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Tue. May 21st, 2024
NYC Junior Ambassadors
NYC Junior Ambassadors

Dear community leaders,

Assalamu’alaikum,

 

As the year draws to a close, I want to personally wish each of you, your families, and your circle of friends a blessed and happy new 2016!

I know that our community members, our youth, and community leaders have been feeling besieged these past few weeks, and I am proud of how you are persevering and growing stronger.  I also know that all of us feel very grateful that we are living in a City with such diverse neighbors, and with a progressive Mayor who has been vocal in his support of Muslims.  I know you will feel even more encouraged when you read the Mayor’s remarks made recently at Jamaica Muslim Center.

There have been things that have dragged us down, and yet, we have so much to celebrate, as New Yorkers and as Muslims. Working in partnership with government over the last two years, I believe we are all are shaping NYC into a more humane and compassionate City.  A responsive and visionary leader, Mayor Bill de Blasio, has done some great things in 2015. As you read on, keep in mind the human faces of NYC, that each number and each fact represents individuals and family who have been and are being helped.

 

Education:

More than 68,500 families secured pre-k seats this fall – up from 19,000 before the Mayor took over. Every elementary and high school student will now get a computer science education, there will be more AP courses and this year the Mayor laid out an aggressive plan to get kids reading on-level by 2nd grade.

In New York City, the largest school district in the nation, Eid al-Adha, Eid al-Fitr, and Lunar New Year became official school holidays. Muslim families, for the first time in NYC history, did not need to choose between celebrating and sending their kids to school on Eid ul Adha this year.  In addition, DOE has developed, with community leaders’ input, a teacher’s guide for Eid to educate students about the significance of this holiday.

 

Housing:

This year Mayor de Blasio took the bold step of committing to build 15,000 units of supportive housing. New strategies have moved more than 22,000 people from shelters to permanent housing and the Mayor has used homeless prevention programs to help more than 91,000 New Yorkers. The Mayor’s HOME-STAT initiative, launched this year, is the most comprehensive homeless outreach program in the nation.

NYC has now preserved or created more than 30,000 units of affordable housing – more than at any time in the last 25 years. And 2015 saw unprecedented investments in NYCHA and the City’s first-ever rent freeze for rent-regulated apartments.

 

Economic Well Being:

New York City created more than 89,000 private-sector jobs in 2015, and our unemployment rate stands at 4.8% – the lowest it has been in since 2007. The budget was balanced, financial reserves were boosted, and for the first time ever, city employees have a paid parental leave policy.

IDNYC, the country’s most ambitious municipal identification program, shattered enrollment expectations with more than 670,000 IDs issued. Tens of thousands of New Yorkers are out from the shadows and on a path toward financial security.

 

Public Safety:

New York City is once again the safest large city in America. Crime is down for the second year under the Mayor’s watch and we experienced the city’s safest summer in 20 years. At the same time, the NYPD continues to dramatically reduce stop-and-frisk and we launched critical reform efforts to improve the bail system, reduce criminal case delays and cut the jail population.

Muslim New Yorkers are receiving more support from the NYPD Hate Crimes Unit and the City Commission on Human Rights.  I will be continuing to take your concerns to NYPD, CCHR, DOHMH, and DOE school safety divisions, to strengthen what the City is providing.

Infrastructure & Environment:

The Mayor’s Vision Zero traffic safety initiative helped drive down traffic fatalities another 12% – to their lowest level since 1910, and he worked in bipartisan fashion to help secure $500 million in additional funding for New York’s transportation infrastructure. The Mayor announced significant investments in coastal protection for Lower Manhattan, in expanded Staten Island Ferry and Citi Bike service, and in redesigns of 50 major streets and intersections. DOT fixed more than 447,000 potholes and re-paved more miles of road than at any point since 1991.

Significant progress was made on emission reduction, energy saving, and solar initiatives.

 

Health & Mental Health:

The Mayor helped secure permanent funding for our 9/11 heroes  and improved access to care for 100,000 residents in underserved neighborhoods. The Mayor and First Lady’sThriveNYC initiative earned local and national acclaim as an unrivaled municipal roadmap to improving mental health care.

 

As we take stock of all these amazing strides, know that your voice counts.  People like you, who are informed, active, and engaged in the life of this City are crucial to keep our collective moving forward.  I look forward to staying in touch with you over the coming year, and please do not hesitate to reach out to me.  With your input and participation, insha Allah, we can do so much more, together.  Happy New Year!

 

 

 

Sarah Sayeed, Ph.D.

Senior Advisor

NYC Office of the Mayor, Community Affairs Unit

Tel: 212-676-4939 (o)

Tel: 929-270-6542 (m)

Follow us on Twitter: @MayorsCAU

 

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