Saturday, January 9, 2016

100 PERCENT Saturday January 9,, 2016

By Robert Press

Jeffrey Dinowitz in the South Bronx?

   I was hoping to have been back in print by now, but due to circumstances beyond my control there has been another delay. The target date now is early in March, as many of you have been asking when the new Bronx County News would be coming out. All I can write is please have patience, and you will not be disappointed. 
   BJ's newest club store located at 184 West 237th Street (off Broadway) in the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx had its preview showing, and is now open for business. You can check this blog archive for photos of the new BJ's
  Sunday is 'NO PANTS DAY', and if you are riding the subway you probably will see many people with and without their pants. If one really wants to see someone with their pants down, all one has to look is no further than City Hall. Mayor Bill de Blasio seems to be caught with his pants down on the issue of homelessness. The mayor now says that it was the problem of the previous mayor, but Bill de Blasio is now entering his third year as mayor. Also wasn't Bill de Blasio the previous Public Advocate before being elected mayor? He must be having memory lapses from that incident with the box truck in Brooklyn. Maybe Mayor Bill de Blasio should spend a night or two in a homeless shelter just to find out the conditions like Public Advocate Bill de Blasio did at a NYCHA housing project. Come to think of it things have not gotten much better at NYCHA under Mayor Bill de Blasio either.  
   While on the subject of politics, the more things change in Albany the more they stay the same. With a new Speaker of the Assembly and a new State Senate Majority Leader due to their former colleagues being convicted of corruption in office just when will there be reforms. How many more state legislatures will have to be indicted and convicted, and how soon will it take to get the much needed reforms in Albany. 
   Today was the 'Three Kings Day in the Bronx' by State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. It is the posting right before this one, and the photos will tell you the whole story. The only person missing in this event from Senator Diaz's previous event was New York State Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox. It would have been nice for him to be on stage with Bronx Democratic County Leader Assemblyman Marcos Crespo. However the Republican Party Chairman's name did appear on the flyer for the event along with that of Bronx Democratic County Leader Marcos Crespo's name. 
   Another constant of both events was that Bronx Community Board #2 District Manager Rafael Salamanca was listed as a community leader in another political event for him in a public school as a candidate for the upcoming 17th City Council Special Election. I hear that troops from Riverdale had to be called out to help Salamanca in getting signatures in the South Bronx, and I wonder how late they stayed 'Out in the Hood'. More people that Salamanca will be beholding to, and I will have more on the record of Bronx Community Board #2 District Manager Rafael Salamanca in upcoming columns, with special postings of his probable conflicts of interest that the Conflict of Interest Board and Campaign Finance Board may want to know about. I don't expect candidate Salamanca to make it to the finish line. 
   If you have any political information (especially about the 17th City Council special election) that you want to share or have checked out, any comments about this column or would like to have an event listed or covered in this column or on this blog, you can e-mail us at or call 718-644-4199 Mr. Robert Press.   




  It was billed as the 'Three Kings Comes to The Bronx' at PS/MS 5 (on Jackson Avenue) the usual Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. 'Three Kings' event. Like years before PS/MS 5 was chosen since that is the school that Senator Diaz's son (now Bronx Borough President)  Ruben "Rubencito' Diaz Jr. went to as a child. Assemblymen Luis Sepulveda and Marcos Crespo were also a part of the tradition as were several Taiwanese businesses and cultural organizations. So what was different about this years Three Kings event by Senator Diaz Sr.?
  This year Community Board #2 District Manager Rafael Salamanca was added to the marque as a Community Leader. If Mr. Salamanca is such a community leader where was he during the past events? Don't be fooled by a puppet maker who is also a New York State Senator, this was purely a political event to further the candidacy of someone who is campaigning for the vacant 17th City Council seat. Senator Diaz Sr. in his previous event with his puppet Rafael Salamanca gave out toys for Christmas on December 15th at IS 216 (on Tiffany Street near Senator Diaz's office) with the New York State Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox. Since the Bronx Democratic County Leader Assemblyman Marcos Crespo was at today's event, the New York State Republican Party Chairman's name was put in small letters at the bottom of the flyer as to make you think it was a Democratic event only. I was not able to ask Bronx Democratic County Leader Marcos Crespo how it felt to be at an event being sponsored by New York State Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox, but my next question will have to be if Crespo will be supporting Donald Trump if he gets the Republican line for President. The photos below will tell the rest of the story.

