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BP Diaz Hosts Small Business Administration Roundtable for Hispanic Business Leaders

On Wednesday, November 30, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Regional Administrator Kellie I. LeDet, the Business Initiative Corporation of New York and the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation co-hosted a roundtable discussion on ways to help Hispanic business owners invest and actively participate in the economic growth of The Bronx. The event took place at the Bronx Museum of the Arts on the Grand Concourse.

“This is a great opportunity for small business owners to network and learn from one another. While you can have an amazing product, you may not know how to execute your business plan. That is why we are here for you,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

“We are here to support your business at whatever level you are at,” stated Marlene Cintron, President of Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation. “We can lend to businesses at all funding levels, and .  What we want is for you to continue providing jobs for Bronx residents who are ready, willing and able to help your business grow.”

Participants got the opportunity to learn different ways on how to receive funding from SBA, BICNY, BOEDC and other lenders that serve the borough.  The event also enabled business leaders to connect and share information, allowing for local entrepreneurs to attain tips to help develop their businesses.

“As an elected official, I want you to succeed in our borough,” said Borough President Diaz to the assembled business persons and entrepreneurs. “We want to help, and we want to point you in the right direction. If you are looking to invest in The Bronx, we want to provide the resources to point you on the right path.” 

Testimony of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Before the New York City Council’s Committee on Transportation
RE: The Future of Citi Bike in the Five Boroughs

November 28, 2016

Good morning.

I am here today to discuss the potential expansion of Citi Bike to all five boroughs, and the need to create new revenue streams to drive that expansion forward.

Over the past eight years, my borough has seen tremendous new investment. Not only have we attracted new businesses and built thousands of new housing units of all types, we have brought record infrastructure spending to The Bronx, as well.

The Grand Concourse is undergoing major renovations, and many of our subway stations have seen complete overhauls. Most significantly, we have secured the nearly $1 billion in funding for the long awaited East Bronx Metro North Expansion, thanks to strong partnerships with Governor Andrew Cuomo and the MTA.

Despite such record investment, transit equity continues to elude us in a very high-profile way.

Citi Bike is nowhere to be found in The Bronx. That must change.

Read Borough President Diaz's complete testimony.

Borough President Diaz Distributes Thanksgiving Meals to Bronxites

In advance of this year's Thanksgiving holiday, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. has partnered with numerous public and private institutions to give back to neighborhoods and families throughout the borough, and to help Bronxites who need help.

"This Thanksgiving season, we have dedicated our time and resources to give back to The Bronx, distributing turkeys and food supplies to families around the borough," said Borough President Diaz. "We want to make sure that as many families as we can possibly help will have a warm meal to share during this Thanksgiving season."

On Wednesday, November 16, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. hosted his annual Thanksgiving luncheon for seniors at the Findlay House senior living complex. Almost 200 members were served a hot Thanksgiving meal by Borough President Diaz and Assembly Member Latoya Joyner, provided by Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill.

"Seeing the seniors laugh and enjoy a hot meal warms my soul," said Borough President Diaz. "These men and women spent their entire lives serving others and providing for their families and today we are saying 'thank you' and show them that we care for them during the holidays."

On Friday, November 18, the Office of the Bronx Borough President distributed boxes full of canned and dry goods, generously provided by Goya Foods, to various churches and soup kitchens throughout the borough, in order to help feed the community on Thanksgiving Day.

On Monday, November 21, Borough President Diaz spent the day at various locations, making multiple stops to distribute hundreds of turkeys and Thanksgiving meal supplies donated by Western Beef, Waste Management and FreshDirect.

"Our residents and businesses are showing everyone that when we come together we can truly make a difference and serve each other," said Borough President Diaz. "I am very thankful that I am able to make my way around the different communities and hand out turkeys and food supplies. I am especially grateful to our sponsors-Western Beef, Goya Foods, FreshDirect, Waste Management and Golden Krust-for donating the food we needed to help brighten the holiday season for Bronxites who need it the most."

BP Diaz to Odell Beckham & Von Miller:
“Thanks for visiting The Bronx…but try a better place than Sin City!”

