Saturday, January 5, 2019

The Inauguration of Nathalia Fernandez as the New York State Assembly Member District 80

  Things don't exactly go as planned sometimes. Normally guest speakers will come a little late, but U.S. Senator Charles Schumer was early. While this was suppose to be about Assemblywoman Nathalia Fernandez Senator Schumer couldn't resist getting an 'Off the Wall' comment in about President Donald Trump during his remarks. Senator Schumer said that he was on a tight schedule and was off to Staten Island for another event. After Senator Schumer left there was a brief pause until New York State Attorney General Letitia James arrived.

  By then all of the scheduled speakers had arrived and were seated, so the program officially began. The Mistress of Ceremony was Community Board 7 District Manager Ischia Bravo, who did a spectacular job of keeping things moving, and not letting Assemblywoman Fernandez forget to thank each and every VIP who was in attendance at Jacobbi Hospitals Conference Center. 

  Those who spoke were led by Attorney General Letitia James who also left after she spoke for other events that were going on this busy day. MC Bravo then called up a surprised speaker Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark, who while saying she had not prepared anything to say gave a spirited speech. The program returned to normal as scheduled Bronx elected officials were called upon to speak. Councilman Ritchie Torres, Councilman Mark Gjonaj, Deputy Borough President Marricka Scott-McFadden, State Senator Jamaal Bailey, and 83rd District Leader Kevin Riley representing New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. In the audience were Assembly members Michael Benedetto, Jeffrey Dinowitz, Victor Pichardo and a surprise guest from Queens State Senator Jessica Ramos who MC Bravo said had to take three trains and a bus to be here today. 

  Finally the time came for Judge Llinet Rosado to administer the oath of office to Assemblywoman Fernandez who called up her family to be on stage with her. Later during her Inaugural Address Assemblywoman Fernandez apologized that the National Anthem never was sung by Ms. Diane Arroya. She added that she was happy to see the very large crowd support her, and that she will represent her district at the best of her ability. 

Above - A photo of the Bronx elected officials who were on hand.
Below - Assemblywoman Fernandez with Assemblyman Michael Blake who she is supporting for Public Advocate in the February special election.

Above - New York State Attorney General Letitia James.
Below - Good friend, and former boss whose assembly seat she now holds, City Councilman Mark Gjonaj. 

Above - Judge Llinet Rosado administers the Oath of Office to Assemblywoman Nathalia Fernandez.
Below - Assemblywoman Fernandez hugs her family members after taking the Oath of Office.

Above - Assemblywoman Nathalia Fernandez gives her Inaugural Address.
Below - Congratulations were in order.

Biaggi, Sepulveda, Reyes Three Kings Event

  It was billed as the Holy Family Church Three Kings Day Celebration beginning at 10 AM, running through 12 PM.. The event was being hosted by State Senator Alessandra Biaggi, State Senator Luis Sepulveda, and Assemblywoman Karines Reyes, but none of the three elected officials were on site as this reporter left at 11:15 AM to go to another event. As you will see by the photos below Where's the Elected officials?

Above - Only members of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, members of the PBA, a few children, are in this photo.
Below - The toys which the Union members brought to give out. Two children Peter and Esayah already know which toys they want.


  Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today that Meera Joshi, CEO and Chair of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, plans to step down from her role in March.  Commissioner Joshi’s tenure was marked by such progressive innovations as the protection and enhancement of driver earnings, citywide access to For-Hire services for persons with disabilities, a 50% reduction of fatalities in crashes involving taxis and For-Hire vehicles in the last year, significant advances in consumer protections, and a first-ever pathway to the effective management of congestion and environmental impact relating to TLC-licensed services — all of which was enabled by the collection of previously-unavailable data.

“In this unprecedented period of growth, Meera has brought about equally unprecedented and vital change that will serve as a model for cities throughout the nation and the world,” said Mayor de Blasio.  “Under her leadership New Yorkers who use wheelchairs can get service, passengers are assured that every driver and vehicle is safe, our city has detailed records of the one million daily trips and New York City is the only place where app drivers have pay protection.  She will leave an unparalleled legacy and has raised the bar for good government.  I am grateful for her service.”

