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Borough President Diaz, New York Yankees & AT&T
Host Fourth Annual ‘Borough President’s Cup’ Little League Championship

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Marissa Shorenstein, New York State President, AT&T, join the Bronx Bombers on the field following the 2014 Borough President’s Cup Championship at Yankee Stadium on August 26, 2014.

On Tuesday, August 26, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., the New York Yankees and AT&T co-hosted the fourth annual “Borough President’s Cup” Little League Championship. The game featured a match-up between the 2013 champions Grand Slam Little League and the Bronx Bombers, who competed for this year’s title in a game at Yankee Stadium.

The Bronx Bombers took the championship with a 14-2 victory over Grand Slam Little League.

To compete for the “Borough President’s Cup,” players for each Little League had to meet a set of requirements unrelated to their performance on the field. Those included a B-average in school, 90 percent or greater school attendance and a demonstrated commitment to community service. This year, some of the teams participated in a cleanup of Claremont Park as part of their community service, in partnership with a borough non-profit organization, The Bronx is Blooming.

“For the fourth straight year, we’ve given Bronx Little Leaguers a chance to walk in the footprints of legends like Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera, and in the shadows of the all-time greats like Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. I would like to thank AT&T and the New York Yankees for once again helping my office make this a wonderful event, and for giving these young men a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

“AT&T is proud to once again support the Borough President's Cup, which encourages a winning combination of strong academic performance and team building skills," said Marissa Shorenstein, New York State President, AT&T.  "I'd like to acknowledge Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., a tireless advocate for kids all across the borough he loves.   Last but not least, I want to congratulate the two teams that have worked so hard, both on and off the field, to play here to Yankee Stadium tonight: the 2014 champions, Bronx Bombers and the runner-up, Grand Slam Little League.

"On behalf of the Bronx Bombers, I would like to thank Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., the New York Yankees and AT&T for the wonderful opportunity to play in Yankee Stadium in the Borough President's Cup," said Dan Stroud, head coach of the 14U Bronx Bombers. "It is such a great privilege that our players, coaches and families will cherish for the rest of their lives."

Borough President Diaz Hosted Back to School Literacy & Health Fair

Over 800 free backpacks were distributed at Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.’s annual Back to School Literacy & Health Fair, which took place on Saturday, August 23, at M.S. 127 in Castle Hill. The event was co-sponsored by Montefiore, Healthfirst and the New York Urban League.

NYC Parks Unveils Self-Closing Gates, Life Rings and Additional Water Safety Measures at City Boat Launches

Following the tragic deaths this summer of two 13-year-old boys in the Bronx River, NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, today announced that NYC Parks has implemented a series of changes at boat launch areas to enhance water safety.  The announcement was held at Hunts Point Riverside Park along the Bronx River, with many of the changes on display.  Also in attendance at the announcement were Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr., State Assembly Member Marcos A. Crespo, Reverand Joel Bauza, representatives from Community Board 2, Community Board 9, and community-based organizations including the Bronx River Alliance, the Point Community Development Corp., Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice, and Rocking the Boat.

“When our borough faced an unspeakable tragedy in June—the drowning deaths of two young men in the Bronx River—the community called out for safety improvements,"  said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.  "Commissioner Silver and the Parks Department listened, and the improvements we announce here today show just how attentive this agency has been to the safety concerns of this community and the entire city. As the summer comes to a close, I urge everyone who uses our recreational waterways to be safe.”

Read the complete press release.

Constantinides, Diaz, Torres, Vallone Intro Gun Registry Legislation

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr speaks at a press conference announcing the reintroduction of legislation creating a publicly available gun crime offender database in New York City on the steps of City Hall on Thursday, August 21, 2014.

Borough President Diaz was joined by (l to r) Council Member Andrew Cohen, Council Member Vanessa Gibson, Council Member Helen Rosenthal, Council Member Ritchie Torres, Council Member Costa Constantinides, Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz and Council Member Andy King.

City Council Member Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria) announced today’s introduction of legislation guaranteeing community access and mandating a community notification requirement within the City’s gun offender registry. Constantinides was joined by bill co-sponsors Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Council Members Ritchie Torres (D-the Bronx) and Paul Vallone (D-Bayside).

