so important to our lives – 2.5 million New Yorkers who use the buses every day rely on the buses to get them around. And Natasha’s right. We have to do better. We have to make them faster and that’s the bottom line. If they’re faster, more and more people will use them. If they are easier to use, more and more people will get out of their cars. But if they’re not moving fast enough, it doesn’t encourage anyone to come and take the bus. And this is where this partnership between the MTA and the City comes in, working together to expand Select Bus Service. We put out today this summary of how we’re going to move forward with bus service in this city, and it’s exciting – 21 new Select Bus Service routes for all five boroughs. Twenty-one new routes will be created that are going to speed New Yorkers on their way, give them a comfortable ride, a quick ride, a better way to get around. So, this is part of what the future of New York City looks like. Select Bus Service has been a huge success. It’s time to take it to the next level in all five boroughs. That’s what we celebrate today. Now, I have to tell you, Natasha indicated it, there are real reasons why this works and why it’s a better way. The dedicated lanes make all the difference. The fact that people pay their fare before they get on board – you saw when we took that ride a moment ago how easy it was for us to get on quickly, others to get off, and everything keeps moving because people buy their tickets in advance. Yeah, you got to invest to put all that together so it’s there for people but once you do it’s worth the investment. It makes a huge difference. Here’s the fact – Select Bus Service has reduced travel time for the New Yorkers who use it by 30 percent. Now think about that. The city that never sleeps, the place where every minute counts – for New Yorkers who use Select Bus Service, they’re saving 30 percent of their time in terms of travel. It’s extraordinary. Right now, Select Bus Service is working for lots of people – it’s about 12 percent of the bus rides taken in the city but we want that number to jump up. We want more and more New Yorkers to have their go-to option be Select Bus Service. So, we predict, based on the routes that you’ll see here in all five boroughs, that Select Bus Service ridership will go up to 30 percent of all ridership in New York City in the coming years. Now, that will more than double the current number of folks who are using Select Bus Service. There’s about 300,000 people now. It’s going to go up to about 800,000 New Yorkers every day who will be using Select Bus Service. And as I always tell my colleagues, when we use a number like 800,000 – it’s an amazing number of people but as New Yorkers big numbers don’t always impress us – 800,000 people a day using Select Bus Service that is the equivalent of the entire of population of Seattle, Washington. Just to put in perspective how big a deal it will be when we build out Select Bus Service with these 21 new lines. So, some of this will be starting immediately. Other pieces are going to take longer but right away within the next year, two new routes will be open – Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevard route in Queens, and the Flatlands Avenue – Kings Highway route in Brooklyn. They will be open in the coming months. Those two combined will serve 50,000 riders a day. We’re looking for every way to continue to improve the Select Bus Service to make it better all the time but also to take some of the lessons we’ve learned from it and apply it on other types of bus routes working with the MTA. The bottom line is we have to reach every single neighborhood. No neighborhood should be neglected. No one should have a problem getting around because of the ZIP code they live in. Select Bus Service is a difference maker. You know our commissioner, Polly Trottenberg, in the beginning of this administration explained to me that maybe Select Bus Service wasn’t going to get all the headlines but it was going to be the workhorse. It was going to make a huge impact on people’s lives and do the things that we wanted – provide service where there isn’t enough and make it faster, and boy, that’s proven to be true. And it’s become very, very popular. So, look, to conclude my comments before I turn to my colleagues, this is part of a four-pronged attack on the problem of congestion and the need to address mass transit options, things that are making a huge difference. Select Bus Service – extraordinary impact, a lot more to go. NYC Ferry – we’ve already seen just with the introduction of the first lines how incredibly popular it’s been – limitless potential with NYC Ferry to help people get around in a way that keeps them off the roads and also doesn’t even mean crowding our subways further. What we’re going to do with light rail in Brooklyn and Queens in the next few years could be a great difference-maker not only for those very busy neighborhoods, but if it works, something we can use well beyond. And then of course, Citi Bike, which I think had its 50 millionth rider recently – a huge success that’s being expanded all over the city. Four types of transportation, none of which existed in this way even just a few years ago. Citi Bike has been around a little longer but not that long. NYC Ferry – brand new approach to city-wide ferry service. Select Bus Service has just been emerging in these last years, now we’re going to take it to the next level. And light rail to come. This is about the city of the future – providing more and more mass transit options. And this is what’s going to allow New Yorkers to live a better life. With that I want to turn to our Commissioner. I want to thank her. Something like this – it’s a nice slim booklet but it represents a whole lot of work that she and her team had to put in to determine all the places that we could make it work. And then lucky them, they get to implement it. And we’re going to working to make sure it’s on a very quick and aggressive timeline as per usual. But DOT has done an outstanding job with Select Bus Service. It’s my pleasure to introduce Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. [Applause] Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, Department of Transportation: Thank you, Mr. Mayor. I just want to say a few thank you’s. First of all, thank you to you for your leadership on Select Bus Service and all the other things we’re doing in transportation and for the resources. We’ve invested almost $300 million. When we came into office we had, I think, six Select Bus Service routes. We’re up to 14 and that number obviously is going to continue to grow aggressively. I also want to thank my colleagues at DOT – Eric Beaton, and some of the others, Janet Jenkins – who’ve been, as you said Mr. Mayor, the ones who’ve really done incredible work here. And it has been a great partnership with the MTA. I’m so glad Steve Vidal is here. We work with him on bus. We also work with him on Vision Zero. He’s been someone really concerned about making bus travel safer in the city – and his colleagues Ronnie Hakim and Darryl Irick. So, we’ve had a lot of great partners in this work. It’s been gratifying to hear from average New Yorkers how much they appreciate the service, the time it saves them, and we look forward to implementing this really bold vision. Thank you. [Applause] Mayor: Thank you very much. Now, the elected officials who are here have been really supportive of expanding mass transit options and they certainly all got to experience what’s great about Select Bus Service just not. Let’s start with Senator Brad Hoylman. [...] Thank you, brother. Now, my pleasure to introduce Assembly Member Dick Godfrey – [...] Thank you so much, Dick. My pleasure to introduce, Council Member Corey Johnson – [...] Thank you very much, Corey. You’ve heard from the representatives of this part of Manhattan. Now, we’re going to reach into Brooklyn because Councilman Brad Lander worked on this issue for the whole city, studying the potential of SBS. And I know he’s been looking forward to this day. Council Member Brad Lander – [Applause] [...] Thank you very much, Brad. Finally, he gets a lot of credit and everyone he represents who’s worked so hard for these changes, that’s always voices telling us we can go farther, and sometimes takes government a little while to make sense of it but we finally got there. But one of the strongest voices on behalf of everyday New Yorkers who need to get around is the Executive Director of the Rider’s Alliance, John Raskin. [Applause] [...] Thank you very much. Thank you. So, finally, I’ll just say this took a lot of work. Again, the real work begins now. You see how big a deal this is, how much of the city this is going to reach. That’s a lot of work that has to be done but we’re dedicated to doing it very quickly because we know it’s going to have a transformative impact on people’s lives. So, today we celebrate. Tomorrow we get to work. Thanks everyone very much.
Friday, October 20, 2017 - 5:05pm
DOT "Bus Forward" report targets more than 21 new bus corridors, will almost triple the number of commuters served by faster SBS, commits to expanding bus-priority treatments to local routes across the city NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced that New York City would dramatically expand Select Bus Service (SBS), pursuing upgrades on more than 21 new routes over the next ten years, reaching a half-million more bus riders each day. The City and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) will also expand bus-priority improvements to make buses faster on key non-SBS corridors in all five boroughs. The Mayor made the announcement after riding an MTA M23 SBS bus to Chelsea Piers in Manhattan. The DOT report on the planned expansion, Bus Forward, is available here . "Bus riders deserve faster, more reliable service -- and the growing number of riders on SBS buses has found that they are getting to work on-time, and getting home to family faster," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "With even more Select Bus Service routes coming on-line in the years ahead and a commitment to bring SBS-style treatments to other routes, more communities in every borough will see their bus service improve. These improvements have been proven effective, by reducing travel time, increasing bus reliability and helping us meet the goals of major initiatives – both for a safer city under Vision Zero and a more equitable one under OneNYC." "Select Bus Service has been a truly great partnership for the DOT and the MTA, as hundreds of thousands of daily riders citywide enjoy its real benefits that make buses faster, more reliable, and more convenient," said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. "But as the Mayor notes, our success means we now have much more to do, and so we will now tackle other corridors in neighborhoods around New York City where we believe the addition of SBS and the expansion of our bus-priority treatments on local bus routes could make a major difference. Whether it's all-door boarding, dedicated bus lanes, or bus countdown clocks, hundreds of thousands of riders have come to rely on the innovations of SBS that we want to bring to even more routes." A joint initiative of New York City DOT and MTA New York City Transit, SBS has expanded dramatically over the last four years, increasing ridership as travel times on those routes have improved by as much as 30 percent. Right now, 12 percent of bus rides are taken on an SBS route, and with the Mayor's commitment that number will rise to 30 percent -- nearly one in three bus riders. The Mayor has provided $270 million for Select Bus Service, and in 2014, the Administration introduced the first-ever baselined funding to deliver SBS upgrades, support that will now enable SBS on the following targeted corridors and areas, where DOT expects to work with the MTA: Select Bus Service began in 2008 on the Bx12 route along Fordham Road in the Bronx, bringing bus rapid transit to New York City for the first time. According to data collected by DOT on each of the established routes, Select Bus Service's signature features – all-door boarding, dedicated bus lanes, and signal priority -- have led to faster travel times, increased ridership, more reliable service, and safer streets. The rate of SBS expansion has grown dramatically under Mayor de Blasio -- from 6 routes at the start of 2014 to 14 currently. In the next year, Select Bus Service is expected to arrive on at least two more corridors that serve nearly 50,000 daily bus riders: Woodhaven/Cross Bay Boulevard in Queens and Flatlands Avenue/Kings Highway in Brooklyn. Additionally, the City and the MTA have worked together using MTA Bus Time GPS data to identify locations around the city where bus routes are slow and unreliable. The agencies will work together to create a new program focused on improving local bus speed and reliability -- applying treatments in the SBS toolbox that include dedicated bus lanes, transit signal priority, better bus stop spacing, fare-collection improvements, and other tools to improve bus service for the majority of MTA bus riders who ride local buses. Over the next decade, two or three major corridors will be tackled per year. New bus-priority projects have been and will be undertaken this year on Fifth Avenue in midtown Manhattan, Fulton Street in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, and along Main Street in Flushing, Queens – targeted improvements that will speed rides for more than 130,000 daily bus riders. "Declining bus ridership citywide and increasing traffic congestion are key reasons why bus riders need an action plan of their own," said Veronica Vanterpool, MTA board member. "The successful partnership of NYCDOT and MTA can turnaround the bus riding experience, as we have seen with 9 years of SBS projects. Mayor de Blasio's announcement of priority corridors echoes what advocates, riders and transit planners have been saying for years--dedicated bus lanes, new technology and better route planning will bring riders back to buses. The Mayor and agencies deserve our support for increasing the focus on bus improvements over the next 10 years." "Buses are notoriously slow and unreliable, and the consequences are severe: when we surveyed bus riders this summer, we heard from people who missed work, lost wages, and sometimes even lost jobs because of poor bus service," said John Raskin, Executive Director of the Riders Alliance. "But Select Bus Service works: riders know it from experience and the data shows it's true. It's time to apply lessons from the successful Select Bus Service experiment to the rest of the city. We need more SBS routes. We need more improvements on local routes that serve hundreds of thousands of riders. We should work to make buses modern, convenient and attractive to riders, so people who have given up on buses will come back. Thanks to Mayor de Blasio and the Department of Transportation for taking this important step of committing the City to improving bus service for hundreds of thousands of riders in the coming years." "The DOT's new Bus Forward plan shows a real commitment to improving bus service for over two million daily riders," said Nick Sifuentes, Executive Director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign. "We're glad to see the mayor and the DOT committing to additional Select Bus Service routes—but we're most excited to see the expansion of SBS treatments like bus lanes and transit signal priority to local bus routes. We've learned that SBS works; it's time to spread the benefits of Select Bus Service far and wide so that bus riders have faster commutes no matter what bus they board." "Expanding NYC Select Bus Service is absolutely critical, especially for residents in the outer boroughs" said Congressman Eliot Engel. "I am pleased the city will be upgrading more than 21 city routes, including the Bx9, Bx28, and Bx38 lines in the Bronx." "We have seen what a great improvement SBS has made in the lives of the commuters on currently existing lines," said Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. "Thanks to SBS, New Yorkers can get where they are going faster and more reliably. I am thrilled that Mayor de Blasio and the DOT are expanding SBS to more lines in my district." "Our mass transit system is the lifeblood of our city and the investments we make in it are critically important for our vitality and economic growth," said Congressman Joe Crowley. "Select Bus Service is a cost-effective option that reduces travel times and increases connectivity for thousands of New Yorkers. I'm thrilled to see the program expand to reach even more riders, while meeting the needs of countless communities. I thank DOT and the MTA for collaborating on this initiative to ensure New Yorkers are able to get where they need to go, when need to get there." "I commend the Mayor's efforts to expand our City's Select Bus Service with the addition of new routes," said Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez. "For countless New Yorkers, commuting via bus is a fundamental part of daily life. These new and improved bus lines are outfitted with innovative technology that will promote timeliness, comfort and accessibility. This expansion will signal a new era for our City's residents, and I look forward to the implementation of this project." "My Senate district has the slowest buses in the city, with an average speed of only 4.7 MPH," said State Senator Brad Hoylman. "The Bus Forward plan aims to triple the number of Select Bus Service routes and increase bus speeds and reliability, making a huge impact on hundreds of thousands of straphangers in my district. I thank Mayor de Blasio, DOT, and the MTA for listening to riders for this initiative." "New Yorkers deserve a bus service that is fast and effective, and a key factor for achieving that goal is increasing the number of Select Bus Service routes throughout the City," said State Senator Jose Peralta. "By expanding this particular service, all communities will benefit and commuters will have a more reliable public transportation system and better travel times. I applaud Mayor de Blasio, DOT and the MTA's efforts in expanding Select Bus Services, an initiative that next year will celebrate its 10th anniversary." "The service expansion of the SBS buses and the implementation of critical improvements on key non-SBS corridors across the five borough will allow thousands of bus riding New Yorkers to get where they need to be in a faster and more reliable way," said State Senator Gustavo Rivera. "I commend Mayor de Blasio, the DOT and the MTA for implementing common sense measures that will increase the efficiency and reliability of our City's public transportation system to provide New Yorkers with the service they need and deserve." "Mass transit is the lifeblood of the city," said Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried. "It is great for people who live, work and visit here that the de Blasio administration and the MTA are working together to improve bus service for passengers and bus drivers alike." "This additional service will be a major boon to Bronx bus riders who have to contend with limited 'cross-town' routes," said Assembly Member Luis Sepulveda. "The implementation of SBS buses has already shown its value, as evidenced by the Bx12 Local/SBS route across Fordham Road, with 15,576,377 riders last year making it the most used route in the entire city. Glad to see that Mayor, the DOT and MTA are making strides in serving transit riders." "For many years, I have been calling for expanded bus service, so I am very pleased to hear that the Mayor plans to add over 21 new routes for Select Bus Service (SBS) over the next decade, which will accommodate another 500,000 new bus riders each day. Additionally, part of this plan includes a new route for riders from Southwest Brooklyn to East New York. This will add service for many more New Yorkers, and provides an alternative for cross-Brooklyn travel," said Deputy Leader Vincent Gentile. "New Yorkers want the ability to travel between and within boroughs, and do so efficiently, safely and by accessible means. Select Bus Services have been successful in delivering that," said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chair of the Council Committee on Transportation. "Many of my colleagues in the Council and I have been advocates for more SBS routes, supporting work for its expansion through legislation, including Local Law 36 of 2015 and Local Law 71 of 2017 sponsored by Council Member Brad Lander and myself. I believe we must deliver reliable public transportation to New Yorkers in all five boroughs, including those in transportation deserts. We must connect commuters to various parts of the city and encourage the use of mass transit. I am excited to see the SBS system grow and look forward to working on more innovative ways to improve bus service." "Today's 'Bus Forward' report is an important next stop on our route to better bus service for New Yorkers," said Council Member Brad Lander, who sponsored the legislation leading to the report. "The routes in this plan will extend bus rapid transit (BRT) and improve congested local bus routes, providing a faster commute to hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who today have some of the slowest ones, and opening up new job opportunities as well. I look forward to working with the de Blasio Administration, DOT, the MTA, my colleagues, transit advocates, and communities to move along this route as quickly as we can." "The SBS program is a safe and efficient transportation alterative to get New Yorkers to where they have to go. Throughout the City, and especially in Council District 34 the amount of commuters in the last decade has increased significantly- so the need for options to traditional public transportation are key for sustainability. I was proud to be a part of the City Council that pushed for an expansion of the SBS program to improve the way we get around. I am especially excited that two of the proposed routes for expansion will run through my district and provide services to my constituents," said Council Member Antonio Reynoso. "The expansion of Select Bus Services in the Bronx will give our residents more frequent and reliable transportation services. Public transit is vital to a growing Bronx economy and to the Bronx residents driving its growth everyday," said Council Member Ritchie Torres. "Whether you use the bus to get to work, shop for groceries, or visit your friends and family, you deserve to get to where you're going on-time." Said Council Member Corey Johnson, Chair of the Health Committee. "As the population of our City continues to grow, expanded and improved bus service is a common-sense step to meeting the transit needs of many New Yorkers. I'd like to thank Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Trottenberg for this exciting development." SBS Routes are currently active along the following corridors: Fordham Road/Pelham Parkway (Bx12) First/Second Avenues (M15) 34th Street (M34/M34A) Hylan Boulevard (S79) Webster Avenue (Bx41) Nostrand Avenue (B44) 125th Street-LGA (M60) 86th Street (M86) Bronx-Flushing-Jamaica (Q44) Woodside-Jackson Heights Airport Connector, LaGuardia Link (Q70) Utica Avenue (B46) 23rd Street (M23) 79th Street (M79) Washington Hgts-Crosstown Bronx (Bx6) For more information about Select Bus Service, please visit
Friday, October 20, 2017 - 11:35am
Mayor Bill de Blasio: Thank you so much. I have to tell you, Matthew, I want to thank you. The – you’re a good citizen and you cared about your community and you cared about people’s safety and you did something about it. I really admire that. When you called, on the show, I remember it vividly, you know, I listened to a lot of different questions that come up whether I’m doing the radio call-in, a town hall meeting – and some immediately strike me as the kind of thing we just need to do better on and the kind of thing that’s not being addressed properly. And when you said it, it made all the sense in the world to me that we had to do something different especially because, I think you really – you really put a focus on the fact that the City was not going after the businesses that were the core of the problem. And that really fit with my philosophy of making sure we hold responsible who’s really responsible and we go to the root of a problem when we’re trying to address it. So, I just want to say that, you know, it’s a big city, it’s a complicated city but it’s a very good thing when one citizen thinking of his own community and thinking of thousands of other people, steps up, brings up an issue, brings up a way of solving an issue, and puts the kind of time and energy in that Matthew did. He is someone we should applaud today. Thank you very much, Matthew. [Applause] This is about safety and this is about quality of life. And it’s also about changes that we’ve seen in our neighborhoods and the things we have to do to address those changes. You’re going to hear from several people today. You’re going to hear from some elected officials. You’re going to hear from Terry Monahan of the NYPD. And we’re all going to talk about how we saw this situation change and we had to address it differently. I also want to say at the outset, a big thanks to the Chief of Transit for the NYPD, Tom Chan, for your great work. Where’s Tom? This side, there we go. Thank you, Tom. [Applause] And our Small Businesses Commissioner Gregg Bishop, thank you for all you do working with small business. [Applause] Because what we saw was a growing safety problem. And I’ve had a lot of people at town hall meetings say to me that they are concerned that they want to make sure we address reckless behavior by these electronic bicycles. And it really fits everything we’re doing with Vision Zero. And again a special thank you to the NYPD and particularly to Tom Chan for his leadership in all of Vision Zero. But Vision Zero is about making us safe regardless of what the threat is – making us safer when it comes to our streets. We all know the number one concern, of course, is trucks and automobiles but there are other challenges as well. Electronic bicycles have emerged over the few years as more and more of a problem particularly in some of our mostly populated neighborhoods. And what people have seen is absolutely unacceptable – electronic bicycles going the wrong way down streets, weaving in and out of traffic, ignoring traffic signals, sometimes going up on sidewalks. And you know, it’s one thing, if a regular bicycle does that, that’s a problem but an electronic bicycle, it’s so much faster – creates a real danger. So, I started to hear about this more and more. And what I didn’t know until that fateful day that Matthew called was that the way we enforced didn’t really go at the core of the problem properly, and that we had to change our approach because we can’t have a situation where people feel unsafe crossing a street or even walking down a sidewalk. We can’t have a situation where someone’s suddenly facing an electronic bicycle coming the wrong way. It’s just too dangerous. And we got more and more complaints from people around the city so it’s obvious that something that used to not be as big a problem had gotten really substantial. To be fair, NYPD has done some very important work to address that problem and this year particularly increased enforcement even in advance of the things we’re going to announce today. This year already there’s been over 900 electronic bikes confiscated by the NYPD, and we thank you for that. [Applause] That is 170 percent more than this time last year. So, NYPD was already adjusting its enforcement. But we were missing the part about the employer’s impact because let’s face it, the operators of the bikes clearly are a part of the problem especially if they drive recklessly but they’re doing all of that at the behest of their employers. The employers purchase the bikes, hire the workers to drive the bikes, and that right there indicates a violation of the law. You’re allowed to own an electronic bicycle in New York City but you’re not allowed to operate one with a few exceptions for people with disabilities for pedal-assisted bikes. But the kind of electronic bikes that the delivery folks use, you’re just not allowed to use them in New York City. So a business buys one and hires someone to drive it and gives them a delivery to make – right there, it’s an obvious violation of the law. So, we have to go after the businesses. They are profiting by violating the law. It’s as simple as that. That’s not acceptable. We love our city but let’s be clear, crossing the street in New York City should not be a harrowing experience. You shouldn’t feel unsafe crossing streets in your own neighborhood. We have to go after anyone who creates a threat to neighborhood residents. So, we are now not only going to go after the reckless drivers of these bikes, we’re going after the businesses themselves. And we recognize that we were missing an opportunity to put much more pressure on those businesses. In the past, again, we primarily summonsed the bike operator. The legal process for summonsing the business was a little complicated. We went back to the drawing board after Matthew’s call. We said, “How do we simplify this? How do we make this work?” We figured out two things. One – we figured how to find the business directly. Two – we figured out how to take the fine that we would have given to the driver and put that on the business as well. So, we’re going to concentrate all of those fines on the businesses and that will begin in January. That means that for a first offense, what it used to mean for a business – $100, $200 for a subsequent offense. For a driver, the offenses can get up to $500 per incident. We’re going to take all those offenses and start concentrating the business so that can mean hundreds and then thousands of dollars in fine very quickly. And once a bike is confiscated the business cannot get it back unless they pay all their fines. That’s how the law worked. The law, again, allows a business or anybody to own the bike. It’s a strange law. You can own one in New York City. You can’t operate it. So, the way we will make clear that you shouldn’t even think about operating it is by mounting those fines. They will grow and grow. And once we see a bike, the NYPD will confiscate that bike. Anytime they see a bike, they will confiscate the bike. To get it back, you’re going to have to pay more and more fines. My hope is this will cause business owners to stop using e-bikes. It’s as simple as that. As they see more and more fines, more and more confiscations it will convince the business owners to get out of the e-bike business altogether. Look, the bottom line – we got to work every day to make the city more livable. It’s a complicated, tough place but we can do real things to improve the quality of life and improve safety. Vision Zero proves it. It’s only been three years. We’ve seen real differences in safety. We’ve seen fewer fatalities, fewer injuries. We’ve seen driver behavior begin to change. If we can do it with cars, we can do it with e-bikes as well. Just a few words in Spanish – [Mayor de Blasio speaks in Spanish] With that, the man who is responsible for strengthening this enforcement and making sure it will get these reckless bikes off our streets, the Chief of Patrol for the NYPD, Terry Monahan. [Applause] Chief of Patrol Terrence Monahan, NYPD: Thank you, Mayor. Mayor: Thank you, brother. Chief Monahan: Alright, good afternoon. Again, e-bikes are becoming a very common complaint through 3-1-1 – a large community quality-of-life complaint. What we’re going to be doing over the next month is issue new directives to our offices, training them in how we can start hitting the businesses with the fines. What’ll happen – operating an e-bike anywhere in the City of New York is illegal. So, if you’re caught operating it, we will stop you, you will be issued a summonses, and we’ll seize the bike. But we’re also going to identify what business you’re delivering. All our business delivery people, we know they wear the vest identifying what business that they’re going to or they have an identification card. So, we’ll find out what business, the cops will go back to the precinct. On the Secretary of State website, all we have to do is put in that address, we’ll find out who the owner of the business is. Whether it’s a private owner or a corporation, at that point, our officers will prepare a summons and mail it to that location, to that business. Simple as that. We will have this in operation by January 1st. Mayor: Thank you very much. Chief Monahan: Thank you. Mayor: Well done, Terry. Chief Monahan: Thank you. [Applause] Mayor: I want to turn now to our elected officials, all of whom have been very concerned about this situation and have really been working on at the community level for changes and improvements. I want to particularly thank Council Member Helen Rosenthal. She has sounded the alarm on this issue and helped to make sure that we focused on it so we could make changes. So, I’ll introduce them all but let me start with Council Member Helen Rosenthal. […] Mayor: Now, we have two state senators with us who have also been focused intensely on these quality of life issues and safety issues. First I want to bring up state senator, Liz Krueger. […] Mayor: Thank you senator, and thank you for watching out for our interests, 8.5 million people, and we need to be able to make decisions that are right for us. So thank you for standing up for the people of the City. Finally I want to bring up state senator who’s been a tremendous partner in all the work we do in Albany, takes on the dangerous assignment everyday of going to Albany to defend us, Senator Brad Hoylman. […] Mayor: Alright, we are going to take questions on this announcement, and then we will take questions on other topics. Media questions, we are doing media questions now. Media, sir? Question: Yes. Mayor: Okay. Question: My names Ron, I live in this neighborhood, I was hit by e-bike crossing the street, and I think it is terrific. The police of the 20th Precinct confiscate them, but as soon as the people pay the fine, they get the bike back. Mayor: Well again, the fines are now going to be concentrated. Both the fines for the business, which weren’t being applied substantially enough, and the fines for the drivers, both of those will be put on the business, we believe that will rapidly increase the amount of pain the businesses feel, and they don’t get the bike back until they pay the fines. Now I would further say that we’re ready to go and find ways to increase those fines. So I’m certainly very interested in, both between City law and State law, whatever it takes to increase those fines. I want to make sure there is enough teeth to achieve the mission. Okay, on this topic? Yes? Question: [Inaudible] Mayor: So, again, as you heard, the State law is now being re-examined. In some ways that could be bad for us, but there could be other ways that are good for us to get at this point. Just like some other types of vehicles, like off-road vehicles, you’re allowed to possess them in New York City but not use them. So the theory, say you own an off-road vehicle, and you are only going to use it upstate. Okay, I can understand that. With the e-bikes, we know better. If someone in a business, if a restaurant for example owns one, it’s not because they are going out to the suburbs or to a State park and use them, they are going to use them here. So I would love to see the law strengthened to make clear that, commercially you can’t even own them, but right now the law allows for ownership but not operation. What that does mean, as Chief Monahan said is, all the PD has to do is see one going down the street, and bang, they can take it. Confiscate it on the spot. So we will do that now across the board. I think as massive levels of confiscation occur, and fines for both the drivers and the businesses, go to the businesses. Everything is going to be sent businesses. The businesses will be expected to pay all the above. So the money dynamic will start to mount, they won’t get the bike back until they pay the fines. I think when you start to add up all these pieces, it could change behavior intensely. But again, I think there is a great question. Can we get a law change that says a business can’t possess them to begin with? Again, more severe fines on top of that. Question: [Inaudible] Mayor: Under current law, again, you could go buy one to use it somewhere else, that’s not illegal. So again, we have to – we’re trying to do a better job of taking what the current law gives us – what the current law gives us and implement it more aggressively and more creatively. But under State law, you can own one, and owning it is not illegal. So the retailers have a right to sell them. Question: [Inaudible] Mayor: Well, I’ll turn to both Chiefs on that, and see if they want to respond. I’ll start with the first point, so obviously you can own a motorcycle, and operate a motorcycle in New York City right now. So I want to caution you as you ask that question that would actually re-relaxing some of the law and allowing for greater usage. So I think we’re comfortable with the notion that operating in New York City should be illegal with the exceptions, obviously, there is another type of bike, a pedal assist bike, which is not as fast, not fully motorized, that often is something used by disable folks and some seniors, those are allowable. But motorcycles, I would differentiate the two, and say, the e-bikes, the way they are being used now, are across the board illegal. Motorcycles are clearly legal, not on sidewalks, but on streets. I like the higher standard of saying we don’t want them on our streets at all, especially for commercial purposes. Chief, you want to add to that? Chief Monahan: Specifically the first part of the question you mention where – what was it again? I’m sorry. Question: Sales. Chief Monahan: Sales. Consumer affairs oversees, again, it is not contraband, you are permitted to own that particular E-bike, but the usage, again, on the streets of the City of New York is not