Saturday, February 27, 2016

100 PERCENT Saturday February 27, 2016

By Robert Press

Time to Unite

   For those who say that it was business as usual in this past Tuesday's special election they must be in the less than 40 percent that the Bronx Democratic County organization received as a winning percentage. As the John Lennon song 'Imagine That' goes, imagine that the Bronx Democratic County organization had been rejected by the voters in the special election. In reality over 60 percent of the voters rejected the Bronx Democratic organization, and it is now time to join together and put that majority to the test. There can be no more division among the ranks, but unity to win and keep on winning. The only way the Bronx Democratic County organization got away with a win in the special election was that you saw elected officials like Congressman Jose Serrano out at train stops doing for county what he does not even do for himself, campaigning. Congressman Serrano should be the first example to have a united single challenger. No more of this four or five people seeking to get on the ballot, only to split the majority of the vote and have everyone loose. there must be one united candidate against Congressman Jose Serrano, and then the Bronx Democratic County organization will get the message. After that the assembly districts can be picked away from county one by one. Next year the City Council districts, and maybe a whole new county organization. This mat be a dream for now, but it can become a reality in just a few short years if there is unity.

   State Senators Ruben Diaz Sr., and Gustavo Rivera, several assembly districts like the 78th, 82nd, 83rd (if he is not indicted, as NY 1 political commentator Curtis Swilia says Assemblyman Heastie will be), 84th, and maybe one or two others including the 85th currently held by the Bronx Democratic County Leader Assemblyman Marcos Crespo are also vulnerable. Next year there will be a few city council seats up such as Jimmy Vacca's, Anabele Palma's, and maybe one or more if current Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. decides to run for mayor, plus the possibility of a couple more weak incumbents. So my insurgent friends do not fear, there will be many opportunities to run. The only way to do this however is to unite together, otherwise you are only going to help the Bronx Democratic County organization. Remember 2008 and the Rainbow Rebellion. It was a united effort put up to overthrow the Bronx Democratic County Leader that worked, and it can be done again. The only question is when?

    The Bronx Chamber of Commerce has many upcoming events, and you can check the archive section on the left of this blog for them. Also check for upcoming March events that Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj will be hosting. It looks like KAZ Realty will be handling the business end of the Coop-City Riverbay Board leasing of the malls in Coop-City, and the Riverbay Board has made a fine choice in Bronx based KAZ Reality. 

    Moving to the race to replace Charlie Rangel there are now eight announced candidates, and tomorrow afternoon the Barack Obama Democratic Club of Upper Manhattan and the People's Theatre Project will be co-hosting a congressional candidates forum for the 13th district of New York. the eight candidates are Current State Senator Adriano Espaillat, State Senator Bill Perkins, Assemblyman Keith Wright, Assemblyman Guillermo Linares, former Assemblyman Adan Clayton Powell, Ambassador Suzan Johnson Cook, Mr. Mike Gallagher, and Mr. Clyde Williams. the forum is to be held at the Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center located at 530 West 166th Street Manhattan, starting at 3 PM. Let's hope that the eight candidates remember that while the majority of the 13th Congressional District lies in Manhattan that there is still a substantial part of the district that lies in the Bronx.   

    If you have any political information 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.  



  Monday, the New York City Council's Committee on Housing and Buildings, chaired by Council Member Jumaane D. Williams, Deputy Leader, will hold an oversight hearing on the Mitchell Lama Housing Program.

Mitchell Lama was one of the most effective affordable housing programs ever implemented in New York City. Currently, however, the program is in crisis and affordable units are rapidly disappearing through buyouts, tenant harassment and opt-outs. Yet, the city has not held a hearing to review the status of the Mitchell Lama program since 2009.

The hearing will be hosted at Brooklyn Borough Hall by Borough President Eric Adams.

WHO: The Committee expects to receive testimony from representatives of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), the Mitchell Lama Residents' Coalition, Cooperators United for Mitchell Lama, affordable housing advocates and Mitchell Lama tenants and owners.