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. has written a letter to NFL stars Odell Beckham Jr., wide receiver for the New York Giants, and Von Miller, linebacker for the Denver Broncos, regarding the pair’s recent, highly publicized visit to the notorious Sin City, a strip club located in the South Bronx.

“I would like to thank you for your recent visit to the great borough of The Bronx,” wrote Borough President Diaz, who doubles as the biggest New York Giants fan in The Bronx. “I appreciate that you both took time out of your very busy schedules to pay us a visit. However, you could have picked a better place.”

The full letter can be read at http://on.nyc.gov/2fVpUSS.

In addition to the letter, Borough President Diaz also mailed Mr. Beckham and Mr. Miller copies of the 2016 Bronx Visitors Guide (viewable at http://bit.ly/2gCMkwn) to inform their future visits to the borough, and urged them to reach out if they wanted to see the many great things The Bronx offers visitors to the borough each and every day.

“I would love to show both of you gentlemen there is more to The Bronx than establishments such as Sin City, where you risk losing more than your valuables,” wrote Borough President Diaz. “If you would like to see what The Bronx is really about, and visit numerous establishments that our residents are actually proud of, I hope you will take me up on this offer.”

In August, Borough President Diaz issued a letter to the New York State Liquor Authority urging the agency to revoke Sin City’s liquor license. That letter can be read at http://on.nyc.gov/2auXQWe.

Statement from Borough President Diaz
RE: Nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions as U.S. Attorney General

“If President-Elect Donald Trump truly wants to reunite a fractured nation, his selection of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions to serve as Attorney General is a huge step in the wrong direction.

“Throughout his career, Senator Sessions has exhibited insensitivity, if not outright hostility, to many of the vast array of ethnic groups that make up the beautiful mosaic that is America. In particular, his past statements about our Dominican population, made on the floor of the Senate, are particularly galling. Senator Session’s claims that Dominicans contribute nothing to our society are categorically false. Hundreds of thousands of hardworking individuals of Dominican descent call my borough and this city their home, and they deserve more respect than that.

“The Bronx has the largest community of Dominicans anywhere outside of the Dominican Republic, and they have had a tremendous positive influence on our borough. This is a community of hardworking men and women—doctors, lawyers, business owners, teachers and more—who have contributed so much to the ongoing revitalization of The Bronx. We will not accept their marginalization at the highest levels of government.

“We cannot allow Senator Sessions to lead the Justice Department, especially when he cares so little about justice and the civil rights of all communities. This nomination is a mistake, and President-Elect Trump would be wise to rescind it,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Renovations Completed at Fordham Metro-North Station

Upgrades Include a More Spacious Platform, New Entrance, Artwork, Wider Stairway, Modernization of Station Elements

The MTA Metro-North Railroad today announced it has completed restoration and upgrades of the Fordham Station, including a rebuilt northbound platform with double the capacity, a new entrance leading directly to Webster Avenue at 193rd Street and new permanent artwork. These upgrades follow the complete renovation of the historic station building on Fordham Road, which was completed in 2014.

“Fordham Station is the busiest reverse-peak commutation station in the nation said Joseph Giulietti, President of Metro-North Railroad. “These renovations are making it easier, more comfortable and more pleasant for our Bronx customers who work outside the city to get to their jobs.”

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., said: “The Fordham Metro north station is a key transit hub in our borough, and these renovations will make for a safer and more comfortable experience for station users. I applaud the MTA’s efforts to bring about positive change for Bronx riders at the Fordham station.”

Read the complete press release.

Borough President Diaz & AT&T Host Little League Awards Celebration

Yesterday, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and AT&T’s New York State President Marissa Shorenstein co-hosted a celebration for the Little League teams who participated in this year’s sixth annual Borough President’s Cup – Rolando Paulino Little League and this year’s champions, Grand Slam Little League.

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

“Each year we are giving the youth the opportunity a chance to play baseball in the home of the greats, Yankee Stadium, while also providing these leagues with much-needed equipment grants. I am proud to host this event each year and I am grateful to Marissa Shorenstein and everyone at AT&T for their continued support of the Borough President’s Little League Cup,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

“AT&T congratulates all of the players and their coaches for their incredible performance in the Borough President’s Cup,” said Marissa Shorenstein, President, AT&T New York. “We are proud to recognize their hard work and honored to partner with Bronx Borough President Díaz to support this program and encourage even more of our youngest New Yorkers to pursue excellence, both on the field and in the classroom.”

