"I am thrilled that the parents of Lower Manhattan will have this expanded, state-of-the-art new school," Silver said. "I have been advocating tirelessly for more classroom seats to serve our growing population Downtown and this expansion of the Peck Slip site is a huge win for our community and for our Lower Manhattan children."
The new school will incubate at the Tweed Courthouse in September 2012 and will move into the Peck Slip building in September 2015.
In a letter to Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, Silver asked the agency to conduct a comprehensive safety review, hire pedestrian managers and extend green lights for pedestrians. Santana's death was the latest in a series of serious accidents involving pedestrians along Delancey Street.
"We simply cannot wait for another tragedy to occur," Silver wrote Sadik-Khan. "Delancey crossings must be made safer for all those who use the streets, and special care must be taken for children and seniors."
Silver has raised alarms about the dangers to pedestrians on Delancey Street in the past, writing to Sadik-Khan last summer following a report about the unusually high number of accidents there.
"It is important that Downtown residents have the opportunity to see the memorial," Silver said. "Our community was uniquely affected by 9/11 and I felt it was appropriate that an evening be set aside for us to come together and reflect."
It was the first of several community evenings that will be held at the site. It is open on those evenings to those who live south of 14th Street.
"Lower Manhattan residents have had to put up with loud construction noise for years, and John Street residents have been particularly inconvenienced," Silver said. "We need to make sure those responsible for noisy construction take every possible step to minimize the impact on surrounding residents."
Silver has contacted Con Edison, Pace University, the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center (LMCCC) and others in order to formulate a plan that will limit noise.
Silver, whose School Overcrowding Task Force helped identify the site for the new Peck Slip School, called on the DOE to lease additional space before it opens rather than send children outside their communities.
"The rejection of the latest school rezoning plan by the Community Education Council District 2 is a clear demonstration of what I have long said: Shifting around students and sending them outside our communities to go to school is not an acceptable response to our overcrowding problem," Silver said. "My Overcrowding Task Force has helped build several new schools in Lower Manhattan, addressing some of the long-term challenges we face. In the short-term, the Department of Education ought to be looking at solutions that keep children within communities, perhaps by leasing additional space here in Lower Manhattan. We need to create a new zone to accommodate the Peck Slip school and DOE must heed the wishes of the community and not submit another plan that pushes students outside of our neighborhoods."
Silver helped local community leaders get the statue installed at that location as a tribute to the man who played such a key role in the founding of the Republic of China and who lived in Chinatown while he was planning the revolution.
"As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of China, it is important for our community that we have a reminder of that momentous event," Silver said. "I am delighted to have helped make thisnew statue a reality and I want to thank the entire Chinatown community for their efforts in bringing it here."
"This proposed clinic was near residential buildings and across the street from a school," Silver said. "I made sure that the operator of the proposed methadone clinic came before the community to make the details of the plan public. The overwhelming sentiment from the neighborhood was that the clinic should not open at 90 Maiden Lane. I will work hard to ensure that future applications of this kind are given a full public airing earlier in the process."
Silver received an assurance from the State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (OASAS) that it will improve its process of public notification for future applications.
In addition, Silver requested traffic signals at nearby intersections. The DOT has installed a light at Beekman and Gold Streets and will install another one at Spruce and Gold Streets by the end of the month.
"This service has proven successful and popular with commuters along its existing routes from East 34th Street in Manhattan to stops in Queens, Brooklyn and the western part of Lower Manhattan," Silver wrote to Deputy Mayor Robert K. Steele. "Lower East Side residents, particularly students and seniors, have difficulty reaching the financial district, as well as other parts of Lower Manhattan, due to the distance they must travel to the closest subways stations. Bus service is infrequent and often unreliable."
"It is essential that this investigation be conducted as quickly and as thoroughly as possible and that Private Chen's family be kept informed - in a timely manner - of whatever information is discovered," Silver wrote to McHugh. "If there is any evidence that Private Chen was the victim of harassment or bullying, as a result of his Chinese heritage or for any other reason, those responsible must be held fully accountable."
