Immigration Reform Roundtable: What New Yorkers Need to Know

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

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

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

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

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Melissa Hosts “Beyond Bullets” Media Arts Workshop, Tomorrow

Melissa will host the second in a series of media arts workshops with Downtown Community Television (DCTV) in East Harlem on Friday, based around DCTV’s Beyond Bullets documentary. These workshops, which will be held at local youth organizations, help facilitate discussions on gun violence in the community. The workshops include a short screening of the film and a discussion that covers topics ranging from gun laws, police-community relations and community solutions for violence. The first workshop in this series was held on Thursday at Harlem RBI and a third workshop will take place at Peace on the Street in East Harlem. There is also plans for one in the Mott Haven area in the coming weeks. We hope to see you there!

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WHO: Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito and DCTV
WHAT: Beyond Bullets Media Arts Workshops
WHEN: Friday, June 14, 2013, 10:30 AM
WHERE: Youth Build, 206-08 East 118th Street, East Harlem

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!

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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

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Volunteer for Search & Care and Help A Local Senior

31133_121696691179678_7861730_nEver wonder who’s helping that frail elderly person in your building? Search and Care is probably the answer. Search and Care is a local nonprofit social service agency that provides free help for seniors who want to stay in their apartments but have a hard time managing on their own in East Harlem, Yorkville and Carnegie Hill. They will be holding an open house tomorrow, Saturday, May 18th, looking for volunteers who want to make a difference in a life of a senior. Volunteers help in many essential ways.  As one of Search and Care’s volunteers, you might choose to a visit with a neighborhood senior, walk a dog for an elder, read to a client who is legally blind, help a frail senior get to and from doctor appointments, or shop for someone who is homebound. If you’re 18 or older (bilingual is a plus) and want to know if this would be a great way for you to give back, or if you want to learn about Search and Care’s services, please RSVP to attend and bring a friend or neighbor. Refreshments will be served.

Courtesy of Search and Care

Courtesy of Search and Care

WHO: Search and Care
WHAT: Volunteer Open House
WHEN:  Saturday, May 18th, 11 AM – 12:30 PM
WHERE:  St Francis De Sales Church, 135 East 96th Street (down the stairs)
RSVP:  Robin at 212-289-5300 X203 or by email to strashun@searchandcare.org

Calling Bronx Artists: The BCA is Taking Applications for the Bronx Terminal Market Pedestrian Bridge Art Project

The Bronx Terminal Market is a need of your creativity and artistic abilities. Whether you’re an emerging or seasoned professional artist, the Bronx Council on the Arts (BCA) and Bronx Terminal Market are looking for you –  a Bronx resident with experience working with community members, landscape architects, businesses and government entities. (Although preferred, this vast amount of experience is not mandatory)

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The BCA is planning on installing artwork to be displayed along the Pedestrian Bridge at Bronx Terminal Market in the South Bronx. The bridge is located off River Avenue, near 151st Street, and its entrance is marked by a tall pylon sign post that features the Bronx Terminal Market name and logos from featured stores and restaurants. You can click here to see the images.  The project will be completely installed in Fall 2013. The deadline for the application is April 30, 2013. 

The installation should heighten awareness of the Bronx Terminal Market and create a physical space for Bronx community involvement and exchange – it should be a call for community engagement.

Below is the necessary information and forms:

  1. Information: Artist RFP
  2. Guidelines and Application
  3. Required Image Sheet
  4. Images of Pedestrian Bridge

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

Bronx Constituent Hours Are Now Every Friday

To our Mott Haven community members –

Please note that we have updated our Bronx Constituent hours to every Friday at Millbrook Houses Community Center (201 St. Ann’s Avenue), between 10 AM and 12 PM, noon. We look forward to meeting with you on a weekly basis. Click here if you’d like the PDF flyer.

BronxHours

 

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.”

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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

Tato Laviera, the “Chronicler of Life in El Barrio,” Needs Our Help

Nuyorican poet Tato Laviera’s works have reached out to the hearts and souls of the Puerto Rican community and nourished us for decades. Now this poet, novelist and cultural icon needs us to reach out to him.

