Council Member Domenic M. Recchia Jr. and Assemblyman Matthew Titone will host a free insurance fair at the JCC of Staten Island on Saturday, December 14th. Held from 11:00am-2:00pm, the insurance fair will bring representatives from a number of non-profits, government agencies, private insurance companies and more to inform New Yorkers about their existing insurance plans and ways to prepare for the future.
To RSVP, please call (718) 442-9932 or email email@example.com
On Anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, Recchia calls for renewed efforts to provide relief and ensure recovery
On the first anniversary since Superstorm Sandy caused major damage to New York City and neighboring regions, Council Member Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. announced a five-point call for further action to aid in recovery efforts. Recent reports indicate areas where focus is still required in the recovery process, including a funding shortfall and an impending rise in flood insurance rates that will have a devastating economic impact on areas still focused on recovery.
“We have come a long way over the past year,” said Recchia, who represents hard-hit Coney Island. “We would not be here today without the hard work of federal, state, and city officials, businesses, non-profits and most of all New Yorkers, who came together to get our city back on its feet. That said, there is still more work to be done.”
Recchia outlined his call for ongoing action:
Speed up distribution of federal aid
Of the $47.9 billion in federal relief dollars allocated to storm recovery, only $5.2 billion has been distributed by State and City governments. And, after a year, federal money has been spent on exactly one project in New York City. Projects must be expedited and prioritized based on need. Families and businesses should not be forced to wait around any longer for the funds they so desperately require.
Mitigate flood insurance hikes
The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 must be delayed. In New York City alone, 68,000 structures are located in flood zones, a number that will rise substantially when FEMA releases new flood maps in 2015. Now is not the time to impose prohibitively high insurance rates on those in the greatest need of relief. Individuals who have yet to receive any federal funding are being told they will have to spend even more money to rebuild their homes lest they face outrageous insurance premiums, an impossible situation that could force many to abandon their homes.
Increase transparency for recovery programs
Develop a single, continuously updated database of all Sandy relief fund distribution, accessible by governmental officials and invested organizations. Many Sandy victims are being left in the dark as to why they have still not received federal assistance. With this single point of information, citizens and officials will be given more insight into how the recovery is developing.
Settle the claims
There has been an estimated total of 1.5 million Sandy insurance claims, largely related to damaged property. A recent study from the Property Casualty Insurance Association of America says that 90% of them have been settled. While this is an admirable accomplishment, it still leaves tens of thousands of victims without desperately needed pay-outs. Insurance companies must expedite all Sandy-related claims.
Invest in resiliency
Medium- to long-term high-impact resiliency projects, like the installation of a tidal barrier along Coney Island creek currently proposed by City Hall’s Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency, must commence immediately. Funding the Special Initiative’s $4.5 billion gap will be essential to withstanding future storms.
“By keeping our eyes focused on the prize, we’ll be able to stand here a year from now and, instead of lamenting the long road ahead, celebrate our accomplishments and focus on preparing the city for what’s next,” added Recchia. “We need to close the book on recovery and start investing in the future.”
Coney Island Children's Halloween Parade
Coney Island’s 4th annual Children’s Halloween Parade will be kicking off at MCU Park on Saturday, October 26th at 11A.M. Registration is open to children up to 15 years of age.
This will be our first parade since Sandy; with your help, we can make it bigger and better than ever.
More information is available here.
Parents as Partners Week, October 5th-12th
Beginning on Saturday, October 5th through Saturday, October 12th, New York City public school parents will have seven opportunities to become more engaged in their child’s education.
As part of Parents as Partners Week, special events are being held in each of the five boroughs, including two in Brooklyn at the L.I.U. campus in Downtown Brooklyn. Learn more here.
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-374-4118.
Free Summer Meals for Kids
Any New York City child 18 years of age and under can enjoy a free healthy and great tasting breakfast and lunch at hundreds of schools, pools, parks, New York City Housing Authority complexes and other locations around the city. No registration, documentation, or ID is required. Meals are available until the end of August.
To learn more, view a list of open sites here, call 311 or *text "NYCMEALS" to 877-877 for information about the summer meals program and to locate a convenient site near you.
Deadline for 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund approaching
If you are a 9/11 survivor or first responder who has an injury or illness as a result of the September 11th 2001 attacks, registration for economic compensation from the Victims Compensation Fund (VCF) must be completed by by October 3rd 2013.
Regardless of your involvement in the World Trade Center Health Program, you will need to register with the VCF. Additionally, even if you have filed with the N.Y.S. Worker's Compensation Board or your Pension Board, you will still need to register with the VCF.
For more information, visit www.vcf.gov or call the toll free Helpline at 1-855-855-1555
New York City Reaches Budget Agreement
Mayor Bloomberg and the New York City Council, led by Speaker Christine Quinn and Finance Chair Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. agreed to a $70 billion budget framework for fiscal year 2014. The budget maintains current levels of government spending and does not raise taxes.
