Subscribe to our newsletter here. Suscríbete aquí. Zài zhèli dìngyuè.

Visit our archive for past emails. En español aquí. 中文在这里.

Dear neighbors,

With the beginning of November we enter a season of thankfulness. I want to thank each and every one of YOU, our constituents. Without your trust and support I would not be able to serve in this role. Each and every day many of you go to work, a senior center, a doctor's appointment, a school drop off —you name it — and contribute to the fabric of our beautiful district. It is the honor of my life to represent you.

With so much that has happened this year that we have so much to be thankful for. Our community is full of leaders. Leaders who have done great work on social justice, community service, health, spiritual guidance, and more. This month is a reminder that we should always take a moment to breathe, recollect and appreciate our collective journeys. 

Do you have a neighbor, local business owner or a local worker you’d like to thank for all they do? Use this link to tell us who they are for a special gratitude edition newsletter.

November is also Native American Heritage Month. We must not forget that our country was founded on many acts including genocide, exploitation and violence toward Indigenous peoples. While New York City is home to many native people, one of my favorite organizations is NDN Collective, an Indigenous-led organization dedicated to building Indigenous power in South Dakota. NDN has been leading fights to defend, develop and decolonize native lands.

I also want to uplift the struggle of our working class communities that fight every day against powerful corporations. This past year we have seen tremendous strides in new labor organizing: the first Amazon facility unionized in Staten Island, multiple Starbucks stores have unionized, and Trader Joe’s Workers in Williamsburg filed for their first union election. I applaud these workers and all those in the fight against low wages and corporate greed. 

With that I want to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving this month. As we observe Veterans Day on November 11, the day hostilities ceased in World War I, we wish for peace and the safe return of those who have served. 

Lastly, I want to send a big shout out to our Boricua community — across the diaspora and in Puerto Rico — as we commence Puerto Rican Heritage Month, a time to honor and reflect on the incredible legacies and future of our community.

On the heels of yet another hurricane, our families in Puerto Rico are struggling with the multiple devastating man-made disasters of colonialism that have brought corruption, environmental destruction and an energy crisis, gentrification and continued economic insecurity to our island. Unfortunately, many Boricuas face these struggles here as well. Despite these challenges, one thing is clear, we are not just a resilient community, but a community of strength, beauty, ingenuity and resistance. Pa’lante Boricua, defiende lo tuyo!

In solidarity,


Council Member 

Alexa Avilés


Community updates

Don’t forget to vote! 

Early voting is underway and Election Day is coming up Tuesday, November 8. With important races on the ballot from U.S. Senate, Congressional Representative to Governor to State Assembly and more. The stakes in this election are significant, we need your participation.

You’ll also have the opportunity to vote on four ballot proposals: one authorizing the sale of environmental bonds and three proposed racial equity measures.

You can visit NYC Votes’ nonpartisan voter guide to learn more about the candidates, ballot proposals and offices here.

Lastly, check your poll site here before you head to the polls! Visit



Federal student loan relief is finally here!

Earlier this month, the Biden administration opened up applications for Federal Student Loan Relief. The best news of all is: it can take as little as two minutes to apply.

Pell Grant Recipients can receive up to $20,000 in student debt relief. Non-Pell Grant recipients are eligible for up to $10,000 of debt relief.

Parents who took out Federal PLUS Loans to help their students pay for college can also apply for debt relief.

Apply here TODAY. Applications close December 31, but don’t wait, it only takes a few minutes to apply!


Envisioning a new future for the BQE

Back in September, NYC DOT and Mayor Adams announced a new public engagement process to envision a new future for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE). BUT the City only controls the cantilever (the portion underneath the Brooklyn promenade), while the entire BQE is under state DOT. 

The State has NOT publicly committed to corridor-wide solutions, which is unacceptable. It will take residents like you to advocate for our communities’ needs and ensure we do not continue to reinforce racist infrastructure projects. 

Red Hook and Sunset Park have long been impacted by the Gowanus Expressway, which brings with it increased truck traffic, fumes and exhaust. Areas underneath the elevated highway are also used as staging areas for DOT projects in other parts of the City, which means our communities bear additional impacts from highway maintenance elsewhere.

