I hope you had a pleasant and safe summer season. The month of September always brings new challenges, whether it’s taking a young child for their first day of school or sending a high school graduate off to college. I also want to welcome the individuals and families who have recently moved to the 55th Assembly District. We are presently living in an era of unprecedented opportunity and together we can harness the energy, ideas and resources to makes ours a thriving community that will continue to attract new residents and businesses.
I am anxiously looking forward to the fall legislative session in Albany in order to work diligently on the issues that you have deemed important. You have made it clear that our schools; especially our middle schools, must continue to show improvement. It is no accident that families are drawn to schools that perform well and we owe that much to the children.
All of us understand the necessity of a fundamentally sound education and the steps we must take to ensure that we maintain high standards. Over 6,000 new teachers walked in to New York City’s public schools for the first time this September. I am encouraging all parents to stay involved in the educational process, whether your child’s teacher is a new or veteran teacher; parental involvement is key to academic success. I am currently working on a new set of economic development initiatives for the 55th Assembly Distinct that will grow existing small businesses and create new ones. Small businesses are the nation’s largest employer and we certainly have the acreage to grow substantially in that area.
I also have a deep concern for residents who have lived most of their lives in the community and are currently feeling the pressure of rising rents. The fight to build and maintain affordable housing is far from over. The ongoing battle over Starrett City is just the tip of the iceberg. I am committed to preserving our existing housing stock and will secure the support of my colleagues in the Assembly to make affordable housing a top priority during the upcoming legislative session. There are of course many other issues of concern to the constituents of the 55th Assembly District. Please know that I welcome your comments and suggestions and I encourage you to contact my district office for assistance.
Assemblyman William F. Boyland, Jr., representing Brooklyn’s 55th District, has taken a firm stand against the conditions that residents and other commuters along the Sutter Avenue/Rutland Road, Saratoga Avenue, and Junius Street subway stations have had to endure for a number of years. Complaints have been pouring into his office, with weary residents wondering how soon and when much-needed improvements and renovations will begin to improve the conditions of these subway stations.
Assemblyman Boyland is presently holding discussions with officials from the New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority, in an effort to determine the true extent of work that needs to be done. He is also working hard with some members of the state’s Congressional team to secure funding for the project. As of now, the projected start date is possibly 2010, with a completion target date of 2014. Residents and other commuters will be informed as to how exactly the project will impact their lives and commutes.
A number of close-up inspections done by my office have revealed the following:
On a related note, work on the Rockaway, Van Siclen, and Liberty Avenues stations on the A line is scheduled to begin in the near future, with work on some parts of the J and L lines nearing rehab completion.
9th Annual Intergenerational Festival
On Friday June 22, 2007 – Brooklyn, NY – Assemblyman William F. Boyland, Jr. teamed up with former Councilwoman Tracy Boyland, Neighborhood Health Provider, and Delta Funding Corporation to host the 9th Annual Intergenerational Festival in Saratoga Park.
Joining the dozens of legendary entertainers provided by Darryl S. Kemp “Big King Boss Entertainment” were Maxine Brown, Radio Personalities Kid Capri and DJ Red Alert, the Legendary Intruders, the Persuaders, and a slew of other unsigned artists who were seeking acknowledgment and recognition from the crowd. The Intergenerational Festival was launched to provide a free and festive atmosphere for children from local area schools and seniors from Brooklyn’s largest senior citizen centers to access pertinent information from health care providers, health screening, employment opportunities, and resource information from city, state, and federal agencies.
Local residents are amazed that year after year, Assemblyman Boyland, Jr. continues to bring the biggest and best names in the music business to entertain his constituents. Neighborhood resident Mary Miles said: “There was great music, good food, and a peaceful good time; that’s what I like.” Councilman Dr. Mathieu Eugene greeted the larger-than-expected turnout this year.
Over 10,000 community residents turned out to join in the fun, food, activities, and entertainment.
EDUCATION AND COMMUNITY
The William F. Boyland Scholarship will be awarded in honor of former Assemblyman William F. Boyland, Sr. to two students in the amount of $2000. To date, six scholarships have been awarded, allowing students to attend colleges and universities across the United States and in other countries around the world.
Assemblyman William F. Boyland, Sr. established the scholarship program to seek out students he termed “diamonds in the rough.” He seeks promising students with financial need whose academic performance may not necessarily reflect their potential, but who demonstrate strength of character, a well-rounded personality, and a record of accomplishment in giving back to the community.
Artist attends SUNY Cobleskill, and majors in Mass Communication. “The Influence of the Media on the Minds of People” was a powerful piece that has merited him this scholarship. Artist’s career goal is to become a sports announcer.
Onte attends SUNY Stony Brook. He has been selected to continue with the Study Abroad Leadership Program. This pursuit will take him to the International Academic Program at the University of Kentucky and the Cambridge/London Program in England.
Assemblyman William F. Boyland, Jr. is pleased to announce that he has secured substantial funding for many important organizations; community based and at large in the community.
