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Freelance Reporter in the Rockaway's Community Organizer Youth Worker

Pheffer Amato-Led Working Group, with Rep. Meeks, Lay Out Priorities for National Flood Insurance Reauthorization

Mark Sandy Anniversary; Advocate “Now as Leaders, Not Victims”

Deliver Priorities for South Queens, “Informed by 5Y on the Ground”

On Sunday, October 29th, Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Broad Channel), Congressman Gregory Meeks (D-NY5) and a working group convened by Pheffer Amato will mark the five-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, with a list of legislative recommendations for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is slated to be reauthorized by Congress in late October or early November (and which would otherwise expire on November 8th).  NFIP reauthorization was already slated to be one of three major legislative items of the current session of Congress before Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria made international news and threw the urgency of securing America’s floodplain into stark relief.  Over half of all Americans live in a county adjacent to coastline, and climate scientists expect flooding issues to worsen worldwide over the next several decades, making legislative steps taken in the near future potentially decisive to the success or failure of securing the floodplain.

Sandy was one of the earliest contemporary “super-storms,” and New York City and State’s successes and failures during the recovery period have been used as case studies for how America must address the flooding crisis from here on out.  Schumer, Pheffer Amato and the Working Group, composed of stakeholders from impacted communities in South Queens as well as representatives of Congressman Gregory Meeks and Borough President Melinda Katz, note that their input is singularly valuable to the national debate, informed as it is by the successes and shortcomings of the existing NFIP applied to the United States’s largest city, plus five years of follow-up action to rebuild in the storm’s aftermath.

“Insurance shapes the whole landscape of resiliency and recovery,” said Pheffer Amato.  “That’s why I convened this working group.  Everyone on this team rolled up their sleeves from Day One in 2012.  Now they have five years of experience under their belt – rendering aid, cleaning up, comforting their neighbors, rebuilding, lobbying for help, swapping best practices, wrestling with bureaucracy, fighting with insurance companies on behalf of their families and communities.  Insurance impacts us long-term, steering where people live and can afford to continue to live; it touches on every aspect of recovery and rebuilding.

“The rest of the country is, unfortunately, about to experience some of the five-year horror show we went through – red tape, bureaucracy, and blatant exploitation,” Pheffer Amato continued.  “But we did come out stronger, with a paramount desire to protect others from the worst and least-necessary shocks.  There’s no one better than a Sandy survivor to bring a list of important ‘To Dos’ to a nation now grappling with these issues every year.  And there’s no more impactful place to weigh in than on NFIP reauthorization.  I want to thank this incredible team for their work to put our hard-won experience to paper, and I’m grateful to our representatives in DC for bringing us in to the national conversation.”

“This working group convened by Assemblymember Pheffer Amato has been a great success because it has connected government officials with Queens residents who are experiencing the negative effects of ever-increasing flood insurance rates,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “Together we have come up with strong legislative recommendations for improving and strengthening the National Flood Insurance Program. Assemblymember Pheffer Amato and all those who have been a part of the working group deserve to be commended for developing common-sense proposals that would better protect Queens residents.”

“Many of our homeowners were failed by the current National Flood Insurance Program,” said Denise Neibel, Assistant General Manager of the Breezy Point Cooperative.  “Relief was slow, painfully bureaucratic and extremely inconsistent.  Despite paying into a program which was meant to protect and assist citizens, the program became the disaster after the disaster. We hope that by working to reform the NFIP, future victims of natural disasters will not encounter these same problems.  Giving participants the guidance, answers and assistance they deserve will better enable them to reconstruct their lives.”

“Maintaining affordable flood insurance for coastal communities is the single most-important issue for millions of residents who currently are mandated to maintain this coverage,” said Dan Mundy, Jr., the President of the Broad Channel Civic Association.  Broad Channel was among the hardest-hit areas during Superstorm Sandy.  “As Congress is currently debating what the future of Flood Insurance will look like, it is very clear that some in Congress think that homeowners paying ten to twenty thousand dollars a year in premiums is a good idea.

