Good Morning, Brooklyn: Tuesday, April 19, 2022
COORDINATING CITY AGENCIES TO SERVE THE NEEDY: A new initiative spanning across all city agencies to deliver municipal services directly to New Yorkers in underserved communities was launched on Friday, between the NYC departments of Small Business Services (SBS), Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP), and the New York City Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit (PEU). The services incorporate financial empowerment resources, benefits screenings, tenant support, health insurance education, among others, through a mobile unit parked in front of Coffee Uplifts People (CUP), a local coffee shop.
Entrepreneur Angela Yee, host of ‘The Breakfast Club’ on iHeart Media’s Power 105.1 FM, opened CUP during the COVID-19 pandemic and partnered with SBS on the outreach event to spread the word about services and resources offered by the agency.
LANDLORDS ON ERAP: NO RENT RAISES ALLOWED: Landlords cannot raise rents if they accepted or plan to accept funding from the state’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), which was recently expanded in the state’s budget. State Attorney General Letitia James who, in a letter on Monday, reminded landlords who accept payments from the program that they are prohibited from raising rents for a year after they receive the funds, said she is prepared to take action to protect tenants if landlords fail to abide by ERAP’s rules.
ERAP, which began accepting applications last June, is a rent relief program that provides support to low- and moderate-income tenants across the state who could not pay rent during the pandemic.
ENHANCEMENTS TO EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT: New York City Mayor Eric Adams on Saturday, April 16 joined elected officials and community leaders to celebrate the enhancement of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) in the state budget, and announced that more than 800,000 families will benefit from the enhancement. The EITC enhancement was part of a campaign pledge from the administration to bolster the social safety net and expand services for working families in New York City.
The state and city match to EITC had not previously been increased in almost 20 years. Under the city’s expansion of the EITC, a single parent with one child with an income of $14,750 will see their benefit increase from $181 to $905 — a 400 percent increase. A married couple with two children and an income of $25,000 will receive a 200 percent increase.
$1 MILLION IN FUNDING FOR ONE BROOKLYN HEALTH: U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-8th District/Crown Heights) announced over the weekend that he secured $1,000,000 in funding for One Brooklyn Health System and $875,000 for Brooklyn Communities Collaborative through the government funding law. The $1,000,000 Rep. Jeffries secured will support the purchase of medical equipment for its Brookdale and Interfaith hospitals to provide diagnosis and treatment of health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes that disproportionately affect residents of Central Brooklyn.
One Brooklyn Health hospitals operate in a federally designated Health Professional Shortage Area and serve patients regardless of their ability to pay. Most of their patients are on government insurance or are uninsured, and at least 83% of patients are people of color.
NEW YORK STATE’S CREDIT RATINGS UPGRADED: New York State has seen an upgrade of various credit ratings from Moody’s Investors Service, Governor Kathy Hochul announced on Monday. The ratings upgrade includes the state’s issuer rating and ratings on general obligation, personal income tax revenue and sales tax revenue bonds, to Aa1 from Aa2.
Moody’s justified by upgrade by citing New York State’s “agile financial management that has resulted in balanced or nearly [balanced] budgets projected through the state’s five-year financial plan.”
IN WAKE OF SUBWAY ATTACK, BILLBOARDS EXPRESS HOPE: In response to the Brooklyn subway shooting, artist Charlie Hewitt shares a message of hope to NYC straphangers through his “Hopeful” billboards. A public digital art project, “Hopeful” was already installed at six Bronx subway locations, with two more being added at the Sunset Park subway stations in honor of the victims and the community: one at the 36th Street Station, where the event took place, and the other at the 45th Street station entrance.
The billboards, with just one word “Hopeful” – in radiant red, yellow, green, and purple colors, will be lit, and remain at the stations for the next month.
TOP OF LIST: THE ENERGY CONSERVATION LEADERS: Brooklyn resident Rory M. Christian, chairman and CEO of the State Public Service Commission, tops the list of City & State’s 2022 Energy & Environment Power 100 which, according to the publication, “highlights the key players in New York who are reshaping the energy industry – and rescuing our environment.” As New York’s top utility regulator, Mr. Christian has worked on developing offshore wind, has facilitated the installation of electric vehicle ports, while addressing energy costs, including the scaling back of National Grid’s proposed rate increases.
He has also worked in the government sector as the NYC Housing Authority’s director of energy finance and sustainability.
BROOKLYNITE NAMED TO NEW ROLE IN ADVOCACY: Brooklyn resident Leigh Reid as its director of development and communications of New Settlement, a nonprofit organization that aims to break systemic barriers, advance justice, promote leadership and strengthen neighborhoods in the Bronx. her new role, Ms. Reid will take the lead on developing and implementing fundraising strategies, including establishing an individual giving program, overseeing special events, and providing corporate, government and foundation support.
Reid served as senior director of development and communications at Extreme Kids & Crew, a nonprofit dedicated to creating inclusive play spaces and community programs for children with disabilities and their families. Two years ago, she spearheaded a highly-acclaimed — and now annual event — panel discussion at Extreme Kids & Crew focused on the experience of being Black and disabled.
BLESSING EASTER BASKETS: The Most Reverend Robert Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn, joined the Polish community of Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church in Maspeth for the annual blessing of their Easter food baskets on the Saturday before Easter. Joining him was Auxiliary Bishop Witold Mroziewski. More than 300 attended the Holy Saturday prayer service. Two children from the parish presented Bishop Brennan with an Easter food basket in appreciation of his visit.
“This blessing of the Easter baskets, and of all the foods, is so beautiful because it connects the family and the Church. It’s beautiful to see so many of you gathered as families, to see different generations of people here, coming together to the Church to ask for God’s blessing,” said Bishop Robert Brennan.
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