permitted. Businesses that actually sell them or possess them for commercial purposes, things of that nature, a retailer, it’s actually under the jurisdiction of consumer affairs. Consumer affairs will work with the police department to go into that location and theoretically we have done that in various boroughs, where we have actually seized the bikes and consumer affairs has taken action against those groups. But again, like an ATV itself, to simply have it is not illegal, but to use it on our city streets is. Mayor: I want to amplify a point that Matthew just made, it was a good point, you know, we are being clear about the problem, and some the businesses are doing the wrong thing, there are a lot of businesses that do the right thing that use bicycles, regular old-fashioned bicycles, that are really careful to make sure that their delivery people are safe, so we want to really shout out the ones doing the right way, but we are going after the ones who do it the wrong way. I’m going to go right to left, so everyone on this side, we’ll be with you in a little bit. Question: [Inaudible] Mayor: Just what I was saying now, I mean, look, for a lot of places with a bicycle you can get there pretty quick too. And especially look around a neighborhood like this, so densely populated, bicycles can be fine, it’s going to be a lot safer. And I think the point you heard a moment ago, maybe, maybe all of us as consumers just need to be a little bit more patient. If it takes a couple more minutes for your delivery to get there, you’re going to live, but you want people to be safe. So, you know, obviously if a company wants to have – if a store wants to use a car, they could do that, but they have to follow all the rules for a car. So, I think this is about recognizing there are plenty of good alternatives. Anyone over here? Jillian? Question: Mayor, a woman who was walking by the press conference stopped me before you began, and said that it was great that the mayor was going after e-Bikes, but what about regular bikes? You know Senator [inaudible] felt that many bicycles in the neighborhood were speeding by and not stopping at stop lights and things like that, what do you say to that type of criticism? Mayor: No, I think that’s a real concern. So, the Vision Zero idea is go where the problem is. Vision Zero fixes bad intersections, addresses places where there is a lot of speeding through enforcement, and we go at the number one problem. The number one problem is obviously motor vehicles, so it is trucks and cars first and foremost, but we are having this announcement today because recognize E-bikes have become a serious part of the problem and need to be addressed too. And I’ve been at plenty of town hall meetings where constituents say there are some reckless bike drivers who have also caused injuries and not following the law, and I’ve said very clearly, NYPD is also charged under vision zero, when enforcing that kind of behavior and looking for any hotspots or problems. Most bicyclists do things the right way and are not endangering anyone, but some are really reckless, and they also should feel enforcement. Gloria? Question: Mr. Mayor I want to follow up on the question – Mayor: A little louder? Question: Sorry, to follow up on the question of people being worried about livelihoods, some of the workers who use these bikes are older immigrants who can’t take the toll of being on a regular bicycle all day, and use the bike to fix that, what about those folks who are little too old to ride a regular bike, and do you guys have any numbers attached to – to show how many accidents or hurt by these bikes? Mayor: Let me start at the first part, and then between the two Chiefs if they have numbers. Obviously, you have heard of the level of confiscation, but if you have numbers of accidents or incidents, or we can get them to you if we don’t. But on the first part, Gloria, look, this is a challenge always in government to make sure, even though there are some laws in this city and state, that weren’t followed the way it should have been, if something is illegal, and on top of that endangering people, it’s our obligation and responsibility to implement that law, and to enforce that law. So, if there are older workers, I would say, for example, maybe a peddle assist bike is appropriate for them, and that is legal under certain circumstances, and that is not a fully motorized bike and does not go as fast, but it does relieve some of the burden of peddling. The issue of speed, regular bicycle and the peddle assist bicycle cannot go as fast as a fully motorized E-bike, that’s where we draw the line, period. If someone couldn’t make those deliveries anymore, my hope would be that they can find some other type of work with that restaurant or that business, but I have to put public safety first, that’s the bottom line. Question: Mr. Mayor, I understand that this was decided after some discussion in administration. At any point, did you consider any other alternative like maybe regulating the speed at which these vehicles can travel on the streets or any other way to be able to regulate these vehicles so people like the ones [inaudible] was talking about can keep their jobs? Mayor: I think that [inaudible] was a very fair question and that’s what the legislative process at the State level needs to address. Remember, again guys, I deal with this every day. I didn’t understand it as fully before I became New York City, we sometimes in our minds make all laws equal City, federal, State – and we act like we can change any of them all the time. No. When something is a State law, it’s a State law, and changing it is a rather extensive process. This is a State law. It’s not negotiable. You can’t operate them in New York City. So, what we wanted to do in the here and now was fix the immediate problem. There’s a growing safety problem. You heard the level of confiscation and how it’s been growing. That was because of real complaints, real situations at the community level. Let’s fix that. We have an opportunity going into the legislative session to see if there are some other approaches we could take that would balance safety with other important needs – safety always coming first. But it was not a good option to say, “Let’s wait for Albany to do something.” That’s never a smart approach. First, let’s do what we could do and then we’ll go to Albany and see if we can find an appropriate balance. Question: What would be your ideal situation, then, if you could change the State law? Mayor: I don’t know that honestly. I know that I don’t like what’s happening now. I don’t like the status quo. I don’t like – I’ve seen it. I’ve seen these bikes going the wrong way. I’ve seen how fast they can go. I’ve seen how reckless they can be. I don’t like it. So, I want to stop the status quo right dead in its tracks. Then we can talk about what that idea will be. I personally don’t have a strong vision of what that idea is. I know what I don’t like and I want to address that. Question: Two question. First – how would the new method enforcement, fining the businesses, impact people who work as independent contractors for services like UberEats or Postmates, and aren’t tied to a particular local restaurant? Mayor: Right. Question: And secondly, what’s to stop an employer from docking a worker’s pay to compensate for the fine that the business then has to pay? Mayor: I’ll try my best on both and I don’t know if either Chief wants to join in on these. On the second one – I can’t judge how each employer would act and I would want the Department of Consumer of Affairs to weigh in on this too. I’d be surprised if that is legal. The assignment is being given by the business. It’s not like the worker woke up one day – and I’m thinking about the restaurants first for a moment – the worker woke up one day and said, “Hey, I want to deliver something and I’ll just choose a random address to go deliver to.” No. The business – this was the point Matthew made on the phone – the business is the one that is creating this whole reality. So, if they go to dock the worker’s pay over an assignment they gave the worker, I’d be shocked if there’s not a legal problem there and if our Department of Consumer Affairs couldn’t get involved to defend the worker. On the independent contractors, I’ll let the experts speak. My first assumption is, they would be treated like a business because it’s illegal to operate them in New York City right now. It’s just not even grey. So, if they’re not working for another business and they are acting as a business then they would get the fine. Chief Monahan: 100 percent correct. It’s just like it is now. Anyone – you could own any bike right now, yourself, and be driving it on the street. You would get summonsed and we would seize it from you. Obviously, we wouldn’t send it back to your paper or news media. So, if you’re an independent contractor, same rules and regulations right now. Bike is going to be seized, you’re going to be issued a summons, you’re going to have to pay that summons to get the bike back. Question: I actually have two questions [inaudible] – Mayor: Say it again. Question: I have two questions but one is sort of a clarification. So, if you go over to Columbus Avenue, you’ll see a number of restaurants that have numbers of electric bikes chained outside. You’ve seen yourself, Matthew. Can you go there and just confiscate all those bikes that are chained – Mayor: Great question. Great question. Question: [Inaudible] Mayor: Both chiefs – so I just want to make sure you heard her. So, again, recognizing that possession, if you will – ownership of the bike is not illegal, use is. It’s a great question. Can you do that? Or do you need to see them use it? Chief of Transportation Thomas Chan, NYPD: I believe our boroughs actually have conducted operations where if you have your e-bike chained to our bus stop, a City fixture, or things of that nature, we’ve actually confiscated it. We cut it and took possession of that particular e-bike. On the other subject, [inaudible] mentioned earlier about e-bikes and the ability to register them. Currently, a lot of the e-bikes don’t have registration numbers and it has to be registered like DMV itself. That vehicle has to be inspected in some shape or form. So, currently there is no mechanism for that. Mayor: The fuller question – Chief Monahan: I got your question. If it’s on his property, his own property, no, we can’t seize it. It only can be seized where it’s utilized. You can have an e-bike, if you use it – what he was talking about, if it’s on public property [inaudible] it’s kind of abandoned property. That’s what – Mayor: So, I’m going to restate it, and Terry make sure I get it right. On public property, that gives us enforcement power to seize. Chief Monahan: [Inaudible] Mayor: On private property, if not actually being used – if we don’t witness it in use that previous point – ownership is not illegal per say. So, Marcia, as appealing as the question is, we have to see it being used. Now, I think when word spreads about this announcement – and it’s understood that heavy enforcement will begin in January. We’re training all our officers and getting ready for an enforcement blitz. The restaurant owners that think they can have a bunch of them chained outside and they’re not going to be sitting ducks the minute they get someone on them, you know, then they probably shouldn’t be in the restaurant business because they’re not that smart. So, this will be addressed pretty aggressively. Question: [Inaudible] question is, there’s a lot of people who live in this neighborhood who are frustrated by other vehicle things like double-parking, illegal parkers. They’re frustrated that you’re not dealing with that. What do you say to them? Mayor: I say we’re trying to address a whole host of problems. It starts with safety. So, Vision Zero is first and foremost about stopping fatalities and injuries, and we know, again, that’s about trucks and cars first and then we address other things as well, e-bikes, regular bikes. That’s where we’re putting the first energy and most of our energy. It’s where there is a safety issue. Double-parking is a huge problem all over New York City and we try and enforce on it but we also know the magnitude of the problem makes it difficult. We’ll have more to say in the coming days about some other things that we think we can do but the double-parking issue in New York City is a vast one and even with enforcement, we know there’s always going to be some double parking in New York City. Did you have another piece you mentioned? Question: I just wanted if that’s frustrated you – Mayor: Of course. Question: [Inaudible] congestion – Mayor: Of course. Double-parking frustrates me, congestion frustrates me as Mayor, as someone who walks around the city, as someone who used to drive myself around. Of course it’s frustrating. Some of it is life in New York City – too many people, too little space. Other parts of this equation we can really combat and there’s no question on all the Vision Zero elements, we can stop it – people driving recklessly, people violating the law, going through red lights, speeding, failing to yield to pedestrians – all that we’ve shown we can change behavior on a big scale and we’re going to do a lot more. Double-parking, in some ways, I think we can address more effectively. Some double-parking is always going to exist in New York City, that being said. Question: [Inaudible] Mayor: The confiscations alone, based on complaints, based on things that are witnessed by the NYPD, are an indicator of the growth of this problem. But I want to see again, if we don’t we have it on our fingertips; we’ll get it to you in the midst of the day. Does PD have any other statistics you want to offer on this or if the Senator has something you want to offer? No, the Senator has to go. Anything you want to offer on this? Chief Monahan: I didn’t really hear the question. Mayor: Other numbers, complaints, something that indicates the level of the problem and the problem growing. Chief Monahan: Again, the main thing – and we can get you the exact number – the 3-1-1 complaints on this is tremendous, the community complaints on a regular basis – community council meetings that we’re having. This is an issue that is growing and growing. We’ve seen these numbers. We can get you the exact 3-1-1 complaints on e-bikes. So, I can get that through DCPI. Mayor: Okay. First, anyone who has not gone on this topic. Anyone – media who have not gone on this topic, yet? Okay, back to Jillian. Question: [Inaudible] are there any numbers you can [inaudible] about injuries caused by e-bikes or collisions or – Mayor: We’ll get you that, yeah, okay. Question: Two questions, I’m sorry if it has been asked already. But how many people have been [inaudible] – Mayor: How many? Question: [Inaudible] Mayor: [Inaudible] stay on the first one just say, Matthew made a good point to me. We’ll get you the data we have. We need to check to see if the data does a good enough job of differentiating traditional bikes and e-bikes. But we’ll get you whatever we have. Again, thank God, fatalities, from my understanding, is not the central problem. It’s other types of injuries and accidents. But again, we’ve seen a growth and we’ve seen a huge growth of complaints from neighborhood residents. Question: In 2016 [inaudible] legalizing [inaudible] abandoning that idea? Mayor: No, we are first differentiating the pedal-assisted bike. I think some of this is a terminology issue because I heard originally from DOT and then got the clarification that they have a real interest in the pedal-assisted bikes which make it easier, again, for some seniors, some folks with disabilities to use bicycles but not at extensively higher speeds versus the e-bikes that implicitly mean greater speed potential and are fuller motorized. So, that’s the first part. Could you, again, I guess to the earlier questions – is there some kind of common ground we could find [inaudible] or some kind of exceptions we might make? That’s a fair question that we will look at in the legislative process in Albany. Right now, with the way the law is written and the extent of the problem, there’s not a lot of subtlety here. It’s a problem. It’s causing a lot of disruption. It’s causing accidents. It’s a problem on community problems. And the law is not gray at all. We’re going to enforce this law and then we have the time in the legislative process to look and see if there’s some other middle ground we think makes sense. Question: Just a follow up on [inaudible] is there some sort of application fee for elderly drivers who might want the pedal-assisted – Mayor: I don’t know that. We can find out from DOT or whoever covers this. Someone back there? Yes. Question: I’m with WNYC, home of the Brian Lehrer Show [inaudible]. So, you’ve talked repeatedly about the problem of speed plus going in the wrong direction – Mayor: Correct. Question: I’ve seen a couple of them do that right here in the last few minutes. Does the police force have any intention of cracking down with summonses on vehicles that drive in the wrong direction because it’s rampant throughout New York City? Mayor: Sure. Chief Monahan: Anyone – bikes, e-bikes – anyone going the wrong direction, we’re going to give summonses to. We give out hundreds – hundreds of thousands of summonses a year. It happens. If people are going to continue to do it, we’re going to give out hundreds of thousands more to keep preventing it. Question: [Inaudible] behavior? Chief Monahan: Yes. For going the wrong way? Absolutely. That’s a serious violation. Mayor: It’s a serious violation. I just – I do think, again, there’s a little bit of an assumption that needs to be addressed here. We have 36,000 officers. We’ve added 2,000 more officers on patrol. We have a lot of presence. But the NYPD is not everywhere all the time. There’s going to be a situation where a bike goes down the street and there’s no officer there to see it. But when they see it, absolutely. And one of the good things is – as violent crime is going down, more NYPD energy can go on quality of life offenses and other things that could be dangerous even if they’re not violent crime. We’ve been putting much more NYPD energy into Vision Zero. This is a simple extension of that. If we see people going the wrong way, of course it’s going to be addressed aggressively. Marcia? Question: [Inaudible] is it going to be because somebody is just driving a bike and it’s illegal to have it? Or are you also going to go after the people who just blatantly violate the law [inaudible] going through red lights, speeding, being down the sidewalk, and going down – Mayor: Okay, so, again, with the e-bikes we are now going to a full enforcement approach. Anybody operating an e-bike is in violation of the law. Period. And this again is focusing our enforcement. It is consistent with Vision Zero. It is consistent with quality of life policing. It’s consistent with the fact that we have more police time and energy to put into matters like this because there’s less violent crime. This one is just straight up. If you’re operating it, you’re out of compliance with the law. We’re taking it. The only way to get it back is to pay the summons. The other piece that’s really important – it’s shifting the burden onto the businesses because we didn’t want a situation where the business thought, “The poor schmuck delivery guy will have to pay for it,” or the business fines will not mount a lot. We want to show the businesses they’re going to have to pay for everything. It will mount quickly. Again, I’d like to go even farther with more stringent penalties. But we think this is a classic example of how you change behavior. This word’s going to go out over the next couple of months and businesses are going to get a chance to make the decision, as Helen said – do they want to be the good actors and get right while they have a chance? Or do they want to take chances with the law? If they take chances with the law, their bikes are going to be taken. Question: [Inaudible] Mayor: Say it again. Question: You’re just asking businesses to ditch the electric bikes and go to a manually-pedaled bike? Mayor: Correct. Just go to good-old bicycles, or if because of the area they’re delivering to they need to use a car, use a car. That’s fine. That’s legal. People deliver with cars all the time. But don’t use something that’s illegal to use in New York City. Period. Last call on this topic. Last media questions. Sir, you’re media? Question: Yes. Mayor: What media are you? I just don’t know. Question: [Inaudible] Mayor: What media outlet are you? Question: [Inaudible] five different media outlets. Mayor: I just don’t know you. My apology. Question: [Inaudible] sorry. Mayor: Go ahead. Question: Since I was hit by an e-bike. To the two chiefs – you do not want the officers chasing after the e-bikes? Correct? Chief Monahan: We’re not going to get into a crazy chase. We’re not going to injure someone trying to give summons. But just going back to Marcia’s question, too, if you’re driving it recklessly, you can get a moving violation for that violation plus the violation of having an e-bike. Question: [Inaudible] Mayor: On – I’ll tell you when I get to off-topic. Melissa, I think you’ve at this for four years. You’ll know when I’m on off-topic. Question: [Inaudible] Mayor: No, with me for four years. I’m going to give people one more chance on this topic to see if anyone has a question from the media. Going once, going twice, yes, Melissa. Question: Two question if I may, Mr. Mayor. The first is on ACS – [inaudible] Bianca Abdul, a 14-month-old baby died [inaudible] on Staten Island. Her death was just recently ruled a homicide by the Medical Examiner. It turns out she ingested some prescription drugs. There may have been drug abuse in the family. Some of it was opioids. I’m wondering, because ACS had been in her home previously [inaudible] that this is another time [inaudible] slipped through the cracks at ACS? Mayor: I worry about every child, Melissa. And I don’t know this case specifically, but I will say it points up a real challenge in our society of the presence of opioids, including, as you indicate, legal opioids, prescription drugs, that need to be controlled very, very carefully by adults to keep them away from children of all ages because there’s been a whole problem with teenagers, for example, getting access to prescription drugs that their parents ordered. We have to in addressing the opioid crisis first, we have to reduce the use of prescription drugs. They’re being overprescribed. Doctors are still giving them out in massive quantities. We have – part of our plan to address the opioid crisis is the consistently focus on getting those prescriptions decreased. But on the question of what we do, going forward, in this case – look, I need to get the facts about the case, but the – this presence in the home – when we have presence – we look for any and all dangers, and some are evident and some are not. When we think there’s a need for preventative services – and you’ve, I know, reported on this – we provide support to a family, and that’s an ongoing presence in the home to also make sure we can monitor and provide support. But I need to get more information about this one to answer you better. Question: [Inaudible] there were some homeless New Yorkers who were sitting in their usual positions [inaudible] some residents in the neighborhood are questioning why those [inaudible] allowed to [inaudible] but not when you visit the park. Mayor: Melissa, this is a well-known location to Department of Homeless Services and NYPD. They regularly address the situation here, that’s an every-day reality. I don’t know, I wasn’t here this morning, but I can tell you for a fact – because I talked about this location when we discussed addressing street homelessness – it is regularly address by Homeless Services and NYPD. Question: Mr. de Blasio, you said this week to the Daily News that the homeless policy might be one of your regrets. Do you think you failed in that regard? Also, is the City now paying New Yorkers who are homeless, who want to move out of the City – is the City paying for one year of rent somewhere else? Mayor: The City for a long time, well before us, has utilized the option of helping people if they have family elsewhere and they are ready to go elsewhere – helping them to do so in a variety of fashions. It is a humane way to address the situation. And, very bluntly, on behalf of the taxpayers, it’s a cost-efficient way to address the situation because we have a homelessness crisis and a housing crisis, and if someone legitimately has someplace else they can move to permanently and we can assist – in the real world, that’s a smart move. On the previous point, I have said very clearly, now, looking back, there are things I would had done differently, I wish I had done differently. I take full responsibility. I don’t look at something as complex as the homelessness issue in terms of a black and white answer. There are some things that have really worked. HOME-STAT has unquestionably worked – 900 people have come in off the street over the last year-and-a-half and stayed off. The policy of getting people out of shelter – 62,000 people out of shelter, into better housing. There’s plenty of examples of things that worked. There’s clearly things that did not work, and I’m not happy about that. But you can’t, in my view, composite it with a single word. We’ve got to do better, and I take responsibility for that. Question: Mayor, [inaudible] last night, you made a statement that New Yorkers [inaudible] mom and pop stores [inaudible] Amazon, online retailers, when they should be going to mom and pop stores. Why make comments like that at a time when the City is bidding for Amazon to come here. Mayor: What I said – and I will say it in my own words – I think you’re characterizing it differently from what I said. I said a lot of people complain to me about the loss of the mom and pop stores in the neighborhood. If they love their mom and pop stores, I said they should patronize their mom and pop stores – that they should be consistent with their values and give revenue to the stores they want to keep. There’s plenty of room for Starbucks and all sorts of the other options. But I hear it at, now, almost every town hall meeting. I get why people love their local stores and they are concerned about them and they ask about public policy solutions, and I tell them we have some tools but we don’t have tools that are going to solve the whole problem because some of this is about consumer behavior. So, for folks who want to protect local stores, patronize them. It doesn’t mean you don’t use other things too, but patronize them. That’s what I said. Question: [Inaudible] Mayor: That process has just begun. We’re very, very excited about it. Look, what Amazon’s looking to do – could be as many as 50,000 jobs and billions of dollars in investment. It’s something that would be tremendously positive for New York City. It would allow us to speed up our efforts to make sure there are more good-paying jobs and to get them to residents in the five boroughs. It would address affordability issues for lots of families by giving them a better standard of living. So, we’re really excited about it. Obviously, many, many cities are competing. Amazon has set up a very specific process and specific timelines. We’ve met those timelines and given them a proposal with lots of good options in it. When the time comes to sit down, we’re going to do that. We’re ready to sit down with Amazon leaders anytime, anywhere to further our process. But they’ve made clear this is going to stretch out over several months. Question: [Inaudible] Mayor: I really don’t like it. I think it’s a mistake. I think it creates a danger. We need to have a very careful process around autonomous vehicles. As a larger issue, there is some real, great potential and there’s also really big challenges and unanswered questions. And before we put a single one on the streets of New York City, we should answer some of those questions and make sure it’s the right thing to do. So, from my point of view, this should never have been done without consulting with the NYPD and the Department of Transportation. We’re going to work vigorously to stop it. The day may come where it’s appropriate to test, but only after a very careful process. We, in the middle of implementing Vision Zero – the last thing we want to do is create a potential new danger. So, we’re going to be very aggressive in saying this is not a good idea unless it is careful vetted and carefully prepared. We’re nowhere near that now. And then we have to treat the bigger issue of the pros and cons of these vehicles, going forward, and I’d sure like to see more answers before we adopt this new technology. Question: [Inaudible] documentary episode of the Simpsons [inaudible] Mayor: I have to look to Austin. I don’t want to run afoul of the documentary creators. Am I at liberty to discuss this matter? Austin Finan: [Inaudible] Mayor: Alright, as far as he knows – that was really authoritative, Austin. [Laughter] Well, I’m a huge Simpsons fan and I’m a huge baseball fan. I don’t know how it came across the plate. It did not come to me directly, it came to members of my team. But of course I said yes. I will not go into any details of the script. I think I should be very careful about that. No spoiling here. The Simpsons is an amazing American institution, so I was very proud to be a part of it. Question: [Inaudible] Mayor: Favorite episode? Oh man – how much time do you have? I have a lot of favorite episodes. I think possibly the one where Bart finds a $20 bill and he orders an all-syrup slushy – that’s lived in my memory forever. Question: [Inaudible] Mayor: They are? When did that happen? [Laughter] Question: [Inaudible] Mayor: I think I’ve addressed this for years, but I’ll give it to you again. First of all, let me start at the end – so, I have had a running dialog all year with Yankee’s fans. And at the beginning of the season, everyone thought this was an impressive team but, you know, a year or two away from contention, and then they’ve shocked us all. And I give Brian Cashman a lot of credit for some really smart trades and acquisitions at the trade deadline. So, I think we can now safely say this is a team that could obviously play in the World Series and win the World Series. And then, to my point of view – it’s real simple, if they win the World Series, we’re going to throw them a great parade, we’re going to roll out the red carpet, we’re going to do everything to celebrate them. I am a baseball fan. Whoever wins deserves great honor – Unknown: A Yankees fan? Mayor No – [Laughter] Whoever wins deserves great honor, and we will give them all the honors, and I’ll bow before them. That’s how I’ll handle it. But I’m not going to do anything until the final result. [Applause] Question: [Inaudible] Mayor: It’s just – I’m really clear, if you’re a real fan – and this is my interpretation – I bet a lot of baseball fans who are intense fans would agree with this – I’m not going to fake anything. I have my own allegiance. I have my own history. I’ll be myself. They’ll have their games, and if they win in the end, we will honor them. Question: You’re not going to go to a game? Mayor: No. Question: To follow up on Jillian’s question about self-driving vehicles – first of all, does the City have any power or authority over that decision by the State? And secondly, there is a regulatory system in place [inaudible] through State law, that’s overseen by the Department of Motor Vehicles. Do [inaudible] DMV to properly oversee and regulate the testing that occurs? Mayor: I think we’re talking about an entirely new technology that, if applied in the biggest city in America with the busiest streets that already have safety problems we’re addressing – it makes no sense to start here. If the State of New York wants to test these vehicles, choose parts of the State that are appropriate. Work with local officials if they welcome it. Some parts of the country have welcomed it – that’s great. But if you want to come here, you have to work with us. You have to start by sitting down with the NYPD, and that did not happen. This announcement was done without any knowledge of the City of New York, and that’s unacceptable. So, we will use all means at our disposal to stop this from happening, unless, and until, there’s a proper process that our public safety officials deem will allow New Yorkers to be safe, it’s as simple as that. We’re not going to allow it if it’s not going to keep our people safe. Question: [Inaudible] Mayor: A little louder now – Question: [Inaudible] Mayor: You’ve really got to pump up your voice – as Public Advocate – what? Question: As Public Advocate, you fought against Walmart – Mayor: Yes. Question: [Inaudible] Mayor: This is apples and oranges. We’re taking about 50,000 jobs and a headquarters operation. I fought against Walmart coming into New York City and I continue to fight against that because Walmart represented a host of problems – a variety – environmental, labor, consumer – all sorts of different problems – safety. Amazon – there are some issues that need to be addressed with labor, there’s no two ways about it. But, at the same time, this is a company talking about potentially fundamentally changing the economy of New York City. Adding 50,000 jobs is a game-changer, and it’s something we need, and we need more high-quality jobs for the people of New York City. So, we can work on those labor issues – and I’m happy to work on those labor issues – but I am convinced that Amazon would be a net gain for New York City unquestionably. Question: [Inaudible] Mayor: Loud, please – Question: [Inaudible] Mayor: I know the issue very well. What’s the question? Question: [Inaudible] Mayor: Let me speak to it – this is about some of the HDFC’s, not all of them. There’s different categories. But the ones that are going through this process – I don’t even like the word, because the word foreclosure is misleading. This is not a private bank or some other for-profit entity getting involved. This is the City of New York, which, from day-one, supported these HDFC’s, gave them the building, gave them tax breaks, invested in them, and now for some of them – a limited number – they have not been able to pay their bills on a regular basis. And what the City is saying is, come in, everyone’s welcome today – walk into HPD – the Department of Housing, Preservation, and Development – come up with a payment plan. If we can come up with a payment plan, great, we’ll freeze everything else in plan. If you’re not able to pay your bills, the City is going to step in, is going to find a nonprofit that can run the building, and figure out a financial arrangement that works for the long-term, is going to allow all of the residents to stay for the rest of their lives, and is going to keep those apartments affordable, but they will not allow the ownership rights if people cannot pay their bills. So, the bottom line is, those apartments will be available to those people for as long as they need them. And then, after that, they would remain affordable housing because the City has been involved financially from day-one. Question: Mr. Mayor, I wonder how you feel personally – Mayor: Say again? Question: I wonder how you feel personally about the idea that homeless people were moved to provide better optics for your press conference. And if homeless people could sit on these benches before, why can’t they sit on them now? Mayor: Marcia, again, I don’t accept the premise of the question, respectfully, and I don’t think this is a particularly important question. I’m sorry, you guys love to ask this question, it is not what matters. This is a site that is addressed regularly. I wasn’t here this morning, I don’t know what happened this morning. It should be treated the same way every day. It’s a site that is a very well-known site where there’s been a homelessness issue. The Department of Homeless Services, NYPD is here all of the time. They should do the same thing all of the time. Question: [Inaudible] it’s not a question of giving up your allegiance to the Red Sox, the question is, is it in your role as Mayor to rise above your personal preferences and recognize that millions of your constituents are Yankees fans and show some flexibility – go to a game, root for the Yankees, while still maintaining your allegiance. Mayor: This is an eye-of-the-beholder question, Willie. There’s no City charter item that discusses this matter. Everyone’s got to decide for themselves. To me, no – what I should do is, if they win, honor them for sure, which I’d be happy to do. And I think they have a good chance of winning. But I am very serious about my allegiance to baseball and I’m going to do it my way. I don’t think this is a thing that New Yorkers care about in the end. Question: [Inaudible] Mayor: No, Willie. I think you’re really grasping at straws here. I think people want authentic answers from their leaders. I think they want people to be real. So, I’m real about my baseball preferences. I’m real about how I shop. It’s just, let’s be honest about it. People who want to shop at Amazon should shop at Amazon. What I said at the town hall meeting is, folks bemoaning the loss of their local small business should first start by shopping there, and then work with us on other solutions. But start by actually supporting the local business. It’s not a negative towards Starbucks, it’s a positive towards the mom and pop business. Go ahead, last one – Question: [Inaudible] Mayor: Again, I don’t think – I really don’t think it matters. I think New Yorkers who love the Yankees really don’t care if elected officials show up. Elected officials love to go to these events like people care about it – they don’t. Sports fans don’t care about an elected official showing up. And fans of the Mets are not going to suddenly be converted to Yankee fans. If you’re a real baseball fan, you’re a real baseball fan, your allegiance is forever. It has nothing to do with politics. But if and when they win, we will give them a great parade. Thank you, everyone.
