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Borough President Diaz Releases Report
on Bronx Platform Development Opportunities

Report Finds Potential for Nearly Two Million Square Feet
of Development at Concourse Yard

Today, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. issued a preliminary report cataloging the potential of platform development at three borough railyard sites.

The report found that the Concourse Yard, located adjacent to Lehman College in the Northwest Bronx, offer the most immediate potential for development. Creating a platform at this location would allow for nearly two million square feet of new development without a significant upzoning, according to the report. The cost of the platform would range between $350 and $500 million.

“Developing a platform at the Concourse Yard is a creative way to continue the revitalization of our borough while bringing new amenities and resources to the Northwest Bronx,” said Borough President Diaz. “Smart planning for the future requires us to consider all options, including real estate that does not yet exist.”

The full report can be viewed at http://on.nyc.gov/1Koburv.

Borough President Diaz’s report considers a variety of options for the Concourse Yards platform, including mixed-income housing, homeownership opportunities, new retail space and an expanded Lehman College campus. The report also notes that the numerous amenities in the surrounding neighborhoods, including numerous school campuses, parks and the future Kingsbridge National Ice Center, make the location ideal for transit-oriented development.

“This is not only a great opportunity to help the neighborhood to continue to develop commercial space as well as affordable housing for all, but this plan could allow one of the best colleges in our city, Lehman College, the opportunity for expansion it deserves,” said Borough President Diaz. “In the coming year my office will reach out to stakeholders from the area to discuss the potential of the site and to outline the future of its development.”

Borough President Diaz added that, following that stakeholder outreach, his office would consider urging the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to issue a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) for the development of the Concourse Yard, in order to further study the costs and potential of a platform at the site.

In his 2015 “State of the Borough” address, Borough President Diaz announced that his office would conduct a preliminary study of the feasibility of building platforms over three railyards operated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)—the Concourse Yard, 149th Street in Mott Haven, and the 1 train yards connecting Riverdale and Kingsbridge at West 240th Street and Broadway. The borough president’s office found the 149th Street and 240th Street yards unsuitable for platform development at this time.

Statement from Borough President Diaz
RE: Gov. Cuomo Named of Rossana Rosado to Secretary of State

“I offer my heartfelt congratulations to Rossana Rosado, who has been named New York Secretary of State by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Ms. Rosado has proven herself to be a valuable asset to the Latino community through her publishing career, and a pillar of the community-at-large. I am proud to call her a friend, and I look forward to working with her in this new position,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

BP Diaz Declares 'Mr. G Day' in The Bronx

On Thursday, January 28, 2016, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. joined Principal Jasmine Gonzalez, as well as the students and faculty at P.S. 65—Mother Hale Academy, to declare it “Mr. G Day in The Bronx.” The legendary weatherman and New York television icon, who is currently part of the PIX 11 News broadcast team, spoke to the students about his upbringing and his career in television. He also took questions from the students about his education and offered advice on overcoming obstacles and following their dreams.

NYBG Requests Proposals for Mixed-Use Development Near Its Landmark Site

Project Could Include Residential, Retail, and Hotel Components As Part of Community-based Vision for Economic Redevelopment of Webster Avenue Corridor

Bronx, NY— Marking an important milestone in the growth and development of its Bronx neighborhood, The New York Botanical Garden announced today that it is seeking proposals from developers to build a major mixed-use project near its landmark site that could include residential units, retail, and a hotel.

The site of the proposed development is an acre-plus parcel on the southeast corner of Webster Avenue and Bedford Park Boulevard that is owned by the Botanical Garden. The property, which is across Bedford Park Boulevard from the Garden’s parking garage, is one block from the Garden’s 250-acre grounds.

