Saturday, November 3, 2018


  Congressman Eliot Engel, Westchester County Executive George Latimer and Assemblymember Amy Paulin jointly urged Westchester residents to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 6 for Alessandra Biaggi, the Democratic Party candidate for State Senate in District 34. 

"Alessandra is going to do a tremendous job as our new State Senator," Congressman Engel said. "I've spoken and met with her several times already, and I can tell that she will be a great partner in government. As elected officials, whether it be at the federal, state, or local level, the fight to advance our progressive values is at the forefront of everything we do, and I look forward to working together to better our shared communities in the Bronx and Westchester which we are both so fortunate to represent.”

Westchester County Executive George Latimer said, "As a former State Senator working under Republican control of the chamber, I can’t stress to you enough the importance of getting out the vote for Alessandra Biaggi. We need Alessandra and the rest of the Democrats running to win so we can finally have control of the New York State Senate. In Albany, Alessandra will work with her colleagues to protect voting rights, a women’s right to make choices regarding her own body, and strengthen environmental protections - three issues that are under assault from Donald Trump and the Republicans nationwide. Make sure you bring a friend - or 10 - to the polls and get out the vote for Alessandra Biaggi." 

Assemblymember Paulin said, "Alessandra Biaggi has my full support on Election Day. She has the intelligence, the persistence, and the empathy to make a real difference on the critical issues facing our communities, including reducing gun violence, making healthcare more affordable, holding perpetrators of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and domestic violence accountable, and standing up for women, children, and families. I can't wait to work together with her on behalf of our constituents in Pelham and on policies to help all New Yorkers."

"I thank Rep. Engel, County Executive Latimer and Assemblymember Paulin for their important support," Biaggi said. "I am campaigning every day so that I can win in November and join them in working for the people of Westchester and the Bronx."

Al Shaib Community Meeting

  You can see by Friday night's meeting at the Al Shaib Community Center there was a large crowd, elected officials, and good times. Almost one-hundred people were in attendance to listen to various speakers led by future State Senator Alessandra Biaggi, Assemblyman Jose Rivera, and District Leader John Perez. Also on hand were Sergeant Major of the 45th precinct to talk about the new NCO program at the precinct, and other community leaders who spoke. 

Above - Future State Senator Alessandra Biaggi speaks, and answered some tough questions from the audience.
Below - 87th A.D. John Perez talks about his role in the community. 

Above - Assemblyman Jose Rivera speaks to the audience, giving some valuable information.
Below - Standing in for future Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is Ms. Ilona Duverge who was key to Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez's victory. 

Chancellor Carranza Visits District 10 Education Council Meeting

  It was billed as a Town Hal;l meeting with Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza. People were given slips of paper in order to write down questions that were prescreened for CEC 10 President Marvin Shelton to ask of the chancellor. At the beginning people were told that every question might not get asked, but to expect an answer from the chancellor in the coming weeks. 

  Chancellor Carranza opened up by talking about the Five-Year Capital Plan the DOE was embarking on. He went into generalities such as $750 million dollars will be spent to make all school ADA complaint, more classroom seats for district 10 (but not how many), and the Bronx Plan to bring an investment to under served schools (but again no figures were given). The Bronx Plan will give teachers an added incentive of $6,000 to $8,000 to teach in under served schools in Bronx schools where teachers have historically refused or transferred out of. Of the dozen teachers in the audience I was able to asked if they would take the added incentive, all replied no. 

  This also seems to be a copy of a previous program years ago where teachers were paid extra money to teach in disadvantaged schools, which failed in its second year. Teachers who signed up for the added incentive program soon transferred out leaving newer teachers in the schools. 

  Questions included class size, why the unproportinal number of certain classes of students are receiving suspensions, the common core, specialized high schools, and school food. On most of the questions Chancellor Carranza was on the parents side, and he did want to mention what he was doing as the chancellor to help solve some of the problems. School kitchens were being modernized for better food appeal, class size was going to be addressed by the five-year plan, he and the mayor were against one test being the sole criteria for getting into certain high schools, and that he wanted to know more from the schools on how suspensions were being handed out. 

  The ninety minutes went fast but the chancellor will do it again in two years as per the education law which states that he must meet with every Community District Education Council every two years.

