Sutton Place Redrawn into Queens Council District under Preliminary Redistricting Map
A preliminary plan for the decennial redrawing of city council districts has been released by the New York City Districting Commission. You can find the proposed drawings of City Council districts, here. There are several changes in city council district boundaries that affect residents of Manhattan Community District 6, the most notable of them being that significant parts of the Sutton Place neighborhood would be in Council District 26 (a district that predominantly would be in Queens).
Public comment on this matter is being accepted via email at PublicTestimony@redistricting.nyc.gov. There will also be public hearings on the proposed maps on August 15, 16, 17, 18, and 22, with more details on the hearings to come (As of the date and time of this newsletter, the Districting Commission had yet to finalize the time and venue for the hearings.)
For more information about the redrawing of city council districts, this 16-page primer explains this process.
To suggest a location for the Districting Commission to conduct public outreach, or to invite the Commission to attend an event and provide a presentation on the redistricting process, please email NYCRedistricting@redistricting.nyc.gov.
At its next meeting, the CB6 Budget & Governmental Affairs Committee will be discussing the work of the Commission as well as its potential impacts on our district. You may register to attend the meeting here.
Mayor Adams Inaugurates Asser Levy Floodgate
(From left to right: CB6 Member Susan Steinberg, CB6 Environment & Parks Committee Chair Kevin O’Keefe, Council Member Keith Powers; Waterside Plaza Tenants Association President Janet Handal, Council Member Carlina Rivera, CB6 Chair Kyle Athayde)
On Monday, July 18th, CB6 joined Mayor Eric Adams, our local elected officials, community members, and agency representatives to formally celebrate the reopening of the Asser Levy Playground and the completion of the first part of the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project. A crucial part of the project involved installing a 79-foot-long, 45-ton sliding steel floodgate in the playground that can be opened and closed so as to connect with the VA Hospital’s floodwall during emergency flooding conditions. And while we’re not thrilled that floodwalls and floodgates are now a fact of life for our district in this time of unmistakable climate change, we’re glad the project is proceeding on schedule. You can read more about this event here.
Updates on East Midtown Greenway Work
Left Photo: Parapet walls and preparation for closure pours to provide a continuous edge. Right Photo: Formwork for waterside 54th St. bridge ramp. Both photos are courtesy of the NYC Economic Development Corporation.
Work continues on the East Midtown Greenway. Here is the latest update from the NYC Economic Development Corporation (EDC) on the East Midtown Greenway:
Work to date:
- All caissons, pile caps, and tub girders south of 60th Street are complete.
- The waterside 54th St. bridge ramp formwork is complete and the pedestrian bridge deck has been poured.
- Demolition of the existing platform at Andrew Haswell Green is complete and caisson installation is ongoing.
- ‘Topside’ work is ongoing with the walkway and bike path levels established.
- Electrical and plumbing work is partially complete.
- After Hours Variances are in place for work due to tides from 4 am – 11 pm, M-F.
- Occasional work will take place on Saturdays and Sundays.
- The waterside 54th St. bridge ramp will be poured; FDR closures may be required.
- The pedestrian bridge fencing and railing will be installed; FDR closures may be required.
- Modifications and repairs to the heliport structure will continue.
- ‘Topside’ finishes will be installed, such as paving and planting.
To get a behind the scenes look at the project and meet some of the project’s team, watch this brief video here!
CB6 Pushes for More Public Restrooms
Some things are necessities, and one of those things is access to a public restroom. Such a necessity is a sanitation, transportation, public health, and even human rights issue. However, New York is one of the worst large cities in the United States in restrooms per capita–an issue that affects a densely-trafficked area like Manhattan Community District 6 more than many other parts of New York.
At the end of June, the New York City Council held a hearing on legislation identifying at least one location in each New York City zip code suitable for installing a public bathroom. The hearing is a good first step towards addressing the restroom shortage, yet it’s by no means the last step needed. CB6 wants the legislation passed by the City Council and signed into law by the mayor, as we called for in a resolution last June. But that’s not enough–once the legislation is signed into law, the City Council needs to ensure that there are adequate funds to renovate, maintain, and operate significantly more restrooms than what we currently have–something we have asked for as one of our top budget requests for the City to address in our district the last couple of years.
Summer Streets is Back!
Summer Streets is back this month, and part of it (Park Avenue between 34th and 40th Streets) runs through Community District 6! People can enjoy the opportunity to bike, run, and play on a car-free Park Avenue.
There are six rest stops along the Summer Streets route. At rest stops, you can enjoy free public art installations, performances and activities hosted by the NYC Department of Transportation. While we’re glad to see that Summer Streets has been expanded this year (it now extends further north to East Harlem), CB6 will continue to advocate for further expansion within our district.
Click here for more information about Summer Streets 2022.
Come say hello to CB6, as we will have tables at both National Night Out locations!