Above - State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. was the first elected official to arrive, and he spoke in both English and Spanish. 
Below - Senator Diaz introduces Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda who stayed for a while, but had another Three Kings event with State Senator Jeff Klein in his own assembly district.

Above and Below - Children from Rompedores de Atmosfera led by talented Ashley Rodriguez in black, performed

Above - Another group of children performed for the packed audience.
Below - Senator Diaz brought up all the Taiwanese businesses and cultural organizations representatives.

Above - Bronx Borough President Ruben 'Rubencito' Diaz Jr. says a few words to the audience as you see the Taiwanese businesses and cultural organizations representatives. holding proclamations they were given.
Below - Children are asked questions about the Three Kings by one of the Taiwanese business leaders. Both answered correctly.

Above - So called Community Leader Salamanca arrived last, and we can see just how interesting his speech was by the reaction of Bronx Democratic County Leader Marcos Crespo, and the movement of the hands of Senator Diaz. 
Below - The Three Kings finally arrived after all the speeches. 

Above - You can see Salamanca with a handful of gift cards to give one to each child for a correct answer to a question about the Three Kings. Or was it to buy their parents vote. 
Below - Salamanca hands a card to this child. 

Above and Below - It went on child after child. They were asked a question by Senator Diaz or Assemblyman Crespo, given 10 or 20 dollars if they were correct, and then receive a gift card from Bronx Community Board #2 District Manager Salamanca.

Above - Salamanca looks to see just what kind of gift card he is giving out to the children.
Below - When the event over there were some gift cards left over. I wonder what happened to them? 

Above - It was then time to give out the toys to the children that were stacked on the stage, 
Below - That is Senator Diaz Sr.'s candidate for mayor in 2013 Erik Salgado standing next to Salamanca. They look good together, as Salgado was crushed in the mayors race. 

Friday, January 8, 2016

IDC unveils New York 2020 Agenda: A Blueprint for a Better New York, Robust policy package addresses education, housing, jobs and quality-of-life for all New Yorkers

  Robust policy package addresses education, housing, jobs and quality-of-life for all New Yorkers

Albany, NY — The Independent Democratic Conference released the New York 2020 Agenda: A Blueprint for a Better New York on Thursday, a comprehensive policy package focused on improving education, housing, employment and quality-of-life in every corner of New York State.

On a foundation of four pillars: Educate New York 2020; House New York 2020; Work New York 2020; and Live New York 2020, the visionary agenda builds upon the IDC’s bold Invest New York and Affordable New York agendas to address the needs of working- and middle-class New Yorkers. The ambitious goals in each of the 2020 plans lay out a four-year path to lift up the state.

Chief among the IDC’s proposals are:

  • A new, 12-week paid family leave proposal that will ensure New York’s workforce finally can afford to take needed time to welcome a child into the world or care for an ill-loved one. Under a new proposal, the IDC seeks to grant employees 12 weeks of paid family leave to care for a new child or sick loved one. This Family Care benefit would be separate from traditional disability insurance however would still operate out of the Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) system, which grants 26-weeks off to injured and disabled workers. Temporary Disability Leave would continue to be funded through joint employee/employer contributions and disability benefits would significantly increase to match Family Care Leave benefits to $700 a week compared to the current maximum benefit of $170 a week.