WHERE: Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn

WHEN: Monday, January 29, 2016, 11:00 AM

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Bronx Chamber of Commerce - Irish Heritage Luncheon March 9, 2016

Attend the next Business & Networking Mixer!

Take advantage of the 
Early Reservation and Member Discounts!

We look forward to seeing you at our excellent 
business networking events!

March 18, 2016       
Women of Distinction Luncheon
Villa Barone Manor 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
April 13, 2016          
Annual Gala
Marina del Rey Caterers 5:30 pm - 10:30 pm
May 3, 2016           
Annual Golf Outing
Trump Links 11:30 am - 8:00 pm
June 16, 2016          
Annual Business Expo
The Mall at Bay Plaza 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Nunzio Del Greco

President and CEO
Bronx Chamber of Commerce
"The Network For Business Success"
1200 Waters Place, Suite 106
Bronx, NY 10461

Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj's Events for the Month of March

The month of March is our nation's platform to observe historic achievements in women's history. As we celebrate the success of our nation's women, we must also understand their journey and their unwavering sacrifice for equality. Join us, as we commemorate and honor those who have paved the way for all women to succeed.
Please join us in celebrating Women's History Month at our annual  

Women of Distinction Breakfast
Saturday, March 12th, 2016
9:30 am to 11:30 am
Pelham Bay Diner
1920 East Gun Hill Road
Bronx, N.Y. 10469

Also happening in March 2016

 Health and Wellness Fair
Friday, March 18th, 2016
4:00 pm to 7:00 pm
J.H.S. 80
149 East Mosholu Parkway
Bronx, NY 10467
Metro Card Van to the 80th AD
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
In front of 80th District Office 

1126 Pelham Parkway South 
Bronx, NY 10461
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm 
In front of ZNS Reality Corp. 
3039 Bainbridge Ave, Bronx, NY 10467
(at the corner of E. 204th Street)


Release shocking report: New York’s parents shell out highest percentage of annual income on child care in the country

Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein and State Senator Diane Savino joined Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Stores Union, and Macy’s employees, retail workers, and working family advocates, in front of the iconic Macy’s Herald Square on Friday calling for increased funding to child care subsidies.

In New York where residents pay the highest percentage of their annual wages on child care, Macy’s associates and retail workers from the 34th Street Commercial Corridor were helped by a $500,000 allocation secured by the Independent Democratic Conference for the Facilitated Enrollment program. This critical subsidy helps working moms and dads afford day care and provides parenting education. Since its inception, the Facilitated Enrollment pilot program has helped over 6,400 children and 3,900 families.

To illustrate the need to expand this, and other subsidy and tax credit programs for safe, quality child care, the senators released, “New York 2020: Reducing Childcare Costs for Parents Statewide.”

The report paints a bleak picture for New York’s parents. Married couples spend a whopping 12.6 percent of their income on child care, while single parents spend an astronomical 45.1 percent. With ever-rising costs of living such as skyrocketing housing costs, New York was ranked as the least-affordable state in the nation for child care.

“For New York’s working parents, the biggest bite out of their budget, after housing, is safe, quality child care. In this city, a married couple pays 13 percent of their annual income - higher than any other state in the nation. New York’s parents shouldn’t be forced to make hard choices between leaving the workforce or dedicating their hard-earned paycheck just to child care. That is why I am proud to fight for access to safe, quality child care through the proposals laid out in this report. With increased funding and program expansion we can ensure that working parents aren’t forced to make hard choices between staying at home or sacrificing their paycheck to skyrocketing day care costs,” said Senator Jeff Klein.

“The reality is that many single mothers are footing a $11,700 bill on an under-$26,000 salary. While costs of living are rising, we have 40,000 families on the waiting list for child care subsidies. These are families that need relief from the child care cost burden, so that no mom has to sacrifice her career because it’s more economical for her to stay home. We want the best for our children and for our families, and that is just what these proposals do. With these subsidy expansions and tax credit enhancements, we can ensure that every child has access to the safe, quality care that they need, and that every parent can afford it,” said Senator Savino.