That’s why it is critical for residents like you to participate. We need each of you to demand the state get involved and make a commitment to a corridor-wide solution, not just the cantilever, that prioritizes environmental justice communities such as ours. The next city-led BQE visioning sessions will take place Thursday, November 3 via Zoom and IN-DISTRICT on Monday, November 7th from 6:30pm–8:30pm at Lillian Rashkis High School, 355 37 St.

Learn more and RSVP for an event:



Redistricting updates

Big changes are coming to District 38. Thank you to everyone who testified to protect our community.  While a marked improvement over the initial draft, no maps are going to be perfect and these lines certainly are not. On January 1, 2024, the next City Council Member for District 38 will represent Red Hook, Sunset Park and parts of Gowanus, Dyker Heights and Bensonhurst.


Last week, the City Council sent proposed new district lines back to the NYC Districting Commission to be certified and finalized. You can view the Commission’s maps here.


Updates on local parks issues

Did you know? Sunset Park only has three full-time maintenance staff assigned to keep our Park clean and green. Last year’s City budget increased funding for Parks rangers, but did not increase funding for maintenance. The Mayor’s budget fell far short of the 1% allocation we asked for to maintain our parks. This year, we will have to fight to change that.

We’ve seen increased usage across our district’s Parks since the pandemic and have advocated for extended hours and maintenance, but please bear in mind that our park is severely understaffed. We are continuing to advocate to do right by park visitors, who deserve to be treated fairly, and our maintenance staff, who deserve the same.

We also heard from many Sunset Park parents this month who were dismayed at the removal of the sandbox from the Sunset Park playground. Together with parents, we advocated to keep the sandbox, and we are pleased to share that the sand is back!



Red Hook porta-potties

After a great deal of advocacy, we are happy to report that there aree four new porta-potties placed at Bay & Clinton Street and on Henry near Lorraine streets while environmental remediation continues at some of the ball fields and permanent toilets are being refurbished.

Help us keep these new, temporary amenities clean! Alert us to any maintenance issues 718-439-9012.



Important information for Middle School and High School admissions

High school and middle school applications for the 2023-24 school year are now open. Submit your application by December 1. 

Throughout the application period, middle school and high school parents and students can submit their application in one of the following three ways:

If you are stuck, or need some basic guidance, please call or visit our office, 718-439-9012.


Reduced hours for trash pickup proposed

This October, Mayor Adams and Sanitation Commissioner Tisch announced a proposal to reduce the number of hours trash sits on New York City streets. 

Under the new proposal, hashed out in an agreement with building services union 32BJ and Teamsters Local 831, which represents sanitation workers, trash pickup would be placed on the curb later on nights before collection.

You can read up on the proposed rule change and comment here.


NYCHA residents! Attend an upcoming meeting on the Housing Preservation Trust and comment on proposed voting rules by November 23

The NYCHA Preservation Trust was passed by the state legislature this part year as a way to fund through bonds the rehabilitation of up to 25,000 NYCHA units. The law calls for residents to make a choice in what option they wanted for their development and required the development of a draft voting procedure (available here) for public review and comment. Translation is available in more than 130 languages by the tool at the top of the webpage. Residents, make your voices heard.

Comments on the draft voting procedures must be made by November 23 via mail, by emailing comments to or at a town hall meeting.

Meeting dates and other resident engagement events related to the Trust can be found here:


Right to Counsel works. So why are tenants being denied their rights?

For months, tenant advocates have warned that with the vast number of eviction cases moving through the courts, many tenants would be denied legal counsel that they are otherwise eligible to receive. Almost all tenants who make their case with a Right to Counsel attorney are able to avoid evictions.

New data from the Housing Data Coalition show that just one in ten tenants eligible for legal representation in eviction cases received counsel in September this year. 

Almost 30,000 tenants have faced an eviction in court since the expiration of the eviction protections, and almost all of them should have had an attorney through Right to Counsel. Yet 17,000 tenants, or two thirds of all of the tenants in court, have been denied this crucial right. Our safety net is under severe duress.

We hear from residents facing eviction all too often and the first thing to know is this: you have rights and you are not alone. 

Know your rights and please call our office if you or someone you know is facing an eviction at 718-439-9012.