Chancellor Richard Carranza is seated between School District 10 superintendent Hola, and CFC 10 President Shelton.

Bronx Tax Preparer Convicted At Trial For Aggravated Identity Theft And Tax Fraud

  Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that REBECCA BAYUO, a Bronx tax preparer, was convicted in Manhattan federal court yesterday of preparing false tax returns on behalf of her clients, filing false tax returns in the names of victims whose identities she had previously stolen, and filing false tax returns on her own behalf.  BAYUO was convicted after a two-and-half week jury trial before U.S. District Judge John G. Koeltl.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman stated:  “Rebecca Bayuo now stands convicted of multiple counts of tax fraud after she abused her position of trust as a tax preparer by systematically violating the nation’s income tax laws.  By repeatedly filing fraudulent tax returns for her clients, including using stolen identities to increase tax refunds, Bayuo stole tens of thousands of dollars directly from the U.S. Treasury.  For these egregious crimes, Bayuo now faces significant time in federal prison.”
According to the allegations contained in the Complaint, Indictment, and the evidence presented at trial:
BAYUO owned and operated Breakthrough Insurance Brokerage, a tax preparation business, located in the Bronx, New York.  From 2010 through 2014, BAYUO used stolen identifying information of victims to file fraudulent federal income tax returns, which generated tax refunds to which BAYUO was not entitled.  Specifically, BAYUO repeatedly used stolen identities of dozens of victims, including 11 New York residents who testified at trial, to file false tax returns and unlawfully collect tax refunds from the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) in their names for herself.  As a result of BAYUO’s criminal conduct, many of the victims were unable to file tax returns as required by law, and were deprived of tax refunds to which they were entitled.
In addition, from 2011 through 2012, BAYUO prepared and submitted to the IRS fraudulent tax returns for her clients that resulted in increased tax refunds, to which her clients were not entitled.  Among other things, BAYUO charged her clients an additional fee in exchange for providing them with the stolen identities of children as false “dependents” to claim on their tax returns.  BAYUO recycled the same stolen identities as false “dependents” for numerous tax returns, over at least a four-year time period.   
Finally, from 2014 to 2015, BAYUO filed false personal income tax returns in her own name, and included in those filings personal identifying information belonging to other individuals that she had stolen.  Specifically, on her own tax returns, BAYUO included false “dependents,” whose identities she had stolen, in order to obtain a larger tax refund to which she was not entitled.  Three of the victims of this scheme testified at trial.
BAYUO, 48, of the Bronx, New York, was convicted of 12 counts of aiding and assisting the preparation of false tax returns, each of which carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison; one count of theft of government funds, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison; one count of aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison; and two counts of subscribing to false tax returns, each of which carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison.  The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge. 
BAYUO is scheduled to be sentenced on April 12, 2019, at 10:00 a.m.
Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the IRS.  

Former Reality Television Series “Bad Girl” Pleads Guilty To Fraud

  Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that SHANNADE CLERMONT pled guilty to one felony count of wire fraud for making and attempting more than $20,000 in fraudulent charges using the stolen debit card information of a deceased man she had visited for a prostitution date.  CLERMONT pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “Former reality TV ‘Bad Girl’ Shannade Clermont stole debit card information from a man she visited for a prostitution date in his Manhattan apartment.  When he died of an overdose, Clermont used the deceased man’s identity to make tens of thousands of dollars in fraudulent purchases.  She has now pled guilty to fraud and faces time in federal prison.  This case demonstrates that in reality, those who commit debit card fraud will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”      
According to the allegations contained in the Complaint and Indictment to which CLERMONT pled guilty:
The NYPD and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York have been investigating the overdose death of a male individual (the “Victim”), who was found dead on the morning of February 1, 2017, in his apartment at 250 East 53rd Street in Manhattan, New York (the “Victim Apartment”).  During the course of that investigation, law enforcement learned that CLERMONT visited the Victim for a prostitution date at the Victim Apartment the previous evening (January 31, 2017), and stole two debit cards from his wallet.  CLERMONT then used the stolen debit card information to make or attempt to make more than $20,000 in fraudulent purchases during the months following the Victim’s death, including to pay her rent and phone bills, purchase flights, and make several online purchases of thousands of dollars of clothing and other merchandise.
CLERMONT also created and used a fake email account in the Victim’s name to falsely represent to third parties that she was the Victim, in order to commit fraud using the Victim’s identity.  Specifically, on or about April 3, 2017, approximately two months after the Victim’s death, the fake email account was used to register an account with Western Union in the name of the Victim, which was used to initiate a fraudulent money transfer of $1,000 from the Victim to CLERMONT.                                                                                                                                                                               CLERMONT, 24, of Georgia, pled guilty to one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.  Sentencing before Judge Buchwald is scheduled for February 13, 2019 at 2:30pm.
The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.
Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the NYPD. 

