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Statement on the Passing of Maggi Peyton

For Immediate Release: Thursday, October 27, 2016

I am saddened to share with you news of the passing of my dear friend and advisor Maggi Peyton.

There are legions of Maggi acolytes in politics, government, and arts groups across this city. And I am one of them.

She was the quintessential New York political operative: brilliant, quick, funny, graceful and skeptical all at once -- and all that in just a glance from her piercing blue eyes.

I've known her since I had my first political job and have trusted her counsel on a host of campaigns, causes and projects ever since, while we worked together for a better world.

When I took office as Borough President, I was grateful that she was willing to stay on in her role as a special advisor to the Borough President. Now that I won't have her advice anymore, my life will be the poorer for it.

My heart goes out to her family and I join the rest of her friends in being heartbroken -- but ever so grateful to have known her.

There will be a wake for friends and family tomorrow, Friday October 28, 2016 from 4:00 - 8:00 pm at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel, 1076 Madison Avenue at 81st Street.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to a special fund in her honor at the Bella Abzug Leadership Institute, 105 Duane Street, 21C, New York, NY 10007.

We are working on scheduling a memorial service in the coming weeks.

Brewer appoints Michael Kraft to NYC Panel for Educational Policy

For Immediate Release: Monday, October 24, 2016

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer announced the appointment of Michael Kraft to the New York City Panel for Educational Policy (PEP). The PEP, consisting of 13 appointed members and the Schools Chancellor, is the New York City public school system’s governing board, and each of the city’s five borough presidents appoints one of its members.

“Michael Kraft is a strong, thoughtful voice for students and parents who has given more than a decade to the work of improving our schools,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “In his many leadership roles, Michael has grappled directly with some of the biggest issues facing our school system today, from the high school admissions process to capital planning, security, and more.”

Mr. Kraft is the president of Art and Design High School’s Parent Teacher Association. He has served as a representative on the Citywide Council on High Schools, and has volunteered in multiple PTA and school leadership roles within Community School District 3. Mr. Kraft succeeds Laura Zingmond, Brewer’s first appointee to the PEP.

“For nearly three years, Laura Zingmond has been active, engaged, and inquisitive on behalf of Manhattan’s students, parents and educators,” said Borough President Brewer. “When Mayor de Blasio and I both took office three years ago, I looked forward to a more active PEP that would take a more substantive role in the management of our schools. In her work on the PEP, Laura didn’t just live up to that goal, she personified it, and in the process she set a fine example for all future members.”

Friday, October 14 is the last day to register to vote in the Presidential Election on November 8!

You must be registered to vote if you want to cast your ballot in the 2016 Presidential Election on November 8! Check your registration status and confirm your party affiliation by entering your information into the NY State Voter Lookup.

If you are not registered to vote, you can do so in several ways:

– Register online by filling out an Electronic Voter Registration Form.

– Registration forms are available at my Northern Manhattan office, 431 West 125th Street. Walk in anytime between 10 am and 4 pm this Thursday and Friday to register. Staff are available to help fill out forms (in English and Spanish), answer questions, and even deliver your registration to the post office for you!

– Visit a Board of Elections Voter Registration Drive in your area on Thursday, October 13 from 3pm - 8 pm or Saturday, October 15 from 1pm - 9 pm.

To find the district in which you live and locate your polling place, look up your address on the NYC Poll Site Locator. A comprehensive list of Manhattan poll sites will be available shortly. Keep in mind that your polling site may have changed.

To learn more about the candidates and races in your district, check out the Campaign Finance Board's Voter Guide.

Fall 2016 Leadership Development Series Registration Open

October 11, 2016

The Office of Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer is pleased to announce our Fall 2016 Leadership Training series. This series will cover topics important to Community Board members and appointees. Trainings are open to the public, however registration priority will be given to Manhattan Community Board members and other Borough President appointees. Please register online to attend.