“It has been an honor to serve New York City through the effective regulation of almost 200,000 drivers in over 130,000 vehicles moving over a million people each day,” said Commissioner Joshi. “Thanks to a skilled and principled TLC staff, a Commission dedicated to doing the right thing and engaged industry members and advocates, through public debate and data we increased accountability, safety, access, modernized taxi regulation, protected drivers and increased consumer protections. I am deeply grateful to the TLC community that made this possible.”

The Administration will announce a replacement for Commissioner Joshi in the coming months. Created in 1971 by Local Law No. 12, the Taxi and Limousine Commission is a Charter-mandated agency, the purpose of which is the continuance, further development and improvement of taxi and for-hire service in the City of New York.

Council Member Rafael Salamanca Jr. - Week in Review, January 4, 2019

IN THE NEWS: WEST FARMS PRESERVATION PROJECT KEEPS 343 APARTMENTS AFFORDABLE. Amidst the rapid development in the South Bronx, building and maintaining affordability for residents has been a top priority for Council Member Salamanca. This week, The Real Deal reported on Camber Property Group, Belveron Partners and the city’s Department of Housing Preservation's acquisition of 11 buildings in the West Farms neighborhood. The 11 buildings, comprised of 343 units will remain 100% affordable for 40 years, 2058."These buildings were going to lose their tax credits next year and therefore the previous owner had an option of an increasing rent at above market rate. They're making a $4 million capital investment, so there's boilers that need to be fixed, there's elevators that need to be redone, you have piping, the walls, roof so it needs to be done."

Michael Blake Secures Second Spot on Ballot in Race for Public Advocate

Blake campaign files petitions within 36 hours of Special Election announcement

On Friday afternoon, the Blake for New York campaign submitted their second volume of petition signatures. Having secured the second spot on the ballot for the February 26th Public Advocate Special Election on Thursday afternoon, the campaign has now filed over 5,500 signatures.

“Our #ForThePeople grassroots organization has proven how committed we are about this campaign by submitting our signatures with the Board of Elections on the second and third day of petitioning. To every New Yorker we have spoken with who signed our petitions, I say ‘Thank You.’  It is evident that our message of #JobsAndJustice is resonating with New Yorkers who are seeking leadership that will unite us, and we are just getting started” - Michael Blake

Job Posting - Director of Communications Council; District 17

Posted January 03, 2019

Director of Communications

New York City Full Time

Bronx City Council Member Rafael Salamanca Jr. (D) is looking for a driven communications expert to join his team. The position is ideal for candidates with relevant experience in public relations, communications and/or government and a deep interest in helping the people of the South Bronx and New York City. The position is based at 250 Broadway with frequent travel to the District Office in the South Bronx. 
 Job responsibilities will include:
  • Engaging with key press and managing all media relations
  • Developing and executing press strategy
  • Writing statements, remarks, press releases, talking points, media advisories and op-eds
  • Drafting and publishing a weekly e-newsletter
  • Managing social media pages
  • Organizing and coordinating press conferences, rallies and panel appearances
  • Advising on legislation and land use matters

Interested applicants should have: 
  • Exceptional writing skills
  • Interest and knowledge of key issues in The Bronx and NYC, including but not limited to: affordable housing, transportation, NYCHA, homelessness and more
  • Relationships with City Hall press and key New York City reporters
  • Experience managing social media
  • Proficiency in Spanish (preferred, not required)
  • Fun! #TeamSalamanca believes in working hard in an exciting, dynamic and energetic environment!

About Council Member Salamanca:
Rafael Salamanca Jr. is the Council Member for the 17th District of the New York City Council, representing the South Bronx and serves as Chair of the Land Use Committee.
The son of first-generation Puerto Rican immigrants, Council Member Salamanca grew up in the Bronx understanding the value of hard work and the importance of giving back to the community. Beginning his career working in healthcare to expand access for low-income and working families, Council Member Salamanca went on to serve as the District Manager for Bronx Community Board 2 for nearly six years. As former President of the 41st Precinct Council, he worked closely with the NYPD and other local leaders to help improve public safety in the community.
Since his special election in 2016, Council Member Salamanca has been a champion for affordable housing, bringing thousands of affordable units to his district and focusing on ensuring residents of all incomes have access to new apartments. Driving more than $52 million in capital investments to his district, Council Member Salamanca has fought for job creation by requiring companies investing in the community to hire local residents, and has committed to providing children in the Bronx with access to a quality education.
Application Instructions
Please send resume/CV and three writing samples.

