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Monday, November 7, 2016

Mark Levine


Lawrence --

Tomorrow, November 8th, is Election Day. If you’re planning on voting, here’s what you need to know:
vote_here.jpgPolling places are located throughout the city. You can vote ONLY at your designated polling place. Make sure you are at the correct polling site and are aware of the Assembly District / Election District (AD/ED) for your address.Â

Polling places are open from 6:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M. If you are not sure where to vote, you can find your poll site location by:

Reminder: Morningside Gardens' Polling Place is Back! 

Last month I proudly announced that together with the residents of the Morningside Gardens Housing Cooperation, my office was successfully able to return the polling place back to its original location after it had been relocated to PS 036 due to an unsecured handrail. A number of buildings adjacent to Morningside Gardens will also be happy to know that PS 036 is no longer their polling site, with much closer polling sites having been designated by the BOE.
If a polling site is not able to service the residents of the district, then that polling site is not fulfilling its proper purpose, and must be changed. If you feel that your polling site is inaccessible, please contact my office and we will investigate.Â


Community Event: Upper West Side Sanitation, Composting, and Recycling Forum

On Thursday, November 17th, my office will be hosting a Sanitation and Recycling Forum. This event will include the Department of Sanitation, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, GrowNYC, and the Citizens Committee for New York City that will both present and participate in a Q&A with those in attendance. The Sanitation and Recycling Forum will take place at the Bloomingdale Library, located at 150 West 100th Street from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Among the topics that will be covered are:
  • What items can be composted
  • How to register for organics collection
  • Recycling and sorting information
  • Rodent and pest issues
  • Applying for a neighborhood beautification grant
  • Commercial and residential sanitation issues
  • …and more!
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To RSVP, please visit marklevine.nyc/sanitationforum or call (212) 928-6814.

Keeping Communities Involved in Their Parks

On Thursday, November 17th at 10 am I will be chairing a City Council Parks Committee oversight hearing on the City's Partnerships for Parks public-private program.

Partnership for Parks is a tremendous organization founded in 1995  that supports and champions a growing network of leaders caring and advocating for neighborhood parks and green spaces. Since its creation, the Partnership has connected dedicated community groups to over half of New York City’s 1,700 park properties, building a higher level of civic involvement in city government.

The goal of this hearing is to showcase how successful the program has been, and how we can equip it with more resources, so it can continue doing such great work. While we are expecting several parks experts and community advocates alike to testify, we need you to make your voice heard about why this program has been such a success, and why it needs more funding to keep doing such great work in our parks.

Please RSVP here if If you would like to testify on Thursday, November 17th at 10 am.
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Preparing Students for the Diverse World They Live In 

As the world becomes more connected, dual language education programs can powerfully change a young person’s life. Unfortunately, New York's elementary classes are lacking in the amount of dual language education they receive. As I outlined in a white paper last year, only a robust expansion of dual language programs will make them available to the more than 3 percent of elementary students who participate in today.

In light of this, I am excited to announce that at 1 pm on Tuesday, November 22nd, the Education Committee will be hearing testimony on City Council Resolution 890, my bill calling upon the New York State Legislature to pass and the Governor to sign legislation that would implement more foreign language instruction in elementary schools. This resolution would send a powerful statement to Albany that dual language education should be a critical part of every elementary school's curriculum. While we are expecting several schools, teachers, parents, and advocates to offer testimony and insight to this issue, your input is just as critical.Â

So if you'd like to join me and submit testimony in person at the hearing, please be sure to sign up here. 

Mayor de Blasio Signs Levine Hate Crimes Legislation into Law

Earlier this week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed my legislation, Intro. 959-B, which will enhance the way the New York City Police Department (NYPD) reports hate crimes.

Hate_Crime_Bill_Signing.jpg
Like many New Yorkers, I am proud of the fact that we live in one of the most diverse cities in the world. New Yorkers represent all races, religions, nationalities, gender identities, and sexual orientations. For centuries, New York’s diversity has made us a better, stronger city. However, where there is diversity, there can also be ignorance and intolerance. The results of this are sometimes manifested in attacks on innocent people. When these hate crimes occur, they are not just an attack on innocent victims, but on the values we share as New Yorkers.

Intro. 959-B will require annual hate crime reporting from the NYPD to be disaggregated by the identity of the targeted group, and by the demographics of the arrestee. The NYPD would also be required to report the data quarterly, and post the data on its website. Until now the public has had no real-time information on the trends in this ugly class of crimes, which often spike in response to current events.

By putting this bill in to law we are ensuring that we as a city are better prepared to fight back against all crimes targeting victims’ identity.


