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Application for Council of Youth Leaders of Manhattan Now Available!

In Manhattan and all over New York City, young people are an extraordinary source of ambitious, creative ideas. In fact, they may have the greatest stake in what government does--one day they will inherit our City.

It is my pleasure to establish the Council of Young Leaders of Manhattan. I want to give our borough's young people the tools, knowledge, and a megaphone to speak to their government on the issues that matter in their lives.

The Young Leaders of Manhattan will be comprised entirely of young people ages 14-18 who live, work, go to school in, or belong to an organization in Manhattan. The YLM will meet periodically to address policy and budget concerns affecting Manhattan’s young people, working closely with local elected officials and city agencies. They will draft and pass resolutions, serve on committees, learn how local government works, prepare and give presentations, and help make real change. Time commitment is estimated at 5-10 hours a month.

Applications must be submitted by Friday, March 4, 2016 at midnight. If you or someone you know is interested in joining the Young Leaders of Manhattan, you can find the application here.

Brewer Statement on Crane Collapse and Recent Construction Safety Incidents

For Immediate Release: February 5, 2016

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer issued the following statement on recent construction safety incidents in Manhattan:

"Today we see yet another tragic construction safety incident with fatal results. My thoughts are with the victims of today’s crane collapse and their families, and I am grateful that more people were not hurt.

“While today’s crane collapse appears to have occurred in the midst of prudent efforts to lower and secure the crane against winds, the fact remains that this is the second work site-related death in as many days. This is unacceptable, and we must do better.

"Since I first convened the Manhattan Construction Safety Working Group in the fall, it's only become clearer that we need to make changes. Both yesterday’s death and the shocking four-story fall of a worker last week both occurred on sites with a history of multiple violations. City enforcement must do more than levy fines and increase the cost of doing business -- it must actually make dangerous worksites into safe ones.

"I am working with labor leaders, developers, construction safety experts, and my fellow elected officials and community representatives to address this spike in construction accidents through legislation, rule changes, and better city enforcement. We will begin campaigning for a package of reforms shortly, and I am also meeting with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and law enforcement agencies to explore how we can strengthen safety right now."

Statement on Horse Carriage Legislation and Central Park

For Immediate Release: Thursday, February 4, 2016

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer issued the following statement on the withdrawal of pending City Council legislation affecting the horse carriage industry and Central Park:

"I don't believe horse-drawn carriages belong in city traffic in the 21st century, but I've had serious concerns about the proposed compromise. The practicalities were always daunting -- how the Central Park stables would be refurbished, how carriages and horses could fit in the existing stables, and how the carriages would travel from the stables to the park's loop roads on unpaved bridle paths. I'm glad this proposal has been withdrawn.”

Brewer Responds to Sen. Ted Cruz's Anti-Manhattan Remarks

For Immediate Release: February 2, 2016

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer issued the following statement in response to remarks made by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.) to ABC News Monday evening:

"We are one city and one state. Our heritage is diversity and tolerance, and our values are community and fair play.

"As for how we govern: we do our best to feed the hungry, house the homeless, teach our children, build safe communities, and ensure everyone in our city has a chance at the American dream. If Sen. Cruz has a problem with any of that, he probably should not work in government -- any government."

ABC News quoted Sen. Ted Cruz as saying the following on Monday night: "As I travel the country here in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada, everyone knows what New York values are... It's the values of the elite liberals that have done enormous damage to New York and they're a bunch of cops and firemen and hardworking men and women in the great state of New York who are fed up with the out-of-touch values of Manhattan."

More Than 700 Attend B.P. Brewer's 2016 State of the Borough Event at New School

For Immediate Release: February 1, 2015

Manhattan elected officials, Community Board members, nonprofit leaders, educators, and residents were treated to a brief update from Brewer on her office's work over the past year, including passage of 8 pieces of legislation, ongoing and completed rezoning work across the borough, and more than a dozen town halls and community forums on issues ranging from the LGBT community in northern Manhattan to small business owners' concerns throughout the borough.

