Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I wish all those who observe an easy fast on this day of atonement.
This week, on Monday I rallied with healthcare defender Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney against the harmful Graham-Cassidy bill and on Tuesday I joined Mayor de Blasio for a town hall to hear questions and concerns from my constituents. It is always good to hear from you about what we can do to improve our neighborhood.
This weekend is the 92nd Street Y Lexington Avenue Fair. Please visit our table between 79th and 80th Streets. On Monday, October 2 is the 19th Precinct Community Council, 153 East 67th Street. Mark your calendar for the next Shred-a-thon at the 92nd Street Greenmarket on First Avenue.
Stay in touch with my office about any issues that are important to you. As always, we are just a visit, call or email away.
IN OUR COMMUNITY
Seawright Joins Federal, State, and City Leaders, Patient Advocates, NYC Hospital Associations to Rally Against Harmful Graham-Cassidy Healthcare Bill
On Monday, September 25, Assembly Member Rebecca A. Seawright joined Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez, NYC Council Health Committee Chair Corey Johnson, and Patient Advocate Peter Morley gathered on the steps of City Hall to condemn the latest Senate Republican Healthcare plan, commonly known as Graham-Cassidy. Along with State Senator Liz Krueger; Assembly Member Richard Gottfried; City Council Member Jumaane Williams; Dr. Sonia Angell, Deputy Commissioner of NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; Judith Cutchin, RN, of the New York State Nurses Association; John Jurenko, VP of NYC Health + Hospitals; and Mark Hannay, Director of Metro New York Health Care for All.
Under this latest bill, insurers could once again discriminate against Americans with pre-existing conditions; 32 million Americans will lose their insurance; out of pocket costs would skyrocket with premiums going up 20 percent; and older Americans would face a crushing age tax. Graham-Cassidy is particularly devastating for New York, robbing the state of $45 billion in healthcare funding and ripping away insurance from more than 2 million New Yorkers.
The Senate did not vote on this bill on Tuesday Morning. This is the fourth failed attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
“The proposed Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill is reckless and irresponsible, said Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright. “It would terminate billions of dollars in healthcare funding in New York State alone and raise overall costs, decimating our health care system and jeopardizing vital state programs. It has long been one of the top priorities to relieve counties of their share of Medicaid costs, and in recent years, the state has taken over both the annual growth in Medicaid spending and the program’s administrative costs. Those changes have brought some relief to our local governments, and we cannot afford to move lose any funding. This is why I stand with Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and other elected officials in opposition to the Graham-Cassidy bill.”
Meeting With Leader in Healthcare Dean Augustine Choi
Assembly Member Seawright met with Dr. Augustine M.K. Choi. He is the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medicine and Provost for medical affairs of Cornell University. Prior to his appointment as Dean in January 2017, he served as the Sanford I. Weill Chairman and Professor of Medicine in the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Department of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine and as physician-in-chief of NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. They discussed the future of healthcare in our state and country, the need for continued STEM research and our communities on Roosvelt Island and the Upper East Side. Just a few weeks ago, Cornell Tech opened on Roosevelt Island, attracting hundreds of students across the country who will be the brightest innovators and leaders in the field of technology.
Mayor de Blasio Answers Questions at Local Town Hall
On Tuesday, September 26, Assembly Member Seawright attended a town hall with Mayor de Blasio at the High School of Art and Design. She addressed the crowd and heard constituents concerns in the neighborhood.
Final Design of Project to Fill East Side Greenway Gap to Commence Next Week
$100 million initiative comes as part of administration-wide push to complete a contiguous 32-mile waterfront pedestrian promenade and bikeway around Manhattan
NEW YORK—As part of City Hall in your Borough week in Manhattan, Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced that the formal design process for a new section of the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway between East 61st Street and East 53rd Street will officially kick off next week. The Mayor was joined by local officials to tour a portion of the existing Greenway and discussing plans for its expansion. Construction of the new segment will commence in 2019, with completion expected in 2022.
“The Manhattan Greenway stands out as open space that connects communities to one another and also to New York’s expansive and beautiful waterfront. Closing this gap will vastly improve quality of life for New Yorkers, and for East Siders who’ve advocated for decades to get this done,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“I applaud Mayor Bill de Blasio for his leadership on this crucial investment in our East Side waterfront. With this funding, our neighbors will be able to enjoy a new section of the East River Esplanade, a true gem of our community. I am proud to have allocated $500,000 for the renovation of the portion of the esplanade in my district on the Upper East Side. I will continue to work with community leaders, neighbors and elected officials towards an esplanade that we can all be proud of, because parks and open green spaces are not a luxury, but a necessity,” said Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright.
East 81st Street Pedestrian Bridge
Join Community Board 8 Transportation Committee on Wednesday, October 4 at the Blood Center at 6:30pm for an update. Bring your questions!