Uptown (431 W. 125th St.):
– Land Use & Zoning 101: October 24, 6 –8 pm
– NYC Budget Process & the Community Board: November 3, 6 –8 pm
– Landmarks 101: November 29, 6 –8 pm

Downtown (1 Centre St. 19th Fl.):
– Land Use & Zoning 101: October 11, 6 –8 pm
– Open Data & Mapping Resources for Community Planning: October 17, 6 – 8 pm
– Census Data & Mapping for Demographic & Housing Analysis: October 27, 6 –8 pm

"Access Manhattan: Services for Better Communities" Fall Schedule Announced

October 11, 2016

Access Manhattan workshops are designed to help New Yorkers learn more about available city benefits, resources and services. All sessions in my Northern Manhattan Office at 431 W. 125th St. are open to the public, but please register online or call (212) 531-1609 to attend.

– Workforce & Job Opportunities: October 13, 6 –8 pm
– NYCHA Training with Housing Court Answers: October 18, 6 –8 pm
– Immigration & Citizenship: October 19, 2016, 6 –8 pm
– Grandparents & Senior Resource Fair: October 20, 2016, 6 –8 pm
– African Immigrant Task Force: October 26, 9:30–11 am
– Gun Violence Prevention Among Youth: October 27, 6 –8 pm
– Disaster & Snow Preparedness: November 2, 2016, 6 –8 pm
– Financial Literacy: Credit, Budgeting & Investment: November 30, 6 –8 pm
– Child/Family Justice: What You Need to Know: December 7, 6 –8 pm

Hurricane Matthew Emergency Relief

October 11, 2016

Last week, Hurricane Matthew whipped through the Caribbean and the southeastern United States, killing over 1,000 people and displacing countless families. If you would like to make a contribution to the relief efforts, there are several ways you can help.

Haiti Communitere is a local relief and renewal organization established after the 2010 earthquake with a proven record of disaster recovery. Madre provides aid to women and children in Haiti, who are even more vulnerable to violence in times of crisis. You can also donate to Doctors Without Borders, who are working to treat patients in Haiti suffering from storm-related injuries and the ongoing cholera epidemic, even as access to safe drinking water and electricity remains scarce.

The Mayor's Fund has organized a list of reputable humanitarian organizations working on the ground to provide relief to individuals and families across storm-affected areas. And for city employees, an optional donation can be made directly from your paycheck to Hurricane Matthew relief efforts.

"She saw something and she said something": Brewer & Chelsea Officials Honor New Yorker Who Called Police About Second Chelsea Bomb

For Immediate Release: Friday, September 30, 2016
Photos Available

Today, Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer and city and state elected officials recognized photographer Jane Schreibman for her role in reporting the second, undetonated improvised explosive device in Chelsea on the night of Saturday, September 17.

Schreibman is the Chelsea resident who "saw something and said something" that night, finding a suspiciously modified pressure cooker on the sidewalk and notifying the authorities of what turned out to be a second, undetonated bomb. The device was later safely removed from the street by police.

In a ceremony at Fashion Institute of Technology's Reeves Great Hall, Brewer, Council Member Corey Johnson, State Senator Brad Hoylman, and Assemblymember Richard Gottfried presented Schreibman with an official proclamation recognizing her potentially life-saving action. City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Letitia James, and Fashion Institute of Technology President Dr. Joyce F. Brown also attended the ceremony and spoke in praise of Schreibman's actions.

"By looking out for her neighbors and calling in a suspicious device left out in the street, Jane Schreibman exemplified our New York values," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "'If you see something, say something' isn't just a slogan -- it's an affirmation that we all live on top of each other, we're all in this together, and we all need to look out for each other. That's New York." Read more...

Joint Statement of Port Authority and Elected Officials of New York and New Jersey on Preliminary Planning Efforts to Design and Deliver a 21st Century West Side Bus Terminal

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Port Authority officials and representatives of New York and New Jersey have agreed on the need for a new West Side bus terminal and endorsed a new expanded, comprehensive planning process, which would include an analysis of potential temporary and additional bus facility sites and how a new bus facility should be integrated with current and future regional transportation assets. All future planning for the project will include significant stakeholder and public input.

