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Good morning neighbors!

Today is a wonderful day to welcome in the Fall. So much has happened since we last checked in, and I wanted to provide important updates around critical projects that in some cases, are years in the making. However, I must first acknowledge the turmoil confronting my home island of Puerto Rico, Floridians and our Caribbean neighbors, Dominican Republic and Cuba.

As we know, Hurricane Fiona and Ian hit the islands to devastating effect. Puerto Rico, like Dominican Republic and Cuba, entirely lost power. Homes were swept away, and water access was disrupted. This story is not new. There is an abundance of sun across the islands, and it is obvious we should be investing in solar renewable energy. Instead, the U.S. deploys disaster capitalism to take advantage of communities that are hurting. For Puerto Rico and our neighbors, that means doubling down on band aid relief and fossil fuel investments. As the islands shift to recovery, I ask that if you want to be helpful, please support relief efforts on the ground. Casa Pueblo is one such organization doing relief work on the ground. You can read about some others here. 

Our City is also facing a crisis created by political opportunists taking advantage of human beings fleeing for their lives. It is reprehensible to use families as political pawns, bussing them to far away destinations without notifying local authorities. Our City is a sanctuary, and we have now received well over ten thousand asylum seekers. Some are now our neighbors here in District 38. My office, in partnership with Community Board 7 and South Brooklyn Mutual Aid, will be organizing a collection drive to provide much-needed resources to these families ahead of the winter season. Read further for more information on our donation drive.

This month, I introduced bills to bring more accountability and transparency to NYCHA, and I introduced legislation to collect better data on and redesign truck routes. I led two hearings on NYCHA's contracting practices and water testing at Jacob Riis Houses. As Chair of the Committee on Public Housing and as the Council Member representing the largest NYCHA campus in Brooklyn, I will fight each and every day for public housing residents. That means my office works with residents and with NYCHA staff every day. At the same time, it is my job to hold the agency to account for broken practices. Read more in our "In the news" section, below.

We have many events to share this month (read more below), but save the date Saturday, October 8 for our very first street co-naming ceremony. 57 St will be co-named in honor of Sandra Santos-Vizcaino, a beloved public school teacher who died due to complications from COVID-19 in April 2020.

L'Shanah Tova to all our Jewish neighbors who celebrated Rosh Hashanah this week and to all who observe, I wish you an easy fast and clarity of mind this Yom Kippur.

October also marks Indigenous Peoples’ Day, and we do celebrate Italian Americans, who have had a long presence in Sunset Park and our South Brooklyn communities. And lastly, I wish all our Mexican neighbors a happy Day of the Dead, which many will celebrate in honor of loved ones who have passed with festivities in Sunset Park the last weekend of October.

Always in solidarity, 


Council Member

Alexa Avilés


New water main installation at Red Hook Houses this Monday

Residents are advised that there will be interruptions to hot and cold-water services for approximately 5 hours between 9 am and 5 pm on Monday, October 3, 2022. Please notify our office if services are interrupted outside the planned outage period by calling 718-439-9012.

The purpose of this interruption is to install a new water main connection on Centre Mall. Buildings along Centre Mall are most likely to be affected. Water stations will be set up in the development on Monday. The new water main connection will help minimize the likelihood of unplanned water outages.














Supplies drive for asylum seekers

Our office has been working with the Department of Social Services and other partners to identify needs as asylum seekers arrive in our district. 

Along with South Brooklyn Mutual Aid, we will be collecting donations of the following items to distribute to asylum seekers.



Districting Commission

After deliberating all summer and receiving an unprecedented amount of feedback, the Districting Commission met last week to reveal new maps, then voted against submitting its current draft to the City Council.

So what now? You can view the draft proposal here. The draft proposal is a marked improvement over the initial draft, which could have been challenged for violating the Voting Rights Act as the Commission’s own legal counsel testified last Thursday. However, there is definitely room for improvement, and I plan to ensure the Commission is made aware of my concerns.

