Several months ago I was interviewed for a report that the office of State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli was planning to issue on the growing economy of Downtown Brooklyn, an area that I represent in the New York State Assembly. I outlined several of the new initiatives and projects that are in works in Downtown Brooklyn, which I've been involved with for years.
The MTA building at 370 Jay Street, for instance, was an eyesore and practically empty for years - this year an agreement was reached with New York University and Polytechnic Institute to create the Center for Urban Science and Progress. I also talked about how difficult certain initiatives had been to get off the ground, bringing the TKTS booth to Metrotech for example, because years ago no one thought that there'd be so many tourists and hotels in Brooklyn. The develop of DUMBO is another example of a community that many never thought would be a vital residential and tech area (the picture to the right is from a walking tour I took of DUMBO over the summer with Alexandria Sica the Executive Director of the DUMBO Business Improvement District).
The Comptroller's report, "An Economic Snapshot of the Greater Downtown Brooklyn Area," was released this summer and shows that job growth in the area, even during the nation-wide recession, has been strong, with private sector employment, for example, growing at more than 18 percent between 2003 and 2010, higher than the rest of Brooklyn and much higher than the city as a whole. Without losing sight of the very real hardship that people across Brooklyn and the country are suffering, including unemployment and foreclosures, I am proud to see the surging development of jobs, education and business in Brooklyn. Along with cultural institutions and the development of park space, this is a good time for Downtown Brooklyn, its residents and visitors.
Free Flu Shots
SUNY Downstate at LICH will be offering free flu shots in my office at 341 Smith Street on Monday, October 15 and Tuesday October 16 from 10 AM - 1 PM both days. You must make an appointment by calling the office at 718-246-4889.
During my talk at SUN-B I highlighted two issues of growing concern to the elderly - Alzheimer's and dementia, and elder abuse. Alzheimer's disease is one of the top ten illnesses which lead to patient deaths but is the only one with no treatment. Current bills in the Assembly include looking at the incidence of Alzheimer's in our communities for clues to possible environmental causes. Regarding financial abuse of the elderly, we have been looking at other states and found some legislation in California which addresses this issue, making it a crime. This is another area for the Aging Committee to discuss and introduce legislation.
It was a pleasure to meet the members of SUN-B, who provide a wealth of services to our senior population. The organization is a great support to me in my role as Chair of the Assembly's Aging Committee.
Library News: On September 13 the Park Slope Library at (431 6th Ave. at 9th St) will be reopening for the first time since October 2009! The Carroll Gardens Library was re-opened on September 4 after a summer-long closure for needed roof repairs. Friends of the Carroll Gardens Library invites the community to get involved - you can write to them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Boerum Hill Association July Readings in the Garden: For many years I've enjoyed participating in this charming event hosted by the BHA and held in the Hoyt Street Garden.
Senior Movie: I was so pleased to host a free screening of "The Artist" for seniors at the Brooklyn Heights Cinema in August.
Parks News: The Brooklyn Bridge Park pop-up pool was a huge success this summer, attracting thousands to a lovely pool and beach area all season. At Prospect Park, construction of the Lakeside Center continues and is more than 50% complete. I've been told an ice skating rink will be open as soon as fall 2013.
National Night Out on Crime 2012: I attended Night Out on Crime celebrations with several of our local police precincts, which are intended to strengthen police and community relations and prevent crime.