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Dear neighbors,

At long last, summer is here!

Throughout May, my team and I have been hard at work. This past month we responded to emergencies across the district including multiple major fires, two traffic deaths, and the fallout of the tragic shootings in Buffalo and in Uvalde, Texas.

Our community is still hurting. It is unconscionable that tragedy after tragedy, our leaders in Washington refuse to take a stand against the gun lobby and protect our lives. For parents, the safety of our children is of utmost importance. That is why I fight every day to ensure that we invest in evidenced-based practices like violence interruption and prevention programs, along with funding for social workers, summer jobs for our kids and other interventions aimed at tackling the root causes of violence.

Our city and our district face multiple, compounding crises, all happening at once. These crises, from gun violence to housing instability, require systemic — not incremental — solutions. But that doesn’t discourage me. I’m more determined than ever to keep fighting alongside all of you.

This month, I also conducted many school visits including IS 220 John J. Pershing, Sunset Park High School, IS 136 Charles O. Dewey, PS 1 the Bergen and PS 94 The Henry Longfellow. I met with each school's principal to understand their needs on the ground, and I got to witness the hard work that our teachers are doing day in and day out. I’d also like to share a special shout out to PS 94’s dynamic Principal Gonzales and the Chinese Planning Council for the opening of PS94’s community food pantry. It fills my heart to see our community supporting each other. 

On another front, as many of you may know, all NYC schools superintendents were asked to reapply for their positions this year. We have received a flood of concerns over this shock announcement and lack of parent and community voice in the process. When longstanding District 15 superintendent Anita Skop was potentially going to be excluded from that process, we heard an outcry of support from many sides. My office and I have been speaking with parents, principals, teachers and concerned residents about what is best for our district and taking your feedback to Chancellor Banks and his team.

Our office has also been supporting tenants at risk of displacement. We recently held a Spanish-language know your rights training in partnership with Brooklyn Defender Services and Neighbors Helping Neighbors at Trinity Lutheran Church in Sunset Park. We are not only mobilizing tenants but connecting them to spaces where they can build collective power together. We are here to support anyone facing harassment from their landlord, unreasonable rent hikes or lack of repairs. 

We are also focusing on consistent outreach in parts of the district that have long felt neglected. We continue to have mobile office hours in Red Hook and in the Eighth Avenue community. This month, the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety joined us for a Red Hook community clean up. We cleaned up the areas around Dwight and Otsego Streets and the response was tremendous. Residents shared how proud they are of their community as we cleaned up together. We resolved to make it a monthly commitment following the event, and we hope you’ll join us for a clean up this month on Saturday June 25!

We also held our second District 38 interfaith leaders meeting to discuss not only the needs and concerns of congregations across the district, but also how we can take collective action to support our community. This is a growing table and we welcome leaders of all faiths to our upcoming meetings.

Please be sure to take care of your physical, social and emotional well-being. Here is a link to a resource guide of local, culturally responsive services that can help.

Let's remember to celebrate all of life’s blessings. We want to wish a Happy 22nd birthday to Mixteca, one of our community’s leading organizations helping thousands of residents across the district. Thank you to the Mixteca team for all you do. Felicidades!

And this upcoming month, we look forward to celebrating our LGBTQ+ siblings, affirming all the dads out there, observing the summer solstice, honoring Juneteenth and joining in celebration of the Puerto Rican day parade.   






Council Member Alexa Avilés



Notice about Friday hours

To better serve you, we are closing our office to walk-in appointments on Fridays. Don’t worry, we'll still be hard at work each Friday getting caught up.

You can always call us to request an appointment at 718-439-9012.


Free book Fridays and summer reading

Each Friday throughout the summer, if you stop by our District Office between the hours of 3PM and 5PM, you will be able to pick up a free book for yourself or your child. Please also feel free to drop off any book donations and help us keep this program going.

In addition, we're planning something exciting in partnership with Brooklyn Book Bodega to encourage kids across the district with free books for a summer full of reading, so stay tuned!