Child care costs have spiraled out of control and working families -- many of whom live paycheck to paycheck -- desperately need the kind of help this program would give them. We strongly support the proposal from Senators Klein and Savino to extend and expand this desperately needed program, Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.

Top 10 Least-Affordable States for Center-Based Care for a Four-Year-Old in 2014[1]
Average Annual Cost of 4-Year-Old Care in a Center*
State Median Income for Single Mother Family**
As a Percentage of Median Income for a Single Mother Family
State Median Income for a Married Couple**
As a Percentage of State and Median Income for a Married Couple
Rank (Based on Percentage of State Median Income for a Married Couple)
New York

[1] Source: “Parents and the High Cost of Child Care: 2015 Report”, Child Care Aware of America.
The average cost of child care for a four-year-old in New York is $11,700. Across the state, the average ranged from $7,000 in the Southern Tier, to $19,000 per year in New York City. Families with multiple children often pay more in child care than for housing.

A combination of expanded subsidies, enhanced tax credits, and a new Working Families Child Care Tax Credit make up the Independent Democratic Conference’s new proposal.

The IDC would enhance the Facilitated Enrollment Child Care subsidy by increasing funding to $25 million and expanding eligibility to those within 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Line, which would increase access to a number of families, and serve approximately 2,571 additional children.

The report also proposes funding child care subsidies in New York by an additional $190 million, for a total of $1.166 billion. The proposal would increase funding for the Child Care Block Grant by $100 million, to add 13,000 new slots in child care centers. It would also pick up $90 million in funding for new federal mandates for background clearances, licensing and regulatory compliance, and training and professional development.
Finally, the IDC would expand the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, as well as create a new Working Families Child Tax Credit. The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit has not been increased since 1999, while many families’ costs of living have increased dramatically. The IDC would increase this credit by 50 percent, with $90 million in additional funding, to ease the child care burden on taxpaying parents.

The Working Families Child Care Tax Credit would establish a new, refundable credit of $1,000 for working and middle class families. The credit would be available to approximately 200,000 families. By expanding current credit and establishing a new credit, the IDC’s proposal would help 712,000 families across New York State.

“Our members are often living paycheck to paycheck. When they have a child, they do not have a savings account built up for years in advance. The members who benefitted from the Facilitated Enrollment Child Care subsidy program in the past are so thrilled that they can finally get some assistance with the high cost of child care. The additional funds in the child care budget will help more working parents than last year. Each year we grow stronger,” said Henry Garrido, Executive Director, DC 37, AFSCME, one of the largest unions of NYC public sector employees.



 On Sunday, February 28th, The Barack Obama Democratic Club of Upper Manhattan and the People's Theatre Project will co-host a congressional candidates forum for the 13th District of New York. This historic seat, occupied by U.S. Congressman Charles Rangel for over 4 decades, will be open for the first time in over half a century. The historic race for this seat now features nearly a dozen candidates all seeking to appeal to uptown and Bronx residents over the coming months before the June 28 primary. 

Each candidate will have the opportunity to connect with voters in a live forum on Sunday, February 28th at 3 PM at the Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center at 530 West 166th Street. 

What: 13th Congressional District Candidates Forum

Who: Barack Obama Democratic Club of Upper Manhattan & People's Theatre Project

Senator Adriano Espaillat
Assembly Member Keith Wright
Senator Bill Perkins
Assembly Member Guillermo Linares
Ambassador Suzan Johnson Cook
Former Assembly Member Adam Clayton Powell IV
Clyde Williams
Mike Gallagher

When: Sunday, February 28th, 3:00 PM

Where: Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center, 530 West 166th Street, Manhattan, NY

Thursday, February 25, 2016


  In comments to media last week, Mr. Trost COO of the New York Yankees indicated that New York Yankee fans that paid full price for a premium ticket likely could not bear to sit near another fan who bought their own ticket at a discount.

“The problem below market at a certain point is that if you buy a ticket in a very premium location and pay a substantial amount of money. It’s not that we don’t want that fan to sell it, but that fan is sitting there having paid a substantial amount of money for a ticket and [another] fan picks it up for a buck-and-a-half and sits there, and it’s frustrating to the purchaser of the full amount,” said Mr. Trost.

