April: Bronx Arts Showcase
April 23: Bronx Israel Independence Day Festival
May 17: Bronx Week Parade Application
Health: Legionellosis Factsheet
Policy: Bronx 2010 Demographic Data
Health: The Bronx CAN Health Initiative
Health: Bronx Food and Farm Tours
Constituent Services: Latest Information on the Advantage Program
Coro Announces Neighborhood Leadership Program: Click here for more information
Community Services: Access to Home Program
Statement from Borough President Diaz
RE: Confirmation of Loretta Lynch as Attorney General
"After months of needless delay and partisan bickering, I am thrilled to see Loretta Lynch confirmed as our next United States Attorney General. Ms. Lynch's qualifications for the position have never been in doubt, and I wish her the best of luck now that she has finally been confirmed to this important post," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Alfredo Thiebaud, Businessman & Philanthropist,
To be Inducted Into the 2015 Bronx Walk of Fame
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. announced today that Alfredo Thiebaud, a longtime borough business leader and philanthropist and the founder of Delicioso Coco Helado, would be posthumously inducted into the 2015 Bronx Walk of Fame.
“Alfredo was a friend, and he was someone the people of The Bronx could always count on for support. He created thousands of jobs during his career, and his business has become synonymous with summer in New York City. Honoring him with induction to the Bronx Walk of Fame is a special way for my office, and for the people of The Bronx, to honor his accomplishments and pay respects to his memory,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Mr. Thiebaud, who passed away following a tragic work accident in September 2014, founded Delicioso Coco Helado from his South Bronx apartment in 1967. Over the years the company grew to employ hundreds of individuals at any given time. His pushcarts became a summer staple in New York City, supplying kids of all ages with a tasty treat during the hottest months from a selection of dozens of flavors—including the coconut ice that made his company famous.
Mr. Thiebaud was also a well-known Bronx business leader and philanthropist, and was well known for his support of Little Leagues, youth groups and other community organizations.
Mr. Thiebaud will be officially inducted to the Bronx Walk of Fame as part of the 44th annual Bronx Week, a program of The Bronx Tourism Council. Bronx Week is an annual highly-anticipated 11-day event where the entire borough, including government, business, and the community-at-large, come together to celebrate “The Best of The Bronx” through festivals, concerts, health fairs, parades, performances and a host of other activities.
Bronx Week 2015 will take place from May 7-17. At the end of the 11-day celebration, our hometown heroes like Mr. Thiebaud are honored with induction into the Bronx Walk of Fame, where their names are emblazoned on a street sign to reside on the historic Grand Concourse forever.
For more information about Bronx Week 2015, visit ilovethebronx.com.
NBA Hall of Famer Dolph Schayes To Be Inducted
Into The Bronx Walk of Fame
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. announced today that Dolph Schayes, National Basketball Association Hall of Famer and a Bronx native, would be inducted into the 2015 Bronx Walk of Fame.
“We have a long tradition of producing basketball legends, and Dolph Schayes is one of those legends that laid the foundation for future generations,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “He is a pioneer who was among one of the league’s first stars after the Basketball Association of America (BAA) merged with the National Basketball League (NBL) to form what we now know as the NBA, including participating the NBA's first All-Star Game in 1951. His ability to drive to basket, from the power forward, as well as hit a lethal two-handed set shots over most defenders made him a force to be reckoned with in the NBA.”
“I am honored to be inducted into the Bronx Walk of Fame,” said Schayes. “Growing up in The Bronx made a huge impact on my life and made me who I am. This borough is very special to me and I am very grateful to be recognized by Bronx Borough President Diaz.”
Small Axe Peppers Unveils New Logo for
The Bronx 5K Pepper Growing Challenge!
Community Gardens Growing Serrano Peppers for The Bronx Hot Sauce
Will Be Clearly Identified with New Logo!
April 6, 2015 (Bronx, NY) Today, Small Axe Peppers and nonprofit GrowNYC announced the winner of the “Bronx 5K” logo design competition, along with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. at Bronx Community College. The winning logo will brand our “Bronx 5K” pepper growing challenge through print and online marketing and on signage to identify serrano peppers growing in local community gardens, public spaces and urban farms. Our goal is to grow and source at least 5,000 (or 5K) pounds of peppers from The Bronx for our delicious The Bronx Greenmarket Hot Sauce.
The winning logo was designed by Gabriel Ruiz of Throggs Neck, and can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/1ciWnzH.
The panel of judges for the event included:
The panel selected from nearly one hundred submissions. Bronxites were challenged to create a sign that visibly represents The Bronx, urban gardening or other unique aspects of the borough; the top three finalists were awarded cash prizes, including a $500 1st place prize.
"This product not only helps our borough's community gardens, it tastes great and represents our borough well. Bronx Hot Sauce is a great addition to our borough's culinary culture, and I cannot wait to see some of the great artistic expressions of the flavors of our borough that are showcased by this contest," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “The Bronx has a tremendous arts culture, and it is great to see food and art coming together for this incredible contest.”
Actor Malik Yoba to be Inducted into the 2015 Bronx Walk of Fame
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. announced today that actor Malik Yoba would be inducted into the 2015 Bronx Walk of Fame.
“It is a good day in the Bronx to know that Malik Yoba, an actor and activist who was born in this great borough, will be honored during Bronx Week, have his name on the Bronx Walk of Fame and be greeted by thousands of Bronxites,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.”
Born Abdul-Malik Kashie Yoba in the South Bronx, he is most recently known for his role in Fox’s new drama, Empire, a hip-hop drama centers on a music industry heavyweight who is about to take his company, Empire Entertainment, public.
Actress, Writer, and TV Commentator Stacey Dash
To Be Inducted Into The Bronx Walk of Fame
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. announced today that actress, author and television commentator Stacey Dash will be inducted into the 2015 Bronx Walk of Fame.
“We are excited about inducting the charismatic Stacey Dash into the Bronx Walk of Fame,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “Our newest member of The Bronx Walk of Fame is a multi-talented and distinguished Bronxite who represents the fearless spirit of our borough to the fullest, whether it is in movies such as the 1995 classic ‘Clueless,’ or speaking her mind as a television commentator and writer.”
“I am very grateful to have been chosen to be a part of such an important and significant event in the borough of my birth, a place that left an impact in my life and made me who I am – Bronx Strong,” said Dash. “This borough is very special to me and I truly appreciate being inducted into The Bronx Walk of Fame. I want to thank, in particular, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., who has made it his mission to transform The Bronx into a better place for all residents, and for his vision in motivating all Bronxites to follow their dreams.”
Borough President Diaz Tees off at Ferry Point
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. tees off towards Manhattan on the opening day of the Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in The Bronx on April 1, 2015.
Statement from Borough President Diaz
RE: Metro North Funding in New State Budget
“I am thrilled that Governor Andrew Cuomo and the State Legislature have continued to show their commitment to The Bronx by providing $250 million in funding in the new budget for the East Bronx Metro North expansion plan.
“Governor Cuomo has long understood that new Metro North options in Co-op City, Parkchester, Morris Park and Hunts Point will not only make our region’s transportation system stronger, it will also open up new economic opportunities for almost 95,000 residents living near the proposed stations. This new budget shows that the State Legislature agrees.
“The East Bronx Metro North Expansion is a transformative plan, and I commend Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature for moving this plan forward as part of the newly passed budget,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr
One Year Later, City's Paid Sick Leave Law Working for New Yorkers
Paid Sick Leave is a critical step in improving the lives of working New Yorkers, protecting the City’s public health, and setting a national example of how cities can be at the forefront of protecting vulnerable Americans
NEW YORK—New York City’s landmark paid sick leave law, which turns one year old today, has been implemented smoothly and effectively by the City, bringing this important worker benefit to millions of employees in the five boroughs. One of Mayor de Blasio’s first actions as Mayor was to strengthen and expand the City’s yet-to-be-implemented Earned Sick Leave Act (also known as the Paid Sick Leave Law), to include over 500,000 more New Yorkers who weren’t already covered. Mayor de Blasio accelerated the law’s implementation to April 1, 2014. He also expanded the law to include manufacturing workers who had been exempted, as well as the definition of covered family members to include grandparents, grandchildren and siblings.
