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Archive for the tag 'william colton'

Source: Colton's office

Source: Colton’s office

The following is a press release from the offices of Assemblyman William Colton:

In a historic swearing-in ceremony, Mrs. Nancy Tong became the first Asian-American elected official in the borough of Brooklyn. On Sunday, September 21st, Nancy Tong was formally sworn-in by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams as the Female District Leader/State Committeewoman for the 47th Assembly District at the Edith and Carl Marks Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst (JCH).

Mrs. Nancy Tong ran unopposed as the new Female District Leader and State Committeewoman for the 47th Assembly District in September 9th Democratic Primary. Since she was running unopposed for this position, Nancy automatically became the Female District Leader and State Committeewoman for the 47th Assembly District when the polls closed on primary election night. The position was previously held by Jeannette Givant, who retired after serving for ten years.

However, Mrs. Tong is celebrated this very important milestone in Brooklyn and Chinese-American history with a formal swearing-in ceremony to commemorate this historic occasion. She now is the first Asian American elected official in Brooklyn, the largest borough in New York City. Many elected officials and community leaders from across New York City and State are attended this momentous swearing-in event, including Assembly Member William Colton, Council Member Mark Tregyer, District Leader Charles Ragusa, Council Member David Greenfield, Kings County Democratic Party Chairman Frank Seddio, District Leader Ari Kagan, President of the United Chinese Association Steve Chung, and Bay Democrats President Ben Akselrod.

After coming to Bensonhurst twelve years ago, Nancy continued a family tradition of volunteering in schools and in the community, eventually becoming a volunteer at Assemblyman William Colton’s 47th Assembly District Office. Due to her hard work and dedication, Assemblyman Colton hired her as a part time Community Liaison in his office. Every year, Nancy helps more than 2,000 men and women from different cultural backgrounds in a variety of issues that affect her constituents’ quality of life.

Nancy believes she will be able to help more people and bring people of different cultural backgrounds together to improve the quality of life for individuals living in the 47th Assembly district.

District Leader Nancy Tong affirmed, “I truly enjoy helping people. It gives me great joy when I am able to help someone and make their life a little better or easier. Of course, I have to thank my family, especially my husband and my son, for all their love and support. I also have to thank Assemblyman Colton and the United Progressive Democratic Club for supporting me in becoming the first Asian-American elected official in Brooklyn. This is a historic occasion for the Asian-American community and the people of Brooklyn. I am proud of my heritage and I look forward to continue serving the people of southwest Brooklyn with my new position.”

Assemblyman Bill Colton asserted, “Nancy has a long track record of serving people in our communities. When the position opened up, I knew Nancy was the right person to become our next Female District Leader. She helps thousands of people in my office every year. Her dedication to our community is unwavering. I know she will do great things as our new Female District Leader.”

Councilman Mark Treyger stated, “Our community is incredibly fortunate to have someone like Nancy Tong fighting for us and helping to improve the quality of life for thousands of residents each year. Not only is this great news for the people of southern Brooklyn, but it is a truly historic moment for the entire borough and residents of all backgrounds who value the importance of hard work and giving back to their community. I look forward to joining the community on Sunday as Nancy is sworn into office as the first Asian-American elected official ever in Brooklyn, and to continuing my great work with her in the coming months and years on behalf of all residents of Bensonhurst, Gravesend and beyond.”

Borough President Adams was joined by Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein and other legislative colleagues in making the announcement.

Borough President Adams was joined by Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein and other legislative colleagues in making the announcement. (Source: Adams’ office)

Several local schools are receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars each for repairs, upgrades and improvements as part of a $3.1 million allocation by Borough President Eric Adams to education institutions across the borough.

The beep today unveiled 16 school-related capital projects that will benefit from the allocation, which was packed into the city’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget.

“If you look around Downtown Brooklyn, something new is rising up every day and this is an exciting time for the borough and this area, as education and schools represent the vibrant energies of what’s coming up at this time,” said Borough President Adams. “This budget spans the far reaches of the borough; from Metrotech to Midwood and from Bed-Stuy to Bath Beach, we are leaving no school behind. Our goal is education, education, and education.”

The allocations are largely for technology upgrades, although some schools are receiving it for more general improvements.

