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Borough President Diaz, FreshDirect Distribute Thanksgiving Turkeys

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Jason Ackerman, founder and CEO of FreshDirect, teamed up to distribute 500 turkeys for Thanksgiving to residents of the Mitchel Houses in Port Morris on Friday, November 21, 2014.

Statement from Borough President Diaz
RE: President Obama's Executive Action on Immigration

"“I applaud President Obama for taking action to offer assistance to undocumented immigrants, especially in the face of our nation’'s currently dysfunctional immigration policies. While President Obama’'s actions are a considerable step in the right direction, more must be done. Congress must act on legislation for comprehensive immigration reform. As President Obama’s actions today show, we can no longer afford to wait,”" said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Borough President Diaz Hosted Annual Puerto Rican Heritage Celebration

On Thursday, November 20, 2014, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. hosted his annual Puerto Rican Heritage Celebration at Don Coqui on City Island. Here, Borough President Diaz is pictured with honoree Tonio Burgos, honoree Caridad De La Luz, event emcee and FOX-5 NY meteorologist Audrey Puente and Jimmy Rodriguez, owner of Don Coqui.

Statement from Borough President Diaz
RE: Terrorist Attack in Jerusalem

“I condemn this heartless act of violence in Israel and stand in solidarity with the families of the victims.  To have committed these brutal murders in a house of worship is appalling and I, along with all people of conscience, denounce these horrendous acts.  I send my prayers to the families of the four rabbis killed and will continue to pray for peace in Israel,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Remarks of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. at the
New York Hispanic Cosmetology & Beauty Chamber of Commerce’s
4th Annual ‘Business, Cosmetology Licensing & Regulations Symposium’

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. speaks at the New York Hispanic Cosmetology & Beauty Chamber of Commerce’s 4th Annual “Business, Cosmetology Licensing & Regulations Symposium” at Lehman College on Tuesday, November 18, 2014. At the event, Borough President Diaz discussed his recently introduced legislation calling for the creation of a letter grading system for cosmetology businesses, including nail salons, spas, barber shops, beauty parlors and other similar businesses throughout the five boroughs.

Good morning.

It’s great to be here, with the leaders of the beauty industry, as you celebrate your accomplishments from the past year and look forward to a successful 2015.

I also want to take a moment to thank my good friend, your president, Charito Cisneros, for giving me the opportunity to speak to you today. For years, Charito and I have partnered on our annual “DiVA Spa” event for domestic violence awareness, and I am always grateful and appreciative of her continued support and friendship.

Read Borough President Diaz's complete remarks.

Testimony of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Before the Empire State Development Corporation
RE: Freshdirect’s Proposed Relocation to The Bronx

Good evening.

I testify today in favor of Freshdirect’s move to The Bronx, and in favor of the subsidy package the State has presented to the company.

What we have in Freshdirect is an opportunity to expand a diverse economy in The Bronx, to create new jobs on an underutilized industrial waterfront, and to develop the blueprint for corporate America to work hand-in-hand with elected officials, community organizations and the people of this borough to make sure those jobs go to Bronx residents.

When Freshdirect’s move to The Bronx was first announced, the company entered into a “memorandum of understanding” with my office and the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation.

Read Borough President Diaz's complete testimony.

BP Diaz, Marty Markowitz promote Bronx restaurants

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz perused the menu at Tin Marin in Riverdale as Marty Markowitz, the former Brooklyn Borough President and current vice president of borough promotion and engagement at NYC & Co., served as guest maître d’ on Friday, November 14, 2014. The event was designed by NYC & Co., the city’s official marketing and tourism agency, to promote dining in the outer boroughs and to bring tourists to The Bronx.

Statement from Borough President Diaz
RE: Nomination of Michael Greco to Serve as U.S. Marshal

“I offer my heartfelt congratulations to Michael Greco, who has been nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of New York. I am proud to have personally advocated for his selection to Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, given that he is both a Bronx native and of Puerto Rican descent, and that his story resonates with me so personally.

“During his considerable career as a New York State Police Officer, Michael Greco has proven himself to be a valuable asset to his department and our state, and a pillar of the community-at-large. Michael Greco has received numerous awards and promotions during his service to the New York State Police, indicating to all that he is a man of great competence and integrity. I am proud that he has been nominated to serve as U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of New York, and I am grateful to President Obama, Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand for supporting such an exemplary candidate for this important position,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

President Obama’s announcement of Michael Greco’s nomination can be found at http://1.usa.gov/1qIWDZw.

