Saturday, January 28, 2012

Dates for Hearings on New Proposed District Lines

New York State Assembly Logo
Standing Committee Public Hearing Calendar
Dean G. Skelos
Majority Leader and Temporary President
New York State Senate
NYS Assembly Seal

New York State Legislature
Public Hearing Calendar

For Immediate Release

January 26, 2012
Sheldon Silver
New York State Assembly

Jan. 30 New York State Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment
Chairs: Senator Michael F. Nozzolio and Assembly Member John J. McEneny
Public Meeting: Congressional and state legislative redistricting
Place: Hearing Room A, Legislative Office Building, 2nd Floor, Albany, New York
Time: 10:30 A.M.
Contact: NYS Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment (212) 618-1100; E-mail:
Jan. 31 New York State Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment
Chairs: Senator Michael F. Nozzolio and Assembly Member John J. McEneny
Public Meeting: Congressional and state legislative redistricting
Place: Bronx Museum of the Arts, Lower Gallery, 1040 Grand Concourse @ 165th Street, Bronx, New York
Time: 3:00 P.M.
Contact: NYS Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment (212) 618-1100; E-mail:
Feb. 1 New York State Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment
Chairs: Senator Michael F. Nozzolio and Assembly Member John J. McEneny
Public Meeting: Congressional and state legislative redistricting
Place: St. Francis College, Founders Hall Auditorium, 180 Remsen Street, Brooklyn Heights, New York
Time: 10:30 A.M.
Contact: NYS Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment (212) 618-1100; E-mail:
Feb. 2 New York State Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment
Chairs: Senator Michael F. Nozzolio and Assembly Member John J. McEneny
Public Meeting: Congressional and state legislative redistricting
Place: Assembly Hearing Room, 250 Broadway, Room 1923, 19th Floor, New York, New York
Time: 10:30 A.M.
Contact: NYS Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment (212) 618-1100; E-mail:
Feb. 6 Senate Standing Committee on Investigations and Government Operations
Chair: Senator Carl L. Marcellino
Public Hearing: To examine executive compensation at not-for-profit organizations receiving State funding and the actions needed to prevent State tax dollars from being wasted on excessive salaries
Place: Van Buren Hearing Room A, Legislative Office Building, Albany, NY
Time: 11:00 A.M.
Contact: Debbie Peck Kelleher (518) 455-2390
Media Contact: Kathy Wilson (516) 922-1811
Feb. 13 Senate Standing Committee on Transportation
Chair: Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr.
Public Hearing: To examine what steps New York State can take to make roads safer and protect people from distracted driving crashes
Place: Van Buren Hearing Room A, Legislative Office Building, 2nd Floor, Albany, New York
Time: 10:00 A.M.
Contact: Melissa Kehoe (518) 455-3341
Media Contact: Chris Schneider (516) 882-0630
Feb. 29 Senate Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation
Chair: Senator Mark J. Grisanti
Public Hearing: To gather input from stakeholders with regard to theft, fraud and other issues as related to bottle redemption
Place: Van Buren Hearing Room A, Legislative Office Building, 2nd Floor, Albany, New York
Time: 9:30 A.M. – 2:30 P.M.
Contact: Laura Manley (518) 455-3240
Media Contact: Doug Curella (716) 854-8705

Feb. 9 Senate Standing Committee on Social Services
Chair: Senator Patrick M. Gallivan
and Senate Standing Committee on Children and Families
Chair: Senator Diane J. Savino
Forum: Human Services Forum on the current and future issues and concerns of human services administrators, advocates and clients
Place: Monroe County Administration Building, 4th Floor, Legislative Chamber, Rochester, New York
Time: 1:00 P.M. – 3:00 P.M.
Contact: Roxanne Irwin (518) 455-3471

Friday, January 27, 2012

Borough President Diaz Jr. Invites you to Dominican Heritage 2012

BP Seal Dominican Flag


Dominican Heritage Month Celebration 2012
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
La Gran Parada Dominicana de El Bronx, Inc. 