“We fought hard for the implementation and expansion of the paid sick law, especially the inclusion of an additional 500,000 New Yorkers who weren’t already covered by the original bill. It was a victory for Bronxites and New Yorkers across this city,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. I would like to thank Mayor de Blasio and the Department of Consumer Affairs for implementing a large campaign to reach out to employers and employees, informing them of their obligations under the law and fundamental rights to take compensated days off when they or a family member is sick without worrying about losing their paycheck, or worse, their jobs," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Triborough Electeds Sign On to Bill to Stop Bridge Trespassing
Momentum for Adams-Squadron-Lentol Bill to Stop Bridge Trespassing Increases After RFK Bridge Incident
NEW YORK – In response to yet another trespassing incident on a New York City bridge -- the RFK Triborough Bridge was breached by climbers on Wednesday, March 25 -- Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, State Senator Daniel Squadron, and Assemblymember Joseph Lentol announced key support of Bronx, Manhattan and Queens elected officials for their state legislation to raise trespassing penalties on critical infrastructure. Congressmembers Crowley, Maloney and Rangel; Bronx Borough President Diaz Jr.; State Senators Gianaris and Serrano; Assemblymembers Rodriguez, Simon and Simotas; and Councilmember Constantinides all represent the RFK Triborough Bridge or Brooklyn Bridge, and have now co-sponsored or endorsed the bill.
Wednesday’s RFK incident comes following multiple security breaches of the Brooklyn Bridge in the past twelve months. This legislation (S.2190) was announced in November, and would fill a gap in current state law, as well as complement a proposal introduced earlier this year by U.S. Senator Charles Schumer that would make it a federal crime to trespass on critical infrastructure with the intent to commit a crime.
"The consequences of these stunts and pranks must be considerable, so that we do not waste resources investigating someone's attempt to go viral when we have much more important issues to deal with. Increasing the penalties for such stunts is a strong step towards their prevention, and I join my colleagues in supporting this legislation," said Bronx Borough President Diaz Jr.
NYCEDC Announces Request for Proposals for
Citywide Ferry Service Operator
Citywide Ferry Service, To Launch in 2017, Will Provide Transit Options and
Greater Opportunities to New Yorkers
New York City Economic Development Corporation today announced a Request for Proposals for ferry operators, transit service providers or other qualified firms to operate a Citywide Ferry System, knitting together existing East River routes with new landings and services across New York City. Announced by Mayor de Blasio during his State of the City address in February, the first three routes of expanded service will launch in 2017, with two more launching in 2018 after a $55 million capital commitment from the City for infrastructure upgrades to support the service. The phased approach is designed to support otherwise isolated neighborhoods, including restoring ferry service to the Rockaways and connecting the Bronx by water as quickly as possible, by drastically expanding a resilient and equitable transportation system. Ticket prices will be set at $2.75 per ride, the same price as a bus or subway ride, making the Citywide Ferry Service an equitable transportation option that will support housing development, job creation and neighborhood growth by connecting new innovation clusters and emerging commercial communities with each other.
"Ferry service should be a greater component of our city's transit system, not just in The Bronx but throughout the five boroughs,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “This RFP is a great first step towards expanded ferry service in New York City, and I commend the de Blasio administration for its commitment to the concept and expansion of ferry service.”
DiNapoli and Diaz Help Bronx Residents Claim $245 Million in Lost Money
See Neighborhood Map of Money Owed
New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. today encouraged Bronx residents to search for forgotten money belonging to them at Bronx Borough Hall. More than 444,000 accounts valued at nearly $245 million are owed to Bronx residents.
“There are about 245 million reasons why Bronx residents should be at Bronx Borough Hall today,” said DiNapoli. “When an individual forgets about an old bank account or a utility deposit, that money can eventually be turned over to the State Comptroller’s office. Today’s event with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. will help raise awareness about unclaimed funds across the borough. It’s your money, come and get it. My thanks to Borough President Diaz for inviting my team and me to provide this service to his Bronx constituents.”
“With this found money, poor and low income families can stretch their budget and have more to spend on essential needs, like rent, transportation, child care and utilities,” said Diaz Jr. "I encourage Bronx residents to make the effort to track down their unclaimed money from the more than $244 million in unclaimed funds currently being held by the state. I thank Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and the Office of the New York State Comptroller for expanding their efforts to track down the owners of these unclaimed funds in The Bronx.”
Unclaimed funds is money owed to New Yorkers dating back to the 1940s. The accounts are overseen by DiNapoli’s office until the funds can be reconnected with their rightful owners. The money comes from old bank accounts, utility deposits, uncashed checks, insurance claims, stocks and other sources that have been dormant for a number of years.
DiNapoli’s office oversees 444,181 unclaimed funds accounts valued at $244,783,169.60 belonging to Bronx residents.
There are 31 million unclaimed funds accounts statewide valued at $13 billion.
New Yorkers can search for and claim money by using the Comptroller’s easy-to-use online claiming system or by calling the toll-free call center at 1-800-221-9311 to speak with English or Spanish-speaking representatives from 8:00 a.m. through 4:30 p.m.
A total of $1.6 million in unclaimed funds has been returned to Bronx residents since January.
Visit the Comptroller’s website for additional information about unclaimed funds.
Health Outcomes in The Bronx Improving
The Bronx has improved since last year in a number of health categories in spite of ranking last in New York State in terms of health outcomes and health factors
March 26, 2015 – In a report issued this week, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute ranked the nation’s counties on various measures of health, and the Bronx ranked 62nd out of all 62 counties in New York State. Despite this ranking, Bronx County performed better in 2015 than in 2014 for a number of health outcomes and health factors, including fewer premature deaths, improved food environment, fewer sexually transmitted infections, a lower teen birth rate, more mental health providers, fewer preventable hospital stays, and a lower unemployment rate.
The Health Department, Montefiore Health System, the Bronx Borough President’s office and other partners have joined together to highlight the various programs that have helped lead to these improvements, and they have created a new social media hashtag #Not62 to encourage community partners and residents to join the discussion about creating a healthier Bronx.
“I am encouraged by the tremendous borough wide partnerships working together to address our borough’s health rankings,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.“ We are fortunate to have the commitment of partners like the Bronx Health Reach and the CUNY Institute for Health Equity, in addition to the partners named here, to launch #Not62. This campaign aims to engage major stakeholders across multiple sectors to address the determinants of health, improve the health outcomes of Bronx residents, and have the Bronx move up in the county health ranking in 3-5 years. In order to reach every person who lives, works, plays and prays in our borough, #Not62 employs social media encouraging all Bronxites to use Twitter, or Facebook, or Instagram to post pictures of healthy habits on a daily basis. I am confident that we will continue to make progress and get ourselves out of last place!”
Senator Jeff Klein, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation Announce Nearly $500,000 in Small Business Loans Now Available to Bronx Businesses & Entrepeneurs
New BOEDC Lending Program Will Grow Small Business, Create Local Jobs & Strengthen Bronx Economy
BRONX, NY - Bronx-based small businesses and local entrepreneurs will receive a boost of nearly a half million dollars, State Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester), Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC) President Marlene Cintron announced today. The Bronx Revolving Loan Fund, a new small business lending program administered by BOEDC, has nearly $500,000 in loans available to local small businesses -- of all sizes and sectors -- across The Bronx. The loans, ranging from $2,000 to $50,000, can be used as working capital, for the purchase of machinery or equipment, inventory and accounts receivable.