Friday, January 4, 2019


Defendant Carried Out Botched Procedure In Her Home

  Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark today announced that a Bronx woman has been indicted for Manslaughter and other charges for allegedly providing illegal silicone injections that caused the death of a 48-year-old woman. 

 District Attorney Clark said, “The defendant allegedly illegally injected the victim with a silicone substance for cosmetic purposes. Tragically, the injections killed the victim, who had traveled from Philadelphia to the Bronx for the procedure.” 

 District Attorney Clark said the defendant, Whalesca Castillo, 44, of 2219 Seward Avenue, was arraigned today on second-degree Manslaughter, Criminally Negligent Homicide and Unauthorized Practice before Bronx Supreme Court Justice David Lewis. Bail was set at $150,000 bond and the defendant is due back in court on April 18, 2019. If convicted of the top charge, she could face up to 15 years in prison.

 According to the investigation, on or about June 17, 2018, in the defendant’s home, Castillo injected silicone substance into the body of Lesbia Ayala, as part of an illegal cosmetic procedure to enhance the buttocks of the victim. The defendant did not have a license to practice medicine or cosmetic surgery. The victim died of systemic silicone embolism syndrome shortly after receiving the injections.

 District Attorney Clark thanked NYPD Detectives Carmen Torres of the 43rd Precinct Detective Squad and Anthony Velez of the Bronx Homicide Squad for their assistance.

An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.

The Bronx Democratic Party - Upcoming Events

Inauguaration of State Assemblywoman
Nathalia Fernandez
When:  Sat. 1/5/19 at 12:00pm
Where: Jacobi Hospital Rotunda (Adjacent to Building 4), 1400 Pelham Parkway South, Bronx, 

You are cordially invited to attend the inauguration
of NYS Assembly Member Nathalia Fernandez.  The ceremony will take at Jacobi Hospital and it will begin at 12:00pm.  

For more information or to RSVP, please email

Inauguration of State Senator Luis R. Sepulveda
When:  Sat. 1/5/19 at 5:00pm
Where: Bronx Museum of the Arts, 1040 Grand Concourse, Bronx, 

You are cordially invited to attend the inauguration
of State Senator Luis R. Sepulveda.  The ceremony will take place at the Bronx Museum of the Arts and will begin at 5:00pm.  

To RSVP, please email

Inauguration of State Senator Alessandra Biaggi
When:  Sun. 1/6/19 at 12:00pm
Where: Lovinger Theatre at Lehman College, 250 Bedford Park Blvd, Bronx, 

You are cordially invited to attend the inauguration ceremony of State Senator Alessandra Biaggi.  The ceremony will take place at Lehman College's Lovinger Theatre and will begin at 12:00pm.  To attend, please register at:

Co-op City Democrats Public Advocate Candidate's Forum
When:  Mon. 1/7/19 at 6:00 pm
Where: Bartow Community Center, 2049 Bartow Avenue, Room 31, Bronx, 

Please join the Co-op City Democrats for a Public Advocate Candidate's forum.  Come hear directly from the candidates about their vision for the office and what their priorities will be, if elected.  The special election, open to all registered voters in New York City, will be held on Tuesday, February 26th.  Light refreshments will be served

In solidarity,
Hon. Marcos A. Crespo, Chair
The Bronx Democratic Party

Bronx Democratic County Committee, P.O. Box #580032,652 East 187th Street, BRONX, NY 10458

Dawn Smalls Files Petitions in Race for Public Advocate Capturing Third Placement on the Ballot

First-time candidate, Dawn Smalls filed her petitions with the Board of Elections today, capturing the third placement on the ballot for the position of Public Advocate in the February 26th Special Election to fill the vacancy created by the election of former NYC Public Advocate Letitia James to New York State Attorney General.