Statement from Borough President Diaz
RE: Intros 486-A & 487-A

“I am glad that the City Council has passed this package of legislation, and that Mayor Bill de Blasio has signed them into law. These new laws provide our city with a fair, compassionate immigration policy that does not take the most drastic measures to deal with undocumented immigrants in our city. I congratulate Mayor de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for their advocacy on this issue.

“I am deeply appreciative that our city is leading the way on developing an immigration policy that respects the law and the rights of those individuals and families that are helping our city grow and prosper. This is especially welcome at a time when our federal immigration policy has been so dysfunctional,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Borough President Diaz Kicks Off
4th Annual 'Savor The Bronx' Restaurant Week

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and a variety of local epicureans sample the flavors of The Bronx Beer Hall as part of the kickoff of the 4th annual “Savor the Bronx” restaurant week. The Bronx Beer Hall, which is located in the Arthur Avenue Retail Market, is one of restaurants participating this year. For more information, visit www.savorthebronx.com.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. officially kicked off the 4th Annual “Savor the Bronx” Restaurant Week today at The Bronx Beer Hall in the Arthur Avenue Retail Market.

“Savor the Bronx” Restaurant Week, produced by the Bronx Tourism Council and co-hosted by the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC), showcases the borough’s best eateries by offering special values and discounts. 

“We have so many great flavors in our borough, and I hope everyone—visitors and locals alike—will take advantage of this promotion and try something new. Our borough has an amazing food culture, and ‘Savor the Bronx’ is a great way to explore our epicurean delights,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

"Savor The Bronx Restaurant Week is our way of featuring some the borough's best eateries. We invite visitors to sample a few and enjoy the diverse flavors we have here,” said Olga Luz Tirado, executive director of The Bronx Tourism Council. 

This 12-day event, which runs from November 3rd to November 14th, is the perfect opportunity to explore your taste buds and the Bronx.  From Italian cuisine in Little Italy to seafood on City Island, from sushi in Mott Haven to burgers in Kingsbridge and everywhere in between, “Savor the Bronx” offers everyone a chance to enjoy the diverse flavors our borough has to offer. 

During the press conference The Bronx Beer Hall highlighted its new menu while also providing samples from two borough breweries: Gun Hill Brewery’s Void of Light Stout, which recently won a gold medal at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival; and Jonas Bronck’s Beer Company’s New York Chocolate Egg Cream Stout, which includes the iconic Fox’s U-Bet chocolate syrup among its ingredients.

In addition, Chef King Phojanakong of Small Axe Peppers was on hand to provide samples of The Bronx Hot Sauce, a new product that is made using peppers grown in community gardens across the borough.

For more information, visit www.savorthebronx.com.

Statement from Borough President Diaz
RE: The Passing of Jonathan P. Hicks

“Jonathan Hicks was a good friend, and someone who I knew not only through his work in journalism at The New York Times, the Amsterdam News and BET. Jonathan had a personal impact on me, encouraging me to follow my dreams, stay confident in myself and to aspire for greatness. These words were especially powerful coming from someone who I thought should only care about the powers that be. Instead, in what I later realized was that, in classic Jonathan Hicks fashion, he cared more about inspiring a young father and college student working as a messenger, urging me to stay in school and provide for my family.

“I’ve considered Jonathan a friend and a mentor ever since. Jonathan’s impact on the world, through his writing, inspirational music and mentorship to dozens of young men like myself cannot be adequately measured, and I offer my condolences to his family and friends in their time of loss,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Deputy Borough President Greene Spoke at Event
Honoring Breast Cancer Survivors

On Tuesday, October 28, 2014, Deputy Bronx Borough President Aurelia Greene spoke at an event honoring breast cancer survivors over the age of 62 at Don Coqui on City Island, sponsored by Wellcare. Pictured with Deputy Borough President Greene are Melissa Fernandez and Joiel Ray Alexander of Wellcare.

Statement from Borough President Diaz
RE: Upcoming Forum on the Ebola Virus

“While we are extremely happy today to hear the news that the five-year old boy in Soundview has tested negative for the Ebola virus, we are just as saddened to learn that two young children were bullied in their school over this virus last week, simply because they are of African descent.