The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) and New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) announced that applications are open for the fourth round of grants as part of the NYC Women’s Fund for Media, Music and Theatre.
Qualified applicants can apply for finishing grants through November 1, 2022 at www.nyfa.org/nycwomensfund.
You Can Get a Virtual Appointment to Obtain Replacement Social Security Cards!
Social Security now offers virtual appointments for Manhattan residents to conveniently obtain a replacement Social Security card without having to leave their home!
The virtual appointment is similar to their fully online service, however, the fully online service is limited to adults 18 and up. This new virtual option expands our offering to those 12 and up with a valid state Driver’s License or state-issued identification card. This option may also be utilized for those 18 and up who are unable to create a My Social Security account. To take advantage of this new, convenient service, applicants must meet the following criteria in order to be eligible:
- Be a U.S. Citizen;
- Be age 12 or older;
- Be requesting a no change replacement card on their own behalf;
- Have a computer, tablet, or mobile phone with a working camera capable of interacting with MS Teams;
- Have a driver’s license or state-issued identification card from one of the participating states or the District of Columbia (to see if your state participates, go to www.ssa.gov/ssnumber); and
- Have a U.S. Mailing address (includes military APO and FPO addresses).
The applicant must meet all of the above criteria to qualify for a virtual appointment. If so, they may call the Manhattan Social Security Card Center at (866) 657-3406, Monday-Friday, 9AM-4PM to schedule a virtual appointment.
Update on Use of the Marcel Hotel on East 24th Street
The NYC Department of Social Services/Department of Homeless Services (DSS/DHS) has begun utilizing The Marcel Hotel at 201 East 24th Street to provide shelter to families with children in need of temporary housing, as the agency has seen a recent increase in families with children seeking services. The mayor has attributed this increase to a sharp increase in asylum seekers, with thousands entering New York City’s shelter system. The onsite provider for the site is Acacia Network. If you have any questions or concerns, you can reach out to the operator directly at email@example.com or 917-692-7983. Please also CC firstname.lastname@example.org if you write to the operator.
New York City’s Free Summer Meals Program
Breakfasts and lunches are available beyond the instructional school year. The Summer Meals Program is available throughout New York City to anyone ages 18 years old and under. Designated public schools, community pool centers, parks, and food trucks will be open for service. No registration, documentation, or ID is necessary to receive a free breakfast or lunch meal. This service will continue until Friday, September 2nd.
There are currently two participating sites for this program in Manhattan Community District 6: The American Sign Language and English Secondary School at 223 East 23rd Street, and the Asser Levy Pool at 392 Asser Levy Place at East 23rd Street.
Visit the NYC Department of Education’s website for more information on the program.
Cooling Centers: A Way to Beat the Heat!
During the summer, especially when temperatures get dangerously high as they did during the recent heat wave, we all need a place to keep cool.
People in New York City who lack a place to keep cool in the summer heat can go to a cooling center, which is an air-conditioned facility that provides people with relief from the heat. You should use a cooling center during a heat wave if you have no access to a cool environment, and particularly if you are at risk for heat-related illness. There are even cooling centers that welcome pets, if you have a pet!
Learn more about cooling centers, as well as how to keep safe in the summer heat, here. A tip from the NYC Emergency Management agency: Since cooling centers can sometimes go offline unexpectedly, call 311 right before heading to the cooling center just to double check that it is open.
Redistricting and Primary Elections
As you may know, the redistricting process in New York State has resulted in some shifting–shifting of who is represented by which member of Congress, the State Senate, and the State Assembly, as well as shifting of primary election dates.
Here is what all voters should know about upcoming primary elections:
- There are two primary elections this summer. The first one happened in June, and the second one will take place on Tuesday, August 23rd. The August 23rd election will be for the redrawn Congressional and New York State Senate Districts.
- To vote in the August primary, you must update your address (if you’ve moved) by August 3rd.
- Early voting for the August primary will take place between Saturday, August 13th and Sunday, August 21st.
- If you need to submit an absentee ballot for the upcoming primary, please visit the NYC Board of Elections website for more information. You must request an absentee ballot online by August 8th, or in person by the day before the election (August 22nd).
- To view your polling place for primary day, as well as see who will be on your ballot, please visit the NYC Board of Elections “understanding the ballot page,” through which you an find all this information by typing in your home address.
For a full list of relevant dates for the primary election this month and the general election in November, please visit https://www.nycvotes.org/how-to-vote/elections-calendar/.
Information on Rent Increase Exemptions for Seniors and People with Disabilities
If you are at least 62 years old or are someone with a disability, you may be eligible for a program that exempts you from rent increases.
Qualifying seniors who are eligible for Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) may have their rent frozen at their current level and be exempt from future rent increases. To be eligible for SCRIE, you must, at the time of the rent increase:
- Be the head of the household;
- Have an annual household income of $50,000 or less;
- Have rent or carrying charges greater than one-third of the household’s total monthly income
- Be at least 62 years of age.