“In a race with 20+ candidates, we knew gathering petitions for a citywide position was going to be tough given many of the candidates currently hold elected office and have a solid base to turn to for signatures,” said Ms. Smalls. “As a first-time candidate, I’m excited to be the third candidate to officially turn in my petitions to the board of elections. My sincere thanks go out to all of our volunteers and supporters who hustled in the cold weather to make sure my name will be on the ballot on February 26th.”
Smalls shows she is a serious contender, filing just behind two candidates known to have a built-in campaign infrastructure and significant resources on hand before the race was even called.
Petitioning began January 2nd, just two days ago, when the Mayor officially signed a proclamation officially setting February 26th for the special election for Public Advocate. Candidates have just 12 days to collect 3,750 signatures from NYC registered voters.


  Mayor Bill de Blasio and Council Speaker Corey Johnson held a joint appearance Friday afternoon to announce the details of an unprecedented City effort to address poverty through the development of a half-priced MetroCard program for low-income New Yorkers.

During the first phase, the City will provide discounted MetroCards to working New Yorkers at or below the federal poverty level who are receiving cash assistance or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits from the New York City Department of Social Services. The City is committed to expanding the program to as many New Yorkers as possible in future phases and is already developing the infrastructure to make that possible.

The Fair Fares NYC MetroCard will allow participants to purchase unlimited weekly and monthly passes at a 50 percent discount at MTA vending machines. The cards can be used on any New York City subway or non-express bus. The City is working with the MTA to phase in a pay-per-ride option, which it expects to launch in April. 

“New Yorkers shouldn’t have to choose between a ride on the subway or bus and their next meal,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Our partnership with the Council for fair fares will make our city stronger and fairer for low-income New Yorkers whose lives depend on mass transportation.”

“Fair Fares is a groundbreaking program that will help New Yorkers who need it most. I couldn’t be prouder to stand with Mayor de Blasio, my colleagues in the Council, and advocates to launch its first phase. Fair Fares will open up this city and its promise to people who currently are being shut out because they can’t afford a swipe. It will change lives for the better. I thank the Mayor and his team for their support and members of the Council for prioritizing this program in budget negotiations, but most of all, I want to thank advocates like Community Service Society and the Riders Alliance. Their hard work and dedication made Fair Fares a reality, and we stand united in making it a success and open to every New Yorker living in poverty,” said Council Speaker Corey Johnson.

“The Fair Fares program will greatly help many low income working New Yorkers for whom the cost of a MetroCard is a burden and sometimes infeasible for already tight budgets,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Dr. Herminia Palacio. “We are completely committed to this important program plan, and are working diligently to make sure it is fully implemented as quickly as possible.”

“This program will provide thousands of eligible New Yorkers affordable access to public transportation which will be a lifeline for people living in poverty to achieve their full potential,” said Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks. “We’re making this program a reality and carrying out our commitment to fight poverty and income inequality in our City.”

Last spring, the Mayor and Council announced a plan to fund $106 million for the Fair Fares NYC program in the first year. On Friday morning, the Department of Social Services started contacting 30,000 eligible working New Yorkers who are receiving cash assistance benefits. The notifications, and subsequent telephone calls, will inform this group of their eligibility and invite them to visit the nearest Fair Fares NYC location to receive their half-priced MetroCard. Eligible recipients can also call 311 to assist in receiving their card. In April, an additional estimated 130,000 working New Yorkers who are receiving SNAP benefits will receive notifications about how to access their cards.

"The implementation of Fair Fares starting will enable our most vulnerable populations to be able to access the subway and bus service systems without the worry of affordability. The overall goal is to increase equity in public transportation and decrease the gap of inequality that exists in New York City," said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chair of the Committee on Transportation. "Two years in the making, the Fair Fares program empowers New Yorkers and eliminates an impediment when commuting to work, school or an appointment. It's a win-win for all."