Silver also said he hopes the Army can learn from this incident and redouble its efforts to ensure that Asian-Americans feel safe and are treated fairly in the military.
"We are asking that the DOT contractor perform jack hammering and other noisy work in the areas adjacent to Southbridge Towers and the Seaport during daytime hours only," they wrote. "Southbridge residents live literally just yards from where some of the loudest work is taking place and because of the severity of the problem, we believe the DOT ought to modify its schedule in response to the very legitimate complaints of these residents."
"Project Open Door Senior Center exemplifies the best of what CPC does each and every day: Serving hot meals to seniors, offering classes and helping its clients obtain needed services," Silver said.
Silver's School Overcrowding Task helped get the new school built and Silver persuaded the developer to house the school on the first floors of the iconic building. Spruce Street is one of several new schools the task force has helped open in recent years.
"I wish I had fields like this to play on when I was kid," Silver said. "It has been my privilege to give my strong support not only to these fields here, but to the many new parks and other amenities that we have created here in Battery Park City and throughout Lower Manhattan."
"Certainly, the improvements to our mass transit system will not only enhance the quality of life here in Lower Manhattan, they are critical to the growth and diversification of our economy," Silver said. "Every project we complete gives us a reason to hope, to be optimistic and to have faith in government's ability to deliver on its promises."
Special access will be provided for doctors, nurses and EMTs affiliated with Downtown Hospital. Lower Manhattan volunteer organizations and businesses will also get training time at the center, a 25,000-square-foot facility with simulated emergency rooms complete with lifelike mannequins who can mimic dozens of medical conditions.
"Ensuring the health and well-being of every citizen, regardless of the origin of their birth, is the mark of a truly civilized and Democratic society," Silver said. "For these reasons, I have been a strong and consistent supporter of this modernization effort and a proud partner in the quest to bring quality health care to our community."
The expansion will enable the hospital to accommodate a significant increase in patient demand and the new nursing facility will expand patient capacity while providing an excellent quality of life for its residents. There will also be new outpatient services, such as the Women and Children's Center, on-site dialysis and the ambulatory surgery center.
Speaking to the Downtown Lower Manhattan Association, Silver discussed the remarkable transformation that has occurred Downtown over the past 10 years, describing the new parks, schools, infrastructure and thriving residential and commercial development.
Citing statistics showing that the neighborhood's residential population has more than doubled since 9/11 and that Lower Manhattan is poised to once again become the nation's third largest central business district, Silver declared: "The credit for our success belongs to everyone."
"As people's memories of 9/11 are replaced by the story of our resurgence in the face of a faltering economy, they will join the throng of families, businesses and tourists who are relocating to - or just reveling in - our vibrant community each and every day," he said.
"I am delighted that construction is proceeding on every project within the World Trade Center site," Silver said. "What makes this rebuilding effort so incredibly unique is that it is not only the largest urban construction project ever undertaken, it is a profoundly noble endeavor, one in which so many of us are deeply and personally invested."
Silver led the way in breaking the logjam that had held up construction on the site for years, bringing stakeholder to the table to reach agreement.
Silver met with law enforcement officers as well as local residents and their families to enjoy a safe evening of fun and games and update them on important legislation the Assembly has passed to help fight crime.
"Our neighborhood, our streets, belong to us, the law-abiding citizens," Silver said. "This is where we have chosen to raise our families and we are proud of our community."
"What we did see during that time was the spirit of compassion and generosity that we have come to expect from our fellow New Yorkers," Silver said. "Nowhere was that spirit more clearly on display than at Smith Houses, where Aixa Torres and other workers and volunteers sprang into action to notify residents and give them the crucial information they needed."
"Much has changed on the Lower East Side since my parents arrived here from Russia," Silver said. "But much is the same. We are still a wonderfully diverse community which thrives on the contributions of our immigrants."
Following the announcement that the Peck Slip Post Office plans to lease new space on John Street as construction gets under way for a new school at the Peck Slip site, Silver urged the Department of Education to use the extra space for more classroom seats.