“The loss of affordable flood insurance will destabilize coastal communities,” Mundy continued; “and for this reason, Assemblywoman Amato has formed the Flood Insurance Reform Advisory Group. I am proud to be part of this group, which has produced a working document which highlights the critical points that we need to see in the new reauthorization bill.  Hopefully, we will see these commonsense concepts included and flood insurance will remain affordable for working families.”

“We urge all our congressman and Senators to support the SAFE Flood Insurance Bill,” said George Kasimos, a Realtor / Broker with George Kasimos Real Estate, LLC.  “It provides the most protection against the exorbitant rise in flood premiums, funding to correctly map flood zones across the country and provide mitigation funding to raise homes that are in harm’s way.”

Pheffer Amato Speaks to Groups for Assembly Vets’ Committee

This past Saturday and Sunday, Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-South Queens) spoke on behalf of the NYS Assembly Veterans’ Affairs Committee at the Queens County American Legion Legislative Breakfast and the Queens County Council VFW’s 53rd Annual Legislative Breakfast, in Flushing, Queens.  Pheffer Amato recapped the Committee’s achievements supporting veterans in the 2016-2017 legislative session, and looked forward to the 2017-2018 session, whose preliminary budget discussions are “coming up faster than you can blink.

“It was an honor to speak to our Veterans as the official representative of the Committee, and I thank Chairman Michael DenDekker for giving me that opportunity,” said Pheffer Amato, who has sat on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee since taking office this past January.  “I want to thank the American Legion, the VFW, and, of course, our incredible Veterans and their families.  My first bill this session, recently signed into law by Governor Cuomo, was to make information more accessible for Vets.  We owe these brave men and women everything, and our country has so much more it must to do to honor their sacrifice.”

NYC EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT URGES NEW YORKERS TO PREPARE FOR EFFECTS OF HURRICANE JOSE

PLEASE SEE THE IMPORTANT INFORMATION BELOW FROM THE NYC OFFICE OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
NYC EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT URGES NEW YORKERS TO PREPARE FOR EFFECTS OF HURRICANE JOSE – COASTAL FLOODING, STRONG RIP CURRENTS, STRONG WINDS AND RAIN

The National Weather Service has issued a Coastal Flood Warning for Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning high tide cycles

Widespread moderate coastal flooding expected in coastal neighborhoods

September 18, 2017 – The New York City Emergency Management Department today urged New Yorkers to prepare for potential impacts of Hurricane Jose. With Jose’s track moving about 75 – 100 miles to the southeast of Long Island, residents living in the city’s coastal neighborhoods could experience moderate levels of coastal flooding. The National Weather Service has issued a Coastal Flood Advisory along the shores of Brooklyn and southern Queens from 6 a.m. through 12 p.m.Tuesday. A Coastal Flood Advisory is also in effect for Staten Island from 6 p.m. Tuesday through 12 p.m. Wednesday. The National Weather Service has also issued a Coastal Flood Warning along the shores of Brooklyn and southern Queens from 6 p.m. Tuesday through 12 p.m. Wednesday.  During a Coastal Flood Warning, widespread moderate flooding is expected, resulting in beach erosion and flooding of vulnerable shore roads and/or properties. Coastal residents in the warned area should be alert for rising water and take appropriate action to protect life and property.

“We are closely monitoring Hurricane Jose and the potential impacts it may have to New York City,” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito. “If you live in vulnerable coastal neighborhoods, take steps to protect your property. Prepare your Go Bags, charge your cell phone batteries, and don’t forget to check in on relatives, friends, and neighbors.”

Hurricane Jose is also expected to bring dangerous surf, strong rip currents, strong winds, and rain to the New York City area. The National Weather Service has issued a Rip Current Statement for Brooklyn and southern Queens through 8 p.m. Tuesday. A High Surf Advisory is also in effect for Brooklyn and southern Queens through 6 p.m. Wednesday. A High Surf Advisory means that high surf will affect beaches in the advisory area producing dangerous rip currents, widespread dune erosion, and localized washovers.