Schools in our area are slated to receive the following:

  • $350,000 to James Madison High School for upgrades to the school’s library and media centers;
  • $225,000 for improvements to the library at Sheepshead Bay High School;
  • $200,000 for classroom technology purchases at Joseph B. Cavallaro I.S. 281;
  • $100,000 for classroom technology purchases at P.S. 169;

Local elected officials joined Adams during the announcement this morning to celebrate the funding.

“School libraries and media centers are essential to the success of today’s high school students,” said Assemblymember Helene Weinstein. “I thank Brooklyn Borough President Adams for this funding, which will enhance these services at Sheepshead and James Madison High Schools, and allow students to reach even greater heights.”

“Investing in education is the best investment we can make for the future of our state and country,” said Assemblymember William Colton. “These capital improvements will help bring much-needed technological advancements to our local Brooklyn schools that will better our children. This $200,000 capital grant for I.S. 281 will allow for the school to make technology improvements, including by purchasing smartboards and computer laptops, that will benefit our students by enhancing their learning experience, and provide valuable resources for our educators.”

Jamaica F Train

Local leaders are putting pressure on the MTA to restore express service on the F train in Brooklyn, last experienced by commuters in 1987, while the MTA remains a bit iffy on the issue.

In a letter sent to MTA Chairman Thomas F. Prendergast today, a bipartisan group of 14 city, state, and federal leaders said that the “benefits of restoring the F train express service in Brooklyn would be felt throughout the borough with decreased travel time to Manhattan, decreased delays along the entire line, and a better quality of life for all subway riders in our communities.”

To that end, they’d like to see limited northbound F express service restored in the mornings and southbound F express service in the evenings, saying this could also help ease crowding caused by an increase in ridership over the past year at 19 of the 22 Brooklyn F stops.

The MTA has been studying the possibility, but says that track work on the Culver Viaduct would have to be completed before they could do it — and they don’t have an end date for that, reports AM New York. Additionally, there are other challenges to restoring express service — track space for when the rails merge between the Bergen St and Jay St stops, as well as figuring out how riders at different stations will be impacted by the change.

“The largest volumes are getting on at some of the stations closer in anyway,” MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg told AM New York. “How much savings is there really? That’s why we’re doing the study, to find out.”

2009 review of the F line that State Senator Daniel Squadron created with the MTA cited those issues, and added that express service “would require additional trains and cars; such a service increase would increase operating costs.”

The elected officials who sent the letter are Borough President Eric Adams; Representatives Hakeem Jeffries, Jerrold Nadler, and Michael Grimm; State Senators Martin Golden, Diane Savino, and Squadron; Assembly Members James Brennan, Steven Cymbrowitz, William Colton, and Joan Millman; and Council Members Stephen Levin, David Greenfield, and Mark Treyger.

They all believe the benefits outweigh the costs — what do you think, do we need express service back on the F?

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The following is a press release from the offices of Councilman Mark Treyger and Assemblyman Bill Colton:

Council Member Mark Treyger and Assembly Member Bill Colton are calling on the MTA to provide public notification within 24 hours of cases of confirmed bedbug sightings on any trains, buses or in stations. The proposal comes after a number of incidents involving bedbugs on several trains along the N line, in addition to trains on the Q and 6 lines. On Monday, an N train was taken out of service at DeKalb Avenue and a conductor received medical attention as a result of bedbugs. Currently, the MTA does not have a formal policy for informing the public about these incidents.

In response, Treyger and Colton are proposing state legislation, supported by a City Council resolution, requiring the MTA to take the same steps to inform its customers as it does for other emergencies or service delays, including social media outreach. In addition, the MTA would have to detail the steps it is taking to remedy these situations and protect the public’s health while using public transportation. This proposal has support from the Transport Workers Union (TWU), whose members have been impacted by the outbreaks. Council Member Treyger and Assembly Member Colton were joined at today’s press conference in front of the N train station on Kings Highway by District Leader-elect Nancy Tong and a number of residents who regularly use this line and are concerned about the lack of information from the MTA about the recent outbreaks. Council Member Treyger and Colton now plan to move forward with this legislation, putting a formal procedure in place to respond to outbreaks and notify the public.

“This is an important issue that the MTA has to take much more seriously on behalf of the millions of New Yorkers that ride its buses and trains, as well as its employees. The MTA has an obligation to inform the public of any bedbug sightings or outbreaks due to the health implications that are involved. However, the MTA must also consider the economic consequences of bedbug infestations in a home, especially for working New Yorkers who cannot afford to spend thousands of dollars in fumigation or cleaning bills. The MTA can easily inform the public in much the same manner it does for service delays, and we deserve to know exactly what steps it is taking to respond to bedbug infestations,” said Council Member Treyger.