"The postal service has indicated it would like to stay at John Street permanently, freeing up an additional 2,000 square feet at Peck Slip," Silver wrote in a letter to Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott. "Given the continued dire need for new elementary school classroom seats in our Downtown community, I strongly urge you to use that extra space to expand the size of the planned 476-seat school."
Silver's School Overcrowding Task Force identified the Peck Slip site as a potential new elementary school and helped persuade the DOE to open a new school there in 2015. The students will begin classes at the Tweed Court House while Peck Slip is under construction.
Silver's task force, which has successfully advocated for several new schools in Lower Manhattan, identified the location and Assemblyman Silver, with the assistance of Senator Schumer, pressed officials from the US Postal Service to sell this property to the city for this urgently needed school.
"I am tremendously pleased that we are now definitely moving towards creating a new school at Peck Slip," Silver said. "We are seeing more and more evidence that Lower Manhattan has become one of our city's most desirable neighborhoods and with this new school we are continuing to rebuild Lower Manhattan into the thriving, 24/7 community that we have always envisioned."
The school will be incubated at the Tweed Courthouse beginning in September 2012 and is on track to open at the new site in the fall of 2015.
The Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) approved an agreement Assemblyman Silver brokered on behalf of condo owners to significantly lower ground rent payments over the next 30 years, saving residents millions of dollars and stabilizing the Battery Park City real estate market.
"Because of this agreement, families in Battery Park City will be able to stay in their homes and will not be hit with the crippling financial hardships they would otherwise be facing," Silver said. "This agreement ensures that Battery Park City remains the world-class community that it is and provides the kind of stability that lenders look for when providing financing to those who wish to move into Battery Park City."
Condominium buildings in Battery Park City lease the land they are built on from the BPCA and those costs are shouldered by individual owners in the form of annual ground rents. Under the terms of the previous ground lease agreement, 11 buildings would have paid $804 million to the BPCA over the next 30 years.
Under the agreement negotiated by Silver and approved by all 11 condo boards as well as the BPCA, the buildings will pay $525 million over 30 years. That is a savings of about 35 percent. Because of the deal, banks that had been skittish about approving mortgages because of the planned spikes in ground rents, are likely to have far more confidence lending to potential buyers.
Assemblyman Silver criticized the city's plan to close fire companies in Lower Manhattan, noting the importance of having strong protection in a neighborhood that has seen its share of tragedy in recent years.
"I think it's inappropriate here," Silver said. "I think it's inappropriate to use them as a negotiating pawn each year."
Mayor Bloomberg has announced plans to close 20 fire companies to save money, including Engine 4 at South Street Seaport and Ladder 8 in Tribeca. Silver said putting the companies on the chopping block was part of a budget negotiating strategy with the City Council.
"This is an excellent example of what committed people can do, working together in their local community, to accomplish something that will have a positive impact well beyond their own neighborhood," Silver said. "These zero-emission cars will help cut down on pollution and show our neighbors and the world that it is possible to meet our transportation needs in a way that reduces our dependence on oil." Silver said he hopes to see more electric car charging stations around the New York area, including on the New York State Thruway.
Silver announced that crucial legislation to regulate intercity buses, which have been involved in two recent fatal crashes and which have caused congestion and other quality-of-life problems, particularly in Chinatown, has passed the Assembly.
"Many of my constituents rely on these low-cost buses and we have an urgent responsibility to make sure we have a permit system that focuses on the safety and reliability of the companies that are allowed to operate," Silver said. "This bill would also bring order to the chaos that these buses often cause in Chinatown, making the streets safer for pedestrians and reducing congestion that causes pollution and harms businesses."
The bill would establish a first-ever permit system for intercity buses, allowing the city to create standards for issuing permits and assign pick-up/drop-off points. It would also establish a community board review process and require public notice for permit applications.
The City Council has passed a home rule measure expressing support for the bill.
Assemblyman Silver has joined the city's push to market Lower Manhattan as a prime tourist destination in time for the opening of the 9/11 Memorial in September.
