By Jeffrey Williams-Maisonet
Each year, Members of the Council allocate discretionary funds to not-for-profit organizations in order to meet local needs and fill gaps in City agency (Agency) services. Thus, discretionary spending is a critical tool in meeting needs in our communities.
As with all taxpayer funds, the public deserves to know that discretionary funds are going to organizations with the capacity and integrity to provide quality services. The City Council has instituted a comprehensive set of measures to improve transparency and accountability in the use of discretionary funding including:
- publishing a complete list of organizations receiving discretionary funds, including the amount, the sponsoring Member or Members, and a brief description of how the funds were to be used;
- working in conjunction with the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services (MOCS) and City agencies, a thorough vetting process is in place to review each organization allocated discretionary funds to assess integrity, compliance, and a track record in providing the services for which they have been selected to provide; and
- ensuring that recipient organizations and Members comply with the specific set of rules and guidelines that govern discretionary funds which the City’s Conflicts of Interest Board (COIB) clarified at the Council’s request. All organizations receiving funds are subject to these rules, and Council Members provide signed conflicts of interest disclosure forms with each vote approving funding.
The following is a list of 2017 recipients from Councilman Richards
- Fund for the City of New York, Inc. 5,000 – Funds will be used to support the Far Rockaway / Arverne Nonprofit Coalition Youth Summit.
- Young Israel of Wavecrest and Bayswater 20,000– Funds will be used to provide programmatic and operational support for the Young Israel of Wavecrest Bayswater Senior League
- Young Men’s Christian Association of Greater New York 5,000-
Funds will be used to provide programmatic support at the Rockaway YMCA at Arverne by the Sea.
- Community Center of the Rockaway Peninsula, Inc. 20,000– The Digital Inclusion and Literacy Initiative address disparities in access to the Internet and increase digital literacy across the City, through programming available in every Council District.
- Police Athletic League, Inc. 15,000– To provide programmatic support at Goldie Maple Academy and Redfern Houses in Far Rockaway
- First Church of God, Inc. 10,000– Funds will be used to support First Church of God’s community-wide youth related events in Council District 31
- Queens Libraries– Funds will be used for programmatic support in the Far Rockaway Teen Library
- Rockaway Citizens Safety Patrol, Inc. 5,000-Funds will be used to provide support of operating expenses for the Rockaway Nassau Safety Patrol.
- Rockaway Waterfront Alliance, Inc. 14,627– This allocation represents a restoration of $1,002,000 and an enhancement of $1,000,000. A Greener NYC supports environmentally friendly focused programs that encourage education, advocacy, community service, and green-job training, contributing to the improvement and conservation of NYC’s air, land, energy opens spaces, and other vital resources.
- Swim Strong Foundation, Inc 14,000- Funds will be used to provide free swim lessons for Council District 31 youth participating in Swim Strong programs at Far Rockaway High School
- Ocean Bay Community Development Corporation 23,500-Funds will be used to provide support for the Ocean Bay CDC’s job readiness training programs in Council District 31.
- We Care New York, Inc 5,000– Funds will be used to provide programmatic support for the We Care NY program in Far Rockaway
- Ocean Bay Community Development Corporation 6,500– Funds will be used to provide support for the Ocean Bay CDC’s job readiness training programs in Council District 31
- Jewish Services Coalition 10,000– Funds will be used to provide programmatic support for youth activities in Council District 31.
- Rockaway Waterfront Alliance, Inc. 20,000– This funding supports cultural programs and institutions that provide arts enrichment to students through after-school programs.
- Rockaway Volunteer Ambulance Search and Rescue Corps 5,000– Funds will be used to provide programmatic support for the Rockaway Volunteer Ambulance Corps
- Arverne Church of God, Inc. 10,000– Funds will be used to support the Get Real with D.R.U.G.S.program, providing mentorship and open gym sessions, in Council District 31.
- Ready Rockaway, Inc. 5,000-Funds will be used to provide programmatic support for Ready Rockaway’s programs in Council District 31.
- Jewish Community Council of the Rockaway Peninsula, Inc. 15,000– Funds will be used to provide programmatic support for youth in Council District 31.