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Monday, August 8, 2016

State Senator Liz Krueger


 
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State Senator Liz Krueger
Standing Up And Speaking Out
New York State Senate – 28th District
Community Bulletin – August 2016
 
Table of Contents
Message from Liz
Community Update
        Senator Liz Krueger’s Tenth Annual Senior Resource Fair on October 27th
        Deadline For Voter Registration
        iMentor Seeking Mentors for High School Students
        Survey on Improving SCRIE 
        Upcoming Pet Adoption Events 
        Department of Sanitation SAFE Disposal Event 
        Legal Advocacy Clinics From Lenox Hill Neighborhood House 
        Affordable Housing Opportunities in Manhattan 
        Metrocard Bus and Van Schedule
 
Message from Liz...
Over the last few weeks, a number of reports and hearings have taken place that once again highlight New York’s questionable economic development policies. Over the years I have been serving in the State Senate, the names of the programs change, but the results seem to remain the same – major tax giveaways and subsidies to a select group of companies that don’t live up to their job creation promises.
 
On the Friday before the Independence Day holiday – a great time to dump news that you don’t want to get press attention - the Governor’s office released the job creation figures for Start-Up New York, his much touted program that created tax-free zones primarily around colleges. Â You had to read the footnotes to find the actual number of jobs created for the first 2 years of the program – 76 in 2014 and 408 in 2015.  This from a program for which the state acknowledges spending over $50 million in advertising so far. That’s around $130,000 per job created, just for advertising!  The report did not indicate how much the tax breaks associated with the program cost in addition to these expensive advertisements.
 
On August 3rd, the Assembly Committee on Economic Development held an oversight hearing where they grilled administration officials on these unimpressive results, and also questioned why the bulk of these government funded advertisements were spent in the months before the 2014 election.  Among the more interesting testimony from the hearing was presented by E.J. McMahon of the Empire Center for Public Policy, a conservative policy think-tank.  While I can’t say Mr. McMahon and I agree on everything, we often find ourselves on the same side of policy discussions regarding economic development tax break programs.
 
In his testimony, Mr. McMahon provides some particularly useful analysis of just how much money is being devoted to these programs, and highlights that the problems with Start-Up New York are just the tip of the iceberg.  He tries to come up with comprehensive figures for spending on these programs, noting:
 
“In the 2017 fiscal year, on-budget disbursements for economic development are projected to increase by $844 million—more than doubling the fiscal 2016 figure…From 2017 through 2021, the Empire State Development Corp. is expected to spend more than $6.6 billion on these and other programs, with roughly three-quarters of the money generated by backdoor borrowing…At least a half-billion more will be spent during this period on the Excelsior Jobs Program. And another $420 million a year in refundable tax credits will flow into the pockets of film and TV producers and production companies—plus $50 million a year in newly created music and video game development tax credits.”
 
Mr. McMahon notes additional programs that are also spending on economic development but unfortunately coming up with a complete accounting is extremely difficult, given the lack of transparency regarding economic development expenditures.  Other states such as Illinois and Vermont require a Unified Economic Development Budget as part of their budget process, and I have long carried legislation that would create such a budgetary requirement in New York.  Many of the legislators and testifiers at the Assembly hearing expressed frustration regarding the difficulty in evaluating the effectiveness of these programs given the difficulty in figuring out what they cost and linking that to real job creation.
 
These issues are highlighted in recent reports from Comptroller Tom DiNapoli on the Excelsior Jobs and Power for Jobs programs.  In his review of the Excelsior program administered by Empire State Development, the Comptroller found a lack of documentation that many participants were even eligible for the program.  Furthermore, because of a reliance on self-reporting by companies receiving credits for job creation, for many companies it was impossible to verify job creation claims, or that jobs met requirements for work hours.
 
Problems with the Power for Jobs program administered by the New York Power Authority (NYPA) were even more galling. NYPA allocates power to businesses and not-for-profits that agree to retain or create jobs in New York and to make capital investments.  Among other findings, the report found that NYPA’s method of reporting participation in the program resulted in overstating job retention and creation by almost 30,000 jobs.  
 
