Follow Me to… La Marqueta!

FMF La MarquetaEl Barrio/East Harlem is home to one of our city’s most iconic cultural landmarks – the traditional marketplace known as “La Marqueta”.

Located in the heart of El Barrio, this historic marketplace once served as our community’s social and economic center – a place where families from all over could come together to celebrate culture and buy foods and goods not available anywhere elsewhere in the city.

Bringing the spirit of El Barrio back to La Marqueta and turning it into a bustling cultural, food, and recreational hub once again has been a top priority for me and many others.

As part of these efforts, I would like to invite you to a very special Follow Me Friday this Friday, July 25th at the outdoor space known as “La Placita,” located at 116th Street and Park Avenue inside of La Marqueta. 

There will be live cultural performances and music, as well as pop-up booths featuring local designers, artists and jewelers.  And as with previous Follow Me Fridays highlighting local destinations in our district, folks will have an opportunity to catch up with me while supporting some of the great local businesses working in our community.

La Marqueta and La Placita will be the center of lots of activity this summer, so please stop by this Friday for a preview.  Attendees will also have an opportunity to share their thoughts on the type of programming they would like to see at La Marqueta in the coming months.  La Placita will be open from 2 pm to 6 pm, and I’ll be there from 3 pm to 4:30 pm.

Directions:

116th St. & Park Ave., El Barrio, NYC 10029

Subway – #6 train to 116th Street Station.  There is a cross-town bus on 116th Street, and there are North & Southbound buses on 3rd, Lexington and Madison Avenues nearby.

Thanks and I look forward to seeing you this Friday!

Gracias,
Melissa

Advertisements

Introducing Follow Me Fridays!

Follow Me FridayDear Friends,

This week, I will launch a new way to stay connected with my constituents. It’s called Follow Me Fridays… and I’m not talking about Twitter.

On at least one Friday each month, I will visit a business, community center, outdoor location or other destination in the district and invite all of my constituents to join me.

Follow Me Fridays will be a great way of highlighting our diverse and vibrant district while giving an opportunity for local residents to get one-on-one time with me. I got the idea from Chicago Alderman Joe Moore (who also inspired our local Participatory Budgeting process).

This Friday, May 23rd, we will be visiting The Mix Pop Up Coffee Shop at 127 Lincoln Ave (between Bruckner Blvd and E 134th St) in Mott Haven. Please stop by anytime from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm to say hello and grab a great cup of coffee.

I look forward to seeing you there! And please stay tuned for upcoming Follow Me Fridays in the coming weeks.

Gracias,

MMV

 

POSTPONED: Black Latino and Asian Caucus Employment and Small Business Opportunities Expo

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

Please join Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito and her colleagues in the City Council’s Black Latino and Asian Caucus at our second annual Employment and Small Business Opportunities Expo. This event will be held on Saturday, October 26th from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm and is FREE, but you need to register by clicking here.

The expo will include resume review and job matching strategies for high growth industries, small business fundamentals, employment opportunities and more. Remember, the registration deadline is Monday October 20th so sign up today!

MMV BLAC Event

Join Us for a Screening of ‘The House I Live In’

MMV THILI 10.16.13

You are invited to attend a FREE community screening of the award-winning documentary The House I Live In hosted by NYC Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito. FLYER Attached

Filmed in more than twenty states, The House I Live In tells the stories of individuals at all levels of America’s War on Drugs. From the dealer to the narcotics officer, the inmate to the federal judge, the film offers a penetrating look inside America’s criminal justice system, revealing the profound human rights implications of U.S. drug policy. View the trailer of The House I Live Inhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0atL1HSwi8

THE HOUSE I LIVE IN 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at 6:30 PM

@ Manhattan Neighborhood Network

El Barrio Firehouse Community Media Center

175 East 104th Street

New York, NY 10029

Following the screening will be a panel discussion with:

  • Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, District 8
  • Jazz Hayden, All Things Harlem
  • Kassandra Frederique, Drug Policy Alliance
  • Christopher St. John, Producer, The House I Live In

SPACE IS LIMITED, so please RSVP to: https://www.eventbrite.com/event/8173931449

We hope that you can join us!

Environmental Children’s Fair This Saturday at Brook Park

Join us this Saturday at Brook Park for an Environmental Children’s Fair, sponsored by the Friends of Brook Park and BuildOn. The FREE event kicks off at 11:30 am and will include face painting, arts and crafts, planting and much more. Brook Park is located at 141st Street and Brook Avenue. Hope to see you there!

BrookParkEventEnglish BrookParkEventSpanish

SAVE THE DATE: Community Discussion on Our Transgender Community

By now, you’ve surely heard about the tragic murder of Islan Nettles, a transgender woman in Harlem. We simply cannot tolerate this kind of hate violence in our communities. On Tuesday, Melissa attended a vigil in Islan’s memory.

Even before this tragedy, Melissa’s office had been working with community groups to organize a discussion on our transgender community. We hope that you will join us for “No More Invisibility: Our Transgender Community, Who Are They and What Do They Have to Say?,” to be held on Thursday, September 19th from 6:00 to 9:00 pm at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College (2180 3rd Ave @ East 119th Street, 2nd Floor Auditorium).

This discussion is also co-sponsored by State Senator Jose M. Serrano, Harlem United, CK Life, BOOM!Health, Iris House, The Center, NYC DOHMH, Destination Tomorrow and Harlem Pride. Dinner and refreshments will be served.

Seating is limited and RSVP is required. Please arrive promptly. For more information, please contact Joe Pressley at jpressley@council.nyc.gov or 212-828-9800.

Gender Forum Flyer

New Murals Coming to El Barrio and the South Bronx!

LMH-NYC-new

Not long ago, Melissa learned about an annual art festival held in Puerto Rico where murals are simultaneously painted throughout the neighborhood of Santurce. Beginning this Monday, August 19th, this festival will come to El Barrio and the South Bronx for the first time. Next week, Melissa will join El Museo del Barrio in welcoming a host of artists from right here in New York City, Puerto Rico and throughout Latin America, to our district to help bring some of our empty walls to life.

We hope all of you will join us at this weeklong international art festival. Click here for the latest information on the planned activities, including a free concert and block party on Saturday, August 24th, and a community tour of all the completed murals the following day.

Our neighborhoods are home to so many vibrant and historic murals, and these artists look forward to adding to our communities’ public art, focusing in particular on one common theme that resonates with so many of us: diaspora. We’re particularly thrilled to be able to continue to build and strengthen linkages between our communities and Puerto Rico.

For all the latest information on Los Muros Hablan, stay connected with www.losmuroshablannyc.com.

7th Annual East Harlem Youth Fair: Step Up, Speak Out, Take Action

Please join us on Tuesday, August 20th from 1 pm – 4 pm for our 7th Annual Step Up, Speak Out, Take Action East Harlem Youth Fair! As always, we’ll have food, music, live entertainment, back to school giveaways and a chance to connect with local organizations offering services in our community. Don’t miss it!!

Youth Fair 2013

Melissa to Sponsor a Bronx Tenants’ Forum with HPD

On Tuesday, August 20th, Melissa will host a Tenants’ Forum in Mott Haven with the Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD). The forum will be held from 6:30 to 8:00 pm at Judge Gilbert Ramirez Houses (Please note the updated address: 623 E. 138th Street).

Please join us for information on getting repairs, housing court issues, rent subsidies, housing benefits for seniors, NYCHA housing, Section 8, dealing with bed bugs, tenants’ rights and more. This forum is open to all. Contact Joe Pressley at Melissa’s office for more information at (212) 828-9800 or jpressley@council.nyc.gov.

Los Muros Hablan NYC: Coming to El Barrio & the South Bronx This Month

This month, Melissa will sponsor an international urban art festival right here in El Barrio and the South Bronx entitled “Los Muros Hablan NYC.” This weeklong festival, which involves the simultaneous painting of murals throughout the community, is based on a similar festival held annually in Puerto Rico. This first-time event in New York City will be held from August 19th through August 25th. Melissa is sponsoring the event in conjunction with El Museo del Barrio.

While additional details are still forthcoming, one of the artists, Viajero, will hold a community conversation this Wednesday to gather ideas that will inform the design of his mural. All of the new murals will be designed around the common theme of “diaspora.” Next week’s meeting will give us the opportunity to share what diaspora means to all of us. Please join us at El Museo’s Third Floor Taller on Wednesday, August 7th at 6:00 pm!

Los Muros Hablan Event

Tomorrow: Melissa to Speak at Climate Justice Youth Summit in Brooklyn

After SuperStorm Sandy we witnessed what climate change will look like for New York City’s communities and it’s just the beginning. Tomorrow, Melissa will be speaking to the youth attendees at the 3rd NYC Climate Justice Youth Summit: Frontline Resistance, who will spend Friday and Saturday exploring these important issues.

The summit will include learning circles, interactive panel discussions, performances, and much more! The goal is to engage YOUth, ages 12-24, to start building local community resilience and becoming their community’s frontline resistance to climate change. At the conference, there will be food, giveaways and performances, as well as agencies, organizations, and other groups that would be able to offer internships, fellowships, and potential employment. The NYC Climate Justice Youth Summit is completely free of charge

For more information check out this website: www.uproseyouthsummit.blogspot.com. REGISTRATION is now OPEN, the organizers urge everyone who intends to attend the summit to register.
WHAT: The 3rd NYC Climate Justice Youth Summit: Frontline Resistance

WHEN: Friday and Saturday, July 26-27 2013

WHERE: 220 36 Street, Brooklyn, NY 11232

RSVP: Register today! http://www.uproseyouthsummit.blogspot.com

 Check out thisvideo for more info:

No-Cost Digital Mammograms and Clinical Breast Exams Coming to El Barrio

Early detection of breast cancer can save lives. Recognizing this important fact, Soluna Holistic Spa (143 E. 103rd Street) will be hosting a mobile care clinic on Wednesday, July 31st from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm in El Barrio/East Harlem. You must sign up by July 8th by calling 877-628-9090. This event is being coordinated in conjunction with the American Italian Cancer Foundation. For more information, please contact Soluna Holistic Spa at 212-876-1326.

Only women age 40 and older who have not had a mammogram in the past 12 months and have a New York City mailing address qualify for these no-cost mammogram services.

Please help spread the word to your family, friends and neighbors!

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.

***************************************************************

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.

home_recycles

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.

Immigration_Reform

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.

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.

Join Melissa in the Bronx to Rally to Save Child Care & After-School Programs, Tomorrow

Melissa, along with Council Member Annabel Palma, Campaign for Children, The Children’s Aid Society and Good Shepherd Services will be holding a rally to save child care and after-school services in the Bronx tomorrow, Wednesday, June 12th at 4 PM outside the Bronx courthouse.

Because of the Mayor’s budget cuts, over 47,000 more children will lose child care and after-school programs. Click here to read the Campaign for Children’s full report: “NYC is Going Backwards: What the Mayor’s Budget Cuts to Child Care and After-School Mean for New York’s Children and Families.” This budget cut is simply unacceptable – there is too much at stake.

bronxrally

WHO: Council Members Melissa Mark-Viverito and  Annabel Palma, Campaign for ChildrenThe Children’s Aid Society and Good Shepherd Services
WHAT: Bronx Rally to Save Child Care and After-School Programs
WHEN: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 4 PM
WHERE: Bronx Courthouse, 861 Grand Concourse

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

NEW DATE: Join Us For The 7th Annual Power of Aging Well Health Festival

We have identified a NEW DATE for the Power of Aging Well Health Festival for our older adults. It will take place on Thursday, September 5th from 10 am to 2 pm at Thomas Jefferson Park. Please join us!

In one week from today, Thursday, June 13, 2013, from 10 AM to 2 PM, Melissa, in collaboration with Metropolitan Hospital Center and NYC Department of Aging will hold their Power of Aging Well Annual Health Festival at Thomas Jefferson Park. Please join us for this annual festival that’s dedicated to our senior population. It is always a enjoyable day filled with entertainment, art, exercise and even health screenings. Please help us spread the word to your older family members or neighbors who could benefit from this festival. We hope to see you there!

Senior Fair 2013 English Senior Fair 2013 Spanish

WHO: Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, Metropolitan Hospital Center, NYC Department for the Aging, NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation, City of New York Department of Parks & Recreation, and Metroplus Medicare
WHAT: The Power of Aging Well Annual Health Festival
WHEN: Thursday, September 5, 2013. 10 AM to 2 PM
WHERE: Thomas Jefferson Park (First Avenue between East 112th and East 114th Streets)

El Barrio/East Harlem: Volunteer to Clean Up Our Streets!

It is not news that East Harlem faces a challenge with littering. This is a problem that Melissa has previously addressed and is now calling for your help. If you are as tired of litter in our community as we are, please volunteer and  join Melissa and our office on Saturday, June 22nd from 10 AM to 1 PM  in sweeping our sidewalks, showing our community that we take pride in our neighborhood! For the full flyer and schedule of the days events, please click here. We hope to see you there!

cleanup1

WHO: Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, Boys and Girls Harbor, SCAN NY La Isla Beacon Program, ABV and more to be announced.
WHAT: East Harlem Community Clean-Up
WHEN: Saturday, June 22, 2013. 10 AM to 1 PM
WHERE: Meeting at 10 AM at Council Member Mark-Viverito’s District Office (105 East 116th Street, between Lexington & Park Avenues)
RSVP OR FOR MORE INFO: Email NewsFromMelissa@gmail.com or call (212) 828-9800

cleaningroute

Melissa Co-Sponsored a Memorial Day “Stop the Violence Basketball Tournament” in East Harlem

0_0_0_0_250_185_csupload_48858404On Monday, May 27th , Melissa co-sponsored Hoops by the River’s annual ‘Stop the Violence Basketball Tournament‘ which was attended by over 300 youth in East Harlem’s Jefferson Park. Melissa has been a very strong supporter of the Hoops by the River (HBTR) basketball league, which provides hundreds of children and teenagers with quality and competitive sports programming, serving as a tool for youth development to combat violence and obesity in the community. League Director Will Kelly presented an award to Melissa for her continuous support.