Modernizing the Street Vending Industry

IMG_9238.JPGAs you know, earlier this month I introduced the Street Vendor Modernization Act (SVMA) to the New York City Council, which is a bold step forward in fixing the broken and ineffective laws currently surrounding the street vending industry. Despite the overwhelming popularity and size of this vital sector of the New York City economy, the system for regulating it is decades out of date, and vendors and communities alike are paying the price. It’s time to bring street vending into the 21st century, which is why I introduced the SVMA: a sensible, balanced approach that will benefit both vendors and the City.Â



IMG_9170.JPGThe SVMA was heard in the Consumer Affairs Committee, Chaired by my colleague Council Member Rafael Espinal. Through the day the committee and I heard testimony on the legislation, which aims to address the issues currently surrounding New York City’s street vendor industry from dozens of stakeholders and advocates including the Mayor’s Office and City agencies; professors from New York University, University of Wisconsin, and John Jay College of Criminal Justice; street vendor advocacy groups, immigrant’s rights organizations, various chambers of commerce, and elected officials.

Though the hearing was a big step forward, we still have work to do to ensure this critical legislation becomes law. If you'd like to know more about this issue, be sure to watch my interview with Errol Louis on Inside City Hall


Being Prepared for Gas Outages 

Recently, our community has seen a spike in buildings with gas outage issues. No tenant should be without heating and cooking gas, especially as the holidays and cold weather approaches. If this is happening in your building, please reach out to my office so that we can assist in getting your services restored.

Gas_Prep_CORRECT.jpg Gas_Outage_Handout_(1).jpg



Giving Free Flu Shots to the Community 

IMG_9190.JPGThough it may not seem like it due to the unseasonably warm weather, cold and flu season is just around the corner!
With that, it's important to remember that every year thousands of New Yorkers are hospitalized due to the flu and complications that can arise afterwards. Cold and flu season is a reminder that when it comes to healthcare, being proactive is the most important thing you can do

That is why last week I partnered with Walgreen's Pharmacy to offer free flu shots for the community in my district office at 500 West 141st Street. The event was a huge success as dozens of community residents came in for their free flu shot.

 Grant Houses Playground Design Meeting 

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Providing Free Legal Services to the Community

NYLAG_BUS.jpgOn Friday, November 18th, the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) will be at our District Office, located at 500 West 141st Street, to help residents with housing concerns.  The NYLAG Mobile Legal Help Center attorneys provide counseling, advice, and direct representation without leaving the vehicle. Through the Mobile Legal Help Center, low income New Yorkers in need of legal help can overcome obstacles such as transportation issues, health, and mobility issues, and childcare concerns. For more information, please call my office at (212) 928-6814.Â

The NYC Amnesty Program

The New York City Department of Finance (DOF) is offering penalty and interest forgiveness through “Forgiving Fines: New York City Amnesty Program”. The one-time 90-day period program by the DOF forgives unpaid penalties and interest on violations received by individuals and business owners from the Department of Sanitation, Department of Buildings and other City agencies that are currently in judgement. To find out if you qualify, please visit nyc.gov/forgivingfines.  
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COMMUNITY UPDATES

Sing for Hope

Sing for Hope is requesting those involved in the arts to volunteer to give back to the community. Actors, writers, singers, musicians, composers, dancers, photographers, choreographers, directors, and more are all wanted. All that’s required is a genuine desire to uplift communities in need.
singforhope.org/volunteer
volunteer@singforhope.org // (212) 966-5955

Free Concerts at the Bloomingdale School of Music

Friday, November 11th   
7:00pm Bloomingdale Birthday Bash Join BSM at Broadway Presbyterian Church in celebration of our 52nd birthday with performances by two faculty led ensembles! Free and open to the public. Broadway Presbyterian Church (601 W 114th Street).

Friday, November 18th
7:00pm Voice of the Violin: Myths and Fantasms, Colorful Creatures and Characters Tales of far-away lands and people have traveled over centuries to our ears through the voice of the violin. Claudia Schaer takes us on a musical journey into these fantastical worlds. Free and open to the public. Bloomingdale School of Music (323 West 108th Street).
Sunday, November 20th
3:00pm 16 Silver Keys: Music for the traditional (and not so traditional) flute BSM flute faculty member Tia Roper showcases the flute through its versatility and captivating style with selections in the classical, contemporary, and popular modes. Free and open to the public. Bloomingdale School of Music (323 West 108th Street).


Tenant's Rights Workshop

The Harlem Community Law Office of The Legal Aid Society will be giving a tenant’s rights workshop on how to get repairs and services on Tuesday November 15th at 6pm
Harlem Community Law Office
Of The Legal Aid Society
230 East 106 Street
Contact: Javier Chuck jkchuck@legal-aid.org // 212-426-3001

design charRette

Saturday, November 5th, 10:30AM-1:30PM
WE ACT would like to get your input as we develop and design a climate-proof, locally managed communications system that will be a resource during a climate crisis, such as heatwaves, power outages, and floods. Join us in creating a more resilient Northern Manhattan!
3333 Broadway, Harlem

West Harlem Restaurant Week

Oct 31st - November 18th
Three Course Prix Fixe Dinner - $26.95 per person
4pm - 8pm, Monday - Friday
FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT
WWW.WESTHARLEMRW.COM


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Council Member Mark Levine
http://marklevine.nationbuilder.com/
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