“We are working hard to support businesses of all types in The Bronx, and that includes, making sure that our small businesses have the resources and funding they need to succeed. We want to be sure our local businesses know that The Bronx Revolving Loan Fund is a source of capital that they can and should tap as they continue to plan for the future. I want to thank State Senator Jeff Klein for making these funds available to the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, and I look forward to utilizing these resources to help small businesses all over the Bronx expand and thrive,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Statement from Borough President Diaz
RE: The Passing of Carmen Rosa
“I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of longtime Community Board #12 District Manager Carmen Rosa this weekend. Carmen was an invaluable advocate to the community board and neighborhoods which she served. On behalf of all 1.4 million residents of the Bronx, I mourn her passing. My thoughts and prayers are with her children Linda and Alfredo along with the entire family,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Borough President Diaz Honors Women of Distinction at Annual Celebration
On Thursday, March 19, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. honored leading women of distinction who continue to contribute to the community while sharing their knowledge and experience on a daily basis at his annual Women’s History Celebration at the Pelham Bay and Split Rock Golf Courses in Throggs Neck.
“Women make up 53 percent of The Bronx and they are the backbone to leading organizations and businesses in various fields. Without the women in our community we would not be able to achieve all that we can,” said Borough President Diaz.
“I encouraged the young ladies of today to always be prepared to take the lead because the day will come that people will look up to you to share your ways and culture like individuals around me did. I am thankful for this honor,” said Sonia Manzano, author and star of the hit children’s television show Sesame Street.
“Although I am not from The Bronx, I find myself always serving the borough because I believe in the initiatives that Borough President Diaz supports,” said Marissa Shorenstein, President of AT&T NY and a key supporter of the annual Borough President’s Little League Cup and Chess in the Schools programs. “Thank you for this wonderful recognition, I just want to also tell you to watch out cause this year I will be playing you in a game of chess when we have the competition!”
“In accepting this award I remember where I started and where I have come. I want all of the young girls to know that you are beautiful and anything is possible. I am proud to be here today,” said Verona Greenland, Founder, President and CEO of the Morris Heights Health Center, who also announced at the event that she will be retiring come June 2015.
Sukanya Krishnan of PIX 11 Morning News served as the event’s emcee for the event, which was sponsored by Healthfirst, Healthplus AmeriGroup, Wellcare and The Coca-Cola Company.
The Bronx Tourism Council Launches
a New Comprehensive Visitors Guide
Borough enjoying substantial increase in tourism
Bronx Visitors Guide will help to further redefine The Bronx as a destination
Wednesday, March 18, 2015 – Bronx, NY – Today, The Bronx Tourism Council and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. announced the launch of the first annual Bronx Visitors Guide.
The launch took place at Port Morris Distillery, one of the borough’s newest tourist destinations, and featured remarks from Borough President Diaz, Olga Luz Tirado, executive director of The Bronx Tourism Council; and Marlene Cintron, President of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC). The Bronx Tourism Council is a subsidiary of BOEDC.
The publication, printed in part with the support of NYC & Company, the City’s official destination marketing organization, is available as a 44-page booklet to be distributed through Manhattan and Bronx-based visitor’s centers, institutions, and top-tier hotels.
In addition to the book, a digital mobile-enabled version is also available online on www.ilovethebronx.com, as most tourists prefer to access information on the go using hand-held devices. The digital version is equipped with finger-swipe technology and all links are active for easy access to specific attractions.
“Tourism is up 14 percent in the borough, and this year we will push that number even higher,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “People visiting New York City are starting to realize that this town is enormous and that there are many great sights to see right here in The Bronx. The Bronx Visitors Guide is a great way to highlight the amazing tourist destinations, eateries and other attractions our great borough that we have to offer those visiting New York City.”
The borough has over 100 tourist-ready destinations and has come a long way in reinvigorating its image.
Pre-K for All: 22,000 Families Apply for Pre-K in First Day
With seats for every child, 70,000 expected to apply for free, full-day, high-quality pre-K
Application process open through April 24 at nyc.gov/prek, by calling 311, or at a Family Welcome Center
Text ‘PREK’ to 877877 to find nearby pre-k programs
Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced the second phase in the expansion of Pre-K for All is off to a strong start, with 21,938 families applying for free, full-day, high-quality seats in the first day—up from 6,500 in the first day of applications last year. This year, for the first time, every four-year-old in New York City will have access to this life-changing educational opportunity, with roughly 70,000 children expected to enroll.
“Education starts at an early age and I applaud Mayor Bill de Blasio for expanding Pre-K programs throughout The Bronx and New York City,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “Free universal pre-K programs not only save parents money but it gives children a much-needed jumpstart in creating the necessary educational foundation that will propel them to a brighter future. I look forward to working with the Department of Education to help implement this program in The Bronx, giving our youth the necessary scholastic tools needed to succeed in life.”
BP Diaz Attends Ribbon Cutting for the Grant Avenue
Elementary School's New Computer Lab
Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bratton Launch
New Gun Detection Technology
ShotSpotter to decrease officer response time and enhance public safety
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner William J. Bratton today announced the deployment of new gunshot detection technology that will decrease officer response times to gunshot incidents and enhance community and public safety. NYPD will pilot the ShotSpotter system in five zones of approximately three square miles each located within various precincts in the Bronx and Brooklyn. The first pilot area to go operational on Monday, March 16, 2015 will be in the Bronx.
"Technology such as the ShotSpotter system can only help our police department keep crime down in The Bronx and New York City," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. "Our community is of utmost importance and today we see that commitment to build on the efforts to secure safety for residents and police officers. The ShotSpotter system is an extremely useful investigative tool that will aid the men and women of the New York Police Department in keeping our streets safe and help reduce gun violence throughout our borough. We thank New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Police Department Commissioner William Bratton for implementing this technology and finding new ways for our police department to stay ahead of those individuals who want do harm in our city."
BP Diaz Celebrates Irish Heritage & Culture in Woodlawn
On Thursday, March 12, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. hosted his annual Irish Heritage & Culture Celebration at the Rambling House in Woodlawn. This year’s honorees included Patricia Lynch, Government/Media Strategist; Joseph McDermott, Executive Director of the Consortium for Workers Education; and Aedin Moloney, Artistic Director of The Fallen Angel Theatre Company.
“Here in the Woodlawn section of The Bronx we have a large Irish American community, and Irish Americans have been one of New York's most significant ethnic groups since the late 19th century. It is with great pleasure that we are honoring some of the leading Irish Americans in our city during this wonderful celebration,” said Borough President Diaz.
“I want to say that I am so excited to be here and this is truly a pleasure. I am proud to be honored during Irish Heritage by my good friend, Borough President Diaz,” said Patricia Lynch.
“I have never been recognized for my heritage before. I am proud of my heritage, and proud of this honor,” said Mr. McDermott as he accepted the recognition and spoke to the guests.
“Me, yes me. I am being honored and I never thought that this would be possible. I am thankful that the Borough President is giving me this recognition,” said Aedin Moloney, Artistic Director of The Fallen Angel Theatre Company.
The Rambling House was also recognized for their contribution to the Irish Heritage celebration. Bob Nolan accepted the award seeing that he played a key role in assisting in the planning process of the event.
The event was sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company and The North Bronx Healthcare Network.
Borough President Diaz to Discuss Recent Trip to Israel
On Thursday, March 26, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. will host a discussion and question and answer session on his recent visit to Israel.
The event will take place at the Riverdale YM-YWHA, 5626 Arlington Avenue, Bronx, NY, at 6:30 p.m. It is co-sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York City and the Riverdale Jewish Community Relations Council.
In January, Borough President Diaz visited Israel with a delegation of Latino leaders, sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York City. Later that month, Borough President Diaz hosted a dialogue with the President of the State of Israel, H.E. Mr. Reuven Rivlin, at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. Both events were designed to help foster greater relations between the Latino and Jewish communities of New York City and beyond.