Four Individuals Charged In White Plains Federal Court With Participating In A Scheme To Defraud Users Of A Dating Website

  Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Angel M. Melendez, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), announced today the filing of charges against DAVID JONES, DAVID DUWAYNE TAYLOR, KRISTIN KNIGHT, and DESTINY BISHOP for engaging in a scheme by which they fraudulently duped their victims into believing that they had sent sexually explicit images to underage children and faced criminal prosecution if they did not pay to avoid involvement by law enforcement. 

TAYLOR, KNIGHT, and BISHOP were presented in federal court in South Carolina on October 18 and 19, 2018.  BISHOP was presented on Friday, October 26, 2018, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul E. Davison in White Plains federal court and released on a personal recognizance bond.  KNIGHT was presented on October 29, 2018, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Judith McCarthy in White Plains federal court and released on a personal recognizance bond.  JONES was presented this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Judith C. McCarthy.  TAYLOR is expected to appear in federal court in White Plains in the next several days.
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “As alleged, these defendants scared their victims into sending them money by fraudulently convincing them they were in peril of criminal prosecution for child exploitation.  This alleged fraud was not only cruel, it was also profitable for the defendants – until they were arrested.”
HSI Special Agent in Charge Angel M. Melendez said:  “These individuals allegedly chose their targets specifically to create vulnerabilities, seeking simply to make a profit through deceit and extortion.  Anyone can fall victim to a criminal scheme, so it is important to remain diligent in text messaging and online communications, and to contact law enforcement if criminal activity is suspected.”
As alleged in the Complaint unsealed October 18, 2018, in White Plains federal court[1]:
Beginning in August 2017, HSI began identifying various individuals who reported that they had been extorted after using a dating website (the “Website”).  In general, each victim reported communicating on the Website with an individual the victim believed was an adult.  Then, after the victim received and shared sexually-explicit photos with the person the victim believed was an adult, the victim was contacted by a person who claimed that the victim had communicated with an underage minor and needed to pay the minor’s family to prevent law enforcement involvement.  The victims made payments via money transfers through Western Union and Walmart and/or through the purchase of Green Dot MoneyPak cards.
JONES, 28, of Greenville, South Carolina, TAYLOR, 28, of Easley, South Carolina, KNIGHT, 28, of Greer, South Carolina, and BISHOP, 21, of Greenville, South Carolina, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of wire fraud, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.  The statutory maximum penalties are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencings of the defendants would be determined by the judge.
Mr. Berman praised the efforts of Homeland Security Investigations; the South Carolina Department of Corrections, Police Services Unit; and the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office in connection with this investigation.
Mr. Berman stated that the investigation is ongoing.  Anyone with relevant information is asked to contact Homeland Security Investigations at 866-DHS-2-ICE.                        
[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Complaint, as well as the description of the Complaint set forth below constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