  • The creation of the “50-hour learning week” by investing $550 million in afterschool programs, the support of existing Community Learning Schools and the development of 400 new Community Learning Schools, as well as a Kindergarten Fund financed by unclaimed lottery money.
  • The development of an innovative zero-interest college loan program to keep college students out of the red. College graduates in New York State are strapped with an average $26,000 debt. The IDC envisions the New York Achieve Loan Program, a zero-interest loan fund created with $500 million of settlement monies, to keep college affordable and invest in the future of our state. Loans would be granted to first-time undergraduate students who finish in the top five of their high school class with a 3.5 GPA or higher or score a combined 1200 or more on the SAT or a composite score of 27 or higher on the ACT. Students could apply for the loans after accepting all federal, state and grant aid and could use up to $6,500 a year on a private or public, four-year institution.
  • A continued commitment to the New York Public Housing Authority will help cure the deplorable conditions faced by tenants. The IDC proposes the creation of the Public Housing Revitalization Fund to administer state grants for critical repairs in NYCHA developments. Building on last year’s $100 million commitment from the state, the IDC calls for another $100 million in state funding for NYCHA to be matched by New York City and a dedication of future excess Battery Park City Authority surplus revenues, which would provide an additional $400 million for repairs.
  • Raising the wage for caretakers to $15 an hour will ensure that we care for those who take care of our loved ones. While home health aides care for our most vulnerable citizens they earn a meager $10.75 an hour and personal care aides make just a little more at $11.73. Half of the human service workers, like social workers or child care workers, earn less than $15 per hour, even though two thirds require college degrees to work. While New York State relies on these workers to deliver the critical services for our most vulnerable citizens, the state must do its part to raise its Medicaid reimbursement rates to service providers to ensure that these necessary wage increases do not lead to cuts in services. The IDC is advocating that these workers receive a $15 wage in light of Governor Cuomo’s announcement that state workers would receive a $15 minimum wage.
“As legislators, we must be the architects of a great destiny for every citizen in the state of New York. The IDC’s blueprints will build up this state over the next four years to enhance the lives of people in every corner of this state through paid family leave, enriching afterschool activities, zero-interest loans to leave our college students debt-free, middle-class affordable housing, NYCHA revitalization and protections for our seniors, to name a few. Together we can and will create a better New York,” said Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein.
“Upstate revitalization depends on new job creation and meeting the needs of industries facing demand for skilled employees. Manufacturers, especially, need more skilled workers than are currently available. The New York State Manufacturers Intermediary Apprenticeship Program  (MIAP) will help companies create apprenticeship programs that simultaneously provide training and also put unemployed New Yorkers back to work,” said Independent Democratic Conference Deputy Leader David Valesky.
“Building the New York we need today means building for the New York we want tomorrow. With the IDC’s New York 2020 Agenda, the steps we take today will ensure that over the next four years we will improve the education, housing, work and overall lives of all New Yorkers. Our continued commitment to the New York Public Housing Authority will focus on addressing the deplorable conditions that tenants face, through the creation of the Public Housing Revitalization Fund, which will build on our previous work. With New York 2020, we will lay the foundation for the New York of tomorrow,” said State Senator Diane Savino.
With the start of the new legislative session, we must enact common sense measures to strengthen New York's middle class and provide families across our state with the foundation for a brighter tomorrow. The IDC's New York 2020 Agenda lays out a comprehensive policy package that delivers real relief for all New Yorkers, by providing paid family leave, dependent care and commuter toll tax credits for middle class families, zero-interest loans and pre-paid college tuition for students, and ending the Gap Elimination once and for all. New Yorkers deserve the peace of mind that comes with a secure financial future, and through the IDC's 2020 agenda we will achieve that reality,” said State Senator David Carlucci.
“Our legislative priorities this upcoming session strike at the core of what will drive New York forward into the new year and beyond. From the moment a child enters a New York kindergarten up to the moment they’re no longer children at all and looking to finance their college tuition, the IDC’s proposals will lend a helping hand. Our infrastructure needs rebuilding and our unemployed are in need of a fair wage; The IDC will be the first in Albany pushing for the stone that gets two birds by creating jobs to repair our aging infrastructure. Over these next four years, we are redoubling our efforts and building a foundation on which middle class and working-class families thrive,” said State Senator Tony Avella.
Other signature issues include:

