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Statement on Women's Equality Day

For Immediate Release: August 26, 2015

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer issued the following statement in recognition of Women's Equality Day, the anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution:

"Women’s Equality Day celebrates the passage of the 19th Amendment while calling attention to women’s continuing struggle for equal pay and equal opportunity and the improved quality of life that comes from justice and fair treatment for all Americans.

"And the struggle is far from over. White women are paid 77 percent of what men earn—a discrepancy that hasn’t changed since 2002. But the more startling numbers are for Hispanic women, who earn 55 cents on the white male dollar, and African American women, who earn 64 cents on that dollar.

"Women constitute 47 percent of the paid U.S. workforce, and 41 percent of mothers are breadwinners for their families. But they also make up over 64 percent of America’s minimum-wage workers.

"The best way to change this lopsided playing field is to register women of all ages, income levels, races, and ethnicities to vote. Last year the Manhattan Borough President’s Office reached out to New York women to take the pledge to register five women voters for the November elections—and now we’re doing the same to get more women casting their ballots on November 3.

"As I’ve said many times, what are essentially 'unwritten laws' have stood between women and equality from time immemorial. It’s not easy to change these laws, but it’s also not impossible. Voting makes things possible." Read more...

Statement on Times Square Plaza and Future Uses

For Immediate Release: August 23, 2015

“I was proud to help fund the new TKTS booth and grandstand in Duffy Square and to stand with Mayor Bloomberg and his Transportation Commissioner Jeanette Sadik-Khan at the opening of the plaza. Since then, like many New Yorkers who contributed in ways large and small to the revival of Times Square, I have crossed the plaza en route to meetings or performances, sat in the chairs to take in the scene, listened to languages from around the world, and reflected on whether the square’s renewal was a good thing for New York.

“It is clear that the renewal of Times Square as an area for pedestrians, and as a major shopping destination because of its pedestrian-friendly design, has been a huge success. In doubt? Ask about the rents. The plaza has made Times Square the very heart of New York once again, and the notion of destroying this in exchange for another cauldron of honking, snarled traffic is preposterous. I am often in a cab going through the area and traffic moves better now than before—the real congestion is on the cross streets, and this is due to the Broadway boom.

“As Borough President, I have been working with colleagues and the Times Square Alliance on a solution to the proliferation of costume characters and the ‘desnudas’. Those who are trumpeting a ‘task force’ should at least get briefed on the scores of meetings and proposals that have already been considered—including negotiating restricted areas, enforcement for harassing tactics, and some other ideas that seemed promising but might make matters worse. For example, to register ‘performers’ might only spread the problem to other locations. Until the mayor spoke out, no one who funded, designed, built, maintained, or enjoyed car-free Times Square thought the plazas should be destroyed.

“I join those who want a sensible solution—and there are several workable ones already on the table thanks to those who have been grappling with this issue for some time. It took real leadership and vision, and plenty of money, to create a different kind of New York not just for motorists. Putting back the honking, angry, fumy Broadway parking lot at the so-called center of the world would be no accomplishment. Surely we cannot go back to destroying the city in order to make it safe for more cars.” Read the full release...

Statement on the Gas Explosion at JFK High School

For Immediate Release: August 21, 2015

Little-known fact: Marble Hill-- while technically across the Harlem River and connected to the Bronx-- is legally considered part of Manhattan.

As Manhattan's Borough President, I hope for the speedy recovery of the workers who were injured in last night's gas explosion at JFK High School in Marble Hill. Inspections will decide whether the building is safe to resume classes. We will keep all informed as to any possible re-locations.

Applications Open for Manhattan Community Award Program Grants Through Sept. 10

Applications accepted online for first time at http://bit.ly/MBPOgrants

Today, Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer opened the application period for her office’s Manhattan Community Award Program (MCAP) grants to nonprofit organizations and public schools. The deadline for submission is Thursday, September 10, 2015.