A.G. Underwood Awards Nearly $26 Million To New York Land Banks

All Land Banks in New York State will Receive Funding; AG’s Office has Now Invested Over $82 Million in New York State Land Banks
Funding Secured through AG’s Martin Act Securities Fraud Settlements with the Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS Over Misconduct that Contributed to Housing Crisis
   Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood announced $25.9 million in new funding for all New York State land banks that work to protect homeowners and neighborhoods by acquiring blighted homes and transforming them into community assets. This latest round of funding will be administered by Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. (Enterprise). Since 2013, the Attorney General’s office has provided more than $82 million to land banks from funding it secured through settlements with the nation’s largest banks over misconduct that contributed to the housing crisis. This latest funding was secured through Martin Act securities fraud settlements announced earlier this year with the Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS.
“Land banks are a pivotal part of revitalizing and rebuilding neighborhoods across the state,” said Attorney General Underwood. “Thanks to funding secured by my office’s settlements with the big banks, we’ve been able to invest in cities and towns across New York still recovering from the foreclosure crisis.”
During the decade of the housing boom and bust from 2000 to 2010, the number of vacant properties in New York State increased by 27 percent. Following the collapse of the housing market, the New York State Legislature passed a law in 2011 establishing land banks — nonprofit organizations that can acquire vacant, abandoned, or foreclosed properties and rebuild, demolish, or redesign them. There are currently 25 New York land banks, all of which submitted responses to a Request for Applications issued by Enterprise; all will receive funding for 2019-2020 through this latest round.
According to the New York Land Bank Association’s 2017 New York State Land Bank Report, land banks in New York have:
  • Reclaimed 1,989 properties from abandonment and blight;
  • Sold 651 properties to individuals or nonprofit organizations;
  • Demolished 482 unstable structures.
Abandoned and vacant properties depress property values, discourage property ownership, and attract criminal activity. Land banks provide tools to quickly turn these properties back into assets that reinvest in the community's long-term vision for its neighborhood. Land bank programs act as an economic and community development tool to revitalize distressed neighborhoods and business districts. Land banks can benefit urban schools, improve tax revenues, expand housing opportunities, remove public nuisances, assist in crime prevention, and promote economic development.
The New York land banks receiving funding for 2019-2010 include:
Albany County Land Bank Corporation
Allegany County Land Bank
Broome County Land Bank Corporation
Buffalo Erie Niagara Land Improvement Corporation (BENLIC)
Capital Region Land Bank
Cattaraugus County Land Bank
Chautauqua County Land Bank Corporation
Chemung County Land Bank
Finger Lakes Regional Land Bank Corporation
Greater Mohawk Valley Land Bank
Greater Syracuse Land Bank
Livingston County Land Bank
Nassau County Land Bank
Newburgh Community Land Bank
Niagara-Orleans Regional Land Improvement Corporation (NORLIC)
Ogdensburg Land Bank Corporation
Oswego County Land Bank
Rochester Land Bank Corporation
Suffolk County Land Bank Corporation
Steuben County Land Bank
Sullivan County Land Bank
Troy Community Land Bank
Tioga County Land Bank
Wayne County Land Bank
Kingston City Land Bank
“Thanks to Attorney General Underwood’s support, more neighborhoods across Erie County and NYS will find relief from blighted, vacant homes that dotted communities and detracted from property values. The Land Bank has been instrumental in turning these former eyesores into welcoming, appealing parcels that are attractive to new homeowners and we look forward to the Bank’s continued success,” said Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz.
“Every dollar invested through the Landbank is another step in the right direction to fight blight on Long Island,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “I want to thank Attorney General Underwood for her commitment to rehabilitate zombie homes so we can revitalize them to their true potential.”

Comptroller Stringer Releases Fiscal Year 2018 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report

  New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer released the City’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for Fiscal Year 2018, which includes the City’s audited financial statements for the year, outlines important economic and financial data about New York City, and highlights the work of the Comptroller’s Office during the fiscal year. This year’s CAFR highlights the City’s strong economy and record low unemployment rate, and includes new data on the Comptroller’s Office diversity initiatives.

