Introducing Vendy Plaza @ La Marqueta!

Please join us this Sunday (and every Sunday through November 23rd) for an exciting new event at La Marqueta: Vendy Plaza, presented by La Marqueta Retoña. Vendy Plaza is an outdoor food market with live Latin jazz and a cash bar. Stop by La Placita at 115th Street and Park Avenue anytime between 12 noon and 6 pm for great food and a great time. Please help us spread the word on social media!

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Discretionary Funding Process for Fiscal Year 2015

The discretionary funding process for Fiscal Year 2015 is underway and deadlines are fast approaching. Please find application instructions below.

EXPENSE FUNDING

To apply for expense funding, please visit http://council.nyc.gov/html/budget/application.shtml. Please be sure to follow all instructions carefully.

The deadline for submitting your expense funding application and all required documents is Friday, March 21, 2014. There will be NO exceptions made to this deadline. Please complete the application on time.

CAPITAL FUNDING

• City Capital Projects: Schools and other city facilities interested in applying for capital funding should send an e-mail request to aking@council.nyc.gov and mvelez@council.nyc.gov.

• Non-City Capital Projects: All groups interested in applying for non-city capital funding (except cultural organizations) should visit http://www.nyc.gov/html/capgrants/capgrants.html.

• Non-City Cultural Projects: If you are a cultural group interested in applying for non-city capital funding, please visit http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcla/html/funding/capital.shtml.

The deadline for submitting your capital funding application to the City Council is Wednesday, April 9, 2014. There will be NO exceptions made to this deadline. Please complete the application on time.

Join Us at Our Annual Peace March This Friday

 

This Friday, we will hold our annual El Barrio/East Harlem Peace March, which will be led by local youth and is sponsored by Melissa and Senator Jose M. Serrano. We will gather on 116th Street and Madison Avenue at 5:00 pm and will depart promptly at 5:30 pm. From there, we will head east on 116th Street, south on Lexington Avenue and east on 106th Street, where we will end at the East Harlem Tree Lighting at 3rd Avenue.

Please join us and stand up for peace in our community!

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NYC Council Passes Resolutions to Help Students Facing Exorbitant Student Loan Debt

We’ve all heard about the student debt crisis in our country. The New York City Council passed two resolutions on Monday related to our ballooning student debt. Melissa sponsored one of the two resolutions, in support of the Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act introduced by Senator Elizabeth Warren, which would reduce the interest rate of federal subsidized Stafford student loans for one year from the current 3.4% to 0.75%.

Want to show your support for reducing student debt? Click here to sign a petition by Senator Elizabeth Warren, in support of her bill, which would allow students to pay the same rate that banks pay to borrow money from the government for one year.

If Congress does not act before this coming Monday, the interest rates of all federal student loans will double from 3.4% to 6.8%, a move that would have devastating impacts across the country. The federal legislation supported by these Council esolutions can allow students to refinance their student loans as well as lower interest rates to those offered to U.S. banks by the Department of the Treasury.

Currently, over 38 million people have student loan debt obligations, amounting to close to $1 trillion. Over the last 10 years, student loan debt has quadrupled from $240 billion in 2003. With the planned increase in federal Stafford loans, more defaults are expected as currently, students are not able to refinance their loans.

“Our two resolutions send a clear message from New York City that we demand action in Congress on measures that will lower student loan debt. We must continue to invest in our young people without asking them to assume such a high level of debt in return, especially in today’s economy. The planned doubling of interest rates will only discourage prospective college students from seeking to better themselves through higher education. That is why I am supporting Senator Warren’s proposal to lower interest rates to the same level that banks pay for at least one year, as well as Senator Gillibrand’s legislation for a long-term fix. We cannot continue to be held hostage by forces in our country that want to do nothing else but impede our President’s agenda while turning a blind eye to our most vulnerable. Senators Gillibrand and Warren are both showing incredible leadership on this issue and I thank them as well as Higher Education Chair Rodriguez for ushering these resolutions to passage in the City Council.”

Reduce, Reuse & Recycle

SNS_1210-header2_0Stop ‘N’ Swap is coming to East Harlem! A Stop ‘N’ Swap is a community-based event where residents bring in items they no longer want, and come to take things they do want. The events are free and residents don’t have to bring something to take something.  The items are sorted upon arrival, and at the end of the day all leftovers are either donated or recycled.

WHO: GrowNYC’s Office of Recycling Outreach and Education and the Urban Garden Center
WHAT: Stop ‘N’ Swap
WHEN: Sunday, June 30, 2013. 12 PM – 3 PM
WHERE: La Placita at La Marqueta (116th St & Park Ave) with Urban Garden Center’s FleaMarqueta
Click here for the flyer in English and Spanish.

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Please note that NYC’s plastic recycling guidelines just got a whole lot easier! Recycling is one of the simplest and most effective ways you can reduce your carbon footprint, so please – do your part. If you have any questions about what you should or should not be recycling, you can refer to NYC Recycles.

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Immigration Reform Roundtable: What New Yorkers Need to Know

Please join us on Saturday, June 29th at MIST Harlem for a free community forum and resource fair – Immigration Reform Roundtable: What New Yorkers Need to Know. This event is a chance to hear from and speak to the experts about efforts to establish federal immigration reform, how to avoid becoming a victim to immigration fraud, and learning your rights from the law enforcement and deportation aspect. Additionally, there will be many resources and services available to the immigrant community at this forum. Spanish, Chinese and French interpretation services will be  provided.