During the event, each team was presented with a gift card to Modell’s Sporting Goods to help pay for equipment for the upcoming Little League season. In addition, players received copies of the book “The Northern Borough: A History of The Bronx” by Lloyd Ultan, as well as an official Bronx baseball cap.

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

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. Speaks at
Duval & Stachenfeld’s Bronx Real Estate Networking Event

NEW YORK – November 21, 2016 - Duval & Stachenfeld LLP hosted its first annual Bronx Real Estate Networking Event at the Bronx Brewery last Thursday evening, November 17th. The event connected real estate investors, public officials, members of not-for-profit organizations, and other real estate professionals to discuss the current state of real estate development in The Bronx and what lies ahead for the borough’s future.  Featured speakers included Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and President of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation Marlene Citron.

“The Bronx has seen incredible, transformational development in recent years, with multiple businesses and housing developments for all taking hold in our borough. Events like this help showcase to the world our continued progress,” said the Bronx Borough President, Ruben Diaz Jr.  “Networking events like the one hosted by Duval & Stachenfeld LLP are a great tool to connect our borough with business and development professionals, as well as community leaders, to showcase all The Bronx has to offer and to highlight our bright future.”

Read the complete press release.

FreshDirect to Donate 500 Thanksgiving Turkeys to South Bronx Families

FreshDirect hosts second annual turkey donation event in future neighborhood of Mott Haven

Bronx, N.Y. (November 17, 2016) – FreshDirect has partnered with local South Bronx merchants to distribute 500 turkeys to community members in the South Bronx at the Mott Haven Bar and Grill for their Thanksgiving meals. The event is one of many charitable events that FreshDirect is co-hosting leading up to Thanksgiving.

This Thanksgiving season, FreshDirect plans to donate turkeys in Philadelphia, the Bronx and other areas in New York City. Monday’s event will feature key leaders of local government including Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Public Advocate for the City of New York, Letitia “Tish” James.

"FreshDirect is pleased to join Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Public Advocate James, Rosa Garcia of the Mott Haven Bar and Grill and our community partners for this endeavor,” said Jason Ackerman, Co-Founder and CEO of FreshDirect. "Thanksgiving is an important time and we know that this gesture will provide smiles on the faces of those who may be in need.  We are proud to donate turkeys to community members in and around a neighborhood that we will soon call home – the South Bronx.”

This is just one of many community events that FreshDirect aims to engage in as they move their headquarters to the South Bronx, which is targeted for early 2017.

“This is the second annual turkey giveaway that FreshDirect will be holding at the Mott Haven Bar and Grill, and we are grateful for their participation in such a wonderful event,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “FreshDirect’s continued commitment to The Bronx, what will soon be its new home, demonstrates that it is serious about being a good neighbor and upholding the commitments it made when it first announced it was moving to The Bronx.

“I am pleased to join the FreshDirect turkey donation event this year in the South Bronx,” said Public Advocate for the City of New York, Letitia “Tish” James. “In my role, I often serve as a voice for the people, including the underrepresented. I am so appreciative when I see companies such as FreshDirect assisting New Yorkers in need.”

City and State Housing Agencies Join Project Partners to Celebrate the Completion of the First Two Buildings in a Multi-Phase Residential Development in The Bronx

The first two buildings of the Compass Residences development brings 237 new affordable apartments to the Crotona Park East and West Farms neighborhoods of the Bronx

Over 1,300 units of affordable housing and new retail space will be introduced to the area once the entire Compass Residences development is completed

Bronx, New York – New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC), join Monadnock Development, Signature Urban Properties, and GTIS Partners for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the completion of construction of the first two of ten planned buildings at Compass Residences in the Bronx.  Project partners also in attendance included MBD, Community Housing Corporation and Dattner Architects. 

Compass Residences buildings 1A and 1B are nine- and 15-story buildings, respectively located at 1490 and 1500 Boone Avenue. They have a combined total of 237 apartments affordable to low- and moderate-income households in 247,665 square feet of residential space. The buildings also feature 4,932 square feet of retail space, 71 parking spaces, a shared courtyard, and a public plaza.  