I argued against the initial proposal, which divided protected communities of interest by breaking our current district up into two white majority districts. Whatever your opinion or persuasion on the matter, I am proud that our district sent more feedback than almost any other. You are encouraged to submit additional comments on the updated proposal via The Districting Commission will continue to review feedback on a rolling basis until it submits a revised proposal for the City Council to vote on.

Envisioning the future of the BQE

DOT is beginning a series of BQE Community Engagement efforts with a view to reimagining the corridor’s future. The second of two kickoff meetings will take place next Thursday, October 6th from 6:30pm-8:30pm. Additional meetings will be held through November to collect feedback on different corridors of the BQE, including South Brooklyn.

All upcoming meeting details, registration links, and additional information can be found at

The DOT is also recruiting organizations and leaders to advise on its BQE Community Visioning Council. Those interested in participating in the DOT’s Community Visioning Council must apply by Monday, October 3 at 11:59pm: learn more here.


4 Avenue safety improvement work updates

This summer, the Department of Design and Construction and Department of Transportation began work on a safety improvement project along 4 Avenue. This three-mile, $60M project along 4th Avenue from 8th to 64th Streets takes place along a corridor in the top 10% in the city of death and serious injury from crashes.

Through June 2024, DOT and DDC will be constructing raised, landscaped medians to encourage safe pedestrian crossings and to calm vehicular traffic—improving on and making permanent 2012 and 2020 operational projects.

Currently, the project is doing demolition work from 52 St to 49 St, where there will be a temporary no parking zone through the end of October. While this project is a welcome and needed one, my office wrote a letter calling on DOT, DDC and the 72 Precinct to improve pedestrian and bike safety along 4 Avenue while construction is underway.

Rainbow Playground reconstruction

Starting October 11, the playground and table area within Rainbow Playground at 56 St and 5 Ave will be closed for construction. Construction will last approximately one year, and will incorporate $1.6 million in improvements to the playground area secured through our office!



Be advised — temporary B35 and B70 bus route changes through November

Bus riders take note — there will be a temporary detour along B35 and B70 bus routes, starting later in October and extending through later in November. 

See graphics below for details, and expect signs to be posted along all affected routes.




Free lifeguard certification tests and courses through the Y

New York City needs YOU, young adults, to get lifeguard trained and certified, and the Y offers free certification tests and coursework. Learn more here.



In the news

This month, I joined Brian Lehrer for a conversation about my priorities for our district. The single most common issue constituents contacted our office about this summer was housing, and we talked about how housing and affordability must be a priority for our city. Public housing offers the deepest affordability and stability there is and we must fight for public housing as a public good. Listen to my interview with Brian Lehrer here.

In my capacity as a private citizen, I signed onto a proposed amendment to City zoning rules that would introduce a special permitting process before new last-mile facilities are allowed to be developed. Read more here.

After several meetings with NYCHA, residents and other stakeholders, I sent the public housing authority a letter outlining steps to improve fire safety without limiting mobility options available to public housing residents, including mobility disabled and elderly residents who depend on battery-powered devices.

Last week, the City Council held two hearings to question NYCHA about its contracting practices and to uncover who knew what and when as the arsenic scare at Jacob Riis Houses in the Lower East Side unfolded. I led both hearings in my capacity as Chair of the Public Housing Committee alongside Council Members Carlina Rivera, Oversight Committee Chair Gale Brewer and Contracts Committee Chair Julie Won. In addition to conducting two oversight hearings, I introduced a series of bills to increase transparency and accountability over our public housing. Read more here.

Photo: Bill Alatriste


I spoke with the Indypendent Radio Hour after visiting a hotel converted into an emergency shelter for asylum seekers, and our conversation touched on Puerto Rico, last week's hearings and more. What brings it all together? Fighting disaster capitalism. Listen to the interview here.

Yesterday, I introduced legislation along with Council Members Lincoln Restler, Jen Gutierrez, Tiffany Cabán and Borough President Antonio Reynoso. This legislation calls for a redesign of our truck routes and would implement measures to collect the data we need to more effectively redesign and reimagine how we move goods through our city for social and environmental justice. Read about the legislation here.