Diaz said, “A safer New York State, and a safer nation, demands that we shine a light on those individuals who would commit gun crimes in our neighborhoods. An easily-accessible gun crime registry will serve as an excellent tool not only to keep neighborhoods informed about crime, but to serve as a deterrent from such acts. I am proud to stand with my colleagues today to reintroduce this legislation, which I first proposed in my 2013 ‘State of the Borough’ address, and I look forward to seeing it become law.”

Read the complete press release.

Governor Cuomo Announces Launch of the New NY Works Office in The Bronx

(l to r) Council Member Vanessa Gibson, Assembly Member Marcos Crespo, Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC) President Marlene Cintron, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., State Senator Gustavo Rivera and State Department of Labor Commissioner Peter Rivera participated in a ceremonial ribbon cutting for NY Works on Tuesday, August 19, 2014.

State Department of Labor Will Bring No-Cost Services Direct To Bronx Businesses

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the launch of the new NY Works Office, which as part of the Unemployment Strikeforce, will bring no-cost business services directly to Bronx companies looking to hire. In partnership with the State Department of Labor, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., and the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, the office was officially opened this morning.

"Connecting job-seekers with employment opportunities in their communities is one of our administration's top priorities, and opening this new office in the Bronx is a great way to match even more of the area's residents with companies that are looking to hire," Governor Cuomo said. "I encourage all businesses in the region to check out this new resource in their community to find out more about how New York State can help them find the workforce they need to grow."

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said, “We are creating thousands of jobs in The Bronx. This NY Works Office will make sure that Bronxites benefit from those jobs, thanks to its focus on local organizations working hand in hand with local businesses. I’d like to thank the State Department of Labor and its commissioner, Peter Rivera, for launching this program in conjunction with the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation and my office. Through NY Works, Governor Cuomo is putting employment resources where they are most needed, and I look forward to helping put even more Bronxites to work through this program.”

Read the complete press release.

The Mall at Bay Plaza Officially Opens to the Public Today

NYC’S First Enclosed Mall in 40 Years Brings 1,700 Permanent Jobs to the Bronx; Over 100 Stores, Restaurants, 24-Hour Fitness Center and Movie Theater

The Mall at Bay Plaza, New York City’s largest and first enclosed fashion mall in over 40 years, officially opened to the public today.

To celebrate the occasion, elected officials, community leaders, mall representatives and retailers gathered at the ribbon cutting ceremony where Lieutenant Governor Robert J. Duffy, Congress Member Eliot Engel, Public Advocate Letitia James, Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson, Assembly Member Michael Benedetto, Council Member Andy King and Commissioner of the New York State Department of Labor Peter M. Rivera were in attendance.

Following two years since the groundbreaking, crews have worked diligently to complete the 780,000-square-foot three-level mall, making it the largest mall in the city.

The mall includes a new, ground-up 160,000-square-foot Macy’s Inc., which is be the first time the retailer is opening a new location within the city in 15 years, and an existing JC Penney as the anchor tenants. Over 100 retail shops have been constructed, many of which will operate in the Bronx for the first time. H&M, Ulta, Victoria Secret, Kay Jewelers, the Gap, Aeropostale and many others will open their first locations in the borough.

Over the course of two years, Sam Shalem, Chairman and CEO of Prestige Properties & Development Co. Inc., the mall’s owner and developer, created more than 2,000 construction jobs and will now open its doors to allow for more than 1,700 permanent jobs in a county that holds the highest unemployment rate in the state. Prestige Properties invested over $300 million in the mall’s construction and development.

The state and city of New York are expected to receive more than $25 million annually in non-property tax revenue, split nearly evenly between the two, according to an economic benefits study conducted by AKRF, Inc.

“I am thrilled with the grand opening of the Mall at Bay Plaza, and I am so happy that The Bronx now has its first enclosed fashion mall ever, and the first built in the New York City area in almost 40 years. This mall will bring new jobs and new business to The Bronx and I welcome with open arms a new Macy's to our borough. I thank the developer, Prestige Properties, for making this major project a reality for The Bronx. Macy’s decision to build a new store in our borough shows just how much opportunity our borough has to offer. The Mall at Bay Plaza will be a place that Bronx families as well as visitors from all over the region will enjoy for years to come,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Read the complete press release.