”The public has a right to know if there is a confirmed detection of bedbugs on trains or buses. The families of riders and transit workers must be given the opportunity to take protective measures to minimize the chance of bedbug infestation being transported to their homes and places of work,” said Assembly Member Colton.

“Families are rightfully worried about the disruption and large economic costs that bedbugs can cause, if carried into their homes. Families have a right to be informed as to how to protect themselves from this risk,” said District Leader-elect Tong.

Photo by Allan Rosen

The following is a press release from the offices of Assemblyman William Colton:

Assembly Member William Colton (47th Assembly District – Brooklyn) is announcing that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has agreed to add service to the B1 bus line in southern Brooklyn.

Beginning on August 31, 2014, the B1 bus line will run on a “School-Open Schedule” only. This translates into additional buses on the line, which will help improve service by decreasing the delays, irregular service, and overcrowding.

Previously, the B1 bus service operated on two different schedules: a “School-Open Schedule” when public school was in session, and a “School-Closed Schedule” when public school was not in session. This created a problem when public school was not in session, because there would be less buses running on the B1 line. Although public school was not in session, Kingsborough Community College in Manhattan Beach was often still open. With the large number of students at Kingsborough, when there were less buses running on the B1 line, the buses often would get full with passengers at the Kingsborough bus stop in Manhattan Beach, creating overcrowding, irregular service, and delays on the entire bus line.

With the B1 bus now only operating on a “School-Open Schedule” only, there will be more buses on the line, which will lead to more and improved service for straphangers.

In June, Assemblyman Colton sent a letter to the MTA, asking them to take action to address the problems plaguing the B1 bus line, especially the chronic bus lateness, passenger overcrowding, and irregular service.

Assemblyman Colton worked with Transport Workers Union (TWU) – Local 100 in order to increase and improve the service on the B1 bus line. The Transport Workers Union played a vital role in securing the service change which will ultimately lead to better commutes and easier, faster travels for southern Brooklyn straphangers.

While this is a major community victory for southwest Brooklyn, Colton is aiming to further improve the B1 bus line, an important public transit service in our neighborhoods.

In July, Colton sent a letter to the MTA asking them to purchase new buses for the Ulmer Park Bus Depot, which services most of southwest Brooklyn. Currently, the Ulmer Park Bus Depot has the oldest fleet of buses in the City. A newer fleet of buses for the Depot would mean less mechanical malfunctions and breakdowns, which causes delays, overcrowding, and disruptions in service for passengers. Constituents have complained that often the hydraulic lifts of these older buses malfunction or don’t operate properly. This mechanical malfunction causes a serious problem for riders, especially the elderly, young children, and those carrying heavy bags or packages, making it ever more difficult to board and exit these older buses.

Additionally, Colton also sent a letter to the NYC Department of Transportation asking for the installation of additional pedestrian islands along the B1 bus line, specifically at the bus-stops at 86th Street & 25th Avenue, 86th Street & 24th Avenue, 86th Street & 23rd Avenue, 86th Street & 21st Avenue. These pedestrian plazas will help riders of the B1 bus line board and exit the buses easier and quicker, since they lift passengers six inches off the ground and higher to the door of the bus. In addition, for riders who are senior citizens, children, disabled, or those with limited mobility, the pedestrian plazas will also make boarding and exiting the buses easier as well. In addition, the pedestrian plazas will create a safe space for riders to wait for the bus, so they don’t have to wait in the middle of the street near moving vehicles. Adding pedestrian plazas to these bus stops will create a protective barrier for riders to keep them safe from oncoming traffic.

“I will continue working to improve public transit for the neighborhoods of southwest Brooklyn. This increase in service to the B1 bus line will greatly enhance the quality of life for local residents by reducing wait and travel times, creating easier, faster commutes for straphangers,” asserted Assemblyman Bill Colton. He added, “The B1 services many important areas of our community, including the busy, comercial shopping area of 86th Street. The additional service on the B1 bus line is a win-win situation for the entire community.”