Then, as she did at last year's pioneering event, Brewer hosted a panel discusion with Manhattan-based chef and restaurateur Marc Murphy, Young People's Chorus director Francisco Nunez, Brotherhood/SisterSol co-founder Khary Lazarre-White, and Coalition for Asian-American Children and Families policy fellow Dr. Sumie Okazaki, who addressed issues at the intersection of youth development, culture, creativity, and entrepreneurship.

The event also featured dance and vocal performances by local student artists. Marla Louissant, a nationally-recognized young actor and singer and recent graduate of Manhattan's Beacon high school, sang to kick off the afternoon's program, and served as the event's master of ceremonies. Ms. Louissant was followed by Kr3ts ("Keep Rising to the Top"), a 25-year old dance company serving kids and young adults in East Harlem and across the city, led by Violeta Galagarza. Read more...

You're Invited! Manhattan State of the Borough is January 31, 2016

For Immediate Release: January 19, 2016

Join Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer for an interactive community conversation on residents’ most pressing concerns and the initiatives the MBPO is working on to address them. Borough President Brewer will welcome to the stage four Manhattan leaders with unique perspectives on the intersection of youth, culture, and other issues of interest to Manhattanites. Audience members are invited to live-tweet questions and comments using the hashtag #SOTB2016.

Panelists will include:

  • Marc Murphy, chef and television personality
  • Francisco Nuñez, director of the Young People's Chorus of New York City.
  • Khary Lazarre White, executive director and co-founder of The Brotherhood / SisterSol, a nationally-recognized organization based in Harlem providing supportive programming and services to youth.
  • Sumie Okazaki, Ph.D., policy fellow at the Coalition for Asian-American Children and Families (CACF) and professor at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

Rain or shine (or snow!). Doors open at 1pm, program begins at 2pm. The New School's Tishman auditorium is wheelchair-accessible. Please RSVP to attend!

The Camera positions will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. The event will also be televised by the Manhattan Neighborhood Network.

The 2016 Application for Community Board Membership Is Now Open

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer’s office is accepting applications for Community Board membership. All eligible New Yorkers living, working, or studying in the borough of Manhattan are encouraged to consider applying.

Manhattan’s 12 community boards are local organizations each composed of 50 volunteer members serving staggered two-year terms.  Community boards are tasked with being the independent and representative voices of their communities—the most grass-roots form of local government. The boards are pivotal in shaping their communities and work to enhance and preserve the character of the city’s many unique neighborhoods.

Please note: It is advisable that you prepare your answers in advance, as this application must be completed in one sitting. You can also download a copy of the application to print and fill out by hand. Mailing instructions are included in the application.

Applications and resumes must be submitted before 5:00 PM on Friday, January 29, 2016. After submitting, you will be contacted regarding the next steps in the screening and interview process. All applicants are required to complete the entire process, from submitting an application to participating in the group interviews.

For more information about Manhattan's 12 Community Boards, visit our Community Board webpage or email Paola Liriano at [javascript protected email address] with any questions you may have.

Manhattanites Invited to Serve
on Solid Waste Advisory Board

Information session January 11, Applications accepted through January 29

For Immediate Release: January 5, 2016

The Manhattan Borough President's office is accepting applications for membership on the Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board (SWAB) through Friday, Jan. 29, and will be welcoming all who live, work, or study in Manhattan and are interested in serving to attend an information session Monday, Jan. 11.

"The Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board is a small body with a huge mission: pushing our city toward a more sustainable future," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "There won't be a single silver bullet: we'll need a mix of smart steps to put us on the path to long-term sustainability. With Manhattanites' participation, the SWAB is an ideas factory that can help us get there."

Created by New York City's 1989 recycling law, the Manhattan SWAB is a fifty-seat volunteer body dedicated to increasing recycling, reducing solid waste, and developing new waste management and sustainability proposals for Manhattan and New York City. The Manhattan SWAB also fundraises for and helps to administer a citywide grant program spurring the expansion of community-based composting programs, in partnership with the Citizens' Committee for New York City and the Borough President's office.