“And quite frankly,” Mr. Trost added, “the fan may be someone who has never sat in a premium location. So that’s a frustration to our existing fan base.”

“Yankee fans have always been the best in baseball. We root for our team harder than anyone, we live and die with every single loss. The idea that some of us would recoil in horror because the person sitting next to them paid less than face value for their seat is absurd, and represents the very definition of elitism,” said Borough President Diaz.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. has issued a letter to Randy Levine, President of the New York Yankees, critical of the team’s new anti-fan policies on the resale of tickets. In addition, Borough President Diaz also chastised the organization for the elitist, out-of-touch comments made recently by team COO Lonn Trost, which implied that less affluent fans do not belong in more expensive seats as their mere presence might offend the more prosperous.

“I have been a Yankee fan my entire life. Without the everyday, working class fans who make up the vast majority of their fan base, the New York Yankees would not be the successful franchise they are today,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “The Yankee organization should not be making it more difficult and more expensive for their fans, especially fans who might be visiting our great borough for the first time, to occasionally enjoy a ball game in The Bronx.”

Read the complete letter here:

KZA to Represent Co-o City's Riverbay Corp.

  KZA Realty Inc. has been chosen by Riverbay Corporation to attract and retain commercial tenants at market rent prices.  Riverbay is the property management company that manages Co-op City and also manages the Bartow Shopping Center and a 10,000-square-foot Bingo Hall at 8021 Bartow Avenue in the Bronx.

Riverbay's Board of Directors recently approved a 15 year lease extension of the Rite Aid Pharmacy for their 8,045 square foot space at the Bartow Shopping Center.   

Peter Merola, Riverbay’s Director of Finance, said Riverbay’s current management is focused on increasing commercial tenant rates because the properties command a higher value as retail development continues to increase in the surrounding areas.

KZA is currently studying tenants at the nearby Peartree Center and Bay Plaza to determine how to best recruit retailers that will fit in well with the surrounding businesses and add to the diversity of services offered in the area. 

Health and Wellness Fair! by Councilman Cohen and Assemblyman Dinowitz

State Senator Gustavo Rivera and Assemblyman Victor Pichardo Endorse Adriano Espaillat for Congress

   State Senator Gustavo Rivera and Assemblyman Victor Pichardo, endorsed Adriano Espaillat for Congress today near the iconic Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx. These endorsements are some of the first by Bronx elected officials. During the event, Adriano Espaillat pledged to bring a new focus to the Borough and committed to opening up a Bronx office on day one.

“I am proud to have the support of two lawmakers I work closely with in Albany to fight for tenants, improve healthcare and combat income inequality. We all believe strongly that lifting up working New Yorkers must be a priority and a new focus must be brought to the Bronx. When I am elected to Congress, I will open up an office in the Bronx on day one,” said Adriano Espaillat. “I look forward to continuing to work with Senator Rivera and Assemblyman Pichardo to make the Bronx a better place to live, work and raise a family.”

"When it comes to fighting for tenant’s rights no one has a stronger track record than Adriano Espaillat," said Senator Gustavo Rivera. "In Albany, he has shown tremendous leadership and we need his kind of energy in Washington so tenants have a strong voice who will fight to stop displacement and bring more affordable housing to our communities."

“Adriano Espaillat worked tirelessly to ensure that 2.5 million tenants could remain in their homes by leading the effort in the Senate to extend and expand rent laws,” said Assemblyman Victor Pichardo. “I was proud to join him in that fight and I am proud to endorse him for Congress. Adriano understands the issues that impact hardworking families, and I know he will fight to make a difference in the lives of my neighbors and help Bronx residents."

Above - With rain falling outside, State Senator Adriano Espaillat is joined by State Senator Gustavo Rivera and assemblyman Victor Pichardo as both electeds endorse Espaillat in his third bid fir the congressional seat of now retiring Congressman Charlie Rangel.
Below - The trio went outside with the Kingsbridge Armory as a backdrop to let the people passing by know of the endorsement of State Senator Espaillat for Congress.