News From Congressman Eliot Engel

  Engel Elected Chairman of House Committee on Foreign Affairs

  Today, Congressman Eliot L. Engel was unanimously elected the new chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. With his ascension to the chairmanship, Engel now becomes the top Democratic voice on foreign affairs matters in the House of Representatives. He released the following statement:

“I’m honored that my colleagues have unanimously elected me chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee. Congress has an important role to play in foreign policy, and I’m committed to making sure we live up to those responsibilities.

“Diplomacy and development are critical to our national security. These efforts help advance our interests, strengthen friendships and alliances, and stop conflicts before they start. We must do all we can to support the public servants carrying out this work, including making an annual State Department authorization a central part of the Committee’s activity.

“As Chairman, I’ll ensure the Committee places a renewed emphasis on America’s overseas alliances—particularly NATO. We’ll work to underscore the importance of American values—human rights, democracy, and the rule of law—as pillars of our foreign policy. And, we will bring a new focus to issues including climate change and the root causes of migration.

“It’s also well past due for the House to grapple with questions of how, when, and where American armed forces are engaged around the world. Successive administrations have acted as though they have a blank check to send our service members into harm’s way, when in fact that is a matter for Congress to decide.

“Thorough and fair oversight is also an essential part of Congress’s role as a coequal branch of government. In the days ahead, the Committee will push the Administration for answers about the way it has crafted policy dealing with some of the world’s most important hotspots, from Saudi Arabia and Yemen, to Venezuela, to Syria, to Russia, to North Korea. I’m confident the Committee can do this work in a way that puts politics to the side and gets to the facts about matters pivotal to our security.

“In the years I served as the Committee’s ranking member, I was proud of the bipartisan record of accomplishment we built. I’m hopeful we can continue on this course, and I look forward to working with Ranking Member McCaul and all our members to advance our country’s interests and values.”

Dems Introduce H.R. 1 Featuring Key Voting Reform Concepts From Rep. Engel’s Proposed Constitutional Amendment

  Today, Congressman Eliot L. Engel cosponsored H.R. 1, the For the People Act, Democrats’ first legislative priority for the 116th Congress. The For the People Act is a broad anti-corruption and democracy reform package that will expand Americans’ access to the ballot box, reduce the influence of big money in politics, and strengthen ethics rules at all levels of the government. The bill includes several key concepts from Rep. Engel’s comprehensive Constitutional Amendment to reform our voting and electoral system, which he also reintroduced yesterday (H.J.Res. 9).

“For far too long, our political system has not reflected the needs of all Americans,” Engel said. “We’ve seen gerrymandered districts drawn to favor partisan elected officials, increasing voter suppression, and an unprecedented flood of money from special interests. With Democrats now in the majority in the House, we are committed to restoring transparency, ethics, and accountability to Washington.

“I believe that our democracy can only function when all Americans have a seat at the table. That’s why yesterday, I reintroduced a comprehensive Constitutional Amendment to fix our country’s broken electoral system. I’m pleased that the ‘For the People Act’ includes many concepts from my Constitutional Amendment, including instituting automatic voter registration, making Election Day a federal holiday, prohibiting voter ID requirements, and ensuring that failure to vote is not grounds for removing registered voters. It also bans partisan gerrymandering and reaffirms that Congress should have the authority to regulate money in politics, pushing back on Citizens United.

“Protecting the integrity of our electoral system from special interests and interference is critical and I am pleased the Democratic Caucus has made it an early priority.”

H.R. 1 also strengthens the ethics laws and expands oversight, ensuring integrity from all levels of government. In addition, the bill would extend the current conflict of interest laws to include the President and Vice President, requiring the release of their tax returns, while closing the revolving-door loophole for members of Congress.

Next Croton FMC Meeting Monday January 28th

  The next Croton Filtration Monitoring Committee meeting will be held on January 28th at 6:30pm. Please note the location is same as our last meeting -- Mosholu Montefiore Community Center at 3450 DeKalb Avenue, basement. An Agenda will follow as soon as it is ready.