Lithium-ion battery fires

Due to recent increases in fires caused by lithium-ion batteries and unfortunate loss of lives, the Fire Department encourages New Yorkers to be #FDNYSmart and follow these lithium-ion battery safety tips. 

For additional tips and resources, please visit



Join us for office hours 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, November 8, 12pm–3pm at RHI, 767 Hicks St. RSVP here.
Friday, November 18, 12pm–3pm at RHI, 767 Hicks St. RSVP here.
Tuesday, December 13, 12pm–3pm at RHI, 767 Hicks St. RSVP here.
Friday, December 16, 12pm–3pm at RHI, 767 Hicks St. RSVP here.

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

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.



Sane Energy Utility Justice Teach-in — Wednesday, November 2, 6:00pm–8:00pm

Have you had high gas and electric bills lately? Did you know National Grid bills went up last year to pay for a racist fracked gas pipeline near us? Did you know Con Ed has applied to raise our monthly bills even more?

✊ We can fight back!

Join us for a Community Meeting and Teach-in to learn more about your Con Ed and National Grid bills and how people are coming together to fight back against unaffordable energy bills!





Rally to House Homeless Kids — Thursday, November 3, 11:30am, D’Emic Playground 3 Ave and 34 St

There are over 100,000 kids in our school system with no permanent housing. We have the solutions to get families out of homelessness and into housing, but we have to fight for them.

Join VOCAL in our district for a rally and speak out on this under-discussed and serious issue in our City.



Next CUNY Citizenship Workshop — Saturday, November 5

It’s time for the next City Council sponsored Citizenship Event! CUNY is hosting a large-scale Citizenship Event this Saturday, November 5, 2022, to answer your questions about the process. 

The event will take place at Borough of Manhattan Community College. Call 646-664-9400 or text 929-334-3784 for an appointment.





The People’s Money Brooklyn Idea Generation Session — Sunday, November 6, 1:30pm

Are you interested in proposing a new program or expense project to serve your community? The Adams administration and Civic Engagement Commission are allocating $5 million out of the Mayor’s discretionary budget for community-generated ideas this year and now is the time to propose your ideas! 

Join the NYC Civic Engagement Commission and partners for a Brooklyn Participatory Budgeting Idea Generation Session, local music, and food this Sunday, November 6 at 1:30 PM at Brooklyn Museum. Through activities, you will be identifying your borough's needs and brainstorm ideas for boroughwide expense projects!

Sign up here and select “Brooklyn” as your borough to RSVP.



RETI Center presents, Urban Ocean Stewardship — Wednesday, November 9, 9:00am–12:00pm

Restoration and activation of our waterfront and maritime industries should go hand in hand. For those interested in issue areas like last-mile logistics, transportation, green industrial development and environmental justice, register at



BQE South Corridor Visioning Session at Lillian Rashkis High School — Monday, November 7, 6:30pm–8:30pm

NYC DOT is coming to our district to host an in-person workshop focused on BQE’s South Corridor — the area south of Atlantic Avenue to the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge — at which participants can learn about efforts to reimagine the corridor. 

There will be opportunities to share experiences related to the BQE and initial ideas about how it could be improved. All participants must show proof of vaccination.



NYLAG Legal Services Van at 4417 4 Ave —Tuesday, November 15, 10am–3pm

Once a month, New York Legal Assistance group brings their van to our district office to provide free civil (non-criminal) legal services for people who cannot afford an attorney. Our van brings lawyers to your neighborhood, and Everyone is eligible to receive free legal services, regardless of immigration status.




Civic Series Replay “What is the City Budget? —Thursday, November 17, 6:00pm–7:30pm

The next city budget may seem far away, but our education series continues with a primer on the City budget! 

Sign up to learn more and help us advocate for the resources your community needs here.


World Day of Remembrance — Sunday, November 20, 3:30pm

Every 2 hours a person is seriously injured or worse in our city. During this time of year, we see spikes in car collisions by up to 40% because of shorter daylight hours.

On World Day of Remembrance, Sunday, November 20, Get Women Cycling will host a community march to honor victims of traffic violence and to advocate for safe street passage in our neighborhood.

We invite families who lost loved ones to traffic violence, elected officials, Sunset Park residents, business owners, and their guests to join us at 3:30 pm in front of the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help at 59 St and 5 Ave.