Join us for office hours in your neighborhood, with dates through the end of the year.

Twice a month, we bring our office to you in Red Hook and Eighth Avenue. Need help, or just want to chat about the neighborhood? Stop on by!

Red Hook

Tuesday, October 11, 3pm–6pm at Red Hook Library, 7 Wolcott St. RSVP here.
Saturday, October 29, 11am–3pm tabling at Coffey Park. RSVP here.
Tuesday, November 8, 12pm–3pm at Red Hook Initiative, 767 Hicks St. RSVP here.
Friday, November 18, 12pm–3pm at Red Hook Initiative, 767 Hicks St. RSVP here.
Tuesday, December 13, 12pm–3pm at Red Hook Initiative, 767 Hicks St. RSVP here.
Friday, December 16, 12pm–3pm at Red Hook Initiative, 767 Hicks St. RSVP here.

Eighth Avenue

Every second Friday and third Saturday of the month, we bring our office to Eighth Avenue!

Friday, October 14, 11am–3pm at PCR, 909 58 St. RSVP here.
Saturday, October 22, 11am–3pm at PCR, 909 58 St. RSVP here.
Friday, November, 11, 11am–3pm at PCR, 909 58 St. RSVP here.
Saturday, November, 19, 11am–3pm at PCR, 909 58 St. RSVP here.
Friday, December 9, 11am–3pm at PCR, 909 58 St. RSVP here.
Saturday, December 17, 11am–3pm at PCR, 909 58 St. RSVP here.



Freedom to Dream Day — this Saturday, October 1, 12:00pm-4:00pm

Join PS 295 and Mural Justice Project for a fun for all ages event: Freedom to Dream Day, a celebration of Latino Heritage Month.

After students designed and artists painted a mural inside PS 295 that was later removed by school administrators, school families began to organize under the banner of the Mural Justice Project. Join us f this Saturday by 18 St and 6 Avenue to celebrate the mural’s restoration, bigger and better than ever on the school’s façade.



Regina Opera Autumn Concert — Sunday, October 2, 3:00pm–5:00pm

Regina opera celebrates its 2022-2023 Season with a 2-hour Autumn Concerts with songs in several languages. 

For more info, visit or call 718-259-2772.



Sandra Santos-Vizcaino Street co-naming — Saturday, October 8, 11am

According to Chalkbeat, Santos-Vizcaino:

"...wanted to provide [students] with a creative and collaborative classroom that met each of their unique needs. In some of her donation requests, she said she hand-picked books for students based on their interests, and successfully raised money to buy graphic novels and stories about math."

I look forward to honoring celebrating this dedicated public school teacher, taken as she was from us too early in the first days of the pandemic. Sandra Santos-Vizcaino Street will be so co-named with 57 St and the ceremony will take place at 11am at 57 St and 4 Avenue.


Red Hook neighborhood canvass — Sunday, October 9, 2:00pm-4:00pm

Join us for neighborhood canvassing in Red Hook with the Office of Assemblymember Marcela Mitaynes and others to talk to residents about the issues they’re facing, the growth of last-mile facilities in our district and more.

We will be joined by special guests! If you’re looking to get to know your neighbors and make positive change in our community, please join us!

Sign up for our canvass here.


Civics Series Replay: Virtual Edition on City government — Tuesday, October 11, 6:00pm-7:30pm

Ever wanted to know: What does the City Council DO? How does the City budget work? What are Community Boards? How can residents influence how we improve our neighborhood? This session focuses on the City Council.

Join our virtual civics series event, Tuesday October 11 via Zoom! RSVP here.





Sunset Park Wide Open — Friday, October 14 through Sunday, October 16.

Join NARS Foundation and other neighbors in the Sunset Park arts scene for a weekend of open studios, exhibitions, and events, all across the neighborhood. Learn more via NARS Foundation.