COVID-19 risk is high in NYC once again

As you might have heard, NYC has updated is COVID-19 alert level to high. That means the city recommends wearing a high-quality mask indoors and in group settings.

At-home tests are easier to get your hands on than ever at libraries, cultural institutions and our office at 4417 4 Ave. We have high-quality masks available at our office for free too.

There’s no time like the present to use your at-home test kits. Know your status before visiting friends, family or going out. You can always pick up more – at-home test kits are now readily in supply, and now you can even order 8 more free at-home test kits via USPS. Order 8 more at-home test kits FREE via the USPS here! 

Above all, stay healthy by looking out for yourself, family, friends and neighbors. Get boosted, wear a mask and get tested today! 



New York will have not one, but TWO primary election dates this summer

Now that redistricting madness is finally over, there are important changes District 38 residents should be aware of. First, there has been a major change in our congressional representation. After decades of strong and committed representation, I am sad to share that Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez will no longer represent our community as of January 2023. Our entire district is now part of Congressional District 10. You can see the new map of CD 10 via this interactive tool from The City.

I wish to extend our deepest thanks and appreciation to the Congresswoman for her fire, persistence and commitment to this working class community. The list of her accomplishments would be too long to include here, but it runs deep. As the first Puerto Rican voting representative elected to Congress, I am sorely disappointed to lose her. However, she will continue to represent us through the end of this year.

The race in CD 10 is an open seat for the August primary, so pay close attention to who is running. The stakes are high for our district. 

And don’t forget, this summer there will be TWO primary election dates: 

  • Tuesday, June 28: Elections for Governor, Lt. Governor, State Assembly and party positions
  • Tuesday, August 23: Elections for US House of Representatives and State Senate


Register to vote in the June 28 primary by this Friday, June 3!

Don’t forget to vote! If you have recently had a change of address or wish to register to vote for the first time, please check out or swing by the district office and we’ll be happy to help you register to vote.



Testify before the Rent Guidelines Board this month

Make your voice heard before the Rent Guidelines Board’s final vote on June 21 by signing up to testify at an upcoming hearing! 

After our office and other elected officials demanded a meeting in Brooklyn and Manhattan in addition to the two upcoming meetings in the Bronx and Queens, the Rent Guidelines Board chose to hold an additional virtual hearing on June 6 and June 8.

Since they won’t be doing an in-person hearing of their own, my office and the office of Assemblymember Marcela Mitaynes are teaming up to bring a virtual live hearing to Sunset Park. If you wish to testify at our watch party in-person next Wednesday, you must register in advance so that we can make sure you’re registered to testify with the Rent Guidelines Board via Zoom. 

Register via this link or call us at 718-439-9012 to register.

Anxious about testifying before the board? Our offices will be hosting a testimony workshop this Saturday, June 4. See the flyer below for details.



SCRIE / DRIE applications and renewals

Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) is a program that allows qualifying seniors living in New York City to freeze their rent. The DRIE program also exists for New Yorkers on disability.

If you need help reapplying for SCRIE or DRIE, or to see if you qualify, contact our office at 718-439-9012 or at


DOT Commissioner Rodriguez visit

After two traffic deaths took place in our district in the same week , DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez visited Sunset Park and Red Hook for a planned walkthrough that took on new urgency

We spoke about the need for physical bike lane protections where they don’t currently exist like along 4 Ave and 9 Ave where two people were struck and killed this month. We also discussed the need for appropriate community education and engagement after the city scaled back plans to redesign 7 and 8 Avenues.

We made a stop at Third Avenue along the BQE, historically the most dangerous corridor in our neighborhood and pleaded for safety improvements as well as metered parking to reduce the number of abandoned vehicles under the BQE. 

Finally, we made it all the way to Red Hook where we inspected unsafe pedestrian crossings along Hamilton Ave, and urged the Commissioner to take action to mitigate the impacts of last-mile distribution facilities on our district.


