The Council of the City of New York
Office of Council Member Costa Constantinides
For Immediate Release
June 26, 2014
Contact: Shachar Sharon
Constantinides Helps Pass FY ‘15 City Budget
New York – The City Council voted to adopt a balanced and fiscally responsible Budget for Fiscal Year 2015 (July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015). The budget implements a new initiative to keep our neighborhood clean, invests in our children and our seniors, adds funding for safe streets, and improves our library system.
“I am distinctly honored to have worked for all of my fellow New Yorkers to bring funding for special programs throughout the community,” said Constantinides. “I commend Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Finance Committee Chair Council Member Julissa Ferreras, and all my City Council colleagues on passing this first City budget. This budget will greatly benefit all and I am proud of all the new initiatives that have been included.”
The new budget includes:
- A new initiative created by the City Council to keep our city clean. Clean NYC will allocate funds to each council district for cleaner buildings, sidewalks, and streets. Using his discretionary funds, along with $65,000 from this initiative, Constantinides will expand his relationship with The Doe Fund in Astoria.
- Investments in school-children. The City Council Merit-based Scholarship, formerly known as the Peter Vallone Scholarship, will give $600 to every student with a B average or higher to use towards tuition at a SUNY or CUNY school. Constantinides allocated almost $1.5 million to schools within the 22nd Council District for technology upgrades. The City Council has also allocated funding to several summer programs for children, including the Junior Tennis & Learning (JTL) and the Sports & Arts in School Foundation (SASF).
- Supporting Greek culture. Constantinides allocated funding to HANAC Senior Centers to implement social service and cultural activity programs that foster friendship within the Greek community. He also allocated funding to community radio stations in Astoria that focus on events and news within the Greek community. The Byzantine & Modern Greek Studies program at CUNY Queens College, a one-of-a-kind institution that promotes Byzantine and Neo-Hellenic scholarship and facilitates research and teaching to the needs of the Greek community, also received funding from the Council Member.
- Beautifying parks. Borough President Melinda Katz and Constantinides allocated $1.6 million to Astoria Heights Playground and Constantinides allocated almost $1 million to Moser Bulova Park in Jackson Heights for new upgrades.
- Keeping Streets Safe. Constantinides allocated $200,000 for more countdown clocks on 21st Street as part of the city’s Vision Zero initiative. The new city budget will also allocate more funds to put 200 more police officers on the street to patrol neighborhoods and keep residents safe.
- Supporting Senior Citizen Programs. Constantinides allocated over $100,000 to support local senior centers and to support nutrition and case management services for senior citizens. The city’s budget also includes funds to keep all NYCHA Senior Centers open.
Constantinides also allocated funds for a ramp at P.S. 2, making it accessible to senior citizens and others in wheelchairs. With the ramp, P.S. 2 can again be a polling place for elections after several years of reassigning voters to other further away polling locations.
- Improving our Library System. As the Chair of the Council Sub-Committee on Libraries, Constantinides allocated funding to further improve the 22nd Council District’s library branches and to widen the reach of the Queens Library into an underserved part of the district. He allocated $200,000 for self check-in book vestibule at the Astoria Branch and $655,000 for upgrades at the Steinway Branch. He also provided funding to the Astoria Branch for a mobile lending operation in Astoria Houses where residents can borrow iPads.
Costa Constantinides represents the New York City Council’s 22nd District, which includes his native Astoria along with parts of Woodside, East Elmhurst, and Jackson Heights. He serves as the chair the City Council’s Sub-Committee on Libraries and sits on seven standing committees: Civil Service & Labor, Contracts, Cultural Affairs, Environmental Protection, Oversight & Investigations, Sanitation, and Transportation. For more information, visit council.nyc.gov/costa.