The Garden’s request for proposals (RFP) envisions a development that could include a hotel with a minimum of 125 rooms on the northerly portion of the site. The residential component, on the southerly portion of the site, could consist of approximately 300 apartments, with a mix of market-rate and affordable units. The development could also include 12,000 square feet or more of retail use.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said: “NYBG has been an anchor in the Bronx for 125 years, so it is no surprise to me that with this request for proposals, the Garden is taking the lead on attracting catalytic and transformative development at this strategic intersection in the Bronx. As one of the many stakeholders participating in the Vision Plan for Webster Avenue, I am particularly excited for the day when guests from across the globe and from around the corner have another hotel choice in the Bronx, across from our very own Garden of Eden.”

Read the complete press release.

Governor Cuomo Announces First Solar Schools Project at the New York Institute for Special Education in the Bronx

Governor Cuomo's K-Solar Program Increases Use of Renewable Energy in Schools

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the New York Institute for Special Education in the Bronx will be the site of the state's first solar schools project and will have solar panel arrays installed thanks to a power purchase agreement with SolarCity. This public-private partnership is the first such agreement under the Governor's K-Solar program, which is designed to increase the use of renewable energy at public school districts and nonprofit schools across the state. As part of the agreement, the project will receive free technical assistance from the New York Power Authority and is eligible for approximately $65,000 in incentives from the Governor's $1 billion NY-Sun initiative. 

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said, "I want to thank the New York Power Authority (NYPA), the New York State Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), and especially New York Institute of Special Education, who are the first school to sign on Governor Cuomo's K-Solar program. Not only is this program helping The Bronx and New York City become greener, but the education component of the K-Solar program also helps our future leaders and scientists jump to the forefront of this burgeoning technology."

Read the complete press release.

Statement from Borough President Diaz
RE: Anti-Muslim Bias Incident in Parkchester

“The Bronx is one of the most diverse places in the world, and we celebrate that diversity every single day. Friday’s hateful attack on a Muslim individual in Parkchester is in no way representative of the shared values of the people of this borough.

“An attack on one of us over race, religion, gender or sexual orientation is an attack on us all. The people of The Bronx are united in their condemnation of this abhorrent incident. My office will continue to work with the New York City Police Department and community leaders to bring the perpetrators to justice. We wish the victim of this attack a speedy recovery, and our thoughts are with him and his family during this difficult time,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Anyone with information about this attack can contact the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 800-577-TIPS.

BP Diaz Criticizes 'Bag Fee' Legislation

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. has issued a letter expressing his strong concerns about Intro 0209-2014, more commonly known as the “bag fee” legislation. While the legislation seeks to protect the environment, Borough President Diaz is concerned that it places that burden on low-income New Yorkers and seniors that are struggling to pay bills, and represents a regressive tax.

“The bill operates like a regressive tax, and will not yield the environmental goals the legislation hopes to achieve,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “Higher-income New Yorkers will not be motivated to change their behaviors through this proposed fee, and lower income New Yorkers will bear the brunt of this proposal. While the environmental goals of this legislation are laudable, the methods are flawed.”

The complete letter can be read here: http://on.nyc.gov/1ORLHrH.

Borough President Diaz noted that there are multiple alternatives to achieving environmentally-friendly ends without negatively impacting low-income individuals and families. He added that the City should explore public education campaigns, a free bag distribution program for low-income New Yorkers, better bag recycling programs and bans on some types of bags, among other proposals.

“More creative and less punitive options should be explored that would actually achieve the intended purpose as opposed to encumbering low-income people whose demanding lives make it challenging to bring cloth bags to run every errand, exposing them to this regressive, backdoor tax,” wrote Borough President Diaz in his letter to Council Member Brad Lander, the chief sponsor of the legislation.

Statement from Borough President Diaz
RE: Gov. Cuomo’s 2016 ‘State of the State’ Address

“Great things are happening in The Bronx, and Governor Cuomo’s remarks today confirm that we are setting the bar for the entire state. Crime rates are dropping, businesses are growing and, thanks to the creation of the Bronx Employment Strike Force in 2014 and our efforts through the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, we are putting people to work.

“The governor’s commitment of $55 million towards expanded workforce training for at-risk youth, as well as new tax cuts for small businesses, will only help our job creation efforts grow. We are grateful for that continued support.