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WHO: Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer, African Services Committee, African Advisory Committee, Asian American Federation, Casa Puebla, Centro Civico Cultural Dominicano Inc, Chinese American Planning Council, Coalition for Asian American Children & Families, Dominican Sunday,  Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, Manhattan Immigrant Rights Task Force, Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrants Rights and New York Council of Imams
WHAT: A community forum and resource fair – Immigration Reform Roundtable: What New Yorkers Need to Know
WHEN: Saturday, June 29th – 8:30 AM to 1 PM. 8:30 AM Doors Open/Breakfast; Program 9:30 AM Sharp
WHERE: MIST Harlem – 46 West 116th Street (between Lenox and 5th Avenues)

RSVP to Kate Spaulding at kspaulding@manhattanbp.org or (212) 669-2094

Para ver el volante del evento en español, haga clic aquí.

SOUTH BRONX: Apply to NYC Summer Quest 2013

summerquestNYC Summer Quest is a free, five-week, full day summer learning program that provides elementary and middle school students with fun, hands-on enrichment experiences while strengthening their academic skills. DOE teachers and educators from community-based organizations collaborate to offer students Common-Core aligned instruction, enrichment activities, sports and recreation, and field trips. Last summer, 90% of parents surveyed reported that NYC Summer Quest was a good balance of fun and learning, and 90% of parents would recommend the NYC Summer Quest program to other parents.

For Summer 2013, the program will be offered in 11 schools in Community School Districts 7, 9, and 12 in the South Bronx. The following Bronx schools and community-based partners have been selected to offer the program:

  • PS 5 Port Morris/LEAP (Learning thruogh an Expanded Arts Program)
  • PS 153 Jonathan D. Hyatt/YMCA of Greater New York – Bronx
  • PS 179/BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life)
  • PS 63 Author’s Academy/BELL
  • PS/IS 218 Rafael Hernandez Duel Language Magnet School/BELL
  • CS 211/Children’s Aid Society
  • CS 300 School of Science and Applied Learning/Good Shepherd Services
  • JHS 162 Lola Rodriguez de Tio/Oasis Children’s Services
  • South Bronx Academy for Applied Media/Partnership with Children
  • Urban Assembly School for Applied Math and Science/Wingspan Arts
  • IS 313 School of Leadership Development/Oasis Children’s Services

All elementary and middle school students attending public school in Districts 7, 9, and 12 are eligible to sign up through July 11, 2013. Capacity is limited. Priority enrollment is offered to students who attend the schools listed above. 

If your child attends one of the schools listed above, contact your school principal or parent coordinator to learn more and to apply. If your child attends an elementary or middle school in Districts 7, 9, and 12 and you would like further information, please email: nycsummerquest@schools.nyc.gov.

You can read more about NYC Summer Quest at this link.

Click here for a PDF flyer with the above information in English & Español.

Did You Know That The G.E.D. Test Will Change in 2014?

On January 1, 2014 the G.E.D. exam is going to change, which means that if you’ve been working towards your G.E.D. but have yet to complete it, your scores will become invalid and you will have to start all over again. Come learn about the changes and how you can finish your G.E.D. in 2013 at the Union Settlement Association Youth Center at Washington Houses (1775 Third Avenue at 98th Street) on Wednesday, June 26th from 5:30 to 7:30 PM.

Whether you are planning to continue your education, find better employment, or want to assist a family member with his or her studies – obtaining your G.E.D. is an essential step in the process. Regardless of when you dropped out of high school, now is as good a time as ever to complete your G.E.D., especially if you already began the process.

GEDWHO: Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito
WHAT: Finish Your GED in 2013
WHEN: Wednesday, June 26th – 5:30 to 7:30 PM
WHERE: Union Settlement Association Youth Center at Washington Houses – 1775 Third Avenue (at 98th Street)

For more information, contact Lauren Quinones at (212) 828-9800 or lquinones@council.nyc.gov.

BRONX YOUTH: NYC Justice Corps & DYCD Building Trades Program Open House

The Phipps Turning Point Center will be holding two upcoming open houses for Bronx youth, next week. The NYC Justice Corps will be in attendance, which is a program that serves court involved youth ages 18-24. As will the NYC Department of Youth & Community Development (DYCD) Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Out-of-School Youth’s (OSY) Building Trades Program (Electrical/Plumbing) that serves youth ages 16-21. Both programs offer Education (GED/College/Vocational Trade), Workforce (internship/job placement) and Life Skills development.

These are great opportunities for young people, ages 16-24, that are currently out of school and out of work. Interviews will be held on the spot, so we would advise that applicants come prepared.

474699_10151623920342978_364044482_oWHEN:   Monday, June 17, 2013 11 AM to 12 PM; and Tuesday, June 18, 2013 11 AM to 12 PM
WHERE: Phipps Turning Point Center, 1409 Fulton Avenue (between East 170th St and Third Ave), Bronx

Melissa Speaks at the Committee on Finance & Public Housing Hearing

housinghearing1NYCHA’s Section 8 housing subsidies have been drastically cut by $205 million because of  the federal sequester, which will lead in 500 lay-offs, a hiring freeze, community center closures, and program cuts.  This travesty is just part of the bigger picture, which Melissa talked about earlier in the Chambers of City Hall during the Committee on Finance & Public Housing hearing that took place this morning. The Republican party is holding our nation hostage because of politics and preventing our President from moving his agenda forward. We need to come together as a city and tell Congress that we will not allow our community to suffer.