Thursday, October 19, 2017 - 5:05pm
NYPD “e-bike” enforcement up 170% year-to-date; City to fine businesses that operate illegal bikes NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Police Department today announced that the City will take heightened enforcement action against electric bicycles, otherwise known as “e-bikes,” with a particular focus on the hazardous operation of e-bikes and businesses who use them or permit employees to ride them. “E-bikes are illegal to operate in New York City and the NYPD is stepping up enforcement,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Those at the top of the food chain need to be held accountable. That’s why instead of merely targeting riders, we’re going after businesses that look the other way and leave their workers to shoulder the fine.” “E-bikes are too often a danger on the City’s streets and sidewalks,” said NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill. “They’re illegal to operate here, but it seems like you can spot them everywhere – and that’s where our increased enforcement comes in. Officers are confiscating e-bikes from riders and issuing summonses that carry a stiff fine, and enforcement is up dramatically this year. Soon businesses will be held accountable too, because most e-bike riders are acting on their employer’s behalf. The NYPD is committed to keeping City streets safe for everyone and e-bike enforcement is an important part of the plan.” E-bikes are illegal to operate on New York City streets. According to the City Administrative Code, an “e-bike” constitutes a “motorized scooter” and “no person shall operate a motorized scooter in the City of New York” (19-176.2.(b)). So far this year, the NYPD has seized 923 e-bikes compared to the 341 it confiscated this time last year, an increase of more than 170 percent. Nearly 1,800 civil and moving summonses have been issued to e-bike operators year-to-date. Businesses that enable e-bike use and turn a blind eye to employees who operate them are also at fault. City law states that “a business using a bicycle for commercial purposes shall not possess any motorized scooter and shall not permit any person to operate a motorized scooter on behalf of such business” (10-157-(k)). Beginning in 2018, the NYPD will issue a new department directive and provide officers with the necessary forms and training to execute civil enforcement against businesses much more efficiently by allowing officers to issue civil summonses to businesses through the mail. While the NYPD will continue confiscating e-bikes and issuing summonses to riders -- particularly those riding in a hazardous manner -- officers will step up enforcement activity against businesses that too often put their employees in a position to break the law. Currently, riders caught operating an e-bike are subject to a civil summons, confiscation and fines of up to $500. Beginning next year, businesses that utilize e-bikes or allow employees to operate them will receive a civil summons and a $100 fine for a first offenses and a $200 fine for each subsequent offense (10-157-(g)). "E-bikes are illegal in New York City, and are often operated in ways that make them unsafe for pedestrians and other bikers. E-bikes rate high among the complaints I hear from constituents, so I am pleased to see that the NYPD is increasing enforcement efforts, particularly by focusing on businesses that put their employees in harm’s way by encouraging illegal e-bike use,” said State Senator Liz Krueger. “Electric bikes are dangerous nuisances in my Senate district for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. Moreover, they’re illegal, so it’s outrageous that some irresponsible businesses in Manhattan brazenly flout the law by using E-bikes to make deliveries. I’m glad the Mayor is making enforcement against E-bikes a priority,” said State Senator Brad Hoylman. “We’ve seen a number of incidents involving e-bikes and pedestrians on the Upper West Side, and I want to thank Mayor de Blasio for being so responsive to community concerns. It’s extremely important to hold restaurants accountable for the use of e-bikes when making food deliveries, whether the restaurants actually own the bikes or not. The onus of enforcement should not just be on delivery people. I look forward to continuing to work with the administration to make our streets and sidewalks truly safe for pedestrians,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal.
Thursday, October 19, 2017 - 5:05pm
First-ever municipal tech engagement program calls on industry to develop new technologies that transform public life, spur economic growth, improve service delivery and increase digital inclusion for all New Yorkers NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen and Chief Technology Officer Miguel Gamiño, Jr. today announced that the City is launching a program that invites local and global entrepreneurs, startups, industry and community to make the City a proving ground for groundbreaking ideas and new technologies that have the potential to positively transform cities. As a program in the Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer, Miguel Gamiño, Jr., NYCx will be led by Jeremy M. Goldberg, Deputy Chief Technology Officer for NYCx. “Technology is an inescapable, critical part of our lives and the future of our communities,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Now, more than ever New York must take a leadership role in shaping a future that protects our values, strengthens inclusiveness and equity of our communities and presents a model of leadership for other cities around the world.” “NYCx will transform the relationship between city government, community and the tech industry to be more collaborative and inclusive,” said Miguel Gamiño, Jr., New York City Chief Technology Officer. “If we can test and solve critical challenges together in NYC and achieve our City’s goals, we can offer these solutions for other cities facing similar issues.” NYCx will open urban spaces as test beds for new technologies as a core part of the program. The City will also launch challenges that engage the tech industry to solve real-world problems and call on the tech vanguard to help the City advance its goals to be the most fair, equitable and sustainable city in the world. Co-Lab Challenges will invite startups and entrepreneurs to work directly with community residents to solve neighborhood challenges while aiming to scale solutions for common issues across the five boroughs. Moonshot Challenges will be citywide challenges that encourage global entrepreneurs to think big about NYC’s most ambitious problems, propose bold solutions and deliver groundbreaking business models that transform and improve the lives of New Yorkers. As part of the today’s NYCx program launch, Mayor de Blasio and Mr. Gamiño announced the first NYCx Moonshot Challenge: The Connectivity Challenge will transform Governors Island into a research and development hub for testing and deploying the next generation of broadband connectivity technologies at the fastest speeds and lowest costs. Through the Challenge, the City expects to acquire new insights to advance broadband, Wi-Fi and “5G” cellular access in public spaces and in public housing. The Challenge looks to further the Mayor’s goal to ensure every resident and business will have access to affordable, reliable, high-speed broadband service everywhere by 2025. Three winners will be selected for the Connectivity Challenge and each will receive $25,000 to build and test their technologies in collaboration with the City and the Trust for Governor’s Island with the potential for a contract to work with the City on further expansion of the solution across the City. “As a beloved, popular destination with the vision of being a year-round hub of innovation and creativity, Governors Island offers an exciting and visible testing ground for entrepreneurs to enhance the experience of the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who visit each year,” said Trust for Governors Island President Michael Samuelian. “The Connectivity Challenge is an important step toward this vision, ensuring the fastest, full range of broadband internet reaches our visitors, art and cultural partners and future tenants.” NYCx will also establish a Technology Leadership Council comprised of a diverse group of technology and community luminaries who will increase program engagement and visibility and help to inform the future of the program. Beth Comstock, Vice Chair at General Electric and Tim Armstrong, Chairman and CEO, Oath will co-chair the Council. In addition to industry pioneers, the Council members will include community representation through members such as Clayton Banks, co-Founder & CEO, Silicon Harlem, Jukay Hsu, Founder & CEO, C4Q and Russell Simmons, Chairman and CEO, Rush Communications. The program announcement today builds on the announcement in June of the City’s “New York Works” plan that will create 100,000 new, good paying jobs with 30,000 of those projected to be in tech. According to the recent New York State Tech Jobs report, tech companies are already contributing more quickly to the NYC employment opportunities than other industries, supporting over 350,000 jobs and $30 billion in wages. "New York City's tech ecosystem is constantly evolving to successfully meet new economic and urban challenges,” said NYCEDC President and CEO James Patchett. We are thrilled to collaborate on NYCx, which will continue to strengthen our urban tech sector, create good jobs for New Yorkers, and improve the quality of life in neighborhoods across the city." “We are tremendously excited and applaud the NYCx team for creating this new platform for innovation, paving the way towards a more efficient, collaborative, and technologically friendly NYC,” said Anne Roest, Commissioner of the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications. “NYCx builds on earlier public engagement efforts such as the Reinvent Payphone Challenge launched in 2012 that turned to the public to help envision the future of New York City's public pay telephones, influencing what would become LinkNYC. Today, nearly 3 million subscribers avail themselves of free, superfast Wi-Fi and I am certain NYCx will foster great ideas." “Our borough is teeming with a diverse array of visionary minds that are developing the technological answers to seemingly intractable civic challenges,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “Local government needs to tap into the potential of their ideas and pilot them in Brooklyn and across New York City. My administration has worked closely with local entrepreneurs focused on a wide range of neighborhood problems, and we are excited to champion efforts to test these IoT solutions in the real world. It is my hope that NYCx will further these efforts, helping to proactively connect all of our innovators in a spirit of collaboration that produces a more forward-thinking, cutting-edge city.” "New York City, with our diverse neighborhoods, sheer scale, and local tech talent, is the ultimate testing ground for new technologies, especially civic tech," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "I'm pleased that this new program will build on and leverage this natural strength." "Tech ecosystem jobs, on average, pay more and are growing at a faster pace than jobs citywide," said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. "That, combined with the assets for innovation inherent to Western Queens, are the very reasons why we commissioned the Western Queens Tech Strategic Plan last year to create the City's leading tech ecosystem. Naturally, NYCx is an exciting, timely initiative that reflects the administration's firm commitment to the emerging urban and global innovation hubs in City of New York." “We welcome initiatives meant to encourage the tech industry to build greater roots in our city,” said Staten Island Borough President James Oddo . “New York City — and Staten Island — is open for business.” “As we seek answers to challenging questions, we must pursue new and unique solutions.” said Assembly Member Michael Blake. “Facilitating partnerships directly between community stakeholders and the entrepreneurs in our communities is exactly what is necessary to address widespread challenges across The Bronx and in our city. Urban communities, like The Bronx, hold unseen brilliance. We simply need to be connected to equitable opportunities. The ideas and solutions that will come out of the NYCx program will undoubtedly be groundbreaking and transformational. From the American Entrepreneurship Award to Workshops in Business Opportunities to increasing Minority and Women Entrepreneurs access to opportunities, we know that entrepreneurs must be at the table for us to transform The Bronx and our city. We look forward to seeing the progress that NYCx makes and the stronger, more inclusive New York it produces.” "NYCx is fantastic program that can produce economic growth and create a better living for New Yorkers," said Assembly Member Clyde Vanel. "The merging of global entrepreneurs, locals, startups groups and companies in the industry will make a big impact on the city and set the foundation for greater economic opportunity. NYCx will bring about endless possibilities and bridge the gap between the city and the government sector, while advancing in the area of technology." “I’m truly excited for the launch of the program NYCx,” said Assembly Member Latrice Walker. “New York City has always been the ‘City of Dreams’ and NYCx helps us continue that legacy by creating 100,000 new jobs in addition to supporting local entrepreneurs and startups. I commend Mayor Bill de Blasio for the NYCx program and the chance to help our local innovators transform our city.” "The NYCx program provides an opportunity to tap into the innovation and creativity that already exists in our communities, connect tech leaders with city government and unite change makers to solve our City's biggest problems," said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. "Thank you to Mayor De Blasio and New York City Chief Technology Officer Miguel Gamiño for their work to bring diverse voices to the table to build a better, more equitable New York City." "Technology promises to help solve New York City's biggest problems thanks to NYCx," said Council Member Ben Kallos. "For far too long we've asked the technology community to help solves city problems without paying for it but NYCx will provide funding in the form of challenge grants and space to pay for the technology we need for a better city. Thank you to Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chief Technology Officer Miguel Gamiño for their leadership and creating NYCx, I look forward to what it will bring." "There are certainly a number of emerging technologies that could help address residents' needs and improve our City," said Council Member James Vacca, Chair of the New York City Council Committee on Technology. "I'm excited for NYCx to get underway and to see what kind of innovative solutions members of the tech industry propose." "New York City is the place in the world where the most diversity meets the future of technology,” said Tim Armstrong, CEO, Oath and NYCx Technology Leadership Council co-Chair. “Technology is the fastest growing job sector in NYC and the government of New York City has consistently invested in building the city's technological future and today's announcement of NYCx is another big step toward the future. The brightest entrepreneurial stars from the boroughs of New York will come together and have a chance to compete in the global technology frontier." “New York’s concentration of companies across industries spurs tech innovation in every sector, touching every facet of life,” said Beth Comstock, Vice Chair, GE and NYCx Technology Leadership Council co-Chair. “ NYCx unites the versatility of the tech community and the public sector to address citizens’ needs.” “By unlocking the potential of New York City’s preeminence, Mayor De Blasio and Miguel Gamiño will not only accelerate the attainment of the OneNYC objectives,” said Keith Krach, Chairman of the Board, DocuSign and NYCx Technology Leadership Council Member,” but they will serve as a role model for cities around the world, inspiring private-public sector collaboration that drives innovation at massive scale – all to the benefit of city residents, employees and visitors.” “The NYCx Technology Leadership Council is bringing together entrepreneurs, community leaders and industry CEOs in a way that no other City tech program in the world does,” said Russell Simmons, Chairman & CEO of Rush Communications and NYCx Technology Leadership Council Member. “I’m thrilled to be part of this Council and being a part of making sure NYC is bringing new technologies that help New Yorkers and even the world.” As a Harlem business, I'm proud to work with Mayor Bill de Blasio to launch NYCx,” said Clayton Banks, co-Founder and CEO, Silicon Harlem and NYCx Technology Leadership Council Member. “At Silicon Harlem, we've been working with our city's youth to develop new skills and job opportunities, while driving deeper broadband access at more affordable prices for local families. Growing tech skills and entrepreneurship can help urban corridors like Harlem transform into innovation hubs, where everyone has access, exposure and opportunity to grow.” “NYCx is an opportunity to develop a pipeline and continue to diversify and strengthen the tech workforce in NYC, said Jukay Hsu, Founder and CEO, C4Q and NYCx Technology Leadership Council Member. “This is about bringing the opportunities and benefits that technology offers to communities who need it most.” “NYC is a great sandbox for entrepreneurs, technologists, scientists, designers, and innovators of all kinds to work on their ideas,” said Fred Wilson, Partner, Union Square Ventures and NYCx Technology Leadership Council Member. I am excited about NYCx and its ability to attract and support these innovators to work on the city’s biggest opportunities and challenges.” “The City is taking an important step in boosting the tech ecosystem in NYC ,” said Andrew Raseij, Founder and CEO, Civic Hall, Chairman, NY Tech Alliance, and NYCx Technology Leadership Council Member. “NYCx will empower communities and technologists to work together to engineer new technologies for the benefit of New Yorkers.” “The Yard has a long history as an ecosystem for new ideas – serving as a 300-acre innovation district, first for the Navy, and now for 21st Century manufacturing,” said David Ehrenberg, President and CEO of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation. “NYCx is an extraordinary opportunity for entrepreneurs at the Yard and across the City to make a better, stronger, urban environment. And we hope New Yorkers from across the city will come to the Yard to share, test, and grow their own ideas.” “Now in our fourth year of operation, Grand Central Tech has been privileged to work with the City in a variety of contexts to help ensure the tech sector has the broadest and most positive influence possible on the New York City economy at large,” said Matthew Harrigan, Co-founder & Managing Director, Grand Central Tech. We strongly believe that NYCx will prove to be an invaluable asset for years to come by unlocking the potential of pairing transformational technology with a visionary citizen engagement platform.”
Thursday, October 19, 2017 - 5:05pm
#NYCGoPurple NEW YORK— In honor of NYC Go Purple Day, the de Blasio Administration today launched a new ad campaign to raise awareness about domestic violence. These ads will run on three Clear Channel jumbotorons in Times Square through Friday. Additionally, buildings and landmarks across the City will light up in purple, including City Hall, One Police Plaza, the Yankee Stadium jumbotron, all five Borough Halls and the Parachute Jump at Coney Island. October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and purple is the symbolic color to raise awareness about domestic violence. On NYC Go Purple Day, Administration, elected officials and volunteers in all five boroughs will conduct outreach and provide information about domestic violence to New Yorkers in public spaces. All New Yorkers, including City employees, are encouraged to wear purple and post photos on social media with the hashtag #NYCGoPurple and #DVAM2017. “Domestic violence is disturbingly common, and affects every neighborhood in New York City. That’s why we’re raising awareness about the City programs in place to support survivors and hold abusers accountable,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Our message to any New Yorker suffering from domestic abuse is clear: you are not alone.” "Love should never include violence, but sadly, for far too many women, men and gender non-conforming individuals, intimate partner violence is a reality. NYC is ‘going purple’ to renew its commitment to all those touched by domestic violence. The city strives to support survivors and promote models of safe, healthy, relationships for all our young people,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray, Co-Chair of the Domestic Violence Task Force and the Commission on Gender Equity. During Domestic Violence Awareness Month and throughout the year, the City encourages all New Yorkers to: * Recognize and speak out against intimate partner violence, gender injustice and all forms of abuse. * Offer unconditional support to someone who has experienced violence. * Speak up against statements that promote violence. * Get help from an expert, advocate, or other professional. * Help share resources with those who need help: NYC DV Hotline 1-800-621-4673; 911 in emergencies; for information and connection to services, call 212-788-3156 and ask for OCDV’s Family Justice Centers. “Raising awareness about domestic violence and the impact it has on survivors, families and communities is a collaborative effort,” said Dr. Herminia Palacio, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services. “NYC Go Purple Day is a great illustration of the City’s collaborative effort to elevate this issue. In conjunction with various partners, New York City is able to enhance an understanding of this important issue, and in the process, inspire New Yorkers to speak up and seek help if they need it.” “Awareness is the first defense against domestic violence, and every year with NYC Go Purple, we keep this important issue in front of New Yorkers,” said Cecile Noel, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence. “Domestic violence awareness and prevention is not confined to one day of the year. NYC Go Purple reminds us that every single New Yorker can play an important role in ending domestic violence every day.” “Domestic violence is a leading cause of poverty and homelessness, and it touches on everything we do at our agency to help survivors and those in need rebuild their lives, “said Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks. “NYC Go Purple is a chance for all of us to show solidarity with survivors of domestic violence, and to raise awareness of not just the issue, but the help that is available.” “With NYC GO Purple, the City is sending a critically important message to survivors of domestic violence: we support you, we believe you, and we are here for you. Regardless of race, income, gender identity, age, or sexual orientation, everyone has a right to feel safe in this City,” said Jacqueline Ebanks, Executive Director, of the Commission on Gender Equity. “We cannot achieve gender equity without addressing domestic violence, and that begins by making survivors’ experiences central to our work.” “This new campaign running on our billboards in New York communities communicates a powerful message in an impactful and memorable way that can help save lives,” said Harry Coghlan, President and General Manager of Clear Channel Outdoor – New York. “We all have a role to play in preventing domestic violence and we are proud to help get that message out.” The de Blasio Administration has made an unprecedented effort to reduce domestic violence in New York City. In May, the City released its Domestic Violence Task Force report , a $7 million plan to better apprehend abusers and ensure support for survivors. In 2016, the City opened the Staten Island Family Justice Center, the City’s fifth, and completed the de Blasio administration’s vision of having a Center in every borough. For more information on events happening throughout the month and services for survivors, call 212-788-3156 or visit the website at . “Domestic violence is a disgusting abuse that knows no boundaries and never discriminates,” said Public Advocate Letitia James. “In New York City, we have prioritized policies and programs to support the countless victims of these atrocious acts and to ensure they have the resources and protections they need. This month, we remind all New Yorkers that they are not alone and this is a crisis that will not be ignored.” "I am proud to light Brooklyn Borough Hall purple in commemoration of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In Brooklyn, we celebrate and uplift the voices of survivors who are thriving in striving for positive futures,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “I believe it is important to acknowledge the issue of domestic violence, speak out against abuse, and offer support to those who have experienced it,” said Borough President James Oddo. “My staff will be participating in NYC Go Purple Day to raise awareness about this issue and encourage those in need to seek help.” Congressman Joseph Crowley said, "We must continue to shine a bright light on domestic violence and root out this abuse from our communities. New Yorkers deserve to live free from violence, and I applaud Mayor de Blasio for undertaking this vitally important campaign to raise awareness and for his commitment to keeping our communities safe.” Congressman Dan Donovan said, “When I was District Attorney, I saw firsthand the magnitude of people who were touched by domestic violence, which is why I worked with the Mayor to establish the Staten Island Family Justice Center. It’s critical that we bring this silent epidemic out of the shadows and into our everyday conversations. By engaging our community and raising public awareness, we will help protect victims, empower survivors, and stop the deadly cycle of abuse that impacts too many innocent lives.” Congresswoman Grace Meng said, “Domestic violence continues to impact way too many women and families throughout our city and country. We must continue to speak out and increase awareness of this terrible abuse, and ensure that victims receive the services and support they need. On NYC Go Purple Day, I’m proud to stand with survivors of domestic violence. If we work together and speak out loud and clear, we can finally end this heinous abuse.” “The threat of domestic abuse exacts a toll on women and men everywhere, in each of our communities, our districts, and at times our very own families,” said Congressman Adriano Espaillat. “It is essential that we lend our support and our collective voices in support for victims everywhere. I commend Mayor de Blasio and city leaders on this year’s Go Purple Day to raise awareness of domestic violence as no woman or man should ever fear they stand alone.” “Domestic violence affects us all, directly and indirectly, therefore we must come together stop this deadly cycle of abuse. NYC Go Purple Day is a very practical and progressive strategy that would not only help to raise the consciousness of citizens but to increase their level of participation in the fight against domestic violence. I commend the de Blasio Administration for their continued commitment to finding solutions to this very serious problem that is plaguing our communities and especially the most vulnerable members of our society,” said Senator Roxanne J. Persaud. “I am very heartened by the Mayor’s efforts to not only raise the visibility of the issue of domestic violence throughout the five boroughs, but to invest $7 million to help apprehend abusers and ensure support for domestic violence survivors,” said Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte, Member of the New York State Advisory Council on Domestic Violence. “In 2016, the City also made tremendous strides by unveiling its fifth Family Justice Center in Staten Island to introducing the Creating Awareness about Relationship Equality (CARE) Program. Thank you to those that are wearing purple today to show their solidarity and support.” "In 2016, the number of orders of protection as a result of domestic violence has reached a 5-year high. In addition, it was found that women were victims in more than 60% of reported assaults. As a Member of the Legislative Women's Caucus I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure that we strengthen and improve response and assistance available to victims, survivors and children who are experiencing domestic violence and to bring awareness so that victims know they are not alone," said Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright. “The issue of domestic violence is one that must not be hidden, it is imperative that we face this issue head on and make sure all available resources are put forward to address this problem. It is an issue that will only properly be addressed when the light is shining on the situation and more attention is brought to this cause, this will allow so many individuals to come forward and seek the help and guidance needed. The Mayor’s campaign is all the more important to help dispel the fear of coming forward, and for that we are grateful,” said Assembly Member Jaime Williams. "I applaud Mayor de Blasio and the tireless work of the advocates in the anti-domestic violence community, as I am proud to support the NYC Go Purple Day. It is imperative that we as elected officials continue to raise awareness and provide key resources and outreach to victims of Domestic Violence. We must ensure that DV victims, survivors, and their children continue to receive the most comprehensive services available to help them support, recognize, and fight back against these deplorable circumstances," said Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi. Council Member Laurie Cumbo, co-chair of the Women’s Caucus, said: “Today and every day, we are helping families break the cycle of violence by directly connecting them to the critical resources available through the citywide network of Family Justice Centers. #NYCGoPurple is our public stance as a city of UpStanders who support survivors of domestic and intimate partner violence. As chair of the Committee on Women’s Issues and co-chair of the Women’s Caucus, I am proud of the incredible work that we have done within the City Council in collaboration with the de Blasio Administration to raise awareness and increase the capacity of community-based organizations and city agencies to provide supportive services to families looking to rebuild.” "Domestic violence survivors do not need to suffer in silence or in isolation -- support and assistance are available for them and their children. I applaud the de Blasio administration for the extensive outreach campaign and services they are launching. It is going to take a society-wide effort to combat intimate partner violence, and we have begun that journey," said Council Member Helen Rosenthal, co-chair of the Women’s Caucus. “Domestic violence impacts every corner of our City. Today, on Go Purple Day, we are ready to raise awareness and make sure survivors know that they can count on our City's agencies and nonprofit organizations for help. I want to encourage domestic violence survivors to come forward and get the help needed to get out of a dangerous situation. You’re not alone, we are here with you, we will protect you,” said Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland. Council Member Debi Rose said, “While we have made great strides in recent years to put a spotlight on this public safety crisis and have expanded resources available to women, including our Family Justice Center in St. George, rates of domestic violence in Staten Island remain unconscionably high. This morning, I joined local government and nonprofit groups in disseminating life-saving information to Staten Island Ferry commuters. My hope is that we not only spread the word about resources available to victims of domestic violence but also continue to put a spotlight on an issue that is too often not discussed.” Council Member Vanessa Gibson said, “Domestic abuse and intimate partner violence is a real and persistent problem in our communities. Too often, victims don't seek help and are forced to hide in the shadows for fear of being stigmatized or ostracized. Today New York City stands together in support of victims of domestic violence and their families. I am proud to take part in Go Purple Day and thankful to Mayor de Blasio, First Lady Chirlane McCray, Commissioner Cecile Noel of the Mayor's Office to Combat Domestic Violence, and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for their dedication to destigmatizing domestic abuse. I am also proud to work alongside the City Council's Women's Caucus Co-Chairs Council Members Laurie Combo and Helen Rosenthal on this important issue and I thank them for their leadership.” "Now and always, our City stands in solidarity with survivors of domestic violence," said Council Member Margaret Chin. "To anyone who has experienced intimate partner violence or dating abuse, you are not alone. Today's NYC Go Purple campaign aims to remove the stigma, raise awareness and share vital resources for anyone seeking one-on-one assistance or a safe place to talk. Thank you to Mayor de Blasio, the Office to Combat Domestic Violence and allies across the City for being strong partners in our fight to create systemic change and end violence against women and families." About the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence The Mayor's Office to Combat Domestic Violence formulates policies and programs, coordinates the citywide delivery of domestic violence services and works with diverse communities and community leaders to increase awareness of domestic violence. OCDV collaborates closely with government and nonprofit agencies that assist domestic violence survivors and operates the New York City Family Justice Centers. These co‐located multidisciplinary domestic violence service centers provide vital social service, civil legal and criminal justice assistance for survivors of intimate partner violence and their children under one roof.