Groups that will receive funding for the fiscal year 2007 years include:
55th Assembly District
Developers are eyeing the 55th Assembly District area of Brooklyn, expressing optimism about its future and affirming its renewal by building on vacant lots throughout the neighborhood. As long as the city continues to balance that growth with provisions for affordable homes, housing advocates hail the development boom as a much-needed step in the right direction for the area. Like many of New York’s other neighborhoods, Brooklyn’s 55th District has seen its share of economic downturn, with many residents fleeing while almost as many continue to move in, especially as they get priced out of other city neighborhoods. Even though great deals can still be found in the area, it is worth noting that property prices have appreciated considerably since the 1980s, when one of the Nehemiah row houses sold for as little as $65,000 compared to an average of $350,000 today.
In recent years, a number of people have opted to convert their multistory units into attractive condominiums, pushing other property-owners to invest in upgrades of their homes. One future project in its infancy stage is Habitat for Humanity’s $13 million 41-unit condominium project which will be built at the intersection of Eastern Parkway and Atlantic Avenue, by future residents and volunteers. The proposed three energy-efficient buildings will be Habitat’s “largest and greenest project to date” in the City of New York. For those residents who are not yet ready to take the plunge into home ownership, rents average $900 for a one-bedroom and $1300 for a three-bedroom unit.
Statistics show that crime has significantly decreased in the neighborhood in recent years, especially since subsidized housing programs have made it possible for residents to want to remain in the area. The neighborhood’s Betsy Head Memorial Park includes tennis courts, baseball fields, a pavilion, a swimming pool, and a running track. On Linden Boulevard the Brownsville Recreation Center houses a computer lab, a swimming pool, a weight room, and other amenities. There are more than 16 schools in the area, all of which are well-equipped with modern learning and teaching technology, with students registering impressively high scores on the state’s Regents Examination in english and math. A number of subway lines run through the area, making it easy for residents to travel to other parts of the city, including Manhattan, in a relatively short time.
One of the most common complaints from residents is that the area lacks more choices for shopping. Even though Pitkin Avenue remains the hub of economic activity, residents say that the neighborhood does need a greater variety of goods, services, restaurants, banks, stores, even bookstores, and other amenities. Local officials have expressed optimism that retailers will understand that the demand for their various and extended services is there, and that they will provide what residents say they would like to have in the neighborhood.
A recent New York Times article on Sunday, June 17, 2007 revealed what Assemblyman Boyland has already known for several years and is anxious to share with the constituents and the community at large.
Van Dyck Housing Complex Issues
Assemblyman Boyland, Chief of Staff Robert Cornegy and the Tenants’ Association at the Van Dyck Housing Projects met with representatives from the New York City Housing Authority on Monday, July 2nd, to discuss issues and concerns regarding trash disposal and removal.
According to Mr. Cornegy, residents’ main concern was the disposal and removal of waste and trash from certain parts of the premises that they felt interfered with their right to a safe and clean environment. He states that the Housing Authority has responded quite positively to the tenants’ concerns, and has pledged to work with the Assemblyman’s office to resolve the issues.
Residents had complained that piles of garbage had been placed too close to the kiddy playground; another designated area was also too close to a playground used mostly by older children who engage in various contact sports; and another area that was supposed to be used only for furniture disposal had been turned into an illegal trash dump. Residents had complained that these areas had been designated “temporary areas” by the Housing Authority, and that they have been used since October 2006.
The Housing Authority has agreed to relocate trash and waste disposal areas, expecting to have a designated compact area in use by the fall of this year. The cost of this project will be shared 50/50 by the Assemblyman’s office and the NYCHA, and Mr. Boyland has been invited to the ceremony marking its opening. According to the Housing Authority, this new facility will be similar to the one currently in use at the Brownsville Housing Projects.
Boyland Takes Community Concerns to Capitol Hill
The Assemblyman met with newly elected Congresswoman Yvette Clark and Senator Hillary Clinton, strongly urging support for major improvement of the 55th Assembly District. Many of the concerns raised by our residents were community and economic development; educational facility upgrades and expansions; telecommunications; transportation; public works; criminal justice; public safety; and an increase in street policing. “I firmly believe that the federal government must provide more robust support for sustained community and economic improvements to our communities,” Boyland said. The Assemblyman strongly believes that an increased budget will allow for better upkeep of the District.
“I Love My Seniors,”
Prospect Park isn’t just for school groups – there are a wealth of great programs for the seniors to enjoy, and most of them don’t cost a thing.
They offer a wide variety of programs and activities for adults age 60 and over. The funding given to the Prospect Park Alliance has allowed our seniors to enjoy a nice time out walking nature trails, identification of wild life, and slide show presentations. Public programs at Prospect Park allow seniors to explore nature in Brooklyn’s flagship park, home to the borough’s only freshwater lake, its last natural forest, and the nation’s first urban Audubon Center.
Senior Walks are two to three miles in length and are walked at a leisurely pace. Participants must be able to walk independently. Walkers should wear sturdy shoes and carry water, snacks, and rain gear. Transportation and a guide are provided. Trips leave from and return to the recreation center.
Monthly Advisory Meeting
2nd Saturday at 10:00 a.m.
New School Year Issues
This is your opportunity to publicly voice your concern on problems facing our community.
We hope to see you there!
Assemblyman William F. Boyland, Jr.
467 Thomas S. Boyland Street, Brooklyn, New York 11212
(718) 498-868 • (718) 498-1796 (fax)