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B.P. Brewer issues statement on Haitian Flag Day and writes to Homeland Security Secretary requesting extension of Temporary Protected Status for Haitian nationals in U.S.

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer issued the following statement on the occasion of Haitian Flag Day:

“I extend my warm wishes for a happy Haitian Flag Day to New York’s Haitian and Haitian-American community. New York City is home to one of the largest and oldest Haitian communities in this country, and I am proud that our city is host to approximately 20,000 of the 50,000 Haitian nationals living in the United States with Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

“Today I sent a letter to U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, urging the extension of TPS for Haitian nationals, which is due to expire July 2017. With Haiti’s UN military mission winding down and its infrastructure, agricultural sector, and food delivery systems still deeply compromised both by Hurricane Matthew and by the lingering effects of the 2010 earthquake, the United States must not cruelly and haphazardly force tens of thousands of Haitian citizens to repatriate immediately.

“I join Haitian-American community leaders and the Haitian government in urging that TPS be extended for at least 18 months.”

TPS is a designation applied to countries by the Secretary of Homeland Security when those countries are afflicted by conditions that prevent the safe return of their nationals from the United States. More information on TPS, including eligibility requirements, is available at the United States Customs and Immigration Service web site: https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/temporary-protected-status#Eligibility%20Requirements.
B.P. Brewer, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, and Council Member Corey Johnson Announce Formation of Garment Industry Steering Committee

BP Brewer with panelists at Urban Manufacturing Conference held in the Garment Center's High School of Fashion Industries

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, New York City Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen, and Council Member Corey Johnson today announced the formation of the Garment Industry Steering Committee.

Following the pattern of the successful East Midtown Steering Committee, this new group will be chaired by Borough President Brewer and will meet for three months with the following objectives:

  • Engage stakeholders in the Garment District and New York’s fashion and garment industries;
  • Devise a plan to ensure sufficient long-term space in mid-Manhattan remains available for garment manufacturers in the years to come; and
  • Expand upon the City’s existing plans for boosting the garment manufacturing industry.

The Department of City Planning will begin the formal review process for zoning changes affecting the Garment Center at the August 21 City Planning Review Session, after the steering committee makes its recommendations.

Statement of Borough President Gale A. Brewer:

“I’m thrilled to work with the administration to support the Garment Center. I expect by late August we’ll have a plan we can all be proud of.

“We all want the same thing: a thriving garment manufacturing center as the foundation for New York City’s continued success as a global fashion industry capital. We all also agree that the manufacturing preservation requirement in the Garment District’s zoning has been a flawed mechanism for actually protecting garment manufacturing in Manhattan.

“The one thing experts and business owners keep telling me is this: the Garment Center is a complex web of businesses that fit together. Some may be better off in Brooklyn, but some need to stay in Manhattan – and we must maintain a core of manufacturing space in Manhattan for them to do so. We need to determine how much space is necessary and the best way to acquire or preserve that space.

“Our steering committee will gather experts and representatives from all major stakeholders – manufacturers, labor, designers, and more – to examine the data, hear from everyone, and achieve consensus.

“The bottom line is that we already agree on a lot, and there’s a little more homework we need to do.”

B.P. Brewer asks: Is city enforcing law against selling illegal e-bikes, or just ticketing New Yorkers and businesses after they buy them?

Last week, Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer sent a letter to Consumer Affairs Commissioner Lorelei Salas, Police Commissioner James O'Neill, and Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, asking what the city is doing to enforce its law against selling 'motorized scooters' like electric bicycles.

Brewer was prompted to look into this issue by complaints from Manhattan residents like Rigoberto Fernandez Estevez. Mr. Fernandez was sold multiple electric bicycles by a brick-and-mortar business within the city limits, and then later was shocked to learn that not only was these vehicles' use on city streets illegal, but in fact selling these vehicles in the city is illegal as well. Mr. Fernandez did not find this out until after NYPD enforcement action resulted in confiscation of the vehicles and multiple $500 fines.

