Saturday, December 13, 2014

Local SantaCon Revelers




  West 238th Street near Manhattan College seemed to be a place to see many young people dressed in Santa Claus or other outfits who were either getting ready to go down to SantaCon in Midtown Manhattan or local parties that were set up. As you will see in the photos below (that were taken early in the afternoon) the happy Santas and helpers were getting ready for the fun of SantaCon. 


Left - These two Santa's to be, pose with their helper for the day.
Right - This Lady Santa and her helper walk up West 238th Street as they pass other Santa's.




 Below are more santa's and their helpers on or around West 238th Street.



SantaCon 2014


SantaCon organizers have released the list of participating bars that will be welcoming visitors from the North Pole tomorrow. At this time, SantaCon is only sharing the list through their official app, which costs $.99 (organizers say that money goes to charity). Here's where Santa can be Santa without being judged or ridiculed by an intolerant, Santaphobic world:
230 Fifth Ave Rooftop & Lounge (230 5th Ave, St. 1806, NY)
Joshua Tree (513 3rd Ave, NY)

Pioneer's Bar (138 W 29th St., NY)
Nelly Spillane's (18 E 33rd St., NY)
Rattle n Hum (14 E 33rd St, NY)

Maru Karaoke Lounge (11 W 32nd St, NY)
Mustang Sally's (324 7th Ave, NY)
Foley’s (18 W 33rd, NY)

Jack Dempsey's (36 W 33rd St, NY)
Mustang Harry’s (352 7th Ave, NY)
Rick's Cabaret (50 W 33rd St., NY)

Slattery's (8 W 36th St, NY)
American Whiskey (247 W 30th St., NY)
Slake (251 W 30th St, NY)

Red Room (251 W 30th St, NY)
Playwright Irish Pub (27 W 35th St, NY)
Galway Pub (7 E 36th St, NY)

The Liberty (29 W 35th St, NY)
Feile (131 W 33rd St, NY)
Suite 36 (16 W 36th St, NY)

Stout (133 W 33rd St, NY)
Blarney Rock (137 W 33rd St, NY)
The Thirsty Fan (254 W 31st St, NY)

Tempest (407 8th Ave, NY)
The Keg Room (53 W 36th St, NY)
Reichenbach Beer Hall (5 W 37th St, NY)

Butterfield 8 (5 E 38th St, NY)
The Australian (20 W 38th St, NY)
Lucys (1 Penn Plaza, NY)

Vivid Cabaret (61 W 37th St, NY)
Beer Authority (615 8th Ave, NY)

Yesterday SantaCon organizers urged participants to confine their often raucous revelry to the above list of establishments—which are mercifully located in the worst part of midtown—and to stay off the streets as much as possible. Explaining that "this is a different year," one organizer told us, "This is a stressful time for New York City, and we are in the midst of a protest that is spreading the NYPD thin. SantaCon has compassion for these civic organizations and is working with them to have a peaceful and joyful holiday celebration."

Friday, December 12, 2014

Cop Union to de Blasio and Speaker: Stay Away From Police Funerals


  That was the headline of a story in the New York Observer. The article opens with, "You're not even welcome at my funeral".  

  The swipe is at Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Mellisa Mark-Viverito from the PBA about their anti police ideas, and lack of support for the men and women in blue. The article goes on about the divisive actions of the mayor and council speaker..A complete text of the letter to Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Mark-Viverito is at the end of the Observer article that can be found at this link.


Hanukkah Celebration with the Bronx Borough President Thursday December 18th



  

The DIAZ TEAM Christmas Party 2014




























Due to the lateness of the party  -  No Children.


Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, Bronx Science Alum, testifies in support of SHSAT at NYC Council Hearing


Dinowitz defends fair, objective admissions process for Specialized High Schools, calls for expanded tutoring, test-taking opportunities for all NYC students

   Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-Bronx) testified at a New York City Council hearing on diversity in New York City schools. In his remarks, Assemblyman Dinowitz expressed his strong support for the current admissions processes of New York City’s Specialized High Schools but called for expanded tutoring and test-taking opportunities. Currently, the city’s eight Specialized High Schools base their admissions decisions solely on students’ scores on the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT).

