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District 36

Chi Ossé

Bedford Stuyvesant, Northern Crown Heights

October 11, 2022

Contact: Elijah Fox 

Email: efox@council.nyc.gov 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Council Member Chi Ossé Launches Comprehensive Gun Violence Initiative for Central Brooklyn: “Planting Our Seeds, Protecting Our Roots.”

The multi-pronged approach will include neighborhood beautification, investment in anti-gun violence programs, and a participatory budgeting cycle focused on building safe, livable neighborhoods:

BROOKLYN: Gun violence is a persistent scourge on central Brooklyn that was exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. To confront it, the government needs to take a multi-pronged approach that not only tackles violence as it arises, but addresses its root causes. The Planting Our Seeds, Protecting Our Roots Initiative will combine Participatory Budgeting, neighborhood beautification, NYCHA partnerships, discretionary funding, legislation, and community engagement to achieve healthier and more peaceful neighborhoods. The first component, Participatory Budgeting, is launching this week. The office will release more information on other components of the initiative in coming weeks and months.

Participatory Budgeting

Participatory Budgeting (PB) is the process in which constituents design and vote on proposals for how to spend $1 million of City discretionary funding in their neighborhoods. It is the first point of this year’s neighborhood improvement plan. This year, Ossé’s office will work with neighbors to solicit and design proposals surrounding the theme of tackling violence on our streets. PB funds physical, public infrastructure projects and the community sends in ideas and votes on the projects that get funded. This year, Council Member Ossé will be allocating $1 million for PB and will be funding projects that will curb, mitigate, and address the issue of gun violence in our district. 

To kick off our PB cycle, our office will be hosting three information sessions so the community can learn more about PB and how to get involved. The information sessions will be at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM. The dates and locations of the information sessions are:

Thursday, October 13th: Restoration Plaza – 1360 Fulton Street (5th Floor Event Space)

Monday, October 17th: Collective Focus Resource Hub – 1046 Broadway

Tuesday, October 18th: Brooklyn Children’s Museum Theater – 145 Brooklyn Avenue

We would love for you all to help us spread the word and to join us in our participatory budgeting process this year! 

Community members should feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns at mvutrapongvatana@council.nyc.gov or 718-919-0740.

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October 11, 2022

Contact: Elijah Fox 

Email: efox@council.nyc.gov 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Mayor Adams Signs Council Members Ossé and Powers Narcan Bill into Law

New York: Mayor Eric Adams signed into law a bill today that will provide free overdose prevention medication and training to bars and nightlife establishments across the city. The bill, Intro 0056-2022, which was introduced by Council Member Chi Ossé in February and passed by a supermajority vote in September, becomes law in the midst of a nation-wide addiction and overdose crisis that has wreaked havoc on communities and families. New York City will set a harm reduction standard for the country. 

COVID combined with the rising prevalence of fentanyl led to over 100,000 Americans losing their lives to drug overdoses from May 2020 to April 2021, up almost 30% from the previous year. The overdose crisis has become one of the most pressing issues of our time. This steep rise holds true in New York City, with overdose deaths more common than ever — 30.5 per 100,000 NYC residents losing their lives to overdoses in 2020 compared with 21.9 in 2019. Opioid overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S.

Narcan is an opioid overdose reversal medication that can be used by non-medical professionals, as long as instructions for use are followed. It temporarily reverses the effects of opioids, and has no effect in people who are not taking opioids. 

Fentanyl test strips have the potential to stop an overdose before it happens by identifying the presence of fentanyl in a substance including injectable drugs, powders, and pills. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is about 50 times as potent as heroin. Dealers often cut it into their supply to lower costs, not letting users know that their supply is tainted. Overdose deaths involving fentanyl have quadrupled in recent years.

“This is an overdue measure that will, simply, save lives,” said Council Member Chi Ossé, Chair of the Committee on Cultural Affairs. “Each overdose death is a preventable tragedy; we do not accept them here in New York City. I am proud to partner with Council Member Powers in this necessary bill and thrilled to see it become law. New York City became safer today.”