I understand the desire by the Governor and economic development agencies to want to appear proactive in efforts to create jobs, particularly in struggling areas of the state.  However, these programs need to be based on fact and not wishful thinking.  The evidence continues to pour in that New York’s current economic development policies may benefit specific recipients, but do not amount to a coherent or cost-effective strategy for job creation in the state.
 
Community Spotlight

Senator Liz Krueger’s Tenth Annual Senior Resource Fair on October 27th:
My tenth annual Senior Resource Fair will take place Thursday, October 27th from 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at Temple Emanu-El, One East 65th Street (at Fifth Avenue).  Over 500 people attended last year’s event.  This year we will have over 50 exhibitors from non-profits and city and state agencies with information for Older Adults. Admission is free.  Light refreshments will be served. NO RSVP NECESSARY. For further information, call (212) 490-9535.
 
Deadline For Voter Registration:
August 19, 2016, is the deadline to mail in a voter registration form to be eligible to vote in the state and local primary elections on September 13. You will need to enroll in a political party to be eligible to vote in that party's primary contests. Registering now will also put you on the voter rolls for Election Day, November 8. 
 
Check if you're registered to vote here: https://voterlookup.elections.state.ny.us/
 
Print, complete and mail a registration form in one of 10 languages here: http://www.nyccfb.info/nyc-votes/registering

You can also find your poll site at 
https://nyc.pollsitelocator.com/search

iMentor Seeking Mentors for High School Students:
iMentor is looking for dedicated adults to mentor high school students in the New York metropolitan area. 
iMentor matches college-educated adults with high school students from low-income communities, in order to build college readiness skills. Mentors work with students via weekly online communication, and monthly in-person meetings that iMentor organizes.
 
iMentor currently has 3,500 active mentor/mentee pairs in NYC, and they’re actively looking for another 1,000 adults to volunteer their time for this upcoming school year. Interested? You can learn more here: http://imentor.org/becomeamentor or complete the online application here: https://nyc.imentor.org
 
Questions? Please reach out to Andrew Ockenden, iMentor’s Recruiter for NYC Volunteers: aockenden@imentor.org.

Survey on Improving SCRIE:
AARP New York City is working with LiveOn NY and Enterprise Community Partners to conduct a short survey regarding the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE)/Senior Rent Freeze Program.  A recent report documented that a substantial number of older New Yorkers on SCRIE are still paying over 50% of their income in rent. SCRIE freezes the rents of senior households living in rent regulated housing who are paying over one-third of their income in rent.
 
One of the major recommendations is that NYC establish a program where all seniors on SCRIE pay no more than one-third of their income in rent. This would be an important step forward in ensuring that thousands of older New Yorkers in rent regulated apartments could continue to afford them and have money for other daily needs.  
 
Please take this short survey to help improve the SCRIE program: http://tinyurl.com/jy85ajl

Upcoming Pet Adoption Events:
Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC) is sponsoring several Pet Adoption events around the district in December. Upcoming dates and locations are:

Saturday, August 13, 11-3PM: 
Biscuits & Bath Sutton Place, 1064 1st Avenue at East 58th Street

Sunday, August 21, 12-4PM: 
Petco Union Square, 860 Broadway at East 17th Street

Upcoming events are also listed at http://nycacc.org/Events.htm

Department of Sanitation SAFE Disposal Event:
To help residents dispose of harmful household products safely, DSNY hosts SAFE (Solvents, Automotive, Flammables, and Electronics) Disposal Events throughout the year in all five boroughs. Events are held, rain or shine, from 10 am to 4 pm. Because they are popular, be prepared for a line. Only NYC residential waste is accepted at SAFE Disposal Events, and no commercial vehicles are allowed. Residents must provide proof of NYC residency, such as a NYS driver’s license or utility bill. Materials collected are either recycled, blended for fuel, or sent to licensed hazardous waste treatment facilities for safe disposal.
 