To learn more about the Manhattan SWAB, visit their website or attend the Manhattan SWAB Information Session on Monday, January 11, 2016 at the Borough President's Office at 1 Centre Street, 19th Floor South, starting at 6:30pm. RSVP to attend.

New Yorkers interested in joining the Manhattan SWAB this year must apply before 5:00 pm on January 29.The application can be found here: manhattanswab.org/application

NOTICE: Manhattan Borough Board meets Thursday, January 21

The Manhattan Borough Board will meet Thursday, January 21, 2016, at 8:30am in the Manhattan Borough President's Office, 1 Centre Street, 19th Floor South, New York, N.Y. Watch the meeting, livestreamed at 8:30am, here: http://bit.ly/MBPOLivestream
Statement on the Passing of Former Court of Appeals Chief Judge Judith Kaye

For Immediate Release: January 7, 2016

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer issued the following statement on the passing of former New York State Court of Appeals Chief Judge Judith Kaye:

"As the first woman to serve on New York State’s highest court -- and the first woman to lead it -- Chief Judge Judith Kaye established herself as one of New York State’s finest public servants, one of the country’s preeminent jurists, and a true trailblazer.

"She was also my friend, an Upper West Sider, a member of Congregation Shearith Israel, and a wonderful human being. She shaped the laws we live by, but she also made our city and state better places to live by serving her community in all ways.

"Her forward-thinking and hard work should inspire us all.”

Now Accepting Capital Funding Applications for FY 2017 Budget

Schools, cultural institutions, and nonprofit organizations can apply for capital funding online at http://bit.ly/MBPOgrants

For Immediate Release: December 22, 2015

Today, Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer announced her office is accepting applications through Friday, February 12, 2016 for Fiscal Year 2017 capital funding, and welcomed any organizations interested in capital funding to meet with her staff. Under the City Charter, each of the five borough presidents can direct the allocation of a portion of the city's capital budget to invest in the infrastructure of their borough's schools, public facilities, nonprofit organizations and cultural institutions.

"Capital funding gives us the opportunity to invest in Manhattan’s future,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “Whether we’re fixing the roof at a branch library, renovating a playground, or building out a new computer lab at a local school, these capital awards are going to strengthen our borough and our city, and improve people’s lives.”

In the FY 2016 City Budget, Brewer's office awarded $30 million in Manhattan capital projects, including improvements and purchases for 92 schools, 9 CUNY and SUNY campuses, 16 public parks, and more. While Brewer's office will continue to fund a broad range of purchases and improvements with her FY 2017 capital funds, Brewer has also reserved up to $1 million for schools to invest in hydroponics, urban gardening, and farming.

For more information on Manhattan Borough President's Office capital funding opportunities and eligibility requirements, visit the capital funding page

Statement on Legal Win Protecting P.S. 163 From Construction

For Immediate Release: December 16, 2015

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer issued the following statement Wednesday, after the announcement of a state court's decision granting the community's Article 78 petition and blocking construction of a new Jewish Home Lifecare facility next to the school.

"This is a win for P.S. 163’s students: under the plan that was approved, a huge, high-rise project could have choked and deafened a high-performing school with dust and noise. Judge Lobis saw what we saw: the State Department of Health was wrong to approve this massive construction project next to P.S. 163.

"By recognizing the defects in the Department of Health's environmental review and the lack of thorough mitigation to protect the school and students, I believe the court may have set a precedent. If the State Department of Health has to meet a higher bar on these kinds of projects from now on, then this will be a win for every neighborhood in our city, with impacts far beyond the West Side.

"My office has supported this effort from the start, testifying before the Department of Health on why its environmental review was insufficient, and writing the Board of Standards and Appeals when it considered a related appeal. I am thrilled this Article 78 action produced a victory for the community, and that my office helped get the facts on the record ahead of the litigation.