“As overdose deaths hit historic highs in New York City, we must take immediate action to prevent any more tragedies,” said Council Majority Leader Keith Powers. “I’m proud to have partnered with Council Member Ossé on essential legislation that will give New Yorkers’ the tools to protect against overdose. I strongly urge my Council colleagues to pass this bill so we can start saving lives.”

“In New York City, we now lose somebody to an accidental overdose death every four hours,” said Ann-Marie Foster, President and CEO of Phoenix Houses of New York and Long Island. “We lose more people to overdoses than homicide, suicide, and car crashes combined. We won’t beat this massive crisis without including a harm reduction approach, which is why Phoenix Houses of NY/LI has supported and advocated for this historic bill. We’re thrilled to see it pass. Providing Narcan and fentanyl test strips to venues where people are more likely to use substances will save lives, plain and simple.” 

“Opioid overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S., which means making lifesaving overdose prevention and reversal tools widely available is as important as CPR training,” said Shaun Willis, Director of Recovery Services at Phoenix Houses’ Brooklyn Community Recovery Center. “This is how everyday people can save lives, and we need these tools for free and confidential use in as many places as possible. I’m proud to support this bill and provide training in how to use these tools.”

“Overdose deaths plague our society and that’s why it’s critically important to invest in harm reduction at our city’s social spaces, like bars, nightclubs, and restaurants. By giving the opioid antagonist Narcan to nightlife establishments and providing their employees with training to administer the medication, we can save lives, just like CPR kits can save lives. We praise Council Members Ossé and Powers for their leadership in passing this impactful legislation in the City Council and thank all the bill’s supporters. We encourage Mayor Adams to sign the bill into law, and look forward to working with the Department of Health and Office of Nightlife to support the program,” said Andrew Rigie, executive director, NYC Hospitality Alliance. 

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September 14, 2022

Contact: Elijah Fox 

Email: efox@council.nyc.gov 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Stop Overdose Deaths! City Council Passes Council Members Chi Ossé and Keith Powers’ Bill to Provide Narcan to City Nightlife Establishments

Intro 0056-2022 passes at the Stated Meeting of the City Council on Thursday, September 14. Chi Ossé is the youngest person to ever pass a bill in the New York City Council. 

New York: Thursday, September 14, Council Member Chi Ossé, Council Member Keith Powers’ bill, Intro 0056-2022, passes at today’s Stated Meeting. Under this bill, the Narcan Behind Every Bar program, which provides Narcan for free to nightlife venues across the city, is codified into law. Codifying a program into law ensures permanency of the program and ensures that there will be a budget allocated for it. 

COVID combined with the rising prevalence of fentanyl led to over 100,000 Americans losing their lives to drug overdoses from May 2020 to April 2021, up almost 30% from the previous year. The overdose crisis has become one of the most pressing issues of our time. This steep rise holds true in New York City, with overdose deaths more common than ever — 30.5 per 100,000 NYC residents losing their lives to overdoses in 2020 compared with 21.9 in 2019. Opioid overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S.

Narcan is an opioid overdose reversal medication that can be used by non-medical professionals, as long as instructions for use are followed. It temporarily reverses the effects of opioids, and has no effect in people who are not taking opioids. 

Fentanyl test strips have the potential to stop an overdose before it happens by identifying the presence of fentanyl in a substance including injectable drugs, powders, and pills. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is about 50 times as potent as heroin. Dealers often cut it into their supply to lower costs, not letting users know that their supply is tainted. Overdose deaths involving fentanyl have quadrupled in recent years.

“This is an overdue measure that will, simply, save lives,” said Council Member Chi Ossé, Chair of the Committee on Cultural Affairs. “Each overdose death is a preventable tragedy; we do not accept them here in New York City. I am proud to partner with Council Member Powers in this necessary bill and thrilled to see it become law. New York City became safer today.”

“As overdose deaths hit historic highs in New York City, we must take immediate action to prevent any more tragedies,” said Council Majority Leader Keith Powers. “I’m proud to have partnered with Council Member Ossé on essential legislation that will give New Yorkers’ the tools to protect against overdose. I strongly urge my Council colleagues to pass this bill so we can start saving lives.”

