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Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

COUNCIL PASSES LEGISLATION TO SUPPORT THOUSANDS OF UNPAID CAREGIVERS THROUGHOUT CITY

On Aug. 16, the New York City Council passed Intro 1081-A, sponsored by Council Member Chin, that would initially require the city Department for the Aging (DFTA) to develop and conduct a survey of unpaid caregivers and service providers to assess existing unpaid caregiver services and to identify the needs of unpaid caregivers.
“With the strong support of Speaker Mark-Viverito and Finance Chair Ferreras-Copeland, I am proud of the gains we have secured in this year’s budget, which go a long way towards achieving our goal of permanently ending waitlists for vital case management and homecare services,” said Council Member Chin, chair of the Council’s Committee on Aging. “Though we still have more work to do to restore aging funding back to pre-recessionary levels, I am gladdened by this budget’s investment in the health and safety of our growing senior population, and look forward to continuing the fight on behalf of elder New Yorkers who are struggling to survive and thrive in the City they helped build.”According to the DFTA, approximately 1.3 million individuals in New York City serve as unpaid caregivers for family, friends, or other loved ones, although this number is likely much higher. These caregivers include those providing care to individuals 60 and older, care to individuals with Alzheimer’s or other dementias, grandparents caring for grandchildren, and care to adults with disabilities. Despite the essential services unpaid caregivers provide, many struggle to balance the demands of providing care with their own needs.

This bill would require DFTA to deliver to the Mayor and Speaker a comprehensive plan, incorporating the findings of the survey, with recommendations to address the needs of New York City’s unpaid caregivers by August 30, 2017. In the development of the plan, DFTA would be required to consult with the Human Resources Administration, the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and other agencies, as well as unpaid caregivers, academic experts in caregiver issues, service providers, and advocates for senior citizens and individuals with disabilities.

Intro. 1081-A was part of a package of legislation to support the city’s caregivers passed during the Council’s Stated Meeting on Aug. 16. First proposed in the Speaker’s 2016 State of the City address, this legislation will connect both workers in the caregiver industry and unpaid family and friend caregivers with the support they need to provide the best care for our seniors, children living with grandparents, and adults with disabilities.

PHOTO CAPTION [Credit: Paul Leonard]: Council Member Chin, at right, at a press conference before a vote to pass legislation to support unpaid caregivers at the Council’s Stated Meeting on Aug. 16. 

COUNCIL MEMBER CHIN ATTENDS UNVEILING OF SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS AT BUSY SOHO INTERSECTION

Corner of Kenmare and Lafayette in Manhattan was subject of neighborhood safety concerns highlighted in a video by a 9-year-old student at nearby P.S. 130

On Aug. 3, Council Member Chin joined Commissioner Polly Trottenberg at the corner of Kenmare and Lafayette streets in SoHo to announce several new safety improvements to better protect pedestrian and cyclists from left-turning vehicles. 

The corner was the subject of a “Dear Polly Trottenberg” video made this spring by 9-year old Lucas Maxwell, a 4th grader at PS 130 in Soho, who had urged the Commissioner to take corrective action at what he dubbed the “Corner of Death” (link to video here).

“Lucas’ efforts to alert us to the dangers at this intersection is an example of how every New Yorker, regardless of age, can contribute to creating a safer City,” said Council Member Chin. “I thank Lucas for his creativity and persistence in advocating for these safety improvements, and Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Trottenberg for responding so quickly to protect pedestrians and bicyclists at this busy intersection in my Council district.”

Lucas Maxwell’s video, “Urgent! – Imminent Death!” was produced by his older brother Zachary.  In the video, Lucas had only requested additional signage (“SLOW- Pedestrian Crossing”), but DOT’s evaluation of the intersection instead led to more dramatic improvements, including:

  • Provision of a 12-second Leading Pedestrian Interval for those crossing Lafayette Street, increasing the time pedestrians have in the crosswalk without turning vehicles.  
  • For the vehicular westbound left turn from Kenmare Street to Lafayette Street, replacement of a green light with a flashing-yellow left turn arrow to increase driver caution and slow speeds in the turn.
  • Refurbished lane markings and crosswalks, as well as new parking regulations to clarify vehicle movements at the intersection
  • Installation of a “Quick Kurb” on the Kenmare Ave. center line to keep turning vehicles in lane, inhibit faster speeds, and eliminate “short cuts.”

In addition to the pilot project to reduce left-turn collisions, Mayor de Blasio in January announced several other new Vision Zero initiatives for 2016, including an increased $115 million investment in street redesign and traffic-calming measures on key thoroughfares citywide,  the expansion of the bicycle network, targeted NYPD enforcement, increased use of speed-enforcement cameras as well as more intensive safety education in collaboration with the Department of Education in elementary and middle schools.  

PHOTO CAPTION [Credit: Paul Leonard]: Council Member Chin at the Aug. 3 unveiling of safety improvements at the corner of Kenmare and Lafayette streets with Commissioner Trottenberg (second from right), State Sen. Daniel Squadron, and 9-year-old Lucas Maxwell. 

LONGTIME LEADER OF GREEK JEWISH COMMUNITY HONORED WITH CO-NAMING OF LOWER EAST SIDE STREET ‘HY GENEE WAY’

On Aug. 3, Council Member Margaret S. Chin (D-Lower Manhattan) attended a ceremony to enact a street co-naming proposal to honor the dearly departed Hyman “Hy” Genee, a longtime president of the Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue in the Lower East Side and a leader of the Greek Jewish community in the Western Hemisphere.  
 
