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...

Help Launch the Dominican Day Parade!

Join Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer this Tuesday, August 9, 2016 for the official Dominican Day Parade Launch Party, co-sponsored by State Senator Adriano Espaillat, Assembly Member Guillermo Linares, City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, and the Dominican Day Parade Committee!

This is a ticketed event so please register online or call (212) 531-2277 to celebrate with us at the historic United Palace in Washington Heights!

 

Brewer, Chin: Add Deed Restrictions to Unified Land Use Review Procedure

For Immediate Release: July 20, 2016
Photos available

Borough President Gale A. Brewer and Councilmember Margaret S. Chin called on the City Planning Commission to make deed restriction changes subject to the city's Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP).

In a letter to the City Planning Commission, Brewer and Chin cited a provision of the New York City Charter allowing it to recommend new categories of land use changes for addition to the ULURP process, subject to confirmation by City Council legislation.

“The city already has a process for considering land use questions -- it's called ULURP, and it works,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “We lost Rivington House because the deed restriction change was managed by the wrong agencies in a bad process. The best way to fix this is to handle these land use changes the same tried-and-true way we've handled other meaningful land use changes for years, with transparency and public input.”

“Rather than sticking with a broken system that took Rivington House from the community, or creating another system from scratch, it makes sense to utilize a proven process that for decades has guided thousands of land use changes,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. “By making deed restriction changes subject to ULURP, we will introduce transparency and public input to an inconsistent process that has failed to protect and preserve significant community assets, such as Rivington House.” Read more...

NOTICE: Manhattan Borough Board meets Thursday, July 21

The Manhattan Borough Board will meet Thursday, July 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
Brewer Statement on NYC Employee Retirement System Vote to Divest From Gun Retailers

For Immediate Release: July 14, 2016

Borough President Brewer issued the following statement today, after the NYC Employee Retirement System's board voted to divest from gun retailers:

“Today we’ve made a prudent decision that contributes to the growing movement against gun violence while advancing the interests of city pension beneficiaries and New York City as a whole. Gun manufacturers’ and gun merchants’ long-term business model is growing the demand for deadly weapons, then selling those weapons to people who usually don’t need them and often shouldn’t have them. It may be a big-money business today, but it’s a bad investment for the future.”

Brewer Reacts to Dallas Shootings, Will Reconvene Police-Community Roundtable Conversations Throughout Manhattan

For Immediate Release: July 8, 2016

Borough President Brewer issued this statement in reaction to the coordinated sniper attack in Dallas, Texas which killed five police officers, injured seven other officers, and injured two other individuals, and announced that her office will hold new police-community roundtable discussions throughout the borough in the coming months. Read more...

Statement on Minnesota and Louisiana Police-Involved Shootings

For Immediate Release: July 7, 2016

"I’m horrified by what I’ve read and seen of the two shootings of black men by police officers in Louisiana and Minnesota. While I honor the public service of police officers, we must confront the truth: something is systemically wrong with how law enforcement in our country interacts with people of color.

"Every government official in this country must take personal responsibility for helping to fix this. The status quo is senseless death, and any of us in government who are not actively working to prevent the next senseless death are hastening it."

Brewer Announces $26 Million in Borough Capital Awards, Doubles Commitment to Urban Agriculture With $2 Million for School Hydroponics, Green Roofs, and Gardens

For Immediate Release: July 6, 2015

NEW YORK – Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer today announced a slate of capital funding awards supporting the borough's schools, parks, libraries, and community-based nonprofit organizations. The awards included $2 million supporting urban agriculture in public schools, funding facilities like in-school hydroponics labs and rooftop gardens. The awards were included in the city’s budget for the Fiscal Year 2017, which began on July 1.

"Whether we're adding hydroponics labs in our schools, renovating parks, or improving libraries, our goal is always the same: build a better Manhattan," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "Capital funds give us the opportunity to invest in our neighborhoods, and it's the people in our neighborhoods -- kids, families, and seniors -- who make Manhattan truly special." Read more...

View the full list of FY 2017 capital funding awardees...

 

Congressional Primary Election - Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Tuesday, June 28 is New York's primary election for Congress, and the second of four elections scheduled this year. Remember to vote! Every district in Manhattan has a primary for at least one party line. New York City polling locations are open from 6am to 9pm. To find your polling place, click here.

On Eve of Second 2016 Primary Election, Brewer and CIDNY Survey Puts Spotlight on Barriers to Voters With Disabilities

For Immediate Release: June 27, 2016

On the eve of New York's Congressional primary, Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer and the Center for the Independence of the Disabled in New York (CIDNY) issued the results of their survey of voters in the April 2016 presidential primary. In the survey, Brewer's office and CIDNY gathered feedback from 128 New Yorkers on their experience in the April Primary, with a focus on issues affecting equal access and voting rights for New Yorkers with disabilities.

The survey results show a number of serious concerns that need to be addressed by the City's Board of Elections, including:

▪ More than 70 percent of poll sites surveyed by CIDNY had at least one kind of accessibility barrier.
▪ 20 percent of respondents reported their poll site was overcrowded, a significant problem for voters who use wheelchairs or who live with other mobility impairments.
▪ Nearly a quarter (24 percent) of voters who attempted to use an accessible Ballot Marking Device reported that they were unable to vote privately and independently, in some cases because poll workers were not trained on how to properly assist voters without violating their privacy. Read more...

See the full survey results...

Pride Weekend Updates

June 19, 2016

LGBT Pride Weekend is June 24-26! March with Gale and the Brew Crew in Sunday's Pride March! Sign up to march here; click here for more details.

A great start to Pride Weekend: President Obama has designated the site of the Stonewall Rebellion as the country's newest national monument. It is the first dedicated to the LGBT community and the struggle for LGBT rights.

Tuesday, June 21, 5-8pm: Make Music NY Concert at Carl Schurz Park

June 17, 2016

Join Gale, the Borough President's Office, and the Friends of Carl Schurz Park Tuesday evening for a concert featuring local musicians and students performing jazz, soul, pop, rock, and more! The concert, part of Make Music NY, will be held in beautiful Carl Schurz Park (East End Avenue at 86th Street), from 5-8pm. The run of show:

Sarah DeLeo
5:00 PM - 5:45 PM
Jazz, Pop, Standards

City Bandits
5:45 PM - 6:30 PM
Rock, Pop

Noel Simone Wippler
6:30 PM - 7:15 PM
Funk, Jazz, Soul

LaGuardia High School Senior Jazz Sextet
7:15 PM - 8:00 PM
Jazz

NOTICE: Manhattan Borough Board meets Thursday, June 16

The Manhattan Borough Board will meet Thursday, June 16, 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

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