“We have seen far too much hysteria surrounding the issue of the Ebola virus. To help combat this, my office, in conjunction with the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene and the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, is hosting a town hall forum on the Ebola virus on Wednesday evening. It is taking place at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, 1040 Grand Concourse, from 6-8 p.m.

“Given the levels of sensationalism and misinformation surrounding the issue of the Ebola virus, this is event is a great opportunity for Bronxites to get clear, concise and medically-correct information about the virus directly from the Department of Health and to have their questions answered.

“I hope everyone who can will take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about the Ebola virus. And I urge all Bronx residents to join me and keep those affected by this terrible virus, both here and abroad, in their thoughts and prayers,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

View the event flyer here: http://bronxboropres.nyc.gov/events/2014-10-29-understanding-ebola.pdf

Barnes & Noble to Remain in Bay Plaza

BP Diaz Brokers Compromise Between Bookseller & Prestige Properties

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. signed up for a savings club membership and purchased several books following Thursday’s announcement that the Barnes & Noble in Co-op City would remain open. The bookseller and its landlord, Prestige Properties, reached a compromise extending the store’s lease for two years following the intervention of Borough President Diaz and his staff.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. today joined representatives of Barnes & Noble and Prestige Properties to announce that the bookseller’s location at the Bay Plaza Shopping Center will remain open.

Following the intervention of Borough President Diaz, Barnes & Noble and Prestige Properties have agreed to a two-year extension of their current lease, averting the expected closure of the store in January, saving 50 jobs and allowing both companies more time to develop a long-term agreement.

“For several days my staff and I went back and forth with both Barnes & Noble and Prestige Properties, and we were able to help these two entities work towards a compromise that keeps this bookstore in The Bronx. I hope that, during this two year extension, both companies are able to reach a long-term agreement that ensures their mutual success in our borough while keeping Bronxites employed. This is a major victory for The Bronx, and I am grateful that both companies have come to an agreement for the betterment of our borough,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

“Barnes & Noble is extremely excited to announce that we have reached an agreement with Prestige Properties to extend our lease.  We deeply appreciate the help of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., in helping to coordinate our discussions with Prestige.  We look forward to continuing to serve the Bronx community,” said David Deason, Vice President, Real Estate, Barnes & Noble Booksellers.

“As a courtesy to the community and upon the request of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., we made every effort to ensure that Barnes & Noble remains at their current location. Keeping Barnes & Noble in our borough is beneficial for all and we are thankful for the Borough President’s assistance in helping make this happen,” said Sam Shalem, Chairman and CEO of Prestige Properties and Development Co., Inc.

Read the complete press release.

The Bronx Hot Sauce has arrived!

GrowNYC and Small Axe Peppers bring NYC’s first community sourced & produced hot sauce to market

GrowNYC and Small Axe Peppers announce the release of a brand new locally sourced and produced hot sauce called The Bronx Greenmarket Hot Sauce. The product was created by acclaimed Chef and CIA graduate King Phojanakong of NYC. The Serrano peppers that make up the sauce are 100% locally sourced from community gardens in The Bronx and R&R Produce Farm in upstate New York, and the fiery condiment is manufactured and packaged by Farm to Table Co-packers in Kingston, NY. The production team was further completed by Robin Puskas as Product Development consultant and John Jaxheimer as Creative Director.

The Bronx Greenmarket Hot Sauce will be available at select Greenmarkets and Youthmarkets starting with the Times Square Pop-up Greenmarket on October 30. In addition, it will be sold online through Good Eggs and at local food retailers throughout the city.

“I’m thrilled to see our developers and community gardens join together on this wonderful venture,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “The Bronx has an amazing food culture, and ‘The Bronx Greenmarket Hot Sauce’ will only add to the great flavors our borough produces each and every day. GrowNYC and Small Axe Peppers have developed a product that not only tastes great, but also supports our local community gardens. That’s a ‘win-win’ for our borough, and I hope epicureans from all over the region enjoy our borough’s latest food creation.”

Read the complete press release.

Borough President Diaz, Bronx Tourism Council Co-hosted 'Tour de Bronx'

On Sunday, October 27, 2014, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and The Bronx Tourism Council co-hosted the 20th annual “Tour de Bronx,” New York State’s largest cycling event. Over 6,000 riders took part in the event, including Borough President Diaz and his wife, Hilda. Here, Borough President Diaz addresses thousands of cyclists participating in the 40-mile ride in the shadow of The Bronx County Building and Yankee Stadium, prior to the Sunday morning launch.