“In New York City, we now lose somebody to an accidental overdose death every four hours,” said Ann-Marie Foster, President and CEO of Phoenix Houses of New York and Long Island. “We lose more people to overdoses than homicide, suicide, and car crashes combined. We won’t beat this massive crisis without including a harm reduction approach, which is why Phoenix Houses of NY/LI has supported and advocated for this historic bill. We’re thrilled to see it pass. Providing Narcan and fentanyl test strips to venues where people are more likely to use substances will save lives, plain and simple.” 

“Opioid overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S., which means making lifesaving overdose prevention and reversal tools widely available is as important as CPR training,” said Shaun Willis, Director of Recovery Services at Phoenix Houses’ Brooklyn Community Recovery Center. “This is how everyday people can save lives, and we need these tools for free and confidential use in as many places as possible. I’m proud to support this bill and provide training in how to use these tools.”

“Overdose deaths plague our society and that’s why it’s critically important to invest in harm reduction at our city’s social spaces, like bars, nightclubs, and restaurants. By giving the opioid antagonist Narcan to nightlife establishments and providing their employees with training to administer the medication, we can save lives, just like CPR kits can save lives. We praise Council Members Ossé and Powers for their leadership in passing this impactful legislation in the City Council and thank all the bill’s supporters. We encourage Mayor Adams to sign the bill into law, and look forward to working with the Department of Health and Office of Nightlife to support the program,” said Andrew Rigie, executive director, NYC Hospitality Alliance. 

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June 16, 2022

Contact: Elijah Fox 

Email: efox@council.nyc.gov 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Council Member Chi Ossé Introduces Bill to Increase Sanitation Fines

Intro 544 would create a graduated fine scale to hold large-scale landlords accountable for dumping violations:

NEW YORK: Buildings are responsible for properly containerizing their waste. The system of sanitation fines for improper containerization does not take into account the size of the violator.   At the June 16 Stated Meeting of the New York City Council, Council Member Chi Ossé will introduce a bill to adjust fines to correspond with the size of the landlord or management company committing these violations.  

Improper containerization of trash is an issue that plagues my district and a large part of our City,” said Council Member Chi Ossé. “When trash is not properly containerized, especially trash from large apartment complexes, litter is scattered all over the sidewalk. This is not only an aesthetic nuisance – it is unsanitary and attracts rodents. Currently, the penalty for improper waste containerization ranges from $50 to $200 and does not take into account the size of the property. For buildings with management companies and big landlords, this is pocket change, not a lesson learned to deter one from engaging in improper behaviors. To have cleaner and healthier streets, we must make sure that we truly hold bad actors accountable.” 

The bill introduced today would impose a graduated sanitation violation based on the number of units in a building and the number of repeat violations. A graduated violation schedule will ensure that violators can be held accountable, that buildings are properly containerizing trash, and streets are free of litter and rodents.

Council colleagues are invited to join Ossé in passing the legislation.

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June 13, 2022

Contact: Elijah Fox 

Email: efox@council.nyc.gov 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Council Member Chi Ossé Votes ‘No’ on FY23 Budget

Chi Ossé, Council Member for New York’s 36th District, released the following statement on his vote against the Fiscal Year 2023 Adopted Budget:

After months of good-faith negotiations between the City Council Budget Negotiation Team and Mayor Eric Adams, an agreement was reached on the Adopted Budget. While the $101 billion plan includes much to be happy about, it lets down too many New Yorkers, particularly those in my district of Bedford-Stuyvesant and North Crown Heights. My vote on the budget is ‘No.’

Since the first day of my term in the Council, the most frequent concern brought to my office has been housing. Every day, the pain of the housing crisis is laid bare at our doorstep. Tenants call us in tears, facing eviction from the apartments and houses they have called home for decades. Homeowners come in desperate for help in their uphill battle against the sinister and growing practice of deed theft. Rent is skyrocketing in a city whose people struggle to get by – most have no relief in sight. 

And this housing crisis subjects our neighbors to one of the cruelest forms of violence known to New York City: homelessness. And as terrible as our city is at preventing homelessness, we may still be worse at providing solutions for the folks experiencing this daily tragedy. The conditions of our homeless shelters are such that life inside is often miserable; thousands of people choose instead to live on the street. 