“Creating a truly mixed-income neighborhood with retail space, parking, a courtyard and direct access to Starlight Park, as well as setting aside units to expand opportunities for formerly homeless individuals, is very important not just for The Bronx but the entire New York City,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “Today’s ribbon cutting unlocks the first 237 of an over 1,300 unit development that will create a truly mixed-income community and bring transformative change to Crotona Park East and West Farms. And it’s with a great pleasure that I support the development of Compass Residences in The Bronx, and I am proud to have provided $1.3 million in capital funding for construction of these worthy projects that will help improve the lives of many of our must vulnerable residents.”

Read the complete press release.

BP Diaz Appoints Mario Benabe to CEC #9

A charter school educator, Mr. Benabe will bring a new perspective
to the ongoing discussion on Bronx and Citywide education issues

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. has appointed Mario Benabe, a special education and math teacher at the South Bronx Community Charter High School, to represent his office on the Community Education Council of Bronx School District #9.
“Mr. Benabe’s experience as a teacher in a charter school, as well as his considerable resume as an educator and an activist, will provide CEC #9 with a unique perspective on the issues that face our classrooms, and I look forward to working with him as we continue our work to improve our public school system, not just here in our borough but across the city,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “Charter schools are public schools, too, and Mr. Benabe’s experience within a charter school’s walls will bring a fresh viewpoint to the important discussion that takes place at CEC #9.”
“This opportunity to serve on the Community Education Council in District #9 truly brings me inner peace. As a community, we are often looking for treasures far away, when in fact there are acres of diamonds in our own backyards. As an appointee, I know the value and importance of empowering the best sense of teaching and learning by rooting it to the community. This must include parent engagement, social and emotional learning and restorative justice,” said Mario Benabe.
A resident of Claremont Village, Mario Benabe is the founding Math Teacher at the South Bronx Community Charter High School (SBCCHS), a school birthed out of the New York City’s Young Men’s Initiative (YMI) and the Expanded Success Initiative (ESI) School Design Fellowship.

Prior to teaching at SBCCHS, Mr. Benabe spent two years as the Special Education, Mathematics Specialist at the Bronx River High School. Mr. Benabe holds a M.S.T in Special Education from Fordham University and a B.A. in Culture and Deviance Studies with cross disciplinary research training in Sociology and Latin America and Latinx Studies from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Throughout his early teaching career, Mr. Benabe has advocated for educational justice for youths of color. At Teach For America’s 25th anniversary summit Mr. Benabe spoke at the #StayWoke: Stop the Violence and Increase Opportunity program to an audience of over 1,200 people at the Walter E. Washington convention Center in Washington, D.C.

In 2015, The Entertainment Industry Foundation honored Mr. Benabe as one of three teachers selected nationally to be recognized as the 9/11 Day Teacher. Mr. Benabe has received the Robert Bob Douglass Hall of Fame – John Hunter Community Service Award for his dedication in serving youths through education for the National Association of Each One Teach One program.

Mr. Benabe is the initiator of “Do-The-Right-Thing Pedagogy”, which frames the importance of examining the ways in which teaching and learning occurs in afrocentric and indigenous populations and using that as a Dialectical Opposites [Do] To Heal Education [The] that invites Reality, Immersion, Good-Hearted Teaching [Right] Through Historical Indigenous/Afrocentric and Native Grounds [Thing]. Mr. Benabe feels that his role as an educator is to create conditions that allow young people to express their brilliance through their sense of what is vernacular for them so that they can feel valued within the village of teaching and learning.
More information about Mr. Benabe can be found at his website, www.mariobenabe.com.

Statement from Borough President Diaz
RE: 2016 Presidential Election Results

“For her entire professional career, Hillary Clinton has outlined a positive vision for the future of our nation, and I have been proud to support and work with her every step of the way.

“Like so many others I am both saddened and disappointed that Secretary Clinton was unsuccessful in her historic bid for the White House. This was an extremely divisive campaign, and I expect that President-Elect Trump is sincere when he claims to be ready to work with all sides for the betterment of this nation.

