member photo
Assemblymember
Richard N. Gottfried
September 2013
Assembly District 75
NYS Assembly Seal
Community Update

Korean Community Services (KCS) Launches Salt Reduction Campaign

According to the American Heart Association, over-consumption of salt can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, the leading causes of death in the United States. To combat this health hazard, Korean Community Services (KCS) kicked off its salt reduction campaign in August. In addition to encouraging restaurants to commit to preparing low-sodium dishes, this campaign is a public education initiative aimed at building awareness about the dangers of increased salt consumption.

As chairman of New York State Assembly Health Committee, I was delighted to attend and speak at KCS's salt reduction campaign launch. It was a very positive and informative afternoon where volunteers engaged community members, promoted their initiative, and discussed the dangers related to the over-consumption of salt. KCS's work to encourage healthier, low-sodium eating habits in our community is admirable, and I was happy to join them.

For more information, please contact Joseph Jang at jjang@kcsny.org.

Fighting Unnecessary After-Hours Construction

The number of special permits allowing late-night and early-morning construction work - After-Hours Variances (AHVs) - has skyrocketed in recent years. So has the number of constituent complaints about abuse by developers. There are emergencies and circumstances - such as work requiring the closure of a street - which necessitate work hour flexibility. But it is important to ensure there is not an endless series of permits granted for late-night construction without proper cause and due diligence.

Local elected officials, including me, Borough President Stringer, Senator Hoylman, Assembly Member Rosenthal, and Councilmembers Brewer and Quinn, are requesting a meeting with the Department of Buildings (DOB) Commissioner and his staff about the problem. We want to discuss our issues with the DOB's lax oversight over late-night construction, the limited amount of recourse the community has about abuses by individual projects, and the DOB's lack of notification and community engagement that could help alleviate some of the stress on effected residents.

Unless there is a sufficient emergency circumstance, construction should never be done in residential neighborhoods late into the evening or in the early hours of the morning.

NYCHA and HPD Retreat; Fulton Houses playground saved

As part of the community's agreement with the City relating to the West Chelsea re-zoning and Chelsea Market, the City agreed to provide about 150 units of affordable housing on open land in the Fulton Houses development.

In July, with no notice to the community, the City Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) certified a plan under ULURP for the Fulton project. The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) declared that it would need to rip out a playground and community garden at Fulton Houses to make room for a parking lot for the planned housing. Not surprisingly, angry denunciations of this scheme, from local elected officials, residents, and community board leaders dominated the public meeting NYCHA and HPD held.

Soon afterward, it turned out the playground-garden assault was actually not in the ULURP plan and the City said it would not pursue it.

NYCHA and HPD behaved shamefully in this process. They did not give the community any details about the plan until the ULURP clock had started to run. They advanced a despicable proposal to replace a playground with a parking lot. And they have still not explained to the community who was responsible and how they could even think of doing that.

Once again, our community was protected by being outspoken, united and strong.

Office Addresses:

District Address:
242 West 27th Street
New York, NY 10001
212-807-7900
Fax: 212-243-2035
Albany Address:
LOB 822
Albany, NY 12248
518-455-4941
Fax: 518-455-5939