“Grants like these 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, or a writing and mentoring program for girls in our schools, Manhattan Community Award grants support programs that can transform neighborhoods and change lives.”

MCAP grant applications will be accepted online for the first time, in keeping with B.P. Brewer’s advocacy for the adoption of digital tools to increase access to government.

Applicants may request between $3,500 to $5,000, and grants are awarded by the Manhattan Borough President’s Office through a competitive review process. An independent panel of professionals from nonprofits and foundations serving Manhattan conducts the final evaluation of applications.

For more information on the Manhattan Community Award Program, visit our MCAP webpage.

Representatives of nonprofits or public schools interested in applying for MCAP grants are asked to direct questions to Sam Levine, Budget Director for the Borough President’s Office, at slevine@manhattanbp.nyc.gov or (212) 669-4814.

Media inquiries should be directed to Andrew Goldston, Press Secretary for the Borough President’s Office, at agoldston@manhattanbp.nyc.gov or (917) 960-1187.

Statement on Amalgamated Bank's Adoption of $15 Minimum Wage

For Immediate Release: August 6, 2015

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer issued the following statement on Amalgamated Bank's decision to institute a company-wide $15 minimum wage:

“I congratulate Amalgamated Bank for instituting a company-wide $15 minimum wage. This is what leadership looks like, and every bank operating in New York should follow Amalgamated’s example.

“Large employers with workforces so underpaid they rely on public assistance is a story we hear all too often in connection with big-box stores and fast food chains. But the shocking truth is that 40 percent of workers in New York’s banks rely on public assistance, and nearly three quarters of New York’s bank tellers earn less than $15 per hour.

“While Amalgamated’s new policy is a major step forward, positive actions by individual employers are still no substitute for progress on statewide and nationwide minimum wage increases. We must keep fighting for Albany and Washington to raise the minimum wage.” Read more...

Joint Statement on Leadership of the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy

For Immediate Release: July 30, 2015

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Assemblymember Deborah Glick, Assemblymember Sheldon Silver, and Councilmember Margaret Chin issued the following joint statement on the leadership of the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy:

"Tessa Huxley’s work for parks in the Battery Park City community has been exemplary, and it is through her leadership that Battery Park City is such a beautiful community.

“We are deeply disturbed by the rumors that Tessa Huxley is being forced out of her position leading the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy by the Battery Park City Authority leadership. If she chooses to retire she will have our thanks and our sincere best wishes, but we see absolutely no reason for her not to continue in her position for as long as she wishes to serve."

Statement on Energy Conservation During Extreme Summer Weather

For Immediate Release: July 29, 2015

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer issued the following statement on energy conservation during this week's extreme summer heat:

“Mayor de Blasio was absolutely right to note the importance of energy conservation and suggest New Yorkers refrain from running their air conditioners at the coolest possible temperature. We must all work together to reduce the risk of blackout and brownout conditions.

"However, raising the thermostat is only the beginning. Throughout our city, there are thousands upon thousands of commercial storefronts, and many are illegally propping their doors open and air conditioning the sidewalks.

"We passed Local Law 38 of 2008, outlawing this behavior for large stores and chain stores, for good reason: a 10,000 square foot business that leaves just one door open can waste 4,200 kilowatt hours of electricity over the course of the summer and release 2 tons of unnecessary carbon dioxide into the air, according to Con Edison.

"I implore owners and managers of street-level businesses to keep your doors and windows closed when the AC is running, and I urge the Department of Consumer Affairs to step up enforcement of the law during this period of extreme heat. Any New Yorker who observes a large store or a chain store with its AC running and its door propped open should call my office at 212-531-1609 and call in a complaint to 311."

MBPO Report: Fewer Than 10 Percent of Broadway Curb Cuts ADA-Compliant

For Immediate Release: July 28, 2015

View the report: Webpage | PDF

Standing this morning at Broadway and East 11th Street, Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer issued a report finding that fewer than 10 percent of curb cuts along the entire length of Broadway in Manhattan fully comply with the specifications of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), whose 25th anniversary was celebrated last Sunday.