“The relationship between the people of The Bronx and Israel remains as strong and vibrant today as it has ever been. I look forward to discussing my recent visit to Israel with my constituents, as well as our efforts to strengthen relationships between the Latino and Jewish communities both at home and abroad,” said Borough President Diaz. “The Bronx has come back a long way from two to three decades ago. Our employment is up, our crime is down, and our housing is headed in the right direction. We want to share those successes with Israel, while also learning more about their accomplishments and how we can use those examples to improve our own community.”
Bronx Celebrates Impact of Mentoring
with Nation’s First Mentoring Organization
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. joins Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC for Day of Service
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. today joined Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City (BBBS of NYC) for a Day of Service as part of a year-long campaign by the organization to highlight the impact of mentoring and raise awareness of the urgent need for volunteers.
The Borough President and BBBS of NYC visited IN-Tech Academy (M.S./High School 368), where high school and middle school student representatives led a tour of the school. Borough President Diaz and Hector Batista, chief executive officer of BBBS of NYC, spoke about the significance of community service and emphasized the positive impact young adults can have on their own communities by becoming involved.
“For years, Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City has done an excellent job mentoring the youth of our borough and city,” said Bronx Borough President Diaz Jr. “Kids need positive role models to balance some of the negativity that they may encounter in their everyday lives via television, pop culture and social media. Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City fulfills that much needed role in the lives of many children, and I encourage Bronxites who are looking to share a rewarding experience to get involved with this tremendous program.”
Borough President Diaz Praises Legislation on Herman Badillo Post Office
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is praising Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, as well as his borough’s Congressional delegation, for introducing legislation today that would rename the Morrisania branch of the United State Post Office in honor of Herman Badillo.
“I want to thank Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, along with representatives José Serrano, Charles Rangel and Joseph Crowley, for their support and for introducing legislation to rename the Morrisania Post office branch in honor of Herman Badillo,” said Borough President Diaz. “Herman Badillo was a true pioneer, and this legislation is a tremendous step in our efforts to honor his groundbreaking service in the United States Congress.”
Borough President Diaz believes that renaming the Morrisania branch of the United States Post Office, a facility acknowledged on the National Register of Historic Places and the borough’s most significant federally-owned building, would be a fitting tribute to Mr. Badillo’s service to federal government as a member of the House of Representatives, where he served from 1971 through 1977 and was the first individual of Puerto Rican descent to be elected to the United States Congress as a voting member.
Among his other accomplishments, Mr. Badillo was the first Latino to be appointed as a Commissioner of New York City, the first Latino to be elected to serve as a Borough President in New York City, the first Latino to be a Deputy Mayor for any New York City Mayor and the first Puerto Rican to serve as the Chairman of the City University of New York.
Borough President Diaz first mentioned the proposal in his annual “State of the Borough” address last month. His initial letter to congress can be read at http://on.nyc.gov/1ExUIhP.
Borough President Diaz Speaks to the Bronx Developmental Disabilities Council
On Friday, March 6, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. gave remarks at the Bronx Developmental Disabilities Council’s Annual Legislative Breakfast, which focused on the issues faced by people with disabilities. Issues discussed at the event included budget and development concerns, as well as ways that elected officials can work to sustain and expand services for the individuals with disabilities in The Bronx.
“Throughout my career, I have always been an advocate for our disabled community. My office will continue to focus our efforts to ensure that our borough’s disability community has the resources and access to service that they need to succeed, and we will continue to support excellent organizations like the Bronx Developmental Disabilities Council in their efforts, as well,” said Borough President Diaz.
The Bronx Developmental Disabilities Council provides information and support to families who reside in The Bronx. Through various boards, committees and events, they provide a forum for the discussion of issues that affect the quality of life of the people they serve.
Statement from Borough President Diaz
RE: Passing of Cardinal Edward Egan
“I am saddened to learn of the passing of Cardinal Edward M. Egan, a man whom hundreds of thousands looked up to as a spiritual role model and who represented his faith and the faith of all Catholics as an exemplary servant of God.
“Cardinal Egan presided over the New York Archdiocese for nine years and was an inspiration to his more than 2.5 million parishioners and to numerous Catholics all over the world. The cardinal was one of America’s most visible and respected Catholic leaders, and was especially strong for the people of this city in the aftermath of the terror attacks of 9/11. We will miss him.
“I, along with all 1.4 million residents of The Bronx offer my thoughts and prayers to his entire family and to the Archdiocese of New York in their time of mourning,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Statement from Borough President Diaz
RE: Mayor de Blasio’s Funding for the Hunts Point Markets
“I applaud Mayor de Blasio’s announcement today of his continued financial commitment to the strength and resiliency of the Hunts Point markets. Our borough’s fish, meat and produce markets combined not only feed the entire region, but are an engine for thousands of good paying jobs.
“Moving forward, we must do everything we can to create an atmosphere that allows for even greater economic growth at these markets. In my recent ‘State of the Borough’ address, I called for the construction of a new freezer facility for the fish and meat markets. Such a facility would eliminate the need of our food businesses to shuttle perishable goods back and forth from New Jersey, saving them thousands of dollars a week and countless man hours. A local freezer facility would lead to fewer truck trips, a cleaner environment, more jobs and lower food costs, among other benefits.
“I look forward to working with this administration, as well as stakeholders from across the region, to give our markets the proper resources they need to continue to grow and thrive,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Statement from Borough President Diaz
RE: The Addition of Muslim Holidays To The Public School Calendar
“I want to thank Mayor de Blasio for adding Eid-al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr to the public school holiday calendar.
“Islam is one of the largest religions in the world, and the Muslim community is thriving not just in The Bronx but throughout the city of New York. This decision allows our city’s Muslim community to fully practice their faith without it interfering with their school attendance and education. As I have said in the past, by recognizing these two important holidays, we show that not only are we welcoming to everyone’s religious beliefs but that we respect everyone’s Constitutional right to freedom of religion.
“I had been working on this issue since I was in the State Assembly, having first introduced the bill to declare these two days school holidays in 2007. Today’s announcement is the completion of years of hard work by the Muslim community and their allies in the legislature, and we applaud their efforts today,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Borough President Diaz Releases Annual Development Report
Highlights Over $7.2 Billion in Total Bronx Development Since 2009
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. has issued his annual development report, highlighting the total development seen in The Bronx since he first took office in 2009.
The report notes that, in total, The Bronx has seen more than $7.212 billion in total development in all categories since 2009, when Borough President Diaz first took office. In 2014 alone, The Bronx saw over $1.13 billion in new development.
The report follows last week’s “State of the Borough” address, in which Borough President Diaz outlined his continued vision for the ongoing growth of the borough’s economy.
“The Bronx continues to grow stronger and stronger each year, as we create new jobs, build new housing and improve quality of life in the borough,” said Borough President Diaz. “We will continue to attract the type of investors that want to help The Bronx flourish and reach its full potential.”
The report notes other development highlights from 2014, including a total of $788 million in residential development, $483 million in institutional development and $134 million in commercial development across the borough.
“This is truly an exciting time to visit, work, live and do business in The Bronx. Since 2009, our borough has seen a transformation, with more than $7 billion invested on improving the quality of life of all Bronxites, building more and better affordable housing units, greener business infrastructure and creating thousands of new jobs,” said Marlene Cintron, President of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation.
“We are witnessing an influx of people returning to their roots in The Bronx. It is a great time to invest in our borough – build it and they will come,” said Lenny Caro, President & CEO, Bronx Chamber of Commerce.
To read the complete report, visit http://on.nyc.gov/1Ee3Udk.