  • Passing Zombie Property Legislation - Vacant and abandoned properties are a blight on our communities, causing devastating effects on the well-being of neighborhoods. The decaying houses can have a corrosive effect on localities, quickly turning into row upon row of boarded-up buildings that create hazardous areas and devalue homes. The IDC calls for a statewide registry of vacant and abandoned residential properties, while imposing a duty on mortgagees and loan servicing agents to take early action in protecting communities from crumbling homes.
  • Developing more affordable middle-income housing -  The IDC has sought to revive the spirit of Mitchell Lama by providing significant funding for middle-income housing for the first time in decades. Last year, the IDC successfully secured $50 million: $25 million to rehabilitate existing Mitchell Lama buildings and $25 million for the Middle Income Housing Program, which serves families with incomes up to 130 percent of the AMI. Over the next four years, the IDC would like to see a $700 million investment in the Middle Income Housing Program to construct new, affordable housing for working families. The IDC also proposes a Middle Income Housing Tax Credit, a 4 percent refundable tax credit, to spur the creation of units for families making up to 130 percent of the AMI.
  • Implementing ‘A New Deal for New York’ - New York State’s infrastructure needs an upgrade and New Yorkers need new and more jobs. The creation of the Empire Public Works Fund (EPW), the Community Jobs Program (CJP) and the New York State Manufacturers Intermediary Apprenticeship Program  (MIAP) will help rebuild aging structures and put unemployed New Yorkers back to work. The EPW is a revolving loan fund for major infrastructure projects like bridges, tunnels, sewer systems or toll roads that would provide loans to state entities for major projects. The CJP provides grants for smaller neighborhood level projects that revitalize communities, expand small business opportunities and put chronically unemployed people back to work. Preference would be given to projects with long-term employment offers and starting wages set at $15 an hour. The MIAP program would be a public-private partnership between employers and New York State to give small and medium manufacturing firms in the state an opportunity to create registered apprenticeship programs without having to deal with many of the administrative burdens that make this an expensive and difficult task beyond the capabilities of many firms.
  • Increasing funding for quality child care and keeping day care centers safe - Working families need affordable, quality childcare. The IDC wants increased funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, a child care tax credit and investment in the Quality Stars program. With a call for increased funding for child care, the IDC also recognizes the need for parents to be fully informed of the safety conditions within a day cares’ walls. Alarmingly, the IDC discovered unsanitary and unsafe conditions in New York City day cares. Many providers were serial offenders — 88 operators were cited during every annual inspection and for the same infraction. Many failed their inspections 100 percent of the time. Parents have difficulties tracking down violation information and during an undercover investigation, operators were deceptive about their histories. A letter-grading system for day care centers will provide a clear way for parents and guardians to understand how a day care center performed on their annual inspection.

  • Protecting New Yorkers from high utility costs - New Yorkers pay exorbitant utility rates, but have no say in the rate-setting process, unlike other states that have a Utility Consumer Advocate. The IDC calls for the appointment of a Utility Consumer Advocate who would operate independently and provide a meaningful voice for consumers. In addition, to help low- and middle-class seniors the IDC proposes the Senior Heating Assistance Program (SHEAP), which would serve seniors with an annual income of less than $75,000 for a family of two or $55,000 for an individual, with a fixed benefit for heating costs.
Advocates and experts praised the pillars of IDC’s New York 2020: A Blueprint for a Better New York.

More Speed Bumps/Humps Installed at Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz's Request

Following a request by Assemblyman Dinowitz, the DOT has agreed to install two speed humps in North Riverdale; the first on Liebig Avenue between West 263rd and West 259th Streets, the second on West 263rdStreet between Riverdale Avenue and Liebig Avenue

   Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz has announced that he was successful in convincing the NYC Department of Transportation to install traffic calming measures in North Riverdale. After numerous complaints from constituents about vehicles traveling at dangerously high speeds in the residential neighborhood of North Riverdale, Assemblyman Dinowitz urged the Department of Transportation to install a two speed humps in the area. After conducting a survey of the area earlier this year, the DOT informed Assemblyman Dinowitz of their intention to address the safety concerns he raised by installing two speed humps.

“High speed vehicles in North Riverdale pose a significant danger to the residents of this area, including many seniors and children,” said Assemblyman Dinowitz. “I thank the Department of Transportation for heeding my warnings about the unsafe traffic conditions in this neighborhood by agreeing to install these much-needed traffic-calming measures. These speed humps will help keep car speeds down in North Riverdale, keeping pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers in our community safer.”

22ND ANNUAL BRONX PARKS SPEAK UP Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016

Date/Time: Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016
Description: The Bronx Parks Speak Up is an annual community networking conference for park and environmental stakeholders. Organized by the Bronx Coalition for Parks and Green Spaces (BCPGS), this day-long event draws over 250 Bronx residents, elected officials and agency personnel. It gives its attendees the chance to learn about government and non-government resources and participate in face-to-face discussions with city and local elected and appointed officials.
Location: Lehman College
RSVP: Registration is not yet live; please save the date and look out for more info to come!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

New BJ’s Wholesale Club in Bronx Riverdale Crossing Hosts Private Community Celebration

  BJ’s Wholesale Club announces today the grand opening of its eighth Metro New York location at 184 West 237th Street in the Bronx on Saturday. The 110,550 square-foot club offers significant savings on high-quality leading brands of food and general merchandise. The opening of the club will create about 185 new full and part-time employment positions. The grand opening celebration will include food and beverage sampling, balloon artists and face painters. Both current Members as well as the general public are invited to visit the new club where BJ’s Team Members (employees) will be available to provide information about membership and products. Shoppers will discover a growing selection of organic foods, BJ’s exclusive, premium Wellsley Farms and Berkley Jensen brands, fresh bakery, rotisserie chicken, food court, BJ’s Optical® Department and more.