“If fewer than 10 percent of our curb cuts are up to code and accessible on our longest, most recognizable commercial street, we have a problem,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “The ADA’s 25th anniversary isn’t just a time to celebrate the progress we’ve achieved – it’s a time to double down on the work that still needs to be done to make our city safe, navigable, and welcoming for New Yorkers with disabilities.”

Starting in September 2014, more than 40 staff and volunteers from the Manhattan Borough President’s Office surveyed 1,357 locations where curb cuts are mandated by law along Broadway, from Bowling Green through Inwood. Of those locations, only 1,209 curb cuts could be located and measured. The remaining 142 curb cuts (10.5 percent) counted as missing were either entirely absent or obstructed by barriers. In addition:

  • 6 percent led directly into a pothole
  • 18 percent were blocked by street furniture such as garbage cans, newsstands, or scaffolding
  • 24 percent were crumbling
  • 28 percent were too steeply sloped to comply with ADA specifications, and
  • Nearly 90 percent were missing the required “bumps” to warn vision-impaired New Yorkers of the presence of a ramp


Brewer Announces Sept. 10
Public Hearing on Manhattan Traffic Congestion

For Immediate Release: July 21, 2015

Today, Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer announced a public hearing on Manhattan traffic congestion, its causes, and potential solutions. Brewer issued the following statement:

"Uber and for-hire vehicles are only one piece of a larger congestion puzzle, and we need to have a broader conversation on congestion causes and solutions in Manhattan. That’s why I am convening a public hearing, as authorized by the City Charter, to fully explore this issue.

“According to the Taxi & Limousine Commission, the number of for-hire vehicles on our streets has spiked by 63 percent since 2011, and right now we are adding vehicles at a rate of 2,000 per month. These increases, driven by Uber and other e-hail services, may be exacerbating Manhattan's traffic problems.

“But we need to get the full picture of all sources of traffic increases, and holistic solutions to the gridlock that afflicts Manhattan. That conversation needs to include congestion pricing options, East River tolls, and significantly more investment in the MTA from every level of government. This public hearing will enable New Yorkers to get the full picture from a broad range of experts and interested parties." Read more...

Brewer Writes to Mayor De Blasio and NYCHA Chair Olatoye in Response to $10m Broadband Investment's Exclusion of Manhattan Developments

For Immediate Release: July 16, 2015

On Thursday, Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer sent the following letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York City Housing Authority Chair Shola Olatoye on the city's failure to include any Manhattan developments as part of its newly-announced $10 million investment in free broadband for NYCHA residents.

In her letter, Manhattan Borough President Brewer wrote: “While I am strongly supportive of your desire to bring free broadband to needy New Yorkers, I am confused as to why an Administration committed to an equitable New York would ignore two whole boroughs with a plan like this. NYCHA residents should not be penalized for living in Manhattan.” Read more...

NOTICE: Manhattan Borough Board meets Thursday, June 18th

The Manhattan Borough Board will meet Thursday, July 16, 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 Thanks Mayor for Announcing Friday's Ticker Tape Parade for U.S. Women's Soccer Team

For Immediate Release: July 7, 2015

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer issued the following statement this evening, following Mayor de Blasio's announcement that New York City will honor the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team with a ticker tape parade in lower Manhattan:

"This team will turn the Canyon of Heroes into the Canyon of Heroines. It will be a history-making parade for a history-making group of athletes.

"With an emphatic victory that captivated a record-breaking national audience, they have demonstrated how far we've come.

"I thank Mayor de Blasio for authorizing the parade, and I'm looking forward to helping his team put it together.”

Yesterday, following the U.S. women's Sunday World Cup Final victory, Brewer wrote to the mayor:

“New York has a strong history of honoring sports teams in the Canyon of Heroes, but has never held a parade to honor a women’s team. Our newest soccer champions present an opportunity for New York to recognize that heroes and role models come in all genders, and I hope you will work with me to make this parade a reality.”

