Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman Assemblywoman
Joan L.
Millman

reports to
the people

Winter 2005


Dear Neighbor,

My September newsletter focused on legislative issues, but lack of space prevented me from discussing an on-going initiative of mine dating back to my time as Chair of the Assembly Task force on Women’s Issues. The lack of opportunities for Minority and Women owned businesses (MWB) to secure government contracts has long been an obstacle for financial equity. As the Chair of the Assembly Commission on Government Administration I held a successful hearing in NYC on this topic. One major hurdle for MWBs is their inability to secure the bonding needed to compete for these jobs. As a result of this and other hearings conducted around the state, I have introduced several pieces of legislation to address this problem. The first bill would provide for increased performance and payment bond waiver levels for MWBs. A second bill would require agencies to post contractor utilization plans on the individual agency websites. I am looking forward to returning to Albany to continue my work on these and other related issues.

Since July I have been in the district full-time assisting constituents and sponsoring events such as the annual Senior movie, the Summer reading challenge, the flu shot program and a food drive to assist hurricane victims. Additionally, I personally presented testimony at two public hearings concerning Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Atlantic Yards Project, and I submitted testimony at the Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing on the proposed construction at 20 Henry Street, in Brooklyn Heights (see related stories inside).

If my office can assist you, please contact me at (718) 246-4889, millmaj@assembly.state.ny.us, or stop by my office at 341 Smith Street in Carroll Gardens during our regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Let me wish you all a happy holiday season. May the New Year bring you and your family peace and prosperity.

Warmest Wishes,
signature

Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman
Room 510 Capitol, Albany, New York 12248 • (518) 455-5426
341 Smith Street, Brooklyn, New York 11231 • (718) 246-4889




Making Brooklyn Bridge Park
a Park for All New Yorkers

There are many concerns that the community has expressed to me about the design and impact of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Master Plan. However, with the right changes and the proper community input I truly believe this can, and will, be a world class park for all New Yorkers to enjoy. We need to ensure that while the process moves forward we voice our concerns so that piers one through six, and the areas under the bridges, are developed responsibly and with an emphasis on accessibility. That is why I delivered testimony to the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation outlining changes I feel should take place in the park. Below are some of the key points I stated in my testimony and some principles that I will advocate for.

checkmark One of the most important changes is reducing the height of the tower on the upland of pier 6. This building is clearly out of scale with the surrounding neighborhoods.
checkmark We also need to improve the design and accessibility of the entranceways. The points at which the park connects with the rest of the community need to be inviting and pedestrian friendly, especially at the end of Atlantic Avenue.
checkmark We need to preserve open space and, in particular, use the Con Edison Lot as parkland rather than for residential development.
checkmark Additionally, I am also advocating for immediate access and recreational activity once the piers are officially transferred to the park. It is imperative that the community is able to enjoy the park before and during the construction phase.

I will continue calling for these changes and work with other elected officials to respond to community concerns.




Millman Calls on Landmarks Preservation Commission to Save Historic Garden on Henry Street

At a New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing held on October 18, 2005, I opposed the construction of a ten-story building in place of the existing garden at 20 Henry Street located in Brooklyn Heights. This property, once an industrial building converted to an artists’ loft residence, is of historical value as an adaptive reuse of the former Mason Mint Candy Factory building, dating back to the mid 1880s and includes a unique sculpture garden.

In my testimony, I argued that the proposed building is incongruous with the adjacent building and the surrounding neighborhood. New construction of a ten-story building along Henry Street would lie too close to the existing factory building, entirely eclipsing the surrounding row houses, not to mention decimating the sculpture garden.

I believe that the public space provided by the sculpture garden is a scarce and valuable resource which should be preserved. I will continue to voice my opposition to plans to build an inappropriate structure on top of a current landmark.

For the full text of my testimony, click here.




photo Assemblymember Millman visited the Park Slope Food Coop this past summer to tour the facilities and observe a demonstration from Say Yes To KNOW (Kids Nutritional Options Workshop).



