Albany Office: Room 510 Capitol, Albany, NY 12248, (518) 455-5426
District Office: 341 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231, (718) 246-4889
news from

June 2004 Community Report

Office of Emergency Management Update

I am pleased to report that in response to the community's unified voice in opposition to the siting of the Office of Emergency Management headquarters in Cadman Plaza Park, the agency has revamped its proposal. Now, the former Red Cross building will remain intact and house administrative offices for one of our city's most critical agencies. The new commissioner of OEM, Joseph Bruno, will be talking to different community groups, informing residents of the agency's detailed plans for the facility and for the park.

This was a true victory for our community. I joined neighbors and colleagues at the City, State and Federal level in expressing our collective concern about the proposal to house OEM's bunker a few yards from the Brooklyn Bridge, the new Eastern Federal Courthouse, the transportation hub of downtown Brooklyn and thousands of residential units, several universities, and many businesses. I commend the new leadership at the Office of Emergency Management for rethinking its plan and look forward to working with Commissioner Bruno to ensure our City is the safest it can possibly be. I will continue to update my constituents on the latest developments.

Lighting Up Fifth Avenue

This year, I was able to appropriate funds, along with Councilmember David Yassky, to install historic lighting on Fifth Avenue in Park Slope, Brooklyn - our latest burgeoning restaurant and merchant row. With the cooperation and help of Judi Pheiffer and the 5th Avenue Merchants' Association, we secured funding for these antique lights, which accent Fifth Avenue's unique charm for businesses and residents alike.

As a longtime supporter of Brooklyn's great cultural institutions, I recently joined Independence Community Bank President Alan Fishman and Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate Levin at the ribbon cutting of the brand new glass enclosed entrance to the Brooklyn Museum of Art.

Eckerd's Grand Opening

Many residents have noticed that a brand new Eckerd's drug store opened on Smith Street, two blocks away from my office. I attended the grand opening on Thursday, May 6th, and joined Borough President Marty Markowitz, Department of Small Business Services Commissioner Robert Walsh, Councilmember Bill de Blasio, Bette Stoltz of the South Brooklyn Local Development Corporation and several other community residents who worked with Eckerd's to ensure community participation in the building process.

Over the past few years, we worked with local architects, neighborhood residents, and the management of Eckerd's (formerly Genovese) to design the store to fit into our unique brownstone neighborhood. Collectively, we worked to ensure the developers provided housing, that the fašade of the building was contextually appropriate, and we encouraged the storeowners to hire locally. What was once an empty parking lot is now a new store, with an open plaza, soon to be lined with trees.

Call to Reopen E.C. 204 One Year after Doors Closed

I joined Councilmember Bill de Blasio and members of the "Cobble Hill 12" on the year anniversary of our arrest in protest of the closing of Engine Company 204

Over a year ago, I joined over 200 community residents to protest what we knew was a fatal mistake the mayor was making. I took the extreme measure of getting arrested with the other members of the 'Cobble Hill 12' to try to prevent the closing of the firehouses. I returned one year later to demand the Mayor look at the real facts and reopen our firehouses.

Before the closings, the Fire Department assured the public that the increase in response times due to these closings would be negligible. The recent findings released showed an overall citywide increase of response times by 13 seconds, for both structural and non-structural fires, and medical emergencies. Engine Company 204, located in Cobble Hill Brooklyn, had the highest increase in response times to medical emergencies. I continue to ask: "What is it with our mayor? We hold hearings, we have press conferences, we release reports all saying the same thing: the closed firehouses are endangering lives and property. It is clearly not about the money, so we are here today to ask the Mayor what is this really about?"

Office of Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman
341 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231
(718) 246-4889