"Lower Manhattan has come roaring back," said Silver. "As our population has continued to soar, we have transformed our community by building new schools, new parks, retail and world-class cultural attractions that have made Lower Manhattan the place to be. We look forward to welcoming even more tourists this fall when the 9/11 Memorial opens and I encourage all of our visitors to stay in the neighborhood, shop at our stores, eat in our excellent restaurants and come back again soon."
Silver joined a host of elected officials in unveiling the marketing campaign, which will include special hotel deals, featuring the neighborhood in travel itineraries, outdoor ads, a taxicab TV spot and a print campaign at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
"As more and more people choose to make Lower Manhattan their home, the need for high-quality medical care in this neighborhood is greater than ever," Silver said. "Time and again, Downtown Hospital has been there to meet that need. This new Wellness and Prevention Center expands the compassionate care that has always been a hallmark of this hospital."
The new wellness center will focus on preventive care and attention to individual patients' specific health needs.
The Department of Transportation plans to create metered parking for the estimated six to eight buses an hour that will bring visitors to the memorial when it opens in September. Silver and other elected officials are pressing the city to use the revenue generated by that program to enforce parking and idling rules to cut down on traffic congestion and pollution in Lower Manhattan neighborhoods. The city has already agreed not to allow buses to layover in Battery Park City.
"The opening of the 9/11 Memorial is an important milestone for Lower Manhattan and will be the fitting centerpiece of the rebuilt World Trade Center," Silver said. "But we must minimize the negative impact that the influx of visitors and tour buses has on our quality of life. We are concerned about congestion on our streets and sidewalks, idling buses, and other problems that might arise when so many people are coming to this neighborhood each day. We need to ensure that the community is involved in developing the plan to mitigate the impact on our residents and businesses Downtown."
"As a lifelong resident of the Lower East Side and the son of immigrant parents, I can say from first-hand experience that what makes this area so unique is the enormous contribution that immigrants have made to this neighborhood over the centuries and right up to the present day," Silver said. "We as a neighborhood have enjoyed great success because we have always welcomed immigrants and valued the diversity of their experiences."
The center, which will sponsor walking tours of the historic neighborhood and help promote local businesses, also has a feature that allows visitors to trace their family histories.
He also got the agencies to agree to attend the next Community Board 3 meeting that will further discuss the issuing of permits for musical performances and other uses of the park for all groups. Silver said he hopes that such a public discussion will help ensure that all voices are heard.
"It is important that members of the Street Musical Club, or any other musicians, be given the opportunity to apply for a permit to play outdoors," Silver said. "Musicians are trying to entertain their neighbors and enjoy their music. I want to make sure that the permit application process is accessible to everyone and ensure that the community has a meaningful voice in that process.
"In these difficult economic times, volunteers are more important than ever, and the services volunteers provide are more important than ever," Silver said. "The volunteers at Hamilton Madison House Senior Services give so generously of their time, from serving hot meals to helping with case work to serving as dance teachers, they truly make these wonderful programs what they are."
Silver also reiterated the importance of senior centers for older New Yorkers, which is why he fought so hard to restore proposed cuts to the state funding that the city uses to operate senior centers.
After advocating for the city and the state to provide adequate support for the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center (LMCCC), Silver said he was pleased the agencies had listened to the Lower Manhattan community.
The city and the Empire State Development Corporation contacted Silver and other elected officials to assure them that the LMCCC, which plays a vital role in coordinating the massive construction activity in Lower Manhattan, will be able to continue its mission.
"While we have made great progress in rebuilding Lower Manhattan, the job is not yet complete," Silver said. "I am glad the LMCCC will continue to do the important work of helping to mitigate the negative impact that construction has on residents and giving members of the community a voice in the process."
"If we do not act quickly to extend our rent laws, millions of New Yorkers could lose their homes," Silver said. "Merely continuing the current laws is not enough. We must close the loopholes that cost our neighborhoods thousands of affordable homes each year and which threaten to turn New York into a city without a middle-class."