The next Manhattan event will be: 
Sunday, September 25
Union Square North Plaza
South of 17th St between Park Ave & Broadway
Cars enter at Park Ave & 18th St
 
Legal Advocacy Clinics At Lenox Hill Neighborhood House:
The Lenox Hill Neighborhood House Legal Advocacy Center Offers assistance on a number of different issues. Here is a list of their ongoing programs and clinics:
● SNAP (formerly Food Stamps) Clinics: Wednesdays from 10am to 1pm at Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, 331 East 70th Street. First come, first served. Bring proof of identity, income information, utility bill, proof of housing costs, information on any dependents and if you are 60 or over or on SSI/SSD, information on medical costs.  For more information, call 
212-218-0431.
● SCRIE Clinics: call 
212-218-0503 ext. 6 for assistance in applying or recertifying for the Senior Citizens Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) program. The SCRIE clinic is open to tenants city-wide. Please note that due to the volume of calls, it sometimes takes up to two weeks for staff to respond to messages.
● Eviction Prevention: Walk-in clinic, every 2nd and 4th  Monday of the month, from 
10am to 1pm at 331 East 70th Street, for tenants who live, work, or go to school on Manhattan’s East Side above 59th Street and on Roosevelt Island.
● End-of-Life Planning/Advance Directives: volunteer attorneys may be able to assist you with one-on-one counseling and individualized drafting of Advance Directives including Health Care Proxies, Living Wills, Powers of Attorney, and simple, low-asset Wills. If you are interested in being screened for a possible appointment,  call the intake hotline at 
212-218-0503 ext 4.
● Health Care Access/Medicare/Medicaid: call 
212-218-0503 ext 3. Find out about Medicare Savings Programs, Medicaid home care, Medicare Part D, Medicaid Spend-down, EPIC and if you are eligible for Medicaid.
● Health Insurance Enrollment: call 
212-218-0432.  Assistance with finding and enrolling in an affordable health insurance plan. 

Affordable Housing Opportunities in Manhattan:
7 West 21st Street
 is now accepting applications for 58 affordable studio and 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom apartments newly constructed at 7 West 21st Street in the Flatiron neighborhood in Manhattan. Rents for these apartments are $913 and $1,359, depending on unit size. To be eligible, applicants must have incomes between $32,640 and $63,060, depending on unit and family size. Preference will be given to Community Board 5 residents for 50% of units, mobility-impaired persons for 5% of units, visual- and/or hearing-impaired persons for 2% of units, and City of New York municipal employees for 5% of units. A full description of the building and application process is available at https://a806-housingconnect.nyc.gov/nyclottery/AdvertisementPdf/269.pdf.
 
Households may elect to submit an application by one of two methods: EITHER online OR by mail. To submit your application online now, please visit NYC Housing Connect at www.nyc.gov/housingconnect and select “Apply for Housing.” To request an application by mail, mail a self-addressed envelope to 7WEST21, c/o Housing Partnership Development Corporation, 242 West 36th Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10018.
 
Completed applications must be submitted online or returned by regular mail only to the post office box that will be listed on the application. Applications must be submitted online or postmarked by August 23, 2016. Applicants who submit more than one application may be disqualified.
 
Bridge Land Hudson LLC is now accepting applications for 41 affordable studio and 1-, and 2-bedroom apartments newly constructed at 261 Hudson Street in the SoHo neighborhood in Manhattan. Rents for these apartments are $788 and $1,025, depending on unit size. To be eligible, applicants must have incomes between $28,355 and $54,360, depending on unit and family size. Preference will be given to Community Board 2 residents for 50% of units, mobility-impaired persons for 5% of units, visual- and/or hearing-impaired persons for 2% of units, and City of New York municipal employees for 5% of units. A full description of the building and application process is available at 
 
Households may elect to submit an application by one of two methods: EITHER online OR by mail. To submit your application online now, please visit NYC Housing Connect at www.nyc.gov/housingconnect and select “Apply for Housing.” To request an application by mail, mail a self-addressed envelope to Bridge Land Hudson LLC, 1357 Broadway, Box 438, New York, NY 10018.
 
Completed applications must be submitted online or returned by regular mail only to the post office box that will be listed on the application. Applications must be submitted online or postmarked by August 31, 2016. Applicants who submit more than one application may be disqualified.
 