BLTXGT7CMAAFSD8

Melissa recently allocated $300,000 to renovate the Jefferson basketball courts, after the proposal won over 500 community votes as part of our district’s Participatory Budgeting (PB) process. This was largely due to the participation, hard work and advocacy of HBTR director Will Kelly and his son, Will Kelly II, in the PB process. The upgraded courts will provide East Harlem’s young athletes with a safe and attractive space to compete year round.

Join Melissa for East Harlem Family Day on Saturday, June 1st

Melissa will be attending East Harlem Family Day on Saturday, June 1st at PS 7’s playground on East 119th & Lexington Avenue. East Harlem Family Day is going to be a day filled with fun activities for the entire family, like rock climbing and pro basketball training – so make sure to stop by!

EHfamilyday

WHAT: East Harlem Family Day
WHEN: Saturday, June 1, 2013. Noon – 4 PM
WHERE: East 119th Street & Lexington Avenue (P.S. 7’s playground)

Stop the Bullying Candlelight Memorial Walk in Memory of Joel Morales

Please join Melissa at the upcoming Stop the Bullying Candlelight Memorial Walk, in memory of  Joel Morales, who tragically was driven to commit suicide last year at the age of just 12 years old after enduring relentless bullying. This event is being spearheaded by Assemblyman Robert J. Rodriguez and gives all of us in El Barrio/East Harlem the opportunity to come together, remember Joel and renew our fight against bullying in our schools and communities.

Check out the flyer below for details.

Stop the Bullying Flyer

Let’s Combat Stigma, Homophobia & Transphobia in Our Community

Melissa, State Senator José Serrano, and the East Harlem Immigrant Service Network are sponsoring an all-inclusive roundtable discussion entitled “Bridging the Gap; Expanding the Dialogue” that will be held on Friday, June 7th from 9 AM to 11:30 AM at the East Harlem Asthma Center of Excellence. This dialogue is intended to broaden conversations about sexuality and gender identity in El Barrio/East Harlem and the South Bronx. This is a chance for you to have an interactive discussion between elected officials and other members of the community about the best ways we can combat stigma, homophobia and transphobia in our community.

bridgingthegap

WHO: Sponsored by: Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, State Senator José Serrano, Jr., the East Harlem Immigrant Service Network; along with co-sponsors: Anti-Violence Project, Bailey House, Harlem United, and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
WHAT: Bridging the Gap; Expanding the Dialogue: Combating Stigma, Homophobia, and Transphobia in our Communities
WHEN: Friday, June 7th from 9 AM to 11:30 AM
WHERE: East Harlem Asthma Center of Excellence. 161-169 East 110th Street, 1st floor (between Lexington & Third Avenues)
MANDATORY RSVP: Joe Pressley at (212) 828-9800 or jpressley@council.nyc.gov 

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

Melissa’s Plans to Keep East Harlem Clean

Melissa and NYC Department of Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty unveiled a set of upgraded litter baskets on 18 corners in El Barrio/East Harlem on Friday, in an effort to reduce litter along the 3rd Avenue commercial corridor. Melissa allocated $10,000 in discretionary funding in the current fiscal year to cover the cost of the baskets. The upgraded litter baskets offer 25-30% more capacity and help discourage individuals from using these public baskets to deposit commercial or household refuse. Melissa funded the litter baskets after hearing from many residents about the persistent litter problem in the community, including during neighborhood assemblies that are held annually as part of the district’s Participatory Budgeting (PB) process. We would like to thank the Sanitation Department their swift response once we brought the concerns to their attention. 

“We have been hearing from across the community a level of frustration regarding the amount of litter on our streets and sidewalks, and I share that frustration,” said Melissa. “Efforts to reduce litter must be multi-pronged and my office is prepared to work with other concerned community stakeholders in seeking to address this persistent problem. The upgraded litter baskets are an important first step in a larger community response to this issue.”

919921_10151638803150991_2125337955_o

Check out the segment on the upgraded litter baskets on NY1.

This is just the beginning of Melissa’s efforts to keep East Harlem clean. Our office will be undertaking three programs, in collaboration with the community, to discourage littering and to keep East Harlem clean.

  • Adopt-A-Basket Program
    Melissa and our office are engaging in efforts to increase participation in the Department of Sanitation’s “Adopt-A-Basket” program among El Barrio/East Harlem businesses. The program is a volunteer program, in which a business, organization or individual agrees to monitor an existing DSNY litter Basket to help prevent overflowing of baskets in areas of high pedestrian traffic. The Department supplies plastic bag liners, a collection schedule and a contact person at the Department’s local district operations office. Participants change the liners when the basket is three quarters full and place the full securely tied liners next to the basket for collection. We hope that East Harlem businesses will commit to sponsor additional upgraded baskets for the community.
  • Community Clean Sweep Day
    Melissa and our office will work with a committee of concerned residents to organize a “Community Clean Sweep Day,” currently scheduled for Saturday, June 22, 2013, which will focus on key areas in the El Barrio/East Harlem neighborhood to not only sweep up litter, but to raise the visibility of anti-littering efforts. 
  • Local Heroes Campaign
    We will be moving forward with a public campaign to celebrate those who go the extra mile to keep the community clean by designating them “local heroes.” Stay tuned for more details.

If  you are interested in getting involved in any of these efforts and/or would like to share other ideas of how to address littering in the community, please contact us through this form.

PHOTO: AP

Join Our Community Briefing on Proposed Immigration Reform Legislation, Next Thursday

Melissa, along with the East Harlem Immigrant Service Network, CUNY Citizenship Now, Make the Road New York and the New York Immigration Coalition, will be conducting a community briefing regarding pending federal-level legislation concerning immigration reform on Thursday, May 16th at the Union Settlement Association. Please join us in reviewing the overview of the proposed legislation and discussing everything from the good to the bad and how you can advocate for it.

flyer

WHO: Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, East Harlem Immigrant Service Network, CUNY Citizenship Now, Make the Road New York and the New York Immigration Coalition
WHAT: Community Briefing on Proposed Federal-Level Immigration Reform
WHEN: Thursday, May 16th from 9:15 AM to 11:30 AM
WHERE: Union Settlement Association (237 East 104th Street, between 2nd & 3rd Avenues)
All attendees should RSVP to Joe Pressley at jpressley@council.nyc.gov or via telephone at 212-828-9800.

FREE Screening Of “A Place at the Table” on Thursday

The NYC Food Policy Center, Hunter’s Graduate Student Nutrition Club and the NYC Coalition Against Hunger will be hosting a FREE screening of A Place at the Table, a new groundbreaking film on hunger in America, on Thursday, May 9th  from 2 to 4 PM at the CUNY School of Public Health.

From the people that brought us An Inconvenient Truth, The Help, Food Inc. and Waiting for Superman, this documentary examines the issue of hunger in America. It is in our best interest that we make healthy food available and affordable because right now we are facing serious economic, social and cultural implications for our nation. One in four children in the United States do not know where their next meal is coming from.

flyer

WHO: NYC Coalition Against Hunger, Hunter’s Graduate Student Nutrition Club and the NYC Food Policy Center
WHAT: FREE Screening of A Place at the Table
WHEN: Thursday, May 9th from 2 to 4 PM
WHERE: CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College,  2180 Third Avenue at 119th Street
RSVP HERE

Bike Tour Through the South Bronx, This Saturday

Garbagia-LandIt’s Spring! And that means that it’s time to take advantage of all that Spring weather has to offer. This Saturday, Friends of Brook Park and South Bronx Unite will be giving a leisurely bike tour that will include all the “beautiful natural wonders of the waterfront, community gardens and art, historic places” and cherry blossoms! Beyond the natural beauty and history, the tour will be visiting the site for the proposed truck-heavy Fresh Direct location. This is your chance to see the vast possibilities for this space from which the community would benefit. This is a great chance to learn more about your community or if you’re not from the neighborhood, then to explore it for the first time. We can’t think of a better way to get informed on issues than being active and riding our bikes!

bikes tracks

Photos courtesy of Friends of Brook Park

WHAT: South Bronx Bike Tour
WHEN: Saturday, April 20th, 12 PM noon
WHERE: Brook Park, E. 141st St & Brook Ave (ride returns to the park)

For more information, visit friendsofbrookpark.org and southbronxunite.com

Join Melissa Tonight At Bronx Town Hall Meeting: Community Safety & NYPD Accountability

We are now a month into Flyod v. City of New York, the federal class action law suit filed against the NYPD that claims they engaged in racial profiling and uncalled for stop and frisks on law-abiding New Yorkers – and the impact that stop and frisk practices have on African-American and Latino communities is more prevalent than ever. Mott Haven’s 40th precinct has one of the highest rates of stop and frisk in the city.

This evening, Melissa will be at a Town Hall meeting in the Bronx that she is co-sponsoring, demanding there be an end to discriminatory NYPD practices and calling for a more effective approach to community safety and the passage of the Community Safety Act. It’s time that the NYPD takes accountability for their actions. The Bronx Defenders and the Vacamas Programs for Youth will be hosting tonight’s meeting.

bronx town hall

WHO: Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, Senator Gustavo Rivera, Council Member Annabel Palma, Bronx Defenders Organization, Vacamas Programs for Youth, Morris Justice Project, SOS South Bronx, Justice Committee, Picture the Homeless, New York Harm Reduction Educators (NYHRE), and VOCAL-NY
WHAT: Bronx Town Hall Meeting
WHEN: Thursday, April 18, at 6:30 PM
WHERE: Vacamas GLOW Classic Center, 286 East 156th Street (at Morris Avenue)

* Food & childcare will be provided
Spanish translation will be available

Looking Back on Our Second Year of Participatory Budgeting

Melissa unveiled the 2012-2013 Participatory Budgeting (PB) vote results for the 8th Council District on Monday evening at a celebration featuring San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto. In response to the growing participation and excitement around the process in its second year, Melissa nearly doubled her initial commitment of $1 million to the process. This year, 1,770 District 8 residents voted in the process, as compared to just over 1,000 last year.

The $1.9 million in projects funded through PB for the Fiscal Year 2014 budget are:

  1. Security cameras for Douglass, East River, Johnson and Millbrook houses — 964 votes
  2. New Laptops for 9 Schools in District 8– 857 votes
  3. Technology Centers for Seniors and Youth — 706 votes
  4. Mobile cooking classroom for SMART  (Sisterhood Mobilized for AIDS/HIV Research and Treatment)   — 534 votes
  5. Solar powered Greenhouse — 533 votes
  6. Hoops by the River — upgrade Jefferson B-ball Courts — 501 votes

DSC_0441

“I could not be more thrilled with the level of participation or the results,” Melissa said. “The winning projects are a reflection of the community’s concerns about public health, safety, youth, seniors and public parks. I thank all of our incredible partners in this process including Community Voices Heard, the Participatory Budgeting Project and the budget delegates for their hard work throughout the process.”

The tireless dedication and commitment from the community volunteers, otherwise known as ‘budget delegates’, was truly inspiring. Delegates came together from all different social, cultural, and economic backgrounds to work as a team of urban planners, community organizers, and decision-makers. Together they analyzed hundreds of project ideas, and through a long and grueling process they narrowed them down to twenty-one project proposals to address a wide variety of community needs such as more access to technology in our public schools, senior-friendly spaces, safe public housing, quality recreational spaces, transportation improvements, community gardens and urban agriculture.

One story that stands out in this process was the engagement of formerly incarcerate youth of color who worked on the education committee and developed one of the winning project proposals for new computers and technology in local schools. Another is that of Susan Rodriguez who works with SMART (Sisterhood Mobilized for AIDS/ HIV Research and Treatment), who has been very concerned about public health and the lack of nutritious food options in her community.

“First of all, just meeting and speaking with the Mayor of San Juan and knowing that she wants to bring PB to her city was one of the highlights of the evening!” said Rodriguez.  “Of course, I was overjoyed when SMART’s Mobile Cooking Classroom won and I thank everyone who came out to vote! This has been an extraordinary process for me, meeting and working with other budget delegates, community organizers and residents, especially in Millbrook Houses/Mott Haven, and learning how to make our community and city the best it can be.”

Last year, which was the first year of PBNYC, Ray Figueroa proposed a solar-powered greenhouse to teach urban agriculture to court-involved youth in the South Bronx, but it did not receive enough votes to win. This year however, the greenhouse pulled through.

DSC_0425

“Participatory Budgeting re-enfranchises the dis-enfranchised,” said Figueroa. “It reaches out to the most marginalized residents in the most underserved sectors of our community and honors them as the experts of our community.  Participatory Budgeting respects their human dignity in this regard, and, by so doing, helps to galvanize their sense of ownership as community stakeholders and re-defines what it means to be civically engaged.”

DSC_0437The last winning project with 501 votes, was the Jefferson Park basketball courts which have not been renovated in decades. These courts are heavily used by the Hoops by the River basketball league, run by Will Kelly and his son, Will Kelly II. “It is wonderful that we were able to mobilize our youth and community residents to finally make these much needed safety upgrades to this court,” said Kelly. “This way we can run a quality league and expand our work to combat youth violence and promote health.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

More information on all of this year’s projects is available here

The full voting tally is available here.

Learn About the Mott Haven Choice Neighborhood Initiative on Saturday and Next Wednesday

If you live, go to school, do business, or provide services in Mott Haven – we have great news for you! Mott Haven has been selected for the Choice Neighborhood Initiative to transform the neighborhood by improving job opportunities, public safety, education, health, housing, and more.