Assemblyman Dinowitz began, “I am a graduate of the Bronx High School of Science. Both of my children were accepted to the Specialized High Schools, and like everyone else who was accepted, they had the opportunity to attend not because their father is an elected official, and not because he is an alumnus or was able to donate money to the school, but because they passed this objective test on their merits alone ... What makes the Specialized High Schools special is the fact that political influence, athletic prowess, and family legacies play no role in their decision-making process."

Assemblyman Dinowitz continued, “Those advocating for additional criteria to determine admission to these specialized high schools want to use standards that are prone to manipulation and subjectivity such as grades or attendance … A more complex admissions process would do a disservice to the students it is meant to help, and would undermine the premise of objectivity upon which these specialized schools were founded.”

Stating that the non-representative demographics of these Specialized High Schools is “beyond troubling,” Assemblyman Dinowitz proposed several improvements to the application process that he believes would be steps in the right direction. First, he expressed his belief that every student should have access to free tutoring and preparatory classes prior to taking the SHSAT. And second, he advocated that the SHSAT be given to all eligible students, unless the student’s family chooses to opt out, a change that would greatly increase the number of students taking the test, particularly in Latino and African-American communities. Above all, Assemblyman Dinowitz affirmed that we must work hard to improve public schools at every stage in a student’s education, from Pre-K onward.

Assemblyman Dinowitz concluded, “Adjusting the application process to include factors beyond the SHSAT would simply introduce bias and subjectivity to an objective, and fair, process. Free preparatory classes and an opt-out, rather than opt-in, test format would be big steps forward. Yet these measures are only part of the solution: together, we must continue to work on fixing our educational system so that every child from day one has an equal opportunity for a top-notch education.”

A video of the full hearing can be seen on the New York City Council website. Assemblyman Dinowitz begins his remarks around the 2:21:20 mark.


Editor's Note -- This press release will appear on the front page of the Riverdale Review most likely.



Thursday, December 11, 2014

MAYOR DE BLASIO AND CARDINAL DOLAN JOIN HIGHBRIDGE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION TO BREAK GROUND ON NEW AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR SENIORS


  Artsbridge will be 100 percent affordable, provide homes for 61 low-income seniors and new community space for Highbridge Voices

De Blasio administration projects reaching 16,000 affordable units by December 31 toward Housing New York plan

  Mayor Bill de Blasio and Timothy Cardinal Dolan today joined officials, clergy and community partners in Highbridge to break ground on the Artsbridge senior housing complex. When completed in 2016, the seven-story development will be 100 percent affordable, providing apartments for 61 low-income seniors and a 19,000 square-foot community space that will be the permanent home of Highbridge Voices.

Financing for the project was completed in August, adding these affordable apartments to the 16,000 units the de Blasio administration projects to close and move forward in calendar year 2014. As the administration’s first year draws to a close, it has implemented New York City’s first-ever mandatory affordable housing requirement at Astoria Cove, launched a community-driven planning process to protect and expand affordable housing in East New York, spurred major new affordable housing development at the Domino and Atlantic Yards sites, and brought together private investors and public pension funds to finance hundreds of millions of dollars in affordable housing rehabilitation.

“This is a great day for Highbridge, and it’s possible because of the extraordinary partnership we’ve forged between the City and the Archdiocese. We all jointly committed to confronting inequality and ensuring all New Yorkers can live in dignity in their neighborhoods. That mission is at the center of our plan to build and preserve 200,000 affordable units of housing. Artsbridge exemplifies the kind of ground-up planning that can lift up seniors and families across the five boroughs,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“The archdiocese has been a leader in working with the City, State, and Federal government to provide affordable housing to people of all faiths. Housing is a basic human right, and the need for quality affordable housing may never have been greater than it is right now, particularly for seniors and those with special needs. We renew our commitment to not only invest our resources, but also to deliver services – like  those provided by Catholic Charities and ArchCare, our health care ministry – in developing housing for those who need it, ” said Timothy Cardinal Dolan.

“All New Yorkers deserve a safe and affordable place to live, and we are committed to strengthening communities with projects that drive safe, fair housing and healthier living for New Yorkers in all corners of the state. Through New York State’s new Community Investment Fund, Artsbridge will provide a space for our children to grow and expand their opportunities.  I want to thank our local partners helping us redevelop and revitalize communities – for our seniors, for our families and for our children,” said Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.