Thursday, October 19, 2017 - 11:35am
Fifth benchmarking report shows that between 2010 and 2015, emissions from 4,200 consistently benchmarked properties dropped by 14 percent, energy use decreased 10 percent NEW YORK––As part of Mayor de Blasio’s ambitious goals to create more energy efficient buildings and align the city’s emissions reduction goals with the Paris Climate Agreement, the Mayor in partnership with Urban Green Council and NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress released New York City’s Energy and Water Use 2014 & 2015 Report, a comprehensive analysis of energy and water usage of large buildings in New York City. The analysis in the report finds that between 2010 and 2015 greenhouse gas emissions from 4,200 regularly benchmarked properties that missed no more than one benchmarking period, dropped by 14 percent, while energy use decreased 10 percent. "This new analysis demonstrates that we can continue to achieve substantial reductions in emissions from the largest source in our city, our buildings, and keep New York City on-track toward our 80x50 target,” said Mayor de Blasio. “This sets the stage for even more dramatic reductions that will be achieved through mandatory retrofits for the largest, most polluting buildings across the five boroughs. When Trump pulled out of the Paris Agreement, we knew we had to accelerate our local climate actions, and that's exactly what's happening." The report was produced in partnership with Urban Green Council and NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress. It is part of a nearly decade long effort to better evaluate and manage energy use in buildings citywide, which contribute nearly 70 percent of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions. Seven years ago, as part of its efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, the City of New York launched an initiative to determine how much energy its largest buildings use. Since then, Local Law 84 of 2009 (LL84) requires owners and managers of buildings that occupy at least 50,000 square feet to report the amount of energy and water these buildings use each year. This information can be used to compare the buildings’ energy performance against that of similar buildings. This process of reporting and comparison, known as benchmarking, has since been adopted by many major cities, including Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Chicago. While the simple exercise of benchmarking can raise building owner awareness and often lead to actions that reduce energy and water use, it also remains clear that to achieve the City’s ambitious climate goals to accelerate greenhouse gas reductions, more action will have to be taken. The report illustrates that half of the emissions declines are due to a cleaner electrical grid and more efficient district steam generation. Now that most New York State electricity generation from coal and oil has transitioned to natural gas, building owners will have to dig deeper into energy efficiency to keep up the pace. Benchmarking, in coordination with plans announced earlier this fall to mandate cuts in greenhouse gas emissions from the city’s largest buildings will be vital to accelerate this work and deliver on the City’s promise to deliver on the Paris Agreement’s stretch goal of limiting a global temperature increase to l.5° Celsius. “The facts are clear. Benchmarking can help buildings use less energy, contribute fewer greenhouse gases to our atmosphere, and save money,” said Daniel Zarrilli, Senior Director for Climate Policy and Programs and Chief Resilience Officer for the Office of the Mayor. “Now is the time to take that even further by requiring the city’s dirtiest buildings to retrofit their systems to achieve even deeper cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. These efforts by New York City demonstrate the type of leadership that is necessary to achieve the Paris Agreement and fill the void of federal climate leadership.” “Thanks to the data and analysis within this report, we can continue to target areas and policies that will aggressively reduce our energy consumption and accelerate greenhouse gas emissions reductions to get us closer to our climate goals.” said Mark Chambers, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. “This report and policy tool is yet another example of what is possible when public and private partnerships work together towards a more sustainable and just city.” “The City requires buildings larger than 50,000 square feet to perform annual energy audits – and we continue to see dramatic improvements in sustainability simply by ensuring that building owners get the information they need on how much energy they use. To further reduce both emissions and energy bills, we’ll be expanding the program to mid-size buildings next year,” said Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler. “Expanded benchmarking will play a pivotal role in achieving Mayor de Blasio’s vision to reduce our carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050.” “Benchmarking is an important tool in achieving the City’s energy reduction targets since it provides the metrics to compare our buildings to similar buildings in other locations, strategically invest resources and monitor performance over time,” said Department of Citywide Administrative Services Commissioner Lisette Camilo. “We know it works since we have seen a 11.5% decrease in building energy use intensity from 2015 to 2016.” “I am proud that this Energy Use Report shows a 14% drop in greenhouse gas emissions. This benchmark shows that we’re making great progress in combatting climate change and serving as a leader on the environment. We’ll continue to take steps like increasing use of renewable energy and cleaning our power grid in order to bring us even closer toward our 80% reduction goal. Thank you to Mayor de Blasio for his bold leadership on this environmental issue,” said Council Member Costa Constantinides, Chair of the Council’s Environmental Protection Committee. “We're glad to work with the city for the second year to analyze the biggest cache of large building data in the U.S.” said Russell Unger, Executive Director of Urban Green Council. “The report highlights encouraging improvements, and the findings give us direction on how to move further to reduce carbon and deliver on the City’s 80x50 goals.” "This year's report represents another significant step forward in using data analytics to address the serious urban challenge of climate change," said Constantine E. Kontokosta, PhD, PE, Professor of Urban Informatics at NYU CUSP and Tandon, Director of NYU's Urban Intelligence Lab, and lead data scientist for the report. "New York City continues to lead on climate action, and data-driven, evidenced-based policies are necessary to achieve the Mayor's ambitious goals to reduce the City's carbon emissions and energy use." LL84 requires that roughly 15,000 City-owned and privately-owned properties benchmark their energy and water use each year. While these properties account for fewer than two percent of properties citywide, they comprise 47 percent of New York City’s total built square footage, or about 2.3 billion square feet, an expanse larger than the land area of Manhattan and Staten Island combined. While the previous reports from 2012-2014 were required by LL84, the New York City’s Energy and Water Use 2014 & 2015 Report marks the second time the City voluntarily released a report of this kind. In addition, the de Blasio administration has taken a series of steps to cut energy use in buildings across the five boroughs, catalyze a private market for energy efficiency and low-carbon upgrades, and create new energy jobs. These steps include launching the NYC Retrofit Accelerator, to help building owners and operators of large buildings navigate all the steps necessary to complete energy and water upgrades, and the NYC Benchmarking Help Center, launched in partnership with CUNY’s Building Performance Lab, to provide free technical assistance and support for all covered buildings that need help at any stage in the benchmarking process. More information is available at . New York City’s Energy and Water Use 2014 & 2015 Report can be accessed here .
Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - 5:05pm
Love Your Block awards 25 $1,000 cash grants to NYC resident-led community groups and links them to City Services to transform a public space in their neighborhood – applications are due on Monday, November 6, 2017 NEW YORK–NYC Service and Citizens Committee for New York City launched the 2018 Love Your Block application to support resident-led volunteer projects that transform public spaces, like City blocks or community gardens, and empower residents to be change makers in their neighborhoods. NYC Service and Citizens Committee are seeking project proposals that address important community concerns and contribute to building stronger communities through neighbors working together toward sustainable improvements. The application will be open through Monday, November 6th and 25 community groups will be announced as Love Your Block winners and receive a $1,000 grant and support from City agencies. Since its inception, ten years ago, over 270 Love Your Block awards have been granted, over 900 City services have been provided, and nearly 10,000 volunteers have been engaged. "New Yorkers are change agents and Love Your Block is one of our City's longest running initiatives building valuable partnerships between community residents and government," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "We want to continue investing in our community leaders and empowering them with the tools to help make our City more equitable, resilient and sustainable. I encourage any resident-led group to apply for a Love Your Block grant and take a step towards making a difference in your neighborhood." "NYC Service believes in the power of New Yorkers to help address local needs through volunteerism and community building," said NYC Chief Service Officer Paula Gavin. "Love Your Block is an opportunity for the City to build relationships with its residents while encouraging civic engagement. We are so proud to offer Love Your Block as a means to inspire and empower New Yorkers to serve our City and each other." "Love Your Block gets New Yorkers out of their apartments and houses and into the streets to spruce up their neighborhoods," said Peter Kostmayer, CEO of Citizens Committee for New York City. "And it gets them to meet their neighbors and know them as well, which these days may be just as important." In addition to a $1,000 grant, recipients receive project planning assistance, volunteer management resources, as well as services from the Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Parks and Recreation, Department of Sanitation, and the Department of Transportation. Services from these City agencies include vacant lot cleanup; graffiti removal; dead tree removal; tree stewardship workshops; resident surveys to plant new street trees; supplies for gardening projects; repair of and installation of street signs and street lights; traffic safety surveys; and installation of bicycle racks, speed bumps and more. Resident-led volunteer groups across the five boroughs are encouraged to apply for a Love Your Block Grant by November 6th . Visit nyc.gov/loveyourblock for more information. Interested participants may also attend a Love Your Block Information Session on Monday, October 23rd from 6:00-7:30pm. Contact Shawn Whitehorn (SWhitehorn@citizensnyc.org or 212-822-9563) for more information and to RSVP. "The Department of Sanitation is pleased to support NYC Service and Citizens Committee as part of the 2018 Love Your Block Initiative," said Department of Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia. "Sanitation is proud to support this initiative and any civic organization that takes the time and effort to initiate projects that invest in the betterment of their neighborhoods." "Volunteering to beautify your local neighborhood is one of the most direct ways New Yorkers can help improve our environment and create a more resilient, sustainable city," said DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. "We encourage neighborhood groups from all parts of the city to apply to be a part of the 2018 Love Your Block program." "Love Your Block is about empowering New Yorkers to care for and protect our city's public spaces, including the thousands of trees that line our streets," said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. "NYC Parks is proud to be a part of this great initiative that strengthens communities while making our neighborhoods a better place to live." "Love Your Block gives residents the opportunity to reclaim and beautify their neighborhoods, one block at a time," said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. "We are happy to partner once again with Citizens Committee and our sister agencies -- NYC Service, Sanitation, DEP, and Parks -- for this great initiative. Whether installing new signage, streetlights, or bike racks, DOT values the role community groups play as our partners in creating safer and more livable streets. We look forward to another year of Love Your Block – and seeing all of the new beautification projects completed throughout the five boroughs." "Love Your Block is an exciting way to support small-scale volunteer projects making large-scale impacts on the quality of life in their neighborhoods," said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. "I encourage groups across Brooklyn to apply for one of these grants and advance their efforts to make our communities safer places to raise healthy children and families." "It is so very encouraging to see the sense of community and civic engagement that Love Your Block promotes, especially at this particularly divisive time in our nation," said Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr. "It is programs like this that allow New York City to continue to stand as the shining example of the good we can achieve when we focus on our commonalities and the betterment of our communities for the benefit of all." "I encourage everyone who is part of a small organization, whether it's your block association or just a group of active residents, to apply for a Citizens Committee grant," said Council Member Antonia Reynoso. "They present a great opportunity to jumpstart a community project, as many great organizations and community gardens in my district have done with these grants in recent years." NYC Service NYC Service is a division of the Office of the Mayor which promotes volunteerism, engages New Yorkers in service, builds volunteer capacity and mobilizes the power of volunteers and national service members to impact New York City's greatest needs. The vision is to inspire and empower all New Yorkers to serve their City and each other. For more information and to find an opportunity to #ServeNYC , visit . Citizens Committee for New York City Citizens Committee for New York City's mission is simple: to help New Yorkers – especially those in low-income areas – come together and improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods. Residents are uniquely situated to define and act on the issues affecting their communities. When provided with modest support, neighborhood and school groups can effectively mobilize community resources to improve quality of life. Citizens Committee for New York City supports these grassroots efforts by offering grants, skills-building workshops and further technical support in the form of project planning assistance and an equipment share library. In 2016, we provided 421 projects with $1.8 million in grants and services, and our staff facilitated 30 workshops to over 500 social entrepreneurs. Since 1975, we have promoted the spirit of volunteerism, local engagement and social justice that drives our work. Visit us online at .
Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - 5:05pm
Mayor's Tenant Support Unit has already helped 14,000 New Yorkers fight harassment and eviction, secure repairs NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced that his Tenant Support Unit has resolved 4,500 cases, helping more than 14,000 tenants in fast changing neighborhoods stay in their homes by getting health and safety code violations corrected and connecting tenants facing eviction and harassment to legal services groups. TSU specialists proactively go door-to-door informing tenants of their rights, documenting and case managing tenant issues related to harassment, repairs, and eviction, and making referrals to legal support whenever necessary. The Mayor is also announcing that TSU is allocating $1 million to build a dedicated 15-person TSU team to conduct outreach in nine more neighborhoods to low-income tenants facing eviction in housing court, to notify them of their right to free legal representation under a new City law that provides universal access to legal representation. Click here for more information about the law. The funds will also go to launch a multilingual paid ad campaign in these neighborhoods to ensure tenants are aware of their new right. The neighborhoods, which cover 10 zip codes, are Bushwick, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights, Harlem, Jamaica, Tremont, Williamsbridge, Mariners Harbor, and Port Richmond. The TSU team will work directly with the City’s Human Resource Administration’s Office of Civil Justice to direct data-driven outreach to tenants who are facing eviction cases in court to notify them of their access to free legal services in court. “We want to keep tenants in their homes. Rather than waiting for New Yorkers to reach a crisis or call 311, the Tenant Support Unit is knocking on doors in New York’s most rapidly changing neighborhoods to make sure tenants are aware of their legal rights and get the services they need. Make no mistake about it, as we build and protect 200,000 affordable homes across this city, we are also confronting landlords who ignore their duty to provide safe homes,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “No tenant should lose their home because they didn’t know their rights or didn’t have legal assistance. With the enactment of the universal access to counsel law, New York City has set a new standard as the national leader in access to justice for tenants in need,” said Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks. “The Office of Civil Justice is proud to work with our legal service providers and with the TSU to ensure that tenants facing eviction know their rights and do not stand alone in Housing Court,” said Jordan Dressler, HRA’s Civil Justice Coordinator. “The Tenant Support Unit is the City making house calls,” said Regina Schwartz, Director of the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit. “Bringing the City to the door of hundreds of thousands of tenants ensures New Yorkers are directly connected to resources that help them stay in their homes and thrive in the communities they love. We are thrilled to continue our partnerships with the HRA and legal service providers to expand this effort to additional neighborhoods.” “The Tenant Support Unit is an important tool in our efforts to end the cycle of eviction and homelessness. This is more than a $1 million investment in free legal services; it's an investment in our communities, our families, and our children. I commend Mayor de Blasio for his leadership and his commitment to safe and affordable housing for all New Yorkers,” Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson said. “To do its job, sometimes government has to come to New Yorkers, instead of the other way around,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “The work of the Tenant Support Unit is an example of that approach. Rent regulation, like any complex system, is rife with pitfalls for tenants and affordable apartments to slip through the cracks. Reaching out proactively, and connecting tenants directly to legal services providers when necessary, helps us preserve more apartments and ensure tenants get the full benefit of the laws that ought to be protecting them.” State Senator Gustavo Rivera said “No tenant in New York City should lose their home because they cannot access affordable and adequate legal representation,” said State Senator Gustavo Rivera. “The comprehensive services that the Tenant Support Unit has offered at my office have helped many of my constituents avoid unnecessary evictions and get the repairs they need. I look forward to continue working with the Tenant Support Unit as they expand their services and thank Mayor de Blasio for proactively working to raise awareness of the critical legal services our City continues to offer in an effort to keep more New Yorkers in their homes.” “For thousands of tenants, free legal representation has meant the all-important difference between staying in their apartments and losing access to safe and affordable housing,” said Assembly Member Steven Cymbrowitz, Chair of Housing Committee. "Increased funding will mean that even more people will be able to benefit, which has a stabilizing influence on our families and communities.” “The Tenant Support Unit connects New York City tenants with vital services to help them stay in their homes, including free legal services,” said Raun Rasmussen, Executive Director of Legal Services NYC. “This new team of TSU specialists will help ensure that New York City families get the legal help that they need to prevent their evictions.” The Tenant Support Unit is part of a multi-pronged approach Mayor de Blasio has implemented to fight displacement. It includes a ten-fold increase in free legal services for tenants – totaling $62 million – that will be fully implemented this year. In addition, since 2014, the administration has locked in more than 52,000 apartments into long-term affordability agreements that help low-income families stay in their homes for decades to come and has financed the construction of more than 25,000 new affordable homes. Prior to this administration, very few tenants had legal representation in Housing Court, estimated at just 1% in 2013 by state court officials. This resulted in high incidences of evictions and unchecked tenant harassment. To help close the gap, the Administration dramatically increased the availability of City-funded legal services for low-income tenants, increasing funding for legal assistance for tenants facing eviction and harassment from $6 million in 2013. The program successfully increased tenant representation in Housing Court to 27% in 2016, and has provided more than 50,000 households with legal services since 2014. At the same time, residential evictions by marshals declined by 24 percent, allowing 40,000 people to remain in their homes during 2015 and 2016. Last February and to compliment the bill that was eventually signed into law, the Administration agreed to more than double this financial support, dedicating an additional $93 million at full implementation for a program to provide access to legal representation to all low-income tenants facing eviction proceedings in Housing Court earning up to 200% of the federal poverty line and brief legal assistance for all tenants facing eviction in court whose income is above that level. In total and once the program is fully implemented, the City will spend $155 million annually to cover the costs of the initiative. Beginning this month, the program also started providing legal services to NYCHA tenants in administrative proceedings to terminate their tenancy. There are approximately 3,200 cases that go through NYCHA administrative hearings annually. The program will serve 400,000 tenants when it is fully implemented in five years. Modeled after the outreach program for Pre-K for All that successfully enrolled tens of thousands of children in free, full-day Pre-K, the Tenant Support Unit reaches New Yorkers directly. Since it launched in July 2015, specialists from the unit have knocked on more than 180,000 doors and made more than 72,000 phone calls to tenants, identifying 6,828 cases that needed help. Of the total 4,500 cases have been resolved so far, and agencies and legal service providers are addressing the remainder. Key efforts of the Tenant Support Unit: * Know Your Rights: Specialists are trained to educate tenants about their fundamental rights in multiple languages, ensuring tenants are not intimidated or deceived into accepting a buyout offer or illegal surcharges on their legal rent. * Securing Repairs: Specialists help tenants document complaints about inadequate heat or hot water, infestations and mold, and work directly with HPD's Division of Code Enforcement to secure necessary repairs.
Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - 5:05pm
$3 million public-private partnership on track to build 50 mini-soccer pitches over five years, and expand afterschool programming to reach 10,000 young people NEW YORK––First Lady Chirlane McCray, Senior Advisor to the Mayor and Director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships Gabrielle Fialkoff, and Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, were joined today by New York City Football Club players, community leaders, agency partners and philanthropic sponsors for a ribbon cutting at P.S. 083 Luis Munoz Rivera / P.S. 182 The Bilingual Bicultural School in Harlem to inaugurate the first ten new mini-soccer pitches across the City. The event kicks off a day of soccer at new pitches in all five boroughs. These fields are the first to open as part of the New York City Soccer Initiative , launched by Mayor de Blasio last year, a public-private partnership to build and maintain 50 mini-soccer pitches in underserved neighborhoods across the five boroughs over the next five years, and expand afterschool programing for thousands of New York City youth. The initiative is led by the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, the U.S. Soccer Foundation, New York City Football Club, adidas and Etihad Airways. The New York City Soccer Initiative supports Mayor de Blasio’s Building Healthy Communities initiative and the shared goal of ensuring that New Yorkers of all ages can live, work, learn and play in healthy, safe neighborhoods. "Participating in sports while I was growing up contributed a great deal to the person I am today. I want every child in New York City to have that same opportunity. The NYC Soccer Initiative provides our most vulnerable youth communities with valuable programming and life-long mentors to enrich their lives," said First Lady Chirlane McCray, Chair of the Mayor's Fund to Advance NYC. “Thanks to all of our partners, the New York City Soccer Initiative is not only expanding access to physical activity in our city’s most historically underserved communities, but it is giving NYC youth the confidence and experience they need to thrive. Public private partnerships can lead the way to change, and in this case, the creation of vibrant playing fields and the Soccer For Success program will enhance our communities in all five boroughs, said Gabrielle Fialkoff, Senior Advisor to the Mayor and Director of the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Partnerships. “We are thrilled to launch the first 10 mini-soccer pitches of the NYC Soccer initiative today and look forward to the next 40, and the joy and achievement that comes from all who play and learn on these fields.” “We are delighted to have Mayor de Blasio’s office, the U.S. Soccer Foundation, the New York City Football Club and adidas invest in our parks. Adding amenities like these newly opened soccer pitches broadens opportunities for neighborhood children to become involved and active in this globally loved sport,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “This investment in new soccer fields will bring school communities together and encourage teamwork and exercise among students,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina. “We thank our partners at NYCFC for their support in helping us bring high-quality afterschool opportunities to hundreds of families in all five boroughs.” Pioneering a national movement to increase soccer opportunities in dense urban settings, private partners have pledged to invest a total of $3 million in the new soccer pitches and provide free programming for New York City school children focused on healthy, active living. Youth programming will reach 10,000 young people over 5-years with after-school soccer and mentoring programs that promote safe, active and connected communities. The New York City Soccer Initiative is an inter-agency partnership between the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Partnerships, The Mayor’s Fund, the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Department of Education, and the Department of Youth and Community Development. At today’s main ribbon cutting ceremony at P.S. 083 Luis Munoz Rivera in Harlem, New York City Football Club players joined school children from the East Harlem neighborhood for a soccer scrimmage to break in the new fields. Later this afternoon, New York City FC and partners will host local soccer festivals at additional New York City Soccer Initiative pitches, one in each of the five boroughs. Through the construction of these new play spaces, the New York City Soccer Initiative aims to create safe spaces for youth and wider communities to gather, repurpose underutilized spaces in targeted neighborhoods, and connect more young people to soccer, expand U.S. Soccer Foundation’s nationally-recognized soccer after-school program – Soccer for Success – and ‘City in the Community’ schools program. The New York City Soccer Initiative fields will be constructed to ensure year-round functionality. In addition, the New York City Football Club will create a fund to support the ongoing maintenance of the fields. Targeted neighborhoods were determined by place-based Mayoral Initiatives, including the Community Parks Initiative, Building Healthy Communities, and the Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety. The first 10 sites are as follows: 1. Hillside Park/Irwin Altman Middle School 172, Queens, Parks 2. Frederick Johnson Playground, Manhattan, Parks 3. P.S. 083 Luis Munoz Rivera, Manhattan, DOE 4. Eagle Academy For Young Men Of Staten Island/I.S.49 Berta A. Dreyfus, Staten Island, DOE 5. P.S. 093 Albert G. Oliver, Bronx, DOE 6. P.S. 019 Marino Jeantet, Queens, DOE 7. P.S. 184 Shuang Wen, Manhattan, DOE 8. Woods Playground/P.S.335 Granville T. Woods, Brooklyn, Parks 9. Triboro Bridge Playground, Queens, Parks 10. P.S. 66, Brooklyn, DOE “Soccer has gained significant traction among our youth, with 7,500 young people across the City participating in DYCD’s ‘Soccer for Success’ program this school year. With the NYC Soccer Initiative, we will reach thousands more—especially as we open up these ten new mini-soccer pitches,” said NYC Department of Youth and Community Development Commissioner Bill Chong. “I want to thank Mayor de Blasio, the Mayor’s Fund, the U.S. Soccer Foundation, the New York City Football Club, Adidas, Etihad Airways, and all the partners involved for building a meaningful program to help keep our young people engaged, and promoting team work and good physical health.” “We are excited to celebrate the opening of the first ten mini-pitches, which provide greater access to safe playing spaces and quality programming for youth where they live, play and go to school.” said Ed Foster-Simeon, president & CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “We are honored to work with our partners and the City of New York who recognize the power of soccer to bring communities together, address pressing issues, and help youth embrace healthy, active lifestyles and learn critical life skills they need both on and off the field. Together, we are igniting an urban soccer movement that is spreading to other cities throughout the country,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, President & CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “We know that soccer can empower young people’s lives and in turn, they can improve their communities. We are a part of our communities across the five boroughs and that’s why we are creating 50 safe spaces to play free soccer, starting with the 10 we are launching today. The New York City Soccer Initiative pitches, along with other ‘City in the Community’ (CITC) programs, have the potential to provide community hubs that bring neighborhoods together,” said Jon Patricof, President of New York City Football Club. “We at adidas believe that through sports, we have the power to change people’s lives,” states Niels Rossow, General Manager of New York City and Los Angeles for adidas. “Following last year’s announcement to create and maintain 50 soccer fields in underserved communities across the five boroughs, we are eager and excited to commemorate the opening of the first 10 pitches. The social, emotional and physical benefits that these fields will offer young people will live on for years to come, reaching far beyond the neighborhoods they serve. It has been such an honor working with our partners - New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio, the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, the U.S. Soccer Foundation, New York City Football Club and Etihad Airways - to realize the vision for these pitches and we, at adidas, are excited to watch them become an integral part of the surrounding communities.” Patrick Pierce, Etihad Airways Vice President – Marketing Partnerships, said: “As the national airline of the UAE, Etihad Airways is committed to demonstrating the generosity of the Emirati spirit throughout all aspects of our business. Thanks to our partnership with City Football Group, New York City Football Club and Major League Soccer, we are pleased to support soccer’s tremendous growth in the U.S. and beyond, reinforcing our commitment to North America and its millions of dedicated soccer fans. During the UAE’s Year of Giving in 2017, we are especially proud to contribute positively to the health and wellness of local communities and celebrate the undeniable power of soccer to unite and inspire fans around the world.” “These 10 soccer sites – the first of 50 that will launch over the next four years – and the programming that will come with them will help us create more connected, active, and healthy communities that had been historically under-invested. The New York City Soccer initiative was born of a shared commitment and vision of all our partners, and the outcome is a testament to the value of public-private partners in helping create positive impacts across the five boroughs,” said Darren Bloch, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC. “Soccer has an estimated 4 billion fans worldwide, and thousands of fans reside in New York City alone. The innovative partnership between the U.S. Soccer Foundation, New York City Football Club, Adidas, Etihad Airways, and the City of New York will open new avenues for both fans and newcomers to play soccer,” said U.S. Representative Adriano Espaillat. “The fifty new soccer fields will allow residents in all five boroughs to spectate and participate in the beloved sport. I commend Mayor de Blasio and community leader on their ingenuity to find unique partnerships to further expand recreational offerings throughout our city.” State Senator Jose M. Serrano said, “Physical activity and sports are some of the best way for youngsters to stay healthy while fighting the epidemic of obesity in our community. I applaud Mayor de Blasio’s commitment to ensuring the youth in our community have the space and equipment they need to be active, healthy and happy.” "I am happy to celebrate the opening of 10 new soccer fields here in the City. The New York City Soccer initiative will keep kids engaged in physical fitness and healthy living, and give our children exciting afterschool programming in a sport that's ever growing in popularity," said Assemblymember Robert J. Rodriguez. “Soccer is the world’s sport, so there is no better place to connect the local Major League Soccer club with the youth than the most diverse city in the country. New York City is home to people from every continent and it is only right that we provide the community with public soccer pitches to play the beautiful game,” said Assemblymember Francisco Moya. “I firmly believe that through soccer our children will learn teamwork, discipline, and healthy habits. I thank NYCFC and the Mayor’s Fund for creating and executing such a noble initiative.” “We are grateful for this soccer field as it’s a new space for positive fun and play and it also offers an opportunity to be on a team,” said Kelly Villar, chair of Staten Island CB1 Youth Committee. “For many youth in this community, it will be their first chance being on a team experiencing all the great character building lessons that come with it...on winning, losing, team building, and leadership to name a few. We hope this field is only the beginning.” "Crutches 4 Kids is excited to join the Mayor's Office at the launch of such an impactful initiative that is essential to the progression of our youth and communities throughout NYC. We distributed Crutches to a soccer team of amputees in Haiti and we saw firsthand the importance of play and teamwork through the universal sport of soccer. Crutches 4 Kids is a true supporter of these types of initiatives because they do more than just build soccer players, they build strong communities and our future leaders,” said Ramón Peña, Executive Director of Crutches 4 Kids, Inc. About the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, chaired by First Lady Chirlane McCray, is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization committed to promoting partnerships between the City and the private sector in support of high-impact public programs. The Mayor’s Fund is focused on serving as a vehicle for the generous business and philanthropic communities to contribute to City programs and enhance the lives of New Yorkers in areas ranging from mental health, to youth workforce development, to immigration and citizenship. To learn more about the Mayor’s Fund, visit nyc.gov/fund . About the U.S. Soccer Foundation The U.S. Soccer Foundation’s programs are the national model for sports-based youth development in underserved communities. Since its founding in 1994, the Foundation has established programs proven to help children embrace an active and healthy lifestyle while nurturing their personal growth beyond sports. Its cost-effective, high-impact initiatives offer safe environments where kids and communities thrive. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Soccer Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization. For more information visit or follow us on Twitter at @ussoccerfndn and Facebook at www.facebook.com/ussoccerfoundation . About New York City Football Club New York City Football Club is an American professional soccer team based in New York City that competes in Major League Soccer. It was announced as the league's twentieth franchise on May 21, 2013 and is the first and only Major League Soccer Club located within the five boroughs of New York City. Majority owned by City Football Group, which includes Manchester City FC, Melbourne City FC and Yokohama F. Marinos, New York City FC plays its home games at Yankee Stadium, which is also home to minority owner, the New York Yankees. New York City FC is embarking on its third ever season in 2017 and has former US National Team captain Claudio Reyna as its Sporting Director and former World Cup winner Patrick Vieira as its coach, in addition to Designated Players: Captain David Villa, Andrea Pirlo, and Maxi Moralez. About adidas Soccer adidas is the global leader in soccer. It is the official sponsor and official supplier partner of the most important soccer tournaments in the world, such as the FIFA World Cup™, the FIFA Confederations Cup, Major League Soccer, the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Europa League and the UEFA European Championships. adidas also sponsors some of the world’s top clubs including Manchester United, Real Madrid, FC Bayern Munich, Juventus, Chelsea and AC Milan. Some of the world’s best players also on the adidas roster are Leo Messi, Paul Pogba, Gareth Bale, Thomas Müller, Luis Suárez, James Rodríguez, Diego Costa and Mesut Özil. About Etihad Airways Etihad Aviation Group (EAG) is a diversified global aviation and travel group comprising five business divisions – Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad Airways Engineering, Etihad Airport Services, Hala Group and Airline Equity Partners. The group has minority investments in six airlines: airberlin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Alitalia, Jet Airways and Virgin Australia. From its Abu Dhabi base, Etihad Airways flies to, or has announced plans to serve, more than 110 passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. The airline has a fleet of over 120 Airbus and Boeing aircraft. In 2013, it placed firm orders for 204 aircraft, which included 71 Boeing 787s, 25 Boeing 777Xs, 62 Airbus A350s and 10 Airbus A380s.