"So many are ready and willing to extend their hand to help President-Elect Trump reunite our nation. For the good of our city, our state and all of America, let’s hope he takes it, and seizes on the opportunity to demonstrate that he can be a President for everyone,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Borough President Diaz Attends Vigil for NYPD Sergeant

Hundreds of people from The Bronx and New York City gathered together at a prayer and candle light vigil held at the 43rd Precinct for 19-year NYPD veteran Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo, who was shot and killed while responding to a home invasion in Van Nest. Sgt. Tuozzolo's wife Lisa smiled to hear how great her husband was while surrounded by family, friends, fellow officers, firefighters, elected officials, community members, faith leaders, youth and other supporters who attended the vigil. The ceremony was held outside the NYPD's 43rd Precinct building where Sgt. Tuozzolo spent the past 10 years.

Statement from Borough President Diaz
RE: Fatal Shooting of NYPD Sergeant in The Bronx

“This afternoon, The Bronx was the scene of a horrible tragedy as two New York Police Department sergeants in the 43rd Precinct were shot, one of them fatally. This heartbreaking incident puts into clear focus both the difficulties our police officers face every day and the true scourge of guns and gun violence faced by our police, our communities and our nation.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of these two sergeants and the entire NYPD as they mourn the loss of their partner and colleague," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Barnes & Noble Commits to Bronx Return

Bronx elected officials are reacting to news that national retail bookseller Barnes & Noble has committed to return to The Bronx, following the announcement of the impending closure of their existing store in Bay Plaza.

“We are a borough of book lovers, and Barnes & Noble has been an institution in The Bronx for nearly two decades. I share the concerns of my constituents that they will depart Bay Plaza. However, I understand that the business of selling books is going through a transformation, and that Barnes & Noble is adjusting their business model to reflect a new reality,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “Barnes & Noble has made a commitment to return to The Bronx, and the people of this borough look forward to welcoming them back in the near future. We are also grateful to Prestige Properties and their CEO, Sam Shalem, for their previous efforts extend Barnes & Noble’s lease and their commitment to hold space in their retail center for the bookseller should they choose to return to Bay Plaza.”

Borough President Diaz added, "My office will continue to work with Barnes & Noble in the coming months to help identify potential locations for new retail sites in our borough that will work with their updated business model, and we will continue to support our libraries, as well as independent bookstores and other businesses that connect Bronxites with books.”

Read the complete press release.

Borough President Diaz Kicks Off
6th Annual ‘Savor The Bronx’ Restaurant Week

New video series produced by BronxNet highlight’s the borough’s top eateries and food businesses

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. hosted a preview of the 6th Annual “Savor the Bronx” Restaurant Week today at the Residence Inn at the Hutchinson Metro Center.

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

More information about the event, as well as a list of participating restaurants, can be found at www.savorthebronx.com.

“Epicureans from around the world are invited to experience the amazing tastes we have to offer in our borough,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “The Bronx has always been home to a tremendous food culture, and ‘Savor the Bronx’ is a great way to sample the many different styles of food our world-class restaurant community has to offer.”   

“Tourism continues to grow in The Bronx, and our restaurants, breweries and world-class food producers have played a major role in encouraging that growth,” said Olga Luz Tirado, Executive Director of The Bronx Tourism Council. “With so many great flavors to offer, we urge those seeking a fresh new culinary experience to celebrate ‘Savor the Bronx’ Restaurant Week with us.”

This 12-day event, which runs from November 7th through November 18th, will feature over 40 participants, and is the perfect opportunity to explore your taste buds at a various restaurants around The Bronx.  The preview event featured samples from some of the borough’s top eateries and food producers, including the Mott Haven Bar & Grill, Bronx Hot Sauce, Chelsea Craft Brewing Company, Havana Café, The Bronx Brewery, Lloyd’s Carrot Cake and Gun Hill Brewery.

In addition to hosting the preview, Borough President Diaz and The Bronx Tourism Council also unveiled a new “Savor the Bronx” video series, which will highlight Bronx restaurants and other borough culinary businesses.