Joining with the agency on today's statement from New York are Congressman Jerry Nadler, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, State Senator Brad Hoylman, Assembly Members Richard Gottfried and Linda Rosenthal, Councilmember Corey Johnson, Community Board 5 Chair Vikki Barbero, and Community Board 4 Chair Delores Rubin.

Joining with the agency on today’s statement from New Jersey are New Jersey State Senators Loretta Weinberg, Thomas Kean Jr. and Robert Gordon.

Ideas and input from a panel review of five design competition concepts submitted Aug. 29 as part of the Port Authority’s Design and Deliverability Competition may inform the planning process, which will include a larger universe of planning options to be considered for replacing the existing obsolete and deteriorating 66-year-old terminal, which serves approximately 232,000 passengers each weekday – a figure the Port Authority expects to jump to 337,000 passengers daily by 2040. The agency’s Board of Commissioners has not yet been presented with these concepts and the panel will not designate a recommended concept.

The comprehensive planning process will comply with expected federal, state and local environmental review and regulatory processes, with extensive public and stakeholder input, including regular meetings with city and state officials and local partners which the Port Authority expects to begin this month, as well as public meetings in the future. Read more...

Women's Equality Day Rally Promotes Voter Participation and New, Crowd-Sourced NYC Archive for Women's Activism

For Immediate Release: Friday, August 26, 2016

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer led a rally and press conference today with fellow women serving New York City as elected officials observing Women's Equality Day, calling for increased voter participation and recognition of women's activism. The officials were joined by Liz Abzug, daughter of U.S. Rep. Bella Abzug; Dept. of Records and Information Services Commissioner Pauline Toole; the League of Women Voters of New York City; and young people appointed by Brewer to Manhattan's Community Boards and her Council of Young Leaders.

In 1971, Congress adopted a resolution sponsored by New York's Rep. Bella Abzug designating August 26 Women's Equality Day, in honor of the certification of the Nineteeth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on that date in 1920.

"Ninety-six years ago today, the Nineteenth Amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote in this country was certified -- but we're still fighting to get more women in the voting booth and in the halls of power, from City Hall to Albany to Washington," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "Today is a day to celebrate, but also a day to double down on the work of empowering women and everyone else in our society whose voices haven't always been heard, and need to be." Read more...

St. John's Terminal Proposal Isn't Good Enough

Borough President recommends denial of application to redevelop West Village site with Hudson River Park air rights

For Immediate Release: Monday, August 22, 2016

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer recommended denial of land use applications and the transfer of development rights from the Hudson River Park Trust for the proposed redevelopment of the St. John's Terminal site in the West Village.

“A worthy plan for the St. John's Terminal site would have more and better affordable units, a true neighborhood retail plan, and accessible public spaces that residents will actually use,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "We don't need to choose between a massive project with massive flaws or letting Pier 40 fall into the river -- I firmly believe we can do better with this site."

Brewer, issuing her office's formal recommendation as part of the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), argued that a better plan for the site could produce more affordable units with a more equitable distribution of those units throughout the development. She also cited deficiencies in the proposal's plans for open space, transportation, parking, and retail in the neighborhood.

The applications will next be reviewed at a City Planning Commission public hearing Wednesday morning, August 24, at 10:00 am. Brewer plans to offer testimony on the proposal at that hearing.

Brewer Announces Applications for Manhattan Community Award Program Funds Open Through Sept. 25, Allocates $40,000 to Promote Healthy Eating at Supermarkets

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, August 17, 2015

Applications accepted online at bit.ly/MBPOgrants

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer has announced the open application period for her office’s Manhattan Community Award Program (MCAP), which provides funding for programming and operational expenses to nonprofit organizations and public schools. As part of this year's program, Brewer also announced the "Fresh Taste Manhattan Initiative," allocating $40,000 in MCAP funds for nonprofit programs that promote healthy eating and food preparation at local supermarkets. The deadline for both general MCAP and MCAP Fresh Taste applications is Sunday, September 25, 2016, at 11:59 pm.