Cordially Invite You To

The 2012 Dominican Heritage Month  Celebration

Thursday, February 9, 2012
5:30 pm

Bronx County Building
Veterans Memorial Hall
851 Grand Concourse, The Bronx

In Partnership With
Health First Logo

Thursday, January 26, 2012

New District Lines

Here is the link to see the new district lines that have been proposed from the New York State Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment. You can see the current district lines that were drawn in 2002, and the district lines from 1992 also. 
   The new State Assembly and State Senate lines have to go through 12 hearings throughout the state, and pass the Voting Rights Act where applicable. Then there will also be the lawsuits that may come up, as we are sure that there will be many to the new senate district lines. 

  By the way that new 63rd State Senate District runs right through Republican rich upstate around the Albany area, just as we told you weeks ago.
From Senator Jeff Klein-

A Senator You Can Count On

Dear Friends,

I’m proud to announce the release of the Independent Democratic Conference’s blueprint on how to help small businesses in New York.
This five-point plan was developed with the input of more than 75 small businessmen and women who participated in our ThoughtRaiser Initiative.

 Through these ThoughtRaiser roundtables, businesses told us that they grapple with:
-- Escalating Health Insurance Costs
-- Burdensome Regulations
-- Paying the Highest Combined Tax Burden in the Country
-- Limited Access to Credit
-- Excessive Paperwork Requirements

The IDC has released an action plan and report on how to tackle these issues. They can be found here.
Read coverage of the IDC’s Small Business Action Plan here, and click here to watch the IDC’s recent interview on New York Now
We need to stand by the small businesses that stood by New York.
In order to help grow our economy, we need to help those who have persevered through the bad times and kept their businesses and their jobs in our communities.

Jeff Klein



Senator Jeff Klein's Black History Month Breakfast
Saturday, Feb.  25 

9:00 a.m.Villa Barone Manor
737 Throggs Neck Expressway Bronx, NY 10465 
To RSVP, call 718-822-2049.




  A study released today shows a growing number of New Yorkers don’t have enough money to retire. Over one-third of older residents are expected to either subsist on Social Security, or not be able to retire at all.

The study, entitled Are New Yorkers Ready for Retirement?, is part of a research initiative by New York City Comptroller John C. Liu and the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA) at The New School. Using recent New York City and New York State metropolitan-area data, the report examines whether New York City residents are financially prepared for their senior years. The answer, increasingly, is no.

The study found:
·         Between 2000-2009, the percentage of employees in New York City who had access to employer-sponsored retirement plans declined from 48% to 40% – below the U.S. average, which is 53% (2009).
·         Only 35% of New York City workers participated in an employer-based retirement plan in 2009.
·         More than one-third of New York City households in which the head is near retirement age will have to subsist almost entirely on Social Security income or will not be able to retire at all due to the fact that they have less than $10,000 in savings.

“It is a significant public policy concern when such a high proportion of the workforce will not have enough money in their retirement years,” Comptroller Liu said. “This report focuses attention on the need to help workers, both public and private sector, properly prepare throughout their working careers for their eventual retirement.”

The report found that employers have become less willing or able to sponsor pensions – a trend that is true across most industries and occupations, and affects New Yorkers of nearly all ages and income groups. The brewing retirement crisis cuts across racial, ethnic and gender lines.

“The deck is becoming increasingly stacked against New Yorkers in their efforts to retire,” said SCEPA Director Teresa Ghilarducci, Ph.D. “Fewer New Yorkers have access to the convenience and affordability of employer-sponsored retirement plans. More and more residents now face a choice between retiring into poverty or continuing to work in old age. Without significant policy reforms, the economic tea leaves foretell a decrease in the standard of living for retired New Yorkers. ”

The study was authored by Dr. Ghilarducci, a national expert on public pensions and retirement issues, along with economist Joelle Saad-Lessler, Ph.D. The New York City Comptroller’s Office Budget and Policy Bureau provided key data and analysis.

The main study data were drawn from the 2001 and 2010 Current Population Survey (CPS), the 2008 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), and the 2009 New York State Personal Income Tax Files.