  "I want to let constituents and riders of the #1 Train to know that beginning at midnight on Saturday, January 5, the #1 train will bypass 168th St. Station in Washington Heights for approximately one year while four new elevators are constructed. I will be onsite at the 168th St. Station tomorrow, January 5, 2019, at 12:00PM (Noon) to monitor the additional bus service that will be provided to accommodate riders needing to access 157th St. Station to catch the 1 train. I have the commitment of the MTA that they will be actively observing the bus service so that it meets the needs of riders and also will have additional staff available to answer questions from the public.

MTA has stated that they will finish the construction around early 2020. I've requested that this reconstruction project finish on-time, and if possible, reduce the total duration of the project. Additionally, while the new automatic elevators will be able to accommodate a higher volume of subway riders, the elevators will not extend to the subway platform. I've asked the MTA to conduct a feasibility assessment on options to bring the 1-train platform to ADA compliance."


  "Brooklyn and Manhattan residents, small businesses, and commuters have been planning and anticipating the L-train shutdown for months. I am glad that the Governor was able to find a group of top engineers to facilitate a less disruptive plan for over 250,000 riders of the L-train. However, further review of the new scope of work is necessary to ensure efficiency, that the project is completed without going over the original budget, that bus routes and ferry service previously included in the project are evaluated, and to figure out what additional resources or public outreach is required to guarantee a well-organized timeline of construction," said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chair of the Committee on Transportation.

Rep. Adriano Espaillat to Host District Event Honoring Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 Representative Adriano Espaillat (NY-13) will host his annual open house event honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Friday, January 18th from 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. EST. The event will take place at Rep. Espaillat’s Harlem district office located at 163 West 125th Street, Suite 508, New York, NY 10027. Light refreshments will be served.

This event is open to the public and press.

WHO:            Rep. Adriano Espaillat (NY-13)
WHAT:          Harlem District Office Open House and Commemoration Event Honoring the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

WHEN:          Friday, January 18th at 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. EST
WHERE:       Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building
                        163 West 125th Street, Suite 508
                        New York, NY 10027

RSVP:   or by phone at 212-663-3900


  Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today that Rick D. Chandler, PE, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Buildings, will be retiring from city service after 31 years with the city, including nearly 20 with the Department, four of which were as Commissioner. Commissioner Chandler led a sweeping modernization effort touching every part of the Buildings Department, including the launch of DOB NOW, which will allow New Yorkers to do all business with DOB online; hiring more than 230 new inspectors and 150 technical staff, resulting in significantly faster permit reviews and inspections of construction sites and 311 complaints; and regulating the city’s real estate and construction industries during the largest building boom in at least 50 years.

Thomas Fariello, RA, the agency’s First Deputy Commissioner, will serve as Acting Buildings Commissioner, effective February 1, 2019.

“When I took office, I called for a fundamental reform of the Buildings Department – and I am grateful to Commissioner Chandler for helping deliver on that promise. As Buildings Commissioner, Rick presided over an unprecedented building boom while at the same time launching an aggressive modernization plan to give the public faster service and greater transparency about DOB’s operations. While I’m sad to see Rick go, I thank him for his decades of service to the city and wish him well in his future endeavors,” said Mayor de Blasio.

“I thank Mayor de Blasio for his confidence in me, and for the major investments he made at DOB. Our modernization plan is delivering quicker plan reviews and improved response times, bringing new clarity and consistency to agency operations, strengthening enforcement, and promoting the highest standards of integrity, both in the construction industry and within DOB. The centerpiece of these reforms is DOB NOW – a platform to bring nearly all the agency’s business online and into the 21st century, with far greater transparency for the public. I wish Tom well as Acting Commissioner,” said DOB Commissioner Chandler.

“It was a privilege to work with Commissioner Chandler to modernize and staff-up the Buildings Department to streamline our services for New Yorkers. As Acting Commissioner, I look forward to continuing to implement the Mayor’s vision for the department and to furthering our essential mission of regulating one of the city’s largest industries and keeping construction sites safe for workers and the public,” said incoming Acting Buildings Commissioner Fariello.