Monday, October 16, 2017 - 5:10pm
NEW YORK— Mayor Bill de Blasio today held public hearings for, and signed, twelve pieces of legislation into law. Intro. 139-C adds non-tobacco shisha to the City’s Smoke-Free Air Act; Intro. 1075-A requires hookah bars to post signage warning of the dangers of hookah smoking; Intro. 1076-A raises the minimum age for purchasing shisha; Intro.1031-A requires DOT to study specific traffic congestion; Intro. 1292-A requires all city agencies, to accept electronic invoices; Intro. 1375-A requires DOT to notify certain stakeholders when it issues a permit to open any street or intersection that has been reconstructed or resurfaced within the previous 5 years; Intro. 1539-A establishes additional rights and protections for customers who are purchasing second-hand automobiles; Intro. 1540-A requires second-hand automobile dealers to display and provide consumers with a bill of rights; Intro. 934-A, which creates a real-time enforcement unit within DOB; Intro. 1359-A requires HPD to audit buildings receiving tax-exemptions to ensure compliance with affordability requirements; and Intro. 1366-A requires HPD to audit certain buildings receiving tax-emptions to ensure compliance with rent-registration requirements. Intro. 1447-C, which increases safety training requirements for construction workers. “New York City is built on the ideals that every single person deserves a City with clean air to breathe, a City whose government works efficiently on behalf of its residents, and of course, a City whose hard-working construction workers will get the safety training they need,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “For the hard-hats in one of our city’s most dangerous jobs, this bill will help get them home to their families at night and keep the general public safe around construction sites. I want to thank Speaker Mark-Viverito and the Council for bringing this legislation into fruition and helping making our city even healthier, fairer and safer city for all.” “New Yorkers deserve to have their safety looked after in any circumstance, and this legislation goes far in achieving that goal,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “From the air they breathe, to the cars they drive, to the buildings in which they dwell and the construction that made those facilities possible, residents can rest assured that their wellbeing is paramount to the work that we are doing. I thank my colleagues on the City Council for their dedicated efforts on these initiatives, and I thank Mayor de Blasio for signing them into law today.” Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery, Citywide M/WBE Director, said, “Access is a core principle driving the City’s new M/WBE program – whether its providing minority and women business owners access to capital to take on new and larger projects, or access to the resources and tools that will increase M/WBEs’ participation and performance in the market. Intro 1447-C is another means for access, ensuring M/WBEs and small businesses have resources that provide safety training for their workers. Today’s bill signing is a critical step to building a future New York City that is fair, just and safe for all.” Jonnel Doris, Senior Advisor and Director of the Office of Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs), said, “The City’s building boom is not only creating immense opportunities for M/WBEs, but it is also creating the skyline of the future, and we need to ensure the safety of all workers and the public during its rapid construction. Intro. 1447-C does just that - it prioritizes the safety by mandating the proper training required to successfully and safely complete City projects. The bill also provides some common-sense relief for small businesses, which include minority and women-owned businesses, to help deliver safety training for their employees.” “Increased safety training is vitally necessary to protect the men and women who build our city, and all New Yorkers. We look forward to working with the task force envisioned in the legislation to implement this significant new program,” said Buildings Commissioner Rick D. Chandler, PE. "Construction site safety is important for workers and the public alike," said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. "I'm proud to support this new law and pleased that our agency will help more New Yorkers access construction safety training. This training will help people in the field develop critical skills and help improve workplace safety." “We recognize that construction safety is a crucial issue for the public and all workers, no matter where they come from” said Bitta Mostofi, Acting Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. “These new training requirements will ensure equal access for immigrants, day laborers, and workers who speak languages other than English.” "Our construction workers are an important part of this city's workforce," said Barbara Chang, Executive Director of the Mayor's Office of Workforce Development. "The Office of Workforce Development is proud to support this legislation as part of our mission to ensure quality, safe employment for all New Yorkers as well as safety for the public. We look forward to working with agency partners to provide equal access to training opportunities, regardless of language, education, or immigration status." “In a city constantly under construction, worker safety is of paramount importance. For too long, though, an eroded culture of safety in the industry has led to unsafe conditions, injury, and death, with developers insulated from responsibility for these tragedies. Requiring a uniform baseline amount of safety training is a long overdue and critically important measure toward having a tangible impact on worker’s well-being and beginning to correct the culture of the industry, restoring the safety of those who build this city as the top priority. I would like to thank Council Member Menchaca and Speaker Mark-Viverito for helping to bring this bill before the Mayor today, and I thank the Mayor for recognizing the urgency of this matter and moving to address it.” said Council Member Jumaane D. Williams. "Construction work is as dangerous as it is important to the city. I take very seriously the safety of workers and the public, and it is clear that big changes have to be made. The most simple and effective way we can protect our construction workers and the people around them is by providing them with quality safety training. Putting people in our community in danger for the sake of profit is completely irresponsible,” said Council Member Carlos Menchaca. “As Chair of the Committee on Immigration, I have a special responsibility to speak out on behalf of our immigrant population, in particular for immigrant workers who lack access to safety training and protections. It is our obligation to take action to end this full-blown safety crisis. As we take this critically important step by passing Intro 1447-C into law, we must continue the hard work of achieving a genuine culture of safety around construction sites." "The Mayor today took an important step toward protecting the health of New Yorkers by signing into law three bills that regulate the use of hookah,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “Many people underestimate the health risks of hookah. With or without tobacco, hookah smoke releases toxic substances that are linked to cardiovascular and lung disease, including heart attacks, decreased lung function, and can lead to premature death. These emissions can also harm people who are exposed to secondhand hookah smoke, such as employees or diners at establishments that serve hookah. The bills passed today are particularly timely as the number of venues that serve hookah have increased dramatically over the last five years, and hookah smoking is increasing in popularity among New York City youth. We applaud Mayor Bill de Blasio, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Health Committee Chair Corey Johnson, and Council Members Vincent Gentile and Ydanis Rodriguez and for their vision and commitment to creating a healthier city." "Today we once and for all ‘Clear the Air’ on the dangers of hookah smoking," said Council Member Vincent Gentile. “With this law we are adding non-tobacco hookah smoking to the Smoke Free Air Act. No longer will minors be allowed to smoke in these lounges, and no longer will communicable diseases be spread from unsterile hookah smoking paraphernalia. Moreover those who have been subject to secondhand smoke in and around hookah bars will be pleased to learn that new ventilation requirements in this bill address this issue.” "Forty-five minutes of smoking hookah is comparable to smoking 120 cigarettes. Bills 1075-A, 1076-A, and 139-C to regulate the use of hookah, particularly by our youth, are an effort to bust the misperception that non-tobacco shisha is healthier than cigarettes when, in fact, they are not," said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. "We have made so much progress in the use of cigarettes and now we are facing a similar challenge with hookah. As with cigarettes, tobacco and non-tobacco marketing target our young people, especially those in communities of color. Its prevalent use is putting the health of our city and youth at risk. Today, we are taking a clear stance in protecting the health and well-being of New Yorkers." “Thanks to the unprecedented funding we have secured in these past three budgets, our roads are finally starting to get back to drivable condition. But that progress and the significant investment of taxpayer dollars we are making is being undermined almost every day by often unnecessary street cuts and the shoddy repairs made to them. The bill Staten Island Borough President James Oddo and I authored, which the Mayor is signing into law today, does not fix that problem, but it is a simple, common sense measure that gives us a chance to help correct or minimize the damage. It also facilitates better communication between all involved and provides much needed transparency to a process that has been anything but transparent for many years,” said City Council Minority Leader Steven Matteo. “There is more to do to protect the roads that serve as a lifeline to so many residents and businesses, but this is a great start.” "Key to improving our public transit system above ground is better understanding how delivery trucks contribute to congestion and how to better share our streets," said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. "Online shopping has boomed in the past few years resulting in more delivery trucks occupying the city's streets. I look forward to the task force's report and recommendations resulting from the study." Council Member Mark Levine said, “Our city is facing a serious congestion crisis that is hurting our economy, threatening the safety of pedestrians and cyclists, and hurting the environment. This legislation is an important first step towards addressing that crisis; however, we must continue to explore additional ways to mitigate traffic and pollution, including congestion pricing, and advancing the Move NY plan. I thank the mayor for signing this bill in to law today and look forward to seeing the results of this study in the coming year." "Procurement reform is never going to be the sexiest issue, but making sure the City contracts effectively and efficiently is an essential part of making government work. By requiring City agencies to accept electronic vouchers from vendors, Council Member Constantinides’ bill will make it easier for contractors to do business with the City, and even more important, help to ensure that the City spends taxpayer money wisely. These are exactly the steps we need to be taking to bring City contracting into the 21st century,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal. Council Member Costa Constantinides said, "We must look at all the ways our city can eliminate waste as we work to become greener. The paper we generate from vendors' invoices, receipts, and other vouchers is wasteful and unnecessary. INT. 1292 requires that all agencies accept these documents electronically which will waste less paper, streamline businesses interactions, and save trees. I thank Mayor de Blasio, Contracts Committee Chair Helen Rosenthal, and my Council colleagues for their support on this legislation." “This law provides much needed transparency in an industry plagued by deceptive and illegal sales practices,” said DCA Commissioner Lorelei Salas . “For many, buying a car is one of the largest purchases they will ever make. By requiring second-hand automobile dealers to post and distribute a bill of rights to consumers, as well as offer a cancelation policy, we can better ensure that hard-working New Yorkers have time to evaluate their purchase and aren’t being taken for a ride by predatory dealers. DCA is committed to educating consumers of their rights, and will continue to hold the industry accountable so that those businesses that do comply with the law are not unfairly competing with those who do not.” “Second hand auto dealers will now come to understand that while their cars may be used, our consumers will not be abused,” said NYC Council Member Rafael Espinal. “I am proud to pass Intro No. 1539-A, which will rein in the used auto industry by increasing disclosure requirements, strengthening penalties for violators of the law, and introducing NYC’s first-ever used car contract cancellation option; allowing consumers precious time to think through their decision. The fallout from a bad car loan could be worse than the mortgage crisis, but now vulnerable New Yorkers will have the tools they need to be to empowered and make good financial choices. I thank Mayor de Blasio for continuing to support vulnerable New Yorkers and signing this bill into law.” "Used car dealers who operate unscrupulously often target New Yorkers who are from low income, under-banked, immigrant communities," said Council Member Dan Garodnick. "All consumers -- especially our most vulnerable neighbors -- must be protected, and these deceitful sales tactics must come to an end. Our new Consumer Bill of Rights will empower purchasers of used cars and clamp down on predatory practices in this industry." "Our residents deserve access to affordable and stable housing, especially if the landlords received tax benefits to build those units,” said Council Member Stephen Levin. “It’s unconscionable that landlords are receiving millions in tax breaks to provide community benefits and are instead charging rents that push New Yorkers out of their homes. With the help of this legislation this will come to an end. I’m proud of working together with Council Member Williams to require HPD to audit properties where developers benefit from 421-A tax credits. These audits will determine whether developers have met their obligation to provide affordable or rent-stabilized units, and file timely, accurate qualifying paperwork. Properties found failing will be reported to the NYC Council and Department of Finance for revocation of tax benefits. This legislation will send a strong message — hold up your end of the deal or pay the consequences.” “Far too many try to bypass, bend, and break the law in pursuit of profit,” said Council Member Stephen Levin. “We cannot and will not allow unscrupulous landlords to take advantage of our community. The STS package of bills goes to lengths to provide tenants the protections they deserve. Now by signing 934 into law, which establishes a real-time enforcement unit, we are putting bad landlords on notice. This specially created unit will greatly increase the protections available to tenants facing harassment. We want to let tenants facing harassment and displacement know that they are not alone in this fight – through this coalition, we are a more engaged, compassionate, and just city. I’m proud to continue advancing the work of the Stand for Safety Coalition, and I look forward to real progress for New Yorkers everywhere.” “For a regulation to have any positive impact, it needs to be meaningfully enforced. While I have long been critical of the 421-a tax exemption, the least we can do is to make sure that what little is promised is actually acted upon. Enacting this legislation will empower the Department of Housing Preservation and Development to take action; ensuring these regulations are being adhered to and protecting those for whom they were enacted in the first place. Tenants are being egregiously taken advantage of, and the tax exemption is being exploited without having meaningful benefit for those tenants. Signing this legislation is crucial to ensuring that this rampant exploitation can no longer take place.” said Council Member Jumaane D. Williams. “There is an affordable housing crisis in our city. It is important that the housing we work to create is not affordable in name only—these units should be going to those with the income range for which they’re intended. Enacting this bill will enable much-needed oversight to take place to ensure that affordable housing becomes a reality rather than a buzz word.” said Council Member Jumaane D. Williams. “We continue to combat tenant harassment in all of its forms, including through unwarranted or improper construction projects. Empowering the Department of Buildings to monitor, inspect, and report on compliance with construction codes is one key way we can prevent landlords from using such projects to drive tenants out,” said Council Member Jumaane D. Williams. "I commend Mayor de Blasio for taking a real stand to protect New York City’s construction workers,” said Vincent Alvarez, President of the New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO. “There have been far too many construction related accidents and deaths. This law will help ensure that all construction workers have access to the health and safety training that has been proven to save lives, while also protecting the safety of residents and pedestrians in the communities where construction is ongoing. This is a win for New York City.” “The signing of today's construction worker safety bill by Mayor de Blasio completes a process that prioritize the safety and well-being of construction workers and the public while at the same time being very inclusive and transparent with all stakeholders at the table,” said Pat Purcell, Executive Director, Greater New York LECET. “We thank the Mayor for signing this historical bill. He has shown that New York City can lead this nation not only in the development and construction of commercial buildings and affordable housing but that it can be done in the safest most responsible way possible.” “Today’s historic bill signing represents the next chapter in the progressive fight for safer workplaces and their surrounding areas. This law is a significant step in the right direction for improving worker and public safety alike and standardizing rigorous training in New York City. We applaud Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Mark-Viverito, Councilmen Jumaane Williams and Carlos Menchaca, as well as the entire Council and Borough President Brewer, for their steadfast leadership in making this law a reality. We look forward to working closely with the City and the real estate community to ensure the safest conditions for the public and for all workers who build our great city each and every day,” said Gary LaBarbera, President of Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York.
Monday, October 16, 2017 - 5:10pm
NYC service center will provide information and assistance for individuals affected by recent hurricanes NEW YORK—Mayor de Blasio announced today that a service center will open next week to support displaced individuals and families from Puerto Rico, Texas, Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands and other Caribbean islands following recent hurricanes. The center will be open starting on Thursday, October 19 at the Julia De Burgos Latino Cultural Center located at 1680 Lexington Avenue in Manhattan. “New York City will help those affected by recent hurricanes in any way we can. We’ve been sending donations and emergency responders to affected areas, and now we’re setting up a central location to help displaced people in our city receive essential services and assistance,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This is a humanitarian crisis the likes our city has ever experienced and we must do everything we can to help our fellow Puerto Ricans who have given so much to our city and to our country,” said Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito. “Where the federal government has come up short, New York has always stepped up and it is no different in this case. This city is prepared to help Boricuas from the island with the resources and providing essential services during this dire time of need” The City’s service center will offer in-person support and access to services to individuals affected by the hurricanes, and will be open from 9 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday, 10 AM to 4 PM on Saturday, and 1 PM to 5 PM on Sunday. The City of New York is urging individuals planning to visit the service centers to make an appointment beginning October 18 by visiting or call 311. (Note: the center will be closed Saturday, October 21.) New York City government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and community-based organizations will be on-site to help connect families and individuals to critical services, including enrollment in public benefits and health insurance, food assistance, and mental health counseling. Services provided at the center include but are not limited to: * Department of Social Services will assist with enrollment in SNAP benefits, cash assistance, and public health insurance, and help connect people with emergency food assistance. English and Spanish speakers will be available to assist with enrollment. * Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will provide mental health counseling, health insurance support, emergency pharmacy assistance and will refer individuals to medical care in collaboration with NYC Health + Hospitals. They will also provide information on immunization assistance targeted toward school enrollment. * Department for the Aging will provide meals to seniors, assist in case management, and assist with senior employment. * Department of Education will provide information and assistance for displaced students. * Human Resource Administration’s Office of Civil Justice will convene several legal providers to provide legal consultation to individuals in need. * American Red Cross of Greater New York will assist in disaster relief management — including referrals, distribution of emergency supplies, and applying for assistance — and mental health counseling. * Animal Care and Control and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals will provide veterinary care and pet supplies. * The New York Disaster Interfaith Services will provide spiritual care to those in need. “New York City is home to one of the largest Caribbean diasporas in the United States, and we want to ensure that our fellow Americans from Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands are accepted and integrated fully into our community. My administration will work hand in hand with Mayor de Blasio so that Brooklyn can support families affected by these hurricanes,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. "As we've unfortunately learned all too well here in New York, few things are more critical during and after a crisis than clear information and cross-agency coordination," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer . "Cross agency service centers offering one stop shopping and ability to cut through red tape may not seem like much against the backdrop of the terrible tragedy unfolding in Puerto Rico and the other areas affected by recent hurricanes, but they can make a huge difference in the lives of the affected families." “Those individuals and families affected by these natural disasters need our help, and that includes being prepared to assist those who decided to leave their homes and come to New York City. This service center will provide those seeking refuge from these disasters with a one-stop shop for critical services, and I appreciate Mayor de Blasio’s efforts to make life a little bit easier for those who are being forced from their homes due to these natural disasters,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. U.S. Representative Nydia M. Velázquez said, "The bond between the Island of Puerto Rico and New York is deeply rooted, and over one million Puerto Ricans call New York home. Let's be clear, Puerto Ricans will always have a true friend and ally in New York and we will continue to assist our fellow U.S. citizens on the Island. I'm proud of what the City and regular New Yorkers are doing to help Puerto Rico and other hurricane-affected areas. I commend the Mayor for his leadership in this area.” “I commend Mayor de Blasio on today’s announcement to open the NYC service center to support individuals and families who have been affected by the recent unprecedented storms we’ve witnessed so far this hurricane season,” said U.S. Representative Adriano Espaillat. “Connecting families and individuals to critical services through a centralized hub where they can sign up for public benefits, health insurance, food assistance, and mental health programs, puts us one step closer to helping bring about some resemblance of normalcy for displaced individuals as they work to rebuild their lives.” “Thousands of Puerto Ricans will be relocating to New York having lost everything on the island. The new NYC Service Center will help facilitate their transition to a new city. Once again, New York City stands ready to help Puerto Ricans in their time of need,” said U.S. Representative Jose Serrano. "Once again, our City rises to the occasion in order to provide our fellow Americans affected by Hurricanes Irma, Harvey and Maria the assistance they require in their time of need," said State Senator Gustavo Rivera. "I applaud the ongoing efforts of our City's administration that, unlike the lackluster and in some cases negligent response from the federal government, continues to set up safety nets for those displaced by these recent natural disasters. I urge my fellow New Yorkers to spread the word about this service center so that those who need the assistance are able to receive it immediately." Assembly Assistant Speaker Felix W Ortiz said, “We must do all we can to assist our friends and relatives recovering from Hurricanes Irma, Harvey and Maria. In addition to our ongoing efforts to send supplies, medicine and food to Puerto Rico, Mexico and other communities seeking to recover, we should also be prepared to welcome those without homes to New York. Friendly service centers are a step in the right direction to help our brothers and sisters. Our efforts are far from over." "The recent natural disasters in Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, Texas, and Mexico have left so many without the basic resources needed to survive. I am proud of East Harlem, New York City and the State for remaining committed to helping the victims of these tragedies," said Assembly Member Robert J. Rodriguez. "The new Service Center will connect displaced victims with life-saving services to help get them back on their feet." “I just returned from a week in some of the hardest hit areas in the mountainous regions of Puerto Rico. I met with people who lost everything, received little or no outside assistance and have been as self-sufficient as possible. As New Yorkers we are obligated to help fellow Americans who are traumatized make a safe transition and avoid further trauma,” said Council Member Fernando Cabrera. “Our American family in Puerto Rico deserves all of the support we can give,” said Council Member Rafael Espinal. “As a New Yorker I know firsthand the impact Puerto Ricans have had on our culture, economy and values. I commend Mayor de Blasio for staying committed to providing aid and doing all New York City can to step up in this time of need.” “It is a proud day for New York as we establish a new Open Service Center for the victims of Hurricanes Maria, Irma, and Harvey. Millions of families have been affected, homes destroyed, and livelihoods lost. It is never easy to pick up the pieces when we lose so much, as an individual or as a community. Nor is it easy to pick up and move to a new place in the wake of such a disaster. This new Center sends a clear message to the victims of these hurricanes. You are welcome in New York City. As government agencies and non-profits work to integrate fellow citizens, we must all remember to make newcomers feel welcome. With a dangerously delayed response, and grave uncertainty about how much longer the Trump Administration will provide aid to victims in Puerto Rico, I ask that everyone contribute whatever they can to help the victims. It is sad that the President may forsake our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico, but let it be clear that the people of New York will never do so. We stand together,” said Council Member Carlos Menchaca. "Our city is taking proactive measures to assist those most impacted by the recent natural disasters. I find it deeply gratifying that Mayor de Blasio is utilizing every resource at his disposal to help displaced families and individuals. The opening of a New York City service center will advance our relief efforts and provide vital support during this recovery process,” said Council Member Annabel Palma. Council Member Rafael Salamanca said, “I’m proud to call myself a New Yorker as we work to lead the charge on providing relief to all of those effected by the hurricanes,” said Council Member Rafael Salamanca, Jr. “People are still hurting – in Puerto Rico, USVI, in Florida and in Texas. It’s why I’m encouraging everyone who may know a victim of the hurricanes to direct them to these great resources.” Council Member Ritchie Torres said, “I want to thank the Mayor for committing our City’s agencies to supporting families displaced by these horrible disasters. We must continue to show our fellow Americans and the world that New York City will be a lasting bastion of support for those in need.”
Monday, October 16, 2017 - 5:10pm
“The Chelsea bombing was an attempt to bring our city to its knees. Instead, our NYPD, FBI and federal prosecutors have brought Ahmad Rahimi to justice. His evil was met with the bravery and resiliency of a beautiful neighborhood and an entire city. New York City will never be intimidated. We remain vigilant, resolute and safe. Congratulations to all those involved in this important prosecution.”
