Posted by Charles Fisher and Randy Fisher (Twitter @HHSYC)

New York City Council Member
Donovan Richards
District 31

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Weekly Update

As we prepare for the celebration of Black History Month, it is my hope to not only celebrate the many accomplished heroes that have transformed society as we know it, but also to encourage a new generation of engineers, scientists, and environmentalist who will address the critical conditions that we face today and shape the environment that will benefit others tomorrow. Feel free to friend me on Facebook and let me know how we’re doing.

Going Green!

This week I chaired my first scheduled Environmental Protection Committee hearing. I am honored to be the first elected official from South East Queens to serve as Chairman of this committee. I will lead New York City’s fight against numerous issues that have been plaguing our community, such as flooding and noise pollution. Lets change this city together!

First Order of Business

The first order of business as the chairman of  the Environmental Protection Committee was to overturn former Mayor Bloomberg’s veto of Intro 867-A, a Local Law that would create within the Department of Environmental Protection a voluntary master environmental hazard mediation technician registration program. To be eligible to register under the program, an applicant must demonstrate the completion of training related to the remediation of various environmental hazards through a training provider approved by DEP. The bill would impose a 1,000 dollar minimum fine per violation on any person who holds himself or herself out as a mater environmental hazard remediation technician, but who has not registered with DEP as such. The bill would also authorize a collection of registration and renewal fees for DEP’s Commissioner to revoke a registration for negligence, incompetence or legal violations and for DEP working in conjunction with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene by rule to update and audit the courses required for registration in response to developments in the field.  For those supposed mediation workers who duped families affected by Hurricane Sandy this law is for you!

Bringing Build It Back to the Community

On Thursday, February 6th at P.S. 42 (488 Beach 66th St Arverne, NY 11692) Build it Back will be hosting a community update workshop at 7pm. If anyone has any questions or concerns regarding the build it back process, this is an event that you need to attend. There will be an informational presentation on the Build it Back process, followed by one-on-one sessions were individual concerns will be addressed. Please share this info with anyone who needs it!

Swearing in Rosedale Civic Leaders

On Tuesday, January 28th, I was invited by the Rosedale Civic Association to swear in the new board. It is always an honor to work with people who dedicate their time and energy to improving the community. It’s also great to see the families of the new board support the work that their loved ones continue to do in our neighborhoods. With strong community support, I believe that Rosedale Civic Association will continue its long legacy of advocacy on behalf of the people and I look forward to working with them in the years to come.

FEMA Funding for Local Schools Finally Coming

FEMA finally began announcing Federal grants for local schools damaged by Hurricane Sandy. The first award provides $2,976,721.69 in Federal funding to the City of New York School Construction Authority (SCA) for emergency protective measures. The Bay School (Q105) will be reimbursed for emergency work that is now 91% complete. This is great news, as we need all of our schools operating at 100% for our future leaders.

Is Your Nonprofit in Need of Major Capital Improvements?

2015’s Fiscal Year Non-City Capital application form is now available on the Council’s website. You can access it here: http://council.nyc.gov/html/budget/fy_15application.shtml. A Non-City Capital application is required from all registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations wishing to receive City capital funds. The non-profit organization itself must meet an extensive set of eligibility criteria along with the project for which the group is requesting funding. All of the requirements are laid out in the non-city application. All the eligibility criteria must be met in order for the project to be deemed eligible. The Office of Management and Budget’s bond counsel reviews each application in great detail and are the final determiners of eligibility. The FY 15 Expense application will become available on-line in the next few days so please check regularly.

Reconstruction of Streets in the Springfield Gardens Residential Gardens

With so many new infrastructure projects coming to our district, my office will occasionally send out updates, to help keep everyone informed. Residents in these areas should expect some inconveniences as construction is underway. On 147th Avenue, West of Springfield Lane, construction is ongoing for a roadway excavation, pouring of concrete support slabs, and installation of new box storm sewer.

On Springfield Lane, from 147th Avenue to Springfield Boulevard, major construction has started. Construction is underway for trench excavation, installation of steel trench boxes to support the walls of the excavation, temporary coverings, driving of timber piles, installation of new storm sewer, backfilling of trenches, and temporary restoration of the roadway.