“This project is another major component of the ‘New Bronx,’ and I am proud to have provided this project with $3 million in capital funding. This is an innovative new development that works for all New Yorkers, and I thank Mayor de Blasio and Cardinal Dolan, the administration and the archdiocese, for creating a strong model for future housing development in our city,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

“As we move forward with this our latest project, ArtsBridge Senior Housing, we are excited to be a part of the Mayor’s initiatives to make affordable housing available for all New Yorkers.  It is because of the extraordinary support of the Archdioceses of New York, Mayor de Blasio, and all our state and federal partners that we are able to bring projects like ArtsBridge to life,” said the Highbridge Community Development Corporation.

Artsbridge is made possible through funding and support by numerous agencies and partners. The NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development is providing $1.3 million in federal HOME funds and $3 million in financing dedicated by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and administered through HPD’s Senior Housing New Construction program. HPD also worked with the City Council to approve a 40-year tax exemption. The land is formerly owned by the City and is being developed Highbridge Community Development Corporation with lending provided by Enterprise Community Partners.

New York State’s investment through Homes and Community Renewal, includes:  $13.65 million in tax exempt bond financing; $1.08 million in an annual allocation of 4 percent Low Income Housing Tax Credits; and $750,000 in Community Investment Funds. The state’s Community Investment Fund supports mixed-use community development by providing funding for commercial, retail or community facilities within affordable housing projects.

This development will also benefit from HUD’s Section 202 Project Rental Assistance Contract. Under this contract, residents will be responsible for paying 30 percent of the household’s monthly adjusted income toward rent. Individual seniors living at Artsbridge will earn no more than $29,000 per year.


Wave Hill Events Dec 26–Jan 2


 This last week of the year we pare it all down to the essentials: Sky. Vistas. Massive, rolling river. Sweeping lawns. And little to distract you from the profound magnificence of Mother Nature at her most serene. If you have been waiting for the right time to visit with a favorite niece or nephew, or your own chicks, then keep in mind that admission to the grounds will be free for visitors ages 18 and under during the week between Christmas and New Year’s. 
Happy new year!


THU, DECEMBER 25    CHRISTMAS DAY
Closed to the public. Wave Hill reopens Friday, December 26.

SAT, DECEMBER 28    FAMILY ART PROJECT—CREATE YOUR YEAR: HELLO 2014!
Envision the year ahead, design your seasons and capture their delights with beautiful, Wave Hill-inspired images to create your very own hanging calendar for the new year. Free, and admission to the grounds is free until noon. 
WAVE HILL HOUSE, 10AM–1PM


SAT, DECEMBER 28    NO TAI CHI CHUAN
Tai Chi resumes January 4.

SUN, DECEMBER 29    FAMILY ART PROJECT—CREATE YOUR YEAR—HELLO 2014!
Envision the year ahead, design your seasons and capture their delights with beautiful, Wave Hill-inspired images to create your very own hanging calendar for the new year. Free with admission to the grounds.
WAVE HILL HOUSE, 10AM–1PM

SUN, DECEMBER 29   NO HATHA YOGA
Yoga resumes January 5.

SUN, DECEMBER 29    NO MEDITATION
Meditation resumes January 5.

SUN, DECEMBER 29    GARDEN HIGHLIGHTS WALK
Join us for an hour-long tour of seasonal garden highlights. Free with admission to the grounds.
MEET AT PERKINS VISITOR CENTER, 2PM

MON, DECEMBER 30
Closed to the public.

WED, JANUARY 1    NEW YEAR’S DAY
Closed to the public. Wave Hill reopens Thursday, January 2.

A 28-acre public garden and cultural center overlooking the Hudson River  and Palisades, Wave Hill’s mission is to celebrate the artistry and legacy of its gardens and landscape, to preserve its magnificent views, and to explore human connections to the natural world through programs in horticulture, education and the arts.

HOURS  Open all year, Tuesday through Sunday and many major holidays: 9AM–4:30PM. Closes 5:30PM, March 15October 31.  
ADMISSION  $8 adults, $4 students and seniors 65+, $2 children 6–18. Free Saturday and Tuesdaymornings until noon. Free to Wave Hill Members and children under 6.