"We have a law against driving these vehicles on city streets, but we also have a law against selling them," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "New York residents and businesses who were illegally sold these e-bikes at New York City retailers are right to be frustrated when the city then turns around and fines them for driving them. We need robust enforcement on retailers illegally selling these vehicles, so more New Yorkers don't fall into this trap."

In the letter, Brewer requested a summary of public education and enforcement activities relating to both laws, and asked whether the city is targeting restaurants and small businesses, rather than retailers, as the 'most visible violators of the law'. Prompted by e-bikes' and scooters' prevalence with smaller, immigrant-owned businesses for use as delivery vehicles, Brewer also asked if the agencies had made public education materials available in multiple languages.

Watch the NY1 Noticias story on e-bikes.

B.P. Brewer announces $620,000 to fully fund air conditioning for High School of Fashion Industries auditorium

NEW YORK – The High School of Fashion Industries will finally be able to reclaim its beautiful, Works Progress Administration-era auditorium from 'brutal' summer temperatures, thanks to a $620,000 capital allocation from Borough President Gale A. Brewer fully funding installation of an air conditioning system.

Brewer announced today that the funding will be included in the Fiscal Year 2017-2018 city budget. The news coincides with her visit to the school with Mayor Bill de Blasio this afternoon to greet students and parents and celebrate the mayor's commitment to fund air conditioners for every public school classroom by 2022.

"This school was built before air conditioning existed, but in the 21st century there's just no reason our school spaces should be stiflingly hot for months out of the year," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "A school's auditorium is an essential space both for students and for the neighborhood, so it needs to be usable year-round. Just like I keep saying the arts aren't optional, spaces for the arts, performances, assemblies, town halls, and community events aren't optional either."

"I'm thrilled that Borough President Brewer is committing funding to put air conditioning in the auditorium at the High School of Fashion Industries," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "This funding, coupled with the city's promise to put air conditioners in every classroom, will help ensure students can learn in a safe, comfortable environment."

“We applaud the Borough President's commitment to funding for air conditioning in the auditorium at this school," said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. "Along with the City's commitment to install air conditioning in every classroom, this funding will ensure that students at Fashion High School are able to learn in a safe and comfortable environment and take full advantage of all the exciting programming their building has to offer, even during the summer months."  

"We have the largest school auditorium in Manhattan, but for months at a time it's intolerably hot," said High School of Fashion Industries Principal Daryl Blank. "I'm thrilled that our students and the broader community will all finally be able to enjoy and use this beautiful space year-round."

The High School of Fashion Industries' auditorium is Manhattan's largest high school auditorium, seating approximately 1,200. The space is lined with original murals depicting the American immigrant experience, dating back to the school's construction during the New Deal.

In addition to serving the traditional functions of any school's auditorium, the space is a venue for showcases of Fashion Industries students' design and production work. The auditorium also functions as a graduation venue for multiple Manhattan public schools and as a public meeting space.

Keeping Manufacturing in NYC, and a functional garment center ecosystem

Our office hosted a symposium on the “Future of Manufacturing in NYC—the Garment Center and Beyond” at the High School of Fashion Industries on April 24. Local residents and industry stakeholders—labor, business owners, and building owners came together to listen to two panels:

What urban manufacturers are making today, and how zoning can help or hurt them. Moderated by the Pratt Institute's Adam Friedman, featuring Sara Romanoski of Townsquared, Armando Moritz-Chapelliquen of the Association for Neighborhood Housing and Development, and Jessica Spaulding of the Harlem Chocolate Factory.

The New York City garment ecosystem, how it works, and how to protect and strengthen it. Moderated by the Design Trust's Susan Chin, featuring garment industry and Garment Center neighborhood stakeholders including fashion designer Yeohlee Teng, garment manufacturer Joseph Ferrara, garment workers union leader Edgar Romney, garment manufacturer George Kalajian, Theatrical Wardrobe Union member Steve Epstein, and Garment District Alliance executive director Barbara Blair.

