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This Week in New York City Government

Mayor:

Mayor de Blasio, Senator Schumer Announce FEMA Commitment of at Least $1.6 Billion to Repair and Protect Sandy-Damaged Public Hospitals

Mayor Bill de Blasio and U.S. Senator Charles Schumer announced that the City has secured a commitment of at least $1.6 billion in funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to repair and protect the City’s public hospitals damaged during Hurricane Sandy.

The allocation—the second largest FEMA award ever and the largest award under FEMA’s 428 program—will advance the City’s comprehensive, five-borough resiliency plan and fund improvements at four New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) facilities: Coney Island Hospital in Brooklyn, Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan, Metropolitan Hospital Center in Manhattan, and Coler Specialty Hospital on Roosevelt Island.

Mayor Bill de Blasio Signs Three Bills Into Law: Introductions 82-A, 403-A, and 438

Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law Introductions 82-A, 403-A, and 438. Intro. 82-A requires the posting of signs in TLC vehicles informing passengers about the penalties for assaulting drivers; Intro. 403-A mandates the Department of Education to report information on guidance counselors and social workers in schools; and Intro. 438 establishes the West Shore business improvement district on Staten Island.

The first piece of legislation, Intro. 82-A, will help keep drivers safe by requiring vehicles licensed by the Taxi and Limousine Commission to post signs informing passengers about the penalties for assaulting a driver—including the maximum penalty of 25 years in jail. Just this past summer, two drivers were tragically killed on the job. This bill aims to curb such assaults and protect drivers’ safety behind the wheel.

The second bill the Mayor signed into law today, Intro. 403-A, requires the Department of Education to report information on school guidance counselors and social workers each year, helping to ensure all students have access to quality guidance services at their schools.

The third bill, Intro. 438, formally establishes the West Shore Industrial Business Improvement District—the first of the de Blasio administration—on Staten Island. This BID will provide support to local businesses like sanitation and maintenance, signage and streetscape improvements, and security services.

Pledging Stronger Public Schools, Mayor de Blasio Announces ‘School Renewal Program’

In a speech before hundreds of parents and community leaders, Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled the School Renewal Program, a new strategy to turn around New York City’s most challenged schools.

The School Renewal Program will fundamentally change the direction of and accelerate progress in 94 struggling schools, in stark contrast with the old approach of simply closing or phasing out schools. Each Renewal School will transform into a Community School, knitting together new services that support children’s families, as well as their mental health and physical well-being. Each Renewal School will provide an extra hour each day of extended instruction and could offer additional after-school, weekend, and summer learning opportunities, as needed. And each will receive additional resources for academic intervention and professional development to create a better learning environment for students.

The plan will invest $150 million to fundamentally build each school’s education capacity across the elements of the Chancellor’s Capacity Framework: rigorous instruction, supportive environment, collaborative teachers, effective school leadership, strong family-community ties, and trust.

Mayor’s Office Chief of Staff Laura Santucci to Oversee New York City’s Bid for the 2016 DNC Convention

The Mayor’s Office announced that Chief-of-Staff Laura Santucci will take a leave of absence from her official duties at City Hall to lead New York City’s bid to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

Santucci will oversee the operational, financial and strategic planning of the City’s efforts to secure this milestone event, where the Democratic Party’s candidate for president in 2016 will be nominated.

The de Blasio Administration’s School Space Working Group Unveils Recommendations to Address Space Needs Across City Schools

The de Blasio administration’s School Space Working Group presented a set of recommendations to create a fairer and more transparent set of space guidelines in the New York City school system.

The School Space Working Group—consisting of education leaders and experts from New York City’s district and charter schools, advocacy and faith-based organizations, foundations, community councils, parent groups, labor organizations, elected officials, and the real estate sector—was formed earlier this year to help identify long-term solutions to school space issues, including overcrowding and the phase out of mobile classrooms as permanent instruction sites. The group has also worked on recommendations to foster positive outcomes in future co-locations, a longstanding source of friction within school buildings and communities.

Citywide and Borough Electeds:

Comptroller Stringer, NYC Pension Funds Launch National Campaign To Give Shareowners A True Voice In How Corporate Boards Are Elected

On Thursday, New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer, on behalf of the $160 billion New York City Pension Funds, announced a groundbreaking initiative to give shareowners the right to nominate directors at U.S. companies using the corporate ballot. By submitting proxy access shareowner proposals to 75 companies at once, the New York City Pension Funds are taking a major first step to roll out proxy access across the market. The resolutions, known collectively as the Boardroom Accountability Project, seek to give shareowners a choice in the election of directors of publicly held companies.

Borough President Diaz Kicks Off 4th Annual ‘Savor The Bronx’ Restaurant Week

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. officially kicked off the 4th Annual “Savor the Bronx” Restaurant Week today at The Bronx Beer Hall in the Arthur Avenue Retail Market.

“Savor the Bronx” Restaurant Week, produced by the Bronx Tourism Council and co-hosted by the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC), showcases the borough’s best eateries by offering special values and discounts. “We have so many great flavors in our borough, and I hope everyone—visitors and locals alike—will take advantage of this promotion and try something new. Our borough has an amazing food culture, and ‘Savor the Bronx’ is a great way to explore our epicurean delights,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.