PROGRAM FEES  Programs are free with admission to the grounds unless otherwise noted.

Visitors to Wave Hill can take advantage of Metro-North’s one-day getaway offer. Purchase a discount round-trip rail far and discount admission to the gardens. More at http://mta.info/mnr/html/getaways/outbound_wavehill.htm

DIRECTIONS – Getting here is easy! Located only 30 minutes from midtown Manhattan, Wave Hill’s free shuttle van transports you to and from our front gate and Metro-North’s Riverdale station, as well as the 242ndStreet stop on the #1 subway line. Limited onsite parking is available for $8 per vehicle. Free offsite parking is available nearby with continuous, complimentary shuttle service to and from the offsite lot and our front gate. Complete directions and shuttle bus schedule at www.wavehill.org/visit/.

Information at 718.549.3200. On the web at www.wavehill.org.



Wednesday, December 10, 2014

More of Con Edison at Its Worse


  Below are photos of Con Edison work at a very heavily used crosswalk and the surrounding area. As usual the Con Edison workers do not care what they block, how much area they take up, where materials and huge heavy piping is put, and of course how late they are as the completion date of the permit is December 2, 2014. The photos were taken on December 8, 2014. They will speak for themselves.







I believe that the photos say it all.


Councilman Cohen New Office and Holiday Party




  Wednesday evening Councilman Andrew Cohen had the official ribbon cutting of his new district office located at 277 West 231st Street. one block east of the new Kingsbridge Library. As you can see in the first photo the new office is very cozy as is the case now in new offices being opened up by freshmen council members. The office is accessible by the BX 1, BX 7, BX 10, and BX 20 buses, as well as being only a few blocks west of the # 1 train 231st Street station.

As you can see the hallway is not to wide. On the left are cubicles for each staff member. Councilman Cohen's desk is at the rear of the office. 


Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz introduced Councilman Cohen at the Holiday Party which followed the ribbon cutting ceremony of the councilman's new district office. The party had to be held elsewhere since there was not enough room in the office.  


Councilman Cohen thanks those who came to the district office opening, and the holiday party that followed, as well as Senator Jeff Klein, Bronx Democratic County Leader Assemblyman Carl Heastie, and of course Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, who introduced everyone.


Democratic County leader Heastie shows his appreciation to Councilman Cohen.


Here Senator Klein praises Councilman Cohen on the fine job he is doing.


BP DIAZ URGES BRONXITES TO APPLY TO THEIR COMMUNITY BOARD


  Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is inviting Bronx residents to make a difference in their community by joining their local Community Board. The Office of The Bronx Borough President will be accepting applications for all 12 Community Boards from city residents who reside, work or have professional or other significant interests in The Bronx.

“Participation on local Community Boards can provide Bronx residents with a forum to share their expertise and talents with their local community,” stated Borough President Diaz. “There are great things happening in The Bronx that involve the participation of community boards. It is important that community residents participate in the decisions that are building the ‘New Bronx’ and our community boards are a great place to do so.”

In addition, this year due to a change in state law, the minimum age for those allowed to apply for community board membership has been lowered to 16.

“I know firsthand how important it is to be active in community affairs at a young age, and I believe that the earlier young people become engaged in community affairs and interact with government officials and agencies, they more they will understand government and become active leaders in their communities in the future. It is important to hear the voices of our youth when planning for our neighborhoods.” said Borough President Diaz.

Applications are available at the Borough President’s Community Board office at (718) 590-3914 or at your local community board office. Interested applicants may also get the application on line athttp://on.nyc.gov/1ytGUFq.

The deadline for submission of applications for the next round of appointments is February 6, 2015.


LinkNYC Should Provide Wi-Fi to All Corners of the City And Borough Presidents Comments


This comes to us from the New York Times by way of Mayor Bill de Blasio's office. Afterwards are comments by the Borough Presidents of the five boroughs.

If a proposal from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration is approved as expectedon Wednesday, New York will soon take a step forward into the digital age. A constellation of Wi-Fi hot spots offering free high-speed Internet access will emerge across the city, on sidewalks where thousands of all-but-defunct pay phones now stand.