Tato Laviera has been in intensive care for two and a half months and his health is deteriorating rapidly. Doctors have not been able to identify his illness and he needs financial support. His family is reaching out to literary and cultural groups, friends, colleagues and Laviera fans for help with donations.

Three years ago, Laviera became homeless after undergoing brain surgery. At that time, community members helped him secure the living conditions necessary for him to continue to work. Since then, he has kept busy until his more recent illness, producing  the play The King of Cans, a musical that takes place in New York City and tells the story of homeless can collectors who strive to rebuild their lives while dealing with day-to-day survival on the streets. He also completed a draft of the novel, El Barrio.

The writer, poet, essayist, playwright, who was born Jesus Abraham Laviera in Puerto Rico and has lived has lived in New York City since 1960, committed himself to the social and cultural development of Puerto Ricans in New York. He has taught creative writing at universities. His poetry and plays are linguistic and artistic celebrations of Puerto Rican culture, African Caribbean traditions, and life in the city.  Laviera writes in English, Spanish, and Spanglish and has been dubbed as a “chronicler of life in El Barrio.”

If you can help with a contribution of any amount to this literary legend who has done so much for us, please click here to find out where you can send a check to. 

Source: Center for Puerto Rican Studies (Centro)

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.

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

Pictures From Our Black History Month Celebration

Melissa hosted a Black History Month celebration at Taino Towers last Thursday, which was co-sponsored by Senator Jose Serrano, Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez, and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.

The evening was filled with friends and neighbors, along with excellent entertainment. East Harlem Repertory Theatre Company singers and actors paid tribute to Madam CJ Walker, Marvin Gaye, Harriet Tubman and Michael Jackson with dazzling and moving performances. Additionally, we had the opportunity to honor two extraordinary women in our community with the Black History Month AwardPrincella Jamerson, a South Bronx community activist, community safety advocate and the President of Millbrook Houses Resident Association; and Kioka Jackson, an East Harlem community activist, youth services advocate and the Chair of the Tony Mendez Houses Tenants Board.

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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.

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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)

A Special Message From Melissa: 2012 Annual Report

Though we are already well into the new year, I thought it would be important to reflect on 2012 and some of the important accomplishments that we all achieved together. We held the first-ever Participatory Budgeting vote in the City of New York. We united to defend our community from district lines that would have cut out some of our most vital institutions. We also won protected bike lanes for First and Second Avenues, and helped save two of our local public schools from closure. And those are just a few examples.

Last year was an exciting one for our community and for my office. And there’s a lot to look forward to in 2013.

Melissa Testifies to Keep East Harlem Whole

Yesterday, Melissa testified at the NYC Districting Commission’s Manhattan public hearing. In front of the Commission and District 8 constituents, who were the overwhelming majority of those in attendance, Melissa had another chance to speak before the Commission’s next map revision comes on January 23rd.

Melissa testified:

My community of El Barrio/East Harlem has a clear message: we want to remain united within one district. We are asking for the full restoration of the current East Harlem boundaries in the 8th District, which will protect a historic community of interest, keep our public housing developments united and encapsulate critical community and cultural resources within one district. We are also asking for the restoration of Randall’s and Wards Islands and the preservation of Central Park within District 8. All of this is accomplished by the Common Cause map, while greatly expanding District 8’s portion of the Bronx, something I fully welcome. I strongly urge the Commission to use the Common Cause map as the basis for the reconfiguration of the proposed District 8.

For the full testimony, please click here. 

To watch Melissa’s testimony, please fast forward to around the 52-minute mark:

Thank you to everyone who came out to testify and signed our petition. We presented a petition with over 150 signatures to the Commission calling for the full restoration of the East Harlem boundaries. For those who were not able to make it out to testify, the final hearing is on January 15th, so there is still time to submit written testimony to hearings@districting.nyc.gov.

Read more about yesterday’s hearing from City & State.