Come learn how to be part of the initiative at one of the kick-off events — you can come at 2 PM on Saturday, April 20, or at 6 PM on Wednesday, April 24. See more details in the flyer below (la versión en español también esta adjunta). Everyone is welcome: residents, students, parents, business owners, local organizations, churches, etc. Light refreshments will be served. See you there!

CN - Community Kick-off Meeting flyer.English

Senior Health Fair for Living Healthy & Aging Actively, Tomorrow

Hope Community will be holding a Senior Health Fair tomorrow, Wednesday, April 17th from 10 AM to 3 PM at the Carlos Rios Community Room. Stop by and take advantage of the free health screenings that will be held throughout the day and the “Eating for Good Health” cooking demonstration at 12:30 PM.

snr health fair

WHO: Hope Community, Inc., Visiting Nurse Services Legal Aid Society, Elder Smile Program, Iris House, IPRO, Harvest Home Farmer’s Market, Mt. Sinai Medical Center (H.E.A.L.S.), NY Coalition for Smoke Free NY

WHAT: Senior Health Fair for Living Healthy and Aging Actively

WHEN: Wednesday, April 17th from 10 AM to 3 PM

WHERE: Carlos Rios Community Room, 335 East 105th Street (between First & Second Avenues)

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

Bike Helmet Fitting & Giveaway This Saturday

As many of you know, we in East Harlem/El Barrio love bike lanes; which means that bike safety is a top priority in our book. As the beautiful weather rolls in, we need to practice bike safety whether it’s while enjoying a leisurely bike ride or on our daily commute. Melissa is sponsoring a Bicycle Helmet Fitting Event this Saturday, April 13th from 10 AM to 2 PM in Union Settlement’s garden area. You can be one of the 300 recipients of free bicycle helmets that will be given out to both adults and children.  There’s only one (very reasonable and responsible) catch: you must first properly learn how to fit the helmet for optimum safety. Please join us and bring the family!

Helmets

WHO: Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, NYC DOT, and Union Settlement Association
WHAT: Bicycle Helmet Fitting Event
WHEN: Saturday, April 13th from 10 AM to 2 PM
WHERE: Union Settlement’s Garden Area. 237 East 104th Street, between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. Rain Site: Union Settlement’s Auditorium.

Click on the corresponding link for the PDF flyer in English, Spanish and Chinese.

Join Us for the Second Annual Participatory Budgeting Celebration, with Special Guest San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto

PBNYC vote image small_1It has been a great week in District 8, with hundreds of community members coming out to vote for projects that they believe in. If you haven’t had a chance to vote yet, there’s still time – check out the list of voting sites and times on our PB site, www.mmviverito.com/pbnycTo conclude the weeklong voting process, the Second Annual Participatory Budgeting Celebration, unveiling the winning projects, will be held on Monday, April 8th from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM at the Johnson Community Center (1833 Lexington Avenue).

We are very excited to announce that our Second Annual Participatory Budgeting Celebration will feature a very special guest, San Juan’s Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto.  As you may remember, Melissa had the honor to deliver the keynote at her inauguration. Mayor Carmen Yulín  has pledged to implement a PB process in San Juan and is coming to see how the process works in our district.

“It is an incredible honor for me to welcome such an incredible woman and inspiring leader to our city for the first time since being elected Mayor of San Juan,” said Council Member Mark-Viverito. “Mayor Carmen Yulín is bringing a new style of democracy to San Juan. I am truly excited that she has committed to roll out a PB process in the city, which will help bring transparency and direct public input in how the government allocates resources. I look forward to continued collaboration with the Mayor’s administration in continuing to strengthen ties between our two cities and across the Puerto Rican diaspora.”

PB Celebration Flyer_eng

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

WHATSecond Annual Participatory Budgeting Celebration
WHO: Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto, PBNYC, and Community Voices Heard
WHEN: Monday, April 8th from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
WHERE:  Johnson Community Center (1833 Lexington Avenue)
RSVP: mmvbudget@gmail.com or (212) 828-9800

Manhattan CB 7 Hosts “Pedestrian & Traffic Safety Study,” Next Thursday

Melissa, along with with Council Members Gale Brewer and Inez Dickens are sponsoring Manhattan Community Board 7‘s ‘Pedestrian & Traffic Safety Study,’ which will be held this Thursday, April 4th.

Join us in discussing ways to improve the blocks of West 94th to 100th Streets and Central Park to the Hudson River, in order to help create safer streets on the Upper West Side. Refreshments will be served.

CB7

WHO: Manhattan Community Board 7 and Council Members Melissa Mark-Viverito, Gale Brewer and Inez Dickens
WHAT: Pedestrian & Traffic Safety Study
WHEN: Thursday, April 4th, 6:30 to 8:30 PM
WHERE: Goddard Riverside Community Center, 593 Columbus Avenue at 88th Street
(OPTIONAL) RSVP

Join Melissa & Other Puerto Rican and Dominican Elected Officials in Watching the World Baseball Classic Final Uptown

If you follow Melissa on Twitter, then you know she’s been following the World Baseball Classic (WBC). And tonight, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic will meet in the World Baseball Classic title game at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

Sparks will fly as local Dominican and Puerto Rican elected officials will be joining together to watch the finals of the WBC tonight at 809 Lounge in Washington Heights at 8 PM. Join Melissa, Council Members Rosie Mendez and Ydanis Rodriguez, State Senator Adriano Espaillat, Assembly Woman Gabriela Rosa and more. All are invited to attend and celebrate the two Caribbean countries’ advancement to the finals and cheer for your respective country or country of choice! It is sure to be a fun experience for everyone, excitement is encouraged!

480x380_wbc_pur_dom_championship_o078qdtk_gnw7ohaw

PS: Go Puerto Rico!

Participatory Budgeting Voting to Commence In April

Starting Monday, April 1st, voting for Participatory Budgeting (PB) projects in our community will be open to all residents of District 8 that are 16 years of age and older. Not sure if you’re in the district? Check the map or look it up on the City Council website. You’ll need to bring at least one document proving current address and age. You can check out our PB page (mmviverito.com/pbnyc) for a list of examples of documents that will be accepted at the voting polls. This is your chance to vote on how we should spend $1 million in our community! Can we get your commitment to vote? If we can count on your vote, please fill out this form for us.  

MOBILE VOTING SITES:

This year, mobile voting sites will be held throughout the district. We will post the dates and locations as they are announced. Keep checking back for updates.

PB

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

Join Us For A Town Hall Meeting About Stop And Frisk

On Monday, March 18th, please come join us at a Town Hall Meeting in the Bronx, where you can share your thoughts about Stop and Frisk practices. We are looking forward to having open conversation about ways to improve public safety and working towards a real solution.

townhallmeeting

WHO: Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, Comptroller John C. Liu, Senators Jose Serrano and Gustavo Rivera, Assembly Members Vanessa Gibson and Eric Stevenson, Council Members Fernando Cabrera and Helen Foster; and community partners
WHAT: Town Hall Meeting
WHEN: Monday, March 18, 2013. 6 to 8 PM
WHERE: Latino Pastoral Action Center. 14 West 170th Street, Bronx, NY 10452

Learn About Free Elementary School Options in East Harlem

This Saturday, East Harlem Scholars Academies will be hosting a School Choice Carnival where you can learn about free elementary school options in East Harlem and even apply on the spot. Of course, there will also be obligatory carnival fun for the whole family to enjoy. This free event is on, rain or shine.

schoolchoice
WHO: East Harlem Scholars Academies, DREAM Charter School, NYCA Charter School, and Amber Charter School
WHAT: School Choice Free Carnival
WHEN: Saturday, March 16th – 11 AM to 2 PM
WHERE: Jackie Robinson Educational Complex, 106th Street between Park and Madison Avenues
For more information, contact Theresa Cothern at tcothern@ehtp.org or 212.831.0650
Para ver el volante del evento en español, haga clic aquí.

Free Digital Mammograms and Clinical Breast Exams on Friday, March 8th

The American-Italian Cancer Foundation and Multi-Diagnostic Services (MDS) will be providing no-cost mobile breast cancer screening services to East Harlem on Friday, March 8th, from 9 AM to 4 PM. Early detection of breast cancer can save lives, so call to make an appointment today – (877) 628-9090. Your results will be sent to you and/or your doctor within 10 business days.

breastexam

Professional medical services from MDS:

  • Mammogram performed by a certified, licensed mammography technologist.
  • Clinical breast exam and instruction in breast self-exam by a trained professional.
  • Radiological interpretations performed by Board Certified Radiologists.

For more information about MDS, you can visit their website or call (877) 628-9090

ON THE DAY OF YOUR VISIT:

  • You are recommended to wear a two-piece outfit.
  • Please do not use any oil, powder, deodorant, or perfume in the breast, underarm or chest area.
  • If you have Medicare, Medicaid or other health insurance, you must bring your card with you. Your insurance will be billed for services; however you will not be charged a co-pay and will not receive a bill.
  • For women without health insurance, services will be paid for by the Screening Partnerships of the New York State Cancer Services Program (NYS CSP) or through generous contributions by the American-Italian Cancer Foundation’s donors. For more information about the NYS CSP, please call (866) 442-CANCER (2262).
  • Comparison radiological studies are important. If you provide MDS with previous mammogram films, this comparison will be performed. In some cases, it can eliminate the need for additional testing.
  • If you would like your results sent to your doctor, please provide MDS with his or her full name and address.

WHO: New York City Council, The American-Italian Cancer Foundation, Multi-Diagnostic Services, East Harlem Council for Human Services, Inc. Bilingual Head Start, Avon Foundation Breast Health Outreach Program, National Breast Cancer Foundation, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, The Greater New York City Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and New York State Department of Health
WHAT: Mobile No-Cost Breast Cancer Screening Program
WHEN: Friday, March 8, 2013. 9 AM to 4:30 PM
WHERE: East Harlem Council for Human Services, Inc.  Bilingual Head Start – 440 E 116th St (between 1st Avenue and Pleasant Avenue)
AN APPOINTMENT IS NECESSARY – CALL (877) 628-9090
Para ver el volante del evento en español, haga clic aquí.

Join Us At Our Upcoming Participatory Budgeting Project Expos

Yesterday marked the first Participatory Budget (PB) Project Expo in District 8 for 2013 – our second year partaking in the PB process. Yesterday’s expo was the first of three, where our Budget Delegates unveil the projects that will appear on the ballot for a public vote this April.  Nearly 100 residents came out in East Harlem to learn about the unveiled projects, which range from new computers for schools and youth centers, basketball court renovations and new community gardens.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Who are our budget delegates & what do they do?  The budget delegates are volunteers who come from all different ethnic and economic backgrounds, and walks of life. Although they are all members of our community, it is because of PB that many of them crossed paths for the very first time.  And for the past few months they have worked together to analyze all of the great ideas that were generated in the neighborhood assemblies. Splitting up into seven different committees (including our awesome Youth Committee), the budget delegates assessed our community’s needs and delved deeper into 20 amazing project ideas that they are presenting at the Project Expos.

If you weren’t able to make it to yesterday’s Project Expo, please join us at either of our upcoming expos. PB gives local residents the power to decide how at least $1 million gets allocated in our community; and the Project Expos gives you a chance to be an informed voter. We hope to see you there!

  • Tuesday, March 5th from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM at Frederick Douglass Center (885 Columbus Avenue)
  • Thursday, March 7th from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM at Millbrook Community Center (201 St Ann’s Avenue, Bronx)

Re-Imagine The East Harlem Waterfront, This Thursday

How do you envision the East Harlem Waterfront? Please stop by and share your ideas and learn about community resources and opportunities for the East River Esplanade/El Paseo/El Malecon, on Thursday, February 28th at the Johnson Community Center. Refreshments will be provided.

image001

WHO: Trees New York, Greening The Gap, Hunter College Urban Planning Studio, and CIVITAS
WHAT: Re-Imagine The East Harlem Waterfront Community Visioning Session
WHEN: Thursday, February 28, 2013. 7 PM – 9 PM.
WHERE: Johnson Community Center; 1820 Lexington Avenue (btwn East 112 & East 115th Streets)
RSVP HERE

WIN $100– Do you live or work in East Harlem?  Please complete this survey to share your opinion about the East Harlem waterfront, and to be entered into a drawing to win a $100 prize.

Learn About NEW Local Legislation To Further Protect Arrested Immigrants, Next Thursday

Please join Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, The East Harlem Immigrant Service Network and Make the Road New York in learning about new local legislation that will further protect arrested immigrants on Thursday, February 21st, 9:15 AM at the Hunter School of Social Work.

The proposed City Council legislation will:

  • Further limit unfair deportations;
  • Build on existing local law and is meant to promote public safety and community engagement; and
  • Relieve damaging effects of the federal government’s Secure Communities initiative.

EHISN_flyer

WHO: Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, The East Harlem Immigrant Service Network, and Make the Road New York
WHAT: NEW Local Legislation To Further Protect Arrested Immigrants Informational Session
WHEN: Thursday, February 21, 2013. 9:15 (prompt) to 11:30 AM
WHERE: Hunter School of Social Work at East 119th Street and 3rd Avenue. Second floor classroom.
For more info and/or to RSVP, please contact Joe Pressley in the Office of Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito at 212-828-9800 or via email at jpressley@council.nyc.gov.  

Participatory Budgeting: Join Us At An Upcoming Project Expo

We are about to enter the third phase of the Participatory Budgeting (PB) process – Project Expos. In the first phase, we held seven neighborhood assemblies, which were attended by hundreds of community members and where we gathered even more great ideas on how to spend $1 million in District 8. Then in the second phase, the budget delegates worked hard on turning the ideas you helped generate in our neighborhood assemblies into concrete proposals for a public vote.