The city’s Franchise and Concession Review Committee is expected to vote to give the contract to a consortium that includes Qualcomm and Titan, an outdoor-advertising company. The $200 million project, called LinkNYC, would install up to 10,000 digital kiosks over the next 12 to 15 years, providing Wi-Fi at speeds ranging from 100 megabits per second to 1 gigabit per second. The kiosks, which will also offer free domestic, 911 and 311 calls, are to be supported by advertising and generate at least $500 million in revenue for the city.

The mayor’s office, never known to underplay a good thing, announced this project with great fanfare. But let’s be clear about what these are — not the arrival of digital nirvana, but a pretty impressive collection of advertising kiosks with Wi-Fi attached, great for tourists and residents who are able to bring their smartphones, tablets, laptops and other devices within 150 feet of them.

This is well beyond what other cities have tried. Comptroller Scott Stringer deserves credit for trying to make the good-sounding deal better, by warning that inequality is built into the contract. That is, most of the new kiosks with the highest speeds will be concentrated in Manhattan. The Bronx and Staten Island will be home to many of the slower kiosks, which are still blazingly fast by current standards of available Wi-Fi.

Mr. de Blasio’s office promises not to overlook poorer neighborhoods as the program expands. And it says that LinkNYC revenue will provide millions of dollars for as-yet-unspecified projects to improve digital access across the city. The administration should make sure to upgrade the phone kiosks in every corner of the city — bringing them up to speed, literally — as the program advances.


STATEMENTS FROM BOROUGH PRESIDENTS ADAMS, BREWER, DIAZ, KATZ AND ODDO ON THEIR FCRC VOTE TO EXPAND PUBLIC WIFI ACCESS IN NEW YORK CITY

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.: “Throughout this process my office, my colleagues in the other boroughs and Comptroller Scott Stringer raised serious concerns about the proposed ‘LinkNYC’ WiFi program. We are grateful to this administration, especially the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, for listening to our concerns and working with our offices to make this project more equitable. Thanks to our advocacy, the city has agreed to expand higher speed WiFi access throughout the five boroughs and to implement a 10 kiosk solar pilot program in The Bronx, among other concessions. Specifically, The Bronx will receive an additional 240 one-Gbps kiosk in the first four years of the eight year franchise agreement.  Moreover, by decoupling advertising and the one-Gbps speeds, a greater percentage of the total number of Bronx kiosks will now have 1-Gbps speeds at the end of the eight years.   From the time this was first proposed my office has been concerned that ‘LinkNYC’ would meet appropriate standards of equity and resilience, and issued a report outlining those concerns. Our negotiations on this issue have certainly helped to create a better system for the entire city. I commend my colleagues for their efforts on this issue. This shows that each of our boroughs, united in a cause, can affect positive change for our constituents.”

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams: “Through negotiation with City Hall and DoITT, as well as the important collaboration between all five borough presidents, we have arrived at a stronger agreement that will better ensure equity in the expansion of free municipal WiFi. Our voices were heard on critical issues such as the need to enhance community input on the siting of Wi-Fi kiosks, as well as on investing revenue from the deal into infrastructure improvements that will help our City close the digital divide for Brooklynites and all New Yorkers. Thanks to the collaboration of my partners in government, this is a deal I can be proud to support.”

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer: “Today’s agreement meets the goals that I and the other Borough Presidents were fighting for: community input on the siting of WiFi kiosks and more high-speed hotspots in northern Manhattan and the other boroughs. These improvements to the original proposal make it a plan worth voting for. I’m glad that, working together, we could deliver this win for all New Yorkers.”
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz: “It’s great news that free, citywide public WiFi is on the way. Free public Internet is more than just a leisurely perk, it's a way to fairly bridge the Digital Divide already predisposed to income inequality. City Hall has sufficiently addressed our concerns in an MOU that formalizes a siting agreement, a plan to ensure equitable access and a process for community input.  I thank the administration for recognizing the potential in Queens and taking effective steps to ensure our fair share and facilitate our economic growth.  I also thank Comptroller Stringer for uniting with the Borough Presidents on this issue.”