For more details on the New York City budget, read the Mayor's press release.
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New York Daily News
New York Post
New Hurricane Evacuation Zones Released
The City has finalized new hurricane evacuation Zones, 1 through 6, which will replace Zones A, B and C. They now include an additional 600,000 New Yorkers who were not included within the boundaries of the former zones. Use the Hurricane Evacuation Zone Finder to determine your new zone. For more on the new maps, read the press release on NYC.gov.
Recchia Sponsors Legislation to Incentivize Housing Developments
The City Council passed legislation today renewing and improving upon the J-51 tax abatement and exemption program. Sponsored by Council Member Domenic M. Recchia, Jr., Chair of the City Council’s Finance Committee, the legislation builds upon the State Assembly’s property tax relief bill passed earlier this year, which extended the previously expired program, offering tax exemption and abatement for qualified homeowners who undertake renovation and development projects. Passed unanimously, the exemption will be retroactive from December 31, 2011 and will last until June 30, 2015.
New Flood Maps Released
FEMA has released new maps charting flood risk. To see where your home lies, visit this website and enter your address: http://www.region2coastal.com/sandy/table
Recchia to Red Cross: Remaining Sandy Aid Needs to be Spent
Speaking with WABC-TV’s Diana Williams, New York City Council Member Domenic M. Recchia Jr. demanded that The Red Cross’s reported $110 million in unspent aid money for victims of Superstorm Sandy be distributed as swiftly and effectively as possible.
In the wake of a stern letter from the office of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to The Red Cross making similar demands, Recchia, a signatory of the letter and Chair of the Council’s Finance Committee, asked that The Red Cross focus on allocating funds to houses of worship, local non-profits, and the procurement of sheet rock for the reconstruction of lost homes.
”There’s such a need for funding throughout New York City in the areas that got hit hard, not only in Coney Island but in Staten Island and the Rockaways,” said Recchia, whose district, which includes Coney Island, was deeply impacted by Sandy. “Where is all this money going?”
Recchia Instrumental in Acquiring Funding for NYPD Security Cameras for South Brooklyn
In a major victory for public safety in South Brooklyn, New York City Council Member Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. has successfully arranged for the funding and installation of 11 new NYPD ARGUS surveillance cameras. Recchia secured $400,000 in Fiscal Year 2013 for the acquisition of the new cameras, which will supplement the existing seven cameras in the 47th district.
“These cameras will provide much-needed surveillance capabilities to areas of my district in need of heightened security,” said Council Member Recchia, chair of the Council’s Finance Committee. “The NYPD needs to make use of every tool at its disposal to fight crime and keep our communities safe. This technology is an important resource to help New York’s finest do their job as best as possible.”
Statement from City Council Finance Chairman Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. to the Water Board on Proposed Rate Hike
For the past 18 years, homeowners have been subjected to increased water rates year after year. In fact, since 1995, water rates have been raised by an astronomical 235%.
As Chairman of the City Council’s Finance Committee, every day, I hear from people all over the City who are struggling to make it. Today marks six months since Superstorm Sandy, yet there are still New Yorkers who haven’t been able to return to their homes and still more who don’t know how they are going to afford the repairs. Even before the storm, many families in this City were facing economic hardship. Now, when times are even harder, this Board is considering yet another increase. It’s unacceptable.
The average single-family home pays $939 a year on average for water. Under the 5.6% hike proposed by the Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”), homeowners would have to pay on average $991 dollars a year. Although I understand that this rate increase is lower than increases in previous years--just three years ago, the average was $723 a year, ten years ago, it was $500 a year. The constant increases continue to add up and it’s simply too much. Homeowners shouldn’t have to pay almost $1000 a year for water—it’s a necessity.
Read Council Member Recchia's Comments on the City's CDBG Action Plan:
Recchia Issues Statement on Effects of Federal Sequester on New York City Budget
“Today, as we begin our annual hearings on the Mayor’s Preliminary Budget for FY14, looming over our discussions is the inevitable impact that the federal sequester will have on our City. Although the effects will not be immediate, over the next few weeks and months, the shortage of hundreds of millions of federal dollars will be felt by our schools, our police and firefighters, our seniors, and our children living in poverty. In addition, the Sequester will cause federal aid for Superstorm Sandy for New York City to be reduced by as much as $500 million. This cut would potentially leave a hole in next year’s expense and capital budgets of $225 million and would reduce the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funds by over 25%. It will also imperil the ability of our communities to rebuild and make a full recovery.
MillionTreesNYC Tree Giveaway Call for Partners
Gun Buy Back Event
Small businesses are now eligible to apply for loans (up to $150,000) and matching grants (up to $60,000) through the New York Business Development Corporation.
Department of Finance Extends Deadline to May 31st for SCRIE Applicants to Renew their Applications
Volunteer to be a Big Apple Greeter!