The report, produced by the Community Service Society for the Assembly and titled "The New Housing Emergency" found that more than 10,000 rent regulated units were lost in the city each year due to loopholes such as vacancy decontrol.
Silver called for extending rent laws - which expire in June - and strengthening protections by repealing vacancy decontrol, reducing allowable rent increases after capital improvements, raising income thresholds for deregulation and many other changes designed to slow the loss of affordable housing.
Silver, along with Councilwoman Margaret Chin, also presented an award to Jean Quan, the mayor of Oakland, Calif., a trailblazing public servant who recently became the first woman mayor of that city and the first Asian American woman of a major U.S. city. Quan was one of the founders of AAFE when she lived in New York City.
Silver praised the excellent work that AAFE has done over the years and recounted Quan's achievements in the fields of education and social justice.
"We are delighted to welcome you back to our Chinatown community," Silver told Quan.
"I have long led the fight for more schools here in Lower Manhattan and I am pleased that our Downtown families will have a much-needed new elementary school," Silver said. "Our neighborhood has become one of the city's most attractive to families and it is important that we provide them with the excellent educational opportunities they deserve."
The new school will begin at the Tweed Courthouse in the fall of 2012. If Silver's push to get the Department of Education to purchase the Peck Slip Post Office is successful, students would move into a new school there when the space is ready.
While Silver said he is excited to see a much-needed new elementary school in the neighborhood, he would have preferred it open this fall. He also stressed that the school overcrowding problem is far from solved.
In a letter written jointly with other Downtown elected officials, Silver invited city officials to meet with local stakeholders - including Community Board One - as well as government officials and representatives of the 9/11 memorial.
In the letter, Silver and the others wrote that the tour buses "will flood Lower Manhattan's streets and amplify our already significant congestion problems" and suggested that by better engaging the community, the city could come up with a "proposal that carefully balances the needs of area residents and businesses with our shared commitment to the Memorial."
The Department of Transportation, as well as various other stakeholders and elected officials, will meet next month at Silver's office.
"This agreement would protect Battery Park City residents from staggering increases that would have caused crushing financial burdens during a time of economic difficulty," Silver said. "By restructuring this payment plan, we will be able to keep more middle-class families in their homes and maintain Battery Park City as the world-class community that it is. It will also give lenders the confidence to continue providing financing to families relocating to this community."
The savings to residents, who were facing exorbitant increases in their annual ground rents, would help keep middle-class families from being priced out of their neighborhood and would bring much-needed long-term stability to condo owners who were facing severe uncertainty over the future of their homes. The condo buildings lease the land from the BPCA and pass those costs on to the individual condo owners.
The agreement was approved by the Battery Park City Homeowners Coalition negotiating committee and must now be passed by the 11 condo boards.
In a letter to DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, Silver expressed his desire - and that of the Lower Manhattan community - to see this important intersection reopened.
Members of my community, especially those who live and work in Battery Park City, need greater pedestrian access in this busy area," Silver wrote. "Our community has come a long way in its effort to rebuild this area following the 9/11 tragedy. We have seen a massive influx of new residents, new schools and businesses. As we continue to realize our goal of creating a true 24/7 community, we must do everything possible to fully restore a sense of normalcy and improve the quality of life for residents, workers and visitors."
"We are entering the Year of the Rabbit, a year of relative tranquility and reflection," Silver said. "The Year of the Rabbit is marked by diplomacy and collegiality, a time to find common ground and work together. I look forward to working with the Chinese American community to bring greater prosperity and improve our quality of life. I wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year."
In addition to the parade, Silver attended other many other New Year's events in the neighborhood. In Albany, the Assembly passed a resolution celebrating the New Year and honoring the contributions of Asian Americans to the city and the state.
In a letter to MTA Chairman Jay Walder, Silver outlined the hardship so many will face if the service reductions are enacted. The bus serves as a crucial east-west route Downtown and is one of the few means for residents of Battery Park City and the Financial District to get to the east side.
