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Archive for the tag 'Councilman David Greenfield'

The following was sent to us from the office of City Councilman David Greenfield:

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City Councilman David Greenfield is putting forward legislation designed to help alleviate the treacherous commute seniors face after snowstorms, according to a report by Metro.

Greenfield has received numerous complaints from seniors who lament the state of pedestrian walkways that go un-shoveled after snowstorms and blizzards, limiting their ability to get around town.

“I hear from seniors that they can’t walk by or if they walk, they fall,” Greenfield told Metro. “These pedestrian paths at train stations have become a blind spot for the Department of Sanitation.”

Greenfield’s plan calls for the DOS to include pedestrian bridges and walkways in their annual plan for clearing the city. Currently, there is bureaucratic confusion as to who is responsible for clearing pedestrian pathways since most of them are near subway stations.

“You get the blame game,” Greenfield said. “Every agency blames a different agency.”

The councilman hopes that by forcing the DOS to assign definitive responsibility to an agency for clearing the pathways will lead to a speedier cleanup and less danger for seniors.

Councilman David G. Greenfield

Councilman David G. Greenfield took to the steps of City Hall yesterday to announce his opposition of the phrase “mentally retarded” in city documents, a designation which he and other mental health officials consider outdated and offensive according to a press release.

After his press conference on the steps of City Hall, Greenfield is set to officially introduce legislation to the City Council which would end the use of the phrase, following in the steps of the state and federal government, which has already adopted the change.

Greenfield was joined by mental health and special education advocacy group leaders including National Down Syndrome Society Goodwill Ambassador Chris Burke. You might remember Chris Burke from his role Corky Thatcher from the ABC show Life Goes On.

Greenfield was also joined by Otsar, Quality Services for the Autism Community, Self-Advocacy Association of NYS, United Cerebral Palsy of New York City, Brooklyn Developmental Disabilities Council, OHEL, Center for the Independence of the Disabled in New York City and AHRC New York City.

Additionally, Greenfield is a cosponsor of a resolution looking to change the currently named “City Council’s Committee on Mental Health, Mental Retardation, Alcoholism, Drug Abuse and Disability Services” to the “Committee on Mental Health, Developmental Disability, Alcoholism, Drug Abuse and Disability Services.”

Source: Texnik via Wikimedia Commons

From the offices of Councilman Greenfield:

Councilman David G. Greenfield today introduced legislation in the City Council that would increase awareness of food allergies by requiring restaurants to post a sign alerting consumers of various common allergies caused by foods served there. Greenfield’s bill, known as the “Food Allergy Awareness Act,” would help ensure that customers and all restaurant staff members are aware of this growing health problem, which affects millions of Americans of all ages and is becoming more prevalent.

The bill would require all restaurants and catering halls to display a city Department of Health poster containing information on food allergies including warnings if any food served contains eggs, fish, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, soy or wheat ingredients. The notification must be posted in a conspicuous place that is accessible to all patrons, and posters would be available in Chinese, English, Korean, Russian, Spanish and any other language as determined by the Health Department. The goal is to promote awareness of food allergies to everyone involved in the food service industry, from the customer to the server or bartender to the kitchen staff. This will reduce the risk of cross contamination and of the customer unwittingly ingesting an ingredient they are allergic to.

“This is a simple, common-sense solution to a serious and growing public health issue. The more awareness we can create about food allergies, the more we can reduce the risk for those people who have to worry about this every time they go out to eat. Any low-cost measure that we can take to save lives is worth it, and this is no exception,” said Greenfield.

As many as 15 million Americans suffer from food allergies, including 6 million children. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there has been an 18 percent increase in food allergies between 1997 and 2007, with the prevalence of peanut allergies among children tripling from 1997 to 2008. With 4 percent of adults and 8 percent of children suffering from food allergies, finding suitable places to eat out has become a major concern for a large segment of the American public. Overall, the eight types of foods to be listed on the posters account for 90 percent of all food-allergic reactions.

“It is clear that more and more Americans are suffering from food allergies than ever before. It is time for our city government to recognize this critical issue and take simple steps like this to reduce the incidents of deadly allergic reactions in our city’s outstanding restaurants,” added Greenfield.

Source; Newsflash via Wikimedia Commons

Mayor Michel Bloomberg’s soda ban is still on the table and local politican Councilman Vincent Gentile is not happy. He fired off a letter to Bloomberg in which he calls the program “authoritarian, interfering and overprotective.”