I am happy with many line items in this budget, including several large items for which our office successfully advocated. However, in sum, it is quite similar to the budgets that have defined  New York City government for years. The NYPD – which receives over $11 billion of our tax dollars each year –  continues to be among our least efficient guarantors of public safety. By continuing to devote our money to the police, we deprive ourselves of billions of dollars that could be invested into our schools, parks, and housing – areas in which increased government spending has a proven correlation to public safety. 

Funding for our most essential departments remains largely flat. An unchanged funding level means unchanged circumstances – a reality that is wholly unacceptable to my constituents struggling to pay rent, afford medical care, and even eat. 

Ours is a deeply unequal city, with neighborhoods like mine trapped in generational afflictions. I am convinced that this Adopted Budget would be a commitment to only march forward, slowly. It places our faith in incremental progress while setting our sights on some distant date to declare victory and liberation.

My constituents need more. They need fundamental change, in both how our city is funded and in how it is structured: Poverty, hunger, homelessness, maternal morbidity, early death – these are not inevitable consequences of the system in which we choose to live. They are tumors of the cancer we are able to cure. 

I understand that this budget will pass. I applaud and respect my colleagues whose tireless work achieved an agreement to be proud of. I vote ‘no’ as a reminder of why we ran for office, how much more we can do for our people, and what I owe my own constituent-neighbors, who have been failed by incremental change for too long. 

Justice delayed is justice denied. I sought this office in pursuit of justice for New York, for Brooklyn, for Black life. And I was elected to see it delivered. 

I was elected to be one of 51 and to represent the 36th district of that 51. Thus, 51 members get to voice the efficacy of this budget for their residence districts. This budget does not reflect the best for Bed-Stuy and Northern Crown Heights. I look forward to continuing to work and fight on behalf of my constituent-neighbors, and for a City budget that recognizes and meets the needs of poor and working class New York. 

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May 18, 2022

Contact: Elijah Fox 

Email: efox@council.nyc.gov 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Council Member Chi Ossé and NYC Culturals Hold Rally for Cultural Funding

Chi Ossé, Chair of the Committee on Cultural Affairs, joins New York City’s cultural institutions and organizations in calling for funding the Culture VIBE Plan in FY23

NEW YORK: On Thursday, May 19, Council Member Chi Ossé will host a rally on the steps of City Hall for increased funding to New York City cultural institutions and groups. Joined by representatives of cultural organizations from around the city, he calls for passing the Culture Visionary Investment in Building the NYC Economy (VIBE) Plan. 

The $100 million plan would provide:

  • $50 million in baseline funding for Cultural Institution Group members (CIGs) and the Cultural Development Fund (CDF).
  • $45 million in grants for five strategic initiatives 
    • $15 million for a Cultural Equity Fund to support BIPOC-led and -serving organizations
    • $10 million for tourism and marketing for culture across the five boroughs
    • $5 million for accessibility and inclusion of the deaf and disabled
    • $5 million for individual artists and renewal of the City Artists corps program
  • $5 million to increase staffing at the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) for the agency to provide efficient and timely support to the field. 

“New York became the greatest city in the world by accident, an amalgam of the world’s best immigrating to a new place and bringing with them the cultures and communities that became the cornerstones and building blocks of this metropolis,” New York City Council Cultural Affairs Committee Chair Chi Ossé said. “But we retain our position atop the podium with bold intentionality, recognizing what makes us who we are and investing accordingly. This plan is good economics and good government. It’s how we will retain our place as the cultural capital of the world.

“There has been a systemic, persistent, and cumulatively damaging underinvestment and disinvestment in BIPOC-led and serving arts groups,” explained Lisa J. Gold, Executive Director of the Asian American Arts Alliance. “Our organizations are deeply embedded in our communities, and we often provide more than just arts programming—we serve as food banks, vaccination centers, career counselors; we protect our communities by providing mental health resources and so much more. The Cultural Equity Fund is critical to ensuring the future of BIPOC organizations and our innumerable contributions to New York City’s economy, welfare, and reputation as a world leader in arts and culture.

“One of New York City’s most valuable resources is its vibrant arts and culture scene,” said Council Member Sandra Ung. “It is not only one of the primary reasons that tens of millions of people visit the city every year, but our arts and cultural organizations also educate, enlighten and inspire the 8 million people who call the five boroughs home. My district alone is home to numerous cultural institutions that are so important to the vibrancy of Flushing. I am committed to working with Council Member Chi Ossé and my other colleagues in the City Council to ensure that they, as well as all of the great cultural institutions across the city, get the support they deserve.”