Access for all at the Carroll Gardens Library

I am happy to announce that the Clinton Street library is now accessible to all members of the community. Earlier this year, an elevator was installed at the Carroll Gardens branch to provide disabled patrons access to the library, but until recently the elevator was not available on a regular basis. I urged the Brooklyn Public Library to open the elevator during all library hours and to post signs letting the public know that it is available – in October these changes were made. The elevator allows disabled individuals to enjoy the library, and is also very useful to the many families with children in strollers. The library is a wonderful resource which is now easily accessible to everyone.




photo Millman pictured with constituent Julio Perez as he receives his flu shot. Assemblymember Millman provided 150 free flu shots to the community in her District Office.



Speaking Out On The Atlantic Yards

At the October 18th Empire State Development Corporation hearing on the Scoping Document for the proposed Atlantic Yards Arena and Redevelopment Project, I delivered testimony highlighting my many objections to the project. I focused my criticisms on the overwhelming scale of the development and its effect on quality of life issues, the limited scoping area of the proposed Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), and the potential abuse of eminent domain. Additionally, I specifically requested that the scope of the EIS include a study of traffic in Boerum Hill and the effect of storm water runoff into the Gowanus Canal. The following excerpts are portions from that testimony which address major issues with the proposed project.

On The Project Scale

First and foremost, the preliminary plan for the proposed redevelopment at the Atlantic Yards is too large. From the time of this project’s inception we have seen a plan that brought an arena to Brooklyn, with some housing attached, turned into a mega development with an arena attached. Seventeen high rises and an estimated 18,000 residents dropped into the middle of a neighborhood with low scale development will not merely change the character of that neighborhood, but will overload the existing infrastructure and impact the general quality of life for my constituents.

On Infrastructure Issues

Thus far I have yet to see a detailed and adequate plan that will address such concerns, and I am not convinced the Environmental Impact Statement will do so. We need to take a hard look at what the potential effects of this project will be, and not just in the ½-mile radius as indicated in the Draft Scope, but within at least a 3/4-mile radius. Let us accurately look at the effect 18,000 people plus an arena will have on our sewer capacity, the effect 18,000 people plus an arena will have on our already crowded subways, the effect 18,000 people plus an arena will have on police and fire personnel demands, the effect 18,000 people plus an arena will have on the schools, and the effect 18,000 people plus an arena will have on an already overburdened postal service. These are just some of the issues that will impact the quality of life for downtown residents.

On Eminent Domain

The government takeover of private property should be a last resort and never implemented for private gain. This plan sets a dangerous precedent, and I will not support it. Additionally, if State approval is needed to use eminent domain, I will not support it and I will ask my Assembly colleagues, including Speaker Sheldon Silver, not to support it.

For the full testimony please click here.




Outstanding Community Organization
December, 2005
The Brooklyn Conservatory of Music

In this new section, my Community Newsletter will feature an Outstanding Community Organization located in the 52nd Assembly District.

The Brooklyn Conservatory of Music is a certified member of the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts. The Conservatory provides music education programs, student recitals, and professional concerts to individuals of all ages and skill levels. It has maintained a continuing presence in Brooklyn since its founding in 1897, with a current enrollment of more than 5,500. The students, faculty, staff, and Board of Directors reflect the diversity of New York City. Students range in age from one to ninety-one, represent 42 nationalities, and speak more than 30 languages; they are of diverse ethnicities, abilities, skills, and socio-economic backgrounds. Through special education programs in the public schools and other partner organizations, the Conservatory serves children with a range of physical, mental, and emotional challenges. Located at 58 Seventh Avenue in Park Slope, the Conservatory’s programs include: music adventures, Suzuki instruction, classical and jazz divisions, diploma programs, certificate programs, music partners, music therapy, and performances for the public. For more information on the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, please call (718) 622-3300.




Assemblywoman Millman pictured with the Carroll Gardens Association with over $18,000 worth of food and supplies collected for the “With Love From Brooklyn” Hurricane Relief Effort. The food and supplies were delivered to victims of the recent hurricanes in Louisiana.



**Click here for a printable view**

Did you know Alternate Side Parking Regulations were suspended on 45 days during 2005?

If you would like to receive a copy of the 2006 New York City Parking Calendar, fill out this coupon and send it to Assemblywoman Millman’s office at 341 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231 or call (718) 246-4889, or email millmaj@assembly.state.ny.us.


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