Report to Community Board 3

November 17, 2007

Kavanagh Attends the First Annual L.E.S. Children’s Bike Parade: On October 13th, Assemblymember Kavanagh joined Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, City Councilmember Rosie Mendez, NYCHA Commissioner Margarita Lopez, community residents and organizations at the First Annual Kids’ Art Bike Ride at Tompkins Square Park. The event highlighted the importance of bike etiquette and safety. Artists were also on hand to assist children create designs for their newly adorned “art bikes”.

Assemblymember Kavanagh Reaches Out to Tenants Associations: Assemblymember Kavanagh has been actively meeting with tenant association leaders in the community to address issues of maintenance services, safety as well as the preservation of affordable housing. On October 24th, Assemblymember Kavanagh joined community leaders and residents at the Lillian Wald Tenants Association meeting to discuss community concerns. Assemblymember Kavanagh looks forward to working with tenant association leaders, residents, government agencies, and fellow elected officials in addressing ongoing issues facing our community.

Kavanagh Fights for Affordable Housing: Our office continues to receive numerous complaints from tenants throughout the 74th District of activities by landlords that appear to be aimed at harassing legitimate tenants. Assemblymember Kavanagh is working on a new State law to provide tenants with real anti-harassment protections, which he will introduce when the legislature reconvenes for its next regular session. During the last session, Kavanagh introduced bill A.8798 to increase the state Housing Finance Agency’s ability to issue bonds for new affordable housing construction by $1.5 billion. The legislation successfully passed both houses and was signed by Governor Spitzer. Kavanagh was a co-prime sponsor of A.7905, also signed into law, which will end the state’s longstanding practice of paying less than its share of the cost of housing public assistance recipients and increase funding for public housing by approximately $50 million a year. Kavanagh is also a co-prime sponsor of the following bills: A.8594, the Governor’s proposal to raise the thresholds for vacancy and high-income decontrol from $2,000 to $2,800; A4069, which would repeal the “Urstadt Law” and remove provisions that prohibit New York City from strengthening rent regulations; A.6849, which would provide tax credit relief for New York City renters; A.6510, which would change the method for determining major capital improvement rent surcharges, and make the surcharges temporary rather than permanent; and A7761, which would repeal vacancy de-control. Bills A.8594, A.4069, A.6849, and A.6510 passed the Assembly, but were not taken up by the Senate before the adjournment of regular session. Finally, Kavanagh introduced A.8267, which would require a hearing before the State Division of Housing and Community Renewal before landlords can convert an apartment to market rate by asserting that the tenant has failed to respond to income certification material relating to high income de-control.

Kavanagh Participates in the “Mulch, Mulch, Mulch” NYC Compost Project: Earlier this month, Assemblymember Kavanagh gathered with members of the Lower East Side Ecology Center at an event to raise awareness of composting as a way to reduce solid waste in our community. At the event, participants learned about mulching and other backyard composting techniques.

New York Cares Day and It’s My Park! Day: On October 20th, Assemblymember Kavanagh joined volunteers and community members to repaint the walls inside and outside of PS 188 and clean up and replant the green spaces in Stuyvesant Square Park as part of New York Cares Day and It’s My Park! Day.

Kavanagh Urges Against MTA Fare Increase: Along with state legislative colleagues, Assemblymember Kavanagh has called upon the MTA not to increase fares, as it has proposed to do in its financial plan for 2008, and to instead work with the legislature to increase public support for our transportation system. The Governor and the MTA have agreed to use a temporary surplus to postpone the increase in the $2 base fare, but the MTA needs to work toward a longer term approach to keep mass transit reliable and affordable. Kavanagh is the co-prime sponsor of Assembly bill A9424, which would reverse a long-term trend of declining City and State support for the MTA by restoring approximately $305 million for the operating expenses of the New York City transit authority, the Manhattan and Bronx surface transit operating authority, and the Staten Island rapid transit operating authority as well as $32.3 million for the Long Island Railroad and Metro-North.

EVCC Launches the 2nd Edition Get Local Guide to East Village Shops: Recently, Assemblymember Kavanagh joined the East Village Community Coalition to celebrate the launch of the 2nd Annual Get Local Guide to East Village Shops, which provides information on approximately 340 shops throughout the Lower East Side.

Kavanagh Introduces Styrofoam Bill: Assemblymember Kavanagh and Senator Liz Krueger have introduced a bill (A.9420/S.6402) in their respective houses of the legislature, that would prohibit the use of food service ware that contains polystyrene foam, commonly known as styrofoam, by food service providers, including state agencies and contractors, as well as restaurants and retail food vendors. The bill would require food service providers to use alternate products that are compostable or recyclable.