“In his ‘State of the State’ today, Governor Cuomo outlined an ambitious agenda on multiple issues that concern our borough, our city and our state. From increasing our state’s minimum wage, or expanding paid family leave, the governor has made a clear pitch to help strengthen families. With increased funding for higher education, a new tax credit for teachers and an $800 million increase in universal pre-K programs, the governor is clearly focused on our public school system.

“No issue has captivated our city more than housing and homelessness, and the announcement of $20 billion in new funding for permanent and supportive housing is certainly welcome. I look forward to working with officials at all levels to identify sites and projects that could benefit from this funding while creating much needed new units.

“Finally, I am encouraged by the governor’s proposal to allow automatic voter registration at the DMV. Voter participation is the key component of civic health, and I have always supported initiatives that allow more New Yorkers to participate in our electoral process. If we do not participate, our voices are not heard,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Statement from Borough President Diaz
RE: Gov. Cuomo’s Agenda on MWBE Procurement

“Today’s announcement by Governor Cuomo is welcome news. As a member of the Regional Economic Development Council, I’ve worked with the governor on a number of MWBE-related issues. This includes including streamlining MWBE certification standards between the City and State, expanding government MWBE procurement goals and greater access to SBA loans. 

“We need a consistent and coherent MWBE program at all levels of government, and Governor Cuomo’s latest proposal is an excellent step and natural progression in that process.  If a contract is state-funded, then the MWBE standards should be the same regardless of whether it is administered by a state agency, authority or the City of New York,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.  

Statement from Borough President Diaz
RE: President Barack Obama’s Executive Order on Guns

“Considering the divide that exists in Congress, it took great leadership and courage on the part of President Barack Obama to make this executive decision. I hope this is a first step in spurring Congress into action to work on a comprehensive gun bill helps prevent the violence seen in our cities every single day, as well as massacres like the one that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School and, more recently, the attack in San Bernardino, California.

“Strengthening background checks for purchasing guns and tightening the loopholes that exempt gun shows from background checks are two common sense approaches that can prevent people, such as those with a criminal past or those who have mental illnesses who should be denied access to such deadly weapons, from committing yet another mass murder that leaves us numb yet again.

“I want to thank President Obama for this bold step. Congress must follow his lead,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

BP Diaz Addresses New NYPD Officers

On Monday, January, 4, 2016, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Assistant Chief Larry Nikunen, commander of Patrol Borough Bronx, spoke to 186 new police officers at Fordham University’s Keating Hall.

“With 1,123 new officers sworn into duty throughout the City of New York, and 186 here in The Bronx, I am very excited to welcome you all to our borough and to share with you what our great borough has to offer,” said Borough President Diaz. “The Bronx has seen a growth in many areas, economically with more than 15,000 new jobs created, and housing with more than 20,000 new units.  Even more important to you, the borough has had record lows in crime thanks to the dedication of the NYPD and the partnerships with the community.”

The 186 new officers will serve in the borough’s 12 NYPD precincts.

Statement from Borough President Diaz
RE: Gov. Cuomo’s Call for a Statewide Minimum Wage Increase

“Governor Cuomo’s clarion call to increase the statewide minimum wage to $15 an hour is a game changer. We continue to create jobs and put people to work in The Bronx, but we need to do more as a society to ensure that all jobs are helping people rise out of poverty and make a better life for themselves and their families. Today’s proposal will help do just that.

“I am proud to join the Mario Cuomo Campaign for Economic Justice and to lend my voice to the fight for a $15 minimum wage across New York State. New York has always been a leader in the fight for economic fairness, and today’s announcement is the next logical step in that ongoing fight. I look forward to working with Governor Cuomo and elected leaders from across the city and state to make a fair minimum wage of $15 an hour a reality for all New Yorkers,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

BP Diaz Hosts Chess Tournament

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. plays a match with Ivan Hernandez, a sixth grader at M.S. 390, during the Bronx Borough President’s Chess Challenge on Tuesday, December 15, 2015. The event was hosted by Chess in the Schools and sponsored by AT&T. The tournament, which took place in Veterans’ Memorial Hall at the Bronx County Building, featured more than 250 students, grades 3-8, from Bronx public schools who are involved in Chess in the Schools programs.--Photo by Robert Benimoff.