The series launched with four videos highlighting borough eateries:

Bistro SK: http://bit.ly/2dYH4l8
Ceetay: http://bit.ly/2f5ZJLG
Moss Café: http://bit.ly/2ej955s
Havana Café: http://bit.ly/2evPXir

“Thanks to this new ‘Savor the Bronx’ video series, our borough’s burgeoning culinary scene is having its moment in the sun. Bronxnet and The Bronx Tourism Council have developed a tremendous new series that will help promote our borough’s restaurant and food producers to a new audience, and that is certainly something to be proud of. I look forward to future episodes,” said Borough President Diaz.

“BronxNet is proud to produce and broadcast 'Savor the Bronx' TV programming in partnership with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and The Bronx Tourism Council to spotlight restaurants, local business, and the tremendous cultural and culinary vibrancy of the Bronx," said Michael Max Knobbe, Executive Director at BronxNet. 

For more information about “Savor the Bronx” Restaurant Week, visit www.ilovethebronx.com or follow @Savorthebronx on Twitter.

Governor Cuomo Announces Completion of $4.8 Million Over-Height Vehicle Detection System on New York City Parkways

System Installed at Low-Clearance Bridges on the Hutchinson River Parkway in the Bronx and Grand Central Parkway in Queens

Detectors Minimize Truck Collisions, Improve Road Safety and Protect Highway Infrastructure

Photos of Detectors Available Here, Here and Here

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the completion of a $4.8 million over-height vehicle detection system on two New York City parkways. The infrared system identifies and alerts over-height vehicles illegally using the parkway to prevent the vehicles from striking low-clearance bridges, which are found on most parkways in New York. The system was installed at four locations on the Hutchinson River Parkway in the Bronx and one location on the Grand Central Parkway in Queens. Photos of the detectors are available here, here and here.

"This groundbreaking technology will improve traffic safety, enhance mobility, prevent delays and protect our highway infrastructure," Governor Cuomo said. "These roadways are key parts of New York City’s transportation system and these improvements will make them for more convenient, reliable and safer for all."

Large commercial trucks and tractor trailers are prohibited from entering parkways in New York because the roadways, built in the 1930s and 1940s, were designed for automobiles and have low bridge clearances, with some as low as seven feet. The detection systems, developed by the New York State Department of Transportation, are part of the state’s latest effort to keep commercial vehicles off parkways and improve roadway safety across the State. Bridge strikes can result in serious accidents, significant traffic delays and damage to the bridges.

Using infrared beams, the detection system identifies an over-height vehicle illegally using a parkway, captures the vehicle’s movements on video and then posts an alert message for the driver on an electronic variable message sign, enabling the driver to leave the highway before encountering a bridge. The data and video are also sent to the Department of Transportation’s Joint Traffic Management Center so that police can assist in getting a truck safely off the roadway, or mobilize quickly if an accident occurs.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said, "This system will undoubtedly make our roads safer and protect our vital infrastructure from unnecessary damage, and I congratulate Governor Cuomo and the State Department of Transportation on its completion."

Read the complete press release.

Council Member Cohen Announces Funding for
Improvements to Kingsbridge/Broadway Retail Corridor

Council Member Andrew Cohen is putting his money where his mouth is.

A long-time advocate of improvements in the look of the Kingsbridge/Broadway business corridor, he has now obtained close to $40,000 for just such a spruce-up.  He is allocating the funding to the Kingsbridge Riverdale Van Cortlandt Development Corporation (KRVC) through two City Council initiatives; the NYC Clean-up Initiative and the Neighborhood Development Grant Initiative.

Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Council Member Cohen and Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz convened a working group back in 2014 to study the corridor and suggest recommendations. The group completed its work and issued a report in September 2015 summarizing their recommendations.  The report sought to improve the aesthetic of Broadway and these funds will be used to beautify the corridor by standardizing and modernizing trash receptacles and street furniture, install community bulletin boards, as well as beautifying tree pits.

Commenting on the funding, Borough President Diaz said: “Last year, my office partnered with Council Member Cohen and numerous other elected officials and community organizations to issue a report on the future health of the Kingsbridge/Broadway Retail Corridor, especially in light of the opening of several major retail hubs at its north and south ends. This funding will help implement some of the improvements we recommended for the strip, such as improved street furniture and graffiti removal, and I thank Council Member Cohen for his commitment to the continued betterment of this important commercial strip.”

Read the complete press release.

