I hope you and your loved ones are doing well. I wanted to share some updates from our office and District 49.
I hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable Father’s Day and Juneteenth weekend celebration. Please stay healthy and well this Fourth of July weekend as we celebrate our nation’s birthday!
Thank you to everyone who joined us on June 25th for our first Community Day in Clove Lakes Park! It was wonderful to see so many community members join us for a beautiful day on the North Shore. I hope that everyone enjoyed the activities and many helpful resources from local businesses, City agencies, and community organizations!
I wanted to share two major budget and legislative updates from our office. As you may know, earlier this month the New York City Council passed a $101 billion budget. This budget provides a clear path toward prioritizing our City’s safety, economic recovery, and a true investment in all New Yorkers, including investments in our young people, our communities, and key City programs.
I am proud to say that through a bipartisan effort with my colleagues Council Members Selvena Brooks-Powers and Joe Borelli, we helped secure a much-needed property tax rebate for many homeowners on Staten Island and throughout the City. Property taxes have long been a serious issue on Staten Island and citywide, and I am glad that we can deliver some relief for those who need it.
I would also like to thank Speaker Adrienne Adams for the inclusion of the new Community Safety and Victim Services Initiative, which allocates an additional $100,000 to each Council district for district-specific public safety programs, something that I advocated for as Chair of the Committee on Public Safety.
This budget includes some incredible wins for our district, Staten Island, and the City of New York, which include additional funding for Sanitation services, Cost-of-Living-Adjustments for Human Service Providers, funding for the Summer Rising program and the expansion of the Summer Youth Employment Program, funding for cultural organizations and Parks (including ones in District 49!), and $7 million to the Richmond University Medical Center (RUMC) for the expansion of their NICU/PICU.
The negotiated budget is a convergence of my priorities and the priorities of the entire City Council, and I hope that it will make a meaningful difference for the prosperity of our City and for the lives of its residents. I thank my colleagues and Speaker Adams for their collaboration and leadership throughout this process.
I am also proud to announce that I am a sponsor and co-sponsor on three bills introduced in the Council: Intro 528, a piece of public safety legislation, which will require reporting on the trafficking of illegal firearms into our City; Intro 535, in relation to increasing transparency and accountability in the real property tax assessment process, which affects so many homeowners on Staten Island and citywide; and Intro 536, which will create a much-needed Office of the Waterfront.
I am extremely excited about all of these updates that are sure to improve the North Shore’s, Staten Island’s, and our entire City’s safety and quality of life.
Lastly, I would like to mention that our office is still working within a hybrid office structure, and we may not always be available in-person. We are always available via phone and email. Currently, our District Office phone line (718-556-7370) is experiencing signal delays, but we ask that constituents trying to get in touch via phone please wait on the line while it is ringing to give our team an opportunity to connect with you. We are handling this issue and will have it resolved as soon as possible. In the meantime, you can also email your concerns to [email protected].
Banner Image: Councilmember Hanks at Clove Lakes Park event. Image Credit – Councilmember Kamillah Hanks