Friday, October 13, 2017 - 5:05pm
Mayor Bill de Blasio: Ken, I want to thank you so much. And you’ve just spoken on behalf of parents all over this city because the reality is if it weren’t for free Pre-K for All, so many parents would have the choice that you just spoke about. Yes, their child could be home but they wouldn’t have the chance to learn in the same way or if a parent wanted to find a preschool that would give their child that ability to start learning and growing, they have to pay a lot of money for it. A typical preschool in this city is $10,000 to $15,000 and a vast majority of New York families can’t afford that or if they make that choice that means they’re going to have to give up on a lot of other things. The whole idea was to help reach our kids at the moment when they were able to grow intellectually the most and give them that strong foundation, but also lift a burden on parents. Parents are struggling in this city. I always say, this is a tough city to be a parent in. It really is. There’s so much going on. People work so hard, they work such long hours. And for parents in this town, they needed a break, and to get pre-K for free and now 3-K is going to be a game changer for so many families. You know, upstairs we visited that Mommy and Me classroom, and the mothers were speaking about what it was like to just have a break, to just have a chance to have professionals work with their kids and help them grow while the mothers got a little bit of a break during the day. That’s a huge thing to begin with. That’s another one of the great virtues of 3-K and pre-K – it’s giving parents time to do the other things that they have to do in life including in so many cases, finding work. So, there’s a lot of reasons why this makes sense for the families of today. And Ken, I’m so happy to hear that Kendall is doing so well and that is something that’s really making an impact on your family. I think you’re right – we’re going to reach a lot more families, a lot more deeply now as we go into 3-K. I also have to say that those kids you saw singing, first of all, we have the new pre-K theme song now. I want to thank Pre-K Class 5 for bringing this to public attention. But I love their energy and I love their joy, and how much being in school together meant to them. In fact, even upstairs, what the parents were saying is the three-year-olds in that classroom wanted to be like their older siblings. They wanted to put on the school uniform and go to school. They wanted to feel like they were grown-ups. We really have to see how much kids are ready to learn and how exciting it is for them to go to school and to have that chance to be a part of something that they think means they’re growing up, they’re becoming big kids. It’s exciting for them. But you saw the excitement of these young children when they were singing. It was really beautiful. So, this school, I just want to say, is showing us immediately what the future is going to look like in this city. And I want to commend the Principal of Queens Explorers, Melissa Compson, for her good work. Congratulations to you and your whole team. [Applause] I want to thank my colleagues in City government who have done so much of the work to create 3-K for All and to build up our early childhood education capacity. Our Deputy Chancellor Josh Wallack from the DOE and Deputy Commissioner for ACS Lorelei Vargas. Let’s give them a big round of applause. [Applause] And a special warm thank you for these good people behind me – just stand up a minute so people can see your shirts. These are the coolest shirts in New York City, by the way, and they mean an elite group that goes out and they go out wherever parents are. They’ve been doing this the last few years. They go all over the city. They knock on doors. They go to schools. They go to street fairs. They go to barber shops. They go to barber salons – wherever parents are and tell them about what pre-K means for their child, and they sign them up, and they help them find the right location for their child. And now, they’re going to do the same thing with 3-K. These are the folks who are bringing this idea to life. Let’s give them a big round of applause. [Applause] And you’re very fashionable. Thank you, everyone. So, look, I’ll be quick because I want you to hear from my colleagues but this is an important day because we are announcing the next step in 3-K for All. We know pre-K worked. A lot of folks said it couldn’t be done, it couldn’t be done that quickly, it couldn’t reach every child. Guess what? It all happened. It worked. Almost 70,000 kids getting full-day, pre-K. Quality levels have been high. Parents have loved it. Parent satisfaction levels have been outstanding. It’s there. It’s available. It’s free. There’s an incredible effort to make sure parents get the right match. Pre-K has worked, 3-K is the next wave. We’ve started it already. And I say to people, I walked into a classroom in Central Brooklyn on the first day of school in the early afternoon and I saw history being made. I saw three-year-olds in a New York City classroom, learning, and playing, and growing, and enjoying, and their teachers were so thrilled to know they were reaching these kids at the point that would have the biggest impact. This is what I have to emphasize. Our education system all over the country had it backwards for too long. We left out the zero to five timeframe when kids can learn best. All of the emphasis was on later. So many kids in this city, in this country didn’t get to school even at kindergarten they didn’t get there. All sorts of places only still have half-day kindergarten. That zero to five window where the most brain development happens, where you have the greatest chance to give a kid a strong start, it was ignored for decades. We’re now flipping the script. We are recognizing we have to reach kids younger and more deeply if we’re going to be able to give them the foundation they needs particularly for the demands of the modern world. So, we see it with pre-K, now we have to do it with 3-K. It has already begun in Central Brooklyn and the South Bronx. We know it works already. We’re seeing it already. Parents are experiencing it already and they’re thrilled that their kids are getting this opportunity. Now, we have to go the next step and we have to make sure that 3-K reaches all our kids. So, we’re going to continue to deepen 3-K, and I’m pleased to announce today that we are expanding 3-K to six more school districts in New York City in all five boroughs. It’s a big step forward for New York City. [Applause] So, starting next school year, September of 2018, we will be expanding to District 27 right here – we’re pleased to be here in this community in Queens – and District 4 which is East Harlem in Manhattan. The year after in September, 2019, we will be launching 3-K in District 9 in the Bronx and District 31 which encompasses all of Staten Island. The following fall, in September 2020, we will launch 3-K in District 19 in East New York, Brooklyn and District 29 in Southeast Queens. The following fall is when we go universal. So, we are announcing today what the next three falls will bring. We will have eight districts total that will be reached by September 2020. We will have, by that point, shown that this model can work everywhere. And then we’ll be ready to take the next big jump – that same progression that we went through with pre-K, building it up faster and faster. We’re now going to do it with 3-K. Now, I have to tell you this will take a lot of work. This one is in some ways even harder than what we did with pre-K and is certainly in many ways even higher impact because it’s never been done. You know, we had some pre-K in the past. When I took office, there was about 20,000 kids in full-day pre-K. We brought it up to about 70,000. But here there’s never been kids at the three-year-old level in New York City public schools. This is a whole new world we’re entering into. So, it’s going to be harder because we’re building something brand new. It’s going to be harder because we already know from our experiences with pre-K space is a real issue. And in some districts, where we have more space and some where we have less, and that’s part of what is going to be crucial over these next four years to build out the space in time for the full expansion. It will take a lot of work but this is worth it. Out of everything that I have seen in public service, nothing has as much impact as early childhood education on the whole society, on the kids, on the parents, on the families, on the whole society. This is the ultimate game changer. So, it is worth the challenge. It’s going to take hard work but it’s going to be worth it, and it’s for me is and always has been my number-one priority to make sure that our parents can live a better life, that our children can a better opportunity. This is how you address our kid’s educational needs but it’s also how you address income inequality in the here and now. Take a burden off families right now. Right now. I want to give you an easy example. A family with two kids who go to both 3-K and pre-K, and save – so the average, again, about $12,000 a year per child per year – that family with two kids taking advantage of 3-K and pre-K saves almost $50,000. I bet a lot of people in this room could think of really good and important things to do with $50,000. Yes? Right? So, families will have an incredible opportunity to have the resources they’ve been struggling to have for other important things in their lives. And then the other way it affects all of us, and creates a more fair society down the line – those kid with that strong foundation will do better in school over all the years ahead. They will get a better education. They will be better prepared for their future. They will be better prepared to enter the workforce because we reached them at the beginning and we reached them the right way. So, that’s going to affect their economic chances going forward and giving them a real boost, a real lift, and that’s why this is so important and it affects every part of the family’s life if we reach the child early enough. And I’ll conclude, before I turn to the Chancellor and I’ll say a few quick words in Spanish – conclude with a simple point. Here’s what we believe in, in this city – that educational opportunity should not be based on ZIP code. Everyone deserves a good education. Every child deserves opportunity in every part of the city. It used to be, whether we’re talking about early childhood education or we were talking about AP classes, your chances were much better if you lived in a wealthier district. We are steadily changing that. We want a child who comes from a less advantaged background to have just as great a start as a kid who comes from privilege. We want a child who at the beginning of their time in school is told they have a chance to go to college too. We want a child in high school to see those AP classes are there for them regardless of what high school they go to, regardless of what neighborhood they live in. That will change this city fundamentally when we reach that day that every child knows they have as much opportunity as the next child. Before I turn to the Chancellor, just a few words in Spanish – [Mayor de Blasio speaks in Spanish] With that, I want to turn to the Chancellor, and congratulate her for all the progress that has been made in the school system, and a special congratulations for the wonderful news about the AP classes. I know that’s been a labor of love for you. Our Chancellor, Carmen Fariña. [Applause] Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña: It’s really a pleasure to be here for this announcement. And if you think parents are happy, you need to see the smiles on the superintendent's sitting in front of me. This is something that we know is a game changer. And I want to be clear that there were things that we saw this morning that I just want to point out explicitly. First and foremost, the adult leading the group was the parent coordinator. So, guys, you can get way ahead of your time and start doing some of this in your own schools now. Parent coordinator puts out a flier telling parents in the building that there will be this program, Mommy and Me – Mommy, Daddy, and Me. Actually Caretakers and Me because caretakers covers grandparents as well. You can’t leave grandparents out of these this, right. Mayor: Right, stand up for the grandparents. Chancellor Fariña: Absolutely. And it offers an opportunity for them to come to school with these children and spend a couple of hours a week – this is not a full-time program, the Mommy and Daddy, but the three-year-olds will be. But what was happening in that room today was very clear to me. First and foremost, these kids had all the photographers in the room, had all of us in the room, and they ignored us totally. Totally. It was like we weren’t there. And that to me is the first step in getting adjusted to school. Sometimes it takes some children – and I totally agree with the Mayor – you know, many of our kids were not starting school until they were five or six and that meant they came in already scared because they were used to being home and being coddled and being overly taken care. These kids are already getting used to being independent, to be social beings. There was a lot of parallel play in there – kids backs to each other but they were playing meaningful, learning how to use [inaudible] doing the kind of work that three-year-olds and two-year-olds – there were two-year-olds in the room [inaudible]. So, to me, having a parent coordinator have two year’s head start on getting to know the parents in the building is a win-win. So that’s a real biggie. The other thing is most of the parents in the room that we were in this morning come from another country and speak another language. And for many of them, their children are being exposed to English a year or two earlier then they might have if they had to wait that long to get to school without the parents losing the ability to speak their native language at home because I think two languages is a blessing and this is a way to have everything. This also means, when you’re a parent – and I’m going back to those days – you feel very isolated. I don’t know how many of you remember the days when you had no adult to talk to. Remember this? And when you had a bad day or your child did something, I’d pick up the phone and call my mother – “I don’t understand, she’s got spots all over her face. What do I do?” And these are parents who now can form a parenting group. They can sit in the back of the room and talk to each other – “What do I do when my older child is jealous of the younger child?” What are some of the conversations they can have that help support a family. So, that’s present in there also. The children are getting vocabulary. I understand this week is Chicken Week, or Chicks Week. They’re going to learn about chickens and eggs. It seems to be a big thing in the city this year – chickens and eggs and farm life. But that’s not the kind of vocabulary you’d be having in your home if your child was watching TV. The same thing that next week they’re having service dogs – they’re having whole conversations on service dogs. The service dog is coming to school to meet with the children. But they’re talking about that vocabulary in these small groups which to me is a plus-plus. I think also social-emotional needs are being met, and again, it’s a short time during the week but they’re being met in a way that parents are also learning how to handle this when they go home. So, if it was up to me, I would put a Caretaker and Me program in every school that has space. Put a parent coordinator in charge but the three-year-olds that are coming to our school next year and this year already – there’s a major difference from pre-K. Number-one, there’s 15 children in a class versus 18 because we know that age-appropriateness is important. They require more care. There is provisions for students who come at three years old – thank you for reminding me – that are not potty-trained because everybody gets there at a different age. And we factored that into our thinking. And all the teachers who work with the three-year-olds are going to have specific training because a three-year-old and five-year-old are two different beings. They’re not just early childhood, they’re very different type of kids. So, we think we’re really in the right place. I’ve always said that starting college-bound students in tenth grade was way, way too late. We need to start having conversations with our kids, making them feel comfortable and confident about themselves. You saw those pre-K kids sing and dance [inaudible] they weren’t upset. They weren’t nervous. The poise that they have and the self-confidence is one of the biggest skills we need for the workforce of tomorrow. So, I’m thrilled to be here today. I know the superintendents are thrilled. It was one of the hardest secrets for me to keep about where we were going to move the program because I was dying to shout it from the rooftops – Mayor: You showed restraint. [Laughter] Chancellor Fariña: I did. But I’m also thrilled we’re here in District 27 today because I really feel that there are elements of District 27 that need a lot of support. I’ve been talking about the Rockaways for the last year nonstop. And I really believe giving this community this service is going to be a game changer. Mayor: Amen. Thank you, Chancellor. [Applause] As I turn to Deputy Mayor Buery, I want to give him some special credit. He led the conversation about early childhood education from the beginning of the administration, and the original vision, of course, was pre-K. And we weren’t sure when we started, could we keep to the timeline we set? Could we reach as far as we hoped to? We didn’t know until we actually went down the road. But as pre-K consolidated, it was Richard Buery who started to say we need to think about the ways we can go farther. And his work really led us to today. Deputy Mayor Richard Buery. [Applause] Deputy Mayor Richard Buery: Thank you. Thank you so much, Mr. Mayor. I just want to say first of all, that was the most adorable thing I’ve seen in my [inaudible]. So, if we could get the kids out – Mayor: Yeah, right. Deputy Mayor Buery: An encore. I really want to thank the Mayor and the Chancellor for their leadership in bringing this to fruition. I – you know, I remember, most of children did preschool starting at three years old, full-day programs. I remember one of the hardest decisions you can make, where to send your children. For my wife and I it was critical, first and foremost, from a childcare perspective because we both worked and we needed somewhere for our kids to be. But also it was critical because we knew that in preschool children can begin to develop those social skills, the emotional skills, the pre-literacy and numeracy skills, the fine and gross motor skills, all those things that the Chancellor was talking about that help young people to develop and succeed and grow in early childhood. And I’m so lucky that my family and I had the financial means to do that for our children at that age. And ultimately, we know that nationwide families with means are more likely to enroll their children in programs for three- and four-year-olds for the obvious reasons. And we know that those differential investments are one of the biggest drivers of the achievement gap. And so ultimately, today, the announcement that the Mayor and the Chancellor are making and the investment we’re making is really about the long-term well-being of our city because it means that those children have a head start in their development and their education. And for all the benefits that we talk about that you get from a full-day pre-Kindergarten program, the research is equally clear that two years of pre-K have a tremendously greater impact on the well-being of children. So, we’re really excited and we’re looking forward to continuing to grow our system into making sure that we continue to build excellence and equity for all the children of New York City. Thank you. Mayor: Thank you very, very much. [Applause] Now an expert on early childhood education and she handled it with two kids at once, so she really knows what the challenge that parents face are, and thank you for all your support on everything we’re doing in early childhood education. Borough President Melinda Katz – [Applause] [...] Now, pre-K worked in large measure because we had great support in the State legislature and we’re going to depend on that support going forward. And it really – people stood up and said this is something that our children deserved and they got it done. And one of the strong voices for pre-K who helped us get it in the first place and is going to help us going forward, State Senator James Sanders. [Applause] [...] Many – thank you, Senator. Senator, many people questions the sanity of the title, 3-K, but some thought it was a very moving title so, thank you for noting that. Finally, wanted you to hear from a member of the City Council who has been really in the forefront with us on so much of what this administration has done. And everything we have done to change our schools has been a collaborative effort with the City Council both on the big picture on the policy but also on the work in every district. And I know the Councilman feels it because he’s a public servant but I know he’s also an expert on early childhood education in his life. Council Member Donovan Richards. [Applause] [...] The conclusion I take from that story is that the Councilman needs to work on his debating skills. [Laughter] Mayor: Okay. We are going to take questions on this announcement and obviously any other education topics and then we will take questions on other matters. Anything on this announcement or on education. Go ahead. Question: Can you just clarify – I know there was a question of needing $700 million to make this not universal in the sense that it’s just for high need districts but truly universal. I know we are not quite in budget season in Albany yet but if you could give an update on the work going into that. And also if you could just speak a little bit about – obviously UPK was always going to be universal – 3-K is directed to high-need districts. There is two ideologies in the world of early childhood education about where resources should be committed – if you could just talk about why you decided to focus on low, higher need districts while UPK focuses on everyone. Mayor: So I think that’s, I appreciate the question but I think there is a misunderstanding of some of what we are trying to do here so I want to restate and my colleagues will obviously jump in. 3-K will be universal. It is the exact same theory that governed pre-K. We believe it should be for every child of every background of every income level. We believe it’s important for the city that everyone get the same start. We think – and I’ve talked to parents, I always say this – it doesn’t matter if I talk to a parent of lower income or a parent that who is middle class or upper middle class, the enthusiasm around pre-K is exactly the same. What it is doing for their child, what it allows them to do with their time and their schedule – the fact that they are saving a huge amount of money. Everyone feels that and everyone that I’ve talked to understands that it is good every child to get a strong start. So that’s where we are going on 3-K. The reason 3-K is not being launched on the same two-year time frame was we did not have the infrastructure to do it. I mentioned with pre-K we had 20,000 kids in full-day pre-K, we had a history of pre-K in our public schools, it was still a race to the finish over those two years to get it all up and running in time. But we had a lot more foundation to work with. This one is going to take a lot more work and needs a more purposeful build out. And yes, we have to put together the resources. We chose districts for a variety of reasons so to say it’s simply high needs districts, I think is missing the totality of what we are doing. We wanted all boroughs to be represented – so obviously all of Staten Island will be getting 3-K for an example. We wanted to make sure there was space. So, a key issue in the decision around the districts was which districts had the most space available now because we know space is going to be one of the biggest challenges with 3-K – even more as I said than pre-K. And we looked at other factors in terms of the districts needs and what was happening with their programing and where we thought it would have the biggest impact. But, this timeline we are on is a very aggressive timeline – four years to go from something that did not exist anywhere in New York City public schools to something that will be universal is a very aggressive timeline. The money for these eight districts total – the two already and the six new – will come exclusively from the City budget. That is the plan. When we top out with the eight districts fully operational, that will be somewhere in the neighborhood $180 million. And that is already being planned in our budget process. The additional resources will be necessary to reach the other 24 districts. And that’s where we will be obviously putting a lot of time and energy into that over the coming years but we don’t need that right away. Because we are accounting for this growth pattern going up to eight districts in our own budget process. Question: [Inaudible] believe the issue of space. Districts 24 and 30 here in Queens, they are the most overcrowded in the city. Your plan for pre-K includes building a space – center on Park which violates, could violate other rules. What is your plan for opening up 3-K and adding even more students to districts that are already at 150 percent compactly? Mayor: So, first of all and again I’ll keep answering questions and my colleagues will jump in as they see things they want to add. We didn’t violate any rule in the way we handled that space. That is based on law and we had to take action to get the legal right to do that and people can talk about the specifics of that. But it was done in the clear light of day and there were other factors added to address the facts that we needed that space. But, so first, that is part of why we are choosing districts where we do have space as the beginning for 3-K. Second we need this to be universal – the answer we have more of a timeline here which helps, so the answer is to use the tools that we found work – to maximize the creation of early childhood centers which can serve a number of schools in an area and also to include public school development in other development that is happening. And you see that more and more around the city where housing is developed and the first few stories are a school for an example. There is so much development happening including in some of the most overcrowded districts – that’s something that we now are really leaning into. And we are able to put serious resources into that which make it appealing to folks who are doing development. Does anyone want to add to that? Question: [Inaudible] according to the pre-K center you plan to build behind the Hall of Science – Mayor: Right. Question: [Inaudible] Mayor: Yes. Question: [Inaudible] Mayor: Right, I’m still saying, anytime we build something, if there is a legal issue we have to address the legal issue and we have to compensate accordingly. Go ahead. Queens Borough President Melina Katz: So in response to the issue of the Hall of Science – it’s about 300 seats that are being scheduled to go on the Hall of Science parking lot. That Alienation Bill has been passed up in Albany – it was due to be sent over to the Governor if I’m not mistaken today or yesterday or tomorrow around now. So it did go through the alienation that was necessary – you know that was one of my biggest concerns at the time that the law was followed. And I just want to add one more thing if I can. You know, I was extremely concerned about 3-K coming into the public school system when I heard about it. And I will tell you that the comfort level that I have found on the fact that it is going to have a process, that it will take a few years in order to go to the entire city of New York – that it started with pilot districts. I think that shows an enormous amount of thought that went into this process. Queens is the most overcrowded. And we have spent an enormous amount of time and energy with the Department of Education with Richard Buery, with Josh Wallack. Going through spaces that could be used for Pre-K other than public schools like churches, synagogues, civic associations, youth centers. So I think that is an important dynamic to understand. Which is right 4-K was already in place. Queens was overcrowded already but the fact that a lot of the non-for-profits have taken in the Universal Pre-K has been extremely helpful. And the fact this is going to be balanced over a few years will give at least the borough from my perspective, but the city and opportunity to accommodate. I think for those new people. Deputy Mayor Buery: I just want to add to that, while we are on the topic. I just want to thank the borough president in particular; Borough President Katz and many of your colleagues around the city who have been a critical partner with us in resolving these issues, particularly with how we engage non-public school spaces. A big part of this puzzle is not only public schools but community partners, community-based organizations. They are a big of the Pre-K for four-year-old program and they will similarly be a part of the 3-K program so there’s another way we engage space and folks like President Katz have been very helpful, not only managing the legal issues surrounding a particular cases like the Hall of Science but going around us in the neighborhoods and saying here’s a non-profit or here is a church or synagogue or another institution that might be able to host and really brokering those partnerships. So that’s one of the ways in which our other partners in government have been extraordinarily helpful Mayor: Thank you. Go ahead. Question: On the money, I still don’t understand this $180 million. Can you be more expansive? Is that a startup cost for these eight districts which includes all sorts of construction? What is the ongoing cost? And talk about where you are going to get the money for the full universal program. Mayor: Sure. This is the expense budget cost – that estimates about $180 million. It does not include capital costs but again these are districts where overwhelmingly we do have space available right now. And Josh Wallack, our Deputy Chancellor can speak to the details of that but this is about the day to day operating costs for 3-K for all in those eight districts. On the additional money, the initial estimate is $700 million to reach the rest of the city. That is something we are going to have to work for with federal and state funding. Now that money will not be ultimately needed until 2021. So I want to remind everyone that the world can change a lot between now and 2021. There are a series of elections, 2018 and 2020. That could change the complexions of the governments in Albany and in Washington. But, even with the existing alignment that we have in Albany, we got the funding for pre-K because there was a massive popular demand for it. There is no question in my mind. It was front and center in everything I talked about in 2013. Going into 2014 there was tremendous momentum and energy among parents in particular demanding it. I think that same dynamic will play out in Albany for sure going forward. But the money will not be needed until we get to that point. Question: [Inaudible] Mayor: Per year, per year. It ramps up. Go ahead. Deputy Chancellor for Early Childhood Education and Student Enrollment Josh Wallack: Sorry. So yes that is an annual number. And what we did – Mayor: When it get to eight districts. Deputy Chancellor Wallack: Yes that’s correct. And what we did to get to that number, so that’s the annual operating cost for those eight districts to serve the number of three-year-olds that we anticipate will take advantage of that and the number of three-year-olds in those districts. And the way we arrived at that number is by looking back at our experience with pre-K for four-year-olds. And looking at the cost of operating those programs in district schools and in partnership with our community based organizations and then applying that to the three-year-olds that we see in those districts. So we believe we have a very accurate cost model. Mayor: And this year is $36 million. Is that right? Deputy Chancellor Wallack: That’s right. Mayor: Right so for the two districts operational now its $36 million. Question: [Inaudible] 100 or so. Mayor: No it goes up to approximately $180 when you have all eight online. So just, you know its basic progression. So it’s $36 million right now for two districts – they will build out a little bit more, those two districts, in the next school year. When we get all eight districts fully operational – the annual expense budget cost to the city will be $180 million. Please. New York State Senator James Sanders: Mr. Mayor. I can attest that without your efforts we would not have Universal Pre-K. I can attest from Albany that you made – you made it the issue of the day. That this was the issue was on everyone’s tongue. Whether they were for it or against it they had to speak of it. What this also does is create a type of people who want the program. That once one district understands how good it is, they are going to call their representatives and say excuse me, we are as good as, if not better than and therefore we want it in our district also. And you let these thousands of people call their elected officials and I assure you that, up in Albany, we too will see the light. And I suspect the city will do well. Mayor: I like you message of optimism. Chancellor Fariña: And this is more than just a New York City effort. I received this year alone, requests from all over the country of whether we would come. I don’t even want to know – Josh and Richard, how many places you’ve gone. But superintendents have called – can we talk about how we got this done. I just went to speak at a convention in Saratoga and this was the question that every superintendent was asking me – how did you get that done, we need it in our community. And I can’t say enough about this being an investment. It is an investment because for many of our parents, the gap starts out of the womb. Exactly right. And we need to stop the gap sooner so it doesn’t get wider later. And this to me, is like, again a no brainer. And I also think the Mayor is underestimating what it cost for childcare. I will tell, on some personal experience with my grandchildren, it was closer to $25,000 a year for childcare. So if we are able to do that in a setting where the kids are being instructed, where their parents are being supported, where people can go back to work and raise the economic part of their family. It is a win-win. So I think this is a pilot – I mean, one of the other reasons I’m thrilled we are starting it slower is that one of the things we want to make sure is that we have the right teachers. Not all teachers can work with three-year-olds. And being able to retrain teachers – and also getting universities in board, there are so many layers to this. We had to convince universities to go back to training early childhood teachers which many of them had stopped doing for many years because there was no market for it. So this is a multi-layered approach. It requires a tremendous amount of heavy lifting but just from the results we are seeing in the first two districts and I, like I said, I can’t tell you how thrilled I am about the districts we are working with this year – because the need is not always economic. There are all kinds of needs and in certain parts of the city are kids in temporary housing and they need this more than other kids, or kids in communities that were ravaged by Sandy who need now to say we respect you. So there are a lot of reasons for what we are doing and where we are doing it and you know again, if we make this work and it’s a pilot not only will New York State want to fund it but the whole United States will see this as a God given right. Mayor: Amen. Yes? Question: [Inaudible] right now this is all City money but you’re saying in 2021 you’ll need federal and State money? Mayor: Federal or State, or it could be a combination obviously, but yes. Question: [Inaudible] Mayor: Everything up through 2020 we can handle with City resources per our budget projections. So that will get us through eight districts, now remember there’s 32 school districts in New York City and the amazing thing is any one of our 32 school districts is the size of the whole district in a lot of cities in America right, we have a huge, huge system. We will get to a quarter of our districts under our own steam with our own resources by September 2020. To take that last big jump, and it is a big jump, all that preparation you just heard about, getting the space ready, getting the teaching corps ready, everything it’s going to take, it’s going to be its own Marshall Plan to make this happen, it’s going to take a lot, a lot of work. We will need the additional resources. But we believe, one – I’m strongly betting that you will see some changes up ahead in the federal government and in Albany, but two – to the point Senator Sanders made the demand level is going to go through the roof. Parents are already talking about when will they get 3-K, parents are planning on the day when these kinds of things are going to be available. That demand is going to be felt particularly sharply in Albany. Let me just get anyone who hasn’t gone. Question: Just, Mr. Mayor, I’m wondering whether or not you can tell us what the raw numbers are of kids you’ll serve in the first phase verses the end. What do you spend – Mayor: Let me have Deputy Chancellor Wallack speak to that. Deputy Chancellor Wallack: So, this year in the two new districts that we added we’re serving about 1,500 kids total. By the time we finish with these eight districts we’ll be serving about 15,000 three-year-olds all told. Mayor: Right, so the total when we get absolutely universal, you know, pre-K is up close to 70,000. We think 3-K will be somewhat less just because some parents are not going to be ready to have their kids in a school setting earlier, although what you heard from Donovan and what you saw up there in the Mommy and Me classroom suggest there’s going to be plenty of parents who are ready. So we think 60,000 or maybe a little more – Deputy Chancellor Wallack: That’s right. Mayor: – is going to be top out number when we get it all done. Did you have a follow up? Question: Sure. Not on the numbers but I’m just wondering whether the Chancellor thinks that maybe this early socialization will help ameliorate the bullying problem later on. Chancellor Fariña: I can’t see why not, I mean I don’t have