Elected Officials Deliver $5.3 Million For Renovation of
Wakefield Library in The Bronx

Mayor Bill de Blasio, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., and City Council Member Andy King Allocated Funding For Key Repairs and Improvements

OCTOBER 28, 2016 – The New York Public Library’s Wakefield branch in the Bronx is slated to get a much-needed renovation, thanks to over $5 million in capital funding allocated for the project by local elected officials.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., and City Council Member Andy King allocated $5.343 million to rehabilitate the 10,831-square-foot branch, which opened in 1938 and is in need of a number of interior and exterior improvements.

Heastie, Diaz, Jr., and King symbolically presented the Library with a giant check for the funding at an event held this morning at the Wakefield branch, which in Fiscal Year 2016 received 110,362 visits and circulated 62,753 items.

“I am delighted that we could allocate this needed funding to the Wakefield branch for several improvements that will ultimately benefit the thousands of youth, community members and readers each day,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “Libraries are a learning place where anyone can go to pick up a book or use the many resources or services that may not be accessible at home and we want to make sure that it is updated and all the needed renovations are made.”

Read the complete press release.

Borough Leaders Call on Apple to Open in The Bronx

Nearly every Bronx elected official has signed a letter to Tim Cook, Apple CEO, urging the company to consider the borough as a location for a new Apple Store.

In the letter, the elected officials note that Apple Stores are currently opened in four of the five New York City boroughs, and that opening in The Bronx would help the company complete their branding.

“Few brands are as recognized and admired as Apple, and an ‘Apple Bronx’ location would be another signal to the world that The Bronx is open for business,” states the letter. “It is time for The Bronx to get its bite of the Apple!”

The letter also suggests several potential homes for an “Apple Bronx” location, including The Mall at Bay Plaza in Co-op City, as well as highly trafficked retail corridors at The Hub/3rd Avenue, Fordham Road and Kingsbridge/Broadway.

The letter, as well as a separate letter by New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, can be read at http://on.nyc.gov/2dYZpgv.

“We have seen incredible, transformative development in The Bronx since 2009. Numerous companies that may have looked us over in the past are now clamoring to do business here. Tens of thousands of Bronx residents are already Apple customers, so a new Apple Store right here in The Bronx would be a perfect fit for this borough. I am hopeful that Apple will consider our request, as a Bronx location would be mutually beneficial not only to the company, but to the thousands of Bronxites who would take advantage of its services closer to home,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Read the complete press release.

NYCEDC Announces Plan to Transform Former Spofford Juvenile Detention Center Into Vibrant, Live-Work Campus

Project Will Include 740 Units of 100% Affordable Housing and 170K SF of Recreational, Commercial and Light Industrial Space in South Bronx

Bronx, NY - New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) today announced plans to transform the former Spofford Juvenile Detention Center in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx into a 5-acre campus featuring 100% affordable housing, good jobs, and recreational space.

"Years of advocacy by community and civic organizations for the productive reuse of the former Spofford Juvenile Detention Facility in Hunts Point are finally bearing fruit, and our borough is grateful for that. This project will transform a former youth prison into a mixed-use project that will bring Bronx partners together to develop new housing, create new jobs and change a blighted property into a true amenity for the Hunts Point community and the entire borough of The Bronx. I look forward to a continued partnership with the New York City Economic Development Corporation and their development and community partners as we bring The Peninsula to fruition," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Read the complete press release.

Borough President Diaz Hosts Tour de Bronx 2016

Borough President Diaz along with over 7,000 cyclists from across the region and around the world, participated in the 22nd annual event, the largest free cycling event in New York State

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., in conjunction with The Bronx Tourism Council, the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, Clear Channel Outdoor Americas, Montefiore Health System, Bronx-Lebanon Hospital and St. Barnabas Medical Center, hosted the 22nd Annual Tour de Bronx cycling event on Sunday, October 23, 2016.

Established in 1994 by the office of the Bronx Borough President and The Bronx Tourism Council, the Tour de Bronx is a way to promote a healthier lifestyle in the borough while also emphasizing an alternative mode of transportation and a way to tour the burgeoning neighborhoods, scenic waterfronts and greenways that The Bronx has to offer.