"Tens of thousands of people live along this route, many of them elderly, disabled or students," Silver wrote. This is a vital bus route that serves a population that desperately needs it. I strongly urge you to reconsider these proposed service cuts."
Silver then personally spoke with Walder to reiterate his strong opposition to the cuts and to urge him to consider the negative impact it would have on Lower Manhattan residents and businesses.
"I want to commend the leadership and members of the Community Board 3 Land Use, Zoning, Public and Private Housing Committee for their effort to achieve, at long last, a true consensus about the future of Seward Park," Silver said. "From the outset, this process was conducted openly, transparently and fairly and went to great lengths to give voice to the broad range of views that make up our extraordinarily diverse community. While there were, at times, deep and principled disagreements among stakeholders, I believe that ultimately this process brought our community together. The final guidelines that were approved by the committee tonight strike an appropriate balance between the needs and concerns of all stakeholders and will result in a development that will ensure our neighborhood continues to thrive. At a time when civil discourse to resolve seemingly intractable problems is in exceedingly short supply, I hope this process can serve as a small reminder that when we come together with a willingness to listen to each other and a commitment to civility, there is no problem too great that we can't solve together as one community."
"We need more new classroom seats and we need them now," Silver told Black. "We have a tremendous need for more school space in Lower Manhattan and it is imperative that we continue to build on the success we have had and take proactive steps to address the current and future overcrowding problems that are multiplying every year."
Silver urged Black to reconsider a recent decision to put a charter school at the Tweed Courthouse and instead use the space to incubate a new, regular public elementary school. At Silver's urging, the Department of Education is currently negotiating to buy the Peck Slip Post Office building for use as a new school.
"The United States has now met its moral obligation to the heroes of 9/11," Silver said. "By providing crucial care to the brave rescue workers who sacrificed their health for our country, as well as to the thousands of Downtown residents who became casualties of this tragedy, we as a nation now stand behind those who stood up for us. This law will literally save the lives of many of my neighbors, as well as those around the country who answered the call on 9/11. I would like to thank Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congress members Jerrold Nadler, Carolyn Maloney, Anthony Weiner and the rest of our congressional delegation for their extraordinary efforts and for never giving up the fight to deliver justice to the 9/11 heroes."
Silver, who helped advance Oing's nomination for the court, praised the judge as a talented and hard-working jurist and noted the pride that many in Manhattan's Chinese American community have taken in Justice Oing's success.
"I am deeply gratified to see a friend who has devoted his life to achievement, to justice, and to public service receiving the recognition he deserves," Silver said. "Justice Oing has earned my respect, the respect of our community, and the respect of our legal system."
Silver told tenant leaders about state legislation he passed that has brought in much needed federal funding to make crucial repairs at NYCHA buildings and discussed ways his office has worked with residents to resolve problems such as gas outages.
At the same time, he expressed frustration with the way NYCHA handles individual maintenance requests.
"There is no reason why anybody should wait months for repairs and live with half-finished jobs," Silver said. "Recently, the Assembly held a hearing on how repairs are handled in NYCHA buildings and I made it clear that the system now in place must be improved."
He also heard from residents about their safety concerns and said he would work on trying to address security issues at NYCHA complexes.
In a letter to the hospital's president, Silver, along with State Senator Daniel Squadron and City Council Member Margaret Chin, highlighted the need for the service.
"Senior citizens in Lower Manhattan, including residents of the nearby Southbridge Towers, benefit from the close proximity to dialysis services at New York Downtown Hospital," they wrote. "With the recent closure of St. Vincent's Hospital, the need for access to comprehensive health services in Lower Manhattan is as great as ever."
Assemblyman Silver cut the ribbon on the new PS 276 in Battery Park City, welcoming students and parents to a brand-new school built at the behest of his School Overcrowding Task Force and Community Board 1.
"I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished here for our children," Silver said. "This school is the fulfillment of a promise that I made to the families in this neighborhood and we will continue to raise the bar for our schools and build on this success."
The opening of the new PS 276 comes a year before the Spruce Street School moves into its new home next year. In addition, Silver is actively pursuing other sites for new schools Downtown, including the Peck Slip Post Office building, which is scheduled to be sold.
