Wednesday, September 17, 2014


  Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today the launch of Cities for Citizenship (C4C), a major initiative by the mayors of New York, Los Angeles and Chicago aimed at increasing citizenship among eligible U.S. permanent residents and encouraging cities across the country to invest in citizenship programs.

“I’m proud to stand today with my fellow mayors Rahm Emanuel and Eric Garcetti as we launch the national Cities for Citizenship initiative,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This win-win effort will help us create more inclusive cities that lift up everyone. From increased economic activity to larger voting and tax bases, the advantages of citizenship will not only expand opportunity to our immigrant families, but to all New Yorkers and residents nationwide.” 

The national C4C initiative builds on the Mayor’s pledge to reduce economic inequality and improve immigrant integration in our City. Benefits of naturalization range from higher earning potential home ownership rates, to increased voting and political participation. Naturalizing the 684,000 legal permanent residents who are currently eligible for U.S. citizenship is estimated to add up to $4.1 billion over 10 years to the City’s economy.

“Increasing immigrant access to citizenship is a powerful tool for fighting poverty,” saidNisha Agarwal, New York City Commissioner for Immigrant Affairs. “This initiative will help thousands of people who haven’t taken the final step to citizenship because of cost, fear of a cumbersome process, or access to legal counsel.” 

The announcement comes in conjunction with a pledge by Citi Community Development to contribute $1.15 million to the C4C initiative, which will be coordinated by two leading national non-profits, The Center for Popular Democracy and the National Partnership for New Americans. Citi Community Development is making its largest contribution to date to this public-private partnership, and the funds will be divided among New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles.

The funds will be used by New York City for NYCitizenship, the first large-scale, coordinated effort by a municipal government to connect low- and moderate-income New Yorkers to free, high-quality legal assistance for naturalization applications and to address the financial barriers to naturalization. NYCitizenship works with City agencies to connect the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers eligible to become U.S. citizens with the critical assistance they need to take the final step to citizenship, including legal advice, application assistance, financial counseling, and case management support. NYCitizenship is also forging new partnerships with the public libraries to promote awareness of citizenship and further expand the City and the libraries’ citizenship work.  

The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs will also commission a first-of-its kind study on the economic impact of citizenship programs for mayors across the country. The study will demonstrate the importance of new municipal investments in naturalization, as well as the financial impact of connecting immigrant communities with legal support.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Revised Montefiore Riverdale Medical Center

  The above photo shows the original 11 story medical center/parking garage proposal by Montefiore Hospital on the left. On the right is the revised 6 story medical center/parking garage proposal that was presented to Community Board 8 last night at the boards Land Use Committee meeting. 
  The revised proposal has only 2 floors of medical space which Ms. Lynn Richmond of Montefiore Hospital said was under 30,000 square feet. She added that this falls within the size of a medical center that does not need to go through the community review process. The recent Klein/Dinowitz law that requires that any medical facility in the Bronx that is over 3 stories in height or over 30,000 square feet in size be mandated to go before a community review process. There is also parking for 100 cars included in 4 floor of the building below the 2 floors of medical space. 
   There are scheduled to be 25 various doctors and approximately 45 staff members at the medical center. While the doctors will be parking on site, it was said that the staff members would be parking at a nearby area off site. The community continued their opposition to any size building by Montefiore, and Senator Jeff Klein said that he will ask for the review process to begin stating that the entire facility is over the limits prescribed in the Klein/Dinowitz Bronx medical facility law.


Community Encouraged to Donate Winter Clothing Items and Baby Food

   On Wednesday, September 10th a three-alarm fire on Decatur Avenue in Norwood left a Bronx family without basic necessities or winter clothing.

“I am reaching out to the community to ask that they donate winter clothing for an adult man and woman, as well as for a 1-year-old boy. This family is without clothing that will keep them warm during the cold months that are approaching, as well as baby food and other basic necessity items.

“If you are able to, I encourage you to donate winter jackets, sweaters, hats, gloves, scarves, socks, blankets and personal care items. It is my hope that we can come together during our neighbors time of need and help them get through this difficult time,” said Council Member Andrew Cohen.

“Last week, the Norwood community was rocked by a devastating house fire that has left a family destitute and homeless.  Now is our chance, as neighbors, to lend a helping hand and do our part to help this family get back on their feet and to that end, Community Board 7 is proud to partner with Council Member Cohen, FDNY and community members to launch a clothing drive for those who were affected by this terrible tragedy,” said Dustin Engelken, District Manager, Community Board 7.

