Community Newsletter - January 2011
Kavanagh Named Legislator of the Year for Work on Bike/Pedestrian Safety & Mass Transit
On December 30th, Streetsblog announced that Assemblymember Kavanagh is the publication's 2010 Legislator of the Year, for his work promoting pedestrian and bike safety and better mass transit. (Kavanagh was the runner-up for the 2009 award.) Streetsblog is a daily news source and online community covering transportation and livable streets issues. We thank Streetsblog for the recognition and for a great year of journalism and advocacy on behalf of New Yorkers who want to stay informed and see a greener, safer, and more sustainable transportation system.
Kavanagh Joins Tenants to Call for Renewed and Strengthened Rent Laws
On January 3rd, Assemblymember Kavanagh joined nearly 200 tenants and other elected officials for a candlelight vigil calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo and the State Legislature to renew rent regulation laws currently set to expire on June 15, 2011.
Kavanagh, who represents Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper in the Assembly and has continually advocated for tenant protection legislation, thanked tenants for attending and encouraged them to continue to be in contact with their elected officials, to emphasize the importance of renewing rent regulation, and to organize their neighbors and fellow tenants to do the same. He also noted that both the Governor and Mayor Michael Bloomberg have an important role to play in the fight to renew and strengthen the laws.
Extending rent and eviction protections would allow many tenants to stay in their homes who would otherwise be priced out. If the laws are not renewed, landlords would have complete discretion on whether to renew tenants' leases and on the rent that will be charged.
LES Neighbors and Artists Unite to Preserve Historic Buildings
Community Liaison Leslie Pena, representing Assemblymember Kavanagh, joined the Lower East Preservation Initative's first annual "Let's Save the East Village/Lower East Side - Neighbors and Friends" meet and greet event at the Theater for the New City on January 11, 2011.
Richard Moses and Carolyn Ratcliffe, among other LESPI members, discussed their work to preserve the Lower East Side's remaining historic streetscapes, where buildings are being demolished or altered. The event also featured the work of 25 artists in Art Loisaida's exhibit "Preservation - Preserve or Forget."
Kavanagh: Opt Out of Faulty Immigration Enforcement Program
On December 23rd, Assemblymember Kavanagh joined a wide range of federal, State, and local officials, led by Manhattan Borough President Stringer, urging Governor David Paterson to rescind a Memorandum of Agreement signed earlier this year with the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and the Department of Homeland Security authorizing implementation of the so-called "Secure Communities" program in New York. The program, which aims to enlist local authorities in identifying immigrants eligible for deportation, raises serious public safety, civil rights, and cost concerns for New Yorkers, as detailed in the letter to Governor Paterson.
Kavanagh Celebrates the Holidays with Police Community Council
On December 22nd, Assemblymember Kavanagh and Community Liaison Leslie Pena joined Police Community Council President Charlotte Miles, Captain Tom Hogan, Police Officers Geneva Anderson and Zelue Slade-Bradley, along with other community leaders and officers and staff of Police Service Area 4, for the Community Council's annual toy give-away. More than 800 toys were given to children living in public housing developments served by PSA 4 and Nintendo Wii games were on available for children to play while they waited.
Financial Clinic Offers Information and Coaching to Local Residents
On December 14th, Assemblymember Kavanagh, Senator Squadron, and City Councilmember Mendez co-sponsored "Money UP," a program offered by the Financial Clinic at the Baruch Houses Community Center. Community liaison Leslie Pena represented Kavanagh at the information session presented by financial coach Dory Charlesworth. Residents received free advice on creating a budget, boosting their credit, and preparing their taxes. The Financial Clinic also invited the community to visit their offices at 510 East 11th St (between Avenue A and B) or 206 East 4th St (between Avenue A and B) to schedule an appointment and receive free saving, budget, and debt strategies. In some cases, legal services may be provided as well. If interested, make sure to bring the following: Valid Photo Identification, Social Security Card, and Income statements. For more information, please call 646-492-2417.
Kavanagh Joins PS 64 Students Educating Themselves about Healthy Foods
On December 13th, Assemblymember Kavanagh joined P.S. 64 Principal Marlon Hosang for the school's Healthy Food Fair. The fair, which was held in the school's library, showcased student projects pertaining to health and healthy food. Students presented information on how to identify healthy foods and the importance of a healthy, nutritional diet. The presentations the students worked on incorporated math and science curriculum, making the event a broad learning experience.
In addition to the presentations, healthy foods were prepared and served at the fair to promote healthy snacking. Kavanagh enjoyed attending the fair and seeing first hand the efforts that P.S. 64 is taking to encourage healthy eating habits for the students. Also in attendance at the fair were Senator Squadron, City Council Speaker Quinn, Councilmember Mendez, and the Manhattan Borough President's representative.
Kavanagh Joins Mendez and Tenant Association to Get Answers for Haven Plaza Residents
On December 8th, Assemblymember Kavanagh and Community Liaison Leslie Pena joined the Haven Plaza Tenants Association, Council Member Mendez, Wavecrest Management, MDG Renovations, and a representative of Senator Squadron for a community meeting to address Haven Plaza resident concerns regarding the renovations to their homes, health issues caused by construction, as well as rent increases and affordability issues. Representatives of management answered tenants' questions and invited them to stay in contact, make their concerns heard, and report any irregularities they see in the construction process. They announced that the second phase of renovation is scheduled to begin in February 2011 and assured residents that their safety and comfort is the priority. Haven Plaza Tenant Association President Erma Campbell, along with around 40 residents, attended the meeting asking questions of the management and construction company representatives, and expressed their worries.
It was agreed that periodic meetings will be scheduled to continue the dialogue, keep residents informed of the progress of the renovations, and address any new concerns that arise.