Laurelton Library Needs High School Tutors

BOOST (Best Out of School Time) is an after-school program that operates in local community libraries within the Queens Library system. BOOST is looking for High School Tutors who are at least 16 years old, in good academic standing with a minimum GPA of 85 and available to work from 3:00pm to 6:00pm (15 hours per week) from Monday through Friday. Interested candidates should forward a resume via email or postal mail to Alexander Ranglall at 89-11 Merrick Blvd Jamaica, NY 11432 and put “Attn: BOOST High School Teen Tutor – Job Announcement” as the subject.

Sandy Case Management

Everyone impacted by Hurricane Sandy needs to have an experienced Disaster Case Manager helping them through the recovery process. If anyone is still in need, there are a few options available. The New York State Disaster Case Management Sandy Referral Line phone number is 855-258-0483. The Red Cross Case Management Line is 877-733-2767. Khadijah Oluwo is a disaster case manager in our Far Rockaway office who can be reached at 718-327-7755. Neighborhood Housing Services of Jamaica can be reached at (718) 291-7400. The Housing Rights Project is a service run by Queens Legal Services that advocates for Sandy victims dealing with housing issues, they can be reached at (347) 592-2218.

Mattresses for Sandy Victims

If there is anyone who was impacted by Hurricane Sandy that is also in need of a new mattress, please reach out to our office. Khadijah Oluwo is a Case Manager in our Far Rockaway Office (718-471-7014 / 1526 Central Avenue Far Rockaway NY, 11691) who will be able to help you get a new mattress. Please, only people who can prove they were hit by Hurricane Sandy, as quantity is limited.

Free Child Care Business Training Available

I have funded a program run by the Business Outreach Center that offers free trainings to anyone interested in creating or expanding a child care business. Those who complete the child care training program will receive certificates in business management, nutrition, and early childhood development. Registration is open and continues through Thursday, January 16th. Space is limited, so register soon. The program  will meet on Monday and Thursday evenings from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The training classes will be held at Blanche Day Care, located at 44-02 Beach Channel Drive. For further information, contact Annette Cohen at 646-229-0322.

Community Emergency Response Team Trainings

The New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM) runs the NYC CERT program.  The Rockaways has a CERT team that is eager to grow its ranks and train all interested community members. CERT is aiming to recruit 30-40 Rockaways residents to attend a 10-week, 30-hour training by FDNY, NYPD and OEM to learn the basics of disaster preparedness and response, disaster medical operations, traffic flow management and terrorism awareness, and other important topics. The classes will run from mid-February through April. They will be held on weeknights from 6:30 to 9:30 in the Rockaways. There will also be classes in other boroughs, which Rockaway residents are welcome to attend if they are more convenient.

Interested applicants should fill out the application here and send it to cert@oem.nyc.gov or mail it to the CERT program, NYC OEM, 165 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, NY, 11201 by Friday, January 10, 2014. If you have any problems, you can contact CERT here.

Tutoring Jobs Are Available

The After School Corporation is still looking to hire literacy tutors for three middle schools in Far Rockaway. Candidates must have a Bachelor’s Degree and a strong desire to help students to fall in love with reading. More information on this job opportunity can be found here: http://reserveinc.org/reserve-tutoring.

Careers at the Rockaway YMCA

The Rockaway YMCA is now hiring for the following positions: Swim Lessons Instructors, Lifeguards, Art Instructor, Ballet Instructor, Child Watch Aide, Tae Kwon Instructor, Sports Instructors, Gym Monitor, Personal Fitness Coaches, Group Exercise Instructors, Floor Trainers, Member Service Representatives, and Porters. Apply here.

Heating & Electricity Help Available in Both the Laurelton & Rockaway Offices

The Laurelton office has Heartshare Human Services of New York applications for any constituents who need assistance with their heating bill. Feel free to stop by the office (234-26 Merrick Blvd Laurelton, NY 11422) to fill out so that it may be sent out to Heartshare.

HEAP is a federally funded program that assists low-income New Yorkers with the cost of heating their homes. There will be a HEAP representative in our Rockaway office (1526 Central Avenue Far Rockaway NY, 11691) on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  HEAP also offers an emergency benefit for households in a heat or heat related energy emergency. Feel free to stop by if you need assistance.

Sincerely,
Donovan Richards, NYC Councilman, 31st District

For more information on the works of Council Member Richards hit us up at RandyKFisher@gmail.com.

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