The City’s Flash Flood Emergency Plan has been activated to help mitigate potential flash flooding and ensure a quick, effective, and coordinated response to any flash flood events that do occur. Flash flooding can occur with little or no warning due to the large number of paved surfaces across the city. These surfaces do not allow rainwater to be absorbed into the ground and can result in storm drains often being overwhelmed, causing localized flooding. NYC Emergency Management works closely with NYPD, FDNY, Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Sanitation, Department of Transportation, Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to mitigate the impact of flash floods. New Yorkers are encouraged to report clogged catch basins and areas of standing water to 3-1-1 (212-639-9675 for Video Relay Service, or TTY: 212-504-4115).
The Department of Buildings has issued an advisory for property owners, contractors and crane operators to take precautionary measures to secure their construction sites, buildings, and equipment in preparation for strong winds associated with Hurricane Jose. The department will perform random spot-check inspections of construction sites around the City and will issue violations and Stop Work Orders, where necessary, if sites are not secured.

NYC Emergency Management remains in constant communication with the National Hurricane Center and the National Weather Service to track and monitor Hurricane Jose and share storm updates with city, state, and private-sector partners. NYC Emergency Management encourages New Yorkers to take the following steps to prepare for potential rain, wind and coastal flooding effects ahead of the storm:

PREPARE AN EMERGENCY PLAN:

  • Make a plan with your household that outlines what to do during an emergency, including a coastal storm. Use the Ready New York: My Emergency Plan to create your family’s emergency plan.
  • If you have a disability or access or functional need, make sure your plan addresses how your needs may affect your ability to evacuate, shelter in place, or communicate with emergency workers. Arrange help from family, friends, or service providers if you will need assistance.
  • Know your zone. Areas of the city subject to storm surge flooding are divided into six evacuation zones (1 through 6) based on risk of storm surge flooding. Use the Hurricane Evacuation Zone Finder or call 3-1-1 (212-639-9675 for Video Relay Service, or TTY: 212-504-4115) to find out if your address is located in an evacuation zone.
  • Prepare a Go Bag that you can grab in case you need to leave your home in a hurry. For more information about what to pack in a Go Bag, visit http://www1.nyc.gov/site/em/ready/gather-supplies.page.
  • Stay informed by signing up for Notify NYC to receive emergency notifications and updates via email, phone, SMS /text, or Twitter. Notify NYC messages are also available in American Sign Language (ASL). Visit www.nyc.gov/NotifyNYC or call 3-1-1 to sign up.

PREPARE FOR FLOODING

If you live in a flood-susceptible area:

  • Keep sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, and lumber, on hand to help protect your home.
  • Make an itemized list of personal property, including furnishings, clothing, and valuables.
  • Move valuable items from basements to upper floors. (Basements are vulnerable to flooding.)
  • Know your flood risk. To learn more about coastal flood risk in New York City, visit the FEMA Region II Coastal Analysis and Mapping website for flood hazard information at http://www.region2coastal.com/.
  • Consider getting flood insurance. Protection against loss due to floods is not covered under a homeowner’s policy. Contact your property/casualty agent or broker about eligibility for flood insurance. For more information, visit the National Flood Insurance Program online at www.floodsmart.gov.
  • Learn the safest route from your home or workplace to safe, high ground in case you have to evacuate. This should be part of your household disaster plan.

PREPARE FOR POWER OUTAGES

  • Build or restock your emergency supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
  • Charge cell phones and any battery-powered devices.
  • Turn your refrigerator and freezer to a colder setting. If you lose power, items that need refrigeration will stay cooler for longer.
  • Check on friends, relatives, and neighbors, especially older adults and people with disabilities, access and functional needs, or health conditions. Help them to prepare if needed.