“These funds can make a big difference for local neighborhoods and the schools and organizations serving them,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “Whether it’s supporting a shelter for homeless and runaway youth, a mentoring program for girls, or helping families put fresher, healthier food on the table, Manhattan Community Awards support programs that can transform neighborhoods and change lives.”

The Fresh Taste Manhattan initiative is Brewer's latest effort in an ongoing campaign to promote healthy eating and access to fresh food throughout the borough. Brewer's Fresh Food for Seniors program, highlighted by NY1 last year, makes high-quality, locally-sourced produce available through senior centers and other organizations throughout much of Manhattan for just $8 per bag. Brewer has also partnered with the Department of Citywide Administrative Services to sponsor a similar "Fresh Food Box" program at the David N. Dinkins Municipal Building, and allocated $2 million in capital funds to support urban agriculture programs in city schools.

MCAP applications will be accepted online, in keeping with B.P. Brewer’s advocacy for digital tools to increase access to government. For more information on MCAP applications and the program, visit the MCAP webpage.

Brewer Forces Council Review of Chelsea Development Missing Affordable Housing

For Immediate Release: Monday, August 15, 2016

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer invoked the little-used "triple no" provision of the City Charter to force a City Council vote on a controversial special permit application for a development project at 42 West 18th Street in Chelsea. Immediately following the City Planning Commission's narrow approval of the application at a meeting this morning, Brewer sent a formal letter of objection (below) to Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and City Planning Commission Chairman Carl Weisbrod.

"One of the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program's biggest selling points was creating affordable housing wherever the city gives out special permits that allow more residential development," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "This project doesn't include the affordable housing the law requires, and the arguments that it should be exempt are simply wrong."

The planned development, nicknamed "Adorama" for the camera store in the site's existing building, would result in a new building with more than 25,000 additional square feet and 26 additional residential apartments compared to the existing building. Yet despite this substantial increase in residential floor area and units, the Planning Commission did not require the project to comply with the affordable housing requirements of the new Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program. The Planning Commission approved the application this morning with seven yes votes, three abstentions, and three commissioners absent.

In a Daily News op-ed published last week, Brewer explained the distinction between the Department of City Planning's position and her own. Read more...

Statement on the Killings of Imam Maulama Akonjee and Thara Uddin

Whatever the motivation, the assassinations of Maulama Akonjee and Thara Uddin are an unspeakable outrage. My message to Muslim New Yorkers is simple: you are our neighbors, we are proud you are part of our city, and New Yorkers of all backgrounds and all faiths grieve with your community.
Brewer, parade organizers, and elected officials hold Dominican Day Parade launch event and honor Dominican New Yorkers in public service

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Photos Available

Tuesday evening, Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer and the Dominican Day Parade Committee held a launch party in Washington Heights for the upcoming Dominican Day Parade. The event was cosponsored by State Senator Adriano Espaillat, Assemblymember Guillermo Linares, and Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez.

"The Dominican community is an essential part of today's Manhattan and New York City, and I'll be proud to march up Sixth Avenue with my Dominican neighbors this Sunday," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "New York's history is built on chapter upon chapter of immigration, with diverse communities from all over the world weaving their cultures into the fabric of the city. The Dominican community is a vibrant, vital piece of that tapestry today."

Brewer, parade organizers, and elected officials representing Manhattan's Dominican community also saluted Dominican New Yorkers in public service during the reception. Honorees included:

Lisette Caesar, founding principal of Mosaic Preparatory Academy (P.S. 375) in East Harlem.
Det. Raysa Galvez, New York City Police Department, Bronx District Attorney's Detective Squad.
Firefighter Jackie-Michelle Martinez, Engine 275, New York Fire Department and Vice President, United Women Firefighters.
Sgt. Lissette Vasquez, 369th Sustainment Brigade, New York Army National Guard.

The reception also featured a performance by Los Andulleros de Santiago USA, a Dominican dance and carnival performance group founded in 2012. Read more...

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