Here are few important updates from City Hall. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Also, feel free to forward this information to your networks. Our parks will have fewer borders…free Wi-Fi, and cheaper rec center memberships for veterans and those with disabilities…corrections officers are getting more training… City Hall is taking new actions against slumlords… child care centers will be posting report cards… murders and shootings continue to fall and NYCHA gets safer…the City’s making sure transgender New Yorkers know their gender-identity rights…the sting of Muhammad Ali endures…ThriveNYC is in full swing, and we are investing in minority- and women-owned businesses.
Updates from City Hall:
Parks Without Borders – Eight showcase parks have been selected for facelifts poised to better integrate parkland and neighborhoods by improving opening sight lines, beautifying edges, and adding furnishings to underutilized spaces using Parks Without Borders design principles. The parks are Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Staten Island’s Faber Park, Prospect and Fort Greene Parks in Brooklyn, the Bronx’s Van Cortlandt and Hugh Grant Circle Parks, and Manhattan’s Jackie Robinson and Steward Parks.
Free Wi-Fi Extended, More Charging Stations Coming – Twenty-one parks across the City will continue to have free public Wi-Fi, and 15 parks and beaches will now have mobile charging stations – including, for the first time, David Dinkins Circle and Ederle Terrace in Queens Flushing Meadows Park, Brooklyn’s Sunset Park and the LeFrak Center in Prospect Park, and Joyce Kilmer Park in the Bronx. Since the program’s launch in 2011, there have been 8.6 million connections to the free network by NYC park visitors and beachgoers.
More Training for Corrections Officers – The Mayor and Department of Correction Commissioner Joseph Ponte have announced that nearly 2,000 new correction officers – 22% of the total force – have completed new training in de-escalation techniques proven to help dramatically reduce conflicts and increase safety in City jails.
Slumlords Targeted – The Mayor and Public Advocate Letitia James announced that the City will cut public assistance rent payments to eight landlords if repairs at 12 buildings that have generated more than 2,000 code violations aren’t immediately made. Eighteen hundred New Yorkers live in the buildings, the majority of which are located in Upper Manhattan and the Bronx.
Child Care Center Report Cards – Every one of 2,300 child care centers New York City will soon be forced to publicly post a Child Care Performance Summary Card near its entrance. The report cards will include information on the number of children allowed in care, the number of times the program has been suspended, and the number of health code violations at the facility compared to the citywide average.
Reduced Rec Center Fees – Veterans and those with disabilities will see a reduction in the membership cost at 36 Parks Department recreation centers across the city. The new rate will be $25 annually, down from as much as $150. Young adults, students and seniors also receive discounted or free memberships at the recreation centers.
Computer Science for All – Chancellor Carmen Farina announced that more than 200 schools will be adding computer science programming in the upcoming school year. This is the first expansion of the Mayor’s Computer Science for All commitment to bring computer science education to every elementary, middle, and high school by 2025.
ThriveNYC Progress – The Mental Health Council, established by ThriveNYC and led by First Lady Chirlane McCray and Deputy Mayor Richard Buery, has released a 150-day progress report on ThriveNYC’s effort to improve citywide access to mental health and substance misuse services. Since launching the $850 million roadmap, 29 hospitals have committed to screening all new mothers for maternal depression; more than 2,300 New Yorkers have been trained in mental health first aid, in addition to 2,500 NYPD officers who have received de-escalation training; a multimillion-dollar public awareness ad campaign has launched; 37 school-based mental health clinics have opened; 263 children in foster care have attended workshops on safe, healthy relationships; 1,700 mental health interventions have helped those living in runaway and homeless youth shelters; and more than 1,000 houses of faith participated in a first-ever “Weekend of Faith” centered on care for those struggling with mental health and substance misuse.
Murders, Shootings Both Down in 2016 – Defying a national trend among big cities, murders and shootings continue to fall in New York City in 2016 – with reductions of more than 14% and 22%, respectively, marking historic lows in the CompStat era. Amid a continued reduction of stop-and-frisk use, illegal gun seizures have climbed 20% in the first five months of this year compared to the same period last year.
Bathroom Access Ad Campaign – The Mayor has launched the first-ever city ad campaign targeting transgender New Yorkers’ right to use a bathroom consistent with their gender identity. The ads will appear in subway cars, bus shelters, phone booths, NYC TV, ethnic and community newspapers, and on social media.