PREPARE FOR STRONG WINDS

Strong winds can bring down trees and power lines and can turn unsecured objects into dangerous projectiles. To protect against the hazard of strong winds, New Yorkers should:

  • Check the area immediately surrounding your home for unsecured objects or potentially dangerous conditions. Tree limbs, garbage cans, yard debris, or other materials that can be moved by the wind are potential projectiles aimed at your home or parked vehicle.
  • Bring inside loose, lightweight objects such as lawn furniture, potted plants, garbage cans, garden tools and toys.
  • Anchor objects that would be unsafe outside, such as gas grills or propane tanks.
  • Close up and secure patio umbrellas.
  • Secure retractable awnings.
  • Remove aerial antennas and satellite television dishes.

Stay informed

Before and during an emergency, the City will send emergency alerts and updates to New Yorkers through various channels including Notify NYC, the City’s free emergency notification system. Through Notify NYC, New Yorkers can receive phone calls, text messages, and/or emails alerts about traffic and transit disruptions and other emergencies. To sign up for Notify NYC, call 3-1-1, visit www.nyc.gov/NotifyNYC, or follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter.

Send us your comments, request or inquires via email at: Intergov@oem.nyc.gov
Notify NYC is the easiest and most up-to-date way for your office and your constituents to get information on emergencies. Please encourage all New Yorkers to register at www.nyc.gov/notifynyc or by calling 311,  and follow Notify on Twitter @NotifyNYC. You can also follow @NYCEM or like us at  www.facebook.com/nycemergencymanagement

SCHUMER, GILLIBRAND ANNOUNCE OVER $263 MILLION IN ANTI-TERRORISM FUNDING FOR NYPD, REGIONAL LAW ENFORCEMENT

Dept. of Homeland Security’s UASI Program Provides Funding to Address Needs of High-Threat Urban Areas, Like NYC, and Protects Against Acts of Terrorism

State Homeland Security Program Provides Funding to Support Implementation of Homeland Security Strategies

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced today that New York is set to receive more than $263 million in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). First, Schumer and Gillibrand announced $178,123,000 in Fiscal Year 2017 funding for the New York City area through the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI). In total, FEMA is providing $580,000,000 in UASI funds nationwide and therefore, New York has been allocated approximately 30 percent of the total UASI funds. The UASI program provides funding to address the unique needs of high-threat, high-density Urban Areas. The funding assists these localities in building sustainable capacity to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism.

In addition, $6,724,346 in UASI funding has been awarded to the New York City area for use by 91 nonprofit organizations that are high-risk of attack to improve their security. In total, FEMA is providing $25,000,000 in these funds and therefore, New York City has been allocated more than 25 percent of the total NSGP funds. Schumer and Gillibrand have long advocated for robust UASI funding for New York City.

The Senators also announced $76,930,000 in the State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) and $1,822,000 for Operation Stonegarden (OPSG) for New York. SHSP funding supports the implementation of the strategies to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to and recover from acts of terrorism and other catastrophic events. OPSG funding enhances coordination between local, state, and federal law enforcement for security purposes.

“With ISIS-inspired attacks becoming more and more frequent across the globe, top terror targets like New York City must remain proactive and well-protected,” said Senator Schumer. “Federal security funds, like UASI, are the cornerstone of effective preparedness and prevention against terror threats and enable local law enforcement, like NYPD, to do all they can to keep New Yorkers safe and secure. I have been a strong supporter for counter-terrorism funds in New York City and I will do everything in my power to continue fighting for these funds and make sure that New York is protected.”

“New York is the number one terror target in the world, so we must continue to be vigilant,” said Senator Gillibrand. “These anti-terror funds remain critical for our law enforcement to have the resources they need available in their efforts to protect and save lives. I will always fight in the Senate to make sure they are given the support they need to keep New Yorkers safe.”

The purpose of the Homeland Security Program is to provide funding to assist state and local governments in obtaining the resources needed to increase law enforcement terrorism prevention capabilities. Funds will be used to address identified planning, organization, equipment, training, and exercise needs to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism and other catastrophic events.