Governor Cuomo Announces Opening of Mall at Bay Plaza

On Thursday, August 14, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. was the very first customer at the new Macy's near Co-op City, which officially opened as part of the new Mall at Bay Plaza—a facility which has 780,000 square feet of retail space and is the first enclosed fashion mall in the New York City area in almost 40 years. To fill 1,800 new job spots, Governor Andrew Cuomo's Unemployment Strikeforce partnered with Borough President Diaz and the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation to help match candidates with the positions.

1,800 new jobs generated at indoor 100+ store mall

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the grand opening of the new Mall at Bay Plaza in the Bronx—a facility which has 780,000 square feet of retail space and is the first enclosed fashion mall in the New York City area in almost 40 years. To fill 1,800 new job spots, the Governor's Unemployment Strikeforce partnered with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation to help match candidates with the positions.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said, “I am glad that the Bronx is officially cutting the ribbon on the first indoor mall in our borough’s history, and most importantly I am happy that Bronxites will fill so many of the jobs created by this project. Thanks to our partnership with Governor Cuomo, the State Department of Labor, and the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation we are putting our people back to work. We are working to bring new jobs and new economic development to The Bronx, as we rebuild and rebrand the ‘New Bronx.”

Read the complete press release.

Borough President Diaz Attended Borough Cup Championship

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. gives a pep talk to the USC Kingsbridge Knights 12U baseball team prior to their victory at Yankee Stadium on Thursday, August 14. With the victory the Knights sealed a citywide championship in the Borough Cup, a five borough tournament that featured more than 150 teams from all over the city. For more information on the tournament, visit www.boroughcup.com.

Engelbert Humperdinck Serenades Hundreds of Bronx Fans
Under the Summer Stars

Music Legend makes history performing at Loreto Park

State Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) hosted Music Icon Engelbert Humperdinck for a lively summer concert in front of an enthusiastic crowd of more than a thousand fans Thursday night. Bronx residents of all ages enjoyed the spectacular evening free of charge at Loreto Park. Humperdinck performed as part of Senator Klein’s 2014 Summertime Symphonies Series, an annual event that provides free concerts throughout the month of August to Bronx residents.

“I am honored to have brought such a living musical legend like Engelbert Humperdinck to the Bronx. I have no doubt that after such a fantastic evening of song and stellar performance, many Bronxites will be singing his tunes for days to come and have beautiful memories of this great summer night,” said Senator Jeff Klein..

"It was great to see so many Bronxites enjoying nice weather and classic pop songs at Thursday night's concert. Events like these help bring communities together, and I was proud to be a part of this wonderful evening," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Read the complete press release.

Gillibrand, Serrano, Mark-Viverito, Crespo, Diaz Jr., Bronx Entrepreneurs to Push for Federal Legislation Expanding Access and Opportunities for Women-Owned Small Businesses

NYC Women-Owned Businesses Would Have Received An Estimated $56 Million More in Economic Revenue in 2013 if Federal Government Met Existing Goal of Awarding 5 Percent of Federal Contracts to Women-Owned Small Biz

Gillibrand Bill Aims to Give Bronx Women Entrepreneurs Opportunities to Grow Businesses, Help Level Playing Field for Hundreds of NYC Women-Owned Biz Trying to Access Federal Contracts

Lawmakers: ‘We Must Provide the Tools that Women Small Businesses Need to Thrive’

Bronx, NY – Today, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Congressman José E. Serrano, New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Assemblyman Marcus Crespo, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr, the South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (SoBRO) President and CEO Phillip Morrow, and Bronx women small business owners, urged the U.S. Senate to pass federal legislation that would expand access and opportunities for women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) seeking federal contracts. This legislation would help level the playing field for hundreds of City WOSBs who want to access the sizeable market of federal contracts.

Women-owned businesses are one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy – over 40 percent of all Bronx firms are owned by women, according to the latest Census data – but they are systemically shortchanged in terms of being able to access the market of government contracting. More than two decades ago, Congress set a goal of awarding 5 percent of federal contracts to women-owned small businesses. Last year, nationwide, women-owned small businesses once again fell short of that goal with only 4.3 percent of contracts awarded. Across New York City, it was even lower according to data from Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), at an anemic 1.48 percent of all federal contract dollars. If women-owned businesses had received the existing 5 percent goal, City women-owned small businesses would have grown their revenue by approximately $56 million dollars.