Watch Borough President Diaz address the crowd at http://youtu.be/HEiPH2WeL-o.

Borough President Diaz Celebrated
Deputy Borough President Aurelia Greene's 80th Birthday

On Saturday, October 25, 2014, Deputy Bronx Borough President Aurelia Greene celebrated her 80th birthday with a gala at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. During the event, in honor of her decades of service in his office, as a New York State Assembly Member and as a community activist, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. declared the day “Hon. Aurelia Greene Day in The Bronx.”

BP Diaz Addresses Urban Land Institute Tour

On Monday, October 20, 2014, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. addressed a tour of developers, planners, architects and other urbanists from around the world attending the Urban Land Institute’s convention. Participants were first walked through the 161st Business Improvement District near Yankee Stadium, and later ate lunch at the Yankee Tavern.

During his remarks, Borough President Diaz discussed the tremendous renaissance of the “New Bronx,” highlighting for attendees the remarkable strides the borough has made over the past three decades.

“We are the American dream in The Bronx,” said Borough President Diaz. “If we are where we are today, anything is possible in the United States. All you need is the will. All you need is the intellectual capital. All you need is a little bit of faith, prioritizing, and planning with purpose.”

BP Diaz Hosts Italian-American Heritage Celebration, Honors Sen. Al D'Amato

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. hosted his annual Italian-American heritage Celebration on Thursday, October 16, 2014, at the Schiff Family Great Hall on the grounds of the Bronx Zoo. Honorees and other attendees at the event included (l to r) Joseph Sciame, former United States Senator Alphonse “Al” D’Amato, FDNY EMS Paramedic Erica Golino, Department of Sanitation Supervisor Paul Visconti and Armand Paganelli, owner of Mt. Carmel Pharmacy in Belmont.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. hosted his annual Italian-American heritage Celebration on Thursday, October 16, 2014, at the Schiff Family Great Hall on the grounds of the Bronx Zoo. During the event, Borough President Diaz honored former United States Senator Alphonse “Al” D’Amato, who served new York State in that capacity from 1981 to 1999.

During his remarks, Senator D’Amato said that he decided to accept the borough president’s invitation to be honored because he admires him for his commitment to public service and the people of The Bronx.

“There’s not a Republican way or a Democratic way, there’s the right way and the wrong way,” said Senator D’Amato in his remarks. “And Ruben Diaz stands for rebuilding The Bronx and giving opportunity to make it stronger, and that’s why I’m here today.”

Register Now for the 20th Annual ‘Tour de Bronx!’

On Wednesday, October 15, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. joined representatives from Transportation Alternatives, Montefiore, The Bronx Tourism Council, Coca-Cola, Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center, St. Barnabas Hospital and the Bronx YMCA at a press conference to encourage riders to register for the 20th annual Tour de Bronx. Those interested in registering for the ride can visit ilovethebronx.com.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., The Bronx Tourism Council and Transportation Alternatives today announced the 20th Annual “Tour de Bronx,” the largest free bicycling event in New York State which will take place on Sunday, October 26, 2014.

Sponsored by the Montefiore Medical Center, St. Barnabas Hospital and the Bronx Lebanon Medical Center, the “Tour de Bronx” traditionally brings together nearly 6,000 bicyclists from around the world. This year’s launch event was held at the Bronx YMCA, one of the stops on the Tour de Bronx.

During the event, Borough President Diaz encouraged potential riders to register to participate at www.ilovethebronx.com.

"Riding in the Tour de Bronx is a healthy way to explore our borough, especially with 6,000 fellow travelers. Once again, I am proud to welcome cyclists from all over the region to this fantastic event, which gives them an opportunity to explore our amazing parks and neighborhoods and discover all the things that make our borough a great place to live, work and raise a family," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Read the complete press release.

BP Diaz Dedicates the Oliver Koppell Learning Center
at the Kennedy High School Campus

G. Oliver Koppell and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. join students from the eight schools located on the John F. Kennedy High School Campus at the dedication of the building’s newly-renovated library, named the “G. Oliver Koppell Learning Center,” on Thursday, October 9, 2014. The $700,000 library renovation was jointly funded by Borough President Diaz and then-Council Member Koppell in FY2013.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. joined Council Member Andrew Cohen, educators and students today to dedicate the newly-renovated library at the John F. Kennedy High School Campus the “G. Oliver Koppell Learning Center,” in honor of the former Attorney General, City Council Member, State Assemblyman and longtime figure in the political and civic life of The Bronx.