"With heavy traffic on West Street, combined with the trucks that are constantly coming and going from nearby construction sites, adding this level of protection for pedestrians is essential," Silver said. "Hiring these managers has been a priority for members of the community and I am extremely pleased that we have been able to deliver on our promise of improving safety on West Street."
Silver secured $1.2 million from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation to hire the managers, who are specially trained to work at potentially dangerous intersections. They will work during morning and evening rush hours on weekdays. Sam Schwartz Engineering is the firm that will provide the managers, who are expected to begin working next week.
"I am very excited that the Lower East Side Girls Club will have a state-of-the-art new facility," Silver said. "By tripling its capacity, the Lower East Side Girls Club will be able to do even more to give girls and young women in our community the tools they need to become tomorrow's scientists, artists, business owners and world leaders."
After hearing from constituents about poor conditions that created potential hazards, Silver reached out to the Department of Transportation, which repaved the streets.
"I am very pleased that we are able to get these streets repaved and into better condition for the residents, business owners and shoppers in Chinatown," Silver said. "Resurfaced streets are safer, more convenient and improve the overall quality of life in our community."The three major Chinatown streets that were are:
- Elizabeth Street from Bayard to Canal streets
- Bayard Street from Baxter Street to St. James Street/Bowery
- Division Street from Canal Street to Bowery
"This bridge has been a top priority of mine and I am thrilled that we are going to be able to deliver it for the community," Silver said. "With the new PS 276 in Battery Park City, and with more and more residents and workers coming into the neighborhood, it is essential that we do everything possible to ensure pedestrian safety and make crossing this busy thoroughfare more convenient."
The bridge, along with the pedestrian managers who now work along West Street, are part of a comprehensive plan Silver spearheaded to improve safety near the World Trade Center construction site and provide better access to the neighborhood for Battery Park City residents.
Through his task force, Silver is pressing the Department of Education to open even more new schools downtown and has asked the federal government to sell the Peck Slip Post Office building to the city to be converted into for Lower Manhattan that the city continue to open new schools and a new school while retaining the retail post office.
Silver also worked to get PS 276 to open additional classroom seats, helping to further reduce overcrowding.
"This commitment clearly paves the way for this long-promised performing arts center, which will be an anchor in the continuing redevelopment of our neighborhood," Silver said. "We are creating a world-class venue for music, dance and the performing arts that will be a celebration of the vital cultural life of our Downtown neighborhood."
At Silver's urging, health officials conducted a walking tour of the area near Southbridge Towers and developed a detailed plan of action, including increasing rodent bait, using rat-resistant trash cans and stepping up oversight of construction sites to ensure the proper disposal of garbage.
"This is a public health issue," Silver said. "I want to assure local residents that I am working with the city to implement a plan to control the rat population."
Silver, who has been a forceful advocate for the tenants displaced after last spring's fire, offered his support as residents were finally permitted back into their units.
"I am very pleased that tenants of 289 Grand Street, who have suffered enormously since the fire, were allowed back into the building to retrieve their belongings," Silver said. "I will continue to fight for these tenants as they try to return to their apartments permanently once the proper repairs are made."
A judge issued an order allowing the tenants back in. The residents are in court with the building's landlord over the long-term fate of the building and Silver has pushed for repairs to be made so that tenants can return permanently. The city has found the building to be structurally sound.
"For over a century, the Lower East Side has been one of the world's great marketplaces," Silver said. "That spirit of entrepreneurship, and the great strength we draw from our diversity, are what make it such a uniquely attractive place to live, work and shop. Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and the glue that holds our communities together."
Silver has been a strong supporter of the Lower East Side BID since its creation in 1992.
"More park space for this community is long overdue," Silver said. "Residents of the east side of Lower Manhattan deserve the peaceful respite that DeLury Square Park and other newly opened parks provide."