Councilman Mark Treyger, who has been working to improve public transit in southern Brooklyn, affirmed, “This is great news for the many southern Brooklyn residents who rely on the B1 bus and have been frustrated by overcrowding and constant delays. At a time when our neighborhoods are growing and the need for reliable public transportation is more apparent than ever, I will continue to work with Assemblyman Colton, our community and the MTA to increase service elsewhere as needed. Running the B1 bus permanently on a ‘School-Open Schedule’ is a great first step in our ongoing efforts to provide our neighborhoods with the public service options needed to adequately serve our residents. This is only the beginning as we push for further transit improvements across Southern Brooklyn.”

muslim-flier

Source: @takeonhate/Flickr

Assemblyman William Colton is adding his voice to the chorus of condemnation of the anti-Muslim fliers found in a Bath Beach apartment building this week.

The fliers were found throughout the Shore Haven apartment buildings near Cropsey Avenue and 21st Avenue in Bath Beach early this week, showing a hateful message calling Muslims “the second holocaust” and claims “USA hates you”. The NYPD’s Hate Crimes unit is investigating the incident.

Colton released the following statement yesterday afternoon:

As State Assemblyman, I join Councilman Mark Treyger in condemning those responsible for distributing leaflets aimed at sowing hate against any group in our community.

To engage in general stereotype attacks on any group of people sows the seeds of division and mistrust. It is only by uniting neighborhood families to speak up for all our needs and concerns that we are able to improve our neighborhood.

Strengthening our neighborhood schools, improving our streets,parks,
transportation and infrastructure, fostering the growth of neighborhood businesses and joining together to improve the quality of life of all families are key priorities which we should be pursuing.

Spreading hate and distrust hinders the progress we need to make and has no place in our community. True peace and progress results when people of good will come together and speak out for those priorities which benefit all our families.

I pledge to continue to work bringing people together and fighting to keep our neighborhood as a fine place to reside, work and raise our families.

Bensonhurst resident Nancy Tong is on her way to winning a post as female Democratic district leader of the 47th Assembly District, making her the first Asian-American elected official in Brooklyn.

Tong is on the ballot for the September 9 primary, and she’s running unopposed. She will replacing District Leader Jeanette Givant, who is set to retire according to Sing Tao Daily (via Voices of NY).

Colton (Source: Facebook)

Tong helps constituents in her job working for Assemblyman Colton (Source: Facebook)

The district leader post is an unpaid role in the party. All formal parties in New York are required to have one male and one female district leader to represent each Assembly district. They serve as their community’s representative to their political party’s leadership, and help their party’s candidates get elected by organizing ground support.

Home Reporter writes:

Nancy Tong was nominated for the position by Assemblymember William Colton, whose office she has volunteered with and worked in as a community liaison for eight years.

… “Nancy has been helping thousands of people in this community from all over the world. Just last year, she helped 2,000 people,” Colton exclaimed. “Sometimes I wonder whether she ever lifts up her head.”

Over the years, Tong has worked on senior citizen rent issues, helped businesses respond to tickets from the Department of Sanitation, assisted homeowners with tree root problems in dealing with city agencies, volunteered for street clean-ups, and helped educate parents about the rezoning of P.S. 97.

In addition to Colton’s backing, Tong has the support of Councilman Mark Treyger who also worked in Treyger’s office before winning his City Hall seat in November.

Sing Tao adds:

Tong’s family originally came from Toy Shan, Canton province, in China. She was born in Hong Kong and grew up in New York. She had been working as a volunteer at Colton’s office since she moved to Bensonhurst 12 years ago, until five years ago when she became a part-time community liaison at the office.

Tong will be the first Asian-American elected official in a borough that is home to more than a quarter million Asians. Much of the Asian-American population, which is concentrated in areas including Bensonhurst, Sunset Park and Homecrest, are divided between various legislative districts, making it difficult for them to elect a representative that reflects their heritage.

During the redistricting process in 2012, advocates in the community fought for the creation of an Asian-American majority district. It would have united parts of Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights and Sunset Park into one district in the state legislature. That push was unsuccessful, and no Asian-American has represented Brooklyn in city, state or federal legislatures.

Source: _chrisUK/Flickr

Councilman Vincent Gentile’s office says that the Department of Transportation will begin much-needed road repairs to 86th Street on Monday.

Contractors will begin scraping off the battered top layer of asphalt, a process called milling, between Gatling Place and 7th Avenue in Bay Ridge. After pouring new asphalt and painting lines, the work will move up the street towards Stillwell Avenue throughout the summer. It’s expected that the work will be done in three separate segments.