“Ensuring our cultural programs are well-funded guarantees fundamental opportunities for BIPOC communities,” said Council Member Farah Louis. “By increasing DCLA staffing, who reflect all of New York City, we are putting New Yorkers first. We are creating advocates for the arts: from fine arts to commercial to alternative to underground. Prioritizing investment and robust funding for our cultural institutions, we are preserving the invaluable experiences available in New York City, for all New Yorkers.”

The Clemente stands firmly with Councilmember Chi Ossé and the cultural community in calling for a $100 million fund for arts and culture,” said Libertad Guerra, Executive Director of The Clemente Soto Velez Cultural and Educational Center. “Our artistic and cultural communities are much more than an economic engine: they are direly needed after this prolonged period of loss and suffering. They are a lifesaver.

The arts and culture scene accounts for 13 percent of New York City’s economy but receives closer to 1 percent of City Funding. As the City Council Committee on Cultural Affairs moves to rectify this discrepancy, they have the full backing of New York’s cultural community.

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March 10, 2022

Contact: Elijah Fox 

Email: efox@council.nyc.gov 

MEDIA ADVISORY:

Council Member Chi Ossé’s Office to Host Bike Day

WHAT: The Council Member’s officer will host Bike Day, an event in which folks are invited to cycle around the district, visiting local businesses, greenspaces, and workshops. We will be promoting the use of bicycles as the fastest and cleanest way to get around and interact with our neighborhoods.  Folks of all ages from all around Central Brooklyn are encouraged to join us for these few hours of pro-environment, pro-transit, and pro-small business fun!

WHEN: Saturday, May 14, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

WHERE: Starting at Restoration Plaza

Those interested in attending should RSVP at Bit.ly/Ossebikeday

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February 28, 2022

Contact: Elijah Fox 

Email: efox@council.nyc.gov 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Longtime Resident-Owners of Park Place Home Score Win in Court

The family that has lived in the home since 1951 has successfully defended their right to stay in their home, pending further litigation

Brooklyn, NY: A Brooklyn family, subjected to the alleged crime of deed theft in 2015, has won a major battle in the ongoing fight to maintain possession of their family home. The Robinsons, whose original owner, her daughter, and her granddaughter all share the Park Place townhouse, had suffered a successfully-executed illegal eviction. Tenant organizers, including from the Crown Heights Tenants Union and Brooklyn Eviction Defense, stepped up to protect the family. They then called New York City Councilmember Chi Ossé, whose Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights district encompasses the home. The Councilmember stood in solidarity with the family and solicited support from Attorney General Letitia James. Together, activists and elected officials won the family their rightful day in court. 

On the morning of February 28th, 2022, over six years after the family lost possession of the deed, the Robinsons’ legal possession of the home was restored. As the fight for ownership of the deed continues to be litigated and will likely reach the New York Supreme Court, the family that has lived in the house for over 70 years has won the right to remain. 

“My entry point to politics was through activism,” City Councilmember Chi Ossé explains. “The goal was always to meld the institutional power of government with the tidal strength of movements to achieve results for the people. Today, we proved the potency of such joint action. I commend the Crown Heights Tenants Union for their tireless, months-long organizing, and thank the Attorney General for her partnership. The first Black Family on this Brooklyn block, three generations later, can continue to stand their ground.”

Those who believe they have experienced deed theft are encouraged to contact the OAG by calling the office’s help line at 1-800-771-7755, emailing deedtheft@ag.ny.gov, or filling out the online complaint form.

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February 24, 2022

Contact: Elijah Fox 

Email: efox@council.nyc.gov 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

City Councilmembers Chi Ossé and Keith Powers Introduce Legislation to Provide Drug Overdose Kits to Nightlife Establishments

Rather than stigmatize and criminalize, the bill takes an evidence-based approach to saving lives

At the February 24th Stated Meeting of the New York City Council, Councilmembers Ossé and Powers are introducing harm-reduction legislation to improve the safety of nightlife establishments. The bill would require the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) to create the Nightlife Opioid Antagonist Program to help prevent opioid overdoses in nightlife establishments. Establishments will be able to request and retain up to 10 free doses of an opioid antagonist at a time, to keep on premises for administration to patrons, staff or individuals on the premises experiencing an opioid overdose. This bill would also require DOHMH to offer free resources and training to staff of participating nightlife establishments on the administration of opioid antagonists.

