Community Newsletter - November 2010
Free Flu Shots at Lillian Wald
On November 16, Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh and Visiting Nurse Service of New York co-sponsored with great success the distribution of free flu shots at the Wald Houses Tenant Association Room on Avenue D on the Lower East Side. The event, intended to encourage seniors and other at risk persons to get a shot, brought in dozens of community residents. If you missed this event, but would like more information, please contact Community Liaison Leslie Pena or Marcela Medina at our district office.
"Hayley and Diego's Law" to Crack Down on Careless Driving Goes Into Effect
A new law went into effect on October 14th, to crack down on careless drivers who injure pedestrians and bicyclists, announced the law's sponsors, State Senator Daniel Squadron and Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh, as well as Council Member Margaret Chin, Transportation Alternatives and other elected officials and pedestrian safety advocates. The legislation, called "Hayley and Diego's Law," was introduced after the tragic deaths of Hayley Ng, 4, and Diego Martinez, 3, who were killed last year in Chinatown when a delivery van that had been left in reverse climbed the curb and hit the children. The driver in question was not charged with any infraction resulting from the children's deaths.
The new careless driving law, which is in effect for the first time, imposes the following penalties on drivers whose failure to exercise due care results in injury to pedestrians or bicyclists:
For the first offense, a fine of $750 or 15 days of jail time, participation in a driving training course, suspension or revocation of the driver's license or registration, or any combination of these penalties; and
For the second offense, any of the above penalties, plus a misdemeanor charge.
Assemblymember Kavanagh, who sponsored the law in the State Assembly, said, "For far too long, the bad habits of careless drivers have gone without penalty - sending a message to all concerned that carelessness behind the wheel is something we don't take seriously. With this new law, we now have a practical tool that will make our streets safer and bring a measure of justice when drivers' careless behavior leads to tragic consequences."
Kavanagh and Housing Committee Question Public Housing Officials
On October 26th, Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh joined Assembly Housing Committee Chair Vito Lopez and several of their colleagues on the Committee for a public hearing regarding maintenance and repair issues in New York City public housing.
The purpose of the hearing was to review and analyze the New York City Housing Authority's maintenance policies and practices for the 180,000 apartments the agency manages. As proper maintenance is essential for the safety and wellbeing of residents, the Committee sought assurances from NYCHA officials that they would address some very serious problems that seem to have gotten significantly worse in recent months, and delays in maintenance and repair work that have become particularly acute.
In addition to hearing from NYCHA, and questioning the agency at length, the Committee took testimony from representatives of the Legal Aid Society, Community Service Society, the NYC Alliance to Preserve Public Housing, and many tenants and other witnesses.
Kavanagh Joins DC Legislative Summit to Promote Greener Schools
Assemblymember Brian Kanavagh attended the second annual Green Schools State Legislative Summit as part of the U.S. Green Building Council's 50 for 50 Green Schools Caucus Initiative. The summit was held at the Council's headquarters in Washington, DC. Kavanagh and 28 other leading state legislators from across the country were brought together to generate ideas, share lessons from their respective jurisdictions, and learn about the technical aspects of effective policies to promote green schools.
Kavanagh Speaks at Turtle Bay Association Annual Meeting
On November 8th, Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh spoke at the Turtle Bay Association's Annual Meeting. Held at the Vanderbilt YMCA, the Annual Meeting provided a forum for the Association's members to receive updates from their elected officials, hear the latest from all of the Association's committees, and elect officers and directors for the coming year.
Kavanagh discussed his work as chair of the Assembly's subcommittee that handles election operations and voting rights to address the problems encountered by voters during the recent primary and general elections. He also reviewed the latest transit developments on First and Second Avenues including pedestrian islands and dedicated bus and bicycle lanes - and his advocacy for the City to get the implementation right. He then provided an overview of ongoing consideration of the possibility of permitting the sale by the City of New York of United Nations Plaza 1 and 2, the transfer of Robert Moses Playground to the UN Development Corporation for construction of a new building to consolidate UN-related functions, the construction of a bicycle and pedestrian esplanade from East 38th to East 63rd Streets, and several other open space projects. Several aspects of these projects would require State legislation, especially the transfer of the Robert Moses site, and Kavanagh emphasized that no decisions have been made. To date, extensive input had been sought from many sources, including Community Boards 6 and 8, various elected officials and government agencies, representatives of community and advocacy organizations, and the general public.
Kavanagh concluded by fielding questions and comments from the assembled Association members.
Kavanagh Helps Girls Club Break Ground
On October 29th, Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh joined the Lower East Side Girls Club and numerous elected officials, community leaders, and guests to officially break ground on the building that will house the Club's new headquarters.
On hand for the event at the construction site at 101 Avenue D in addition to Kavanagh were Girls Club Executive Director Lyn Pentecost, Congressmember Nydia Velazquez, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, State Senator Daniel Squadron, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, City Councilmember Rosie Mendez, Housing Development Corporation President Marc Jahr, Drew Spitler of Dermot Company, and special guest, actress Rosario Dawson.
The project is expected to be completed in 2012. In addition to the 30,000 square-foot LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) gold-certified Girls Club headquarters, the property will include 78 mixed income rental residences and ample community facility and retail space. The Center for Community will include a planetarium, classrooms, a library, art, dance and yoga studios, a recording studio/radio station, a wellness center, a photography and digital media center, environmental learning labs and technology workshops.
Kavanagh Cheers Groundbreaking with the Girls Club
On October 19th, Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh attended the Lower Eastside Girls Club Groundbreaking Gala hosted by actress Rosie Perez and LES alumni Tina Huang and Victor Rasuk at the Angel Orensanz Foundation for Contemporary Art. The cocktail reception and dinner celebrated the upcoming groundbreaking for the new building that will house the Girls Club and its many programs serving the community. The gala also served as an opportunity for the Girls Club staff and Board of Directors, and all the assembled guests, to honor Mary Spink and Howard Hemsley for their dedication to the Lower East Side community.