“Accountability and transparency make our City stronger. They’re values that we always hold ourselves to – and our CAFR is a testament to that commitment,” New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer said. “The numbers in this report are the footprints of our City and represent the work of dedicated public servants who keep our City running. New Yorkers deserve the strongest level of public data we can provide. I’m proud that once again, the CAFR has met the highest standards for financial reporting. I would like to thank everyone from the five pension systems, the Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget, the Office of the Actuary, and especially the staff of our Bureau of Accountancy, led by Deputy Comptroller Jacqueline Warburton-Thompson, for their work to publish this crucial report.”
In accordance with the City Charter, the CAFR is released annually no later than October 31. In addition to the financial statements of the City as a whole and for each of the City’s accounting funds, explanatory notes to the financial statements, and supplemental financial and statistical information about the City, the CAFR contains the basic financial statements of the City’s five pension systems and closely-related entities such as NYC Health + Hospitals, the NYC Water and Sewer System, and the NYC Economic Development Corporation.
For the 38th consecutive year, the Fiscal Year 2017 CAFR was awarded the prestigious Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association.
Highlights from the FY18 CAFR include:
New York City’s Finances and Economy
  • New York City’s economy, measured as real gross city product, grew 3.1 percent, outperforming US GDP growth for the sixth consecutive year.
  • For the 38th year in a row, New York City ended the fiscal year with a budget balanced according to generally accepted accounting principles.
    • The City had an operating surplus of $4.6 billion in Fiscal Year 2018, an increase of about $400 million from the previous fiscal year. After certain prepayments and transfers for Fiscal Year 2019, the General Fund surplus for Fiscal Year 2018 was $5 million.
  • City tax revenues grew 8.1 percent, after experiencing the lowest growth since FY10 last fiscal year. Growth was propelled by a 19.1 percent rise in personal income tax revenues, fueled by a one-time boost from Federal tax reform. Property tax revenues grew by 7 percent.
  • New York City added 76,600 private-sector jobs, driving citywide unemployment to 4.3 percent, the lowest level on record.
The Comptroller’s Office
Bureau of Asset Management – The Comptroller’s Bureau of Asset Management is the investment advisor to the City’s five Retirement Systems.
  • As of June 30, 2018 the Bureau of Asset Management had $195.8 billion in assets under management for the five New York City retirement systems.
  • The pension trust funds earned $13.5 billion in investment income, net of investment expenses, in FY18, for a return of 8.7 percent.
Bureau of Public Finance – The Bureau of Public Finance works with the Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget to issue bonds to finance the City’s extensive capital program and to refund outstanding bonds for savings.
  • The City and the New York City Transitional Finance Authority (TFA) issued a total of $7.42 billion of long-term bonds to finance the City’s capital needs.
  • The New York City Municipal Water Finance Authority (the Water Authority) issued a total of $1.5 billion of bonds to finance the capital needs of the City’s Water and Sewer systems.
  • Refundings of bonds of the City and the TFA generated $613.38 million in budgetary savings and refundings of Water Authority bonds generated $389.34 million of savings over the lifetime of those bonds.
  • As of June 30, 2018, the City’s outstanding General Obligation debt, the TFA’s Future Tax Secured debt, and the Water Authority’s debt together totaled $103.84 billion.
Labor Law – The Comptroller’s Office sets and enforces prevailing wages for contractors on New York City public works projects. In FY18, the office:
  • Assessed over $2 million in underpayments and interest against City contractors that violated New York’s prevailing wage laws.
  • Imposed penalties totaling $100,000 against those City contractors.
  • Opened 108 new cases, resolved 74 cases, and debarred 8 contractors for egregious conduct.
Economic Development – Since 1981, the City Pension Funds have invested in Economically Targeted Investments (ETIs). As of June 30, 2018:
  • The ETI program, including real assets and future commitments, was valued at $3.05 billion.
  • The ETI program’s ten year overall performance, at 4.94 percent net of fees as of June 30, 2018, has continued to exceed its benchmark.
  • Since inception, this program has financed the construction or preservation of over 112,000 units of affordable housing and 432,000 square feet of commercial space in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods.
Bureau of Audit and Investigation – The City Charter requires the Comptroller’s Office to audit some aspect of every City agency at least once every four years. In Fiscal Year 2018, the Comptroller’s Office:
  • Issued 74 audits and special reports on the effectiveness and service quality of City programs and financial issues.
  • These audits and investigations identified approximately $36 million in actual and potential revenue and savings.
Office of Diversity Initiatives – The Comptroller’s Office of Diversity Initiatives works to develop innovative solutions that expand economic opportunities for all, serving as a watchdog for the inclusion of women and people of color in City business. In Fiscal Year 2018, the Comptroller’s Office:
  • More than doubled its spending with minority- and women-owned business enterprises (M/WBEs) achieving 29 percent spending in Fiscal Year 2018, up from 12 percent in Fiscal Year 2014.
  • Appointed a Diversity and Inclusion Director in the Bureau of Asset Management, the first time the bureau has had staff dedicated to diversity across all asset classes.
  • Introduced Comptroller’s M/WBE University, which engaged 600 diverse businesses in a series of workshops designed to increase access to the Comptroller’s Office and citywide procurement opportunities for M/WBEs.
  • Began tracking the number of M/WBEs on the prequalified list of certified public accountants, a list of firms that can provide audit services to the City’s agencies. As of June, 2018, there were 16 M/WBEs prequalified to provide the City with audit services.
  • Released its fifth annual Making the Grade report, which evaluates each City agency’s spending with M/WBEs.