- Be at least 18 years old;
- Be named on the lease or the rent order or have been granted succession rights in a rent controlled, rent stabilized, rent regulated hotel apartment or an apartment located in a building where the mortgage was federally insured under Section 213 of the National Housing Act, owned by a Mitchell-Lama development, Limited Dividend housing company, Redevelopment Company or Housing Development Fund Corporation (HDFC) incorporated under New York State’s Private Housing Finance Law;
- Have a combined household income that is $50,000 or less;
- Spend more than one-third of your monthly household income on rent; and
- You must have been awarded one of the following:
- Federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI);
- Federal Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI);
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs disability pension or compensation; or
- Disability-related Medicaid if the applicant has received either SSI or SSDI in the past.
You can use an eligibility tool to see if you are eligible for a rent freeze program.
For more details on SCRIE or DRIE, visit the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s website page on the program.
- New York City Emergency Management Department’s Nuclear Preparedness Public Service Announcement: On July 11th, the New York City Emergency Management Department launched a new public service announcement (PSA) about nuclear preparedness. While the likelihood of a nuclear weapon incident occurring in/near New York City is very low, the new PSA encourages New Yorkers to take key, simple steps in the event of such an incident. You can view the public service announcement here.
- Be prepared for hurricane season: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting another above-normal Atlantic hurricane season. Be prepared and click here to find your hurricane evacuation zone. Make a plan using Rainfall Ready NYC.
- NYC Ferry News: As of Saturday, July 16th, the NYC Ferry Summer Schedule has been in effect. To view scheduling information for all NYC Ferry routes, as well as other information on ferry service, visit the NYC Ferry website. Additionally, a one-way, single-ride fare will increase to $4.00 next month, up from $2.75. However, there are ways for frequent riders, seniors, low-income residents, and people with disabilities to obtain a discount on the fare.
- News on an Illegal Airbnb in Community District 6: The Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement recently announced that they are taking a legal action on 344 East 51st Street, which allegedly has used the entire building for illegal Airbnbs. You can find a press release on the matter here. If you suspect an illegal Airbnb, reach out to our office at (212) 319-3750, email@example.com, or our Get Help form, and we will be in touch with the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement.
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Information on the Infant Formula Shortage
During this time of infant formula shortage, New York City wants you to be informed on how to navigate through this challenge.
The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has a flier outlining what New Yorkers should and should not do, as well as some resources you can turn to if you can’t afford formula.
The City of New York declared a state of emergency related to the shortage of infant formula. This state of emergency puts into immediate effect the City’s price gouging rule, which makes price gouging illegal for any product essential to health, safety, or welfare during a declared state of emergency in the City of New York. If you suspect that a business is overcharging for infant formula, you can file a 311 complaint online here.
Core Four COVID-19 Prevention Strategies:
- Stay home if sick, tested positive for COVID-19, recently traveled, or if you’ve been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
- Wear a face covering when outside your home (whether indoors or outdoors). Note that this includes public transit, and that there is still a mask mandate on buses and subways in New York City.
- Keep six feet of distance from people who are not members of your household.
- Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer regularly.
All New Yorkers 6 months and older are eligible. Both the Moderna and the Pfizer vaccines have been authorized by the federal government for those between 6 months old and 4 years old.
Booster shots are now recommended for anyone who is 5 and older. Read more about the difference between getting a third dose and getting a booster shot here, and read more about booster shot eligibility on the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene website.
Also note that a second booster shot is now available for:
- All people who are 50 and older.
- People who are 12 to 49 who are moderately or severely immunocompromised.
- People who are 18 to 49 and received a primary and booster dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Visit the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene’s website on vaccinations to get more information on the vaccines, including on the latest information for vaccinating kids between 6 months and 4 years old.
Click on the image below to find out where you can get a vaccine appointment.
Getting a COVID Test in Community District 6
New York City has a searchable map through which you can see where you can get a COVID test. Note that some of the testing sites on this map may charge for testing. You can view the map here.
If you want a free COVID test, NYC Health + Hospitals offers free testing at hospitals, health centers, and pop-up locations across the five boroughs, including at Bellevue Hospital, which is in Community District 6. Note that some testing sites have rapid tests. No appointment is necessary! Find all NYC Health + Hospitals testing sites here.
Additionally, those who are 65 and older or are immunocompromised can schedule a free at-home COVID test. You can find more information about the program here.
How to Get Your Free COVID Test Kits from the Federal Government
As you may have heard, the Biden Administration is working with the United States Postal Service (USPS) to deliver four free at-home COVID test kits to every household (two test kits with two tests in each kit).
To order the test kits for your family, go to covidtests.gov and click “Order Free At-Home Tests.” When you click that link, you will be taken to the USPS website where you can enter your shipping information before clicking on “check out now.” Expect 7-12 business days between when you place the order and when the tests arrive for your household.