Please join us at one of our Project Expos, where our budget delegates will unveil the projects that will appear on the ballot for a public vote this April. This is a great way to learn more about the projects before you cast your vote. Hope to see you there!

pb_expos_eng

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

For more information on PB in District 8, visit mmviverito.com/pbnyc.

Melissa Celebrates Breaking Ground at The East Harlem Center for Living and Learning

Melissa joined Harlem RBI , Jonathan Rose Companies, Enterprise, NYCHANYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, NYC Housing Development Corporation, Chase, and the New York Yankee’s Mark Teixeira in celebrating the groundbreaking of The East Harlem Center for Living and Learning today.

8452952817_9885e4864b_o

Official NYC Council Photograph by William Alatriste

The East Harlem Center for Living and Learning is located on 104th Street, between Second and Third Avenues on the land within the Washington Houses complex. Thanks to additional Participatory Budgeting funding, Harlem RBI’s K-8 DREAM Charter School will have a permanent home in this new development – and a 54,000-square-foot home to boot. Joining the DREAM Charter School at The East Harlem Center for Living and Learning will be 11-stories that consist of 89 affordable housing units and 6,000-square-feet of non-profit office space. The housing component of this project will be named Yomo Toro Houses, after the legendary Puerto Rican musician who died in July 2012.

The development will further serve the East Harlem community, where the unemployment rate is 16.8% and a median income of $23,000 per year, by providing jobs at Harlem RBI and DREAM Charter School. There will be additional benefits to NYCHA residents of Washington Houses, including a 50% set-aside for the children of Washington Houses for the Harlem RBI charter school enrollment lottery and new playground equipment and trash compactors.

“Harlem RBI continues to find new and innovative ways to help make El Barrio/East Harlem a better place for our youth and families,” said Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito. “This groundbreaking is an incredible milestone on a project that will provide so many benefits to our neighborhood from affordable housing, to improved community space and parkland for El Barrio/East Harlem residents. I thank Harlem RBI for their continued commitment to East Harlem, as well as Jonathan Rose Companies, the Yankees’ Mark Texeira, and of course all the city agencies involved in making this project happen.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Official NYC Council Photographs by William Alatriste

The East Harlem Center for Living and Learning’s affordable apartments are scheduled to open in August 2014, with the school and office facilities opening for the 2014-2015 school year. To read more about The East Harlem Center for Living and Learning, click here.

Bring The Kids to PS/MS 165’s Winterfest Saturday, February 23rd

*Please note that Winterfest has been rescheduled, ironically, because of the winter (Nemo)*

On Saturday, February 9th, from 11 AM to 2 PM Saturday, February 23rd, from 11 AM to 2 PM, stop by PS/MS 165 for the first ever Winterfest. Winterfest will be held indoors and is jam packed with fun carnival games; complete with prizes, art, food and music by Tom Knight and magic by Magic Evan.

Winterfest

WHAT: Winterfest
WHEN: Saturday, February 9th; from 11 AM – 2 PM Saturday, February 23rd; from 11 AM – 2 PM *RESCHEDULED BECAUSE OF NEMO*
WHERE: PS/MS 165; West 109th Street, between Broadway & Amsterdam
Admission is free; and activities and food start at only $1.
Para ver el volante del evento en español, haga clic aquí.

Bronx Parents: Learn More About Kindergarten Admissions, Wednesday, February 6th

Bronx Parents –

School District 7 having a Kindergarten Admissions Fair on Wednesday, February 6, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 PM at P.S. 5 Port Morris (564 Jackson Avenue). The fair will provide families with information about the District 7 kindergarten admissions process and the various school options within the district. The District 7 Fair provides a great opportunity for students and their families to meet with potential schools.

District 7 Elementary School Directory
Families can pick up the District 7 Directory at any public elementary school in District 7 or at the Enrollment Office (1 Fordham Plaza, 7th floor). We also have it available here in English and here in Spanish.

More Ways for Families to Apply
Starting this year, families applying to kindergarten programs in District 7 will have three ways to submit applications:

  1. In person at the District 7 Enrollment Office (1 Fordham Plaza, 7th floor)
  2. Online at www.nyc.gov/schools/kindergarten
  3. Over the phone by calling the Office of Student Enrollment at 718-935-2009

District7KindergartenAdmissionsFlyer

WHO: NYC Department of Education
WHATKindergarten Admissions Fair for School District 7
WHEN: Wednesday, February 6, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
WHERE: P.S. 5 Port Morris; 564 Jackson Avenue, Bronx, NY
Para ver el volante del evento en español, haga clic aquí.

Help End Discriminatory Policing

Please join us tonight, Tuesday, February 5th from 6:30 to 8:30 PM for a Know Your Rights! training that will be hosted by Picture the Homeless. Here, you will learn your rights with the NYPD and how to exercise those rights as safely as possible. We will also be holding a Cop Watch! training next Tuesday, February 12th from 6:30 to 8:30 PM, hosted by the Justice Committee. At this training, we will learn how to observe and document police activity in your neighborhood. The ultimate goal of these trainings are to help end discriminatory policing – we believe in standing up and being a part of the solution.

el-barrio-trainings-flyer-color-01-13

WHO: Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, Picture the Homeless, The Bronx Defenders, Justice Committee, and Communities United for Police Reform
WHAT & WHEN: East Harlem Stand Up! Trainings

  • Know Your Rights! Training: Tuesday, February 5th; 6:30 – 8:30 PM
  • Cop Watch! Training: Tuesday, February 12th; 6:30 – 8:30 PM

WHERE: Taino Towers, Crystal Room. 240 East 123rd Street (4/5/6 to 125th St)
For more information or to RSVP:

  • Know Your Rights! Training: shaun@picturethehomeless.org
  • Cop Watch! Training: info@justicecommittee.org

Celebrate the Chinese New Year With Us on Friday, February 8th

Please join us in celebrating the Chinese New Year and welcoming the Year of the Snake on Friday, February 8th at the Union Settlement Association. There will be food, refreshments and entertainment; so make sure to come by for an enjoyable afternoon.

chinesenewyear_eng

WHO: Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, The Carter Burden/Covello Senior Center, City Hall Senior Center Dance & Chorus Group, Tahl Propp Equities, Union Settlement Association, and the Yorkville Common Pantry
WHAT: Celebrating the Year of the Snake
WHEN: Friday, February 8, 2013. Noon to 2 PM
WHERE: Union Settlement Association, 237 East 104th Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenues)
For additional information, please call 212-828-9800

Please click here for the flyer in Chinese

East Harlem Stands Up Against Discriminatory Policing

Last Thursday, Melissa addressed over 200 East Harlem and South Bronx residents at Taino Tower’s Crystal Room at the East Harlem Stand Up event co-sponsored by Melissa, Justice Committee, Picture the Homeless, and the Bronx Defenders. The town hall forum was meant to address discriminatory policing in our community.

The event included speeches by Comptroller John Liu, as well as organizers who educated participants on their constitutional rights, and what to do and say if you are stopped or harassed by the NYPD. Residents were also given the opportunity to speak out about their experiences with stop and frisk.

Melissa called for the East Harlem community to unite and fight this unconstitutional practice:

“East Harlem has had over 17,000 stops in our 23rd Precinct alone, the highest number in Manhattan.  This policy is criminalizing an entire generation of young people in our community!

This is why I introduced a resolution in support of a change in state law that would end the NYPD’s enforcement of small-time marijuana possession during stop-and-frisks, where police would routinely ask individuals to empty their pockets, and upon finding marijuana would arrest them.

This practice was leading to the arrest of more than 50,000 New Yorkers each year, costing over $75 million, money which should instead be invested in youth programs.

This administration has been closing our schools, cutting our after-school programs, and then cracking down on our kids when they’re on the street. This is racial discrimination at its finest! 

If the city wants to combat violence in our communities than we have to look at the Root Causes: poverty, unemployment, lack of decent affordable housing or health care or education or recreational programs for our youth.  ”

Learn How To Apply for a Play Street in Your Neighborhood

Transportation Alternatives and the New York City Department of Health are hosting a public workshop to assist and educate community based organizations with the Play Street application process. Play Streets are weekly one-day street closures in the summer that give children access to a safe, fun and supervised place to engage in physical activity. Many neighborhoods throughout New York City lack access to parks and open space, making it difficult for children to get the proper amount of exercise each day. Play Streets address this problem by empowering community groups to create their own places for children’s recreation and encourages a healthy active lifestyle.

playstreets_slide

The workshop will provide participants with the knowledge, tools and assistance to win a Play Street for their neighborhood. Additionally, you will be guided through the application process and they will work with you on developing strategies to ensure a successful program. They will also provide you with information about improvements you can request from the City to make your neighborhood streets safer and more welcoming for walking and biking.

WHO: Transportation Alternatives and the New York City Health Department
WHAT: Play Street Permit Process Workshop
WHEN: Thursday, January 31, 2013; 4 PM – 6 PM
WHERE: 40 Worth Street, 5th floor, room 5.2/5.2
RSVP: playstreets@transalt.org or 646-839-6483

Be A Part of the MTA’s Second Avenue Subway Quarterly Public Workshop on Wednesday, January 30th

You are invited to attend an MTA public workshop regarding the construction of the Second Avenue Subway.

The goal of this workshop is to maintain an open dialogue between the MTA and the community at large. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage project representatives about current construction activity and the initiatives implemented by the MTA as a direct response to community input from the previous SAS public workshop.

MTA employees and contractors will attend the workshop to facilitate discussion and answer questions.

inviteworkpage1-1

WHO: MTA
WHAT: Second Avenue Subway Quarterly Public Workshop
WHEN: Wednesday, January 30th from 6:45 to 8:30 PM
WHERE: Temple Israel, 112 East 75th Street (between Park & Lexington Avenues)
RSVP: Reserve your seats online here or by calling (646) 564-5866.

* The capacity of the facility is 200 people and seats are filling quickly, so reserve yours today.
* Photo ID will be required for entry.
* Facility is ADA accessible.

Join Us on Tuesday in Celebrating ‘Las Octavitas,’ the End of the Puerto Rican Christmas Season

As some of you may know, the Christmas season in Puerto Rican culture stretches out into January. First with the celebration of Three Kings Day and then, days later with Las Octavitas; the holiday season in Puerto Rico is the most extensive in the world.

With that being said, we hope you can join us on Tuesday, January 22nd from 5:30 to 7:30 PM, in celebrating Las Octavitas with traditional Puerto Rican food and live music. This event is not a religious ceremony, but a celebration of Puerto Rican cultural heritage.

WHO: Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, Comptroller John C. Liu, Representative Charles B. Rangel, Senator Bill Perkins, and Assembly Member Robert J. Rodriguez
WHAT: Las Octavitas Celebration
WHEN: Tuesday, January 22nd; 5:30 – 7:30 PM
WHERE: Taino Towers, 240 East 123rd Street (Gymnasium); between Second & Third Avenues
RSVP: Please reply to the Comptroller’s Office of Special Events: (212) 669-4466; TTY: (212) 669-3450; or eventsrsvp@comptroller.nyc.gov

Handicap-Logo8To arrange special accommodations, please call (212) 669-4315. Fully accessible facility. 

Melissa Speaks at the Inauguration of Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto of San Juan

Yesterday, Melissa was honored to speak at the inauguration ceremony for Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto, the newly elected mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

For so long we have watched and hoped for a moment like the one in which we find ourselves right now. A moment that is truly a transformative one for Puerto Rico and all its people. The people are demanding that their government represent the needs of the majority and not that of a small sector of interests. Some people have compared this moment in Puerto Rico to the Arab Spring and the Occupy Wall Street movement, which literally helped reshape and reframe the public discourse around income inequality and government representation…

Her message has been simple but powerful: “Un San Juan Para Todos” (“A San Juan for All”). Her inclusive vision for the future of San Juan extends to all – old and young, women and men, poor and wealthy, members of the LGBT community, immigrants… everyone. Even those that did not vote for her. Those who historically have not had a voice in our society are included to bring forth a new future for San Juan, together with our inspiring mayor.

All this means that new ways of doing business must be put in place. I am proud to say that Mayor Carmen Yulín – who I consider a sister in struggle – has committed to engaging in a participatory budgeting process here in San Juan, a way to turn the power over to the people and their communities to decide how to spend public dollars. I was among the first Council Members to engage in this process in New York, which is only the second city to do so in the U.S. It was an honor for me to invite Carmen Yulín to City Hall to discuss this initiative with her, and I look forward to seeing it happen here in San Juan.

To watch Melissa’s speech, commence at the 38:30 mark:

For the full transcript, in English & Spanish, click here.

Get Involved By Joining a Community Board

If you have something to say about the neighborhood you live in, one of the greatest forums you can join is your local community board. This Thursday, Transportation Alternatives and Bronx Health REACH are hosting a FREE informational session, Community Board Join Up, where you can learn about your community board and how to apply to be a member. Hear from the Bronx Borough President’s office about just how integral community boards are in the decision making process within their neighborhood.

Enjoy snacks and drinks while meeting like-minded New Yorkers interested in joining their community board. You can fill out an application while you learn about the process. This Community Board Join Up will happen in the Bronx, but anyone is welcome to attend.

commboardevent

WHO: Transportation Alternatives and Bronx Health REACH
WHAT: “Community Board Join Up” informational session
WHEN: Thursday, January 10th – 6:30 to 8 PM
WHERE: Cornell University Cooperative Extension, 432 East 149th Street, 4th floor. Bronx, NY 10455
RSVP: Please click this link to RSVP through Transportation Alternatives

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

Learn About HIV Prevention Efforts in Immigrant Communities

Join us on the morning of Thursday, January 17th at the Hunter School of School of Social Work to The East Harlem Immigrant Service Network’s “Maximizing HIV Prevention in Immigrant Communities in 2013 – Programs and Policies Affecting East Harlem and Beyond” panel. Melissa will be speaking at the event, in addition to the Harlem United Community AIDS Center, Iris House and the NYC Department of Health/Mental Hygiene.