Strivers Plaza is now accepting applications for 53 affordable studio and 1-, and 2-bedroom apartments newly constructed at 275 West 140th Street in the Central Harlem neighborhood in Manhattan. Rents for these apartments are $494 and $2,4055, depending on unit size and income. To be eligible, applicants must have incomes between $18,275 and $158,550, depending on unit and family size. Preference will be given to Community Board 2 residents for 50% of units, mobility-impaired persons for 5% of units, visual- and/or hearing-impaired persons for 2% of units, and City of New York municipal employees for 5% of units. A full description of the building and application process is available at 
 
Households may elect to submit an application by one of two methods: EITHER online OR by mail. To submit your application online now, please visit NYC Housing Connect at www.nyc.gov/housingconnect and select “Apply for Housing.” To request an application by mail, mail a self-addressed envelope to Strivers Plaza, 87-14 116th Street, Richmond Hill, NY 11418.
 
Completed applications must be submitted online or returned by regular mail only to the post office box that will be listed on the application. Applications must be submitted online or postmarked by September 23, 2016. Applicants who submit more than one application may be disqualified.
 
225 East 39th Street Apartments is now accepting applications for 75 affordable studio and 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom apartments newly constructed at 225 East 39th Street in the Murray Hill neighborhood in Manhattan. Rents for these apartments are $833 and $1,247, depending on unit size. To be eligible, applicants must have incomes between $29,898 and $63,060, depending on unit and family size. Preference will be given to Community Board 6 residents for 50% of units, mobility-impaired persons for 5% of units, visual- and/or hearing-impaired persons for 2% of units, and City of New York municipal employees for 5% of units. A full description of the building and application process is available at 
 
Households may elect to submit an application by one of two methods: EITHER online OR by mail. To submit your application online now, please visit NYC Housing Connect at www.nyc.gov/housingconnect and select “Apply for Housing.” To request an application by mail, mail a self-addressed envelope to East 39th Street Apartments, 1357 Broadway, Box 309, New York, NY 10018.
 
Completed applications must be submitted online or returned by regular mail only to the post office box that will be listed on the application. Applications must be submitted online or postmarked by September 27, 2016. Applicants who submit more than one application may be disqualified.

Metrocard Bus and Van Schedule:
The MTA offers MetroCard-related services throughout New York City through mobile buses and vans. Buses provide a full range of services, including applying for or refilling a Reduced-Fare MetroCard, buying or refilling a regular MetroCard, or getting answers to a MetroCard-related question. Vans sell Unlimited Ride MetroCards and Pay-Per-Ride MetroCards, and they refill MetroCards and Reduced-Fare MetroCards. Buses and vans will be in my district on the following dates and locations:

August 9, 9 - 10:30 am, 92 Street & Lexington Avenue – Bus
August 9, 11:00 am - 12:30 pm., 86 Street & Lexington Avenue – Bus
August 9, 1:30 - 2:30 pm, 68 Street & Lexington Avenue – Bus
August 10, 
9 - 10:30 am, 79 Street & 3 Avenue – Bus
August 10, 11 am - 1 pm, 7
9 Street & York Avenue – Bus
August 10, 1:30 - 2:30 pm, 72 Street & York Avenue – Bus
August 18, 8:30 - 10:30 am, 47 Street & 2 Avenue – Van
August 18, 1:30 - 3:30 pm, 28 Street & 2 Avenue – Van
August 23, 9 - 10:30 am, 92 Street & Lexington Avenue – Bus
August 23, 11:00 am - 12:30 pm., 86 Street & Lexington Avenue – Bus
August 23, 1:30 - 2:30 pm, 68 Street & Lexington Avenue – Bus
September 1, 7 – 9 am, 90 Street and York Avenue - Van
September 1, 8:30 - 10:30 am, 47 Street & 2 Avenue – Van
September 1, 1:30 - 3:30 pm, 28 Street & 2 Avenue – Van 
September 2, 9 - 10 am, 57 Street and 1 Avenue – Van
September 2, 10:30 - 11:30 am, 57 Street and 3 Avenue – Van
September 2, 12:30 - 2:30 pm, 68 Street and 1 Avenue – Van
September 7, 9 - 10:30 am, 7
9 Street & 3 Avenue – Bus
September 7, 11 am - 1 pm, 7
9 Street & York Avenue – Bus
September 7, 1:30 - 2:30 pm, 72 Street & York Avenue – Bus
The full mobile MetroCard schedule is available at http://mta.info/metrocard/mms.htm. Please note that MetroCard buses and vans do not take credit cards.