BREWER HELPS SAVE SENIOR CENTER AND FUND OTHER LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS


Gale Brewer and seniors at Club 76 celebrated with breakfast. Photo via Brewer’s office.

The seniors at Club 76, a center on 76th street run by the Jewish Association Serving the Aging (JASA), know how to push the right political buttons.

After the city attempted to cut off their funding, they held a political forum, reached out to Councilwoman Gale Brewer’s office, and eventually won the $412,000 they need to keep the center open for at least another year.

Club 76 (at left) is the only senior center between the Lower East Side and Washington Heights that serves Kosher breakfasts and lunch, according to Brewer. The city had told us that the center lost a competitive bidding process and the seniors could have attended other centers nearby.

Below, check out Brewer’s rundown of the city budget and the local organizations that got funding.

Despite the difficult fiscal situation, Brewer and Council save child care and after-school slots, restore funding to libraries and cultural institutions.

After several months of negotiations, the City Council has just approved New York City’s $70 billion budget. This release highlights important funding decisions and restorations made by the Council, with a focus on local West Side programs.

SCHOOLS:

As always, District 6 schools were one of Council Member Brewer’s top priorities in this year’s budget, and she was able to secure funding for many exciting projects. The Council Member was able to provide capital funds for many school projects, which are listed below.

The Council allocated an enhanced $4.585 million for the Teacher’s Choice Initiative, which reimburses teachers for the cost of purchasing school supplies out-of-pocket; and funded other important education initiatives including $3 million for The After-School Corporation (including the LACASA program at PS84, sponsored by Strycker’s Bay Neighborhood Council); $2.25 million for full-day Universal Pre-Kindergarten; $1 million for the Drop-Out Prevention Initiative; $1 million for the Sports and Arts in Schools Foundation; $800,000 for the New York Junior Tennis League; and $275,000 for MOUSE, an innovative IT program.

Another important school funding restoration was the $2.5 million provided to the Urban Advantage Science Education program. This program, administered by the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), provides a unique, innovative Middle School science curriculum to schools and cultural institutions in all five boroughs. Students participating in the program prepare for careers in STEM fields, one of our nation’s top educational goals.

The Council also funds the Cultural After-School Adventure (CASA) program, which allows each Council Member to provide $20,000 for innovative partnerships between cultural institutions and schools at 5 locations. In the past, Brewer has funded partnerships between Studio in a School and PS75; AMNH and PS166; Wingspan Arts and PS 191; the New-York Historical Society and PS84; and the Children’s Museum of Manhattan and the Mickey Mantle School. In District 6, Brewer also provided discretionary funds for after-school programs at Goddard Riverside Community Center; Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center; the Computer School; PS75; and other education programs:

– CFY (formerly Computers for Youth)

– CUNY Creative Arts Team

– PFLAG

– Funding for PS87 and PS 199 for Landmark West! programs

– Studio in a School

– Wellness in the Schools

– Chess-in-the-Schools

– Fresh Youth Initiatives

– Learning Leaders

– Reading Reform Foundation

– YWCA

THE CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK (CUNY):

The West Side is fortunate to be home to two CUNY institutions, John Jay College and the Macaulay Honors College. The Council provides funding for several important initiatives at CUNY, including $2.5 million for the Black Male Initiative (BMI); $200,000 for the Creative Arts Team; $470,000 for the Center for Puerto Rican Studies; $470,000 for the Dominican Studies Institute; $100,000 for the Murphy Institute Center for Worker Education; and more. There are two BMI programs at John Jay College, and many more across all CUNY campuses.

YOUTH AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT:

The Mayor’s Executive Budget sought over $100 million in devastating cuts to child care and after-school programs. The Council restored over $57 million for discretionary child care slots, and $5 million for child care vouchers. Without these subsidized child care slots, thousands of working parents would be forced to make a terrible choice between working and taking care of their young children. These slots allow working parents to keep their jobs, and boost our economy by allowing parents to work instead of going on public assistance.

The Council also restored over $51 million for the Out-of-School Time Initiative, which represents approximately 30,000 after-school slots, including those at PS 191 that are provided by Roads to Success, and at DeHostos Community Center, provided by Stryckers Bay Neighborhood Council.

In another vitally important restoration, the Council allocated $7.1 million for the Runaway and Homeless Youth program that provides shelter beds, street outreach, and support services for the estimated 3,800 young people who are sleeping on our streets. Other restorations include $2.5 million for Adult Literacy services; over $2 million for food pantry programs such as Advent Lutheran Church, B’Nai Jeshurun, and Stephen Wise Free Synagogue; $2 million for the Teen RAPP program; $50,000 for the YMCA Teens Take the City program; and $335,000 to expand EBT availability at food markets across the city.