"I congratulate Rene Kathawala and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, who represented the community pro bono and won this important judgment, and thank them for their service to the community."

The proposed construction project next to P.S. 163 is a new 20-story facility for Jewish Home Lifecare (JHL), which was planned to replace JHL's existing smaller facility at West 106th Street.

Council to Pass Brewer-Rose Legislation Protecting Caregivers From Employment Discrimination in NYC

For Immediate Release: December 16, 2015

The New York City Council will vote Wednesday on a bill that will protect workers who serve as caregivers for children, elderly parents and other family members. The bill, Int. No. 108, was introduced by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and City Councilwoman Debi Rose.

Many workers in New York City juggle work responsibilities while also acting as a caregiver for children or other family members. Current city law does not prevent employers from retaliating against workers who are acting in these capacities.

Int. No. 108, which then-Council Member Brewer introduced last session, was jointly reintroduced on February 26, 2014, by the offices of Borough President Brewer and Councilmember Rose. If enacted, it would prohibit employment discrimination based on caregiver status—similar to prohibitions against discrimination based on race and religion.

At least 67 cities, towns and counties around the country also prohibit employment practices that target people with family responsibilities, but many of these laws specifically protect parents responsible for children. Significantly, Int. No. 108 is not limited to parents or those caring for children, and will protect those caring for the elderly and other family members as well. The caregiver bill currently before the Council is supported by a broad coalition of organizations and advocacy groups, including A Better Balance, AARP, the Council of Senior Centers and Services of NYC, the Legal Aid Society, among others.

“The roots of any community's strength are family, friendship, and our ability to support and care for others," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “When someone in our city takes on the responsibility to care for another, they must not suffer job loss or discrimination in the workplace, which is why I'm proud the Council will act on this bill today. I thank Councilmember Rose for her partnership on this legislation.” Read more...

NOTICE: Manhattan Borough Board meets Thursday, December 17

The Manhattan Borough Board will meet Thursday, November 19, 2015, at 8:30am in the Manhattan Borough President's Office, 1 Centre Street, 19th Floor South, New York, N.Y. Watch the meeting, livestreamed at 8:30am, here: http://bit.ly/MBPOLivestream

Brewer Recommends 'Yes' on Mayor's Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Plan, 'No' on Zoning for Quality & Affordability

For Immediate Release: December 11, 2015

In formal opinions published today, Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer gave her conditional approval to the Department of City Planning’s proposed Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) plan, and recommended conditional disapproval of the Zoning for Quality & Affordability (ZQA) proposal. The Borough President’s positive recommendation on the MIH plan came as a result of her office securing administration officials’ agreement to make several major improvements.

Borough President Brewer issued the following statement:

“Since I became Borough President, I’ve called for two things.

“First, I want affordable housing to be part of every new residential development in Manhattan, especially when special permits are involved.

“Second, I’ve called for major revisions to the city’s flawed opt-in affordable housing programs. These programs award more density to developers for building affordable housing, but have produced too little in exchange for too much. They also cover much more territory in Manhattan than either of the city’s planned neighborhood rezonings under the MIH program..." Read her complete statement.

Text of the Borough President’s recommendations and related documents will be made available today at: http://manhattanbp.nyc.gov/html/issues/zqa-mih.shtml

Manhattan Youth Council Info Session, Friday December 11

For Immediate Release: December 4, 2015

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer announced that her office will form a Manhattan Youth Council to advise on the concerns of young people. An initial information session for teems will be held on December 11, 2015 from 4:30-6:30pm at the Manhattan Municipal Building.

"Our youngest residents often have the greatest stake in what government does -- they will inherit our city," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "On subjects from urban planning to police-community relations, our borough's young people are an extraordinary source of ambitious, creative ideas. It's been my pleasure to appoint a great group of teens to our Community Boards, and through the Manhattan Youth Council, I want to give even more of our borough's young people tools, knowledge, and a megaphone to speak to their government."