A recent photo of the East 81st Street Pedestrian Bridge work taken by Assembly Member Seawright.
Assembly Member Seawright checks out the East 81st Street Pedestrian Bridge site with community activist Jeff Gold.
Seawright Joins Marymount Manhattan College President Kerry Walk for Lefkowitz Lecture Series
On Wednesday, September 13, Andrea Jung, President and CEO of Grameen America, delivered the 2017 Lefkowitz Lecture at Marymount Manhattan College in the Theresa Lang Theatre. Ms. Jung’s lecture, “Investing in Women to Lift Our Communities,” reinforced her commitment to support women through her own work as well as in her position as an influential woman in business. She shared stories of her journey of working her way up in the business world and how now as CEO of Grameen America, she focuses on helping women in poverty and improving communities by empowering women and encouraging them to gain knowledge in finance and business. Ms. Jung spoke passionately on topics such as women working while having a family, struggles young women face while getting started in their careers, and diversity in business. The lecture concluded with a question and answer portion, where Ms. Jung answered questions from students, offered more valuable advice, and confidently expressed how she is certain that this generation will be the one to “flip the switch” and be “tomorrow’sfuture.”
Seawright Cosponsors Bills to Protect Consumers in Wake of Equifax Data Breach
Assemblymembers Jeffrey Dinowitz and David Buchwald, State Senator David Carlucci, and colleagues announce new protections from identity theft and extra fees any time sensitive information is stolen from a credit reporting agency.
New York, NY– Albany lawmakers are taking a stand for consumers who have been impacted by the unprecedented Equifax data breach by introducing new legislation that will establish requirements for credit reporting agencies (CRAs) to protect consumers in the instance of a data breach. Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-Bronx), Assemblyman David Buchwald (D-Westchester), and State Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland) gathered on the steps of New York City Hall to discuss their two bills that have now officially been introduced.
One bill, sponsored by State Senator Carlucci and Assemblyman Dinowitz, would require that a CRA provide free lifetime identity theft protection monitoring and mitigation services for the lifetime of their consumer credit report after any data breach that involves social security numbers. Furthermore, the bill would also prohibit fees to freeze and unfreeze a consumer credit report that has been impacted by the breach for the lifetime of that report.
Assemblyman Buchwald’s bill (A.8672, sponsored in the Senate by State Senator Rich Funke (R,C,I-Fairport) requires the credit reporting agency experiencing a data breach to ensure that consumers do not face any costs for freezing and unfreezing credit reports, at all credit bureaus, for a period of five years. The legislation thereby strengthens consumer protections by ensuring that individuals do not bear the cost of the many security freeze transactions, across all CRAs, that they are likely to undertake in the wake of the Equifax data breach.
Credit reporting agencies, which have already been under recent public scrutiny about inaccurate file keeping and the difficulty consumers have had to correct these files, hold significant influence over the financial abilities of Americans to borrow money. While Equifax has agreed to waive fees for security freezes for a short time period and offered 12 months of identity theft protection services at no charge, this is insufficient and does not fully rectify the damage that has been done in this data breach. There has been no indication that Experian or TransUnion (the other two main CRAs) is planning to waive their fees for a credit freeze with their specific agency, despite that money lenders rely on a combination of all three CRAs to assess the viability of a consumer’s credit reliability.
“After massive Equifax breach, I stand with my colleagues to support enhanced consumer protections against breaches of Credit Reporting Agencies. Personal information of millions of people was put in jeopardy, and we as lawmakers have the duty to safeguard people’s privacy, identity and other personal information. As the Chair of the Subcommittee on Consumer Fraud Protection, I am committed to further investigating ways we can improve how we prevent, identify and handle consumer fraud cases,” said Assembly Member Seawright (D-Manhattan).
Seawright Supports Puerto Rico Recovery Efforts
Today, September 29, Assembly Member Seawright signed onto a letter by City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito to President Trump demanding that the Federal Government do more to address the growing humanitarian crisis facing Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. While there’s certainly a FEMA and Department of Defense (DOD) presence in Puerto Rico and the USVI, it’s become increasingly clear that resources aren’t reaching those in need quickly enough.
“I am supportive of City Council Speaker’s efforts to bring urgent relief to Puerto Rico by urging Trump and his Administration to do everything humanly possible to reach every corner of these areas with food and supplies. We stand united in our demand to extend the Jones Act suspension period and allow food and supplies to reach Puerto Rico,” said Seawright.
If you live in New York City, here is a list of 18 locations across the five boroughs where goods can be donated. The specific goods they are asking for: diapers, baby food, batteries, first aid supplies, and feminine products.