In her District, Council Member Brewer funded youth programs like the Poet-Linc program at Lincoln Center, now in its second year of providing a poetry slam series to develop writing and public speaking skills in underserved youths; Big Apple Circus; Positive Influence, which runs a popular basketball league for young people at Amsterdam Houses and Amsterdam Addition; the Young People’s Chorus; Wingspan Arts; and The Broadway League- which last year took families to Annie, Cinderella, and Kinky Boots. In addition, Brewer also provided Expense Funding to the following organizations:

– Bella Abzug Leadership Institute

– Children’s Museum of Manhattan

– Cool Culture

– Citywide Youth Opera

– Literacy, Inc. (LINC)

– New York City Ballet

– Vivian Beaumont Theater (Lincoln Center Theater)

– Border Crossers

– Common Cents

– DOME Project

– Kaufman Music Center

– Frog and Peach Theatre

– Kids Creative

– New-York Historical Society

– New York City ACT-SO

– New York City Center

– Shadow Box Theatre

– MOUSE

HEALTH, SAFETY, AND LEGAL SERVICES:

It is a top concern for the Council Member that health, safety and legal services are protected, and the Council was able to restore funding to several essential programs. The Council provided $5.3 million to HIV/AIDS Services Administration for vital health services and for offsite locations, and restored $44 million to prevent the closure of any fire companies. Additionally, the Council allocated $4.3 million for the Immigrant Opportunities Initiative and $800,000 to the CUNY Citizenship Now! program. Other important initiatives and organizations receiving funding include:

– Sexual Assault Initiative (including the St.Luke’s-Roosevelt Crime Victims Treatment Center)

– The DoVE Initiative, which will now provide funding for a domestic violence program in the 6th District

– Immigrant Battered Women’s Initiative

– Health Initiatives such as the Cancer Initiative, Asthma Control Program, NYU Dental Van, and the Obesity Intervention Program

– Legal Initiatives like Citywide Civil Legal Services and Legal Services for the Working Poor

– Mental health programs like the Autism Initiative (including at the JCC of Manhattan), Children Under 5 Initiative, Geriatric Mental Health (including at SPOP), Mental Health Contracts, Suicide Prevention, and Young Adult Initiative

– Alternatives to Incarceration, which provides rehabilitation services for low-level offenders, rather than traditional jail time

– Capital Funding for Nontraditional Employment for Women

PARKS:

Funding our parks is always a priority on the West Side. According to the New York Times, Brewer is among the top four Council Members allocating Capital Funds for parks. Overall, the Council restored $1 million for 30 additional Playground Associates; over $1 million to keep all City pools open for a full season; and $2 million in additional funding for tree stump removal services. She was also able to fund parks projects at Bennerson Playground; St. Gregory’s Park; Broadway Malls; and the dog run at Theodore Roosevelt Park.

In addition, Brewer provided Expense Funding to the following organizations:

– Broadway Mall Maintenance Fund

– West 87 Street Park and Garden

– West Side Community Garden

CULTURAL AFFAIRS:

The Council and Administration, recognizing that our cultural institutions are among New York’s greatest educational, artistic, and economic development assets, restored almost $40 million to the Cultural Institutions Group (CIG); which includes the AMNH, Carnegie Hall, David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center, New York City Center, and NYC Ballet, all on the West Side. The City also supports smaller cultural institutions, and we provided the Cultural Development Fund with $14 million for grants to cultural organizations through a peer-reviewed, merit-based application process, and $700,000 for the Coalition of Theaters of Color.

Brewer allocated Expense Funding for other District 6 cultural organizations, including Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts for their Meet the Artist Saturdays; the American Folk Art Museum; The Carnegie Hall Corporation to provide free concerts; Folksbiene Yiddish Theatre; Forum on Law, Culture & Society; Afro-Latin Jazz Alliance; Jazz at Lincoln Center; the Lyric Chamber Music Society of New York; New York Classical Theater; New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players; New York Women in Film and Television; openhousenewyork (OHNY); OPERA America; Women’s Project Theater; Alvin Ailey; Lotus Music & Dance; Museum of Arts and Design; Riverside Symphony; Symphony Space; and Arts in Action.

Brewer was also able to secure Capital Funding for Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Ballet Hispanico, AMNH, New York City Ballet, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the New-York Historical Society, Symphony Space, the School of American Ballet, CUNY TV, the Metropolitan Opera, Vivian Beaumont Theater, Downtown Community Television Center, Carnegie Hall, and THIRTEEN.

LIBRARIES:

Yet again, the Council was put in the difficult position of restoring over $100 million in proposed cuts to the three city library systems. Council Member Brewer have been a staunch advocate for libraries during her term in office, and she is very pleased that, by reaching an agreement with the Administration, the Council was able to provide approximately $40 million for the New York Public Library branches; $7.5 million for research libraries; $30 million to the Brooklyn Public Library; and $30 million for the Queens Borough system. Brewer extends a special thank you to the thousands of West Siders who sent letters and emails to her office advocating for libraries. We certainly heard you at the Council, and our restorations maintain funding at the current level of service. On the capital side, Brewer was also able to allocate $35,000 for audiovisual upgrades at the NYPL Library for the Performing Arts; and the NYPL received over $11 million in Capital Funding.