Borough President Diaz Hosts Dominican Heritage Celebration
On Thursday, February 26, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. hosted his annual Dominican Heritage Celebration at Salsa Con Fuego, honoring several individuals who have contributed greatly to their community. Pictured are: Rosa Garcia, Nestor Montilla Sr., Borough President Diaz, Council Member Julissa Ferreras, Hon. Victor Compres and Hon. Cecilia Santana. The event was co-sponsored by Healthfirst.
BP Diaz: Rename Bronx Post Office for Herman Badillo
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. has issued a letter to the United States Congress proposing that the United States Post Office’s Morrisania branch, located at 442 East 167th Street, Bronx, NY, 10456, be renamed in honor of former U.S. Congressman and Bronx Borough President Herman Badillo, who passed away last year.
“Congressman Herman Badillo was a trailblazer in government,” said Bronx Borough President Diaz. “He was an early advocate for bilingual education programs in the country as well as a crusader for worker’s rights during his tenure in Congress. I am proud to have gotten to know him and call him my dear friend.”
Borough President Diaz first mentioned the proposal in his annual “State of the Borough” address last week.
Herman Badillo was the first Latino to be appointed as a Commissioner of New York City, the first Latino to be elected to serve as a Borough President in New York City, the first Latino to be a Deputy Mayor for any New York City Mayor, the first Puerto Rican to serve as the Chairman of the City University of New York and the first Puerto Rican to be elected to the United States Congress as a voting member.
During his time serving in Congress, Badillo was one of the five Latino members of Congress to establish the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and helped create job training for unemployed non-English speaking citizens under the "Comprehensive Manpower Act of 1973" bill. As a member of the Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs Committee and the Small Business Committee, Badillo supported legislature that fought against discrimination in employment – including discrimination based on age and marital status.
Bronx Borough President Diaz believes that renaming the Morrisania branch of the United States Post Office, a facility acknowledged by National Register of Historic Places and one of the borough’s most significant federally-owned buildings, would be a fitting tribute for a true pioneer like Herman Badillo.
Borough President Diaz’s letter to Congress can be found at http://on.nyc.gov/1ExUIhP.
Borough President Diaz Delivers
Sixth 'State of the Borough' Address
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. today delivered his annual “State of the Borough” address, his sixth since becoming borough president in 2009. In his speech, which he delivered at The Mall at Bay Plaza, Borough President Diaz discussed the progress The Bronx has made since he took office, while also outlining new programs and initiatives his office will pursue in the coming year.
Borough President Diaz noted that, since 2009, more than 16,000 new units of housing and more than 15,000 new jobs have been created in The Bronx. He also noted that unemployment has dropped, and that The Bronx has seen record investment, including over $1 billion in new investment last year alone.
“We've seen unprecedented, transformative growth since I became the borough president,” said Borough President Diaz. The state of The Bronx is stronger than it has been in decades. We are maximizing our assets, while improving our quality of life.”
Borough President Diaz announced several new initiatives during the speech, including the study of the potential decking of three borough train yards—149th Street, the Grand Concourse yards near Lehman College, and the 1 train yards connecting Riverdale and Kingsbridge.
“We will examine possible costs and potential density, and will take the first step towards creating new space as a key component of our city's housing and economic development future,” said Borough President Diaz.
The borough president also called for the expansion of “impact investing” in New York City. Impact investments are ventures made with the intention to generate measurable social and environmental benefit, alongside a financial return. Borough President Diaz’s proposal would leverage a revolving fund with private sector investment to accelerate the greening of large residential buildings.
“We believe this proposal will clean our environment, create new jobs, reduce energy cost, and in the long run, keep our city affordable,” said Borough President Diaz. “We are looking not only to do well, but to do good.”
On education, Borough President Diaz noted the racial disparities in admissions at the city’s three specialized high schools—the Bronx High School of Science, Stuyvesant High School and Brooklyn Technical High School. The borough president proposed the creation of new specialized high schools, one in each borough that would use a portfolio system to select its freshman class. These new schools would also guarantee admissions to the top two performers in each city middle school.
“We must ensure that the best and brightest from every community have a chance to excel,” said Borough President Diaz.
During the speech, Borough President Diaz highlighted a number of new projects coming to the borough, including the redevelopment of the former Bronx General Post Office by Youngwoo & Associates, Freshdirect’s relocation to Port Morris, York Studios’ plan to build a new film and television studio in Soundview and the future Kingsbridge National Ice Center, among others.
Borough President Diaz also highlighted the future redevelopment of the Harlem River waterfront, urged the State to move on the reconstruction of the Sheridan Expressway, and called on the City to create a new freezer facility for the fish and produce markets at Hunts Point.
“It is time for the city to develop a plan to build a new freezer facility in Hunts Point. This will allow our markets to expand, lower costs for consumers, reduce truck traffic and pollution, create hundreds of new jobs and keep more revenue in The Bronx,” said Borough President Diaz.
Borough President Diaz also discussed his office’s efforts to employ Bronxites, highlighting the success of “NY Works” in his speech. Launched in August in partnership with the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the State Department of Labor, “NY Works” puts Bronxites into direct contact with borough employers, and has so far led to more than 4,000 job placements.
“Without a doubt, these are tremendous numbers,” said Borough President Diaz. “We are bringing together development and job placement like never before.”
The borough president also highlighted his office’s legislative agenda, including his continuing push for a citywide and statewide public gun offender registry. Borough President Diaz also discussed his proposal for a letter grading system for cosmetology businesses, which he announced in September.
“When I speak to people about this issue, every one—every single person—has their own horror story about a friend, a family member, or even themselves, who visited a salon to look good, and ended up with a major health issue,” said Borough President Diaz. “We have seen numerous cases of staph infections, hepatitis and other illnesses. Doesn’t the evidence demand more oversight?”
Borough President Diaz noted several other future initiatives in his speech, and closed with a remembrance of former Bronx Borough President Herman Badillo and former Governor Mario Cuomo, both of whom passed away in 2014. Borough President Diaz noted the success of The Mall at Bay Plaza, citing it as a transformative development that is setting the tone for the future of the borough.
“We move forward, in the spirit of Herman Badillo and Mario Cuomo. We move forward, understanding that we can design and enact a transformative agenda for our future while also respecting the hardships and the glories of our past,” said Borough President Diaz. “Look at where we are today. Look at the hundreds of Bronxites working here this morning. Look around you at this tremendous structure, and the new opportunities it has brought to our borough.
Borough President Diaz added, “We can. And we will. Because we deserve it.”
The full speech can be read at http://on.nyc.gov/1zOPJF9.
Watch the speech on Bronxnet here:
Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point Ready for Play
Tee Times Can Be Booked for Jack Nicklaus Signature Course Starting March 11th
New York, NY- March 4, 2015 - Donald J. Trump today announced Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point will begin accepting tee time reservations online for play during the month of April beginning at 10:00 a.m. on March 11th. The much-anticipated official first day of play is scheduled for Wednesday, April 1st; weather permitting, for this championship caliber course designed by golf icon and globally renowned designer Jack Nicklaus, who was named by Golf Magazine as the 2014 Architect of the Year. Golfers can reserve tee times by visiting www.trumpferrypoint.com, calling (718) 414-1555 or emailing email@example.com.
“We are excited to be working with Donald Trump and a golf legend like Jack Nicklaus on this project,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz. “This world-class golf course will help rebrand The Bronx as a premier golfing destination, and I am proud to support it. I look forward to welcoming new visitors to our borough as they not only play a round of golf, but shop in our stores and dine in our restaurants.”
Chancellor Fariña Encourages Parents to Get Involved by Running for an Education Council Seat
The 36 Community Education Councils include 32 District Councils and Four Citywide Councils, one each for High Schools, English Language Learners, Special Education and District 75
CCECs Offer Parents an Opportunity to Shape Educational Policies in their Districts and Make a Direct Impact in their School Communities
New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña today encouraged parents across the city to make a direct impact on their child’s education by running for an Education Council seat. Parents interested in becoming members of a Community or Citywide Education Council (CCEC) can apply starting today through March 11, and should visit NYCParentLeaders.org for more information.