“We need to continue to help our hard working female entrepreneurs, not just in The Bronx but across the nation, be successful by giving them all the resources they need to run a fruitful business and achieve their goals to the best of their ability,” said Bronx Borough President Diaz Jr. “Women-owned businesses give our economy a shot in the arm and this proposed legislation will assure that our women small business owners are given equal opportunity to thrive. I am proud to work with Senator Gillibrand, as well as great organizations like SoBRO and the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, among others, to expand opportunities for women-owned businesses.”

Read the complete press release.

Statement from Borough President Diaz
RE: The Passing of Bronx Native Lauren Bacall

"The people of The Bronx are saddened by the passing of Lauren Bacall, a Bronx native and a true legend of stage and screen. Ms. Bacall did not just wow us on the screen, however, as her philanthropic work with numerous charities--particularly her work with groups fighting HIV/AIDS--is just as worthy of recognition as any of her dramatic works. I am sorry to learn of her passing, and I and my staff will keep Ms. Bacall and her family in our thoughts during their time of loss," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Rozic, Lanza Announce Law to Expand Civic Participation for Young Adults

Measure Would Give Teens a Voice in Important Community Issues

Bill Lowers Age of Appointment to a New York City Community Board from Eighteen to Sixteen

Queens, NY – Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D,WF-Fresh Meadows) and Senator Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island) announced a new law they authored to lower the minimum age of appointment to a New York City Community Board from eighteen-years-old to sixteen-years-old. Governor Cuomo signed the legislation into law and it is effective immediately.

“Not only will this new law expand the opportunities for young people, it will also allow for each board’s youth committee to hear from the community they serve. I was involved in civic activity in my teenage years, and I know how important it is for our young people to have a voice within the official process. This new law will allow us to create such opportunities, and I am proud to support this incredible expansion of our community boards’ membership,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Read the complete press release.

Testimony of Borough President Diaz
Before the Assembly Committee on Corporations,
Authorities and Commissions
RE: MTA 2015-2019 Capital Plan

There is no doubt that establishing Metro North Commuter Railroad services through The Bronx into Penn Station is the most cost effective, and perhaps the most important capital project that the MTA has yet to embark upon.  

Indeed, we know that subway lines reaching into The Bronx during the decade of the 1920’s, transported 530,000 people uptown for the first time. Now, as we enter the 21st century, Metro North’s proposal to enter Penn Station has the potential of creating a similar wave of prosperity and growth, not only for the East Bronx, but for our entire borough and, in fact, the entire metropolitan region.

My office joins Metro North Railroad in supporting the use of existing track infrastructure to provide rail transportation to approximately 160,000 Bronx residents living within one mile of four key locations:

  1. Co-op City-a community of roughly 60,000 people
  2. Morris Park-a community of 14,600 residents, plus approximately 4,000 people working at Hutchinson Metro-Tech and the Einstein Medical School campuses.  Soon to be open as well will be a major hotel serving tourists and professionals.
  3. Parkchester/Van Nest-a community of 40,000 residents, many of whom are condominium owners
  4. Hunts Point-a community of approximately 46,000 people plus home to the city’s largest food distribution market, doing approximately $2 billion in business annually.

In addition to the obvious benefits Bronx residents would realize by having access to Manhattan in less than 40 minutes; so too for the first time Bronxites could reach suburban employment centers without reliance on a car.  This fact will not only mean fewer vehicles on our roads, but for those unable to drive, an entirely new employment market is made accessible.  Similarly, commuters from Westchester and Fairfield Counties will have one-seat rail service to Manhattan’s west side, thereby saving the time and cost now made necessary when having to transfer to subway services at Grand Central Terminal. 

Read Borough President Diaz's complete testimony.

NYC DOT Announces Second Phase of Arterial Slow Zones with Fourteen New Locations

The second phase of Arterial Slow Zones will start with Jerome Avenue, with speed limits reduced by 5 mph and new signs indicating this change will be put up.