Public Housing Committee hearing on NYCHA’s RAD/PACT program

On May 3rd, I chaired a public housing committee meeting on the controversial Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) and Permanent Affordability Together (PACT) programs. These programs have been lauded as part of the solution to persistent chronic repairs issues within public housing. However, there is a dissonance between what these programs claim to achieve in terms of repairs and operations, and what residents are experiencing on the ground.

Quickly, RAD/PACT are conversion programs that transfer public housing from Section 9 to private management under project-based Section 8 vouchers.

Residents testified that once converted, their developments have experienced poor quality repair work, new, confusing recertification requirements and a lack of clarity on how to file repair work orders.

At the hearing NYCHA testified that these programs have no data-driven assessments, and they could not disclose the profit that these private management companies stand to gain. 

How can we as a Council and New Yorkers vet the effectiveness of these programs without collecting any data? Further, how can we trust management companies that are driven by profit over the public good? 

I will continue to push for transparency around RAD/PACT, and I will always fight for public housing as a public good.


And NYCHA sent thousands of Section 8 termination notices in error

For our office, it began when we noticed a pattern of Section 8 tenants telling us they received letters saying the rental assistance they depend on would be cut. Calls to reach NYCHA’s Section 8 Unit through their Customer Contact Center took over an hour to get through.

It took months before the full extent of the error became clear, that over 2,000 tenants received erroneous letters that they would be losing their aid. NYCHA has since clarified that any termination notices relating to the recertification process will be paused indefinitely. 

If you received a Section 8 termination notice in recent months, please contact our office at 718-439-9012 or email us at

District 38 residents helped uncover the mistake by bringing it to our attention, and The City’s Greg Smith followed up on the story and the aftermath for tenants.



Announcing Summer Office hours!

Catch us this summer at a regular time and location near you in Red Hook or near 8 Avenue! We help with government services from food stamps to trash pickup. We’ll be in Red Hook every second Tuesday and third Saturday of the month, and we’ll be near 8 Avenue every second Friday and third Saturday of the month. 

Have an issue you’d like to discuss in person? Drop by office hours at a time and location that’s convenient for you!



Thursday, June 2 — Affirming fatherhood seminars

Studies have shown that a father’s involvement has a considerable impact on the well-being and outcome of the children and the community. Children who grow up with involved fathers experience better mental, emotional, educational, and social outcomes, and are more likely to do better in school and less likely to experience teen pregnancy and the juvenile justice system. 

Affirming Fatherhood New York: Building Great Men through Positive Parenting is a two-part virtual conference full of resources, coaching, and educational workshops to help fathers and practitioners learn how to navigate and reduce roadblocks that sometimes hinder fathers from being consistently involved with their families.

Registration is FREE and includes a downloadable list of events focused on fatherhood in New York City and New York State. 

Sign up here!



This Friday and Saturday, June 3 & 4 — Red Hook Fest is back!

Red Hook Fest returns to the waterfront June 3-4, 2022 with dazzling dancers, soaring vocalists, delicious meals, and fun activities for the whole family!




Sunday, June 5 — Community space coalition outreach

Community members are organizing to reclaim the community space that currently houses the temporary Brooklyn Public Library location. As many of you know, before the library moved in, the space was underutilized. Now that it’s used for the library, some residents would like to consider other ways to use this space in the future.

Stop by the park on Sunday, June 5 and look for Voces Ciudadanas to learn more about their coalition and their goal of ensuring the interim library becomes a permanent community space. 


Thursday, June 9 — Red Hook 311 walkthrough and training

Want to help keep our district clean and meet your neighbors?

We'll report issues together as a group. By submitting multiple complaints together, we're hoping to get issues addressed faster and to empower residents to report issues they see in the neighborhood.


Thursday, June 9 — Brooklyn cease and desist zone public hearing

Cease and desist zones are designed to help prevent aggressive real estate solicitation from brokers, agents, or real estate speculators that target private residences. 