This legislation comes following a dramatic rise in overdose deaths, and targets spaces in which government assistance can be most impactful. 

Quotes

“Drug use and overdose deaths have been on the rise in our country and city for a long time now, and we must confront the root causes,” explained Councilmember Ossé. “But right now we have a problem on our hands and a common-sense solution right in front of us. This bill will save lives and make our city safer, with no downside. It should be swiftly passed.”

“Overdose deaths are on the rise in New York City, in part due to deadly substances like fentanyl and heroin that permeate our city’s clubs and bars,” said Council Member Keith Powers. “This important, life saving legislation will create a program to provide bars and restaurants with the tools they need to protect New Yorkers against preventable overdoses. Too many New Yorkers have lost their lives—it’s time our city took action.” 

“When you run a bar or club you need to be prepared for anything, and that’s why we’re proud to stand with Council Members Keith Powers and Chi Ossé to support their legislation that will provide these businesses with free naloxone rescue kits to ensure they have the tools needed to help treat a narcotic overdose should such an unfortunate situation occur,” said Andrew Rigie, Executive Director, NYC Hospitality Alliance, and Chairperson of the NYC Nightlife Advisory Board. “Our city’s nightlife is where New Yorkers and visitors celebrate life, but equip with naloxone, we can also help save a life too.” 

“Opioid overdoses are the leading cause of accidental deaths in New York City,” said Arelia Taveras, President, NYS Latino Restaurant Bar & Lounge Association. “While we work to address the root cause of this epidemic, it is vital to provide businesses access to this life saving measure.  We want to thank Majority Leader Powers and Council Member Osse for taking steps to ensure businesses have the resources they need if a worst case scenario presents itself.” 

“As we battle a growing overdose epidemic, it’s crucial that Narcan is made readily available across the city, especially in nightlife spaces where people are more likely to use substances. Opioid overdoses kill more people each year than car crashes and gun violence combined. This is a public health issue as much as it is a racial justice issue: Black New Yorkers and residents of very high poverty neighborhoods, including in Central Brooklyn where Brooklyn Community Recovery Center is located, see the highest rates of overdose deaths. This law will get free doses of life-saving medicine into the areas where they are needed. Brooklyn Community Recovery Center of Phoenix Houses is proud to support this bill, which will help to advance healthcare equity, decrease stigma associated with substance use, and save lives,” said Shaun Willis, Director of Recovery Services and Community Outreach at Brooklyn Community Recovery Center.

“We are pleased to see Majority Leader Keith Powers and Council Member Chi Ossé head an initiative to address the safety needs faced by the audiences that attend our venues,” said Jen Lyon, Co-Chair, NY Independent Venue Association Board of Directors. “Our members work tirelessly to provide safe environments and endeavor to pivot as our audiences exhibit new needs. This Legislation is a clear sign that as a community we are all engaging in active, preventative thinking that can save lives.”

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February 21, 2022

Contact: Elijah Fox 

Email: efox@council.nyc.gov 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

City Council LGBTQ Caucus Speaks Out Against Homophobic Mayoral Appointments

The Caucus released the following joint statement in response to a series of mayoral appointments of individuals with anti-gay histories

New York City went to the polls in November to elect a government among the most diverse in history. The people have spoken: inclusion, dignity, and justice are clear shared values. Unfortunately, a number of Mayor Adams’ new appointments are steps in the opposite direction. 

Among these is Erick Salgado, who was picked to be the assistant commissioner of outreach at the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. Salgado has marched with former State Senator Rev. Ruben Diaz Sr. in a rally against marriage equality, and was endorsed in his mayoral run by the homophobic National Organization of Marriage. 