Additional roadways include Coney Island Avenue, Metropolitan Avenue, Utica Avenue, Flatbush Avenue & Flatbush Avenue Extension, Roosevelt Avenue, Victory Boulevard, 7th Avenue, Amsterdam Avenue, Bowery, Houston Street, Park Avenue, Avenue of the Americas, 3rd Avenue.

New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Polly Trottenberg today announced fourteen additional Arterial Slow Zones to be implemented in the coming months. Beginning Monday, August 4, the first of this second round of Slow Zones will be implemented at Jerome Avenue in the Bronx, between East 161 Street to Bainbridge Avenue, a five-mile stretch. The speed limit will be lowered by 5 mph and new signs indicating this change will be put up.

Jerome Avenue will be joined by thirteen additional new Arterial Slow Zones in the program’s second phase: Coney Island Avenue, Utica Avenue, and Flatbush Avenue & Flatbush Avenue Extension in Brooklyn; Roosevelt Avenue and Metropolitan Avenue in Queens; Victory Boulevard in Staten Island; Seventh Avenue, Amsterdam Avenue, Bowery, Houston Street, Park Avenue, and Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan; and Third Avenue in the Bronx. In total, dangerous speeding will be reduced on more than 65 miles of major corridors that have seen 83 fatalities.

"To protect our residents, we must take the necessary measures to calm traffic on city streets. I am very grateful that our City is implementing the second phase of the Arterial Slow Zones program. Too many Bronxites and New Yorkers lose their lives every year because of traffic accidents that can be prevented. The Vision Zero plan will make our streets safer for our families by reducing the number of traffic related fatalities in our neighborhoods,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Read the complete press release.

Statement from Borough President Diaz
Re: City Medical Examiner’s Office Announcement on Death of Eric Garner

Today’s news, confirming that it was indeed a chokehold that caused the death of Eric Garner, is incredibly sad. This tragedy has shaken an entire city, and my thoughts and prayers remain with Mr. Garner’s family during this troubling time. The people of this city demand justice, and it is incumbent upon the Staten Island district attorney to conduct an open and transparent investigation into the circumstances surrounding Mr. Garner’s death and proceed accordingly. As our city works to heal from this awful incident, we can demand no less. As I have said in the past, no one should be a victim of police brutality," said Borough President Diaz.

Summer Sizzles in The Bronx with the 4th Annual SalsaFest!

Festival will include free community events

Summer Music Series will feature all-star performances

The summer is heating up in The Bronx in more ways than one as the 4th Annual Bronx SalsaFest gets underway beginning this weekend!

El Condado de la Salsa (the borough of Salsa) will, once again, celebrate the music, the dance, and the artists in a month-long festival bringing together a collaborative of institutions and community-based organizations presenting a variety of Salsa-related activities.

Presented jointly by the Office of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and The Bronx Tourism Council, SalsaFest begins with the Orchard Beach Sizzling Salsa Summer Concert Series on Sunday. “We’ll be dancing under the sun, in the streets, and barefoot in the grass this summer” says Olga Luz Tirado, executive director of The Bronx Tourism Council.

“The Bronx is El Condado de la Salsa, and SalsaFest offers great concerts and activities for visitors and locals alike. This is the centennial of Bronx County, and we invite everyone to come and dance with us, explore the culture and the vibrancy of The Bronx, and join the thousands of people who will take advantage of SalsaFest this August,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Events include concerts, dance lessons, street fairs, book readings and panel discussions throughout the borough.

SalsaFest partners include NYC & Company, Bronx Lebanon Hospital, Bronx Music Heritage Center, Casita Maria for Arts & Education, Latino Sports, New York Parks Department, The National Jazz Museum, The Woodlawn Conservancy, Wave Hill and Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy.

NOTE: Download a full list of SalsaFest events here. Visit ilovethebronx.com for the latest calendar and more information about this and other great Bronx events.

Borough President Diaz Served as Grand Marshal of
25th Annual La Gran Parada Dominicana

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. greets constituents during the 25th annual La Gran Parada Dominicana on July 27, 2014. The annual parade down the Grand Concourse, for which Borough President Diaz served as this year’s grand marshal, caps off a full week of events celebrating the culture and heritage of the Dominican Republic and its people.