 

Pheffer Amato Welcomes Madyson Middleton, Age 10, Rising Sixth-Grade “Assemblywoman-for-a-Day”

Last week, Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Rockaway Beach) hosted incoming sixth-grader Madyson Middleton, who for the second year in a row served as “Assemblywoman-for-a-Day,” shadowing Pheffer Amato and her staff to learn about the process of representing the 23rd Assembly District in South Queens. Madyson, an aspiring physician, helped file papers, attended to constituent concerns, and was generally helpful with all aspects of serving the South Queens community. At the end of the day, Pheffer Amato presented Madyson with a proclamation congratulating her on her position and on her second full day of service to the District.

“Madyson is truly a bright light – one of those kids who makes you feel like the future of our community is in very good hands,” said Pheffer Amato. “She really listened and soaked up every word about the unique challenges and opportunities of representing a district in the State Assembly. She asked good questions, she jumped in to help wherever she could, and she was clearly excited about the next year of school and about the future. All in all, I think she more than amply demonstrated she has the right mindset to sit in this seat one day, or be a doctor, or whatever she winds up doing. And we in the office will be following her career earnestly!”

Pheffer Amato, Addabbo, Ulrich: Ensure Child Safety Now

At “Unacceptable” Crossing, Urge DOT, NYPD to “Think Back-to-School”

Pheffer Amato, Addabbo Push for Legislation Boosting Crossing Guards

This coming Monday, August 21st at 11:00AM, NYS Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Rockaway Beach), NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Ozone Park) and NYC Councilmember Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) will hold a press conference at the intersection of Rockaway Beach Boulevard and Beach 102nd Streets in Rockaway Beach, Queens.  The three elected officials, who jointly represent what they say is a “poorly-marked, poorly-organized intersection that hundreds of students walk across every day,” will be joined by students and parents from the schools, who “cannot wait any longer for the intersection to be made ready for school, which starts in two weeks.”

Specifically, the officials, students and parents will highlight the need for adequate signage, properly painted crosswalks, directional signals to improve the flow of traffic, and expanded crossing guard coverage.  Pheffer Amato and Addabbo will highlight a bill they introduced this past year and intend to rally support for this year, which would bring crossing guard levels in the blocks around high schools up to the expanded level already provided for streets around K – 8 schools.

WHEN:   Monday, August 21st, 2017, 11:00AM

WHERE:  NW Corner, Rockaway Beach Boulevard and Beach 102nd Street
Rockaway Beach, NY

WHO:     NYS Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato
NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.
NYC Councilmember Eric Ulrich
Students and parents from nearby school campuses

VISUALS:Elected officials, students and parents pointing out unsafe road markings and traffic patterns, students speaking

Pheffer Amato: Ferry Shouldn’t Double-Charge Reduced Fare

Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Rockaway Beach) today called on NYC’s Economic Development Corporation, which administers the new Citywide Ferry, to immediately switch from a proprietary-only fare system to honoring NYC MetroCards, so that senior and disabled citizens and students don’t get double-charged for using the Ferry system.

“Mass transit is supposed to be most helpful to those who have the hardest time getting around,” said Pheffer Amato. “I know for a fact that the Ferry would allow our seniors and students to reengage hugely with everything the City has to offer. But right now, if they make use of this great new option, they have to pay double for a monthly pass and get certified twice. That’s unfair, and it makes no sense.”

The system that the EDC rolled out offers a monthly Senior / Disabled pass, but the program requires that the purchaser mail in their proof of disability or existing MTA reduced-fare eligibility in order to be certified, and that they pay the same amount (50%) for the extra Ferry pass that they do for their MTA pass. Students, meanwhile, get special MTA passes based on their distance from school; but those passes cannot be used on the Ferry, which, though a part of the NYC Transit system, uses a proprietary fare process.