“The Community and Citywide Education Councils help shape education policies and maintain strong relationships with families and the community,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “Education Councils make important contributions to their communities and I want to encourage parents across the city to apply for a seat. We need strong CECs in every district and citywide.”
Elections take place every two years, and this year, the DOE is engaging in a citywide effort to reach parents and raise awareness of these leadership roles, reflecting the Chancellor’s ongoing commitment to collaborating with families in the imperative work of preparing our city’s students for college and the workforce.
“Parental participation in the educational process is an important component that needs to be emphasized as much as hitting the books, which is why the Community Education Council elections are very important,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “As a parent, I understand how important it was for my children to feel they had me as an advocate on their behalf. As the Bronx Borough President, I understand how important it is to be an advocate for not only my children, but all of the Bronx’s children. We urge parents to become a part of this process to make sure the voices at the table are diverse and representative of our communities and the needs of our children.”
Borough President Diaz Hosts Annual African-American Heritage Celebration
On Thursday, February 12, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. hosted his Annual African-American Heritage Celebration, recognizing “A Century of African-American Life, Heritage and Culture.”
Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson and Karen Washington, a community activist and urban farmer who encourages healthy eating, were honored by Borough President Diaz at the event. Borough President Diaz also honored the Association for the Study of African American Life & History’s (ASALH) Bronx branch.
“During this time we have to reflect on the past and how it has shaped us. History is made each day and it is because of the hard work, protesting, marching and speaking of injustice from leaders in the past, we are able to celebrate freedom of African-Americans,” said Borough President Diaz as he spoke to the community members and invited guests.
District Attorney Thompson spoke about his upbringing and memories of The Bronx. “My heritage is in the Bronx and in Co-op City, where my mother still lives. Back in 1973, we were one of the first black families to move into the area and it has helped shaped me to be who I am. I am grateful for all that I have been blessed to do because of the opportunity that started here in this borough,” District Attorney Thompson stated.
“I am excited and so happy to be here amongst everyone,” said Karen Washington as she accepted her award. “With our borough facing such high rates of obesity, it is important that we educate and break down the race barriers and address a more holistic approach to eating garden vegetables.”
In addition, Jamaal Bailey was presented the inaugural Jonathan Hicks Memorial Award, named for the pioneering journalist, mentor and activist who passed away in 2014. “There is a quote by Frederick Douglass that says, ‘If There Is No Struggle, There Is No Progress’ and I truly believe that if we continue to struggle we will make progress,” stated Mr. Bailey, who serves as a Democratic District Leader in the 83rd Assembly District, as he accepted his award.
The Bronx Invites the Pope
New York City Council Speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Bronx Borough President, Ruben Diaz, Jr., New York City Comptroller, Scott Stringer, Congressman Jose E. Serrano and New York City Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson are publicly inviting Pope Francis to Yankee Stadium. In a full-page newspaper ad the officials are asking The Pontiff to conduct a mass at the new Stadium when he visits NYC in September. The last papal mass at Yankee Stadium was led by Pope Benedict XVI in 2008 at the old Stadium.
“This is the 50th anniversary of the first-ever, papal visit to the United States,” Borough President Diaz said. “We are inviting Pope Francis to celebrate that historic event here, this fall,”
Borough President Diaz Tours Mott Haven Community High School
On Monday, February 9, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. visited Mott Haven Community High School to discuss civic engagement and current affairs with students at the school.
Mott Haven Community High School, located at 455 Southern Boulevard in the Gompers Campus is in its third year of operations and offers a second chance for older students, providing advisors, mentors and individual attention to help ensure they graduate.
The students asked Bronx Borough President Diaz a variety of questions about local government as well as discussed the importance of being an active participant in not only the community but also the electoral process.
“Many teens and young adults feel that they are ignored or have no voice in what happens in their community. As someone who has been active in government from a very young age, I understand the importance of getting involved in the electoral process early in life. I wanted to let these students know that it is never too early to make a difference, whether it is joining one of the community boards or becoming a first time voter,” said Borough President Diaz.
Statement from Borough President Diaz
RE: Carl Heastie, Speaker of the New York State Assembly
“I am incredibly proud that my good friend, Assembly Member Carl Heastie, has been elected to serve as the new Speaker of the New York State Assembly by his colleagues.
“Speaker Heastie’s credentials speak for themselves. He has done a great job representing his Bronx and New York City constituents since first being elected in 2000, and will continue to do so in his new role as Speaker.
“Carl Heastie’s ascension to the speakership is historic, for several reasons. Speaker Heastie is the first African-American to hold this position, as well as the first-ever Bronx resident. The impact of Speaker Heastie’s trailblazing path to the speakership cannot be understated. Here, during Black History Month, we have elevated an African-American man of tremendous ability and accomplishment to the pinnacle of New York State government.
“Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie has always made the people of The Bronx proud, and I know he will continue to do so as our speaker. I look forward to continuing my work with Speaker Heastie in his new role, as we enact an agenda that makes our borough, our city and our state an even better place,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz.
BP Diaz Hosts African Advisory Council Meeting
On Thursday, February 5, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. hosted the first meeting of his office’s African Advisory Council of 2015.
The agenda included a dialogue with African community groups and their respective leaders sharing their priorities for the upcoming year, while also discussing possible collaboration opportunities on a variety of issues.
“This council was created to serve the needs of the growing African community in The Bronx, and it plays a very important function in addressing the issues and concerns of this growing population,” said Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “It makes me proud to know that this council is able to both handle business here at home in The Bronx while also helping to develop a larger agenda for the entire city.”
Also discussed were possible collaborations with borough education institutions, the annual African Nations Soccer Tournament during Bronx Week, and organizing platforms that provide access to resources and networking opportunities for the borough’s African community.
Statement from Borough President Diaz
RE: Mayor de Blasio’s ‘State of Our City’ Address
“We welcome Mayor de Blasio’s announcement of committing $200 million to the Lower Grand Concourse for the creation of 4,000 affordable housing units, site remediation, social programs and the redevelopment of our transit structure and infrastructure. My office, the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, SoBRO and others have long advocated for the transformative redevelopment of the Lower Grand Concourse and our Harlem River waterfront, and we look forward to working with the de Blasio administration on this transformative proposal.
“I am also looking forward to working with the mayor to bring more affordable housing to The Bronx, including veterans’ and senior housing. My administration has helped to create nearly 16,000 new units of housing since 2009, and we know that increased affordable housing development can help narrow the gap of inequality. The administration’s commitment to examine the future of the Cromwell/Jerome corridor, to open this neighborhood up to greater housing development, is a welcome one.
“My office has long supported expanding ferry service to Soundview. We have to attract manufactures and new commerce to our borough while also easing commutes, and we believe that with the upgrading of our local infrastructure and the development of a ferry system that connects The Bronx with not just Manhattan but the other boroughs over our waterways as well, we can open up our borough to new economic development and recreation opportunities.
“In The Bronx, we are maximizing our assets, and improving the quality of life of our residents. We have created thousands of new jobs and helped improve existing businesses as well as created new ones. Our efforts are significant, but there is more to be done. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Mayor de Blasio and his administration as we develop an agenda that makes The Bronx and even better place to live, work and raise a family,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Remarks of Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Introducing President Reuven Rivlin of Israel
Bronx Museum of the Arts—January 28, 2015
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you all for coming out here. This is truly a historic day. I don’t think you’ve ever seen the president of Israel visit the beautiful borough of The Bronx. And Mr. President, I felt so much joy and so much pride.
What you see here today, and I know this has been a huge undertaking, let me first begin by thanking the Secret Service of the United States as well as the security forces of Israel, the NYPD, and all of the different agencies that are here with us today.