Find out about the impact that the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and other policies can have on maximizing HIV prevention in immigrant communities as well as what resources are available for residents, and more. Did you know that even though death rates due to HIV have decreased in East Harlem in the past decade, our community still has the second highest HIV-related death rate in the city? Stop by to get informed.

EHISNpanel

WHO: Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, The East Harlem Immigrant Service Network, Harlem United Community AIDS Center, Iris House and the NYC Department of Health/Mental Hygiene
WHAT: “Maximizing HIV Prevention in Immigrant Communities in 2013 – Programs and Policies Affecting East Harlem and Beyond” Panel
WHEN: Thursday, January 17th, 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM
WHERE: Hunter School of Social Work, East 119th Street & 3rd Avenue, 2nd floor
*For more information & to RSVP, please contact Joe Pressley in the Office of Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito at 212.828.9800 or via email at jpressley@council.nyc.gov OR contact Thierry Ekon at the NYCDOH/MH Harlem District Public Health Office at 347.396.7776 or via email at aekon@health.nyc.gov

The East Harlem Immigrant Service Network is an initiative launched by Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito’s Office out of a desire to support each other as service providers and advocates working with the immigrant community in District 8. The network is open to organizations interested in collaborating and sharing information relating to programming and services, and in discussing issues of immigrant rights, the political environment, and the challenges facing the immigrant community in the district.

Sign Up for An Allowable Political Activity by Nonprofits Course

The Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development’s (ANHD) Affordable Housing Institute will be hosting an Allowable Political Activity by Nonprofits course on Wednesday, January 9th. This training will address the ability of nonprofit, tax exempt organizations to engage their communities in election related activities. While 501(c)(3) organizations cannot endorse or oppose candidates, they can run voter registration and Get Out The Vote campaigns, highlight community issues, and encourage civic engagement. The training will be conducted by Harvey Epstein and Ted De Barbieri, attorneys at the Urban Justice Center’s Community Development Project.

WHO: ANHD and Urban Justice Center’s Community Development Project
WHAT: Allowable Political Activity by Nonprofits course
WHEN: Wednesday, January 9th – 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM
WHERE: ANHD – 50 New Street, suite 1125, Manhattan
COST: $50 per organization (free for ANHD members), admits two people. If cost is a concern fee reductions may be available, feel free to ask.
REGISTER: Email the form found here to Rita Mazza – rita.m@anhd.org. Please make checks payable to the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development.

Speak Out Against Discriminatory Policing at East Harlem’s Town Hall Event on Thursday, January 17

On Thursday, January 17th, Melissa will be co-sponsoring a town hall event about discriminatory policing with the Justice Committee. At “East Harlem Stand Up!”, community members will be encouraged to speak out against the NYPD’s Stop & Frisk policy, and the program will also include Know Your Rights training and a discussion of the Community Safety Act which Melissa is co-sponsoring. East Harlem is disproportionately impacted by this policy, with the highest number of stops in Manhattan.

eastharlemstandupflyer

WHO: Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, The Bronx Defenders, Picture the Homeless, and the Justice Committee
WHAT: Town Hall on Discriminatory Policing
WHEN: Thursday, January 17th, 6:30 – 8:30 PM
WHERE: Taino Towers in the Crystal Room – 240 East 123rd Street
* For more information, call 347-676-1878 or email yul-san@justicecommittee.org  
* Spanish translation, childcare and free food will be provided!

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

One Last Chance to Be Heard

Back in October, during the last Districting Commission hearing, Melissa and our office were so moved by how many community members, children included, came out to testify against the commission’s proposed new lines for District 8. Under the original proposed map, East Harlem would be split up beyond recognition. Due to your efforts, the commission revised their lines to bring La Marqueta back to El Barrio, where it belong. There is more work to do though – over 30 blocks in East Harlem have been cut out of the district.

We have one more opportunity to make our voice heard on this important issue. The Districting Commission is holding one more round of hearings in January before passing a final set of district lines. We’ve already showed them how united we are as a community and are being given another chance to prove it to them. Please save these dates and join us in the fight to defend the integrity of our community:

El Barrio/East Harlem Town Hall on Redistricting
Sponsored by Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito
Thursday, January 3rd | 6:30 pm
Children’s Aid Society (130 E. 101st Street, between Lexington and Park)

Manhattan Districting Commission Hearing
Monday, January 7th | 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Hunter College (695 Park Avenue, Auditorium)

Bronx Districting Commission Hearing
Wednesday, January 9th | 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Hostos Community College (500 Grand Concourse, Repertory Theatre, Building C)

  redistricting_english     Districting Flyer - Spanish

To view the latest District 8 lines, please follow this link and click on District 8.

We hope to see you all at these important meetings to make clear that splitting up our neighborhood is unacceptable.

Safe Streets Rally in the South Bronx this Saturday

This Saturday we will meet on East 138th Street & St. Ann’s Avenue in Mott Haven to rally for safer streets. Just last week, it was on the corner that we will meet that a 69 year old man, who lived around the corner, was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer in the middle of the afternoon. Please join us in remembering this Mott Haven resident and rallying for less truck traffic that proves time and time again to be bad for pedestrians and the Bronx.

southbronxrally

WHO: Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, South Bronx Unite, Casa Atabex Ache, Community Connections for Youth, Friends of Brook Park, Heketi Community Charter School, Mothers on the Move, Transportation Alternatives, and United Federation of Taino People
WHAT: Safe Streets in South Bronx Rally
WHEN: Saturday, December 22, 2012 – 12 PM to 1:30 PM
WHERE: East 138th Street and St. Ann’s Avenue
For more information, connect South Bronx Unite at 646.648.4362

March For Peace With Us This Thursday

Please march with us this Thursday to support peace in El Barrio/East Harlem. “PUT THE GUNS DOWN, THROW THE PEACE SIGNS UP.” We’d love to see you there with anti-violence signs and noise makers. Let’s unite to support peace in our community!

peace march

WHO: Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito & the El Barrio/East Harlem Youth Violence Task Force; to be joined by youth, parents, schools, families, CBO’s and elected officials
WHAT: El Barrio/East Harlem Community Anti-Violence Peace March
WHEN: Thursday, December 13, 2012; 4 PM – 6 PM. Leaving promptly at 4:30 PM.
WHERE: At 4 PM, we will meet at 116th and Madison. Departing promptly at 4:30 PM, we will head east on 116th Street, south on Lexington Avenue and east on 106th Street to 3rd Avenue, where the march will end at the East Harlem Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Melissa Will Be On The City Limits Panel to Discuss “Latinos and the Mayoralty: Searching for El Primero”

logo_newCity Limits will be hosting a discussion panel, “Latinos and the Mayoralty: Searching for El Primero on the morning of Wednesday, December 12th. Melissa will be joined by featured panelists to discuss the past, present, and future of Latino political engagement in New York City. Come join the discussion!

WHO: Jarrett Murphy, Editor of City Limits will moderate. Panelists include: Melissa Mark-Viverito; Ed Morales, author and adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race; Lucia Gomez Jimenez, the Executive Director of La Fuente; Ramona Hernandez, Director of CUNY Dominican Studies Insitute and professor of sociology at CCNY; and Angelo Falcon, President and Founder of the National Institute for Latino Policy.
WHAT: Latinos and the Mayoralty: Searching for El Primero
WHEN: Wednesday, December 12, 2012. 9:30 AM Panel Discussion & 9 AM Networking
WHERE: The Community Service Society, 105 East 22nd Street, 4th Floor
RSVP: Click here

The Coca Cola Foundation Donated $25,000 to Local Organizations in Honor of “Green Exercise Day”

Earlier in October, Coca Cola teamed up with local organizations to celebrate “Green Exercise Day” in East Harlem, which promoted children participating in recreational activities.

As a result of Melissa nominating local organizations for “Active, Healthy Living” grants, The Coca Cola Foundation donated $25,000 to Concrete Safaris and The Children’s Aid Society, among others. This is an exceptional opportunity for Concrete Safaris’ City Surfers program and for The Children’s Aid Society and we are delighted that we got to be a part of such a positive day.

Melissa with representatives of the Community Association of Progressive Dominicans, Concrete Safaris, The Children’s Aid Society and The Coca Cola Foundation. Photos courtesy of Impacto De New York Al Mundo.

Para un artículo sobre “Green Exercise Day” en español, haga clic aquí.

Volunteer Opportunities in Manhattan and the Bronx

When considering the devastating impact of Hurricane Sandy on other neighborhoods, we are very fortunate to have not sustained extensive damage in Council District 8 and we believe that it’s time to give back to others who have not been as fortunate in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Below are volunteer opportunities that could use your help:

MANHATTAN – 

  • On Friday, November 2nd at around 12:00 noon, we will be meeting up with Council Member Margaret Chin (District 1), where Hurricane Sandy hit the hardest in Manhattan, at the Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corporation (CPLDC) on 60 St. James Place.  From there, volunteers will be assigned to different tasks to assist downtown. While transit is still a challenge downtown, the M15 Select Bus Service on 1st and 2nd Avenues (which will again be free tomorrow) is a great option to get to CPLDC.

BRONX –

  • The Food Bank needs volunteers at their warehouse in the Bronx. People are needed tomorrow (Friday, November 2) to repack donated food for delivery to emergency food organizations. The volunteer shifts are 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM and 1:30 – 3:30 PM. For more information, contact the Food Bank’s Triada Stampas at 917-568-3389. Address: 355 Food Center Drive, Bronx NY 10474. It is accessible by subway/bus combo: 6 to Hunts Pt, then the Bx6 bus to the Hunts Pt Market.
  • Lehman College is currently being used as a shelter and is taking volunteers. Address: 250 Bedford Park Blvd, Bronx NY 10458

Additionally, the Parks Department is accepting volunteers to help aid in clean-up and recovery of parks citywide. For those who would like to volunteer, please follow the provided link to submit a volunteer application. When showing up to help, please remember to dress appropriately – closed-toe shoes and clothes that can get dirty are appropriate. Bring a water bottle and snacks (water refills and restrooms will be available at each site). All supplies for the clean up effort will be provided. Children 12 and older are allowed to lend a hand.

MANHATTAN – Click here to register to volunteer.

  • Randall’s Island (Friday & Saturday only)
  • Happy Warrior Playground (West 98th and Amsterdam Avenue)
  • Annunciation Park (West 135th Street btwn Amsterdam and Convent Avenues)
  • Carl Schurz Park (East 87th Street and East End Avenue)
  • Anne Loftus Playground (at Fort Tyron Park – Broadway at Riverside Drive)

BRONX – Click here to register to volunteer.

  • Van Cortlandt Park (1 Bronx River Parkway)
  • Orchard Beach (Park Drive and Orchard Beach Road)

Explore El Barrio with the Taste Trolley this Saturday

You have the chance to sample food and drinks from 5 of El Barrio’s finest restaurants for free! Hope Community, with the support of the NYC Department of Small Business Services, is hosting their second El Barrio Taste Trolley this Saturday, October 27th,  from 1 PM to 4 PM.

The tour begins at The Lexington Social, a tapas, wine and cocktail bar, on 1634 Lexington Avenue at East 103rd St and will commence at the three block food festival, the East Harlem Harvest Festival  on East 115th and Park Avenue. The Taste Trolley will also visit: Amor Cubano for authentic Cuban food; Bistro 118 Wine Bar  for French cuisine; the restaurant, bar and lounge Sweet Jane’s; and one of our favorites for a hot latte, East Harlem Café.

Although this is a free event, a $10 donation is suggested. 100% of the funds go to Hope Community to sponsor future taste trolley events.

There’s about a dozen spots left, so reserve your place today to explore El Barrio in the most delicious way – email jcaracino@hopeci.org. Please click here for the official flyer.

 

East Harlem Rezoning Meeting on Monday, October 22

CIVITAS and Community Board 11 have been working together, brainstorming ways to modify land use and zoning policies in East Harlem. They’re talking about creating affordable housing, promoting economic development, and controlling appropriate building sizes for the area under consideration, which is Madison to Lexington Avenues and 115th to 132nd Streets, excluding the 125th Street corridor.

To learn more about the changes the 2003 rezoning brought to East Harlem, please watch CIVITAS’ 2010 video of an East Harlem walking tour led by land use planner Richard Bass:

Be a part of the conversation and envision a better East Harlem.

WHO: CIVITAS, Community Board 11, land use consultants Insight Associates and George M. Janes & Associates

WHAT: Land Use & Zoning in East Harlem meeting

WHEN: Monday, October 22 at 6:30 PM

WHERE: The Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, 2nd floor auditorium. 2180 Third Avenue at 119th Street

RSVP: Community Board 11 office at 212-831-8929

Deferred Action: “The Basics”, an Informational Session, on Thursday, October 18

Melissa, along with New York Immigration Coalition, the Office of the Manhattan District Attorney, and the East Harlem Immigrant Service Network will be holding a general informational session that will focus on the federal Deferred Action policy. The goals of the Deferred Action: “The Basics” session is to give agencies who may come into contact with undocumented individuals basic information on Deferred Action, share preventive measures that participants can use to protect themselves from fraud, and finally share the various resources that exist for people seeking information on this or other policies as it pertains to immigrants.