Testimony of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Before the City Planning Commission
RE: Mandatory Inclusionary Housing & Zoning for Quality and Affordability

Good morning.

I am here today to testify in opposition to the pair of zoning text amendments that have been put forward by this administration and the Department of City Planning, known together as “Zoning for Quality and Affordability” (ZQA) and “Mandatory Inclusionary Housing” (MIH).

These text amendments pose an abundance of concerns and questions by my office, the community boards, advocacy groups, elected officials and others from all points on the spectrum of the development and public policy community.  These concerns were underlined at the recent meeting of the Bronx Borough Board, where they were unanimously rejected for a wide variety of reasons.

The submission of over 500 pages of text amendments at the same time is an unreasonable burden on most community boards to adequately review and evaluate their local neighborhood impact. These text amendments will govern land use development for our city for decades to come and should not be adopted in such a short period of time. Something so profound as the future development of this city cannot be rushed.

Achieving our city’s affordable housing goals cannot be accomplished in a vacuum. Our goal as a city should not be just to achieve a goal of 200,000 units, but to meet the individual needs of each and every community in this city.  Allowing just 60 days for our community boards to weigh in on these proposals is disrespectful to the boards, their members and the neighborhoods they serve, and goes against the spirit of progressive, inclusionary and transparent government.

Despite the impact these combined proposals will have on density, there has been no serious discussion of the social and physical infrastructure necessary to manage the development for which this zoning plan allows. 

Are there enough school seats for the children accompanying their parents as they move into new affordable units? What will be the impact on transportation in these communities? Will additional services be provided for seniors? Will new green and public spaces be provided for new residents? What kind of jobs will be created? How can we totally eliminate parking requirements? Will neighborhood residents even be able to get these new apartments?

These questions, and many others, have gone asked and unanswered.

Additionally, the proposal as it stands would not fully realize the goal of truly mixed-income communities. For example, a mix of specific income levels covering a broad range from very low to moderate-incomes within market rate developments should be considered. This range, rather than income averages, would create the true mixed-income neighborhoods that this proposal hopes to achieve.

The “neighborhood-by-neighborhood” approach to planning has been very successful in The Bronx, and these text amendments undermine that success.  The borough has adopted no less than 14 rezonings since 2009, yet these proposals will reshape the zoning of this city with one broad brush stroke.

One size does not fit all.  Local planning efforts reinforce the principles of inclusion and transparency, and can also mitigate displacement and preserve neighborhoods. These principles have been successful in previous rezonings, and they must be respected moving forward. 

This administration has said that MIH and ZQA are the only way to mitigate the problems of displacement that can come with gentrification in New York City.  This is simply not the case.  While affordable housing is key, these amendments as they stand are not the way to accomplish affordable housing for all New Yorkers.  There are multiple issues with the proposed amendments.  We need to find a way to ensure that Bronx residents’ needs and all New Yorkers’ needs are met by new zoning, and this proposal does not achieve those ends.

While it has been said that changes will be made to these text amendments in light of community concerns raised regarding their implementation, we have not seen those changes yet. As currently written, I cannot support these zoning text amendments—Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Program and Zoning for Quality and Affordability—and I strongly recommend that the City Planning Commission vote to defeat these proposals.

Thank you.

Borough President Diaz and Code/Interactive Launch Code/Bronx Initiative to Bring Coding Programs to Every School

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Code/Interactive, a Bronx-based computer science education nonprofit, jointly launched the Code/Bronx initiative on December 8th at Boricua College’s Melrose Campus to start a computer science program at every school in the Bronx.