Thomas Fariello is a New York State Registered Architect with more than 30 years of experience in the fields of architecture and construction. Appointed First Deputy Commissioner in 2011, Tom has been an essential part of the Department’s leadership since 2003, when he became Deputy Borough Commissioner in Brooklyn. He later served as Borough Commissioner in Brooklyn and in the Bronx. His experience before joining the Department — as a private-sector architect and plan examiner with the New York City School Construction Authority — cultivated his deep understanding of the laws governing construction, as well as the importance of leading the department to provide professional, efficient public service.

The New York City Department of Buildings regulates and promotes the safe and lawful use of nearly 1.1 million buildings and more than 45,000 active construction sites in New York City.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Michael Blake Announces New Endorsements in Campaign for Public Advocate

Bronx Leaders Rally Around Blake as Campaign Gains Momentum

   There are four different Members of Congress, five State Senators, eleven Assembly members,  and eight and a half City Council members, not counting the Bronx Borough President representing the Bronx. 

  Is One Bronx State Senator, One Bronx Assembly member, and One Bronx City Council member a rally by Bronx elected officials around someone running for office? 
State Senator Luis Sepulveda, Assemblywoman Nathalia Fernandez, and City Councilman Rafael Salamanca braved the cold standing on the steps of the Bronx County building to throw their support behind candidate for Public Advocate Michael Blake. 

   State Senator Luis Sepulveda among other things said that as Public Advocate Michael Blake would help increase funding to New York City Schools.

  City Councilman Rafael Salamanca in his endorsement said that as Public Advocate Michael Blake would hold the mayor accountable for the problems at NYCHA.

  Assemblywoman Nathalia Fernandez was not as unrealistic in what she said about what Michael Blake could do as the next Public Advocate.

  Assemblyman Michael Blake had to answer my question of how a Public Advocate was going to get more money for schools when that is the job of the State Legislature and not the Public Advocate. Candidate Blake said that he would use the power of the office to influence his friends in Albany.
To my question of how the Public Advocate would fix NYCHA which is the job of the City Council, again candidate Blake said that he would use the influence of the office.


Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. today announced the launch of the#CleanUpNYCHA social media campaign.

This initiative aims to use social media to encourage New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) tenants, as well local residents, businesses and elected officials to call attention to any subpar living conditions encountered in public housing facilities, on the grounds of developments and within individual apartments.

Borough President Diaz and his office will be monitoring this hashtag and reposting from these entries, in addition to following up with the proper authorities, in order to highlight the ongoing issues facing public housing residents and to help NYCHA residents across the five boroughs receive necessary and required city services.

“New York City’s public housing tenants are entitled to the same services and respect that all tenants expect a responsible landlord to provide,” saidBronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “We need to #CleanUpNYCHA because these living conditions would never be tolerated from private buildings. I encourage all New Yorkers to use this hashtag to highlight NYCHA’s failures to deliver for its residents and to push for a safer, cleaner and more livable public housing system.”

In December, there were two major incidents in which social media was used to shine a light on the unacceptable living situations facing residents in NYCHA complexes located in The Bronx.

Borough President Diaz used his own social media accounts to call attention to a neglected mountain of garbage at the Justice Sonia Sotomayor Houses and Community Center in Soundview on December 30. The pile was a health hazard, leaking filthy liquid garbage onto the sidewalk, causing a stench which attracted vermin to the area. NYCHA and Department of Sanitation employees were on-site cleaning up within hours of the media coverage of Borough President Diaz’s social media posts.

Previously, on December 2, the borough president was alerted to a situation in the Patterson Houses in the South Bronx, following social media posts in which residents reported having no running water at their apartments. A video posted on Facebook showed members of the community forced to line up, outside at nearby fire hydrants, to collect water for their homes. The situation was remediated following widespread media coverage and social media attention, with temporary water pumps installed so that residents had water service the following morning.

“I recently used my own social media accounts to call out the shameful situations in Soundview’s Justice Sonia Sotomayor Houses and the Patterson Houses in Mott Haven,” said Borough President Diaz. “These messes were cleaned up in a matter of hours because of how effective these social media platforms can be in spreading information to the news outlets and city officials. I want to build on this momentum by calling on NYCHA residents and anyone else who witnesses such inefficiencies to use this social media hashtag, so that we can catalog problems, act on them quickly and improve the living conditions of our NYCHA residents.”