WHAT: Deferred Action: “The Basics” Informational Session
WHEN: Thursday, October 18 – 9 to 11 AM
WHERE: Hunter College’s School of Social Work, 2180 3rd Avenue (corner of East 119th Street)
RSVP: Joe Pressley at 212-828-9800 or jpressley@council.nyc.gov

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

Free Self-Defense Training Workshop in Central Park

Following the recent disturbing, violent attacks towards women in our parks, Melissa, along with Speaker Christine C. Quinn, and Council Members Gale A. Brewer and Jessica Lappin, will be sponsoring a Free Self-Defense Training run by The Center for Anti-Violence Education. This workshop is open to all over the age of 13, including seniors, although it is geared towards women and the LGBT community. Here’s your chance to learn how to defend yourself – RSVP today & make sure to wear comfortable clothes!

WHAT: FREE Self-Defense Training Workshop
WHEN: Sunday, October 7th, 2012 from 2 – 4 PM
WHERE: North Meadow Recreation Center in Central Park (Mid-Park at 97th Street)
RSVP: events@council.nyc.gov or 212.788.6871

* Training will also be provided in Spanish / También se proporcionará capacitación en español 

Green Jobs Green NY Bronx Contractor Forum on Tuesday, October 9

Currently there is only one certified GJ/GNY contractor in the entire Bronx! Becoming one can grow your business!

Through the Green Jobs Green NY (GJGNY) program, thousands of homes can receive free or reduced cost audits and retrofits, stopping air leaks, installing installation, upgrading HVAC systems, changing lighting, etc. In order to do this work, a contractor must be Building Performance Institute (BPI) accredited before they can participate in the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program sponsored by the New York State Energy Research Development Authority (NYSERDA).

At this Contractor Forum, you will learn:

  • What BPI certification encompasses, how to become involved in the NYSERDA GJGNY program, and available incentives.
  • AEA, BCC, and Solar One will discuss their training opportunities for BPI certification.
  • What contractors need to be prepared to offer, in terms of capacity to get the assessments and retrofits completed.
  • MWBE certification and the opportunities for procurement that it can open up for MWBE contractors. Also additional incentives and training funding opportunities offered through SBS.
  • Additional incentives for business development for GJGNY, such as OJT training funding.

HOSTED BY: Solar One and Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation; with support from Bronx Community College, Association for Energy Affordability, NYC Small Business Services, Sustainable South Bronx

WHAT: Bronx Contractor Forum

WHERE: Bronx Community College, Language Hall, Facility Dining Room (map)

WHEN: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 from 6:30 – 8:30 PM

If you are interested in taking advantage of the quickly expanding market for home energy upgrades or “green jobs”, RSVP today!

Join Us for the Groundbreaking Celebration of El Barrio’s Artspace PS109

We are proud to announce the groundbreaking of PS109 becoming an affordable live/work space for El Barrio artists thanks to Artspace, America’s leader in arts-driven community transformation. El Barrio’s Artspace PS109, a $52 million project, will serve the East Harlem community by creating 90 units of permanently affordable live/work housing and an additional 12,000 square feet of space for arts and cultural activities on the ground floor and lower level. Along with El Barrio’s Operation Fightback, Artspace will be bringing a new life to the historic former public school, which is expected to take two years.

The residential units in El Barrio’s Artspace PS109 will be reserved for artists whose household income is less than 60% of the Area Median Income. To ensure that East Harlem artists are well-represented in the facility, the project will apply NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development’s (HPD) lottery process, ensuring that at least 50% of the units are set aside for artists who are current residents of East Harlem.

The groundbreaking ceremony for this exciting new project is scheduled for Tuesday, October 2, 2012 from 4 – 8 PM at 215 East 99th Street. Melissa as well as Mayor Bloomberg, National Endowment for the Arts Chair Rocco Landesman, Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin, HPD Commissioner Matthew Wambua, Community Board 11 Chair Matthew Washington, Ford Foundation President Luis Ubinas, Artspace President Kelly Lindquist and El Barrio’s Operation Fightback Executive Director Gustavo Rosado will be in attendance. There will be performances by salsa legend Johnny Colon and his Orchestra, along with other local artists. The ceremony and performances are free and open to the public, so please join us!

This Thursday: Immigration Fraud Roundtable

Immigration Fraud Roundtable
“New Yorkers, Know Your Rights!”

Where and When?
Hunter College School of Social Work
2180 3rd Avenue @ East 119th Street
Thursday, September 20, 2012  ─ 9:30AM to 11AM

Sponsored by:
Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman

Co-Sponsored by:
Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, State Senator Jose M. Serrano & Assembly Member Robert Rodriguez

Presented by:
Assistant Attorney General Roberto G. Lebron

 Come hear a discussion on how to protect your community from Immigration Services Fraud and the Unauthorized Practice of Law NY

To RSVP and for more information, please contact Gregory Meyer at Senator Serrano’s office at (212)828-5829 or email him at gregorygmeyer@gmail.com.

 

Melissa to ‘Occupy the Corner’ in East Harlem

Occupy the Corner  with Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito

EAST HARLEM – 1st Ave @ 104th Street!

Saturday, September 8th

11:00pm -1:00am

Come take part in a Peaceful Gathering for Change

 Stop the Violence!

Say NO to GUNS!  Yes to more Youth Programs!

Tomorrow: Small Business Job Fair Prescreening

Tomorrow, the Workforce1 Manhattan Career Center is hosting a job fair prescreening event featuring small businesses in Upper Manhattan and the Bronx that are looking to recruit employees in a number of fields. Applicants that meet employer requirements will be asked to return for an interview with the employer. See below for more info!

Image

Thursday, September 6th between 2:30 PM and 3:30 PM

Location: 60 Madison Avenue, Suite 704

Please bring: Valid (non-expired) Photo ID, Social Security Card, and your Resume.

(Applicant must be in proper interview attire)

APPLICANTS WITHOUT RESUMES WILL NOT BE ADMITTED

Best of luck!

PICTURE POST: The Sixth Annual Teen Fair

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Our office had a blast at the Sixth Annual Teen Fair! We thank all the organizations that participated and the talent that performed. Please enjoy just some of the pictures that we took and feel free to share any that you have from that day. We can’t wait to do this again next year!

Take Advantage of Free Performances at Lincoln Center

One of our favorite things about living in NYC is having so many free cultural events made accessible to us across the five boroughs. Lincoln Center is one of the organizations that provides extraordinary free performances for all New Yorkers. Here is their upcoming schedule for weekly events and free performances  at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center:

WEEKLY EVENTS:

Target Free Thursdays: Taking place every Thursday night at 8:30 pm, all year long, Target Free Thursdays provide free public performances that represent a diverse cross-section of musical genres, including pop, Latin, rock, soul, country, spoken word, and world music. Performers come from Lincoln Center’s resident organizations including Jazz at Lincoln Center and The Julliard School, as well as independent artists from across the five boroughs.

Meet the Artist Saturdays: On the first Saturday of each month at 11:00 am, Lincoln Center offers Meet the Artist Saturdays free-of-charge to the public. Meet the Artist offers a unique blend of performance, participation, and education that is specially created for family appeal. Each program provides audiences of all ages with the opportunity to experience the arts firsthand with world-class performers and every presentation includes a Q&A with the artists.

FREE PERFORMANCES:

When: Thursday, August 30th, at 7:30pm
What: Target Free Thursdays / “Lysander Piano Trio” / Grand Prize winner at the 2011 Coleman Chamber Music Competition, Lysander Piano Trio performs an exciting cross section of the most beloved piano trio repertoire.

When: Tuesday, September 4th, at 7:30pm
What: Special free performance / “The Tres Amigos: The Spicy Special” / The Tres Amigos deliver earnest, often comic originals and innovative takes on a range of classics, all tightly arranged to suit the group’s unique mix of alto sax, accordion, acoustic guitar, and hollerin’ voices.

When: Saturday, September 15th, at 11:00am
What: Meet the Artist Saturdays / “Classical Jam” / A vibrant ensemble of flute, percussion, violin, viola and cello, Classical Jam (CJ) brings five of the most highly demanded soloists and chamber musicians together.

When: Thursday, September 20th, at 7:30pm
What: Target Free Thursdays / “The Donations” / The Donations is comprised of Lincoln Center staffers — a singing group originally commissioned by Reynold Levy, President of Lincoln Center, to perform at Board functions.  Friends and colleagues will accompany the group on an eclectic selection of songs ranging from Broadway to the King of Pop. We hope you’ll join us for an evening of merry music-making!

When: Thursday, September 27th, at 7:30pm
What: Target Free Thursdays / “Stevy Mahy” / Float away on the enchanting voice of Stevy Mahy whose lyrics flow seamlessly over rich acoustic melodies that envelop and warm the soul. Growing up in a musical household, she spent her time between her birthplace, Paris and Guadeloupe. Stevy’s music is distinctly influenced by her global childhood. Singing in English, French, and Creole, her hushed tones and intimate style are complemented by the hints of Caribbean rhythm.

When: Saturday, September 29th, at 2:30pm
What: Meet the Artist Saturdays / “Lincoln Center Local Final Series Performance” / Journey across Latin culture with Alexander Wu and the Zigzag Quartet to find the threads of salsa, samba, and tango in classical jazz and modern musical compositions. This performance features ballroom dancers and will be broadcast live to selected libraries in Queens.

When: Thursday, October 4th, at 8:30pm
What: Target Free Thursdays / “Ne(x)tworks: John Cage’s Variations IV” / To celebrate iconoclastic American composer John Cage’s centenary, local creative music ensemble Ne(x)tworks (with special guest R. Luke DuBois on video) presents the evening-length work Variations IV (1963). Fourth in a series of classic indeterminate works from the 1960’s, Variations IV is a seminal exploration of simultaneity and site-specificity, and is Cage’s composerly representation of the Hindu/Buddhist concept samsara or “the world of everyday life.”

When: Saturday, October 6th, at 11:00am
What: Meet the Artist Saturdays / “NewSong Music: Songwritting workshop with James Maddock” / British born James Maddock was first recognized in the U.S as leader of the band Wood (Songs From Stamford Hill – Columbia Records). Songs From Stamford Hill, which remains a fan favorite 10 years later, produced a Top 5 Triple A hit, “Stay You” and was included in the first Dawson’s Creek compilation.

When: Thursday, October 11th, at 7:30pm
What: Target Free Thursdays / “O Sole Trio: From Prima Donna to Post-Madonna
How Italy and Italian-Americans influenced American Popular Music” / A vibrant musical ensemble featuring the lush voices of soprano Erin Shields and baritone Giuseppe Spoletini along with the amazingly versatile David Shenton on violin and piano. The night will offer a blend of some of the most popular Italian opera, Neapolitan and classic jazz standards with a concentration on the Italian language.

For additional performances in October and beyond, check out their schedule.

The David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center is located between West 62nd and 63rd Streets with entrances on Broadway and Columbus Avenues.

Join Us for Our Sixth Annual Teen Fair!

Join us next Tuesday, August 28th, for our 6th Annual Teen Fair from 1:00 to 4:00 pm on East 104th Street, between Lexington and 3rd Avenues. The annual event, sponsored by Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito helps connect our young people with services in the community as they prepare to go back to school.

Stop by and spend an afternoon with us! There will be free food for attendees, live music and dance performances by young people, and a backpack giveaway generously sponsored by Kars 4 Kids. Throughout the afternoon, local organizations will set up tables to recruit teens to take part in their programs. Don’t miss it!!

The event is co-sponsored by the El Barrio/East Harlem Youth Violence Task Force, the Office of Senator Jose M. Serrano, the Office of Assemblyman Robert J. Rodriguez and Manhattan Community Board 11.

Learn About Being a Responsible Pet Owner this Saturday at the Launch of “There is No Poop Fairy in East Harlem” Campaign

It’s undeniable, we love our pets – but there is no excuse for not cleaning up after our dogs. Not only is it offensive to our sense of smell when dog waste is left on the street, but it contains harmful bacteria, pollutes groundwater, and sticks around for a long time. Stepping in it is more than just a nuisance – it’s an opportunity to spread bacteria to your home. Please help keep our neighborhood free of poop piles by joining us in the launch of this important public service health campaign, “There is No Poop Fairy in East Harlem,” this Saturday, August 25. Enjoy a day of six different informative and free workshops, and also get a chance to win a physical examination for your pet at Oliver’s Dog & Cat Clinic of East Harlem, a PetSmart gift certificate or doggie goodie bags; and of course there will be free biodegradable poop bags.

Celebrity Groomer to the Stars, Jorge Bendersky come by to discuss the importance of properly grooming your pet. ASPCA will be joining us to provide free or low cost spay/neuter services as well as providing free tick/flea prevention, rabies and distemper shots. NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene will be administering dog licenses and Animal Care and Control of NYC will be sharing the benefits of the feral cat Catch and Release Program. Come join the discussion about being a pet owner in a NYCHA development and reacquaint yourself with the much improved Jefferson Park Dog Run. For the complete schedule, see below.

WHO: Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, Jorge Bendersky, ASPCA, Jefferson Park Dog Run Committee, Animal Care and Control of NYC, New York City Housing Authority, NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, and Search and Care.

WHAT: There is No Poop Fairy in East Harlem Campaign

WHEN: Saturday, August 25, 2012 – 10 AM to 1 PM

WHERE: Thomas Jefferson Park Recreation Center – 112th Street and First Avenue (dogs are not permitted inside the Center)

To attend the workshops or learn more about the different ways in which you can volunteer, please call 212-828-9800. We hope to see you there!

West Side Summer Fair Tomorrow

Tomorrow, Saturday, August 19, 2012, West End Presbyterian Church will hold a Summer Fair at its corner location at Amsterdam Avenue and 105th Street. The block at 105th Street will be closed to traffic between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues from noon until 6 PM.

This family-friendly event will have many kid’s favorite activities, including a Bounce truck, face-painting, and games. Tables and booths will be selling food, jewelry, clothing, and housewares, among other popular items. A staffed table will offer information about the church, a beloved neighborhood resource for more than 100 years, worshiping in Spanish, English, and Eritrean every Sunday.