Bronx Borough President Diaz addressed the crowd and voiced his support for the Code/Bronx initiative, acknowledging that “the students of the Bronx need to be equipped to take the tech jobs…get the information, and start to code.” The tech sector is the fastest growing jobs sector in New York City, so preparing students with coding and computer science skills is essential for them to participate in 21st century jobs in any industry.

This September, Mayor DeBlasio to announced Computer Science For All, an initiative intended to provide computer science education to every student in New York City. The NYC Department of Education and the Computer Science Foundation of New York City (CSNYC) started a $81 million public-private partnership with inaugural partners, the Robin Hood Foundation and the AOL Charitable Foundation, in partnership with The Fund for Public Schools.

C/I’s Program Director, Tom O’Connell, announced the official launch of the Code/Bronx initiative to a crowd of teachers, principals, and school officials who were eager to get coding and computer science programs into their schools.

The Code/Bronx announcement and platform provide one way for Bronx schools and educators to learn about opportunities like Code.org‘s K-5 upcoming professional development in the Bronx, Codester’s python programming platform for middle school students, and Code/Interactive’s professional development during spring and summer 2016. C/I’s resource page reviews all of these upcoming events, along with links to more programs and websites intended to inspire students to learn how to code.

Tech events are occurring more frequently in the Bronx than ever before, with the Bronx Tech Meetup‘s monthly event series and special events like #YesWeCode and Assemblymember Michael Blake’s “New Faces of Tech”in September, which was covered by MSNBC.

Schools and volunteers should go to www.codebronx.org to fill out the School Form or Volunteer Form and access professional development resources through Code/Interactive’s Resource page.

Every student deserves a world class education, and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is taking the lead in supporting professional development and other technology programs to make sure that the borough’s students can compete in the 21st century economy.

BP Diaz, Council Members Torres & Gibson
Launch Bronx Public Housing Task Force

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., City Council Member Ritchie Torres and City Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson today announced the formation of the Bronx Public Housing Authority Task Force.

The new task force will work with New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) tenants, law enforcement agencies, elected officials, community organizations and others to focus on solutions to crime and public safety issues that affect the borough’s NYCHA developments. The task force will officially launch in January 2016.

“Our NYCHA developments are home to some of our most vulnerable populations, and they deserve to live in a safe space free from the fear of crime. Recent reports have put the issue of crime and gang activity in NYCHA housing into clear focus, and through this new task force we will be able to create and implement a clear vision for a safer NYCHA in our borough, in collaboration with law enforcement agencies and the community-at-large. I thank Council Members Torres and Gibson for their commitment to this critical initiative, and I am hopeful that the ideas we put forward for The Bronx could prove useful for all five boroughs,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

"Gang violence is a serious and disturbing problem that we must tackle by addressing its root social and economic factors that lead to it. This taskforce will look at how we can reduce gang violence and ensure young men of color can lead productive lives that are not defined by guns. I look forward to working with my colleagues to confront the challenges and develop solutions that will make our borough and City safer," said Council Member Ritchie Torres, Chair of the Council's Public Housing Committee.

I am proud to join Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Chair of the Committee on Public Housing, Bronx Council Member Ritchie Torres, as we embark on a task force to address the growing needs of Bronx NYCHA residents. Everyone deserves a safe and secure community in which to live. Together, this task force will address the public safety and quality of life issues that have plagued the residents of these developments for far too long. I look forward to working with my colleagues on this project and continuing our work to create a better and brighter Bronx for all,” said Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson, Chair of the Committee on Public Safety.

Borough President Diaz & AT&T Host Celebration for
Borough President's Cup Little League Players & Families

On Sunday, December 13, 2015, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and AT&T’s New York State President Marissa Shorenstein co-hosted a celebration for the Little League teams who participated in this year’s Borough President’s Cup: Grand Slam Little League and this year’s champions, the Kingsbridge Little League Knights.

The celebration took place at the Hard Rock Café at Yankee Stadium and included players, their families and their coaches.