In addition to DeLury Park, Silver praised the renovation of nearby Titanic Park, on Fulton and Water streets, the opening this past summer of Imagination Playground at Burling Slip and the planned construction next year of Pearl Street Playground.
"We are realizing our goal of opening up the streetscape and creating more public space for everyone from children to seniors."
Silver joined the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors in asking the city to create the same low-rise zoning on the east side of the street as on the west.
"We need to protect this area from potentially out-of-scale buildings that would diminish the consistency of the streetscape and the Bowery's historic character," Silver said. "I urge the city to rezone the east side of Bowery and protect this important part of my district.
In order to enforce the dedicated lanes, cameras will be set up to catch those who illegally block buses. One of the pilot programs will create a BRT option along the route served by the M15.
"This will speed up travel times for millions of New Yorkers by ensuring that buses run faster and more efficiently," Assemblyman Silver said. "It is so important that we do everything possible to encourage people to use mass transit, and that includes improving bus service so that it becomes a more reliable option for commuters."
"Construction in Lower Manhattan is an encouraging sign of the progress we are making as we rebuild. At the same time, it is imperative that small business owners, who are the lifeblood of our Downtown economy, receive fair compensation for the disruption that comes with that progress," Silver said. The program has been extended for five years and grants are now available to all small businesses, not just those on the ground floor. The maximum grants have also been raised to $35,000 from $25,000.
"I'm delighted that parents will have another much-needed option for their children, just in time for the summer season," Silver said. "This state-of-the-art new playground is a welcome addition to the neighborhood."
Following an agreement Silver helped broker between Silverstein and the Port Authority, the leasing of office space at the site has accelerated and the 9/11 memorial is set to open next year.
"People are not running away from Lower Manhattan, they're running to Lower Manhattan," Silver said. "In fact, we remain the business and financial capital of the world."
"In these difficult times, it is more important than ever that we take care of our older residents," Silver said. "These centers, which serve nearly 30,000 people throughout our city, are vital for so many, serving hot meals and providing countless other valuable programs."
"I want to share my gratitude to all of you for the compassionate and high-quality care you deliver to my Lower East Side community," Silver said.
He also discussed the support he has given to the hospital's modernization effort, including the progress being made on the new medical center on Madison Street, which will include a new nursing facility, CT scan area, surgery center and more.
Residents have come to various locations to recycle computers, TVs, DVDs and other electronics for the drive - operated by the Lower East Side Ecology Center and hosted by Seward Park Coop's Hester Street Fair - to responsibly dispose of the potentially hazardous waste.
The events came after Assemblyman Silver passed a law earlier this year mandating e-waste recycling in New York. That law, which environmental advocacy groups have hailed as the nation's strongest, will prohibit manufacturers from disposing of electronics in landfills.
During a recent meeting of Silver's Task Force, the DOE announced it would not add a fourth Kindergarten class at Spruce Street School, which will move to its new home at the Beekman Tower in September 2011.
Silver had joined parents in opposing the extra class, which would have taxed the building's space and threatened the planned middle school.
"I'm very pleased that Spruce Street parents will get what they were promised by the DOE," Silver said. "Having quality schools close to home is what attracts families to our neighborhood and I am fully committed to getting even more new schools opened in Lower Manhattan."
Fannie reviewed the ground leases and assured Silver that it would, indeed, give the green light to mortgages in Battery Park City, which was much-welcomed news for both buyers and sellers.
"In this economy, the last thing people need is another obstacle to selling their home," Silver said. "I'm glad Fannie Mae was able to complete its review and determine that there is no reason to hold up approvals for otherwise sound mortgages in Battery Park City."
The upgrade will allow the SLA to put information about applicants for liquor licenses online and will help it get through its backlog, speeding up the review process while providing the community a better chance to make its voice heard.
"With more resources, the SLA will be able to do more vetting of applicants, giving the community more information about the businesses that want to open in their neighborhood," Silver said. "By updating its antiquated licensing system, the SLA will be able to more effectively gather and incorporate feedback as the approval process is happening. It will also shorten the process for businesses, cutting the time applicants spend waiting for answers."