All are welcome to join us for this fun-filled afternoon!

WHAT: Summer Street Fair

WHERE: West 105th Street between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenue

WHEN: Saturday, August 19, 2012 – noon to 6 PM

Melissa at the BlogHer 2012 Conference

Earlier this month, Melissa had the opportunity to be on a panel at the BlogHer 2012 Conference about Latinas in Elected Office.  Melissa talked about the key role social media plays in engaging with her community (Thanks followers!!) and beyond. It was a great experience conversing with like-minded politically active Latinas. Oh, and did we forget to mention that President Obama spoke via satellite?

Ella Gobierna’s Latinas in Elected Office Panel: Ana Roca Castro, Nevada Assemblywoman Lucy Flores, blogger Veronica Arreola, NH Representative Marilinda Garcia, and Melissa. Photo courtesy of Blogs by Latinas.

‘There is No Poop Fairy in East Harlem’ Campaign Needs Volunteers

We can all agree that not cleaning up after your dog on the street is an unsanitary nuisance, so it’s time to do something about it. We’re looking for volunteers to assist with our initiative to promote being a responsible dog owner and member of the community.

On Saturday, August 25, we will be holding a series of events as the launch of the “There is no Poop Fairy in East Harlem” campaign. We will need volunteers to assist in setting up the event as well as going out in the community to help educate dog owners on the need to clean up after their dogs. If you’re available to help out during the morning and early afternoon on that Saturday, please call (212) 828-9800.


Please donate your time to help improve the cleanliness of our neighborhood. We really appreciate it and hope to hear from you soon & see you there!

RSVP Today for a Special Know Your Rights Training for NYC Youth

A special Know Your Rights Training session for NYC youth will take place on Thursday, August 16, 2012 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM. Knowing your rights is the first step to empowering yourself.

Our community, like other minority communities in NYC is plagued with racially biased and unlawful stop and frisk practices, which could lead to unjust arrests for possession of marijuana. We’ve sponsored a resolution that the City Council overwhelmingly adopted and the New York State Senate failed to agree on, we’ve held silent marches and we’ve spoke out for justice.  This event for our city’s young people is the next step. Sponsored by the New Yorkers for Health and Safety, and a collaboration by the Drug Policy Alliance, Institute for Juvenile Justice Reform & Alternatives,  Center for NuLeadership and VOCAL-NY, Know Your Rights Training is giving our young people the knowledge and tools that they need to implement justice and accountability in their everyday lives.

We strongly urge you to RSVP today or find out more information by calling Chino at (718) 484-5887 or Alfredo at (718) 415-9254. Spread the word!

WHEN: Thursday, August 16th – 5:30pm-7:30pm

WHERE: RFK Building, 113 East 13th Street (between 3rd and 4th Avenues), New York, NY 10003 [Directions: 4, 5, 6, L, N or Q train to 14th Street Union Square]

Free Deferred Action and College Fair Information Session this Saturday

Achieving a higher education is very much a reality for DREAMers. On Saturday, August 11th, MASA-MexEd, along with CUNY Citizenship Now, CUNY’s Admission Office and the New York Legal Assistance Group will be hosting an informational workshop covering everything from President Obama’s Deferred Action to how to apply to college regardless of your legal status.

DREAMers, family and friends are welcome to come take advantage of this free session and receive guidance about obtaining a work permit, applying to college and learning what financial resources are available to you. Your legal status does not mean that you cannot obtain a college degree. The first step is finding out the tools you need to succeed at the Deferred Action and College Fair Information Session on Saturday.

Please spread the word! If you need more information please contact Angelo Cabrera at acabrera@masany.org

WHO: MASA-MexEd, CUNY Citizenship Now, New York Legal Assistance Group and CUNY’s Admission Office

WHAT: Deferred Action and College Fair Information Session

WHEN: Saturday, August 11, 2012 – 2 PM to 4 PM

WHERE:  Centro Comunitario de MASA-MexEd Inc. 420 East 145th Street, Bronx, NY 10454

Groomer to the Stars, Jorge Bendersky and Melissa to Host a Pet Care Grooming Workshop

Celebrity dog groomer Jorge Bendersky will be at Jefferson Recreation Center with Melissa on Saturday, July 14 hosting a free Pet Care Grooming Workshop.  You may have seen Jorge on Animal Planet’s realty show, “The Groomer Has It,” as a judge on TLC’s “Extreme Poodles” or as the grooming expert on Animal Planet’s “Dogs 101.”

Although most of Jorge’s clients are among the rich and famous and he is the most sought out Manhattan groomer, Jorge is dedicated to giving back. In doing so, he is offering his talents and knowledge to those dogs (and pet owners) who would not normally be able to afford such lavish amenities. Jorge will cover how to properly brush your dog, along with tips and tools for early detection of a wide spectrum of potential canine diseases at the free Pet Care Grooming Workshop. Early detection is essential to not only saving your dog’s life but to saving an enormous amount on vet bills.

Come join us and learn about all of the benefits of proper grooming for your furry best friend! To find out more about Jorge and his work, you can visit his website – planetjorge.com.

WHO: Melissa and Celebrity Dog Groomer Jorge Bendersky

WHAT: Pet Care Grooming Workshop

WHERE: Jefferson Recreation Center (2205 First Avenue, corner of 113th Street)

WHEN: Saturday, July 14 – 10 AM to 12 Noon

East Harlem’s Senior Pool Party to Launch Senior Hours in 14 City-Wide Pools

We are delighted to announce that the Parks Department, Department for The Aging and Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs’ office will be holding the public launch of 14 city-wide swimming pools’ senior hours at our very own Thomas Jefferson Park Pool on Monday, July 9th at 10 AM. But the party doesn’t start then – the East Harlem Senior Pool Party will start at 9 AM on Monday, July 9th to kick-off our senior hours which will be every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 to 11 AM (July 9 – August 31).

In response to our local seniors’ requests, Melissa pushed for Thomas Jefferson Park Pool to be the first to offer dedicated hours to our seniors as a part of the Age Improvement District initiative alongside with New York Academy of Medicine last summer. Because of Melissa’s efforts, our community will no longer be the only one benefiting from senior hours at public pools, which promotes recreation and physical well-being, but now 13 other pools city-wide will be able to as well. Throughout the summer, a qualified instructor will be at each of these sites teaching organized water exercises and swim instruction.

“I am always proud when our community of El Barrio/East Harlem can serve as a laboratory for successful, innovative initiatives like this one,” Melissa commented.  “We were the first to launch an Age Improvement District with the New York Academy of Medicine and the first to offer dedicated hours at our public pool for seniors.  It is truly wonderful to see these senior pool hours being offered across the five boroughs this year.  I thank Commissioner Benepe and the Parks Department for expanding this program citywide, as well as all of our local partners who are helping to make our community a healthier and more livable place to grow old.”

So come join us for this pool party to kick-off a monumental swim season for our seniors. We welcome all those over the age of 50 to enjoy the free snacks and music with your neighbors.  To get the full list of pools participating in senior hours – click here. We hope to see you there!

WHAT: East Harlem’s Senior Pool Party & the launch of Senior Hours at public pools city-wide

WHERE: Thomas Jefferson Park Pool, First Avenue and East 112th Street

WHEN: Monday, July 9th; 9 AM (the launch of Senior Hours will be at 10 AM)

Forum on Stop & Frisk and Secure Communities in East Harlem

The East Harlem Immigrant Service Network is hosting a forum on civil liberties for immigrant communities and other local residents, focusing in on the NYPD’s stop and frisk practices and the Secure Communities federal immigration enforcement program.  The event will take place at the Hunter School of Social Work (119th Street and 3rd Avenue) on Thursday, June 28th from 6pm to 9pm. Food will be provided, but attendees must pre-register. Translation services for Spanish and French speakers will be provided.

Click here for flyers in English and Spanish and the registration form.

If you have questions, please contact Joe Pressley at 212-828-9800.

City Council Members to Wear Hoodies Wednesday, Call for Justice for Trayvon Martin

This Wednesday, March 28th, New York City Council Members will wear hoodies at an action on the steps of City Hall at 12:30 PM to call for justice for Trayvon Martin. After a brief press conference, participating Council Members and their staff will attend the Council’s Stated meeting in their hoodies. They will also bring Skittles and iced tea, which Trayvon carried as he was shot and killed because he looked “like he [was] up to no good.” This action is being coordinated by Council Members Melissa Mark-Viverito and Letitia James, and several Council Members have already confirmed their participation (list in formation).

“The senseless murder of Trayvon Martin is an unspeakable tragedy and his family deserves justice,” said Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito.  “Incidents like these only serve as a reminder of how much further we as a society have to go until all people are treated equally.  As the 911 calls from that tragic night demonstrate, Trayvon was targeted strictly based on his appearance.  The fact that George Zimmerman has not been brought up on any charges only reinforces the cynicism in communities of color about our law enforcement and criminal justice systems.  I send my deepest condolences to Trayvon’s family and remain hopeful that, with the growing pressure being felt throughout the nation, his killer will be brought to justice. This Wednesday, we will send the message that the City Council will not stand silent against such flagrant injustices, no matter where they occur.”

“The sad reality of the Trayvon Martin tragedy is one that plagues urban communities throughout America,” said Council Member Letitia James.  “People of color, particularly young men of color, are faced with bouts of racism each day. As I zip up my hoodie, sip my iced tea, and snack on some Skittles, I extend my heart to the Martin family and demand justice for Trayvon.”

The hoodie has emerged as a symbol to remember Trayvon’s story and the failure of the Sanford Police Department to bring his killer to justice. Last week, Trayvon’s parents joined a Million Hoodie March in Union Square and on Friday, nearly 300 Congressional staffers held a “Hoodies on the Hill” protest. Yesterday, congregants in churches across New York City wore hoodies to call for an end to discrimination.

“Wearing a hoodie should not be a death sentence,” said Council Member Debi Rose.  “Today, we are standing in solidarity with all of the Trayvons, cut down in their prime solely because of how they look and what they wear.  The choice of clothing that one chooses to wear should not relegate them to unwarranted search, negative profiling, or the most tragic of outcomes, death.  All people of good conscience and a sense of justice must stand to ensure that this type of vigilante justice is stopped now.

“As a parent of two teenage children I am concerned about their safety and this tragic incident underscores my and many other parents fears in the African-American community. It is important we come together as a community, city, and nation, in order to understand why and how this took place so we can stop these calamities from occurring in the future,” said Council Member Leroy Comrie. “The attempt to hide behind the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law in this situation is transparent and the profiling that took place in this matter is disturbing. Listening to the chilling 9-1-1 account as Trayvon called for help, compelled me to work with my local Community Council to organize a march and rally this Saturday at 10:00am in Southeast Queens to not only protest, but also to educate our youth about their rights. My hearts and prayers go out to Trayvon Martin and his family in this difficult time and I hope justice will prevail.”

Earlier today, Speaker Christine Quinn announced that she would be introducing a resolution with Council Members Mark-Viverito, James and other colleagues “that will condemn this killing, the weaknesses in its investigation and the lack of an arrest. Our resolution will also call for an examination of stand your ground laws nationwide, including their impact on increasing the flow of illegal guns to New York City.” Continue reading

Check Out Lincoln Center’s Target Free Thursdays

Lincoln Center is doing a series of free performances taking place every Thursday night at 8:30 pm, all year long, in the David Rubenstein Atrium between West 62nd and 63rd streets with entrances on Broadway and Columbus avenues. Target Free Thursdays provide free public performances that represent a diverse cross-section of musical genres, including pop, Latin, rock, soul, country, spoken word, and world music. Performers come from Lincoln Center’s resident organizations including Jazz at Lincoln Center and The Julliard School, as well as independent artists from across the five boroughs.

Check out the great performers they’ll have this year.

Melissa to Speak on Panel: Combating Youth Violence, Concrete Solutions for New York City

Melissa will be speaking on a panel at the New School’s Center for New York City Affairs will be holding an event Combating Youth Violence: Concrete Solutions for New York City on Wednesday, March 21 from 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM at the Theresa Lang Community and Student Center, 55 West 13th St. (between 5th and 6th Avenues), 2nd Floor. Admission is free but attendees must reserve a seat by emailing centernyc@newschool.edu.

Youth violence has declined sharply over two decades–more than 70 percent in New York State, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Yet in some neighborhoods there are now increasing reports of gang activity and violence. Tensions and distrust remain high between law enforcement officials and community members–especially young people. Leaders in other cities have shown that youth, communities, and law enforcement can work together for successful solutions. Can we follow that path in New York? What strategies are already working, and how can we make them stronger?

Remarks from:
David Kennedy, author of Don’t Shoot: One Man, A Street Fellowship, and the End of Violence in Inner-City America; Director, John Jay Center for Crime Prevention and Control

Followed by a conversation with:
Phillip Banks, III, Chief of Community Affairs, New York City Police Department
Melissa Mark-Viverito, Council Member, District 8, New York City Council
Reean Charles, Organizer, Youth Organizing to Save Our Streets (Y.O.S.O.S.)
and others

Save the Date for the East Harlem Job Fair

The East Harlem Job and Career Fair will be Thursday March 15 from 10 AM to 4 PM at 1918 First Avenue (near 99th St.).  Save the date and spread the word!

The Job Fair is being sponsored by the East Harlem Business Capital Corporation, Hostos Community College/CUNY, Metropolitan Hospital Center, Manhattan Community Board 11, LULAC-NY, Jefferson Houses Jobs-Plus and the Silverman School of Social Work.