“Through this tournament, each year we are giving the youth the opportunity a chance to play baseball on a different level on the field where legends are born, Yankee Stadium. With these equipment grants, these teams are able to purchase new equipment and extend their resources, as well. I am proud to host this event each year and I am grateful to Marissa Shorenstein and everyone at AT&T for their continued support of the Borough President’s Cup Little League tournament,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

During the event, AT&T presented each team with a gift card to Modell’s Sporting Goods--$2,500 for the winning team and $1,500 for the runner-up—to help pay for equipment for the upcoming Little League season.

“AT&T is honored to support a program that encourages kids to participate in team building sports activities, give back to their communities and maintain academic excellence,” said Marissa Shorenstein, President of AT&T New York.  “I want to thank Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. for allowing us to be part of this incredible program for the fourth year in a row and congratulate all of the players and coaches for their hard work and dedication this year, both on and off the field.”

To compete for the Borough President’s Cup, players on each Little League team had to meet a set of requirements unrelated to their performance on the field, including a B-average in school, 90 percent or greater school attendance and a demonstrated commitment to community service.

Statement from Borough President Diaz
RE: The Passing of NBA Legend Dolph Schayes

NBA Legend Dolph Schayes speaks about his career during his induction to the Bronx Walk of Fame as Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. looks on. May 17, 2015.

“I would like to send my condolences to the family of NBA legend and Hall of Famer Dolph Schayes, who passed away today at the age of 87.

“I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Schayes this year, when we inducted him into the Bronx Walk of Fame, for having revolutionized the game of basketball. As an avid fan of the sport of basketball, it was a great honor to meet someone who meant so much to the game from his days at DeWitt Clinton High School through his time in the NBA. Dolph Schayes changed how big men played the game – appearing in 12 All-Star Games, scoring more than 19,000 points and grabbing more than 11,000 rebounds. His tremendous career earned him a selection to the NBA's All-Time 50th Anniversary Team.

“I had the opportunity this spring to talk with Mr. Schayes about the intricacies of the game and how basketball has changed since his playing days. As an avid fan of the sport, I will always cherish those insights.

“Mr. Schayes will not only be missed by the his basketball fraternity in the NBA but also by those in The Bronx who appreciate the history of the game and everything he accomplished as a Bronxite playing at the sport’s highest level,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

BP Diaz Hosts Bronx Chanukah Celebration

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. joined elected officials, clergy and community leaders from across The Bronx to light the menorah at his annual Chanukah celebration at the Bronx County Building on Tuesday, December 8, 2015.

NYC DOT Hunts Point Clean Trucks Program Announces its
500 Truck Milestone

The Program has resulted in significant environmental benefits by helping to improve air quality in the South Bronx since the launch of the program in 2012

The New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) Hunts Point Clean Trucks Program (HPCTP) announces the replacement, retrofit, and retirement of 500 older heavy-polluting diesel trucks with 2010 and newer EPA emission compliant diesel-hybrid, compressed natural gas, and diesel Class 3 to Class 8 trucks. These 500 clean trucks have resulted in significant environmental benefits by helping to improve air quality in the South Bronx since the launch of the program in 2012. The Program has also provided funds to retrofit another 6 trucks and scrap 24 other vehicles.

The Program was funded primarily through a Federal Highway Administration CMAQ grant, and has a primary impact on the Hunts Point and Port Morris areas in the Bronx, and also on the Central Bronx, Highbridge/Morrisania and the Mott Haven area in the borough.

The Hunts Point Clean Truck Program is on track to awarding nearly $14.75 million dollars to applicant fleets that either reside in or do business regularly within the Hunts Point community and markets in the Bronx. That equates to an average rebate of $30,000 per truck. Rebate amounts are fixed dollar amounts, based on the size and age of the truck, and the type of technology chosen for the new replacement vehicle, and on an analysis that includes incremental cost differences between a conventional vehicle and one that operates on alternative fuels, such as compressed natural gas, hybrid, or battery electric. 