SENIORS:

The Council restored $5.5 million for case management services provided by the Department for the Aging to reduce case management ratios; $3 million for Senior Centers (including $412,000 to keep JASA Club 76 open); $800,000 for Elder Abuse programs; $1 million for Information & Referral Contracts; $900,000 for Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC) support services; $400,000 for Social Adult Day Care; and $1 million for the CityMeals on Wheels program. Other senior programs receiving funding include Older Adults Technology Services (OATS), which provides technology training and services to seniors.

On the West Side, the Council Member allocated Capital Funding for the Service Program for Older People (SPOP), and Expense Funding to the National Council of Jewish Women (Council Lifetime Learning); New York Foundation for Senior Citizens; Stratford Arms Meal Program; West Side Inter-Agency Council for the Aging (WSIACA); DOROT; Find Aid for the Aged (Project FIND); Goddard Riverside Community Center; the Jewish Association for Services for the Aged (JASA) JPAC program, Club 76 and St. Martin’s NORC; Aging in Place/NY Academy of Medicine; Lincoln Housing Outreach; Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center; Metropolitan New York Coordinating Council on Jewish Poverty; One Stop Senior Services; Pan Asian Repertory Theatre; Selfhelp Community Services; Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE); Vocal Ease, which performs in senior centers; Medicare Rights Center; SPOP; and Concerts in Motion, to provide concerts for homebound elderly.

HOUSING:

The Council provides funding for a number of important housing initiatives, including the Housing Preservation Initiative, which funds monthly housing clinics with free attorneys from Goddard Riverside Community Center SRO Law Project, Urban Justice, and Stroock & Stroock & Lavan. Other housing groups that Brewer allocated funding for include:

– Community Assisted Tenant Controlled Housing (CATCH), to work with residents of 165 W. 80 St.

– Housing Conservation Coordinators

– New York State Tenants and Neighbors Information Service

– Funding for family days and tenant associations in all 11 NYCHA developments in the District

– Stryckers Bay Neighborhood Council

– Capital funding for Broadway Housing Communities

2014 CAPITAL PROJECTS FUNDED BY COUNCIL MEMBER BREWER:

– Acoustic Sound Rooms/Pods at M859 (Special Music High School)

– Technology Upgrade at HS 479M (Beacon)

– Lobby and Fitness Room at HS 541M (Hunter Science)

– Technology Upgrade at HS 485M (LaGuardia)

– Bathroom Renovation at PS 452M

– Green Roof/Rooftop Garden at PS 84M (Lilian Weber)

– Gymnasium /Athletic Facility at HS 544M (Independence)

– Technology Upgrade at MS 245M (Computer School)

– Security Cameras at MS 247M (Dual Language)

– Security Cameras at PS 334M (Anderson)

– Technology Upgrade at MS 250M (West Side Collaborative)

– Technology Upgrade at PS 166M (Richard Rodgers)

– Auditorium Upgrade at PS 191M (Museum Magnet)

– Science Center at PS 199M (Jesse Isador Straus)

– Technology Upgrade at MS 256M (Academic and Athletic Excellence)

– Auditorium Upgrade at PS 9M / MS 243

– Auditorium Upgrade at PS 87M (William T. Sherman)

– Technology Upgrade at Service Program for Older People

– Layered Access Security at NYCHA– 589 Amsterdam WSURA

– Layered Access Security at NYCHA– Harborview Terrace

– Layered Access Security at NYCHA– WSUR A (120 W 94 St)

– Layered Access Security at NYCHA– WSUR B (74 W 94 St)

– Playground Renovation at Bennerson Playground, Amsterdam Houses/Addition NYCHA

– Park Reconstruction at St. Gregory’s Park

– Dog Run Renovation at Theodore Roosevelt Park

– Renovations of the Broadway Malls

– Audio Visual Equipment at NYPL– Library for Performing Arts

– Atrium Audio Equipment at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

– Renovation of the Carriage House at Ballet Hispanico

– Renovations at Symphony Space

Other programs receiving Expense Funding:

– Big Apple Greeter

– The Bridge

– Citizen Schools

– Committee for Environmentally Sound Development

– Department of Transportation for free bike helmet giveaways

– GrowNYC

– Jewish Community Center in Manhattan

– Lincoln Square BID

– Momentum Project

– NonProfit Help Desk

– Outstanding Renewal Enterprises (Lower East Side Ecology Center)

– ParentJobNet

– Police Liaison Group

– West Side Campaign Against Hunger (West Side Center for Community Life)

– Wild Bird Fund

For more information on the FY14 Expense Budget, see: http://council.nyc.gov/downloads/pdf/budget/2014/skedc.pdf

For more information on the FY Capital Budget, see: http://council.nyc.gov/downloads/pdf/budget/2014/626budget/fy14adoptcapreso.pdf

NEWS | 1 comment | permalink
    1. Liz says:

      Wow!! What can I say. Gale Brewer is really phenomenal. I’m sorry we will not have her as our City Council representative after this year.

      I would love to see her run for mayor. However, she will make a great Borough President. She is a exception to the average office holder. She has boundless energy, really follows through when she gives her word. She really remembers people and actually cares about all of the people of the UWS.