Gentile joins  Councilmembers Domenic Recchia and David Greenfield in their opposition to what many call Bloomberg’s “nanny” policies.

The letter outlines the need for education versus governmental intrusions and the administrative issue that would arise if Bloomberg bypassed the  legislative approval of the City Council in order to pass the policy.

Below are excerpts of Gentile’s letter:

I am writing with regard to your recent proposal to ban sugary beverages larger than 16-ounces in New York City.  I found this first-in-the-nation proposal not only to be misguided but completely unacceptable; it is authoritarian, interfering and overprotective – a complete intrusion of the government into the most fundamental rights of Americans: the right to choose.

While I wholeheartedly agree that obesity and obesity-related illnesses and conditions such as high blood pressure and other metabolic risks are – and rightfully should be – a growing concern to all New Yorkers and a nationwide problem, controlling what can and cannot be consumed by eliminating the ability to purchase large-sized beverages is not the solution to the problem. Your extraordinary and drastic proposal would not cure or curb obesity and it will not make our city healthier.  I believe it is time for health professionals to seek serious solutions that are going to actually curb obesity. Drastic and extreme proposals only serve to distract us from the hard work that really needs to be done.

Without education, New Yorkers will remain sedentary. Without education, New Yorkers will buy two sodas or mix large pitchers of sweet tea and artificial juice in the privacy of their own homes.

Lastly, on the issue of governmental process, it is my firm belief that such a ban needs legislative approval of the City Council and that, without it, the Health Department lacks the statutory authority to institute such a ban.

Source: Councilman Greenfield

From the offices of Councilman David Greenfield:

Councilman David G. Greenfield met last week with top officials from Consolidated Edison to get answers on issues that have plagued residents and businesses of Boro Park, Midwood and Bensonhurst for years, including manhole fires and the blackout earlier this summer that left part of Boro Park crippled for several days during a brutal heat wave. Greenfield also discussed issues constituents have contacted his office about – such as delays in getting power restored following the recent incidents – and toured Con Edison’s emergency command center in Downtown Brooklyn. During the meeting, Con Ed officials committed to improving and repairing critical infrastructure throughout areas of Boro Park, Midwood and Bensonhurst that have been hit hardest by outages in recent years.

“It’s easy to complain when there’s a blackout. My goal is to make sure that a blackout never happens again. I explained to Con Edison the rapid growth that my district is experiencing. After reviewing the information that I provided them with, Con Ed agreed to make the necessary upgrades to try to prevent blackouts in the future,” explained Greenfield. “Residents and merchants need to have confidence that Con Ed can handle the growing demand on its infrastructure. That’s why I am working closely with utility officials to make sure this area receives the upgrades it needs. I was pleased to discuss so many pressing issues with top company officials, and I am confident that they understand how important it is to prevent future blackouts from occurring in Southern Brooklyn, especially in Boro Park,” said Greenfield.

During last week’s meeting at Con Edison’s Brooklyn headquarters, Greenfield was provided with an in-depth explanation of what caused the blackout on June 21 and what steps the utility company will take to upgrade local infrastructure. Con Edison has committed to a multi-million dollar infrastructure upgrade in Boro Park including the vicinity of 50th Street and 14th Avenue, which was the site of the major blackout. Greenfield also discussed the area’s sharp population growth, including the increase of multi-unit apartment buildings, which has placed new demands on the energy grid in recent years, and gained a firsthand look at how Con Ed tracks outages in its Emergency Command Center. Greenfield also discovered that Con Ed cannot always track blackouts in specific buildings right away. That is why officials noted that it is vital that the public immediately report all outages to 1-800-75-CONED and not assume the company is already aware of the problem.

Greenfield requested the meeting in response to the June blackout, which left many homes and buildings on 50th Street between 13thAvenue and 15th Avenue in the dark throughout the weekend. During that incident, Greenfield worked through the night with Con Edison officials to make sure the response was being handled adequately, and to help arrange for emergency generators and cooling buses to be brought to the scene to provide relief to businesses and residents still without power. Following that blackout, Greenfield promised impacted residents that he would follow up with Con Edison on a long-term solution.

At last week’s meeting Greenfield and his staff met with John Banks, Con Edison’s vice president for government relations, Milovan Blair, vice president for Brooklyn electric operations, Joseph Lenge, Jr., department manager for Brooklyn electric engineering, Antonia Yuille Williams, director of public affairs and government relations for Brooklyn, Phyllis White-Thorne, public information manager and several Con Edison engineers. Greenfield will continue working with Con Edison to make sure the upgrades move ahead in a timely manner, and in response to any future incidents.