“These 500 new green trucks are one more step towards a greener Bronx, and are an important part of the continued push to improve the environment and the health of Hunts Point and its residents,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “I want to congratulate The New York City Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, local stakeholders and community leaders for their efforts to improve air quality in my borough through this initiative.”

Read the complete press release.

BP Diaz Issues Recommendations on ZQA/MIH

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. has issued his expanded recommendations opposing Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposed changes to the zoning law, known as “Zoning for Quality and Affordability” (ZQA) and “Mandatory Inclusionary Housing” (MIH).

“Something as profound as the future of development in our city cannot be rushed,” said Borough President Diaz. “When so many different communities have voiced objections to what Mayor de Blasio has proposed, those concerns must be taken seriously and given careful consideration. As they stand today, these text amendments are unacceptable.”

Borough President Diaz’s complete recommendations can be read at http://on.nyc.gov/1Ikjrgm.

On November 19, 2015, the Bronx Borough Board voted unanimously 0-19-1 in opposition to the proposed text amendments. Borough President Diaz’s remarks opposing Mayor de Blasio’s proposals can be read here: http://on.nyc.gov/1LxQ6K4.

Bronx Unemployment Falls Again
Unemployment Down to 6.5%; More Bronxites Employed Today Than Ever Before;
Over 100K More Bronx Residents Working Since May 2009

The Bronx continues to show progress in the areas of job creation and economic development, according to new statistics from the New York State Department of Labor.

The unemployment rate in The Bronx fell to 6.5 percent in October 2015, down from 6.6 percent in September 2015 and 8.9 percent in October 2014.

Those same statistics show that the total number of Bronxites who are employed is 571,700, up from 468,800 in May 2009 when Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. first took office. This is the highest number of Bronxites employed since the Department of Labor began keeping statistics in 1990, and means that over 100,000 more Bronx residents have jobs today than six years ago.

“The Bronx has seen tremendous growth over the past six years, and none of that would have been possible without strong partnerships between our elected officials, community boards, business community, non-profits, neighborhood leaders and our 1.4 million residents, who everyday are working to make our borough a better place to live, work and raise a family,” said Borough President Diaz. “We have cut our unemployment rate in half, and more Bronxites have jobs today than ever before. That is success that we can all be proud of.”

The Department of Labor’s complete release can be found at http://on.ny.gov/1R6npuU.

Since Borough President Diaz took office in 2009, The Bronx has seen more than $7 billion in total development, which has led to the creation of thousands of new jobs. In addition, a new partnership announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in August 2014 between the New York State Department of Labor and the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, as part of the “NY Works,” program is placing Bronx residents in these jobs, helping to ensure that new development here benefits everyone, especially Bronxites.

BP Diaz & Bronx Borough Board Vote to Oppose Zoning Proposals

On Thursday, November 19, 2015, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. chaired the meeting of the Bronx Borough Board on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposed changes to the city’s zoning laws, known respectively as “Zoning for Quality & Affordability” and “Mandatory Inclusionary Housing.” The meeting will included a vote of the Bronx Borough Board on the two proposals.

Today, the Bronx Borough Board voted unanimously 0-19-1 to disapprove Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposed changes to the zoning law, known as “Zoning for Quality and Affordability” (ZQA) and “Mandatory Inclusionary Housing” (MIH).
The Department of City Planning (DCP) had previously presented on the subject to each Bronx Community Board and to the Bronx Borough Board. In addition, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. hosted a public comment session last week to gather input from the community.

“As chairman of this board, I speak for all of us in urging the City Council and our speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito, to heed the united voices of The Bronx—and the growing chorus of opposition in every corner of this city—and to stop this proposal when it comes before the City Council,” said Borough President Diaz at the hearing.

Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. will issue a more detailed set of recommendations on the proposals in the coming days.

In Favor: None

Opposed: Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., City Council Members Maria del Carmen Arroyo, Andrew Cohen, Vanessa Gibson, Andy King, Annabel Palma, and Ritchie Torres; Bronx Community Boards 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12.

Abstentions: City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

Read the remarks of Borough President Diaz here.