The renovation was funded by Borough President Diaz and Mr. Koppell in FY2013, while Mr. Koppell served in the City Council. The two officials jointly provided $700,000 in capital funding for the project.

“We all stand on the shoulders of someone who prepared, who fertilized the ground, so that in the future someone like me could be where I am today,” said Borough President Diaz while discussing the need to fund major education projects at the dedication and the importance of the new library. “We’re paying it forward. Shame on us if we don’t take the opportunity to invest tax dollars to make sure we get a good rate of return on our best investment: our students.”

“I don’t care that we now have computers and all the rest, I don’t think that there’s any substitute for a real book,” said Mr. Koppell at the event. “Today is a very proud day for me, and I’m glad to be a part of making this a reality.”

“Oliver Koppell’s dedication to this library is endemic of his dedication to the issue of education throughout his career,” said Council Member Cohen at the event. “Education is near and dear to his heart, and he deserves a round of applause for that.”

Mr. Koppell first served in the New York State Assembly from 1970 to 1994, when he became New York State Attorney General. Mr. Koppell also served as president of Bronx Community School Board #10 and as a member of the New York City Council from 2002 through 2013.

The Journey of Two Peoples, Brought Together in Celebration

Congressman Eliot Engel, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Ido Aharoni, Consul General of Israel in New York, share a laugh at a joint Sukkot and Hispanic Heritage Month celebration--co-sponsored by Borough President Diaz, Consul General Aharoni and the Jewish Community Relations Council--at Salanter Akiba of Riverdale's lower school on Monday, October 6.

The Consulate General of Israel in New York joined with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., JCRC-NY and other local officials to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month and the Jewish Holiday of Sukkot

At what first seemed a coincidence of the calendar, two communities met at the Salanter Akiba Riverdale Academy Monday night October 6, to jointly celebrate the arrival of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot and National Hispanic Heritage Month. The timeliness of the shared celebration highlighted the important contributions made by both the Hispanic American and Jewish Communities here in New York City, and honored the personal journeys that both communities have endured as they share their unique culture and heritage with the New York area.

Said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. (D), "This was an amazing event, one that brought together the Latino and Jewish communities of not just The Bronx but the entire City, both of which have played important roles in reshaping their communities. This evening not only helped ring in the Jewish Holiday of Sukkot and celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month, it also offered our Latino and Jewish communities a chance to bond through stories, music and even Kosher Mexican food. Both groups left realizing that they share a lot more in common than a date on the calendar, and it is my sincere hope we can replicate this event in the future."

Read the complete press release.

State Senator Jeff Klein, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
and the Bronx Chamber of Commerce launch Bronx H.I.R.E.
Survivors Program to pair Domestic Violence Victims with Jobs

Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester), Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Bronx Chamber of Commerce executives announced the Bronx H.I.R.E. Domestic Violence Survivors Job Readiness and Internship Program Wednesday, a new job training initiative that will lead victims of domestic violence on a path to financial independence.

“Helping domestic violence survivors reach financial independence is an important step toward avoiding the common occurrence of returning to the abusive relationship because of their financial need. Through the Bronx  H.I.R.E. Domestic Violence Survivor Program these  women will  gain confidence to fine tune their skills and enter the workforce  to move towards  safe and enriching lives. I thank Senator Klein for launching this crucial program that will  help survivors overcome economic barriers and secure long-term financial independence,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

This spin-off of the already successful Bronx H.I.R.E program, will launch as a pilot on October 16th with ten women selected from the non-profit Violence Intervention Program, Inc., in partnership with the Bronx Borough President’s office. The women will embark on a six-week job training program to hone skills including resume writing, interviewing, Microsoft Office, typing, writing and Quickbooks.

Read the complete press release.

Statement from Borough President Diaz
RE: Mayor de Blasio Signs Executive Order to Expand
Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act

“I am thrilled with Mayor de Blasio’s executive order to expand the ‘Fair Wages for New Yorkers’ Act. Today’s announcement is a victory for the hard working people of the Bronx and the City of New York.  The mayor's executive order will benefit thousands of workers, covering employees of commercial tenants in development projects that take in more than $1 million in city subsidies.  