The Manhattan Youth Council's formation follows Brewer's extensive recruitment of teens to apply for and serve on Community Boards in 2015, the first year since the enactment of state legislation allowing the appointment of up to two 16- to 17-year old members per Community Board. For the new law's first year in effect, Brewer's office launched an online advertising campaign and recruitment sessions for teens both at her office and in public schools. These efforts yielded 25 Manhattan Community Board applicants aged 16-17, six of whom were appointed to Community Board seats.

If you know a Manhattan teen who is interested in our city, please have them RSVP at bit.ly/ManhattanYouthCouncilSignUp to attend the information session on December 11, 2015.

Brewer allocates $48,000 for new Police-Community Relations Improvement Initiative

For Immediate Release: December 3, 2015

Today, Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer announced her office is setting aside $48,000 in funding for a new Manhattan Police-Community Relations Improvement Initiative, to support long-term, sustainable projects aimed at restoring trust between police officers and the communities they serve.

The new program's creation was spurred by Brewer's series of community dialogue events on police-community relations, which were hosted in partnership with civil rights attorney Norman Siegel. The event series culminated in the publication of "Improving Police-Community Relations," a report with recommendations co-authored by Siegel, Brewer, and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

"Throughout our police-community dialogues, what impressed me most was the level of engagement between our neighborhoods' young people and police officers. They talked things through, they respected each other, and they came up with great ideas," said Brewer. "I'm funding this program because I'm confident our borough's young people, if they have the support, can find the next great idea that will improve both policing and our communities' relationship with police officers."

The Borough President's office will issue four awards of $12,000 each. Awardees will undertake innovative programs centered on youth-generated ideas, and could focus on one or more of the following areas:

  • Engagement between youth and police officers
  • Educational trainings to assist police officers with youth and community engagement
  • Trust-building activities, exposing youth to the work of police officers
  • Data collection and analysis projects relevant to police-community relations
  • Legal services, advice, and education on policing and interactions with police
  • Leadership skills and mentoring programs

The award is open to community-based 501(c) nonprofit organizations registered with the New York State Charities Bureau. Award funding will offset operating expenses and non-capital purchases made by qualifying programs.

The Borough President's office will accept applications through January 8, 2016. Award recipients will be selected through a competitive review process. Click here for more information on the Police-Community Relations Improvement Initiative.

Manhattan Borough Board Votes Against Mayor's Zoning Proposals, Outlines Needed Fixes

For Immediate Release: November 30, 2015

At a special meeting Monday morning, the Manhattan Borough Board formally voted to deny its approval to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Zoning for Quality & Affordability (ZQA) and Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) Zoning proposals unless a range of outstanding major concerns are addressed. The Borough Board, made up of Manhattan’s Community Board chairs and City Council members, recommended disapproval of both plans by votes of 12-0, with four abstentions.

“I hope the roadmap set out by our Manhattan Borough Board today will lead to major changes in the Zoning for Quality & Affordability and Mandatory Inclusionary Housing plans,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “I’m glad the administration has finally begun taking our concerns seriously, but these plans need major changes before we can accept them.”

The Borough Board’s resolution cited a number of measures necessary to make the MIH and ZQA plans acceptable. Click the following links to see descriptions of those measures, watch the meeting, and read the complete Borough Board resolutions.

Borough President Brewer's office will issue a formal recommendation on the ZQA and MIH zoning proposals by Dec. 11. The City Planning Commission will conduct a public hearing on the proposals on Dec. 16.

NOTICE: Special Meeting of Manhattan Borough Board Monday, November 30

A Special Session of the Manhattan Borough Board will be held on Monday, November 30, 2015 at 8:30am for a vote on two proposed changes to the city zoning text, "Zoning for Quality and Affordability" and "Mandatory Inclusionary Housing." The meeting will be held in the Manhattan Borough President's Office, 1 Centre Street, 19th Floor South, New York, N.Y. Watch the meeting, livestreamed at 8:30am, here: http://bit.ly/MBPOLivestream

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