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Dear neighbor,

This past month our district experienced an unimaginable tragedy when ten New Yorkers were shot on the N train approaching the 36 St station.

Violence and gun violence in particular is all too common in our city and our country. Every one of us deserves to be safe and free to enjoy our city and go about our lives.

Unequivocally, gun violence is a public health problem, and we must employ public health strategies to solve it. We need real affordable housing, good-paying jobs, healthcare for all, and career pathways for youth to address the root causes of violence in communities that have been destabilized by decades of disinvestment and mass incarceration. We cannot simply punish our way to public safety.

I’ve felt the pain and trauma inflicted by violence and mass incarceration. In my remarks on the Council floor on Thursday, April 14 (remarks begin at approximately 23:40), I asked our partners in City, State and Federal government for a multi-faceted, effective, and evidence-based public policy response to the events of April 12.

Our office, in partnership with Assemblymember Marcela Mitaynes, has been contacting survivors of the April 12 shooting. We are connecting survivors to South Brooklyn Mutual Aid, which has been raising funds to help cover medical and mental health costs as well as lost income.

If you would like to donate to the survivors’ fund, you may do so here

If you are a survivor or know a survivor who needs support, please submit your information here.

We also teamed up to create a mental health resource guide with services available in different languages, which you can download here.

Our May newsletter includes many important updates, from the Mayor's Executive Budget and proposed rent increases for regulated tenants to tomorrow's Climate Action Council hearing and Open Streets for the summer.

As always, you can revisit this and all our past newsletters on my Council webpage here.

April brought its challenges, but our community is strong. Spring is here, and I hope to see you out enjoying the beauty it brings soon.

I wish all our Muslim neighbors a happy Eid al-Fitr as the holy month of Ramadan comes to a close. Feliz Cinco de Mayo a todos mis vecinos poblanos, and a happy Mother’s Day to all on Sunday.

May also kicks off Asian American Pacific Islander heritage month. As the proud home to 8th Avenue's Chinese community and to many AAPI neighbors, I am proud to honor and recognize their incredible contributions to our community.






Council Member Alexa Avilés


The Mayor’s Executive Budget: does it deliver?

Last week the Mayor announced his Executive Budget Proposal, which is critical to our city’s response to this crisis and our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Mayor’s Executive Budget adds $1.2 billion to the administration’s spending proposal from February, but it is in many ways still an austerity budget. The increase comes from a projected $2 billion in additional tax revenues and other savings. Compared to last year’s budget, almost all agencies face cuts.

Compared to the Preliminary Budget, the Executive Budget includes modest increases to funding for housing, transportation, homeless services and youth programs, as well as increased funds for the police department and city jails. This includes a $1.5 billion commitment for NYCHA to partner with private companies to make repairs through the RAD/PACT program.  

Before voting on the budget in June, the City Council will hold hearings on the Executive Budget as it relates to each City Agency in the month of May. You can find the calendar for those hearings here. There will be a City Council hearing for members of the public to comment on the Mayor’s final proposal on May 25 starting at 10am that will last well into the evening.

Would you like to stay updated about the city budget and opportunities for public comment?

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Rent Guidelines Board recommends rent hikes of up to 9%

The Rent Guidelines Board is a city entity whose appointed members have the power to set the maximum allowable increase in rents in rent-stabilized units. 

Rent-stabilized units typically are in older buildings with six units or more. You can find out if your unit has ever been rent-stabilized by requesting your rent history via amirentstabilized.com.

This year the Board has proposed rent hikes of up to 9%. This would be the most significant rent increase in years for the many rent-stabilized tenants who live in our district. 

The Rent Guidelines Board will hold a preliminary vote on Thursday, May 5 and they will announce further public hearings leading up to their final vote.

Would you like to stay updated about meetings of the Rent Guidelines Board and opportunities to testify?

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Testify at the state's Climate Action Council hearing this Tuesday, May 3

The science on climate change is clear, the wealthiest countries are the biggest contributors to harmful emissions. As the richest state in the wealthiest country on the planet, New York must lead the way toward a healthier, climate-safe future that prioritizes a just transition and good jobs for climate impacted communities.

This Tuesday, May 3, I encourage you to rally and testify at the Brooklyn public hearing on New York’s climate plan at 4:00PM at 285 Jay Street. You may pre-register to testify here

As New York State's Climate Action Council continues to convene public hearings across the state, I proudly stand with UPROSE, NY Renews, and allies in calling on the state to adopt the most ambitious possible plan to reduce emissions and  reject false solutions that would only extend the lifespan of the fossil fuel infrastructure.

We cannot allow the fossil fuel industry to weaken our state's climate plan, that's why I encourage every New Yorker to stand up and say along with me: no false solutions, climate justice now!


Download the testimony toolkit from NY Renews (in English and Spanish) here.


On Tuesday, May 3, I’ll be chairing a hearing on NYCHA’s controversial RAD/PACT program

City Council hearings meet once per month. As Chair of the Committee on Public Housing, I’ll be leading a hearing on the controversial Rental Assistance Demonstration/Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (RAD/PACT) programs on Tuesday, May 3.

Through RAD/PACT, NYCHA turns over management of a property over to private developers in exchange for the ability to tap federal funding for repairs. This hearing will investigate the performance of the program, how tenant issues are handled under RAD and whether private developers are held accountable. 

I believe housing is a public good and must remain so. These questions will highlight whether we continue down this concerning trend or if we should listen to what tenants have been demanding since day one, fully invest in public housing.

