Neighborhood Chatter

Written by NYPress on . Posted in News Our Town Downtown, Our Town Downtown.


Citywide

Despite Mayor, City Council Passes Living Wage Bill

 

On Monday, April 30, the City Council—despite criticism by Mayor Michael Bloomberg—successfully passed the Living Wage Bill. While several cities across the country have passed similar legislation, the mayor has previously said he would veto the bill should it pass, saying it stymies job growth.

According to the City Council, “Under the living wage legislation, direct recipients (projects receiving subsidies from the City) of at least $1 million in government financial assistance must pay their employees a wage of $10 an hour with health care benefits or $11.50 an hour without. … Given the scale and types of City economic development projects, an estimated 600 workers a year will receive a living wage as a result of this bill, with the potential to cover thousands of jobs over the next several years.”

“When we invest in economic development, we should expect that the jobs that are created are good jobs—ones that will protect and grow the middle class. This bill does that and does so in a way that will not overburden businesses,” said Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “The City has negotiated living wage requirements on individual deals in the past, and I believe that we must continue this work to provide as many living wage jobs as possible on subsidized projects. With this bill, we are fulfilling our duty to New Yorkers to make sure that taxpayer dollars are used to provide the maximum public good. By providing a high quality of life, attracting the best talent and protecting our middle class, we will remain the greatest city in the world.”

 

Pooper Scoopers

According to a release by the Citizens Committee for New York City, every year more than 2 million dogs in New York City’s five boroughs produce over 275,000 tons of dog waste. In Tompkins Square Park, which has the city’s largest dog run, a dozen 50-gallon drums are filled with dog waste every 48 hours. While the “pooper scooper” law passed by the City Council in 1978 requires New Yorkers to clean up after their pets, dog waste, which contains harmful pathogens, is still either landfilled or shipped out of state at considerable expense. On Saturday, May 5, at a West Village dog run adjacent to the Hudson River, Citizens Committee for New York City will announce a citywide competition to design and implement dog waste composting projects that will save landfill space and tax dollars while providing nutrient-rich fertilizer for New York City’s parks, community green spaces, and other public and private spaces.

Peter H. Kostmayer, CEO, announced the organization will award $10,000 in awards to dog owner groups, composting groups and neighborhood groups that develop innovative ways to compost dog waste in the city’s more than 400 neighborhoods.

 

Chinatown & Lower East Side

Council Member Chin Chides After-school Cuts

According to a release distributed by Council Member Margaret Chin, close to 70 percent of after-school programs in Chinatown and the Lower East Side are on the verge of being closed in the fall if Mayor Michael Bloomberg doesn’t restore cuts to the OST (out of school time) program.

“The cuts to after-school programs in Chinatown and the Lower East Side are extremely alarming,” Chin said. “The loss of these after-school programs will have a debilitating effect on our community and on our schools. For thousands of parents, after-school programs are the only way they can make a living and ensure that their children are safe in the afternoon hours. Parents in Chinatown and the Lower East Side cannot afford to lose these programs, and our community cannot afford to send our children out into the streets. These cuts are irresponsible. Mayor Bloomberg should be focused on expanding access to these programs and making after-school universal for all children in our City.”

Chin, along with other local officials, will hold a town hall on the after-school/OST cuts today, May 3, at 6 p.m. at P.S 134/137.

 

Lower Manhattan

Downtown Alliance Honors 12 Public Safety Officers

On Wednesday, April 25, the Downtown Alliance honored 12 of their public safety officers for helping to keep Lower Manhattan one of the safest areas in New York City.

“You’ve done your jobs with dedication and distinction,” Robert R. Douglass, Chairman of the Downtown Alliance, told the organization’s public safety officers. “You’ve made life better—year after year—for Lower Manhattan’s millions of workers, residents and visitors. Thanks in part to your work, we’re one of the safest districts in the city today.”

The 57-person public safety staff, recognizable by its distinctive red uniforms, patrols the streets of Lower Manhattan 24/7. Security officers check in with neighborhood businesses, provide visitors and residents with friendly directions and assist the New York City Police Department. Criminal activity in Lower Manhattan has dropped sharply since the Downtown Alliance and NYPD began working together.

Several officers received multiple awards for their actions:

Oct. 21, 2011– Supervisors Rosa Ellis and Joel Delgado, Lt. Turhan White, and Security Officers Jonathan Molina and Joseph Cuadrado helped evacuate pedestrians after a fire occurred on the 28th floor of 120 Broadway.

March 18, 2011– Security Officer Jose Matias found a $1,599 check on the sidewalk at Wall and Nassau streets and returned it to the branch manager of Valley National Bank.

March 21, 2011 – Security Officer Lyudmila Melnik reported a theft at Lenny’s Deli on John Street to the NYPD. Officers quickly arrested a suspect, and the items were returned.

May 10, 2011 – Security Officers James Paige and Shawn Soto came to the aid of an injured man after a fight broke out in the 2-3 subway station. Officer Soto stayed with the injured man while Officer Paige called the NYPD to the scene.

June 8, 2011 – Security Officer Aisha Martin helped the NYPD apprehend a man who had been arguing loudly with a security officer at a New York Stock Exchange checkpoint at Broadway and Wall. As the man fled, Officer Martin notified dispatch and gave a description to the NYPD Scooter Task Force. Officers later saw the man in Zuccotti Park and charged him with criminal possession of a weapon (brass knuckles, Mace, Taser and knife).

July 25, 2011 – Supervisor German Rosario, Security Officers James Paige, Rodrigue Bonnaire and Shawn Soto guided pedestrians to safety amid falling debris coming from a building at 16 Beaver St.

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