Download the “Retirement Readiness” Report and Fact Sheet at

The report is the fifth in a series produced by Comptroller Liu’s Retirement Security NYC initiative:

Municipal Employee Compensation in New York City The $8 Billion Question: An Analysis of NYC Pension Costs Over the Past Decade Sustainable or Not? NYC Pension Cost Projections through 2060 A Better Bang for New York City’s Buck: An Efficiency Comparison of Defined Benefit Pension Plans and Defined Contribution Retirement Savings Plans

Bridget C. Fisher, Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA), 212-229-5901 x4911, Stephanie Hoo, Office of NYC Comptroller John C. Liu, 212-669-3747,

About Retirement Security NYC Retirement Security NYC is a major initiative launched by Comptroller John C. Liu to protect the retirement security of public employees while ensuring the City’s financial health. Retirement Security NYC has partnered with two leading institutions – the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS) and The New School’s Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA) – to analyze the current state of public pensions and offer sensible reforms.
About the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA) at The New School SCEPA is the economic policy research arm of the department of economics at The New School in New York City’s Greenwich Village. SCEPA works to focus public debate on the role government can and
should play in the economy to raise living standards, create economic security, and attain full employment. With a focus on collaboration and outreach, it provides original, standards-based research on key policy issues to empower policy makers to create positive change. For more information, please visit


About The New School

Located in the heart of New York’s Greenwich Village, The New School is a center of academic excellence where intellectual and artistic freedoms thrive. More than 10,200 matriculated students and 6,400 continuing education students enjoy a disciplined education supported by small class sizes, superior resources, and renowned working faculty members who practice what they teach. The New School is comprised of The New School for General Studies, The New School for Social Research, Milano The New School for Management and Urban Policy, Parsons The New School for Design, Eugene Lang College The New School
for Liberal Arts, Mannes College The New School for Music, The New School for Drama, and The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. For more information, please visit

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

JASA Presents: The Annual Volunteer Ventures Expo for New Yorkers 50+

  JASA, New York’s largest agency serving older adults in the New York Metropolitan area, is pleased to announce the annual JASA Volunteer Ventures Expo, a free conference and volunteer opportunities fair for adults 50+. The expo will take place on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 from 10 am to 2 pm at UJA-Federation of New York, 130 E. 59th Street.

This event is being produced in association with UJA-Federation of New York, New York City Department for the Aging, NYC Service, New Yorkers Volunteer/State Commission on National and Community Service, Retired Senior Volunteer Program/Community Service Society of New York, The Transition Network and Coming of Age NYC.

“JASA recognizes the immense talent and experience that older adults bring to nonprofit organizations,” said Alexandra Collier, JASA’s Director of Volunteer Services and Special Projects. “The JASA Volunteer Ventures Expo provides older adults with the opportunity to find dynamic and engaging volunteer and civic engagement programs in their communities, and connects New York City nonprofits with talented and experienced older adult volunteers.”

At the JASA Volunteer Ventures Expo, adults 50+ from across the New York Metropolitan area will meet with representatives from top New York City nonprofit organizations. Volunteers and staff members from a wide variety of nonprofits including, advocacy, arts, environmental, faith-based and cultural organizations, will answer questions about volunteering with their organizations.

In addition to the Volunteer Opportunities Fair, attendees can choose from 3 workshops on strategies for finding the right volunteer opportunity, volunteering with children and youth, and creating individualized volunteer opportunities.

Admission to the Volunteer Ventures Expo is free for adults 50+, but advanced registration is required. Download registration form online at or contact Larissa Belcic: 212-273-5222; Organizations interested in sponsoring a table at the Volunteer Opportunities Fair should also email Larissa Belcic at or register online at

Since 1968, JASA and its affiliates with its 3,000 staff and volunteers, have provided social, recreational, health, housing, cultural and educational programs for 53,000 older adults per year -- regardless of their race, religion, or ethnicity -- to help sustain them in their homes and communities and to offer opportunities for a better quality of life.  Services are available in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
Assemblyman Nelson L. Castro Helps Pass Legislation to Increase Taxi Service to the Outer Boroughs and Upper Manhattan
Legislation will improve access to taxis for people with disabilities

Assemblyman Nelson L. Castro (D-Bronx) announced the Assembly passed legislation he helped pass that will allow New York City to issue 18,000 hail accessible inter-borough licenses (HAIL) allowing livery cars to pick up street hails (A.8691-A). Twenty percent of the licenses will be for accessible vehicles to provide more transportation options to people with disabilities. An agreement on this legislation has been reached with the governor and the Senate.

