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

 

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

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.

SOUTH BRONX: Apply to NYC Summer Quest 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

We Spoke & They Listened! #NoMoreGhettoTours

The Post has reported that the Real Bronx Tours company is no longer providing the “GHETTO” tours they once boosted, in fact they are not providing any tours in the Bronx — and we have YOU to thank! Between Melissa and  Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.’s letter to the tour company and your shared outrage, sparking more vocal support (like through Change.org), we have influenced change. You can find the Post’s original article detailing the insulting and demeaning tour at this link. Going forward we hope all tour companies conduct tours that highlights the Bronx’s “diverse ethnic groups and neighborhoods, cultural institutions and surprising natural beauty,” as Real Bronx Tours’ website claimed. The fact is that there are many tours you can take around the borough that do just that.

I-Love-The-BronxThe Bronx Tourism Council highlights many great guided tours throughout the borough (ilovethebronx.com/tours). One unique tour is the Bronx Culture Trolley that takes place on the first Wednesday evening of every month – check out the flyer for the schedule of stops on the upcoming tour on Wednesday, June 5th. And don’t forget to check out the Bronx Tourism Council calendar for upcoming events throughout the borough.

If you know of any other fun or informative tours or activities that highlight the South Bronx, please feel free to comment with the website and contact information! Or just let us know what you LOVE about the Bronx. What we love about the South Bronx is you – our constituents! We asked for your help yesterday and you not only helped but spread the word fast. There’s nothing greater than a community that sticks together for a good cause.

A “Ghetto” Tour of the South Bronx?

Melissa has written a letter with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. to Real Bronx Tours, a company that reportedly gives tours of the South Bronx that offer “a ride through a real New York City ‘GHETTO.'” The letter urges the company to radically change the way this tour is marketed and presented to the public. You can read the letter by clicking here.

The account of the tour published in the New York Post yesterday is sickening. The tour guide not only painted the South Bronx as a haven for crime, but also mocked local residents who were waiting on line at a food pantry.

Are you as outraged as we are? Send an e-mail to Real Bronx Tours at realbronxtours@gmail.com or sign a Change.org petition that was created by BronxCentric: Bronx Movers and Shakers.

Immigration Reform: What You Need To Know

We are happy to share with you a very clear rundown on Immigration Reform, provided by CUNY Citizenship Now:

immigrationreform

Visit CUNY Citizenship Now’s website. It’s a great resource to learn about everything from  protecting yourself from immigration fraud to finding English language classes and preparing for the citizenship test.

You can download the PDF of this flyer to share with your network through this link.