Annual Open Enrollment Period is underway and continues through January 31, 2019. GetCoverdNYC launches increased outreach to reach as many New Yorkers as possible, there is a new enrollment location in Astoria, and certain locations have expanded hours.

  The Open Enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has begun, meaning uninsured New Yorkers can sign up for health insurance coverage through the New York State of Health Marketplace. During Open Enrollment, GetCoveredNYC, the City’s health insurance outreach and enrollment program, will expand its year-round citywide outreach to contact over 100,000 uninsured New Yorkers and provide enrollees with free one-on-one assistance in over 12 languages.

The Open Enrollment Period runs from November 1, 2018 through January 31, 2019. New Yorkers who are new to the Marketplace can enroll now, and people with existing coverage can renew their health plans starting November 16. Consumers must enroll or renew by December 15 for coverage effective January 1, 2019. New Yorkers who previously enrolled through the Marketplace must renew their health insurance each year to maintain coverage.

For Open Enrollment GetCoveredNYC has launched a citywide multilingual advertising campaign promoting health insurance and the free enrollment services available to New Yorkers. In addition, GetCoveredNYC is expanding its neighborhood enrollment events with community-based organizations and local elected officials, and several City health centers will offer extended hours during Open Enrollment. New Yorkers can access free in-person enrollment assistance by calling 311, texting CoveredNYC (SeguroNYC en EspaƱol) to 877877, or visiting

“Health insurance empowers New Yorkers to access health care services to manage their health and well-being,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Dr. Herminia Palacio. “I thank the City’s GetCoveredNYC team for continuing to play a critical role in our communities to help individuals get covered for health insurance.”

“Now is the time for all New Yorkers to protect themselves and enroll in a quality health insurance plan, including one of the many available low- and no-cost options,” said Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit Acting Director Eric Rotondi. “I am thankful to all of GetCoveredNYC’s partners, including countless City agencies, community organizations, and elected officials who work year-round to enroll all New Yorkers in health insurance, and who are helping us increase our outreach during this Open Enrollment Period.”

“If health insurance is not offered through work, there are many low- or no-cost options that you may be eligible for,” said Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “Call 311 to set up an appointment for free, in-person help with choosing a plan.”

“If your health or income has changed since last year, you may want to take advantage of Open Enrollment to shop online or call 311 to figure out which health plan fits your current needs,” said Mitchell Katz, MD, president and chief executive officer of NYC Health + Hospitals. “New Yorkers are fortunate to have a range of high-quality health plan choices, including our own MetroPlus.”

This year, the City opened a new site for health insurance enrollment at the Astoria Health Center (12-26 31st Avenue, 2nd Floor, Astoria, NY 11106), which is open Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:30 AM - 3:30 PM. In addition, several sites will offer extended hours:

Chelsea Health Center (303 Ninth Ave., 1st Fl): open certain Saturdays from 9 AM to 12 PM
§  Saturday, November 17
§  Saturday, December 8
§  Saturday, December 15

Jamaica Health Center (90-37 Parsons Blvd, 4th Fl): open certain Saturdays from 9 AM to 2 PM
§  Saturday, November 10    
§  Saturday, December 8  
§  Saturday, January 12      
§  Saturday, January 26          

Bushwick Health Center (335 Central Ave., 1st Fl):
§  open certain Saturdays from 9 AM to 3 PM
§  Saturday, November 3
§  Saturday, November 17
§  Saturday, December 1
§  Saturday, December 15
§  Saturday January 5
§  Saturday, January 19
§  Extended hours on certain Mondays until 6 PM
§  Monday, November 5
§  Monday, November 19
§  Monday, December 3
§  Monday, December 17
§  Monday, January 14
§  Monday, January 28

Many New Yorkers may qualify for low- or no-cost health insurance through the Marketplace. Those whose earnings exceed Medicaid limits may be eligible for the Essential Plan, which also offers a comprehensive coverage package for either a $20 monthly premium or no cost, depending on income. Those earning more may be eligible for Qualified Health Plan coverage, offered by MetroPlus and others, with public subsidies on a sliding scale reflecting income. All the plans cover inpatient and outpatient care, physician services, diagnostic services, mental healthcare and prescription drugs.