The Governor’s office is considering making the whole of Brooklyn a cease and desist zone due to the rampant solicitation and harassment of homeowners that has occurred over recent years. 

For more information about cease and desist zones, you can read here. Sign up to testify at the June 9 hearing, which will take place at Brooklyn Borough Hall from 6:00pm to 8:00pm by sending an email to, or you may call our office at 718-439-9012 and we can help sign you up to testify.



Saturday, June 11 — Free, easy sewing class with Mixteca

Join our office and Mixteca for a free, easy sewing class from 10:00am to 12:00pm on June 11. We’ll make aromatherapy pillows and relieve some stress together at John Allen Playground, 65 St and 3 Ave.



Saturday, June 11 — Red Hook love your culture day 

Join the Red Hook Community Justice Center and neighbors for Love Your Culture Day – a community celebration of the vibrant cultures and excellence in Red Hook!



Sunday, June 12 — 6th Annual Sunset Park Puerto Rican Day Parade & Festival

Join us in celebrating the 6th annual Sunset Park Puerto Rican Day parade. This will be the first parade since the start of the pandemic and we will be honoring those lost to COVID, Hurricane Maria, and more. 



Thursday, June 16 — Red Hook Coastal Resiliency project update

The Mayor's office of Design and Construction and the Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice will present an update on the Red Hook Coastal Resiliency project on Thursday, June 16. 

Register via:



Friday, June 17 — Red Hook Parks Intergenerational Event

Red Hook Recreation Center presents a Spring festival for the entire family! There will be a delightful afternoon of games, arts and crafts, music, information tables, and more!



Saturday, June 25 — June Red Hook community clean up

Join Bay Ridge Center for their second annual Summer Celebration, Saturday, June 25, beginning at 1:00 pm at the Lutheran School Backyard, 440 Ovington Avenue.



Saturday, June 25 — Bay Ridge Center 2nd summer celebration!

Join Bay Ridge Center for their second annual Summer Celebration, Saturday, June 25, beginning at 1:00 pm at the Lutheran School Backyard, 440 Ovington Avenue.

Last year more than 150 older adults, friends, neighbors and business supporters joined BRC outdoors for great food, a short program, music and opportunities to meet your neighbors.

AAPI-LEAD youth conference with CACF

AAPI- LEAD (Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders - Learn. Engage. Advocate. Dream.) is a 4-day conference that brings together NYC’s AAPI and allied youth to discuss the experiences and issues most relevant to AAPI young people. 

AAPI-LEAD aims to develop AAPI youth's understanding of and relationship to their own identities, deepen the connections between social justice and equity in relation to systems and community, and equip youth with the tools to advocate for themselves, their families, and the wider AAPI community as a whole. Scan the QR code below to learn more!



New adaptive cycling initiative for people with disabilities

CitiBike has recently launched a new adaptive cycling program in partnership with Achilles International that will now serve Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and the Bronx.

The initiative features free, weekly adaptive cycle sessions, where people with disabilities can reserve a tandem bike or handcycle for recreational use with the assistance of Achilles staff and volunteer guides who will be on-site to outfit and train new riders. 

For more information and register for cycling sessions in each of the boroughs:


Jobs and resources

NYC is hiring! 

The City of New York is hiring! Please visit the career page at to view and apply for the wide variety of positions available across the City.

Want to learn more about city service? Call our office at 718-439-9012 to make an appointment to learn more about the application process and NYC Jobs platform. 

While we are more than happy to help orient you to the process of applying for city jobs, keep in mind that we cannot influence city hiring processes on your behalf.


Program Director: Red Hook Community Center Beacon @ PS 15

Program Director: Red Hook Community Center Beacon @ PS 15
The Program Director is responsible for overall program development, supervision and implementation of the Red Hook Beacon Community Center. 

The RHCC Beacon is open Monday – Saturday and is a year-round center providing after school, evening and adult programming for the Red Hook community.

Apply via this link.


District Office

4417 4th Avenue, Ground Floor

Brooklyn, NY 11220 

(718) 439 - 9012


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