“About 70 percent of constituents in my district are self employed, many of which are taxi drivers,” Assemblyman Castro said. “This legislation will afford New Yorkers in under served areas greater access to taxicab service in and around the city. This will also lead to more revenue for the city of New York, helping protect vital programs for seniors and hardworking families.”

Under the legislation, New York City will be able to issue the new licenses over the next three years. The city will also be authorized to issue up to 450 new base permits, generating up to $1.3 million in revenue.

In addition, the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) will issue 2,000 new taxicab licenses for vehicles that are accessible to people with disabilities. The TLC will also be required to provide grants of up to $15,000 to retrofit HAIL vehicles to accommodate people with disabilities and establish a program to support the introduction of handicapped-accessible vehicles into the HAIL vehicle fleet.
  “The issuance of new HAIL licenses to service the under served areas of the five 
boroughs  and Upper Manhattan, and new medallions, will  substantially improve the
ability of New Yorkers, especially those with  disabilities, to get where they need to 
go quickly and easily, ” Assemblyman  Castro said. “It is imperative that we continue 
to support these kinds of  initiatives to make traveling within New York City more 
accessible, efficient and affordable.” 
  In 2010, Assemblyman Castro introduced legislation (A10190) to allow 
affiliated vehicles in the city of New York to obtain a special street hail license to 
accept hails from passengers in the street in areas outside the Manhattan central
 business district.



  Unemployment is up in New York City, highlighted by persistent inequities by race, age and borough, according to a data analysis released today by City Comptroller John C. Liu. The quarterly data showed that the City ended 2011 with unemployment in the double digits for young people, African Americans, and Hispanics – with the rate nearly twice as high in the Bronx as in Manhattan.

“As President Obama pointed out in his State of the Union, expanding opportunities is essential to job creation,” Comptroller Liu said. “We must level the playing field and close these employment gaps, because they undermine the health of entire neighborhoods and threaten our economic future. The City should clearly set fiscal policy to expand opportunities for Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises, which have proven track records of creating jobs in neighborhoods that need them the most.”

With the release of New York City employment data on Thursday, Jan.19, the Comptroller’s Bureau of Fiscal and Budget Studies analyzed raw data in the Current Population Survey (CPS) conducted by the Census Bureau and highlighted several trends.

Unemployment for the City was 9.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared with 8.6 percent in same quarter of 2010, and 10.1 percent in 2009. A closer look at the data illustrated that unemployment was more pronounced in communities of color, among young people, and in the outer boroughs.


Most strikingly, unemployment rose for 16-24 year olds to 16.5 percent.

16-24 years old
25-54 years old
55 years and older
Source: NYC Comptroller’s Office from CPS microdata


The unemployment rate for African Americans was 13.6 percent and for Hispanics it was 10.0 percent, compared with 7.8 percent for whites and 7.4 percent for Asians and others.

African American
Asian and other
Source: NYC Comptroller’s Office from CPS microdata


By borough, the unemployment rate in the Bronx was 12.6 percent, nearly twice as high as Manhattan’s 6.4 percent.

Staten Island
Source: NYC Comptroller’s Office from CPS microdata


Unemployment was also in the double digits for New Yorkers without a college diploma.

No HS diploma
HS, some college
BA or more
Source: NYC Comptroller’s Office from CPS microdata

Due to the sample sizes of the CPS data, information was broken down on a quarterly basis to establish the most accurate depiction of the City’s unemployment trends.

The Current Population Survey is a monthly survey of about 50,000 households conducted by the Bureau of the Census for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The survey has been conducted for more than 50 years. CPS data are used by government policymakers and legislators as important indicators of our nation’s economic situation and for planning and evaluating many government programs. They are also used by the press, students, academics, and the general public.

A full spreadsheet of the unemployment breakdown can be found at:

*The data estimates are computed directly from the US Census Bureau Current Population Survey, and may not correspond with estimates released by the State Department of Labor.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Last year, I applauded the designation of a Grand Concourse Historic District by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Center, and now I urge its approval by the New York City Council.
Designation as a New York City Historic District will complement the Grand Concourse’s already established listing on the National Register of Historic Places. In the future, I hope to see this historic district extended to match the more extensive national register boundaries.