What you see here, Mr. President, is an amazing group of folks, not just in The Bronx but throughout the city of New York. What you should understand that what we are trying to do and what we did last week – and I’ll speak about that in a few moments – is that what are trying to strengthen the relationship of The Bronx, the relationship with the Latino community with that of the leadership and the people of Israel.
Mr. President, here in this audience we have members of the legislature, which you met, from state senators to council members. We have men and women of the clergy, many of them evangelical. And I have to say, and I’ve said this to the president when he received us and the delegation I was with, that the Latino evangelical community is a staunch supporter of Israel and the state of Israel.
Borough President Diaz Hosts Superintendents Meeting
Today, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and his Education and Youth Services Department hosted a meet and greet with elected officials and public school superintendents from across the borough.
Superintendents and their representatives from Districts 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12, attended the meeting, at which they discussed capital funding, programs, parental involvement and ways to collaborate and other issues.
Those in attendance included Laura Feijoo, Senior Superintendent, Office of School Support; Council Members Annabel Palma, Vanessa Gibson, Andy King, Andrew Cohen; State Senator Gustavo Rivera; and Assembly Members Michael Benedetto, Marcos Crespo, Victor Pichardo and Latoya Joyner.
“Having these conversations are important for everyone. It gives us an opportunity to hear about the roles of the superintendents and how we as elected officials can focus on individual district needs yet still collaborate boroughwide,” said Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “We will definitely continue this open discussion in the future and keep the dialogue going.”
BP Diaz & Israel's President Rivlin Host Event
Fostering Latino/Jewish Relations
Today, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. hosted a dialogue with the President of the State of Israel, H.E. Mr. Reuven Rivlin and the Consul General of Israel in New York, Ambassador Ido Aharoni, at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. The event was designed to foster stronger ties between the Latino and Jewish communities, both in the United States and abroad.
The meeting comes on the heels of Borough President Diaz’s recent visit to Israel, hosted in conjunction with the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, which saw the borough president lead a delegation of Latino business and civic leaders from across the tri-state area on meetings with Israeli political leaders and tours of religious, historic and tactical sites.
"I am honored to welcome Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, as well as Latino and Jewish leaders from all over the city and the tri-state area, to The Bronx to kick off this important conversation, which builds on my recent trip to Israel with a citywide delegation of Latino leaders. The Latino and Jewish communities of this city have demonstrated a deep commitment to one another for decades, and this event will help strengthen and expand on those connections," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
"The Latinos in The Bronx are going to become the majority, not as Latinos but as Americans. And we would like that both friends, American and Israeli, be together because we symbolized the way of how to fulfill and act according to the rules of democrats,” said the President of the State of Israel, H.E. Mr. Reuven Rivlin, at the event.
Borough President Diaz and President Rivlin discussed the Jewish history of The Bronx, the roots of the state of Israel, Israel’s role in the fight against terrorism, ways the bond between Latino and Jewish communities can be built even stronger and the important of strengthening the ties between the Jewish and Hispanic community.
Statement from Borough President Diaz
RE: Leadership in the NYS Assembly
"As the members of the Democratic conference of the New York State Assembly consider the future of their leadership, one thing must be clear throughout the process: the next speaker of the Assembly must be elected from New York City.
“New York City has always been at the forefront of Democratic Party polices and principles, and the New York State Assembly has traditionally led the charge on issues this city holds dear, be it rent control and tenant protections, the minimum wage, public education and transportation funding, to name a few.
"Without an Assembly Speaker from the five boroughs, no leadership position in the legislature would be held by a legislator from New York City. Abandoning that tradition would be of grave concern to the 8.5 million residents of the city of New York," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Borough President Diaz Visits Western Wall in Israel
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. prays at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem during his visit to Israel on January 22, 2015. The borough president led a delegation of Latino business and civic leaders from across the city on the week-long visit, which was hosted by the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York.
Statement from Borough President Diaz
RE: Governor Cuomo’s ‘State of the State’ Address
“Gov. Cuomo continues to outline a strong agenda for the entire state, especially for The Bronx. Our governor continues to put forward policy proposals that have real impact on the lives of people in my borough.
“His continued support of our proposal to expand Metro North services to the East Bronx is incredibly welcome, and shows his commitment to creating new transit options and new opportunities for investment in our borough. While I appreciate the governor’s suggestion that one of these new stations bear my name, his considerable support of this proposal is all the recognition I need. I am grateful that Governor Cuomo has already outlined significant funding for this proposal in his budget, and I will continue to work with the governor, the MTA and the State Legislature to bring this transformative transit proposal to life.
“The governor’s expansion of employment programs in our borough, specifically for young adults of color, is also a major victory for The Bronx. In August, I joined Governor Cuomo, the State Department of Labor and the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation to launch the ‘Bronx Works’ strike force, which is putting unemployed Bronxites in direct contact with the employers who need them. New projects are taking root every day in The Bronx, and this $10 million proposal will ensure that more Bronx residents, especially young adults of color, will be prepared for the jobs we are creating.
“Governor Cuomo’s plan to raise the minimum wage statewide, and to increase the minimum wage to a higher rate in New York City, shows that the governor continues to understand the realities of living in the five boroughs. The cost of living is considerably higher in The Bronx than upstate, and this increase would allow more New Yorkers to make ends meet.
“Governor Cuomo understands what is important to this borough: economic development and job creation, making sure Bronxites are getting the jobs we create, and making sure those jobs pay a decent wage. I will continue to work with my good friend, our governor, and his administration to enact strong policy proposals and affect positive change for the people of The Bronx,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Borough President Diaz in Israel
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. stands with United Nations soldiers monitoring the border between Israel and Syria on Monday, January 19. Borough President Diaz visited the site following an Israeli strike against Hezbollah terrorists who were planning an attack on the Golan Heights. The borough president is leading a delegation of Latino business and civic leaders on the week-long visit, which is being hosted by the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York.
“Why I am Visiting Israel”
by Ruben Diaz Jr., Bronx Borough President
The people of the United States have stood strong with the people of Israel from the day that country was founded in 1947. As the only democracy in the Middle East, and as our key ally in the fight against terrorism, Israel holds a special place in the hearts and minds of Americans. This is especially true in New York City, which has shared a unique and significant relationship with the Jewish people and the state of Israel for decades.
Tomorrow, I will travel to Israel with the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, leading a delegation of our city’s growing Latino population. This group, which includes business, civic and non-profit leaders, will spend a week discovering what Israel has to offer, learning about why Israel’s continued strength is so important, and exploring the growing relationship between the people of the Promised Land and Latinos across the world.
This is of critical importance, given not only the continued vitality of the Jewish population at home, but the longstanding history of Jewish acceptance in countries like the Dominican Republic and growing Jewish population in places like Argentina, Brazil and Panama, as well. On this trip, I will lead a discussion about the future of Jewish/Latino relations, both here and abroad, and take the first steps toward cementing a lifetime bond between these two communities.
I have been to Israel before. I have seen, firsthand, the attacks the Israeli people face every single day. But the people of Israel persevere. Now, more than ever, their example deserves our praise and our support.
The horror of the attacks on the French newspaper Charlie Hebdo and the kosher supermarket—and the subsequent exodus of Jews from Paris—show us just how critical our support of Israel is right now. As Martin Niemöller wrote, reflecting on the Nazi atrocities of World War II, “First they came for the Jews…”
Following these acts of terror, the Paris Grand Synagogue closed for the first time on Shabbos since World War II. The meaning behind such imagery cannot be understated. Israel is one of our strongest allies. Israelis and all Jews must know that our Latino community, and in fact the American people, are on their side during these troublesome times. As we saw world leaders standing arm-in-arm in solidarity following these attacks, we too stand arm-in-arm with Israel and the world’s Jewish population.