All donations are being collected at the FDNY Engine Company 79, located at 2928 Briggs Avenue.

Job Screening for Parkchester Marshalls

This came in from Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda

As Marshalls prepares to open in Parkchester I am pleased
to share with you that they are looking to hire people from
the community.
Tomorrow, Workforce1 will be screening and interviewing
candidates at the Parkchester Library for the positions of:
Position Requirements:
  • HS/GED preferred but not required. Experience in
  •  customer service preferred
  • Coordinators must have 1 year of previous experience
  • in retail as a shift supervisor
  • All candidates must be able to provide the contact 
  • information of 3 references, 2 of whom must be in a  
  • management/supervisory capacity
  • Loss prevention candidates must have 6-12 months 
  • experience in customer service. Certificates preferred

Screening/Interview will take place at the:
Parkchester Library
1985 Westchester Avenue (at Pugsley Ave.) Bronx, 
NY 10462
Wednesday September 17th
Check-in 9-9:30 am 
(please expect to be there until 12)

All candidates must:
o Bring the names and contact information of 3 references
o Bring copies of a professional, updated resume
o Dress professionally for an interview
o Bring a photo ID (a driver’s license or state ID will work)
o Be prepared to complete the application onsite 

This is a great opportunity for those looking for work and I
hope to see a long line outside the library tomorrow morning.
Your Assemblyman,

Luis R. Sepulveda

Monday, September 15, 2014


  Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. has issued a letter to Lilliam Barrio-Paoli, Deputy Mayor for Health & Human Services, concerning the lack of community notification and community input regarding the siting of homeless shelters in The Bronx.

The letter specifically mentions the recent decision by the Department of Homeless Services to bring a family shelter to the former Capri Whitestone Motel, located at 555 Hutchinson River Parkway, despite both the area’s lack of amenities and numerous economic development projects that have taken a foothold in the surrounding communities.

“Again, I am not opposed to sheltering our homeless families, but I am opposed to sheltering them at this site,” states Borough President Diaz in the letter.

The complete letter can be read here:

Bronx Faithbased Institutions--Building on Faith-A Faithbased Development Seminar for Clergy-Thursday, September 18th..

  Building On Faith
A faith based develosment seminar for c
A Faithbased Development Seminar for Clergy

Does your property have untapped value, but you’re are not sure where to begin?

Are you approached by developers regarding your property?

Do you want to renovate, rebuild or expand?

Many faith-based organizations in the Bronx have properties that are in need of repair and that are underutilized. 

Development offers an opportunity to fund renovation and mission, but it can also be complicated and mired with pitfalls, cost and delay.

The Faith-Based Development seminar will provide a comprehensive overview of faith-based development options and strategies. 

Learn about the benefits and risks of development and how to create a successful project, from pre-development and financing to construction and occupancy.

·        Hear from the key partners you’ll need to achieve your development goals, including attorneys, architects, and lenders.

·        Expert panelists will review common terms, provide a project overview, and discuss how to begin the planning process.

·        The 90-minute seminar includes breakfast and a question and answer session.

 DATE: Thursday, September 18, 2014

TIME: 10:00AM – 11:30AM

LOCATION: Savoy Building, 120 East 149th Street, 2nd Floor Multipurpose Room

SPEAKERS: Greg Maher, Executive Director, Leviticus 25:23 Alternative Fund, Inc.

Matthew Hall, Partner, Goldstein Hall PLLC

Michael McCaw, Michael Ivanhoe McCaw Architect, P. C.

Caroline G. Harris, Partner, GoldmanHarris LLC

Please RSVP to

Committee Hearing on Safety at Public Housing Tomorrow


Public Housing Chair Ritchie Torres
Public Oversight Hearing on City’s $210 Million Dollar NYCHA Safety Plan

WHO: Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Public Housing Chair Ritchie Torres, Public Safety Chair Vanessa Gibson, Councilmember Inez Barron, public housing residents.  Representatives from: NYCHA, Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, NYPD, DYCD, and other agencies involved in security plan

WHAT:  The City released a $210 million dollar safety plan after 31% increase in shooting and brutal attack of two young NYCHA residents. The hearing will include local residents and members of the community.

WHERE: Breukelen Houses Community Center, 715 East 105th Street (Glenwood Rd and E.105th St.)
Brooklyn, NY 11236

WHEN: Tuesday, September 16th at 10:00 AM