statists yet but if you just saw the group this morning they were resolving their issues about who was going to share a particular Lego. And it is where it starts, I mean we – there’s a famous poem that says, “Everything I learned about life I learned in kindergarten.” So now we can say everything we learned about life we learned as three-year-olds. And I do think it’s really, really important to start socialization skills consciously younger and younger. And I think you can’t do that in isolation. You can’t do it if you’re at home watching a TV. So yes I do think so, and we will certainly be – when in our pilot we’re looking at that as one of the consequences in terms of behavior. Mayor: And I just want to follow on that. Look there’s another crucial tie in here, there’s the bullying piece and I agree entirely with the Chancellor, I think the more kids are taught to work together and obviously to be around different kinds of kids the better chance we have going forward that they will keep that positive spirit. There’s also the mental health question. We are training all of our pre-K professionals and 3-K professionals to be aware of signs of mental health issues, to be able to engage mental health professionals, to reach kids early, to work with parents early. The whole history of mental health in this city, in this country is untreated problems that were ignored, that were visible in so many cases in youth that had they been addressed in youth the outcomes and lives would have been entirely different. So, we’re going to be seeing kids early now and we’re going to have the training and capacity to address an issue if it comes up. And I think that’s going to affect some of what you see later on for sure. Yes, way back. Chancellor Fariña: And I just want to add that one of the things that we’ve been able to do early identification now with four-year-olds, and we’re doing it to the two districts now with three-year-olds is kids with special needs. If you can start thinking about a child who has a speech issue, and I know that’s a particular concern to some of our superintendents, and get the intervention strategies younger, our rate of success is going to be much higher. So if a child needs speech, if they need OT, if they need other kinds of special services for IEPs we think the younger we get started with the child the more likely we’ll be successful. So this has a whole range of benefits. Mayor: Amen. Way back. Question: We’ve talked about this before Mr. Mayor about the possibility of an influx of families from Puerto Rico. I was just wondering – this number, the seats, you’re taking that into consideration. I know we’re getting ahead of ourselves but there’s a lot of talk – Mayor: Sure. Question: [Inaudible] Mayor: Yeah, I’ll just speak broadly and then the Chancellor or anyone else who wants to add. Look, we’re fully prepared, I’m not going to be surprised if we see a number of families come up and join our school system. Look, this school system has a lot of capacity, a lot of strength to say the least and we would be ready to handle any additional families who come up. That’s the bottom line. We’re going to work on ways to help families through the transition if they’re coming in in the middle of the school year. But let’s face it, this school system for generations has been open to all. Whoever shows up we have a mandate to serve and we’ll be able to do that with children coming up from Puerto Rico as well. Chancellor Fariña: We have put together already special protocols, we sent a letter home to every single principal, we’ve asked principals to send letters home in communities where we think there will be influx. Our anticipation is we have some people in Puerto Rico now investigating some of the issues that we think will come up. We don’t expect a big influx until after Thanksgiving because there’s still not regularly scheduled flights in and out. We are also asking principals to let us know ahead of time, and our enrollment offices already prepared, where do you have space and then in places where it may cause more overcrowding is there another place that might be nearby. The other thing, and this was a big ah-ha for principals, if certain schools get more than what we anticipated through the October 31st closing of registers, money will be allotted to those schools to be able to service those children. And understanding that in many cases there may be extra support needed for families and you know, trauma and whatever else they’re coming with. So we’re prepared, we just don’t have a real good estimation of how many might be coming. Mayor: And let me just add before your follow up, and this is a moral obligation. This is a moral obligation for the City of New York to help the people of Puerto Rico in their hour of need. These children, if they don’t get to a school that can be there for them they’re not going to get a year of education. I mean think about what that means, these are fellow Americans and we as New Yorkers feel a particular bond with the Puerto Rican people. We’re not going to see a generation of Puerto Rican children miss their education. So, whatever we can do to help we’ll be ready to do. Go ahead, your follow up. Question: [Question in Spanish] Chancellor Fariña: [Chancellor Fariña speaks in Spanish] Mayor: Marcia. Question: [Inaudible] get some more details, Chancellor, about what you’re hearing on the ground from the people you have in Puerto Rico. What districts you think the kids might be coming into and what specific programs you’re trying to come up with the deal with people who may not have English as a special language. Chancellor Fariña: Well I think certainly, as I spoke to the superintendents, that if they have inkling, because many – I was at a town hall meeting last night and you know, one of the principals said we’re already hearing from our community that their cousins are coming. So we need to do that kind of a survey and that’s number one. What we don’t really have a good handle on is when they’ll be coming. So also will these parents – will these be kids who then need bilingual programs, are these kids who are going to want dual-language programs, are these kids who are going to need – my feeling is many of them will need guidance support at least in the beginning, their families will. So we’re prepared, I think to me the beauty of being a New Yorker is that I cannot tell you how many principals emailed me and said count me in. What I’m also hearing from the New York State Commissioner that a big influx is actually going upstate New York. For any number – again family, where your family is, maybe where the jobs are. So I think this is something we’re prepared, we will put whatever we need to as a resource but until – like I said my feeling is by November 1st or so we’ll have much better idea. Question: [Inaudible] the City has done just generally to deal with the families who may come here who may need housing, they may need other – Mayor: Sure. Question: – that the City can provide. Like is there a budget? You know, what are you doing? Mayor: Marcia look, we’re here to help the Puerto Rican people. Right now we’re got 160 New York City employees on the ground in Puerto Rico dealing with what is still an emergency situation. The vast majority of the island doesn’t have electricity, there’s still people struggling to get food and water and the basic necessities. That’s job one. And as the Chancellor said the vast majority of Puerto Ricans who may be looking to locate in the short term can’t even get out now. So the first thing to do is to keep our support levels high for people on the ground there, keep sending those donations down, the resources we’re sending down to help the people of Puerto Rico. By the way, NYPD, FDNY are doing an outstanding job with those drives to get the supplies that people in Puerto Rico need. We want to keep those going strong. But over the next few months, and I think the Chancellor’s right it will probably go well into November before we see any significant number of families coming up, look we’re going to do everything we can to support them and accommodate them starting with our public schools. We are built to handle whatever happens in our schools. We’re built to support whatever children show up each year. We will do that. You’ve heard the initial thinking, we are going to make sure that schools that have capacity are ready, if there’s some schools that are already overcrowded we’ll move kids to places nearby that can work. But let’s face it, we have – you’re talking about, as you said, kids who are Spanish-speaking, we have a huge number of Spanish-speaking staff in our school system, this is an area where we’re really going to be ready to help them. In terms of other needs our public hospital system, same thing, we take all comers. We’ll be ready to help if people up here with particular health needs, we’ll work with Puerto Rican health officials to make sure information travels with them so that families get the prescriptions they need etcetera. Housing is a challenge in this city for everyone. My strong assumption is if families are coming up they’re going to stay with other family members or other friends because that’s the only realistic option there is at this point. And I think there’s a lot of Puerto Rican New Yorkers who want their family members to come up and stay with them. But that’s also true in other parts of the country. There’s obviously very big Puerto Rican communities all over the country, most notably Florida. So, those that choose to leave the island will, I think, go to different parts of the country where they have family. Their family will by and large be the people who take them in. Our job will be to be there for them when it comes to schools for their kids, health care needs, excreta. Chancellor Fariña: And I – Question: [Inaudible] Mayor: Hold on, I’ll come back to you Marcia. Go ahead. Chancellor Fariña: And I just want to add one thing. We’re also – Mayor: The Chancellor and then you. Chancellor Fariña: We’re also anticipating that many students will be sent here by their families to be with family members but not with their parents. Mayor: Right. Chancellor Fariña: So we’re training guidance counselors about how to deal with that for maybe students who have never been to this country, but they’re going to be living with aunts, uncles, and so we have made a big list of what we anticipate and so we’re prepared. We did some of this when Katrina hit years ago and we had an influx of families from then. And we expect to go through some of the same protocols. Mayor: I’ll come back Marcia, just hang on a second. Question: Thank you. So two things for Mayor de Blasio, number one, obviously New York State has a commitment to Puerto Rico, an ongoing commitment that you have just taken. This morning President Trump tweeted that FEMA cannot be in Puerto Rico for the long-haul. He’s not said that about – Mayor: Yeah. Let me do this. I – no, no I’m going to come back to you. I want to just do everything else education. You will be the first question, I will come right back to you on the – what the President said about, but just anything else on education related? Go ahead. Question: I was wondering if you or the Chancellor had any response to the SUNY board of trustees passing this regulation that New York City’s biggest charter network will be able to create their own in-house teacher certification programs. The union is suing today and your colleagues at State are very critical. Mayor: I’ll have the Chancellor begin that. Chancellor Fariña: I believe certification of teachers is done for a reason, and I think that being able to say that you were held to a certain standard is important. And I think that we’re very lucky in New York that certainly in the last few years we’ve had some of the highest rated retention of teachers. So we’re very comfortable that we will be able to keep moving teachers that are certified into all our schools and obviously if other communities feel differently. Mayor: I think that’s right. We, look – we, as many times we do our best to keep our own high standards even when the State government goes in the different direction. So we are comfortable with the approach we’re taking. We’re going to work with the charter schools no matter what. But as I’ve said many times, our first focus is on the 90 percent-plus of our kids who are in the traditional public schools, you know, living by the standards that we set. Willie? Question: On the 3-K again, could you talk about the lessons from the rollout of Universal Pre-K, in particular mistakes that were made that you want to not – that you want to learn from, that you won’t make this time. Mayor: Yes, I often talk about when we first came up with the plan, which was in September and October of 2012 – I announced the pre-K vision on October 4th, 2012 – and we thought about a lot of the factors. We actually were pretty much right about the number of students. We were right that there would be a really energetic response from teachers who wanted to do this work. There were a lot of things we were right about. We were totally wrong in our assumptions about space, and it was one of those real shocks to the system when we got in the door in the beginning of 2014 on a very, very tight timeframe and had to stare down the barrel of that space reality. And I would say that Richard Buery and Josh Wallack, well Josh still has his hair. Richard if he had hair, would’ve lost it. It was absolutely a race to the finish line both years for September of ’14 and September of ’15 to figure out how we could put together the space. And they did it, and I give them tremendous credit, and it was a full court press, and all City agencies were involved. That’s part of why we adjusted the timeline here. We were very sober about the space reality, and we knew – as it was mentioned before – there are some really overcrowded districts that are going to be a particular challenge. So I would say the mistake which we addressed ultimately, but it was by the skin of our teeth – the mistake the first time was to underestimate the space challenge. This time we are very clear one of the biggest factors in where we put 3-K for All is where space is available in the near term. And then the buildout, we have a lot of work to do to get the space ready. And this has been a discussion from the moment we announced this vision with the School Construction Authority of what combination of features is going to get us there between the existing schools we’ll work with, public schools, community based organizations, religious schools, charter schools – all of that, but also where we’re going to have to build the early childhood education centers, and that timeline gave us enough time to put those pieces in place. So that’s one of the biggest changes we made. Yes? Question: I just wanted to go back to Staten Island. You’ve mentioned that you wanted to have it in every borough. Is that the main reason why this district was chosen? If there were others, can you explain them? I’m curious because it has one of the lowest poverty rates, and there’s other districts that – Mayor: That’s why I – Question: [Inaudible] Mayor: Sure, as I said, I don’t want there to be a misunderstanding of what we’re doing here. And I’ll start, and if Richard or Josh want to add in. This is not changing the model. The model is universal, and we had the option – early on, again October 4, 2012 I announced the vision. We had the option – we talked long and hard about whether we, you know, realistically should just try to do pre-K for the highest need kids; or the highest need districts; whether a universal vision was reachable; whether it was the right priority. I came to the very firm decisions that the universal approach was the only one that made sense and would have the most fundamental impact on the future of this city, and we are repeating that again with 3-K. The difference with 3-K is it is a much bigger effort, much tougher effort, and needs to be built out not over two years but over four years, and so when we thought about how to build out some very practical factors came into play – as I said, where is space now versus the places that will be space built for them or identified. And yes, we thought about need and that was a factor, but it wasn’t the only factor. We wanted to create a universal system, and you can’t build a universal system if you’re not reaching all five boroughs as early as possible. So I lot of factors went into it, but we are choosing districts that have different levels of need, different – generally districts that do have space obviously – different levels of need, and we really believe in having a five borough plan from the beginning. Chancellor Fariña: I’d like to add to this. Mayor: Please. Chancellor Fariña: I want to be clear that every borough – but particularly Staten Island stands alone – has when we talk about equity has inequity. When you look at District 27 you have very, very high level of richness in certain parts of District 27, and then you have places like Rockaway. You have in Staten Island, two ends of the island. One that is not as equitable as the other. So I think, the 3-K gives us an opportunity to bring equity even to all the boroughs or all the districts because there isn’t a district that doesn’t have a section of need. So other than, as the Mayor said, that we want universal, this is an opportunity for us also in places where there is a little bit more inequity geographically within the same district where we can level the playing field. Mayor: Let me just add to that before turning to my colleagues. So this district, District 27 – Ozone Park but also Broad Channel, Howard Beach, and the Rockaways. District – Chancellor Fariña: Four? Mayor: I’m sorry, no, I was going to go to 29 next. District 29 includes a variety of communities – Cambria Heights, Hollis, Laurelton, Queens Village, Springfield Gardens, St. Albans, you know communities that have a very strong middle class core to them in addition to some areas of need. And, you know, Staten Island as the chancellor said – a variety of different types of communities. So we are trying to signal very, very clearly this is going to be a universal program. We want it for every kind of child. Deputy Mayor Buery: I just want to reiterate one point, just following up on what the Mayor said. It’s important to remember the benefits of pre-K come to all children across a variety of income swaths, so even though lower income children have higher benefits that doesn’t mean that working class and middle class children don’t benefit as well, and ultimately because we’re trying to have excellent outcomes for the entire school system, having all children better prepared is to the benefit of the entire system. So I just think it’s important to reiterate that. Of course you want to make sure these services get to highest need students, and in the universal system they get to do that. But there are all sorts of benefits to those low income students to having a diverse system, and so that’s what we’re trying to accomplish in our roll out. Mayor: So others on education? Were you – we’ll come around on the FEMA question. Question: Can you talk about the $180 million? Obviously, the City is not spending that now. Where is that going to come from, and then secondly the city is serving three-year-olds, right? In ACS programs? So can you talk a little bit about the work that’s being done to bring that kind of in line with the Pre-K model? Mayor: Sure, and I’ll turn to Richard and Josh on the second part. But on the first part it is from our point of view, a big change to bring kids into a universal 3-K model. The efforts under ACS have been very good and very helpful to a lot of families, but this is now moving to a more academic model, which they can talk about and a more rigorous model. The money – the $180 million – we are making it a budget priority first of all. So it will go to the head of the line. Second, we are confident now having seen four years of our savings plan and four years of what’s happened with our healthcare savings in terms of our City employees in particular that we can find that $180 million by the time we ramp up to the year 2020 going into 2021. So that’s based on looking ahead in our budget process, looking at where things stand based on everything we know today. Believing that we’ll be able to sustain those savings, and that will be the underlying source of revenue that we can bring to bear here. Deputy Chancellor Wallack: Lorelei can talk about the work. Deputy Commissioner for Early Care and Education Lorelei Vargas, ACS:So ACS has partnered really closely with the Department of Education to create as smooth a transition essentially building on the early learn system that we have here in the city, which is a high quality system and adding these additional seats to grow the 3-K program. So there have been a lot of meetings, a lot of discussion, a lot of embedding staff between the two systems to learn from each other. We at ACS certainly don’t feel we have all the answers, and the DOE has also been very open to learning. So we’re learning from each other to essentially create the best system. Deputy Chancellor Wallack: Yes, I would just add that this is again in some ways a repetition of the story of Pre-K For All where we came in and built on a very strong base of work that had been done in district schools but also in community based organizations that had been providing high quality early care and education in our neighborhoods for decades under the auspices of the Administration for Children’s Services and the Department of Education, and what we mean to do here is bring together the best of those systems and create one high quality 3-K experience for every three-year-old in New York City, and that’s what we’re – that’s what we’ve set about doing, and that’s what we got underway in two districts, and we’re going to take off from there. Mayor: Yes? Question: On the ATR issue, I just wanted to ask what would you say in response to concerns that the schools with the most openings at this point are the lower performing schools, and you’re taking a pool of teachers that people have concerns about the effectiveness of some of these teachers and just concerns that the lower performing schools are going to get teachers of, I guess, questionable effectiveness? Mayor: Well, the Chancellor will speak to some of this, and I think she is an exemplar of someone who cares deeply to make sure our children get high quality teaching everywhere. I’m going to speak to the overall facts. First of all, there are people in the ATR pool who are very good teachers and are there because a school closed, a school merged, or some other extenuating circumstance. There are also people we believed from the beginning shouldn’t be in the teaching profession. About 1,900 of them have been moved out of the teaching profession in this city over the last four years, which is a more aggressive rate than what happened under the previous administration. We’ve gotten over 300 folks who are in the ATR pool out of that pool all together. We’re going to continue to reduce that pool over the next year steadily, but we believe that there is now a real process in place to find the right placement for someone in that ATR pool with principals who are ready to take the talented folks and apply them best, and if they find in some cases someone is not up to the challenge, they’re ready to act on that and we can work to move that person out of the system. Go ahead, Chancellor. Chancellor Fariña: Actually, it’s exactly what the Mayor just said. We’re not putting people who have a record of not behaving in any school. We are not putting them in Renewal Schools. We are also very clearly asking everyone to be vetted by the principal and then also if the principal needs help once the person arrives, and they’re not the right fit for the school, we will be assisting that principal in making sure that that teacher doesn’t stay in that building. But I want to be clear once again that many schools have thanked us for the people we’ve sent them or they’ve interviewed. We’ve had interviews where principals could come and interview people in the ATR pool, and they have been hired at those pools. So we need to be very careful when we start labeling people. They’re not all the same type. They’re not all there for the same reason, but right now whatever openings are left after October 15th – because up until now principals had free reign to hire their own teachers through multiple measures – it’s only after October 15th when there’s still a vacancy that we feel we need to have a person in that classroom. And we’ll work with the principals on this. Mayor: Go ahead. Question: One more time, universal 3-K, when all is said and done – 60,000 you said? 60,000? Mayor: Yes, so Pre-K is getting up to about 70,000. 3-K, we’re going to say will be around 60,000 total for the city per year. Anything else on education before we move over to other topics? Okay, you go. Question: So two questions for you Mayor de Blasio, first, in regards to President Trump’s tweets, ‘FEMA cannot stay in Puerto Rico for an extended period of time” which is completely a conflict of New York City’s commitment – Mayor: Yes. Question: – to the recovery of that island. The second question is for you Mayor is another completely separate topic and it’s about the Harvey Weinstein investigation. Mayor: Let me do the first one, and I’ll come to the second. I really don’t understand what President Trump’s problem is with the people of Puerto Rico, why he keeps denigrating the people of Puerto Rico, showing a lack of interest in their needs, treating them as different than other Americans, that’s what’s happening here. I used the really clear analogy, there’s almost the exact same population in Puerto Rico as there is in the state of Connecticut, it’s almost 3.5 million people. If the state of Connecticut had 80 percent of its people didn’t have electricity, people were struggling to get food and water every day, people couldn’t move around, their schools, their hospitals were destroyed. The entire American military would be there saving people’s lives, helping them get back on their feet and there’d be an open-ended commitment to that. There wouldn’t – no one in the world would question that. If an entire American state was going through a crisis such as we’ve never seen before, we all would say as Americans give them whatever they need to get back to normal. Why should the standard be different for Puerto Rico? So the President from the beginning has been unwilling to recognize the full extent of the crisis in Puerto Rico and take responsibility for it. How is he talking about pulling out of Puerto Rico when he hasn’t even put in the resources they need there yet? It makes no sense. And I think he’s just trying to avoid blame when he should recognize it’s his responsibility. He wanted the job, it’s his responsibility. People in Puerto Rico need a lot more than they’re getting right now. Why doesn’t he help Puerto Rico get back on its feet and when they’re finally back on their feet that’s the time to talk about when FEMA can come out. Question: [Inaudible] Harvey Weinstein [inaudible] obviously have been monitoring what’s been going on with the Manhattan DA’s Office and the NYPD investigation. So, it has come out, obviously, there was an audio tape in 2015. The Sex Crimes Unit did an operation where a woman made a complaint. There was a subsequent recording. The DA’s Office said it did not prosecute because those detectives did not consult with prosecutors from the Sex Crimes Office. So, then there was a little back and forth, which I’m sure you’re aware of – Mayor: No, I’m actually not familiar with all the details but let – no, no. I’m not – Question: [Inaudible] Mayor: I can tell you right now the answer to your question because I don’t know all the details and I’m not going to talk about something I’m not familiar with the details with, in terms of law enforcement. I can say this – from what little I do know, the NYPD pursued this very vigorously. I don’t know what happened between the DA and the NYPD, and I can’t conjecture. That’s the truth. Okay, way back. Question: Mr. Mayor, can you give us a couple of things that we can expect, you know, if you are given a second term? New items – you released, I think, a 153 of them when you first ran in 2013. Can you give us maybe five today? Mayor: Again, I’m not going to offer you news flashes today. There’s another four weeks before Election Day. We’re going to have a lot more to say in the next four weeks. I can say that the difference between being an incumbent and being someone running for the office is that for four years, we’ve been announcing initiatives that affect people’s lives, and many of which are just beginning and are going to grow and grow and grow. The Equity and Excellence vision for our schools, 3-K, the 100,000 jobs plan – there are a lot of examples of things that are just beginning and are going to build out and have a very big impact. So, I think there’s a lot of material on the table right now, plenty for the people to judge by, but I will also tell you there will be some major announcements in the next four weeks. Question: What can we expect this – Mayor: Again, there’ll be major announcements in the next four weeks. Question: Mr. Mayor, with all due respect, what’s the – Mayor: That was nice of you – Question: Why all the secrecy – Mayor: That was nicer than the debate the other day. [Laughter] Question: Why all the secrecy on the monument commission? What’s – Mayor: The commission is dealing with very sensitive, complex subject matter. They’re beginning their discussions. And it’s clear, there’s going to be a public component. They’re going to seek out the voices of New Yorkers and then come up with, at least, the beginning of a vision of how we move forward as a city universally. So, this is just the beginning of a longer process. Yes? Question: Mayor, do you think it’s appropriate for a District Attorney to accept campaign contributions from criminal defense attorneys? Mayor: Look, I think we need a lot of campaign finance reform. I’m not an expert on that particular topic. I would like to see us move to a public financing system across the board and I’d like to see the repeal of Citizens United but those are big changes that will take a lot of time. But I can’t comment on that narrow question. I just don’t know enough about it. Marcia? Question: Sir, getting back to the Puerto Rico situation. If people come here and they don’t have family, do you have any plans for where they could live? Will they stay in hotels? Will you allot some affordable housing? Something like that? And secondly, it’s [inaudible] is there money that the City has that can help them and how would they – Mayor: Marcia, we do not have that plan and I don’t want to encourage people to come here if they don’t have some family to turn to. I think we have to be really clear about that. This is a city, right now, it’s ready to do anything and everything for people who come here but we are also clear that we have tremendous strains we’re dealing with right now – and housing is our number one. I think what you’re going to see is that people coming out of Puerto Rico – obviously, look, a lot of people are going to choose to stay and rebuild, we know that. But folks who decide they have to leave are going to look at options around the country where their family is. They’re going to look at economic opportunity and the cost of housing like anyone else would. Again, some people, I think, will come here because of their family ties. And they know that we’ll do everything to support them. Other people, I think, are going to Florida because I think there’ll be other opportunities there. But I want to be clear, we can’t do what the federal government does. We have a lot of challenges serving people here. If people come here and they have a place to live, we’re going do, then, everything we can to help them in terms of schools, healthcare, etcetera. Yeah, oh wait, I got you already. Let me get somebody who hasn’t gone. Go ahead. Question: Mr. Mayor, the Department of Justice, looks like they sent a letter to the City basically giving the City about two weeks to prove that you’re in compliance as a sanctuary city or else risk losing the funds. Do you believe you’re in compliance? Mayor: Yes. Question: And if not, are you concerned about – Mayor: We are in compliance. We are fully in compliance with the law. The NYPD deserves the anti-terrorism funding they have gotten from the federal government, and if President Trump stops our funding for the NYPD, we will see the President in court. It’s as simple as that. We are fully in compliance. The Supreme Court under Justice Roberts – in fact, he wrote the decision in 2012 – said that the federal government cannot for political reasons withhold funding of this nature. That was reiterated in another court action recently. We are fully in compliance, and if they want to have a court battle, we are ready for that court battle. Question: Mr. Mayor, Mr. Weinstein has given considerable amounts of political money to various Democrats. Do you know whether your campaign every received any from him and if you didn’t are you relieved? Mayor: It’s deeply troubling what Harvey Weinstein did, and it’s unacceptable and I hope his rapid decline and fall is a message to anyone who would engage in harassment that that’s what’s going to happen to them next. There’s no place for that in our society anymore. The only contribution I ever received from him was in 2001 for $500. It’s an account that obviously has long since closed. My message to everyone who has current accounts with money from Harvey Weinstein is – give that money back, give it to charity, get the hell away from it. No one in their right mind should be keeping contributions from Harvey Weinstein. Question: I don’t know if you made any public comments yet but [inaudible] your reaction to the debate. Many people called it a circus-like atmosphere – Mayor: Yeah, it was not what the people of New York City deserved. It was not structured to be the kind of conversation it should have been. We have serious issues we’re dealing with. It should have been a thoughtful format that allowed for a real discussion of the issues, and it was a lost opportunity. Question: [Inaudible] with that, do you blame the moderators, the venue, or was it just the other candidates? Mayor: With all due respect to the people who put together the debate – they didn’t put it together the right way. If you invite a big crowd of partisans, you either have to create ground rules to really ensure that they keep respectful or don’t invite a big crowd of partisans or have it in a studio. There’s a lot of options. They didn’t do it right. Period. I went to the presidential debate in the primary between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. There were a lot of partisans in the room but it was made very clear from the beginning many, many times by everyone who was running the debate that after the initial applause for the candidates, that only the most minimal response would be tolerated. And that was what happened. There were occasional little moments of applause or reaction but did not stop there from being an intelligent meaningful debate. This wasn’t that and it was done the wrong way and it was a disservice to the people of New York City. Unknown: Last two. Question: Mayor de Blasio, anything on the executive order from President Trump today to make adjustments to Obamacare that would as – according to the administration – provide relief for small businesses. The fact that they went through executive order instead of through Congress. Mayor: Look, I have not seen the executive order. We can tell the Trump administration is trying to destroy Obamacare via executive order. We can see this in many, many ways. They’re not promoting the opportunity to sign up under the Affordable Care Act for health insurance. They’re just trying to destroy something that has served tens of millions of people, and it’s unconscionable. And now I think one thing we know for sure – this was one positive residue of President Trump’s election – a clear majority of the American people believe in the Affordable Care Act and do not want it undermined. So, I wish the President would listen to that majority and again there’s no alternative that’s been offered that would work. So, they should stop trying to destroy the one thing that so many Americans actually depend on for their insurance. Last one. Question: Mayor, we had a story in the news last week about some Council members who were concerned about how quickly homeless families were placed in hotel rooms within their districts. I know that the City’s policy is to give 30 days of notice to local communities regarding a shelter – Mayor: Correct. Question: And that hotel accommodations are considered emergency – an emergency use. But when the City is taking an entire hotel and renting every room in it to house homeless families, how is that fundamentally different than opening a new shelter? Mayor: It really depends on whether something is a temporary action or a long term action. If we – we’re clear – and it was mistake, I think, not to give better notice on shelter openings in the past and we’ve said that and we’ve modified the policy so now it’s 30 days. If something is a permanent shelter, people deserve that notice – the elected officials, the community board, and a chance to really work with us on the kinds of measures we need to take to make the situation as best possible for the community. So, if we are taking on a hotel for ongoing use, we do owe people that notice. If we’re using it on a temporary basis, regardless the number of rooms, if we do not expect to be using it on an ongoing basis, then it qualifies under the category of hotel and we’ll give whatever notice we can but a lot of times it is literally a game time decision, a snap decision about where we can find accommodation for people for a given night and we don’t have an opportunity to give more notice. Question: But if you’re renting out an entire hotel, I mean, isn’t that, A – a different use than what people were expecting perhaps but B – I mean doesn’t that require some kind of headway from the City in terms of the contract involved and [inaudible] – Mayor: You’ll have to ask the folks at Social Services about the details but it’s a very dynamic situation. Every night is different and every time of year is different. We see day-to-day real changes in how many people are in shelter and the weather factors into it. There’s lots of different x-factors. So, there can be times when we need a substantial number of rooms suddenly and then the next night we don’t. So, again, they can – the folks at Social Services can go into the details but if we’re using it on a temporary basis, no matter how many rooms, that’s a temporary use. If we’re going to be using it on an ongoing basis, the community deserves notice. Thanks everyone.