For more information and to register as an employer or jobseeker, sign up here: http://ehbcc.org/jobfair/

Free Concert with Singer-Songwriter Lila Downs

Join Carnegie Hall, in partnership with El Museo del Barrio, for a free concert featuring singer-songwriter Lila Downs on Saturday, February 18, at 4pm. Stop by El Museo at 1230 Fifth Avenue (at 104th Street) any time from 11 AM- 9 PM to take part in El Museo del Barrio’s Super Sábado: Carnaval with music, costumes, dance demonstrations, and fun art making for all ages. For more information, visit El Museo’s website or Carnegie Hall’s site.

Join Us in Celebrating Chinese New Year: The Year of the Dragon!

Please join us as we hold our first ever Chinese New Year celebration in El Barrio/East Harlem next Thursday, January 19th at 12:00 noon.  The event will be held at The New York Academy of Medicine (1216 5th Avenue @103rd St, 2nd Floor).  Check out the flyers in English and Chinese below!

Earlier this year, we began expanding the services of our office to this growing community in our district.  Now join us as we celebrate the Chinese New Year with Chinese food and drink, as well as music and dance performances by the Hamilton-Madison House City Hall Senior Center Chorus!

Las Octavitas: Come Celebrate the End of the Puerto Rican Christmas Season

Tomorrow, Wednesday, January 11th, Melissa, Comptroller John Liu, Congressman Rangel, and several other elected officials will be celebrating Las Octavitas (or eight day after the epiphany) with the El Barrio/East Harlem community. In Puerto Rican culture, this is the final day of the Christmas season.

The event is not a religious ceremony. It is a celebration of Puerto Rican cultural heritage. We hope you can join us.

Taino Towers
240 E 123rd St (Gymnasium)
Between 2nd and 3rd Ave
New York, NY
 

Tomorrow: Learn More about New Law Protecting Immigrants in NYC

Please join Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito’s Office and the East Harlem Immigrant Service Network for a community meeting tomorrow to discuss the City’s new law protecting immigrants at Rikers Island.  This law was sponsored by Melissa, and was recently signed by Mayor Bloomberg.  The event will take place tomorrow, December 15th from 9:30 am to 11:30 am at the NYC Department of Health (E. 115th Street and Lexington Avenue).

Melissa and the Network will be joined by guest speakers from Make the Road New York and the Cardozo Law School, who helped shape this landmark piece of legislation.  We hope you will be able to join us!

To RSVP or for more information, please contact Joey Pressley at 212-828-9800 or jpressley@council.nyc.gov.  Translation into Spanish will be available.

Join Us for an Anti-Violence Peace March

Please march with us this Friday evening to support peace and an end to violence in El Barrio/East Harlem.  It is time for all concerned residents, youth, parents, schools, friends, families, CBOs and elected officials to come together and take a stand against violence.

Can you join us at this march?  Please click here.

We will begin gathering at 5:30 pm on the corner of 116th Street and Madison Avenue, and will depart at 6:00 p.m.  The march route is as follows: South on Madison to 106th Street; east on 106th Street to 3rd Avenue where the march ends.

Please bring anti-violence signs and noise makers!  We look forward to seeing you there.

Come Voice Your Support for Protected Bike Lanes on 1st and 2nd Avenues

Dear Friends:

Please join us on Tuesday, December 6th at 6:00 p.m. for a public meeting on the addition of protected bike lanes on 1st and 2nd Avenues. The meeting will be held at Taino Towers’ Red Carpet Theater (240 E. 123rd Street, between 2nd and 3rd Avenues). This meeting is being held in conjunction with Community Board 11’s Transportation Committee.

Can you join us at December 6th? Click here to RSVP.

Bike lanes are not just about protecting cyclists. These lanes increase safety for all users of our streets, by providing pedestrian islands to help residents cross the street safely. Seniors, in particular, will benefit greatly from the ability to stop at these islands before continuing to cross. The protected lanes also help promote exercise and healthier lifestyles in our community, which suffers disproportionately from the obesity epidemic. Finally, these lanes will reduce left-turn conflicts and create attractive, landscaped corridors up and down 1st and 2nd Avenues.

El Barrio/East Harlem has one of the highest bicycle commuting rates in New York City. We deserve nothing less than the transportation improvements being provided to communities like Chelsea, the Upper East Side and the East Village.

Click here for a flyer in English and Spanish, and please spread the word about this meeting.

Sincerely,

Melissa Mark-Viverito

Tomorrow: Join the Occupy Wall Street National Day of Action

Tomorrow, November 17th, thousands of New Yorkers will take part in a National Day of Action in support of Occupy Wall Street.  As you know, the City will begin enforcing new rules at Zuccotti Park, which will prohibit OWS protestors from staying overnight and using tents and tarps.  More than ever, this movement needs the support from all of New York City’s 99 percent.  A rally will be held tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. in Foley Square to commemorate the two month anniversary of this global movement and to continue the call for economic justice in our city and our nation.  We urge everyone to join us at this rally so that we can all make our voices heard!  Check out this Facebook event to RSVP and to learn more details on all of the day’s actions.  If you are interested in joining our office at the rally tomorrow, please call Lauren in our District Office at 212-828-9800.

Yesterday, Melissa joined many of her colleagues and partners in the labor movement in condemning the overnight removal of the OWS protestors from Zuccotti Park.  Click here for coverage from NY1.  Below is a joint statement issued by several Council Members which also criticized the late night eviction.

Statement from Council Members Gale Brewer, Daniel Dromm, Letitia James, Brad Lander, Steve Levin, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Rosie Mendez, Annabel Palma, Deborah Rose, James Sanders, Jimmy Van Bramer, Jumaane Williams on the Eviction of Occupy Wall Street

We, the undersigned members of the New York City Council, are dismayed by the late night eviction of the occupation of Wall Street. We condemn the violation of the FirstAmendment rights of the protesters. It is shameful to use the cover of darkness to trample on civil liberties without fear of media scrutiny or a public response.

We are proud to be a part of the movement for economic and social justice and shared sacrifice sparked by Occupy Wall Street. We commend Council Members Ydanis Rodriguez and Jumaane Williams, who demonstrated their solidarity by standing with protesters at Zuccotti Park last night. In the aftermath of the eviction, we reiterate our support and look toward the future.

We know that the fight is far from over, and that last night’s events will only fuel the fire for change. We will march to hold the banks accountable and call for a fairer economy on November 17 and beyond.

Tomorrow: Join Us as the Youth Violence Task Force Unveils Anti-Violence Platform

Tomorrow, November 10th, at 3:30pm, Melissa, East Harlem community-based organizations, local youth, and other elected officials will release the El Barrio/East Harlem Youth Violence Task Force’s official platform, which calls for collective action by government, non-profits and the community to reduce neighborhood violence.  The platform’s recommendations build upon ideas shared by East Harlem youth at community discussions held over the past year.  The press conference will be held outside of the James Weldon Johnson Community Center located at Lexington Avenue and 115th Street. This brand new community center, which has been in the works for over a decade, could be a vital resource to our youth, but is still shuttered.

The release of the Youth Violence platform follows a story published in this Sunday’s New York Daily News that revealed that Council Member Mark-Viverito’s car was hit by a stray bullet this past September. The alleged shooter was a 16 year old young man.  Council Member Mark-Viverito will speak about the incident and how it reinforces the need for collective action on the part of the community and the city to prevent more young people from turning to gangs and gun violence.  Youth and community leaders will also speak about the recommendations outlined in the platform and call for an end to senseless violence.

We welcome all community members, friends of East Harlem/El Barrio, and concerned citizen to join us. An official copy of the report will be made available here tomorrow afternoon.

Monday: March in Support of the 99%

The Occupy Wall Street protests have gripped the city and the nation with their message that we must strive for a more fair and equitable society.  This Monday, November 7th, a coalition of unions, elected officials and community groups will hold a march from Washington Heights all the way down to Lower Manhattan to show solidarity with the OWS movement, and to call for the Millionaire’s Tax, and progressive solutions on jobs, education and healthcare. 

Watch Melissa and other Progressive Caucus members talk about OWS.

The march, entitled “End to End for 99%,” will commence at 181st Street & St. Nicholas at 10:30 a.m., and will stop at various points along the way, where rallies and gatherings will be held.  The following is a list of meeting locations and the times when marches are expected to arrive.  Feel free to join the march at any point along the way, but try to get there before the expected arrival time!  For those who use Twitter, please follow @EndToEndFor99, which will be updated throughout the day on Monday with the latest location of the march.

  • 181st Street & St. Nicholas: 10:30 a.m.
  • 125th Street & Broadway: 12:00 – 12:30 p.m.
  • 72nd Street & Broadway: 1:30 p.m.
  • 14th Street & Broadway: 3:30 p.m.
  • Zuccotti Park: 4:30 p.m.

For more information, email november7march@gmail.com, or call 718-844-9849.  See below for a flyer, or click here to download it.  Please help us spread the word about this event!

Gun Buy-Back Events to Be Held This Saturday

This Saturday, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and the New York Police Department are holding two gun buy-back events in El Barrio/East Harlem and Harlem from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  The locations are Beth Gospel Assembly at 2-26 East 120th Street and St. Joseph of the Holy Family R.C. Church at 405 West 125th Street.  Operable handguns can be exchanged for a $200 bank card, no questions asked.  Please review the flyers below in English and Spanish for more information (click each image to expand the flyer).  We hope you will help us in spreading the word about these important events.

1st Annual Haunted Housing March to be Held on Halloween 2011

Please join Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito and members of the El Barrio/East Harlem Anti Displacement Task Force on Monday, October 31st for our First Annual Haunted Housing March.  East Harlem residents and community based organizations will be gathering at 3:30 pm to draw attention to the vacant units and abandoned building that exist in our neighborhood. Poverty and homelessness are at record levels in NYC and in East Harlem. We need developers to open these units and buildings to create more affordable housing.

The march will begin at 110th street and Lexington Avenue, proceed south to 106th street and Third Avenue, head back north to 111th street, and then return to our starting place. There will be a reception immediately following the march at The Asthma Center for Excellence (161-169 East 110th Street).

You can download a flyer for the event by clicking here.  We hope you will be able to join us!

First Neighborhood Assembly Held Last Night, Six More to Go!

Over 120 District 8 community members joined us at our first participatory budgeting neighborhood assembly to begin the process of deciding how to allocate $1 million in funding for our district. There are six more of these assemblies to go! The next assembly will be at the Youth Hostel on Amsterdam Ave and 104th Street on Tuesday, October 11th at 6:30 pm. All dates and locations are available here.

After time for food and getting to know one another, participants learned more about what the participatory budgeting process entails and what types of projects are eligible. They were then broken up into small groups where the brainstorming process began. Project ideas included increasing lighting on our streets, installing larger and taller trash cans and painting new murals in the community.

More than 25 people signed up to be budget delegates, who will help us form the ideas generated throughout the process into concrete proposals that the community will vote on in March 2012.

Have a great idea for a project? Want to get involved and serve as a budget delegate? Join as at one of the six remaining assemblies this month. The dates and locations are below. We’re still looking for volunteers to help carry out this process as well (you can sign up to volunteer at http://tinyurl.com/pbvolunteer). 

A huge thanks to Yorkville Common Pantry for hosting last night’s assembly, and also to Community Board 11, Children’s Aid Society, Community Voices Heard, Violence Intervention Program, the Participatory Budgeting Project and everyone else from the District 8 Committee who was instrumental in making the event a success! And of course thanks to all who participated last night.

Please continue to spread the word so we can make sure to pack the house at all of the upcoming neighborhood assemblies.

Tuesday, October 11th – 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm
Youth Hostel
891 Amsterdam Ave @ 104th Street
English with Spanish Translation
 
Wednesday, October 12th – 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm
Crystal Ball Room at Taino Towers
2382 2nd Ave (btwn 2nd and 3rd Aves), 4th Floor
English with Spanish Translation
 
Wednesday, October 19th – 9:30 am to 12 noon
Union Settlement (237 E. 104th Street)
English with Spanish Translation
Note: This assembly will be geared toward seniors.
 
Thursday, October 20th – 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm
Children’s Aid Society Frederick Douglass Center
885 Columbus Ave (@ 104th Street)
English with Spanish Translation
 
Monday, October 24th – 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm
Millbrook Community Center
201 St. Ann’s Ave (@ 137th Street) – Bronx
English with Spanish Translation
 
Tuesday, October 25th – 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm
Children’s Aid Society
130 E. 101st Street (@ Lexington Ave)
English Only
Note: This assembly will be geared toward youth.

Frederick Douglass Memorial Dedicated

Photo by William Alatriste.

On Tuesday, Melissa, Congressman Rangel, Senator Perkins, Councilwoman Dickens, and a direct descendant of Frederick Douglass gathered for the Frederick Douglass Memorial Ribbon-cutting Ceremony. The memorial honors Douglass, an African American abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman. The portrait sculpture of Douglass stands eight feet tall and is encircled by a large fountain with ornamental and symbloic features. The design was crafted by Gabriel Koren and Algernon Miller.

The crossroad of Central Park West and 110th street had been designated for Douglass in 1950, but the site laid unimproved for many decades. In the 1990s, there was a renewed public effort to complete the site, which included a series of community-based design workshops organized by the Central Park Conservatory. In 2003 Koren, a Hungarian-born sculptor, and Miller, a Harlem-based artist, were selected to complete the site following an intense design competition sponsored by the Cityscape Institute.

Also in attendance was Tony Award nominee Andre Deshields, who dressed as Frederick Douglass, delivered excerpts from “Oration In Memory Of Abraham Lincoln,” which was made by Douglass originally in 1876 at the unveiling of Freedmen’s Monument in Washington D.C. Melissa was deeply moved by the speech and hopes that everyone will read it patiently and with sincere appreciation: “The struggle against oppression continues today and will endure for years to come. Douglass’ words are an invaluable inspiration to keep fighting for justice.”