“We first introduced the ‘Fair Wages for New Yorkers’ Act in 2011 to fight for the rights of those underserved and often ignored residents of this City.  The expansion of this bill will ensure that tax payer subsidized developments work for even more New Yorkers and we applaud Mayor de Blasio for it.   

“As I have said in the past, when developers voluntarily use taxpayer subsidies to make their projects work, they must do better by their employees. New York City is open for business, but at a better rate of return for the taxpayer.  The Mayor’s executive order marks another important step forward for economic development policy in our City and will have an incredible impact on the lives of thousands of hardworking residents,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Statement from Borough President Diaz
RE: MTA Vote to Approve Proposed Capital Plan

“The MTA’s inclusion of the East Side Metro-North expansion in its capital plan is another major step forward for our borough, and I am thrilled that the MTA board has voted to support this expansion and send it to the State Legislature for final approval. I like to thank Governor Andrew Cuomo for his strong support of this project, as well as State Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein for his tremendous advocacy on this issue. I would also like to thank our two MTA board members from The Bronx—Fernando Ferrer and Charles Moerdler—for their unwavering support of this proposal.

“As we make our final case to the State Legislature to approve the funding for this expansion, Albany will see an entire borough united in support of this revolutionary project. These four new Metro North stations—Co-op City, Parkchester/Van Nest, Morris Park and Hunts Point—will not only be amazing new amenities to the communities they serve, but will help transform the entire region.

“This is my highest priority, and I look forward to discussing this proposal’s merits with my friends in the State Legislature. No project is more important to the future of The Bronx than the East Side Metro-North expansion,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Happy Rosh Hashanah from Borough President Diaz

"I want to wish all the Jewish residents of the Bronx and the City of New York a Happy and Healthy New Year. As we reflect on the past year and we get ready to bring in year 5775, please remember to keep those in our community who are hungry or in need in your thoughts and prayers. I also ask that we make a commitment to help our neighbors. No good deed is too small, and something as simple as holding the door open for someone or helping a neighbor up a flight of stairs goes a long way.

"L’Shana  Tova!" said Borough President Diaz.

Bronx Unemployment Drops to Single Digits

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. praised the news, announced today by the New York State Department of Labor that the Bronx County unemployment rate has dropped to single digits, down to 9.8 percent.

“When I first became borough president, I made it clear that job creation would be a top priority of my administration. Over the past five years my office, in partnership with the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, city and state officials, our business community, no-profits and everyday Bronxites, we have worked hard to create thousands of new jobs in The Bronx. What we are doing is working,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

The borough has had a double-digit unemployment rate since January 2009, when it stood at 10.2 percent, peaking at 13.9 in January 2010. One year ago, in August 2013, the borough’s unemployment rate stood at 12.1 percent.

Since Borough President Diaz took office in 2009, The Bronx has seen $5.768 billion in total development, the creation of more than 13,000 in new units of housing and more than 14,000 new jobs created. Much of this progress is outlined in the office’s annual development report, which can be read at http://on.nyc.gov/1pkMnYS.

Read the complete press release.

Borough President Diaz Calls for New Letter Grade System
for Salons & Spas

Nail Salons, Spas, Barber Shops and Similar Businesses Would be Covered by New System,
Similar to Current System Covering NYC’s Restaurants

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is introducing legislation in the City Council that would create a new system of letter grades for cosmetology businesses, including nail salons, spas, barber shops, beauty parlors and other similar businesses throughout the five boroughs. The legislation will be introduced at the behest of Borough President Diaz by Council Member Rafael Espinal, chairperson of the City Council’s Consumer Affairs committee.

The new system will be modeled after the current letter grading system used by the Department of Health to monitor restaurants and food service establishments.

“While most salon and spa owners operate clean, reputable establishments, some do not, and they are putting the health and safety of their customers at great risk,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “The proposals we put forward today will go a long way towards ensuring that the people of this city have a clean and safe atmosphere to get their hair done, to get a manicure or pedicure, or any of the other practices typically found in spas and beauty establishments.”

In addition to creating a new letter grade and inspection system Borough President Diaz’s proposal also calls for the creation of a “Customer’s Bill of Rights,” which would be hung conspicuously in each establishment.

Read the complete press release.