Created by Mayor de Blasio in 2016, GetCoveredNYC is a citywide outreach initiative that helps all New Yorkers enroll in health insurance and access primary and preventive care. The initiative is a partnership between the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit, NYC Health + Hospitals, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Human Resources Administration and MetroPlus Health Plan. In 2017, GetCoveredNYC assisted over 80,000 New Yorkers in enrolling in health insurance.

Bronx Chamber of Commerce Salutes Six Veteran Heroes at our Veterans Recognition Luncheon

This Luncheon is FREE to all Veterans
and active military men and women

Information or to RSVP:
718-828-3900 or
Events, Communications & Grants Director
Bronx Chamber of Commerce
"The Network for Business Success"


Friday, November 2, 2018

Halloween Party hosted by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

  The room was packed with children and their parents as the Democratic Candidate for the 14th Congressional District (and future Congresswoman) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hosted a Halloween Party for residents of Parkchester on Halloween. Below are photos of the highly successful event.

Above - One thing a good candidate has to do is kiss babies, as future Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortes is doing.
Below - You also have to make sure the voters know who you are.

One of the most important things an elected official has to do is thank those who came to your event, and make sure the voters will come out to vote for you on election day.


More than 500 incarcerated individuals submitted absentee ballot request forms

  Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the City has registered 897 incarcerated individuals and jail facility visitors for the upcoming General Election. The City also submitted absentee ballot request forms for a total of 547 incarcerated individuals.

Since this initiative began this past August, 624 incarcerated individuals and 273 jail facility visitors were registered in time to vote in Tuesday’s election. These efforts will continue after Election Day so that incarcerated individuals are registered for future elections. The City will have the final number of absentee ballots submitted to the Board of Elections after Election Day.

“Voting gives people a chance to have their voices heard and weigh in on important issues that affect all of our lives,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “With this initiative, we’re helping many more incarcerated individuals participate in our democracy and have their voices heard.”

“Each election represents an important opportunity to directly shape the future of our community and democracy,” said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives J. Phillip Thompson. “This administration is committed to making our elections more inclusive of all New Yorkers and simplifying the voting process, which is especially important for communities that have been historically underrepresented.”

“Our goal is to give every New Yorker a voice, including individuals who are or have been involved in the justice system. We look forward to continuing to work together to strengthen the participatory democracy in our city, for justice-involved people and all of NYC’s diverse communities,” said Chief Democracy Officer Ayirini Fonseca-Sabune.

“This is a powerful way of reminding those in our custody that their vote matters, and that they still have a stake and a say in their communities,” said Department of Correction Commissioner Cynthia Brann. “Thanks to this initiative, it is now easier for those in our custody to exercise their democratic rights.”

This past August, the Mayor launched a robust voter registration and information campaign to help incarcerated individuals exercise their right to vote. For the first time ever, the City facilitated the direct pick-up and delivery of voter registration forms and absentee ballots, expediting the registration and mail-in process. The effort is being led in partnership with the Department of Correction, the Legal Aid Society and the Campaign Finance Board.

Volunteers from the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit, the Campaign Finance Board and the Legal Aid Society launched voter registration and Get-Out-the-Vote campaigns within DOC facilities. This included displaying more than 1,200 posters throughout facilities encouraging people who are incarcerated to vote and eventually stocking libraries with non-partisan information about candidates published by CFB’s NYC Votes. Additionally, incarcerated individuals have the opportunity to attend regular, voluntary discussions with DOC program counselors to learn more about the voting process. The Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit also engaged City jail visitors and encouraged them to register to vote.

Before this initiative, registration forms and absentee ballots were processed with other outgoing mail in jail facilities, which is subject to security procedures that may have inadvertently caused missed deadlines. Incarcerated individuals will now fill out and submit forms directly to staff who will ensure registration forms and absentee ballots are delivered to the Board of Elections in a timely manner. There are currently many incarcerated individuals in City jails who are eligible to vote.

This campaign will continue through Election Day to ensure the timely delivery of absentee ballots.

Increasing voting access is part of Mayor de Blasio’s DemocracyNYC initiative, which aims to increase civic engagement and strengthen democracy locally and nationally.