Does a borough president have an interest in promoting Israel? Of course. At one point more Jews lived in The Bronx than in Israel, and our Jewish community remains vibrant and strong. Across the entire city, Jews and Latinos are already working hand-in-hand on the issues that unite us, be it economic development, housing, education and more.
Israel has produced and continues to work on some of the most amazing technological and scientific advancements the world has ever seen. Israel is a partner in our security, and what keeps their country secure helps keep our borough and our city secure. Israel is worthy of not only our respect, but our support.
As we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. next week, we must also remember his message that we are all God’s children, including the people of Israel. "Peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity,” said Dr. King. “Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality."
Both the nation of Israel and Jews everywhere around the world are under perpetual attack. Their peace today, as Dr. King so eloquently put it, requires our commitment to their continued security. I will work to join the Latino and Jewish communities together in new bonds of strength, and I will help create new friendships during difficult times.
Israelis do not let terrorism and hate keep them down. Neither do Americans, and neither do I.
Statement from Borough President Diaz
RE: Gov. Cuomo’s Property Tax Relief Plan
“The negative impact that high property taxes have on homeowners and renters in The Bronx cannot be overstated. It’s time that we see real property tax relief for the working and middle class families that need it most, and I am very encouraged by Governor Andrew Cuomo’s tax credit proposal. The Governor’s plan is based on a progressive income scale – so individuals who earn less and pay more will see the help they need – and I am pleased to see the Governor addressing this issue head-on,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Statement from Borough President Diaz
RE: IDNYC Municipal ID Launch
“The people of The Bronx can now represent their borough and their city with great pride by signing up for the new IDNYC municipal identification card, which launches today.
“The program, which will not only provide people with a legal identification recognized as a valid form of ID, but it will also help the 1.4 million residents of The Bronx gain access to city programs such as discounts on prescription drugs, libraries across three boroughs, movie tickets, fitness and health centers as well as free memberships to some of our borough’s amazing cultural institutions such as the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Bronx Zoo and the New York Botanical Garden.
“I congratulate Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Mark-Viverito and the entire City Council on the implementation of this incredible, groundbreaking program, and encourage all New Yorkers to sign up, just like I did today. If you live in New York City, show that you’re a real New Yorker and sign up for IDNYC,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
For more information about IDNYC and how to sign up, visit: http://on.nyc.gov/1CTMkvz.
Health Department Launches New PrEP & PEP Campaign:
New Ways to Prevent HIV
New PrEP & PEP Detailing Kit to Reach 600 Practices Citywide
Health Department Issues Health Alert to Providers Showing Benefits and Guidelines of PEP
The Health Department today launched a new outreach campaign, PrEP & PEP: New Ways to Prevent HIV, at The Oval Center at Montefiore Medical Center to provide primary care and infectious disease practices with resources to support pre-exposure and post-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP and PEP). Each year, approximately 3,000 New Yorkers are newly diagnosed with HIV. PrEP and PEP are highly effective in preventing HIV when taken as directed. PrEP is a pill taken daily to prevent HIV infection when used in combination with other risk reduction strategies, while PEP is a combination of pills taken daily for 28 days to prevent HIV infection immediately after a high-risk exposure to HIV.
“I am delighted to see DOHMH showing great leadership in fighting HIV/AIDS in The Bronx,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. “My office has been actively engaging community based and health organizations in our borough to promote HIV testing (including our new initiative, Bronx Realness After Dark - where we have been testing people where they are during the overnight hours). I convened an HIV Roundtable to advise me and my staff last year, and recently released a survey to query medical facilities and CBOs on their knowledge of, and ability to connect clients to, PEP and PrEP and will be sharing the results in late February. We will continue to partner with DOHMH and Bronx providers to combat HIV and reduce HIV transmissions.”
Senator Jeff Klein, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Bronx Chamber of Commerce: Graduates of Bronx H.I.R.E. Survivors Program Start New Internships in The Bronx
New Year Means New Start & New Job for Six Local Domestic Violence Survivors
Graduates of the Bronx H.I.R.E. Domestic Violence Survivors program will start new internships at small businesses and city and state offices across the borough, State Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester), Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and Bronx Chamber of Commerce executives announced today. The two-part initiative includes a six-week job training course followed by a six-week paid internship program geared toward increasing job readiness, preparing survivors for the workplace and putting women on a path to financial independence.
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said: "Today, we welcome our first Bronx H.I.R.E. Survivor Program intern who will join my executive office to hone the administrative skills she was trained in. My hope is that the real life, high intensity experience she will gain over the next six weeks will serve her well in her permanent job placement and future success. Financial independence is the surest way to keep survivors of domestic violence empowered and free from abusive, dependent relationships.”
BP Diaz & CM Espinal Introduce Legislation on
'Nail & Beauty Salon' Grading System
Today, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Council Member Rafael Espinal, chair of the City Council’s Committee on Consumer Affairs, officially unveiled a legislative package relating to the creation of a letter grading system for cosmetology businesses, including nail salons, spas, barber shops, beauty parlors and other similar establishments throughout the five boroughs.
This legislative package, which was officially introduced in the City Council at Wednesday’s stated meeting, includes a resolution calling on the state to allow New York City to create a letter grading system for salons and spas, as well as a bill creating a “Customer’s Bill of Rights” for salon and spa patrons. A third item, a resolution, calls on the New York State Division of Licensing Services, which provides licensing for cosmetology professionals, to expand its health and safety training options.
“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. The procedures used in many salons can almost be medical in nature, yet oversight of these businesses is currently very minimal. We have to change that,” said Borough President Diaz. “The health and safety of the people of this city is our top priority, and these bills will go a long way towards protecting New Yorkers from unhealthy, potentially dangerous conditions. I look forward to working with all of you to make our city’s salons and spas safer for everyone.”
Statement from Borough President Diaz
RE: Police Shooting in the 46th Precinct
“Last night, two police officers were shot in the 46th Precinct. Reports indicate that their injuries are not life threatening, and for that we are incredibly grateful. My thoughts and prayers are with them and their families as they recover.
“The Bronx is not a safe haven for criminals, and we cannot and will not tolerate the criminal actions of thugs. To that end, I urge anyone who has information about this crime to call NYPD Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS and share what they know, to help take down those individuals who would commit such reprehensible acts.
“The men and women of the NYPD put their lives on the line each and every day to keep the people of The Bronx, and the entire city, safe. We respect their sacrifice, and we will continue to work with our police to make our borough an even better place to live, work and raise a family,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
For more details about last night’s shooting, including a photo of one of the suspects and reward information, visit http://bit.ly/13W6TrL.
Statement from Borough President Diaz
RE: 2014 Crime Statistics
“Mayor de Blasio’s announcement today—that New York City saw in 2014 the lowest number of homicides since modern policing began in 1993—shows us just how far The Bronx and the entire City have come in so short a time.
“This year, for the second straight year, the number of murders in The Bronx was lower than 100, a level of success in policing this borough had not seen since the early 1960’s. This would not be possible without a deeply committed, highly professional police force like the NYPD, working hand-in-hand with the citizens of our borough and our city. It is worth noting that this continued reduction in overall crime occurred alongside a dramatic decrease in the use of ‘stop & frisk,’ which proves that effective crime fighting and strong police work does not require questionable tactics.
“As the people of this city continue to examine the role of law enforcement within their communities, we must not forget the important role that the police department and its dedicated membership play in keeping our communities safe and secure. I will continue to work with our mayor, Commissioner Bratton and the New York Police Department to build on the continued efforts to make The Bronx an even safer place to live, work and raise a family,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Statement from Borough President Diaz
RE: The passing of Mario Cuomo
"Mario Cuomo was a great governor and a great man, and the people of our state owe him a debt of gratitude for his lifelong commitment to serve New York. My thoughts and prayers are with the governor and his entire family during their time of grief," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.