NYC Announces $150 Million in Funding for Five Anchor Parks

ql-logo.png“These five parks are the centers of life for their surrounding neighborhoods and beyond,” said Council Member Mark Levine, Chair of the Committee on Parks. “The modernization which this historic investment will make possible will help ensure that the Anchor Park serves as engines for healthy community life for many decades to come.”

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City Invests $150 Million to Upgrade Five Underserved Parks

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By Jeff Mays

And residents who live around parks such as St. Mary's don't have the resources to fund the conservatories that have led to the revitalization of green spaces such as Madison Square Park and Battery Park, said Councilman Mark Levine, chair of the parks committee.

"For decades, these five parks really haven't been living up to their full potential because of deferred investments. You see it in ball fields that need to be fixed up or rec centers that need renovations or lighting that doesn't work and has been removed, and we're going to be able to fix that," said Levine.

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NYC Council renames Holocaust Survivors Initiative in honor of Elie Wiesel

jewishjournal.jpgBy Jacob Kornbluh

The New York City Council has renamed its $2.5-million program to provide Holocaust survivors living at or below the federal poverty line with a wide range of services as the “Elie Wiesel Holocaust Survivors Initiative” in honor of Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, who passed away last month...“The Council’s Survivors Initiative is in a sense a direct result of Wiesel’s life work, and it is truly fitting that we will rename it in his honor,” added Levine.

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Report Shows Racial Disparities in City Arrest Reduction Efforts

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By Yoav Gonen

City Councilman Mark Levine (D-Manhattan), prime sponsor of a bill that forced the NYPD to release the stats for the first time, said the trend away from full-scale arrests was a positive sign — but he also noted the racial disparities.

“They’re moving in the right direction for everybody, but there is still a significant difference in the rate of DAT use between whites and people of color,” Levine added.

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Seniors Have Uphill Fight to Vote — Literally

logo.pngBy Dartunorro Clark

Harlem — These residents are facing an uphill battle to vote — literally. The city's Board of Elections is being criticized for shuttering polling sites at two apartment complexes, forcing hundreds of senior citizens and disabled residents to trek up steep sidewalks to vote at a relocated site...City Councilman Mark Levine...compared the closings to Texas and North Carolina, where both states’ voting restrictions were ruled discriminatory by federal courts.

He said he will work with the residents to apply “as much public pressure as possible.”

“We have a major election coming,” he said. “Right here in Democratic New York City, we’re creating barriers to voting just like in North Carolina and Texas.

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Endangered Keith Haring Mural Should be Made a Landmark, Councilman Says

logo.pngBy Ben Fractenberg

UPPER WEST SIDE — A threatened mural by famed artist Keith Haring could be saved if a push to make the 1980s artwork a landmark is successful.

City Councilman Mark Levine is seeking protective status for the mural that was painted for the former Catholic youth program Grace House on West 108th Street after DNAinfo reported that tenants were being forced out of the building so it could be sold to developers.

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Where to Find the Newest Citi Bike Stations

Metro.jpgBy Arielle Kaplan

Citi Bike started rolling out its expansion on the Upper West Side and Upper East Side Tuesday with the installation of new docking stations..."This new expansion of Citi Bike will bring it to neighborhoods that are hungry for bike share," said Council Member Mark Levine. "The initial rollout of the program left low-income neighborhoods underrepresented, and I'm extremely pleased that under new management and with the leadership of this administration we are taking steps to rectify that. Expanding to 110th Street is a great additional step in scaling Citi Bike all across our city."  

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Inwood Literacy Program Tackles Summer Reading Slump for Kids

logo.pngBy Carolina Pichardo

INWOOD — A local literacy program kicked off a monthlong initiative this month to decrease the summer reading slump that impacts low-income, school-aged students, organizers said.

The program, "Reading Everywhere Month," now in its second year, is intended to provide children with more opportunities to read beyond the classroom, according to Sarah Morgridge, development associate for Literacy Inc. (LINC), which is organizing the initiative.

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Airbnb Blamed for NYC’s High Rents and Dwindling Housing Market

New_York_Daily_News_logo.pngBy Jennifer Fermino

Airbnb is hurting the city’s already limited housing supply, and is likely removing thousands of units from the market and driving up rents for everyone, according to a study released Monday...“The loss of these units is pushing prices up for everyone,” said City Councilman Mark Levine, one of several pols denouncing Airbnb at a press conference on the study at City Hall.

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Residents Ask For a Rent Rollback as Board Prepares to Vote

logo.pngBy Dartunorro Clark

HARLEM — Dozens of residents offered emotional testimony Tuesday night as the Rent Guidelines Board held its final meeting before voting next week on whether to raise the rent for nearly 1 million rent-regulated apartments.

Inside the auditorium at the Oberia D. Dempsey Multi Services Center, at 127 W. 127th St., resident after resident pleaded with the eight board members to rollback rents in light of the board’s historic decision last year to pass a one-year freeze for rent-stabilized tenants...Local politicians also offered testimony to the board calling for a rent rollback — or at least a rent freeze — including Harlem City Councilmembers Mark Levine and Melissa Mark-Viverito, Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal, who represents the Upper West Side, and Manhattan Assemblyman Keith Wright.

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