   “BJ’s is excited to open another club in the Bronx to provide area residents with a convenient shopping location that fulfills their needs for great value, quality and selection,” said Dave Shaw, general manager of BJ’s Wholesale Club in the Bronx Riverdale Crossing. “We look forward to establishing strong relationships within the community and supporting our Adopt-A-School and nonprofit partners, too.” Community support is a core value at BJ’s, and with that in mind, the new club has partnered with PS/MS 37 The Multiple Intelligences School as part of BJ’s Adopt-A-School program. The school will receive a $1,000 donation and $1,500 in school supplies to enhance educational programs and curriculum objectives.  BJ’s has also selected the following three organizations to receive support in the form of $2,500.  The photos below of today's event should tell the rest of the story.

Above - There was a pre-opening party for the associates (employees).
Below - Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. was greeted by BJ's President and COO Chris Baldwin. 

Above - BJ's President and COO Chris Baldwin tells of the enjoyment of having a second club store in the Bronx.
Below - General Manager of the West 237th Street BJ's Dave Shaw is well experienced in the food industry having come from the Pathmark chain before joining BJ's. 

Above - Bronx BP Ruben Diaz Jr. tells of the leaving of the once busy Stella Doro cookie factory on the site where the new BJ's that he and Marlene Cintron of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation were able to replace the vacant cookie factory with.
Below - State Senator Jeff Klein is glad that BJ's will open in a few days. Senator Klein is part of Bronx H.I.R.E. that was able to have many Bronx residents apply for jobs at the BJ's. 

Above - Local Councilman Andrew Cohen spoke about the economic growth he expects from the new BJ's, which has already begun with the many other stores in the shopping center.
Below - The Step Dancers from PS/MS 37 which is one of BJ's local community partners. 

Above - Executives from City Harvest, Kingsbridge Heights Community Center, Bronxworks, and PS/MS 37 hold checks from BJ's to their community partner organizations in the amount of $2,500.00 each.
Below - Bronx BP Diaz was the first to be given a tour of the new BJ's at West 237th Street. 

Above - The New Bj's has 24 check outs.
Below - A look at the soda isle.

Above - The huge prepackaged Deli section.
Below - A small selection of the huge fresh meats offered by BJ's

Above - Bj's sells large size items. and you can pick up a half-gallon of Hagen Daz Ice Cream at a great price.
Below - Major appliances such as televisions are on display, and you can even get that new vacuum cleaner you may need. 


Mayor’s announcement guarantees all City & purchase of service employees will make $15/hour by end of 2018 
   Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced a $15 minimum wage for all City government employees and employees who provide contracted work for the City at social service organizations – meaning that by the end of 2018, approximately 50,000 additional employees will see their wages boosted to $15 an hour, making New York City a national leader in the fight to raise the wage.

“We know that nothing does more to lift up working families and move our economy forward than raising wages – and the City is leading by example by doing just that for these 50,000 additional New Yorkers,” said Mayor de Blasio. “From pre-K and affordable housing, to paid sick and parental leave, we’re taking real action for working New Yorkers.”

Under current contracts, wages are already ahead of the minimum wage increase that has been proposed in Albany. However, most contracts expire in 2017 or 2018. Mayor de Blasio’s announcement today guarantees that all employees will make $15 an hour by the end of 2018, regardless of whether their contract expires beforehand. The City will immediately work with municipal unions and social service providers to sign letters of understanding that guarantee the increased wages.

Mayor de Blasio has long fought for a $15 minimum wage on the State and federal levels. New York City is doing what is in its power and guaranteeing increased wages for its own employees. Raising the minimum wage is a key part of Mayor de Blasio’s OneNYC goal of lifting 800,000 New Yorkers out of poverty over the next ten years.

Today’s news follows Mayor de Blasio’s announcement last month that he will provide six weeks fully-paid parental leave to all 20,000 unrepresented managerial and original jurisdiction employees – allowing employees to take up to 12 weeks, when combined with existing leave – and immediately move to negotiate the same benefit with municipal unions.