Governor Cuomo has established the Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort for Puerto Rico. The effort brings together a wide range of civic, business and industry partners to provide needed services, goods and funds to help the people of Puerto Rico recover and rebuild, and provides opportunities for New Yorkers to contribute to the relief efforts.
US Department of State
Email: MariaEmergencyUSC@state.gov and provide as much information as possible (at a minimum, please provide the full name, gender, and last known location of the U.S. citizen)
Website: Visit Task Force Alert and select “2017 Storm Maria”
If you are entering information about a U.S. citizen in Dutch St. Maarten, Anguilla, Saba, or St. Eustatius use “Netherlands” as the Last Known Country.
If you are entering information about a U.S. citizen in French St. Martin, Montserrat, St. Barthélemy, or St. Kitts and Nevis, Guadeloupe, Dominica, Martinique, St. Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, or the British Virgin Islands use “Barbados” as the Last Known Country.
If you are entering information about a U.S. citizen in Turks and Caicos, use “The Bahamas” as the Last Known Country.
If you have difficulty using Task Force Alert, please email MariaEmergencyUSC@state.gov and provide as much information as possible about your loved one.
American Red Cross-The American Red Cross Safe and Well website is a free public reunification tool that allows individuals and organizations to register and post messages to indicate that they are safe, or to search for loved ones. Registrations can also be completed by texting SAFE to 78876. Messages exist in both Spanish and English.
To speak with someone at the American Red Cross concerning a missing friend or relative, please contact 1-800 RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
U.S. Citizens Needing Assistance in Caribbean Islands
If you are in the affected area and need immediate emergency assistance, please contact local authorities:
· BES Islands (Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba): 911
· Dominica: 911
· Saint Vincent: 911 or 999
· The Grenadines: 911 or 999
· British Virgin Islands: 999
· Saint Maarten (Dutch side): 911, monitor updates from local emergency management officials on St. Maarten Government Radio, Frequency107.9 MHz.
· Saint Martin and St. Barthelemy: The French Ministry of Interior has set up a public line emergency line: Tel: 01 82 71 03 37
· The Bahamas: 919 or 911
View the latest information from U.S. Embassies and Consulates in the region:
Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean:
See the latest Security and Emergency Messages
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: (246) 227-4000
See the latest Security and Emergency Messages
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(599)(9) 510-6870
Emergency After-Hours Telephone +(242)357-7004
The Dominican Republic:
Earthquake in Mexico
You may also call 011-52-55-5080-2000.
Contact information for the U.S. Consulates General in Mexico can be found on the U.S. Embassy Mexico City website.
Should your office receive offers of international assistance please direct the party to the State Department's Crisis Management Support Office -CrisisManagement@state.gov.
Community Board 8 Member Lynn Shinozaki and RIRA Member Joyce Short visit Seawright at the district office.
The MTA has issued a weekend service advisory for the F train, which may affect travel plans. The Tram will run on a rush hour schedule from 7:00 AM until 10:00 PM to accommodate any increase in traffic. Please plan your travel accordingly and visit mta.info/weekender or call 511 for more information.
EVENTS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Notice from the NYC Department of Finance:
IMPORTANT UPDATE FOR DRIE RECIPIENTS
Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE) recipients whose benefits have been expired for at least six months might be entitled to have their benefits restored, if they have remained eligible to participate in the program.
We have mailed applications to eligible households and authorized third-party tenant representatives. Eligible DRIE recipients should submit a renewal application and all required supporting documentation by January 19, 2018. The application is also available online or at any of the Department of Finance’s fiveBusiness Centers.
Next 19th Precinct Community Council Meeting
Monday, October 2 at 7 pm!
Maggi Peyton Art Gallery
In October, the office of the Manhattan Borough President’s Maggi Peyton Art Gallery will exhibit works from artists over 60 as part of a juried show.
The opening reception for the show, “Better with Age,” will be held October 10, 2017 from 6 to 8 pm at 1 Centre St. 19th Floor.
(The show currently on display—until August 31-- is the Art Students’ League annual exhibition, this year titled “City Views.”)
Sunday, October 15, 2017
1pm-3pm (registration 11am-1pm)
Carl Schurz Park, 86th Street and East End Avenue
(Rain date October 22)
York Avenue Sewer Reconstruction
91st Street Waste Transfer Station Project
For the E91st Street Marine Transfer Station project, there will be work no work this weekend.
From Monday, 10/2 through Friday, 10/6, there will be After Hours work starting from 6:00 AM.
East 81st Street Pedestrian Bridge Project
MEMORIAL SLOAN KETTERING CANCER CENTER & CUNY/HUNTER COLLEGE
Necessary construction activity will take place at the site on Saturday, September 30th and Sunday, October 1st, 7:00 am - 6:00 pm.
Please call the project's Construction Information Line at 212-639-4444 with any questions or comments.
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