Following lively panel discussions, audience members joined break out groups to brainstorm manufacturing preservation efforts. I’m dedicated to keeping a hub of manufacturing at the Garment Center – as a way of keeping skilled jobs in our borough and our city.

Free Summer Events Guide!

Brewer distributing free reusable bags for Earth Day

NEW YORK – Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer announced that her office is distributing reusable grocery bags for free this Earth Day Weekend at greenmarkets, grocery stores, and the Washington Heights Earth Day and Car-Free New York Day street event. 

New Yorkers throw away an average of 10 single-use bags per person every week, and the city as a whole throws away more than 9 billion single-use plastic bags a year, generating 90,000 tons of plastic bags in our waste stream at a cost of more than $12 million. Moreover, petroleum-based plastic bags never biodegrade and litter New Yorkers' streets, trees, public parks, and waterways, creating a public nuisance, polluting the environment, and posing a hazard for wildlife.

"Plastic bags are a 90,000-ton, $12 million problem -- but by grabbing reusable bags and taking them with us when we go shopping, we can all be part of the solution," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "Please stop by and pick up a bag from one of our giveaway sites this weekend!"

Free bags will be available on a first-come, first-served basis at the locations listed below. Most sites will be offering the bags on Earth Day (Saturday), but three sites -- in the East Village, Upper West Side, and Morningside Heights -- will be distributing bags on Sunday.


Location Address CB Giveaway Day Giveaway Hours
Tribeca Greenmarket Chambers St & Greenwich St 1 Saturday 8 am - 3 pm
Abingdon Square Greenmarket Hudson St & W 12th St 2 Saturday 8 am - 2 pm
Tompkins Square Greenmarket E 7th St & Ave A 3 Sunday 9 am - 6 pm
Morton Williams Supermarket 278 Park Ave South 5 Saturday 24 hours
Morton Williams Supermarket 1031 First Ave 6 Saturday 7 am - midnight
Morton Williams Supermarket 908 Second Ave 6 Saturday 24 hours
Morton Williams Supermarket 311 E 23rd St 6 Saturday 7 am - 1 am
79th Street Greenmarket Columbus Ave @ 78th St 7 Sunday 9 am - 4 pm
82nd Street Greenmarket 408 E 82nd St 8 Saturday 9 am - 2:30 pm
Morton Williams Supermarket 1211 Madison Ave 8 Saturday 7 am - 11 pm
Morton Williams Supermarket 1565 First Ave 8 Saturday 7 am - midnight
Morton Williams Supermarket 1331 First Ave 8 Saturday 24 hours
Morton Williams Supermarket 1066 Third Ave 8 Saturday 7 am - midnight
Columbia Greenmarket Broadway & W 114th St 9 Sunday 8 am - 5 pm
Key Food Supermarket 421 W 125th St 9 Saturday 7 am - 11 pm
Morton Williams Supermarket 2941 Broadway 9 Saturday 24 hours
City Fresh Supermarket 2212 Third Ave 11 Saturday 24 hours
Cherry Valley Supermarket 309 E 115th St 11 Saturday 24 hours
City Fresh Supermarket 235 E 106th St 11 Saturday 7 am - 10 pm
Cherry Valley Supermarket 1968 Second Ave 11 Saturday 24 hours
Inwood Greenmarket Isham St & Cooper St 12 Saturday 8 am - 3 pm
Car Free Day Uptown Earth Day Event St. Nicholas Ave from W 181st St to W 190th St 12 Saturday 10 am - 4 pm
In Partnership with CB12: Associated Supermarket 592 Fort Washington Ave 12 Saturday Starting 8:30 am
In Partnership with CB12: Foodtown Supermarket 600 W 160th St 12 Saturday Starting 8:30 am
In Partnership with CB12: C-Town Supermarket 4918 Broadway 12 Saturday Starting 8:30 am


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