As always, you may sign up to testify at the hearing or submit written testimony up to 72 hours after the hearing via the Council webpage here.


Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) deadline extended!


The Summer Youth Employment Program application deadline has been extended until this Friday, May 6th. 

Young people ages 16 to 24 can apply for paid summer experience here. Apply by this Friday!


EDC plans to bring its Homeport 2.0 to Red Hook

This month the NYC Economic Development Corporation (EDC) briefed our office on its plans to bring a second home port for NYC Ferry service to Red Hook’s Atlantic Basin. The move would make the Red Hook waterfront the permanent home for up to 19 NYC Ferry boats.

EDC will work with stakeholders to address any disruption that will occur as a result of this project. The project is currently in the permitting and design phase and construction is expected to start this summer and run through the spring of 2024. EDC will follow guidance by the Army Corps of Engineers during that time to ensure construction only happens during permitted timeframes to prevent any disruption to marine life. 


Open Streets are back!


You may have noticed parts of 5th Avenue closed to traffic again last Saturday. NYC Open Streets are back! In Sunset Park, 5th Avenue will be closed from 38 St to 42 St, 45 St to 47 St and 57 St to 59 St, each Saturday 4pm-10pm, June through August.

The wonderful Sunset Park BID will once again manage street closures this year. They receive only modest financial support from the city for this program, so if you are able, they are asking for donations to support their work on this program that has brought such a benefit to local businesses and residents.

As a reminder, during Open Streets weekends, B63 bus service will be re-routed along 4th Avenue on Saturdays.


Upcoming Events

Free immigration services at our office and virtually: call for an appointment

Did you know? Our office sponsors free immigration services through CUNY Citizenship Now! 

Call to make an appointment for in-person or remote services: 212-652-2071 or 646-664-9400.

Due to very high demand, you must have an appointment in order to meet with an immigration lawyer through CUNY Citizenship Now!


Download the graphics in English, Spanish or Chinese here.

Bank Fraud Workshop at PS 94

Our office has spoken with many residents who have been targeted by identity theft and other fraud schemes, especially in the 8th Avenue community. 

On Tuesday, May 10, our office is hosting an identity theft and bank fraud workshop with Mandarin Chinese interpretation at PS 94, 5010 6th Avenue. 


Download the flyers in Mandarin and English here.

Free OSHA training

Our office, alone with NICE, New Immigrant Community Empowerment, will be hosting a free OSHA 10-hour training on May 18, 19, 20. 

If you or a friend would like to reserve a spot early, fill out this form


311 neighborhood walks

Did you know you can request a new tree on your block via 311? Or that data from new tree requests help the Parks Department decide where to focus on tree pit repairs and new tree plantings? 

That’s why our office is sponsoring a 311 training and walkthrough in different parts of the neighborhood. We’ll meet up for a training and report broken sidewalks, tree pits in need of repair and request new trees.

Sign up here if you’re interested, and we’ll see you the third week of May!


Free book Fridays

Starting Friday, May 13th, we’ll set up a table in front of our office every Friday 3:30pm–5:00pm where you can grab a FREE book or drop some off.

If you have new or gently used children’s books or page-turners for young adults and older readers, you may drop them off at our office during regular business hours, 9:30am–5:30pm.


Office hours in Red Hook and on 8th Avenue

We are continuing to offer in-person constituent services twice a month along 8th Avenue and in Red Hook. 

8th Avenue

Friday, May 13
Parent Child Relationship Association
909 58th St

Saturday, May 21
Parent Child Relationship Association
909 58th St

Red Hook

Tuesday, May 10
Brooklyn Public Library
7 Wolcott St

Saturday, May 21
Brooklyn Public Library
7 Wolcott St


In case you missed it this month…


  • Our office organized a Sunset Park Day of Unity event with community organizations and Assemblymember Mitaynes after the events of April 12.


  • I joined Council Member Rita Joseph’s press conference calling on the DOE to provide the supports to foster students they've promised.


  • I lent a helping hand at the Red Hook Easter Egg Hunt in Coffey Park.


  • I joined the Speaker and the Council's Progressive Caucus for a press conference demanding housing investments in the Mayor's budget for a safer NYC.


  • Our office organized a Fire Safety and Fire Prevention workshop at Mixteca with the FDNY this month.


  • Our team also joined residents of CPC's Brooklyn Senior Center for an active bystander training with the New York City Commission on Human Rights.


  • Distributing free masks and COVID-19 test kits along 5th Ave last week.


  • At the Healing Center's 5th annual Teen Dating Awareness walk to shed light on and end teen dating violence and sexual assault. Special shout out to the Healing Center's staff and Executive Director Antonia Clemente from Sunset Park. 


  • And to everyone who made it to my inauguration early this month, thank you! Here I am with Nydia celebrating at my inauguration on April 2.

P.S. This month, I also joined Puerto Rican legislators including fellow Council Member Tiffany Cabán for a DC lobby day in support of H.R. 2070. 

This bill, introduced by Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, sets in motion a self-determination process for Puerto Rico that is democratic, inclusive and transparent. 

Rather than taking a stance on Puerto Rico's future status, this bill would empower an elected assembly to educate Puerto Ricans on the implications of the options available, and it outlines a binding process to determine Puerto Rico's future. 


District Office

4417 4th Avenue, Ground Floor

Brooklyn, NY 11220 

(718) 439 - 9012



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