“This meeting provided me with important insight into the steps Con Edison is taking to avoid many of these same problems in the future. I applaud Con Ed for working with me to resolve these issues. I look forward to continue working closely with the utility company and with residents to quickly resolve issues that arise in the future, and to find long-term solutions to the outages that have impacted the neighborhood,” added Greenfield.

We’ve been covering this subject for a while now. For more, click here.

The following is a press release from the office of City Councilman David Greenfield:

Brooklyn – Councilman David G. Greenfield was joined by approximately 75 community residents and by representatives from the Participatory Budgeting Project and Community Voices Heard last week to kick off the participatory budgeting initiative in the 44th Council District neighborhoods ofBoroPark, Midwood and Bensonhurst. Under participatory budgeting, which will bring more transparency and openness to how tax dollars are spent locally, district residents will have say over how $1 million in government funding is spent on capital projects right in their own neighborhood. At the information session last Tuesday in Bensonhurst, the residents and activists in attendance learned more about exactly how participatory budgeting will work over the next eight months as the community brainstorms, nominates and eventually votes on which projects they want funded.

“I am very excited about participatory budgeting. Nobody knows their community better than the people who live there, and I am confident residents will put forth ideas that will benefit our local neighborhoods, including many projects that government might not have thought of otherwise. This will give the public a direct say in the budgeting process and allow us to fund some great projects in the community that will be suggested as this process moves forward,” said Greenfield, who brought participatory budgeting to his district as part of his ongoing efforts to fulfill his campaign promise to make the budgeting process more open and transparent.

At the information session, residents from around the district were given an overview of how participatory budgeting works, including the process between now and when the public will vote on the nominated projects this spring. Moving ahead, residents who can commit to attending several meetings each month will be considered as delegates to serve on committees focusing on areas like transportation, recreation and education. As the public suggests projects over the next couple of months, the delegates will help shape these ideas into formal proposals for the final ballot to be presented to the public in March or April. Residents who are not delegates can still attend meetings, suggest projects and take part in the public vote next spring. After the vote to decide which projects are funded – with at least one chosen from each of the three district neighborhoods – the delegates will then work with city officials and agencies next summer to implement the winning ideas.

“It was great to see so many residents and community leaders get involved in this exciting effort and have a direct say in how their taxes are reinvested here inBoroPark, Midwood and Bensonhurst. I am very excited to work with many residents over the next few months on ideas that will directly benefit the neighborhood and improve the quality of life for everyone. This is a great chance to have a voice in how your tax dollars are spent locally, so I urge everyone to get involved. My thanks to those residents who helped get participatory budgeting off to a great start last week,” addedGreenfield.

The next participatory budgeting session is scheduled for Wednesday, September 5 at Greenfield’s district office, located at 4424 16th Avenue, starting at 7 p.m. For more information, contact the district office at (718) 853-2704 or visit pbnyc.org. Every resident who lives in the 44th Council District is invited to attend upcoming participatory budgeting meetings and get involved to make sure their voice is heard. In all, 1.3 million New Yorkers, including nearly 175,000 in Councilman Greenfield’s district, will have the opportunity to take part in participatory budgeting this year, making it the largest such program in the nation.

Source: Adam E. Moreira via Wikimedia Commons

From the offices of Councilman David Greenfield:

Councilman David Greenfield introduced legislation during today’s Stated City Council meeting that would increase parking and reduce the number of tickets drivers receive by requiring the city to clearly delineate where each bus stop specifically begins and ends.

The proposed law was motivated by the stark need for additional parking spaces, especially in Greenfield’s Southern Brooklyn district, and the number of constituents who have reported receiving a parking ticket after unknowingly parking in bus stops – especially in cases when the bus stop extends all the way to the end of a block. The legislation is part of Greenfield’s continuing efforts to make owning a car a little easier and less frustrating by eliminating instances of unfair tickets and providing additional parking to drivers who are often forced to endlessly circle the block in search of a legal parking space.

“The city should make parking regulations as clear as possible to avoid tricking motorists into receiving tickets for violations they did not even realize they were committing. This common-sense legislation will help create additional parking spaces while making it clearer to drivers exactly where a bus stop begins and ends. This will in turn also increase the safety of those individuals who are taking mass transit on a regular basis,” explained Greenfield.