All work will be done at night in order to minimize impact on traffic. This could mean a few noisy nights for neighbors, as milling requires trucks, machinery and portable lights – although the machinery is fitted with noise reduction equipment.

Gentile and Councilman Mark Treyger said they won agreements from the DOT to do the work back in May. The DOT first said they would make repairs in Treyger’s district, covering 86th Street from Stillwell Avenue to 14th Avenue. Gentile worked to expand the project to include 14th Avenue to Gatling Place, the portion of roadway that falls in his district.

Gentile allocated $400,000 in the city budget to fund the repaving, according to his office.

Know of any other nasty stretches of pothole-pocked roads in the neighborhood? Let us know in the comments!

The following is a press release from the offices of Assemblyman William Colton and Councilman Mark Treyger:

Council Member Mark Treyger and Assembly Member William Colton are pleased to announce that the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) has included a number of local streets in this year’s resurfacing plan at their request on behalf of the community. The DOT currently plans to resurface Bay Parkway from 81st Street to 86th Street and the majority of 86th Street from 14th Avenue to Stillwell Avenue this summer, with nighttime milling work set to begin July 28 and nighttime repaving starting August 11. Council Member Treyger and Assembly Member Colton are still working with the DOT to have Stillwell Avenue from 86th Street to Harway Avenue added to the DOT’s repaving plan.

In addition, the following streets have been included in the DOT’s September repaving schedule: Kings Highway from 78th Street to McDonald Avenue; Bay 29th Street from 86th Street to Cropsey Avenue; 19th Avenue from 61st Street to 86th Street; 80th Street from Bay Parkway to Stillwell Avenue; and Cropsey Avenue from Bay Parkway to 26th Avenue. While this is the current plan for September, the DOT cautions that minor changes could occur at the last minute in terms of exact locations or timing.

“Having smooth, pothole-free streets are a basic but vital part of every neighborhood’s infrastructure, and the incredibly harsh winter has obviously left many local roads in very bad shape. In response, we have worked closely with the DOT over the past few months to identify the worst stretches and make sure that important neighborhood thoroughfares like Bay Parkway, 86th Street, Kings Highway and others were included in this year’s resurfacing schedule. Maintaining and improving the quality of life for residents across Bensonhurst and Gravesend is a top priority for both of our offices, so we will continue to work with city agencies to deliver the services and resources that our community deserves,” said Council Member Treyger and Assembly Member Colton.

treyger

The following is a press release from the offices of Councilman Mark Treyger:

In response to concerns over the safety of students, staff and parents walking to P.S. 95 in Gravesend, the NYC Department of Transportation has agreed to Council Member Mark Treyger’s request to install a speed hump by the start of the upcoming school year. The speed hump will be installed along Van Sicklen Street to prevent drivers from speeding past the school, which currently occurs on a regular basis.

Immediately after hearing from worried parents and school leaders after taking office earlier this year, Council Member Treyger led Brooklyn DOT Commissioner Joseph Palmieri on a tour of the area to show him firsthand the constant speeding traffic that passes the school each morning and afternoon. Also on hand for the site visit was Assemblyman Bill Colton, school volunteer Vincent Sampieri, who brought the issue to Council Member Treyger’s attention, Principal Janet Ndzibah, PTA President Christine Schneider Lulu Elaza and other residents. As a result, the DOT conducted the necessary traffic studies and has worked with a homeowner on Van Sicklen Street who agreed to allow the city to install the speed hump near their driveway. The DOT now expects the work to be completed by early September, hopefully in time for the new school year.

“This is a simple but vital step we can take to protect the students of P.S. 95 as they walk to and from school each day. After all, there is nothing as important as the safety of our children. As soon as I heard about this issue, I knew it was imperative to act before any more accidents or close calls occur due to reckless and dangerous drivers speeding through that area. My thanks to Mr. Sampieri and the school’s leadership for bringing this to my attention, to Assemblyman Colton for his partnership on this issue, and to the DOT for agreeing to install this speed hump on behalf of P.S. 95,” said Council Member Treyger.

CORRECTION (4:36 p.m.): We received a note from Councilman Treyger’s office amending the above press release. The PTA president who is pictured and referenced is Lulu Elaza and not Christine Schneider.

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