Red Hook Farms Harvest Festival —Saturday, October 15, 11:00am–3:00pm.

Red Hook Farms celebrates the Fall Harvest with a free festival this month, with food, games, art, music, pumpkins and more! Visit at 540 Columbia St, at the corner of Columbia and Sigourney Sts.



Free flu shots and Hep B screening with CPC — Sunday, October 16, 10:00am–3:00pm.

Schedule your free flu shot this season with CPC, and get screened for Hepatitis B for free while you’re at it! Appointments highly recommended: call to reserve a spot 718-492-0409.




IDNYC pop-up clinic with CPC — Tuesday, October 18, 10:00am–5:00pm. 

Wait times for New York City ID appointments are through the roof. But, this month we’ll be bringing the IDNYC van to Sunset Park’s Eighth Avenue. You will need an appointment to apply for ID, and don’t forget to bring all required documents to your appointment.

RSVP now by calling 718-492-0409.





District 38 Open House — Thursday, October 20, 6:00pm–8:00pm

Join us to meet our team, your neighbors and talk about how we can organize and better our district together.

RSVP here.



Naturalization workshop — Saturday, October 22

New York Lawyers for the Public Interest and Catholic Migration Services will be hosting this workshop at Borough Hall in Downtown Brooklyn. 

To participate, please RSVP by October 12, call 718-236-3000 Ext:1 or text 347-966-3238.



Red Hook Neighborhood Canvass — Sunday, October 23, 2:00pm–4:00pm.

Join us for another round of neighborhood canvassing in Red Hook with the Office of Assemblymember Marcela Mitaynes and others to talk to residents about the issues they’re facing, the growth of last-mile facilities in our district and more.

Sign up to canvass October 23 here.


Department of Environmental Protection Community Forum — Tuesday, October 25, 6:00pm–7:30pm.

Has your home been affected by flooding during recent storms?

Join us for a virtual forum and informational session on flood zones and storm infrastructure, Tuesday, October 25 from 6:00pm–7:30pm. RSVP here.



Annual Red Hook Fall Festival with Redemption Church —Saturday, October 29, 12:00pm–3:30pm.

Summer is coming to an end and pumpkin spice is about to take over which means it is time for the annual Fall Festival in Coffey Park!

Stop by for fun activities, treats and food for the whole family.



In case you missed it… 

I joined our partners at NYU Langone and elsewhere to give out backpacks and school supplies during back-to-school. 



I joined our local community school PS 24 to greet public school families on the first day of school. Community schools are an incredible resource that provide services to everyone they can help.



With parents of PS 172 celebrating back-to-school. 



At PCR’s mid-Autumn Festival in Sunset Park… 



I stood with Brooklyn College faculty and students to demand the College’s Puerto Rican and Latino Studies program get the staff and support they need and deserve.

Photos: John McCarten




We opened Latina Heritage Month by co-hosting a reunification event for Mexican families separated by the border at Borough Hall with  Chinelos de Morelos and the Office of Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso.



We celebrated Mexican Independence in style on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, too.



While we all miss the summer, I loved celebrating the end of the season at the Red Hook Community Justice Center’s final pop-up plaza of the year.



I toured SIMS recycling facility in District 38 with Sanitation Committee Chair Sandy Nurse.

Photo: John McCarten



I stood with members of GOLES, Good Old Lower East Side and Council Members Carlina Rivera and Gale Brewer to speak to the press ahead of our oversight hearing on water testing issues at the Jacob Riis Houses.

Photo: Bill Alatriste



I stopped by the Sunset Park greenmarket and spoke with farmers who sell fresh foods and produce every Saturday. 













And I had a blast at the Sunset Park BID’s annual Fifth Avenue Festival!



I joined Council Members Amanda Farías and Crystal Hudson for a visit of Bronx River Houses, a NYCHA senior community. 



District Office

4417 4th Avenue, Ground Floor

Brooklyn, NY 11220 

(718) 439 - 9012


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