This Grand Concourse Historic District is significantly intact, and contains many notable examples of art deco and other classic apartment houses. As I mentioned in my testimony to the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the threats to buildings on the Grand Concourse are in the details. Poorly done renovations and building management with short vision are carving away at the inherent value of this illustrious built environment. As an historic district, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission can guard against ill conceived and undesirable solutions that threaten proper maintenance of these buildings.

The area of the new district has been richly added to with the new Yankee Stadium and Gateway Center. The City itself has invested greatly in the area with infrastructure improvements, including improvements to both the concourse roadway and park system. The lower Grand Concourse has also been re-zoned to create a vibrant, mixed-use, mixed-income community with new housing, waterfront open space, and an array of retail services.

Its status as an historic district is the finishing touch to the revival of the entire area, and I urge its support. Thank you for your consideration.

Monday, January 23, 2012

What You Should Know by Senator Rev. Ruben Diaz


The Christians and Evangelicals in South Carolina resurrected Newt Gingrich from a political grave.  

Yes, my dear readers, this past Saturday, January 21st, the Republican presidential primary took place in South Carolina, where four of the presidential candidates from that party argued the right to decide who will be the one who will get the opportunity to challenge President Barack Obama in the November General Election.

Mitt Romney, the ex-Governor from Massachusetts, Newt Gingrich, the ex-Speaker of the House, Rick Santorum, the ex-Senator from Pennsylvania, and Congressman Ron Paul from Texas, are the only ones left from the original ten Republican contenders that started the run to the White House.

On this occasion, the Christians and Evangelicals in South Carolina sent a message to the whole nation stating that they really believe in the biblical commandment to pardon those who repent and who publicly acknowledge their sin.

The victory that our brothers and sisters in South Carolina handed to Newt Gingrich was not even close.  It was an overwhelming and unexpected victory.

You should know that the most interesting aspect of Gingrich’s victory is that Christians and Evangelicals apparently overlooked the fact that Newt Gingrich has been divorced twice and married three times.  It seems to me that they thought if the Democrat President William Jefferson Clinton was pardoned and not condemned by his many infidelities, including having sexual relations in the White House with Monica Lewinsky, an intern, why should we in South Carolina not forgive Newt Gingrich who is divorced twice and married three times, when he publicly has admitted his wrongdoing and has asked for forgiveness?

Now the battle of the Republican Party moves on to Florida, where a great number of Christians and Evangelicals reside.  The Christian vote has become a force to reckon with, especially in the Southern States where in order to get elected the candidates have to establish his or her conservative credentials, reject homosexual marriage, reject abortion and show who is the closest one to biblical teachings.  What a difference to Christians in New York!

I would give anything to see the day when our God will open our eyes and we will see and follow the example of the Southern Christians, especially the examples given to us last Saturday by the Christians in South Carolina.

I hope and pray that the message sent by South Carolina Christians, when they came out as a strong voting block and voted their conscience,  will be followed by Christians all over the nation and that it will be the beginning of the resurrection for the respect and fear of Christian voting power in the nation.  Maybe this way we will finally have our faith and beliefs respected.

I am Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz, and this is what you should know.



Sunday, January 22, 2012

Gingrich wins South Carolina Republican Primary

Florida is next for the candidates

Newt Gingrich - Newt Gingrich Campaigns During Day Of SC's Primary 
  Newt Gingrich won the South Carolina Republican primary with 40% of the vote. Mitt Romney came in second with 27%, Rick Santorum wound up with 17%, and Ron Paul got 15%. The numbers are rounded off to the nearest percentage, which accounts to them adding up to only 99%. 

  We know that we predicted Rick Santorum as the winner, and we now believe that he will end up the Republican candidate, as he was awarded Iowa after a recount. So after three races only Ron Paul has not pulled out a victory, and with numbers like all four have gotten this could be a long race for the Republican nod. 

  Mitt Romney appears to be falling fast, and is not expected to do well in Florida, which will give Santorum and Paul a better chance of gaining larger percentages if not win.