Friday, October 13, 2017 - 5:05pm
Installing solar power at 14 developments; goal is to install 25 megawatts of solar capacity, which would power up to 6,600 households, by 2025 NEW YORK–– The de Blasio Administration today announced the launch of its first large-scale solar program at NYCHA, which will provide low to moderate-income New Yorkers, including public housing residents, access to clean, low-cost energy throughout the city and jobs in the growing solar industry. The Authority has issued its first Request for Proposals, seeking developers to install solar power at 14 developments throughout the five boroughs. NYCHA’s goal is to install 25 megawatts of solar capacity, which would power up to 6,600 households, by 2025. This builds upon the expansion of solar installations in New York, which has quadrupled under the Mayor’s leadership. NYCHA’s solar program will be instrumental in meeting the city’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050. It will also contribute to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Renew300 initiative, whose goal is to install 300MW of renewable energy capacity at federally assisted housing by 2020. “New York’s largest landlord is ready to lead the charge on renewable energy. With this unprecedented investment, the City is reducing its carbon footprint and building more resilient communities for the 400,000 New Yorkers who call NYCHA home. We are fulfilling our commitment to strengthen public housing for years to come,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “NYCHA is an indispensable part of the City’s climate plan as the largest residential landlord,” said NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye. “Today, we are taking an important first step towards putting solar power within reach for thousands of working families, which is essential to achieving NextGeneration NYCHA’s goal of creating safe, clean and connected communities. We’re changing the way we do business to protect future generations and improve quality of life for the 1 in 14 New Yorkers who call NYCHA home.” “NYCHA’s ambitious renewable energy plan is a smart public private partnership that will catalyze economic growth, save taxpayers money, and promote financial self-sufficiency,” said Lynne Patton, HUD Regional Administrator for New York and New Jersey. “Solar power will both lower utility costs and create high-skilled jobs for residents.” “Reaching the City's climate goals requires a dramatic increase in the use of renewable energy, a transition that is well underway,” said Daniel Zarrilli, Senior Director for Climate Policy and Programs and Chief Resilience Officer for the Office of the Mayor. “Today's announcement by NYCHA demonstrates more of the kind of leadership that we need as we continue to pursue the goals of the Paris Agreement and achieve our own greenhouse gas emission reduction targets on the path to building a more sustainable, more resilient, and more equitable city.” “NYCHA is the largest public housing authority in North America and their bold action today has both the vision and scale to truly drive NYC reductions in greenhouse gas emissions,” said Mark Chambers, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. “I applaud NYCHA for their continued climate work and invaluable partnership in creating a more just and sustainable NYC." “Today’s announcement is an exciting step forward in the City’s efforts to expand access to clean, low-cost energy and more green jobs for New Yorkers,” said NYCEDC President and CEO James Patchett. “As a member of the NYC Solar Partnership, NYCEDC has long supported the installation of solar energy across the city, and we congratulate NYCHA in taking this monumental step towards greater sustainability." “I’m glad this solar program is finally happening at NYCHA buildings and that the city is progressing and moving towards renewable energy,” said Miguel Rodriguez, a Lillian Wald Houses resident who has worked in the solar industry through NYCHA’s Green City Force partnership. “This is going to make a huge difference within our communities.” NYCHA is innovating and changing the way it does business as part of its long-term strategic plan NextGeneration NYCHA . Since the release of its Sustainability Agenda last year, NYCHA has been working with government and private sector partners to provide better service for residents, reduce energy and costs, and curb the effects of climate change. This investment also helps NYCHA achieve deeper emission cuts, and supports their progress in the NYC Carbon Challenge, a voluntary effort to reduce emissions by 30 percent or more over 10 years. Supported by Sustainable CUNY of the City University of New York and the consulting firm ICF, NYCHA evaluated more than 2,500 rooftops to determine potential solar capacity, considering factors such as the age and condition of the roof, usable roof space, height, and shading. The Authority also looked at parking lots, where solar canopies could be placed over the parking area. Based on these criteria, NYCHA identified 190 developments for large-scale solar development, which will be grouped into several RFP batches and released over the next 7 years. This first RFP, which includes 14 developments, calls for the installation of two to six megawatts of solar capacity, which is equivalent to powering between 500 and 1,600 households. NYCHA will lease the sites, which include both rooftops and parking lots, for up to 25 years. The solar developer(s) will install, operate and maintain the solar systems and sell the power to low to moderate-income residents throughout the city. NYCHA is committed to providing job opportunities to its residents, and this RFP provides an opportunity to build career pathways in a growing industry. The Authority included workforce development as a key factor for selecting solar developers. “Sustainable CUNY of the City University of New York is proud to have partnered with NYCHA to develop a program that is specifically tailored to provide access to solar, as well as job opportunities for New York’s low- and moderate-income renters,” said Tria Case, University Director of Sustainability at CUNY and lead of the NYC Solar Partnership. "Having led the effort since 2006 to unlock the solar market through the NYC Solar Partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and the NYC Economic Development Corporation, CUNY’s NYC solar ombudsmen are pleased to be providing the technical analysis and guidance for NYCHA’s solar program." “Community shared solar is booming across the United States precisely because it can be tailored to meet the needs and priorities of different areas and customer demographics, whether in dense urban housing projects or remote small towns,” said Tanuj Deora, Executive Vice President and Chief Content Officer of the Smart Electric Power Alliance. “NYCHA’s ambitious program also demonstrates the range of benefits a well-designed community solar program can provide, from economic development and job training, to cost savings for low- and middle-income families. Hopefully, this program will inspire other communities to see solar as a cost-effective, positive option, and well within their reach.” “Installing solar power at NYCHA developments will help us reduce pollution and save money,” said Council Member Costa Constantinides, Chair of the Environmental Protection Committee. “By leasing rooftops and parking lots to developers to maintain solar power systems, we’re moving closer towards our goal of reducing our city’s emissions 80% by 2050. These types of public-private partnerships will help our city remain a global leader on sustainability and environmental protection.” “I applaud NYCHA for launching this solar power initiative, which will create jobs for residents in a growing solar industry,” said Council Member Ritchie Torres, Chair of the Committee on Public Housing. “These solar panels will help reduce the carbon footprint of public housing residents and fits with New York City’s ambitious renewable energy goals.” Proposals are due January 8th, 2018, and NYCHA expects to select developers during the first quarter of 2018. The first solar installations are expected by 2019 in the following developments: * Queensbridge North * Queensbridge South * Taylor Street-Wythe Avenue * Pomonok * Beach 41st Street-Beach Channel Drive * Carleton Manor * Coney Island Site 1B * Throggs Neck Addition * New Lane Area * South Beach * Taft * Polo Grounds Towers * Wyckoff Gardens * Gowanus
Thursday, October 12, 2017 - 5:05pm
3-K expanding to six additional districts across all five boroughs NEW YORK— Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña today announced the expansion of 3-K for All to six more community school districts across all five boroughs. 3-K for All builds on the success of Pre-K for All, and will offer free, full-day, high-quality early childhood education for every New York City three-year-old. Currently, the City has introduced 3-K for All in District 7 (South Bronx) and District 23 (Brownsville). Starting in the 2018-19 school year, the City will expand to two additional school districts each year. These districts include: * 2018-19: District 4 (East Harlem) and District 27 (Broad Channel, Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Rockaways). * 2019-20: District 9 (Grand Concourse, Highbridge, Morrisania) and District 31 (Staten Island). * 2020-21: District 19 (East New York) and District 29 (Cambria Heights, Hollis, Laurelton, Queens Village, Springfield Gardens, St. Albans). Each pair of districts will have a two-year expansion, offering universal access in the second year. In order to achieve the vision of 3-K for All citywide, the City will need additional support from partners in the State and federal government. “3-K for All is making a powerful difference in the South Bronx and Central Brooklyn. These six new districts will give kids across the five boroughs the strongest possible start in life and ease the financial burden for their families. As a parent and your Mayor, there is no more worthwhile cause than expanding opportunity for all our kids,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Early education is essential to the success of our students and City, and today we’re taking another big step forward,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “Together with our other investments in early education – including Pre-K for All, Universal Literacy, and Algebra for All – this expansion is going to have a major impact for students and families across all five boroughs, and the future of their communities.” “The research is crystal clear: as powerful as one year of Pre-K is, two years has an even greater impact. It also provides an added year of much-needed child care to families. The expansion of 3-K we're announcing today is the next step in our plan to build a truly universal free, high-quality early childhood education system – and demonstrates our commitment to achieve equity and excellence for all New Yorkers,” said Richard Buery, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives. 3-K for All is part of the Mayor and Chancellor’s Equity and Excellence for All agenda. The Equity and Excellence for All agenda, now in its second full school year, is supporting progress across all schools so that, by 2026, 80 percent of students graduate high school on time, and two-thirds of graduates are college-ready. It builds on record-high graduation rates, record-high college enrollment rates, record-low dropout rates, and a high-quality pre-K seat for every New York City 4-year-old. 3-K for All is the nation’s most ambitious effort to provide universal, free, full-day, high-quality early childhood education for every three-year-old child. This is the first year of a two-year expansion to create hundreds of new, free, full-day, high-quality seats in School Districts 7 and 23 serving Brownsville, Ocean Hill, and East New York. Currently, over 1,500 three-year-olds are registered for seats in the program. The City is on track to provide a seat for every three-year-old living in Districts 7 and 23 that wants one by fall 2018. As part of its commitment to free, full-day, high-quality 3-K for All, the City has also begun providing additional support to the public early childhood center programs currently serving approximately 10,000 three-year-olds through EarlyLearn across the City. With the addition of six new 3-K for All districts, the program will expand to all five boroughs. The new districts were selected with this goal, as well as community need and the ability to build on substantial Equity and Excellence for All educational investments in these communities. 3-K for All builds on the success of Pre-K for All – through which the City has more than tripled the number of four-year-olds enrolled in free, full-day, high-quality Pre-K – and is part of a broader effort to create a continuum of high-quality early care and education programs for New York City children from birth to five years old. Research has found every dollar invested in high-quality early education saves taxpayers as much as $13 long-term. There is extensive research supporting the transformative value of free, full-day, high-quality3-K for All, including the following: * Several studies have found that students who attend two years of preschool compared to one are better prepared for kindergarten, and that they perform significantly higher on academic and social outcome measures. * A study of the two-year Abbott Preschool Program in New Jersey found persistent gains in language arts and literacy, mathematics, and science through 4th and 5th grade, with larger test score gains for children who participated in two years of preschool. In addition, Abbott Preschool Program participation was linked to lower grade retention rates and fewer children needing special education. * A study of Head Start found that families of children who attended for two years were more likely to engage in recreational activities together that supported child development, and were likely to spend more hours reading together at home. * A Chicago study found that children who attended two years of public preschool were significantly less likely to receive special education services, to be abused or neglected, or to commit crimes in adulthood. As part of a larger effort to strengthen birth-to-five care and education across the City, EarlyLearn programs are shifting from ACS to management by DOE by early 2019. The planning process for this transition is being led by ACS and DOE, with engagement with other city agencies, such as the Human Resources Administration, and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, as well as providers, early childhood care and education experts, and state and federal regulators. This change will enable consistent, high-quality standards, greater curricular alignment from early childhood through second grade, a single contracting relationship for early childhood education providers, integrated data collection, and seamless connections between early childhood development and 3K-12 education. In addition to programs serving three- and four-year-olds, EarlyLearn programs serving children from six-weeks-old through three-years-old are also shifting to management by DOE, including center- and home-based programs. Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said: “Early childhood education is invaluable in shaping our children's future, and this is a pivotal step toward ensuring high-quality, universal, free full-day access to 3-K for every New York toddler. Queens is thrilled that our families are part of the initial citywide expansion, and we urge everyone to take advantage of this opportunity. Mayor de Blasio's signature initiatives like UPK and 3-K for All are direct investments toward supporting millions of working families in New York City. As both an elected official and, more importantly, as a parent, I laud the Mayor for delivering these promises into reality." Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said, “The expansion of 3-K for All into District 19 will help us close the inequality gap in East New York through the powerful force of early childhood education. There is more than enough evidence to show the impact that high-quality learning in the critical formative years has on future life outcomes. I am excited to see the early results of our City's efforts in District 23, and the impact it will have on the children and families of Brownsville and Brooklyn as a whole.” “Universal pre-K and now 3-K are some of the smartest investments we can make in children and families,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “The evidence continues to mount showing the benefits of preschool in closing achievement gaps, and easing the burden of childcare during these years is one of the best boosts we can give to working families trying to make ends meet.” “Extensive studies have shown what we already know: a quality early education is crucial for the development of adolescents. More children in NYC will receive early education due to this expansion, which will yield benefits for years to come. I thank Mayor de Blasio for his efforts regarding education and send my gratitude to all the teachers who give children the opportunity to succeed in the classroom and in life,” said Representative Gregory W. Meeks. “The foundation for educational success starts early and expanding the 3-K for All initiative puts more young minds on a path to future achievement in the classroom and beyond,” said Representative Adriano Espaillat. “New York City’s ambitious education plan showcases an invaluable commitment to our students and their families – regardless of economic status, background, race, or neighborhood. I commend Mayor de Blasio for championing the needs of our youngest New Yorkers and providing an opportunity today that will help better prepare them for a stronger future.” State Senator José M. Serrano said, "The 3-K for All program is an excellent way to begin introducing young minds to basic communication, educational and social skills. By expanding the program into more schools across the city, we are giving every three-year-old the opportunity to jump start their learning experience, and challenge their minds, which will ultimately set them on a successful path. Many thanks to Mayor de Blasio for prioritizing the beginning stages of education for our children." "I commend Mayor de Blasio, the entire administration for his continued commitment to the next generation. This is great news; I am extremely pleased that the three year old in the district would benefit from 3-k for all. Parents do understand the importance of early childhood education; therefore, having access to this opportunity will lessen the burden of having families travel very far to acquire resources to enable their children to have a bright and sustainable future,” said State Senator Roxanne J. Persaud. State Senator James Sanders Jr. said: “I am pleased that the Universal Pre-K program is expanding in my district and that more children will be able to benefit from this early boost to their education. Universal Pre-K has so many benefits including ensuring equal access to education for children of all backgrounds and creating potentially diverse classrooms. This expansion is also a positive step forward in spreading the notion that early education is important for the public good." Assemblymember Latrice Walker said, “This extra year of instruction provides our children with a level of academic and social development that they cannot get later on in life. As a parent I’m ecstatic to hear that 3-K For All program is expanding to six more community school districts to continue the path of providing universal, free, full-day, high-quality early childhood education for every three-year-old child.” Assemblymember Michael Miller said, “I support 3-K for All. Bringing children together at an early age will give them additional support in developing their social and communication skills. 3-K for All will help put more kids on the path to a brighter future and invest in the future of our state.” “The beginning years in a child’s life are critical for building the foundation necessary for success later in school and in life. Children arrive at pre-school with an array of experiences; some may come with certain elevated skills, and some may need more emotional adjustment than others. The bottom line is, we want to ensure that no child is left behind, and that all children reach their full academic potential,” said Assemblymember Michele Titus. “Kids who attend early pre-k are better equipped for kindergarten than kids who do not, but it is especially great for poor and disadvantaged children from low-income families who often struggle to make ends meet. 3-K for All is an excellent program and I’d like to commend Mayor Di Blasio, ACS and the DOE for bring this worthwhile initiative to fruition” concluded the Assemblywoman Assemblymember Michael Cusick said, “The importance of “Pre-K for All” was offering an earlier start for young minds to be more prepared as they move forward in their education, creating significant long-term benefits. Through the future expansion of the program to “3-K for All” for three-year-olds, families will be afforded more access to quality education for their children at an earlier age.” "It is clear that early childhood education will give kids a jump start to succeed throughout their academic and adult life. Beginning next school year, thousands of 3-year-olds in East Harlem will have access to quality 3K for All programming," said Assemblymember Robert Rodriguez. "This investment will provide our City's youngsters with valuable learning that will increase student achievement and improve our community." “I am proud to support the expansion of '3-K for All' which will bring high-quality early education to some of our youngest New Yorkers," said Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi. Assemblymember Michael Blake said, “Giving children, at every stage of development, access to the best education possible lays foundations that last a life time. Early stages often are the most critical. Having already seen the success of the 3 K program in school District 7 of the South Bronx, I am overjoyed to see this program expanding to District 9 which includes Grand Concourse, Highbridge, and Morrisania. Now, throughout the South Bronx, three-year olds can receive a free, full day, quality education. The 3 K Program and the New York City Department of Education are tangibly #BuildingABetterBronx and making sure #EVERYONESUCCEEDS.” "This expansion will bring 3-K to thousands of additional children," said NYC Council Education Committee Chairperson Daniel Dromm. "Now students in these traditionally under-served communities will have access to the education they need to thrive in elementary school. 3-K for All will also help boost high school graduation rates and college-readiness in our schools. I applaud the administration for moving this initiative forward and will continue to work alongside them to enhance early childhood education across the five boroughs." Councilmember Julissa Ferreras-Copeland said, "By expanding this important program, we are making sure that more 3-year-olds have access to high-quality early childhood education and providing parents much-needed relief from the high costs of childcare. I want to thank the Mayor for his commitment to ensuring that our City provides free education for all our kids from an early age." “Expanding 3-K for All to more communities around the City will help save even more parents crucial time and spending money that can be better spent on improving their family’s quality of life,” said Councilmember Donovan Richards. “As the parent of a one-year-old, I know all too well how taxing picking up and dropping off my son can be every day. This expansion is going to improve the lives of so many New Yorkers, who can now focus on lifting up their family rather than just holding down the fort. I’d like to thank Mayor de Blasio for his continued commitment to working families in our great city.” Councilmember Vanessa Gibson said, “Early childhood education lays the foundation for a life time of success. I am thrilled by the 2019-2020 school year, students and families in School District 9 will benefit from the universal 3K program. Students who attend pre-K and 3K classes are more likely to enter kindergarten ready to learn and more likely to graduate from high school. By expanding 3K to School District 9, we will be giving our future stars and scholars the resources they need to soar. I commend Mayor de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina for this tremendous investment in early education and for their dedication to bringing the highest standards of educational excellence to our youngest scholars.”
Wednesday, October 11, 2017 - 5:15pm
Mayor Bill de Blasio: Thank you very much, Captain. To everyone, this is one of the most solemn and humbling ceremonies each year in the city and it causes us to reflect, first and foremost, on the lives of the good people we’ve lost and their service to us, causes us to reflect on the pain that these good families are feeling and our need to stand by them for the rest lives. But it’s also a moment to think about this work that brave people do. The phrase ‘New York’s Bravest’ had to be earned over decades, in fact, over 150 years, a century and a half, and it is earned every day. All those who wear the uniform live that phrase in their every action. We see it our own lives and our own neighborhoods, the selfless acts, the extraordinary bravery, it reminds us that some words really do have meaning even in a troubled time. New York’s Bravest make us proud, give us a sense of security and faith, no matter what else is swirling around us. So even though it is a somber occasion, it’s also an opportunity to reflect on the blessing that the FDNY is to New York City. I want to thank Commissioner Nigro and Chief Leonard, and all the leadership of the FDNY. I want to thank the labor leaders who represent these good men and women who do so much to protect us, Jake Lemonda of the UFOA, Gerard Fitzgerald of the UFA, Jack Sullivan of EMS Superior Officers, and Oren Barzilay of Uniform EMT’S Paramedics & Fire Inspectors, thank you for your leadership. It’s a difficult day when we think of 12 good people lost. Our hearts are heavy, and yet we’re filled with admiration for what they devoted themselves to, how they lived their lives, the fact that they did not hesitate when others are in danger. The monument behind us is a reminder of 152 years, a powerful and inspiring human story, an unbroken chain of service and devotion. New Yorkers know when they hear a siren in the night, they know that means help is on the way, they have faith in the FDNY. It has been proven time and time again. There are many places where that might not be true in this world, where you don’t know if help is coming, but in this city you always know help is on the way and it comes in the form of the bravest and most exceptional individuals, the greatest professionals in their field. But that does not diminish the fact that every single day when one of these good men and women leave their home, they understand the danger ahead. When they say goodbye to a loved one they know, and their loved ones know, that God forbid that could be the last time. And that is what we come here today to recognize, we come here in solidarity with these families. And we think about that devotion that is so strong in the members of the FDNY, there’s no greater example, than firefighter William Tolley. Devotion was the definition of his life and all he did and his devotion was greatest for his daughter Bella. His love for her, something like a current that ran through everything he did in his life, and that love will continue to strengthen her throughout her life. And he loved his work and he loved his colleagues. And he answered the call to duty every day for 14 years until one day – a seemingly and normal and routine day – tragedy struck. Everyone in this department felt this loss. It was personal. There is a family of the FDNY and in those days after Will Tolley’s death the family was hurting. But here is something else that is true about the FDNY. Even in pain they are ready to serve. And it was just a few days later that we saw one of the worst fires in a long time – five alarm fire in Queens. A horrible tragedy in which young people were lost, a swift, raging fire that could have caused so much more destruction and could have endangered so many more lives. But the FDNY was there no matter what the pain the members were feeling. They brought all of their devotion and their energy. They stopped that fire dead in its tracks. They saved any number of other lives. That is resiliency incarnate. And I was reminded again, this last weekend, I was at EMS Station 26 in the Bronx that is where EMT Yadira Arroyo served, 14 years of devotion to this city and of being a model to everyone who met her. She also loved her homeland of Puerto Rico. And even though Station 26 has known heartbreak, they turned it into action. And I saw her fellow first responders there together, EMTs and firefighters at that station gathering relief supplies for Puerto Rico. Going above and beyond again. Not just saving lives here, but helping those who have experienced an unbelievable tragedy over 1,000 miles away. What a fitting tribute to EMT Arroyo. We will always remember the 12 men and women who we memorialize today. We will remember what they stood for. We will remember that they represented the best in this city. We will learn once again from their example what we should be for each other. And even though it is a painful day, everyone here should know, there are 8.5 million New Yorkers in this city. And they are eternally grateful to you. Thank you and God bless you all. [Applause] Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro: This monument where we gather today was built more than a century ago by the people of a grateful city. It was paid for and constructed by New Yorkers who watched for years as our firefighters bravely ran into buildings to save lives. They watched as our members battled the fires, scalded buildings, dragged hoses, and raced quickly through the streets of our city, putting aside their own fears and the grave dangers they faced. Those same New Yorkers would line the streets to honor our fallen members, firefighters killed in the line of duty, brave individuals who made the supreme sacrifice laying down their own lives so that others would live. This monument is a lasting tribute to all those who serve the FDNY and like our great department, it has withstood the test of time. For 152 years the Fire Department of New York has answered every call for help that has come our way. Our firefighters today continue to run into burning buildings day after day because there are still lives to be saved. And while fighting fires, that fundamental reason our department was founded remains important, our mission has without question grown dramatically and today encompasses so much more. Today, our EMTs and paramedics bravely and professionally provide the best pre-hospital emergency medical care in the world. We respond to terrorist incidents that threaten not only the people we have all sworn to protect but our very way of life. We prepare daily for the most extreme circumstances, the worst disasters both natural and manmade. Our members go well beyond our borders to bring aid and incredibly skilled rescue operations to catastrophic incidents across the country, most recently in Texas, in Florida, and in Puerto Rico. And we remain vigilant always because that’s what it takes to protect our city. All of this difficult work requires dedication, compassion, unwavering commitment, and above all else bravery. But that bravery has so often required our department to pay the steepest price imaginable. 1,147 of our members have lost their lives fulfilling their oaths and acting in the purest and greatest traditions of bravery. 159 more of our members to date have lost their lives due to illnesses acquired in our darkest and perhaps our finest hours at the World Trade Center following the attacks of September 11th. Sadly those numbers will continue to grow because all of you face very real dangers in this job. It takes true courage to commit yourself to the training required to fight a fire and provide that medical care in dangerous circumstances. And yes, you run into burning buildings, you know it, I know it, every New Yorker knows it. It takes great bravery to do your job. And unfortunately we’ve experienced all too often the cost and sacrifice required for such commitment and for such bravery. EMT Yadira Arroyo possessed that bravery when she fought for her patients on every call, and when she fought to prevent something dangerous from happening to pedestrians and motorists around her on that terrible day in March. Firefighter William Tolley possessed that bravery when he battled that difficult fire this past April, and when he went out the door again and again to fight fires, protecting the residents of Queens. All of the members we honor today possess that bravery. They displayed it every day of their careers. We honor all of them, not for how they died but for the incredible way in which they lived dedicating themselves to the lifesaving mission of our department. To the families of these brave members, please know we will always remember your loved ones in our hearts and here, every year, at our memorial. Your strength in the face of such immeasurable loss is an inspiration to every single FDNY member and we are all here today because your loved ones mattered greatly to this department and to our city. May God bless the memory of every FDNY member who has died in the line of duty, who is battling illness, and all those members of the FDNY we lost this past year. And may God continue to bless the FDNY.
Wednesday, October 11, 2017 - 5:15pm
NEW YORK—As the Nonprofit Resiliency Committee embarks on its second year, Mayor Bill de Blasio today highlighted its accomplishments in strengthening the partnership between the City and the nonprofit human service sector. Since the creation of the Committee, the City has implemented practices and policies to facilitate closer collaboration between the City and non-profit organizations in the development, design and management of more than $6.5 billion in social service programs every year. The committee’s accomplishments include many immediate investments and policy changes made to stabilize the sector, and the implementation of strategies that will allow social service organizations to continue delivering high-quality services to vulnerable New Yorkers over the long-term. Investments The City’s FY 2018 adopted budget includes $374 million in investments made by this Administration in the human services sector for the current fiscal year, increasing to more than $600 million annually by FY 2021. This includes additional funding to support nonprofits’ administrative overhead costs, and rate increases for several essential programs and services including homeless shelters, Beacon youth centers, and case management for seniors. With these investments, the City acknowledges the increasing costs of delivering services. In some cases, payment rates had not been increased in a quarter century. The investments also cover collective bargaining increases for day care workers, along with a wage increase of about 9% and a minimum wage of $15 per hour by 2019 for employees in the nonprofit human services sector. Cash Flow Policy The City implemented a new policy designed by our nonprofit partners to put payments in the hands of service providers earlier. The 25% advance on all registered City contracts increases cash flow to service providers, allowing them to seamlessly continue to help New Yorkers in need. In the first quarter of this fiscal year, the City disbursed $604 million in advances to fund program startup costs and support financial stability for nonprofit providers. Enhancing Contracting Services Health and Human Services (HHS) Accelerator is the City’s web-based system used to electronically manage procurement with our nonprofit providers. Through the work of the Committee, the City leveraged the platform to digitize fiscal audits for the first time, impacting more than 1,000 human service contracts per year. Digitizing audits reduces duplicative requests and hours of staff time and labor required to submit documents to City offices. Collaborative Program Design Guide The Committee produced a written guide on how City agencies and nonprofits can work together to design programs and services that achieve maximum impact for New Yorkers. Feedback from nonprofit partners suggests that the design and structure of programs can present challenges in executing contract responsibilities as it relates to staffing, budgeting and other requirements. By improving communication during the development of human service programs, the guide will be a tool for creating more effective and sustainable programs moving forward. The City is currently using this guide to design a three-year, $29.7 million program at the Department of Corrections that aims to reduce the recidivism rate. Recommendations from the guide also informed the creation of the Civic Service Design Tools + Tactics , an initiative of the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity that launched this month to provide an introduction to service design for City Agencies and public servants. Procurement Training In response to feedback from nonprofit partners, the Mayor’s Office for Contract Services (MOCS) held educational sessions to provide more information about the City’s procurement process, making the City contracting more accessible and transparent. Taken together, the Nonprofit Resiliency Committee’s policies and practices implemented in the first year will alleviate administrative burdens for nonprofits; foster greater communication between the City and community based organizations and expand the capacity for each organization to execute its mission; and increase consistency, efficiency, accessibility and transparency in working with the City. “We set out on a mission and our first year’s efforts have proved to bring significant improvements to the way we best serve New Yorkers with our partners in human services,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “New Yorkers count on us to work together and deliver on some of our biggest initiatives. The Committee’s second year promises to build upon these achievements.” “Our government and nonprofit providers are critical partners in our work to support New Yorkers,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Dr. Herminia Palacio. “I am very proud that in the past year we have together been able to weave a strong, vibrant fabric to support individuals, families, and communities.” “In order to fulfill our mission of creating a more just and sustainable city, the social service sector and City government must work together. Much of the important work we do happens in partnership with our nonprofit partners. This past year, through joint problem-solving, increased collaboration, and by addressing some of the most immediate needs of New York City's non-profit sector, we’ve made important strides to making an already strong sector even stronger. In doing so, we will be able to positively impact the lives of more people in this City and achieve our shared goals,” said Richard Buery, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives and Co-chair of the Nonprofit Resiliency Committee. "Our nonprofit partners are essential to delivering critical and effective services throughout our New York City communities," said Michael Owh, Director of the Mayor's Office of Contract Services. “The City is committed to supporting their organizations and programs MOCS appreciates the countless hours nonprofit leaders devoted to collaborating with us in an effort to streamline administrative processes and enhance accessibility to City contracting. Our partnership achieved rapid results that we look forward to expanding in our second year.” "The city's community-based organizations do critical work to increase equity by ensuring all New Yorkers have access to vital services," said Matt Klein, Executive Director of the Mayor's Office for Economic Opportunity. "The Committee has opened new critical pathways for government and nonprofit providers to work more closely together and we are proud to help strengthen this cross-sector collaboration." "The Nonprofit Resiliency Committee is delivering on its promise to offer opportunities and establish meaningful partnerships with nonprofit organizations around the City. Thanks to their work, New Yorkers in need have prompt and efficient access to social services. I want to thank Mayor de Blasio for his commitment in making sure these vital organizations count with the City's full support,” said Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, Finance Chair. “In its first year, the Nonprofit Resiliency Committee has already demonstrated the progress that is possible when City leaders and nonprofit leaders work together to strengthen the sector,” said Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO and Executive Director of FPWA. “In real time, the Committee is making key contractual changes, such as providing a 25% advance across all City-registered human services contracts, so that nonprofits have in hand the government resources required to serve their clients. FPWA looks forward to continuing our work with the Committee to help bring about greater partnership between human services agencies and the City, to ultimately strengthen the services and care provided to New Yorkers in need of support.” “It’s been a year since the Mayor established the Nonprofit Resiliency Committee and the impact of the work is already being felt across human services agencies,” said Allison Sesso, Executive Director, Human Services Council. “Through this effort, nonprofit human services organizations are coming together with City leaders to drive meaningful changes in the way we do business. We are undoing bureaucracy and implementing common sense solutions that impact everything from cash flow to program design approaches. I give the Mayor a lot of credit for investing in this process. These changes are not the things that make headlines but, make a big difference to nonprofits working under city contracts.” “I’m encouraged by the accomplishments of the Mayor’s Nonprofit Resiliency Committee,” said Fred Shack, Chief Executive Officer of Urban Pathways. “Over the past twelve months the Committee has demonstrated how much can be accomplished when government and the nonprofit community work in true partnership to identify solutions designed to improve efficiencies and strengthen the nonprofits who serve this City’s most venerable citizens. The introduction of PASSPort and the Digital Audit process through Accelerator has streamlined the procurement and auditing processes making them more efficient while reducing the cost to both the City and Urban Pathways. The new advance/recoupment protocols provide consistency across City contracts and has improved my organization’s cash flow.” “The Nonprofit Resiliency Committee through the leadership of the Mayor’s office has made important progress over the past year to highlight, and mitigate, some of the daunting challenges that nonprofits face in achieving maximum impact," said Phoebe Boyer, President and CEO of Children's Aid and co-chair of the New York City Nonprofit Resiliency collaborative program design workgroup. “As a collective group, nonprofits are bound by an overarching mission to build the well-being of all New Yorkers, which demands a system of stable, strong nonprofits. We appreciate the city’s focus and commitment to this work and look forward to continuing our partnership to achieve our common goals.” “As co-chair of the New York City Nonprofit Resiliency infrastructure workgroup, I am pleased with the strong progress we have made over the last year,” said Louisa Chafee, Senior Vice President for Public Policy and External Relations of UJA-Federation. “There is still a lot of work to be done to ensure our non-profits can be better prepared and resilient organizations. We thank Mayor de Blasio and the infrastructure workgroup co-chair, the Office of Management and Budget, for their additional investments to the sector and their commitment to helping nonprofits provide critical human services to New Yorkers." "The Nonprofit Resiliency Committee has been a productive collaboration between the Mayor's Office and social services organizations," said Wayne Ho, President and CEO of the Chinese-American Planning Council, Inc. "Because of our partnership, we have increased funding for nonprofit providers, reduced bureaucracy, and improved equity and access for small organizations. I look forward to serving on this committee for a second year in order to ensure that underserved communities continue to receive culturally and linguistically appropriate services." “New York City’s human service nonprofits continue to create opportunity pathways for our residents and families, helping workers advance in their careers, teaching students new skills, and making sure New Yorkers in need find a place to call home. We owe them both our gratitude and concrete commitments to make it easier to do business with the city. Mayor de Blasio’s Nonprofit Resiliency Committee demonstrates the impact government can have when it partners closely with nonprofits to shift policies, rethink how programs are implemented and make critical administrative reforms. There’s more work to be done to secure our human services sector, but the Resiliency Committee’s efforts have already helped to make contracting more efficient and to ensure that tax payer dollars are well spent," said Council Member Helen Rosenthal, Chair of the Contracts Committee. About the Nonprofit Resiliency Committee The Nonprofit Resiliency Committee is co-chaired by Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Dr. Herminia Palacio and Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery. The Mayor’s Office for Contract Services helps coordinate the Committee with support from the Mayor’s Office of Operations and Office of Management and Budget. Committee members include nonprofit executive directors, philanthropy leaders and members of academia who were invited to represent the diversity and range of New York City’s human service sector. The Committee is charged with identifying, designing and launching solutions to support the sector in the areas of administrative processes, service and program design and organizational infrastructure. For more information on the Committee, click here .