Staten Island Borough President James Oddo: “We have carefully gone through this process with the goal of ensuring that city taxpayers get the best deal possible, as well as the fastest and most accessible WiFi access.  Additionally, we have been careful to build in protections, which guarantee that each borough's public officials play an important role in the siting of these units, and by working diligently with my colleagues, the comptroller, and the Administration we have achieved that. Going forward, we will continue to work with the Administration and CityBridge to ensure Staten Island receives the best possible WiFi service and that the units are sited in appropriate locations.”

STATEMENT BY NEW YORK CITY COMPTROLLER SCOTT M. STRINGER ON LinkNYC


LinkNYC’s proposal to put high speed WiFi kiosks throughout the City will not by itself eliminate the digital divide, but marks an important step toward bridging that gap. Just as the subways powered New York’s growth in the 20th century, high-speed broadband will drive our City’s economic competitiveness in the 21st century — and we need to make sure all our neighborhoods have the tools to meet that future.
That’s why I am happy to vote yes on the LinkNYC proposal before the Franchise and Concession Review Committee today.
We took a good contract and we made it better. I want to thank the Administration and Borough Presidents for their diligence and responsiveness in working to make this contract the best that it can be.
Together we were able to ensure the new WiFi system will:
  • Bring greater equity to boroughs outside Manhattan through a more balanced distribution of 1 gigabit speeds;
  • Enshrine community consultation in the franchise agreement to ensure meaningful input on the siting of kiosks;
  • Strengthen language about tech upgrades during the length of the contract to ensure that New Yorkers continually benefit from cutting-edge security and software upgrades; and
  • Provide for the regular publication of data to ensure accountability, transparency and performance.
As the franchise is implemented, I will continue to use my office’s contract oversight and audit authority to ensure that CityBridge fulfills its promises of fast, free WiFi across all five boroughs.
- See more at: http://comptroller.nyc.gov/newsroom/statement-by-nyc-comptroller-scott-m-stringer-on-linknyc/#sthash.2GYZUQll.dpuf


Monday, December 8, 2014

Belmont Christmas Tree Lighting



  This is what it was all about Saturday in Belmont for the Annual Arthur Avenue BID Christmas Tree lighting. A big beautiful Christmas tree and Santa claus that even the rain that was coming down could not stop.
  Local Councilman was to light the tree, but it appeared that while he was being tracked down to let him know that the lighting time was being moved up a bit because of the rain, it was Santa Claus with a little help from the BID who flipped the switch. Santa then proudly stood beside the tree ending his day so he could go back to the North Pole. I was able to ask Santa how he could be here when this was his busy season at home. The answer he gave me was that he wound not have missed this for anything, and that he now delegates most of the work to others so he can be in more places to make the children happy, which you will see in the other photos.  
 
  












Left - The tree as it was before the sunset.
Right - The pouring rain could not dampen this Santas spirits.



Left and Right - Some of the visitors to Santa.



Left - The Bronx Elvis (Nick Vero, with his DJ Phil Roventini  of 8 is never enough improv). 
Right - Santa grabbed the microphone and had a sing along before he pushed the switch to light the tree.







MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO HOSTS IMMIGRATION SUMMIT FOR CITIES ACROSS COUNTRY


Mayors and representatives from over two dozen cities came together to discuss implementation of President Obama’s plan to act on immigration and strategize on effectively building grassroots coalition to push for comprehensive immigration reform

   Mayor Bill de Blasio today at Gracie Mansion convened over a dozen Mayors and representatives from across the country for an immigration summit. The summit focused on coordinating and sharing expertise for the implementation of President Obama’s plans to act on immigration. The Mayors also discussed the road ahead and strategies to push for comprehensive immigration reform.