In the past day, the New York Daily News endorsed the parade in an editorial and more than 4,600 people have signed Brewer's online petition encouraging Mayor de Blasio to call a parade.

A history of New York City ticker tape parade honorees may be viewed here. Read a copy of Brewer’s letter.

Brewer Calls for Ticker Tape Parade for Victorious U.S. Women's Soccer Team

For Immediate Release: July 6, 2015

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer today asked Mayor de Blasio to authorize a ticker tape parade along the Canyon of Heroes in Lower Manhattan to honor the U.S. Women’s National Team, who won the 2015 FIFA World Cup yesterday.

In a letter addressed to the mayor, Brewer wrote:

“New York has a strong history of honoring sports teams in the Canyon of Heroes, but has never held a parade to honor a women’s team. Our newest soccer champions present an opportunity for New York to recognize that heroes and role models come in all genders, and I hope you will work with me to make this parade a reality.”

Read the complete letter. A history of New York City ticker tape parade honorees may be viewed here.

Show your support for the US Women's National Soccer Team: Sign the petition!

Public Comment Period for East 91st Street Manhattan Transfer Station Open Through July 24

June 30, 2015

The construction of the East 91st Street Marine Transfer Station raises serious environmental and public safety concerns. It is an unnecessary project that places significant burden on the community – without providing justifiable benefits.

Through July 24, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is accepting comments from the public regarding the renewal of the construction and operating permits for the East 91st Street MTS. This is an opportunity for the community most impacted by the East 91st Street MTS to have their voices heard. Submissions are crucial; these public comments apply pressure on DEC to hold a public hearing and take the next step against the MTS.

The Manhattan Borough President’s Office will continue to work with local elected officials and members of the community to challenge the renewal of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s operating and construction permits with the aim of halting this ill-conceived project. A real review of these MTS permits – including a public hearing – is vital.

If you would like to submit comments to the DEC on the three construction and operating permits under review, please send them to:

Iver M. Anderson
NYSDEC Region 2 Headquarters
47-40 21st Street
Long Island City, NY 11101-5407

Statement on the Supreme Court's Marriage Equality Decision

June 26, 2015

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer issued the following statement on the Supreme Court's decision announced today in Obergefell v. Hodges:

"Four years ago, New Yorkers and Americans across the country celebrated our state's seemingly-impossible achievement in enacting marriage equality. Just four years later, we are celebrating a civil rights victory guaranteeing equal rights for same-sex couples across the country.

"Congratulations to the committed LGBT advocates and activists who have worked so hard to achieve this victory. Today our nation has taken another large step toward a more perfect union."

Statement on Addition of South Street Seaport to National List of Endangered Historic Places

June 24, 2015

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer issued the following statement on the addition of the South Street Seaport to the National Trust for Historic Preservation's annual "America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places" list:

"The National Trust's designation only confirms what we in Manhattan already know: the Seaport area is at risk -- and very much worth preserving.

"In many ways, the Seaport is where New York City's economic development began, and we should be able to show future generations how that happened while enhancing the neighborhood for current New Yorkers.

"To dominate the area with a tower is the wrong choice, and I'm glad that the Howard Hughes Corporation is drafting a new proposal."

Stonewall Inn Designated a
City Landmark!

June 23, 2015

Happy Pride Month! As cities across the world celebrate the 46th Anniversary the birth of the LGBT rights movement, the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission has now ensured that the place where it all began is written into history. Today, the LPC voted unanimously to make the Stonewall Inn a landmark – the first LGBT landmark in New York City!

The Stonewall Inn has a unique place in the history of our city and in the struggle for dignity and equal rights in our society. Thanks to the LPC for finally designating the Stonewall Inn as a city landmark.

Read the office's testimony in favor of Stonewall Inn landmark designation.

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