Perhaps most egregious is the consideration of former City Councilmember Fernando Cabrera for any role in our government. Cabrera has a history of homophobic positions and remarks. However he took his bigotry much further, to a degree that is both painful and shocking, especially in the 21st Century. Following Uganda’s passage of the infamous law imposing life sentences in prison for homosexuality, Mr. Cabrera traveled to the country to praise the law, as well as the country’s other ferociously bigotted policies. The man is a bigot; his use of his platform to promote his views has been dangerous. His appointment to a taxpayer-funded position is an affront to us as individuals and as a caucus, and would be an insult to LGBTQ+ New Yorkers. 

We, the LGBTQ Caucus, stand firmly against these appointments. Our democratic government should represent the people, and its officers should be individuals on whom all New Yorkers can rely. Our city is home to plenty of qualified potential candidates for these roles. We call on the Mayor to make selections with positions and histories we can all support.

We welcome an opportunity to discuss our concerns and alternative appointments for these roles in the new administration. 

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January 20th, 2022

Press Contact: Elijah Fox

Email: ElijahFoxD36@gmail.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Council member Ossé to Chair Cultural Affairs Committee

Council member Chi Ossé will chair the Committee on Cultural Affairs,

Libraries, and International Intergroup Relations. He will also sit on the committees on Consumer and worker protection, Finance, General welfare, Public housing, Sanitation and solid waste management

Brooklyn, NY: The Committee assignments for the 2022  City Council were announced today. Council member Chi Ossé will chair the Committee on Cultural Affairs,

Libraries. In this role, Mr. Ossé intends to fast-track the safe revival of New York’s cultural scene, especially the small businesses in the service industry that have suffered during the Covid-19 pandemic and its economic fallout. 

The committee oversees New York City’s Art Commission, museums, branch libraries, the New York City Commission for the United Nations, the Consular Corps and Protocol, the Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Mayor’s Office of Special Projects and Community Events, as well as local efforts to promote the City’s community harmony, cultural legacy, and international exchange, according to the Council’s official description.

“I’m thrilled to be chairing this committee. I have spent my life immersed in the New York culture scene. My father was an attorney in the music industry; my mother combines art and culture every day at her bakery, and I have worked many nightlife jobs in nightlife before running for office.,” Mr. Ossé says. “Beyond being an area of personal significance to me, our cultural strength is what makes New York stand out on the global stage. The 36th District is a vibrant cultural hub and home to countless actors, artists, musicians, and some of the best restaurants in the City. I look forward to working with my colleagues to revive and advance our arts and culture scene.” About his other committee assignments, he continues, “these are the reasons I ran for office in the first place: clean streets, dignified NYCHA, standing up for working families. I’m proud to take on these roles and ready to get to work.”

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January 11th, 2022

Press Contact: Elijah Fox

Email: ElijahFoxD36@gmail.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Councilmember Ossé Launches Participatory Budgeting for 2022

Residents of District 36, Bed-Stuy and N. Crown Heights, will have the opportunity to decide how to spend a portion of the city budget, right in their own neighborhoods

Brooklyn, NY: Participatory budgeting is back in the new year. Each City Council district has the opportunity to craft proposals for how to spend a portion of the city budget on projects designed and planned by community members. This year, residents of Bed-Stuy and North Crown Heights will have $1 million at their disposal to improve the physical infrastructure of their neighborhoods.

Councilmember Chi Ossé has issued a call for his constituents to design and submit plans for participatory budgeting projects by the January 23 deadline. Projects must be a direct addition to or investment in physical infrastructure, such as improvements to playgrounds and libraries or the construction of drinking fountains.

Proposals will be presented to the district this coming spring for a voting period, during which all residents aged 11 and up will be able to cast votes. The winning projects will receive a portion of the $1 million participatory budget allocation, and its stakeholders will be able to work in tandem with city agencies and the councilmember’s office on implementation. 

Beyond submitting proposals, community members are invited to get involved. Anyone interested in joining the volunteer team to help our office with the evaluation and voting processes can sign up at www.participate.nyc.gov or reach out to May Vutrapongvatana – district36@council.nyc.gov. More info can be found at https://www.participate.nyc.gov/processes/ccdistrict36

No one knows your streets, schools, and parks better than you do,” Ossé explains. “Let’s take advantage of direct democracy to build what we know we need, right here at home.”

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