At Gracie Mansion, the Mayors signed on to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Five Point Challenge to:

·         Launch a mayoral war room for federal action on immigration reform
·         Establish local Cities United for Immigration Action coalitions
·         Safeguard immigrants from fraudulent services
·         Reach all eligible applicants through community outreach and public education
·         Audit services and programs to ensure efficient and affordable delivery of services to maximize enrollment by city residents

Following the Summit, the cities will take the ideas and expertise discussed at the Immigration Summit today and build grassroots support at the local level through strategies including:

  • Organizing local coalitions for action—including faith, business, community and labor leaders—before Congress gets back for unified demonstration of solidarity.
·         A Mayoral Lobby Day in DCafter matching congressional members to mayoral coalition membersto push back against any efforts to dismantle the President’s Executive Actions and push for comprehensive immigration reform.
  • Convening state tables of mayors in key states, working with allies to have parallel organizing, labor, faith tables in each state, and bringing in key suburban or county leaders.
  • Generating constituent call-in and email-in to push for action with key targets in each state.
  • Coordinating Know Your Rights events in all cities with allies, partners, and stakeholders as the first phase of the President’s plan goes into effect.
  • Highlighting stories of DREAMers who have been or will be helped by the President’s Executive Actions.

The summit included Mayors and staff representing 25 cities from across the country, including: Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Charlotte, Dayton, Hartford, Houston, Jersey City, Los Angeles, Louisville, Madison, New Haven, Newark, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Providence, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, San Juan, Santa Fe, Schenectady, Seattle, Syracuse, Tacoma and Washington, D.C.

Mayors in attendance:
·         Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York, NY
·         Mayor Ras Baraka, Newark, NJ
·         Mayor Ralph Becker, Salt Lake City, UT
·         MayorElect Muriel Bowser, Washington, D.C.
·         Mayor Byron Brown, Buffalo, NY
·         Mayor-Elect Jorge Elorza, Providence, RI
·         Mayor Javier Gonzales, Santa Fe, NM
·         Mayor Toni Harp, New Haven, CT
·         Mayor Edwin Lee, San Francisco, CA
·         Mayor Gary McCarthy, Schenectady, NY
·         Mayor Stephanie Miner, Syracuse, NY
·         Mayor Edward Murray, Seattle, WA
·         Mayor Kasim Reed, Atlanta, GA
·         Mayor Pedro Segarra, Hartford, CT
·         Mayor Paul Soglin, Madison, WI
·         Mayor Marilyn Strickland, Tacoma, WA
·         Mayor Angel Taveras, Providence, RI
·         Mayor Nan Whaley, Dayton, OH
The Cities United for Immigration Action coalition, launched two weeks ago, includes an additional 18 cities who were not able to join the summit.

“The President’s plan to act on immigration reform is crucial to creating a more just country, and the federal government is depending on cities to implement the plan. It is critical that we get it right,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Mayors are in the trenches and see firsthand the need for comprehensive immigration reform. We will take this opportunity to lay the ground work for a deeper national movement from the grassroots up.”

“As the son of immigrant parents, this issue is personal to me. The President’s bold action on immigration has set the course, and now we must follow through,” said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. “Most of the nation’s 12 million undocumented immigrants live in America’s cities, and so as Mayors we must lead on this reform to provide all of our residents with hope, opportunities and the services they deserve. We know our diversity drives our economies and makes us stronger. I thank New York City Mayor de Blasio for convening us today, and I am eager to create the change we need to see in our cities to help our residents succeed.”

“The President has taken an important first step in moving our nation forward on the critical issue of immigration. I applaud his efforts, which in many ways mirror the spirit of our Utah Compact. I appreciate meeting with his White House team and the Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson this morning thanks to New York Mayor de Blasio.  We will all work together on the vital next steps,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker.

“President Obama has defined a path forward on immigration and we are so grateful for that. I appreciate Mayor de Blasio convening us today. As Mayors, we will now take the baton and work within our communities to ensure we make this successful. But to be truly successful, we need Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform,” saidHartford Mayor Pedro Segarra.

“Our immigration system is broken. Every day Congress delays action on meaningful reform further hurts families and affects our economy. These issues impact our cities each day, which is why I am proud to join Mayor de Blasio and others to support the President’s executive order and implement change now. We can no longer afford to wait,” saidProvidence Mayor Angel Taveras.

“We’re committed to comprehensive immigration reform, which will start with acting thoughtfully to ensure that millions of families benefit from the President’s important incremental action," said Mayor Ed Murray of Seattle. “But we must do more to protect the parents of Dreamers, themselves inspired by the American dream, who work two or three jobs to put their kids through college. As mayors, we’re working in our communities to build the coalition – business, labor, faith communities and others – that will achieve the broader solution,” from Seattle Mayor Ed Murray.