Report to Community Board 6

November 14, 2007
Former Con Edison First Avenue Properties: Assemblymember Kavanagh joined his colleagues in government on Monday November 5th to announce the inclusion of a public school and 20 percent affordable housing to the proposed development. On November 13th, Assemblymember Kavanagh will attend Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer’s hearing to voice continued concerns over the proposal by the East River Realty Company, which remains overwhelmingly tall and dense, and needs to address the traffic and transit burden that will be added to our already congested neighborhood.

Kavanagh Urges Against MTA Fare Increase: Along with state legislative colleagues, Assemblymember Kavanagh has called upon the MTA not to increase fares, as it has proposed to do in its financial plan for 2008, and to instead work with the legislature and Governor Spitzer to increase public support for our transportation system. Kavanagh is the co-prime sponsor of Assembly bill A.9424, which would reverse a long-term trend of declining City and State support for the MTA by restoring approximately $305 million for the operating expenses of the New York City transit authority, the Manhattan and Bronx surface transit operating authority, and the Staten Island rapid transit operating authority as well as $32.3 million for the Long Island Railroad and Metro-North.

NYC Traffic Congestion Mitigation Commission: On October 25th, Assemblymember Kavanagh attended a public hearing conducted by the 17-member New York City Traffic Congestion Mitigation Commission. Assemblymember Kavanagh is a strong advocate for congestion pricing for Manhattan’s central business district and many of the other provisions of the Mayor’s PlaNYC initiative. He is a sponsor of A9362, the bill that established the commission. The commission hearings will provide a forum to examine the Mayor’s plan for reducing traffic congestion and any alternative approaches that may be available. This approach includes formal participation by the City Council and a new proposed capital budget from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to specify how any revenue from the plan will be spent on mass transit. The commission will propose a plan for enactment by March 2008. The United States Department of Transportation has agreed to allocate $354 million to help finance the Mayor’s plan to reduce traffic in Manhattan. This added funding is a step in the right direction not only to ensure the successful implementation of the congestion pricing plan, but also to support major improvements of the mass transit system. Kavanagh is actively participating in discussions regarding the implementation of the plan and all the ways it will affect residents of the 74th Assembly District.

CB6 Congestion Mitigation Meeting: Assemblymember Kavanagh joined State Senator Tom Duane at Community Board 6’s Transportation Committee meeting on November 5th. Kavanagh addressed the concerns and issues raised by the committee, and advocated in favor of efforts to mitigate traffic congestion along Manhattan’s East Side.

Protecting New York’s Environment: Environmental Advocates of New York, a nonprofit government watchdog organization, recently released the names of New York State legislators who supported all five of the environmental community’s "Super Bills." Assemblymember Kavanagh was recognized as a legislative supporter of their priority environmental legislation for the 2007 session.

Kavanagh Celebrates New York Cares Day and It’s My Park! Day: Assemblymember Kavanagh joined volunteers and community members last week to repaint the walls inside and outside of PS 188 and clean up and replant the green spaces in Stuyvesant Square Park as part of New York Cares Day and It’s My Park! Day.

CB6 Parks, Landmarks & Cultural Affairs Hearing: On November 6th, Assemblymember Kavanagh joined State Senator Liz Krueger as well as representatives from the NYC Department Parks & Recreation and park advocates to share his perspective on the parkland alienation process and the proposed legislative changes that the committee has been considering.

Kavanagh Serves as Principal for a Day at PS 40: On October 18th, Assemblymember Kavanagh participated in Public Education Needs Civic Involvement In Learning’s 13th Annual Principal For A Day event. He spent much of the day shadowing Principal Susan Felder, meeting with teachers, doing lunch duty, visiting classrooms, and talking with students. PENCIL was founded to improve school performance by galvanizing and coordinating meaningful civic involvement in New York City public education.

Kavanagh Fights for Affordable Housing: Our office continues to receive numerous complaints from tenants throughout the 74th District of activities by landlords that appear to be aimed at harassing legitimate tenants. Assemblymember Kavanagh is working on a broad new State law to provide tenants with real anti-harassment protections, which he will introduce when the legislature reconvenes for its next regular session. During the last session, Kavanagh introduced bill A.8798 to increase the state Housing Finance Agency’s ability to issue bonds for new affordable housing construction by $1.5 billion. The legislation successfully passed both houses and was signed by Governor Spitzer. Kavanagh was a co-prime sponsor of A.7905, also signed into law, which will end the state’s longstanding practice of paying less than its share of the cost of housing public assistance recipients and increase funding for public housing by approximately $50 million a year. Kavanagh is also a co-prime sponsor of the following bills: A.8594, the Governor’s proposal to raise the thresholds for vacancy and high-income decontrol from $2,000 to $2,800; A.4069, which would repeal the “Urstadt Law” and remove provisions that prohibit New York City from strengthening rent regulations; A.6849, which would provide tax credit relief for New York City renters; A.6510, which would change the method for determining major capital improvement rent surcharges, and make the surcharges temporary rather than permanent; and A.7761, which would repeal vacancy de-control. Bills A.8594, A.4069, A.6849, and A.6510 passed the Assembly, but were not taken up by the Senate before the adjournment of regular session. Finally, Kavanagh introduced A.8267, which would require a hearing before the State Division of Housing and Community Renewal before landlords can convert an apartment to market rate by asserting that the tenant has failed to respond to income certification material relating to high income de-control.