Civics Series #3 “What is a Community Board and what are school boards or Community Education Councils? — Wednesday, November 30

Come learn about these local civic bodies and the important role they play in our community. 

We will talk about what they do. How you apply to join the Community Board and what role they serve. Save the date, and we’ll share more details on this event soon!



Resource for public school parents in English and Spanish

InsideSchools produces a newsletter in English and Spanish full of information and resources on New York City public schools.

Subscribe to receive InsideSchools' English newsletter here
Suscríbete para el boletín semanal de InsideSchools en español aquí.

Emergency snow laborers

Registration is now open for those interested in working as Emergency Snow Laborers for the 2022-2023 winter season with the Department of Sanitation. Emergency Snow Laborers are per-diem workers who remove snow and ice from bus stops, crosswalks, fire hydrants and step streets after heavy snowfalls. Snow Laborers earn $17 per hour to start, and $25.50 per hour after 40 hours are worked in a week.

Learn more at Registration appointments take place at the Department’s 59 garages.


BuildingWorks pre-apprenticeship program

Since 1995, BuildingWorks, a projector of NYC District Council of Carpenters, has prepared more than 1,000 individuals from local New York communities for careers with an average entry hourly wage of $20 and a successful career placement rate of 80%, so we’d love for you to share the online application with your constituents.

The next application process will begin on December 5th for the January 16th to February 17th session. Learn more here and apply to All applicants must be 17 years or older with a High School diploma or GED.



Free ESL with South Brooklyn Mutual Aid

Volunteers with South Brooklyn Mutual Aid lead this weekly free English course. This is a free online conversation group, designed for intermediate English learners in South Brooklyn. These free sessions take place on Wednesdays, 7:00-8:00pm.

Learn more and sign up:



Brooklyn Legal Services A presents “Tax Talk Thursdays”

Get your tax questions answered by Brooklyn A experts! “Tax Talk Thursdays” are held every other week as an open question and answer session. Join the online chat anytime from 11 am to 1 pm to discuss things like filing requirements, credit eligibility, self-employment obligations, and more.

Learn more here.



Around the neighborhood…

I was proud to unveil the newly co-named Sandra Santos Vizcaino street signs at 57 St and 4 Ave this month. 



Celebrating Hispanic Heritage with Principal Gonzalez at PS 24.



Our team joined Garden of Hope for Domestic Violence Awareness month outreach on Wear Purple Day. Remember: everyone has a role to play in ending Gender-Based Violence. Help is out there!



We joined Red Hook Farms for their fall Harvest Festival this month and enjoyed the activities, food and fun.



Over 40 Eighth Avenue residents were served by the IDNYC bus we brought to the district this month!



18 New Yorkers have died on Rikers Island so far this year. Families of those who lost relatives on Rikers rallied this month with the Council to call for an end to solitary confinement and for the City to rapidly improve conditions on Rikers.



Celebrating Hispanic Heritage at the Sunset Park Neighborhood Senior Center.



Proudly standing with my colleagues, advocates and domestic violence survivors before the Council passed a comprehensive package of legislation to support survivors of violence that included creating small-dollar, easy to access grants for survivors and more. 



At the Vision Zero Cities conference speaking with experts and industry leaders about small electric vehicles and smart policy solutions to improve street safety for all.



This month we did outreach ahead of early voting to talk about the important questions on the ballot in this election and handed out domestic violence awareness information.



We celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month with a family reunification event at Borough Hall.



Our office led a clean up at 9 Ave with volunteers and community members. We can all play a part in keeping our parks and green spaces clean!



Doing outreach in Red Hook for housing, jobs and justice!



Our first open house was well-attended and brought out a diverse crowd from across the district. 





Our office organized a resource fair for asylum seekers in shelter in our district last Friday.



At the Red Hook Barnacle Parade, recognizing the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy with a community story quilt.



Kicking off Sunset Park’s First Día de los Muertos “Las Catrinas” parade.




We hope you enjoyed a safe, happy Halloween!



District Office

4417 4th Avenue, Ground Floor

Brooklyn, NY 11220 

(718) 439 - 9012


Click here to manage your contact preferences.