Direct City Employees

Over 20,000 direct city employees will benefit from the Mayor’s announcement and see their wages boosted to $15/hour by December 31, 2018 on the following schedule, with the 2015 and 2016 wages reflective of the lowest salaries under current contracts:


  $11.79/hour              $12.14/hour            

  12/31/2017               12/31/2018
  $13.59/hour               $15.00/hour

The employees who will benefit from this increase include school crossing guards, City seasonal aides, job training participants, and a number of other titles, largely represented by DC37.

The cost of implementing this proposal for direct City employees would be $36 million over the Financial Plan (through Fiscal Year 2020).

Purchase of Service Employees

Mayor de Blasio is also funding this benefit for employees at social service organizations who do contracted work for the City, known as purchase of service employees. In total, approximately 30,000 purchase of service employees will benefit from the increased wages and see a $15/hour minimum wage by December 31, 2018, on the following schedule:


   $11.50/hour             $12.00/hour               

12/31/2017               12/31/2018

   $13.50/hour              $15.00/hour

The 30,000 employees who will benefit from this increase include teacher aides, custodial aides, family and infant care workers, and a number of other titles. 

These employees already saw their wages boosted to $11.50/hour under Mayor de Blasio’s Fiscal Year 2016 adopted budget.

The cost of implementing this proposal for Purchase of Service employees would be $202 million over the Financial Plan (through Fiscal Year 2020).

Statement from State Senator Jeff Klein on the Passing of Chief Judge Judith Kaye

    "I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Chief Judge Judith Kaye. As the first woman to achieve the position of Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, an office that she served for over 15 years, Judith Kaye was a pioneer in the State of New York. An accomplished adjudicator and dedicated civil servant, her contributions to the Judiciary, and the legal profession as a whole, have left a lasting impression on our state. My thoughts are with her family and friends - she will be greatly missed."

Statement from Assemblyman Dinowitz on Returning to Albany, Priorities for the 2016 Legislative Session

    “As we embark on a new legislative session, the challenges – and opportunities – are clear. We must focus on making New York stronger and helping families get ahead by increasing opportunities and fairness. Last year, the Assembly Majority was able to accomplish much of our Families First agenda. Now, we must build on that success and deliver more for the people we represent. One way we can start is by robustly investing in education to give our children the very best opportunities to succeed, and by amending New York’s tax code to make it fairer for middle class families.

    “High on the agenda is raising the minimum wage. In order for New York’s working class families to have any chance at growing and building a better life for themselves we must substantially raise the minimum wage. I will relentlessly advocate for a minimum wage increase until all New Yorkers are given a fair, modern wage.

    “During this session I will also continue pursuing several of my own pieces of legislation including raising awareness on the dangers of sugar sweetened beverages, protecting our children and our schools from the risks posed by low vaccination rates, creating the statewide Office of the Utility Consumer Advocate, and many others.

     “Given the events of the past year, ethics and campaign finance reform are more important than ever. We must seriously look at limiting the outside income of legislators. We must adopt campaign finance reform, including closing the LLC loophole. And we must increase the level of transparency regarding the way state funds are spent, including discretionary funds by both the executive and the legislature. I have been a long-time advocate of all of these policies and I look forward to continuing that advocacy this year.

     “On our first day in session we have already adopted a significant measure giving legislators the ability to read bills electronically on tablets. This change will make government not only much more efficient, but much more environmentally friendly, eliminating the need for the enormous amounts of paper that are printed each legislative session, saving taxpayers millions of dollars in paper and printing costs.
    “These are just some of my top priorities for the 2016 legislative session, and I will work tirelessly to ensure they are accomplished. Given our new leadership under Speaker Carl Heastie, I am confident this will be a productive year.”

    Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz.

Council Member Andy King to Host Open House For 12th District Constituents

   City Council Member Andy King will hold an open house and community “meet and greet” at his 12th District offices at 940 East Gun Hill Road and 135 Einstein Loop, Room 44, in Co-Op City on Friday, Jan. 15, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

   Joining Council Member King will be his staff and representatives from city agencies, who will be available to answer community questions.

   The open house also celebrates the observance of the birthday of the slain civil rights leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

   “It’s only fitting that on the day of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s actual birthday that we open up our house as Dr. King had opened up his heart and gave his life to improve the lives of others. That true commitment to service is what we strive for in the 12th District,” said Council Member King.

This event is free and open to the public.