“Hy Genee exemplified the spirit of the Lower East Side: diverse, vibrant, and filled with the vitality that can only come from so many ethnicities and religions coexisting side by side in one neighborhood,” said Council Member Chin, who joined Mayor Bill de Blasio on Aug. 3 as he signed the proposal honoring Hy Genee into law. “As a leader of the Greek Jewish community for over 50 years, Hy single-handedly preserved Kehila Kedosha Janina, ensuring that this synagogue and museum remained an integral part of the Lower East Side for decades to come. I thank Mayor de Blasio, my City Council colleagues and the Greek Jewish community for helping recognize the joy and pride Hy took in his neighbors, his place of worship, and his City.”
 
“On behalf of the congregation of Kehila Kedosha Janina and the entire Greek Jewish community, we are deeply grateful and honored that this block of Broome Street will now be known as ‘Hy Genee Way.’ Hy led our community for 50 years and kept our unique Greek Jewish Romaniote traditions alive. Today we stand on Hy’s shoulders and work to carry on his legacy. Thank you so much to Councilmember Margaret Chin for all of her help in making this dream a reality,” said Marvin Marcus, President of Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue.
 
“This street co-naming is a surreal event. Never in anyone’s dreams, including our father, would we have imagined that a street would be co-named for him,” said Genee’s daughter, Lois Genee Ledner, who joined her brother, Marty Genee, at yesterday’s ceremony. “The son of immigrants from Greece, a tailor by trade and a rabbi in his heart and soul whose love for his synagogue, Romaniote liturgy and traditions and the Lower East Side have led to this day. My brother and I look forward to the day when we can discuss his legacy with his great-grandchildren and show them ‘Hy Genee Way.’”
 
Genee was born in 1922 on Orchard Street, and spent all his life devoted to his family, his work as a tailor, and as president of spiritual leader of the Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue – the only Greek Jewish Romaniote synagogue in the Western Hemisphere. For more than 50 years, he served as the synagogue’s president. Genee passed away in 2006 at age 83. 
 
A ceremony formally designating Broome Street between Allen and Eldridge streets ‘Hy Genee Way’ will take place later this year.
 
PHOTO CAPTION [Credit: Andrew Marcus]: The late Hyman “Hy” Genee’s daughter, Lois Genee Ledner, reads a statement at a ceremony to co-name a part of Broome Street in honor of her father as her brother, Marty Genee, Council Member Margaret Chin and Mayor de Blasio look on.   
COUNCIL MEMBER CHIN ANNOUNCES RELOCATION OF CITI BIKE STATION FROM CONGESTED STREET IN CHINATOWN

Bike-share docking area created trip hazard for pedestrians; increased congestion on narrow, busy street

On Aug. 9,Council Member Margaret S. Chin (D-Lower Manhattan) announced the successful result of a months-long push to relocate a Citi Bike docking station from a congested street to a more suitable location for pedestrians and cyclists. 

Council Member Chin joined neighborhood activists, members of Community Board 2, and the Chinatown Partnership to push for the change in response to concerns from residents and business owners. The effort began with outreach to the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) and Motivate, the operator of Citi Bike. 
The station, formerly located on the southeast side of Elizabeth Street between Hester and Canal streets, has been moved to Grand Street – located two blocks away along a wider thoroughfare with a dedicated bike lane.  
“Moving this Citi Bike station is a ‘win-win’ for pedestrians and cyclists in our community,” said Council Member Chin. “With this move, pedestrians – especially elderly residents – can navigate a busy and congested Elizabeth Street without worrying about a trip and fall. And cyclists will enjoy a more convenient docking station along an existing bike lane on a major thoroughfare through my Council District. I thank Commissioner Trottenberg, NYCDOT staff, and Citi Bike for making a change that I believe will have a positive impact on pedestrians and cyclists.”
The new docking station has been placed in Grand Street’s existing floating parking lane, which is governed by street cleaning regulations. Regular parking regulations have been restored on Elizabeth Street at the former Citi Bike location. 
PHOTO CAPTION [Top; Photo credit: Cora Fung]: The new, expanded and relocated Citi Bike docking station on Grand Street between Elizabeth and Mott streets.
PHOTO CAPTION [Bottom; Photo credit: Wellington Chen]: The bike share station formerly on Elizabeth Street between Hester and Canal streets.

COUNCIL MEMBER CHIN EXPRESSES SUPPORT FOR CITY-WIDE WASTE COLLECTION PROPOSAL

Proposed overhaul of private sanitation industry shows promise in reducing truck traffic and greenhouse gas emission

Last week, the de Blasio Administration released a study outlining the potential benefits of a zoning system for private waste collection, and announced its intention to develop an implementation plan for reform of the private sanitation industry over the next two years.

Currently, approximately 100 private carters pick up trash from commercial businesses, with no rational process to assign routes and little oversight of labor standards. A commercial waste collection zone system would divide the city into several geographic zones and assign private carters to serve businesses within each zone through a competitive bidding process, based on which companies can offer the best price to small businesses and meet the City’s high standards for recycling, sustainability, and labor practices.

“Truck traffic continues to be a major issue in our City that negatively impacts the health, safety and quality of life of too many New Yorkers – particularly those living in low income neighborhoods that bear a disproportionate share of our waste transfer burden,” said Council Member Chin. “This comprehensive plan shows great promise in significantly reducing local truck traffic, as well as the resulting emissions of greenhouse gases driving global climate change. I thank Mayor de Blasio, the Department of Sanitation, and Chair Reynoso for their thoughtful efforts to tackle this complex issue.”

Among the most encouraging findings of the study was that establishing commercial waste collection zones could reduce truck traffic associated with commercial waste collection by 49 to 68 percent and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 42 to 64 percent.

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