Currently, when only one sign is posted at a bus stop, the ‘no parking’ zone occupies the remainder of the block in the direction the arrow on the bus stop sign is pointing. Subsequently, because many drivers are not familiar with that law, motorists are frequently and unfairly issued tickets for unwittingly parking in extra-long bus zones. The legislation would require the city to install signs at the beginning and end of each bus stop in order to make ‘no parking’ and ‘no standing’ zones clear and to increase safety for bus drivers and passengers by preventing motorists from parking in or obstructing MTA bus stops.

Finally, this legislation will force the MTA to reevaluate whether it actually needs to take up as much space at each individual location that has a bus stop, especially those that use an entire block.

“The end result of this legislation will be more available parking for drivers, increased safety around bus stops and a reduction in the number of unfair tickets drivers receive. I will continue to seek new and creative ways to improve the quality of life for all of our residents,” concluded Greenfield.

The proposed legislation has been referred to the City Council’s Transportation Committee for hearings.

Image courtesy of DreamWorks Animation

From the offices of Councilman David G. Greenfield:

Councilman David G. Greenfield is inviting families, children and the entire public to a free viewing of the acclaimed animated film “Puss in Boots” on Sunday, August 19 in Seth Low Park at 8 p.m. sharp as part of his “Movies in the Park” series. Residents are invited to bring a chair or blanket to the park, located on W. 12th Street between Bay Parkway and Avenue P, before the movie begins at 8 p.m. The event is free and open for all residents to attend, and complimentary popcorn will be available for children while supplies last.

“I hope that many local families and residents will join me for this great neighborhood event. This is a chance for neighbors to come together and relax at one of Bensonhurst’s great parks before the summer ends. My thanks to the New York City Parks Department for their help in organizing this fun-filled evening on behalf of our community,” said Greenfield.

The “Movies in the Park” series is supported by funding Councilman Greenfield secured in the New York City budget as part of his ongoing effort to bring additional programs and services to the Bensonhurst portion of the 44th Council District. “I am thrilled to have been able to secure greater funding and services for our community, including family-friendly entertainment like this,” added Greenfield, who has quadrupled the amount of funding that Bensonhurst receives in recent years and has worked hard to improve the quality of life through initiatives such as the recent “Bay Parkway Cleanup” event he hosted.

For more information, contact Councilman Greenfield’s office at (718) 853-2704.

Source: Mattes via Wikimedia Commons

In its second year of operation, a practice called participatory budgeting  has doubled in size with even more council members, community organizations and citizens taking on leadership roles.

Among the advocates for participatory budgeting is Councilman David Greenfield who announced recently that he will be bringing the groundbreaking participatory budgeting process to his district. That brings the total district New York-wide participation to eight, four up from last year.

Participatory budgeting lets New Yorkers directly decide how to spend millions of capital budgeting funds provided by their local council member. New York City has the largest participatory budgeting program in America. With four additional Council Members participating, 1.3 million New Yorkers will now be able to directly decide how to spend some of their tax dollars on projects in their neighborhoods.

“Residents know what types of projects are most needed in their neighborhood, and participatory budgeting gives them a real voice in determining how their tax dollars are spent. I am proud to take part in an effort that brings the power directly to the taxpayers and brings greater transparency to the budgeting process,” said Greenfield in a release.

Through the first cycle of participatory budgeting, over 2,000 residents came together in 27 public meetings during the fall and winter to discuss local priorities and design specific infrastructure projects, which more than 6,000 New Yorkers ultimately voted on in March 2012.

A selection of projects that received funding through the participatory budgeting process last year included:

  • $150,000 for the E-Tech Campus for CAMBA Beacon Program at P.S. 269
  • $80,000 for new books and equipment for the Kensington, Brooklyn public library to enhance the branch’s use for meetings, storytelling, rehearsals, and small performances promoting Kensington’s cultural diversity
  • $100,000 for transportation for seniors and a Meals-on-Wheels delivery van in East Harlem
  • $147,000 for a water pump, pagers, and an oxygen refill system for volunteer fire departments in the Far Rockaways

“Already, the success of participatory budgeting in New York City is inspiring similar processes elsewhere, in cites such as Chicago and Vallejo, California. PBNYC has become an international model for real grassroots democracy,” said Josh Lerner, Executive Director of the nonprofit organization The Participatory Budgeting Project, the lead technical assistance partner for PBNYC.

The schedule for public meetings has not been established yet, however, citizens are encouraged to contact Greenfield’s office and ask about this new approach to earmarked spending.

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