Education Partners: Parents, Schools, and the Community Panel this Thursday

How can you get more involved in your child’s education? In what ways can schools and the community work together to provide resources to young people and their families? Boys & Girls Harbor is hosting its inaugural educational panel to discuss these and other topics on Thursday, October 18, at 6 PM.

Boys & Girls Harbor’s Education Partners: Parents, Schools, and the Community will have an impressive roster of panelists including seasoned educators, New York City politicians, representatives from community-based organizations, and parents. This year’s panel will be moderated by Harbor Executive Director Dr. Thomas Howard and will address critical issues and challenges facing today’s parents. Panelists include: Margaret Harrington, Ed.D., education consultant and Harbor Board member; Paula Martin, Executive Director of Harlem Center for Education; Jeanne Mullgrav, Commissioner of the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD); Kelly Smith, Harbor parent; and Lew Smith, Founder and Director of the National Principals Leadership Institute

Light refreshments will be served. Don’t miss your opportunity to be a part of this important conversation!

 

WHO: Boys & Girls Harbor

WHAT: Education Partners: Parents, Schools, and the Community Panel

WHEN: Thursday, October 18 at 6 PM

WHERE: The Heckscher building, 1 East 104th Street

RSVP to news@theharbor.org for guaranteed seating. Walk-ins are welcome!

Do You Agree with the Proposed New District 8 Lines?

In light of the NYC Districting Commission’s proposed new lines for District 8, splitting up Manhattan Valley and East Harlem, while extending even further into the Bronx, there is something that we as a district can do to express our concerns in a constructive manner – we can testify in front of the NYC Districting Commission or submit written testimony. Melissa testified before the NYC Districting Commission regarding the proposed draft map on October 4, 2012:

Good Evening. I am Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, and I represent Council District 8 on the City Council. This district currently includes El Barrio/East Harlem, Manhattan Valley, part of the Upper West Side and part of Mott Haven. I am here this evening to express the serious concerns I am hearing across my district about the Commission’s preliminary draft lines.

In the weeks since this proposal was released, I have studied the draft lines closely and have had countless meetings and conversations with members of my community as well as leaders around the city. At this time, I am prepared to state emphatically that these proposed district lines as presented are completely unacceptable to the communities I represent.

In looking at the proposed new district, and the rationale expressed by the Districting Commission, my constituents have expressed deep concerns for a number of reasons, and I share these concerns. First, the proposed lines divide up neighborhoods in a way that is unfair to those communities and does not reflect the realities on the ground. Second, the proposal moves pockets of the current District 8 that are solidly Latino into districts that do not necessarily share their cultural and neighborhood identity. Finally, the proposal to split the 8th District evenly between the Bronx and Manhattan, allegedly done in the spirit or “borough equity,” actually marginalizes residents of Manhattan.

Click here for the remainder of the testimony.

If you are concerned about the future lines of District 8, which you can view here, we urge you to make your voice heard and submit written testimony to the Districting Commission. Every voice matters. 

Read more about redistricting in Council District 8 in the news:

Search and Care is Looking for Volunteers

Search and Care will be holding an Open House for potential volunteers on Tuesday, September 25th from 6 to 7:30 PM. This is a great opportunity to give back to the community by providing free help to seniors who want to stay in their apartments but may have a hard time managing on their own. This rewarding experience can involve anything from just visiting a senior in their home to walking their dog,  assisting a frail senior to and from doctor appointments, or grocery shopping for a homebound senior.

If you’re 18 or older (bilingual is a plus) and want to know if this would be a great way for you to give back, or if you have a parent in East Harlem and want to learn more about Search and Care’s services, please RSVP to attend and bring a friend or neighbor. Refreshments will be served. RSVP today!

WHO: Search and Care

WHAT: Volunteer Open House

WHEN: Tuesday, September 25th, 6 – 7:30 PM

WHERE: Community Board 11, 1664 Park Avenue (117th & 118th)

RSVP: Call Robin at 212-289-5300 x203 or email strashun@searchandcare.org