“The Ferry is not a luxury, it’s a necessity,” said Pheffer Amato. “For the students, Seniors and disabled folks who have needed this option for the longest, they can finally do what everyone else in the City does – but now, they’re being double-charged for it. That’s why I’m calling on the City to accept the MetroCard on the Ferry immediately, especially for reduced-fare folks.”

 

Council Member Richards and NYPD to Host Street Co-Naming Ceremony for Det. Randolph Holder in Far Rockaway

WHO: Council Member Donovan Richards (D-Far Rockaway); NYPD Representatives; other local elected officials; Family and friends of Det. Randolph Holder

WHAT: Council Member Donovan Richards and the NYPD will be joined by the family and friends of Det. Randolph Holder to unveil the newly co-named Briar Place as Det. Randolph Holder Way. In 2015, Det. Holder was shot and killed while on duty in East Harlem. Det. Holder was a family man and resident of Far Rockaway, who helped make the community and the city a better place. This event will immortalize his sacrifice in the Far Rockaway community where his family calls home.

WHERE: 409 Briar Place, Far Rockaway, NY 11691

WHEN: Friday, August 4, 2017 at 11 a.m.

Council Member Richards Hosts Street Co-Naming Ceremony For Walter Kelly Jr. Way in Springfield Gardens

Springfield Gardens, N.Y. – On Saturday morning, July 29, Council Member Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) joined the family and friends of Walter Kelly Jr. to unveil the newly co-named intersection of 132nd Avenue and Farmers Boulevard in Springfield Gardens as Walter Kelly Jr. Way.

Mr. Kelly played in the United States Army Band during the Korean War where he earned the rank of Sergeant. He later received a Certificate of Recognition for his service in promoting peace and stability for the United States of America, from Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense, and a Certificate of Merit for his dedication and service to the United States Military. Afterwards he attended the Harnett Music School. He then played with the United States Post Office Band by day and by night was engaged playing for concerts and various nightclubs in New York City.

He was an integral member of the great musicians of those “Jazz Heydays” in Harlem during the 50’s and 60’s. His style was heavily influenced by his friend and mentor, the late, great Clifford Brown. Dizzy Gillespie once commented that Walter’s style and sound was unparalleled by any other trumpeter of his time.

Until his death, Walter was an active band leader, trumpet and flugelhorn player where he often performed at the Robert Couche Senior Center, where his wife, Eleanor, is the Executive Director.

“Co-naming streets is an important way to connect our community leaders and veterans from the past with our residents of the present and the future,” said Council Member Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton). “The service and dedication of Walter Kelly Jr. should never be forgotten since his life helped improve our communities and our country for the better. It is critical that we honor the service and sacrifice of brave men and women of the armed forces, who dedicated their lives to protecting our country and our freedom.”

ELECTED OFFICIALS, ADVOCATES ANNOUNCE 24 HOUR “RIDERS RESPOND TRANSIT TOUR” TO GET FIRSTHAND FEEDBACK FROM SUBWAY RIDERS

NYC Council Member Rodriguez, NYS Assemblyman Dinowitz, NYC Public Advocate James, Riders Alliance, TWU & More Will Travel Subways to Hear About Riders’ Concerns Prior to Aug. 8 City Council Hearing on Subways

New York, NY – Elected officials are ready to ride the rails to hear directly from subway commuters in advance of a City Council hearing on August 8th. After months of delays, derailments, power outages, track fires and more, officials and advocates will take to the tunnels to get feedback, suggestions and concerns from riders, while getting a full picture of the system that sustains our city.

The 24 Hour Riders Respond Transit Tour will take place from 7 AM to 7 PM on Thursday August 3rd and Friday August 4th, touching all five boroughs. The tour is organized by NYC Council Transportation Chair Ydanis Rodriguez, in conjunction with NYS Assembly Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Chair Jeffrey Dinowitz, who each have oversight over the city subway system.