This year, over 7,000 riders from across the region and around the world participated in the annual free cycling, choosing from two routes – a 25-mile or 40-mile route – that highlighted attractions and neighborhoods including the Grand Concourse, Mott Haven, Pelham Bay Park, City Island, Orchard Beach, and the New York Botanical Garden.

“This is one of my favorite events of the year,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “The Tour De Bronx not only emphasizes maintaining a healthy lifestyle, excellently complementing our ‘#Not62’ health initiative as far as helping improve the overall health of our borough, but also highlighting our borough’s historical sites, beautiful waterfronts and vibrant neighborhoods, showcasing the best that we have to offer to both our residents and visitors from around the world.”

"It's exciting to see so many avid cyclists coming from all over the borough, the city, the state, the country and beyond to experience The Bronx in this unique way,” said Olga Luz Tirado, executive director, The Bronx Tourism Council. “It's inspiring!”

The Tour de Bronx is made possible by Montefiore Health System, Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center and St. Barnabas Health System. Additional support is provided by The Coca-Cola Company, Domino’s Pizza, Lehman College, and Fordham University.

"We couldn’t be happier to be the principal sponsor of The Tour de Bronx because it represents everything Montefiore is about,” said Steven M. Safyer, M.D. president and CEO, Montefiore Health System. “This event encourages all of us to get outside and exercise on a gorgeous day and experience the beauty and culture of our unique borough. By partnering together, we are actively advancing the health and well-being of the region.”
Clear Channel Outdoor has also stepped in this year, having donated advertising space in iconic Times Square, one of the most heavily-trafficked area in the world, encouraging riders to register for the upcoming Tour de Bronx.

“We are proud to have partnered with the Bronx Tourism Office and the Bronx Borough President, using the captivating and location-based power of our media to drive awareness for the annual Tour de Bronx cycling event,” said Harry Coghlan, president and general manager, Clear Channel Outdoor Americas-New York. “The Bronx is experiencing tremendous growth and an event such as the Tour de Bronx calls attention to this burgeoning area, where many of our own employees live, work and play.”

Statement from Borough President Diaz
RE: Investigation into the death of Deborah Danner

“Following Tuesday’s NYPD shooting and the tragic death of Deborah Danner, I called on New York State Attorney General to investigate the circumstances surrounding this incident, in the interests of fairness and impartiality.

“Attorney General Schneiderman’s review of the statute finds that his office does not have jurisdiction over the incident. Attorney General Schneiderman’s commitment to justice is unquestioned, and I appreciate his swift review of this case. 

“Moving forward, I have the utmost confidence in Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark and her staff to conduct a thorough investigation of this shooting and the circumstances surrounding the death of Ms. Danner.

“On behalf of the people of The Bronx, I once again offer my condolences to Ms. Danner’s family and friends during this difficult time,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

BP Diaz Meets with Israeli Ambassador

On Wednesday, October 19, 2016, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. met with Ambassador Dani Dayan, newly appointed Consul General to Israel in New York City. The two men discussed the many ways their offices have and will continue to work together.

BP Diaz Calls for Investigation into Fatal Police Shooting

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. issued the following statement in reaction to tonight's fatal NYPD shooting of a 66-year-old, mentally disturbed woman in The Bronx:

“Tonight’s shooting of a mentally disturbed, 66-year-old woman in the 43rd Precinct is an outrage, especially given the New York Police Department’s knowledge of this woman’s history and the police officer’s possession of a stun gun.

“While I certainly understand the hard work that our police officers undertake to keep the streets of our city safe every single day, I also know what excessive force looks like. This elderly woman was known to the police department, yet the officer involved in this shooting failed to use discretion to either talk her down from her episode or, barring that, to use his stun gun.

“That is totally unacceptable.

“Tonight’s incident is all too reminiscent of the case of Eleanor Bumpurs and a much darker time for this city and this nation in terms of police/community relations.

“Hasn’t anything changed over the last 32 years?

“I call on Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and District Attorney Darcel Clark to begin an immediate investigation.”

Update on the Zika virus

For more information on the Zika virus, click here. Fight Back NYC!

Para obtener más información sobre el virus Zika: http://www.nyc.gov/health/zika | ¡Protégete, NYC!

Read all of Borough President Diaz's press releases and statements.