This event is supported by a growing list of elected officials and advocates, including NYC Public Advocate Letitia James, U.S. Congressman Adriano Espaillat, Brooklyn and Manhattan Borough Presidents Gale Brewer and Eric Adams, NYS Assemblywoman Carmen De La Rosa, Council Member Carlos Menchaca, Riders Alliance, Straphangers Campaign and TWU Local 100.

They will be joined by volunteers travelling from station to station to document feedback about riders’ commutes, assess the state of the system’s infrastructure and gain a feel for each line in the city. Tour participants will gather on Monday at a press conference at 12:00 noon at the City Hall R Train stop to release details about the tour, including the route and more.

“Lost over the past few months of subway woes has been the point of view of riders,” said NYC Council Transportation Chair Ydanis Rodriguez. “It is our duty as representatives of those who take the subway each day to learn about what they’re going through and hear their suggestions for improving the system. As we prepare for our subways hearing at the Council on August 8th, this tour will help to gather information and data crucial to getting a more complete picture of the system. I’m glad so many of my colleagues and interested organizations have signed on to this effort and I’m expecting a very informative tour.”

“New Yorkers are fed up with the burden shifting between New York City and New York State. Councilman Rodriguez and I, as leaders of two committees that have oversight of the MTA at both levels of government, are working together to identify problems and create solutions. There are many issues with our city’s transit including ADA accessibility, platform overcrowding, fire-causing trash on the tracks, derailments, and other problems that have combined to create the crisis we are in today,” said Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, Chair of the NYS Assembly Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions.

“New York commuters have spoken and it’s far time we take note and heed their concerns regarding our subway system,” said U.S. Congressman Adriano Espaillat (NY-13). “I commend MTA Chairman Lhota on yesterday’s release of the MTA Subway Action Plan, this is a first step. Unfortunately, however, the plan excluded escalator and elevator services in some of the deepest stations in New York City, many of which are within my district. When escalator and elevator services are out of order, riders are often left without resolve and must find last minute alternate means of transportation, which is of grave concern for seniors, persons with disabilities, and families with young children. It is critical that we take a comprehensive approach and find solutions that address all parts of our system’s infrastructure. I commend Councilman Rodriguez and each of the elected officials who are responding directly to the needs of commuters throughout the city and hearing their concerns firsthand.”

“Every day, millions of New Yorkers are experiencing unprecedented delays and problems with our subway system, yet feel that their concerns are ignored,” said NYC Public Advocate Letitia James. “The Riders Respond Transit Tour is a critical opportunity to connect with subway riders and see concerns firsthand because we can no longer sit by and allow these daily failures to go unaddressed. In order to facilitate real change and improvement, we must first hear from those who ride our trains everyday and I look forward to the progress that will come from this.

“There’s no silver bullet that will fix the subway overnight, but putting the focus back on subway riders and what they’re being forced to cope with will help build support for the investment of money and political will that’s going to be needed,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer.

“As the Summer of Hell continues, riders are demanding solutions-and their elected leaders are paying attention. The transit tour demonstrates powerfully that our representatives are taking on transit as issue number one,” said Nick Sifuentes, Deputy Director of the Riders Alliance.

What: Elected Officials, Advocates to hold 1st Ever 24 Hour “Riders Respond Transit Tour”

Who: NYC Council Transportation Chair Ydanis Rodriguez, NYS Assembly Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Chair Jeffrey Dinowitz, NYC Public Advocate Letitia James, U.S. Congressman Adriano Espaillat, Brooklyn and Manhattan Borough Presidents Eric Adams and Gale Brewer, NYS Assembly Members Carmen De La Rosa, Brian Barnwell, Council Member Carlos Menchaca, Riders Alliance, Straphangers Campaign and TWU Local 100 (List in Formation)

When: Rally/Press Conference – Monday, 12 Noon
Tour: Thursday/Friday, 7 AM – 7 PM

Where: Rally/Press Conference – City Hall R Train Station
Tour – Citywide (Thurs: Manhattan/Bronx/Staten Island; Fri: Brooklyn/Queens)