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District 13

Mark Gjonaj

Allerton, City Island, Country Club, Edgewater Park, Ferry Point, Locust Point, Morris Park, Pelham Bay, Pelham Gardens, Pelham Parkway, Schuylerville, Silver Beach, Spencer Estates, Throggs Neck, Van Nest, Waterbury LaSalle, Westchester Square, Zerega

Dear Friends:

I hope you and your families are continuing to stay well during this time. It is a sad milestone as we have officially lost over 100,000 lives to this pandemic, these are not just numbers-they are grandparents, parents, siblings, children, spouses, and friends that can’t even be mourned or properly buried. As we move ahead and while the recovery is still long, let’s pause and remember all of them. 

On the legislative front, I am proud that my third party delivery platform legislation to protect locally owned restaurants and save jobs amid this pandemic, was signed into law. The fight to protect our small business is not over but this is a great step in the right direction.
We are glad to share numbers and statistics from our District Office as far as constituent cases, food and mask giveaways, cleaning initiatives and more, that our Staff has been diligently working on during this pandemic.

To ensure you receive the best assistance with any issues, please contact our District Office at (718) 931-1721, email us at MGjonaj@council.nyc.gov and follow us on social media for the most updated news.

As we are NY Strong and moving to NY Forward, we continue to salute our first responders, healthcare workers and essential employees who are weathering the frontline, serving and protecting us. 
Wishing you all a peaceful weekend, please exercise social distancing, wear a mask and remember – We are All in This Together!

Sincerely,

NYC Councilman Mark Gjonaj

District 13, Bronx

Essential Employees are doing an exceptional work to make sure that we have critical services during this difficult time. Thank you Manny from NYC Emergency Management, National Guard, MTA Bus Driver Pedro Torres, NYPD 45th Precinct, Wildcats, and many others for all you are doing! #SalutingOurHeroes

Mayor de Blasio Signs Councilman Gjonaj’s Legislation into Law

It was a historic day for small businesses in NYC as Mayor de Blasio signed into law Councilman Mark Gjonaj’s legislation on third party delivery reforms to protect locally owned restaurants and save jobs amid this pandemic. We are proud that this endeavor has come to this day and will make the difference between a locally owned business staying open and keeping its workers employed. The fight to protect our small business is not over and this is a great step in the right direction. Councilman Gjonaj looks forward to the continued legislative cooperation from both colleagues in the Council and within the administration on long-term.

Upcoming NYC Council Hearings

Upcoming legislative and budget hearings over the next few weeks that will be streamed online. See the full list of hearings by Clicking Here.

Small Business Walkthrough and Face Mask Giveaway with SBS Commissioner

Councilman Mark Gjonaj was happy to welcome the new NYC Small Business Services Commissioner Jonnel Doris to the Bronx to visit businesses along the Westchester Avenue commercial corridor in Pelham Bay to hear firsthand about their needs and concerns during this crisis, as well as do a face mask giveaway.

Memorial Day Ceremonies in District 13

Amid the pandemic, a different remembrance this Memorial Day weekend, as Councilman Mark Gjonaj proudly took part in Memorial Services ceremonies around our district to salute, remember and honor the sacrifice of so many who have served our country.

Neighborhood Free Mask Giveaways in District 13

Councilman Mark Gjonaj was proud to giveaway free masks to residents in the Spencer Estate, White Plains Road, Hutchinson River Parkway, and Pelham Parkway neighborhoods! Thank you to our community associations for your partnership. Stay tuned to find out when we stop by your neighborhood next.

National Guard Delivers Hand Sanitizers

Thank you to the National Guard for their service and dropping off much needed hand sanitizer to our District Office. We look forward to sharing the hand sanitizer with our community. We are all in this together!

Food and Mask Distributions in District 13

Another Food and Mask Distribution in our District with AAOHA, ICNA Relief, and Catholic Charities for the Pelham Parkway, NYCHA Throggs Neck, Rhinelander Ave, St. Peter’s Ave, Boston Rd, and Pelham Bay communities. Thank you to all the volunteers and donors. We are all in this together!

Bronx Business Forum

Councilman Mark Gjonaj joined the Third Avenue BID, Small Business Commissioner, Bronx businesses and other elected officials to a Bronx Business Forum as they discussed equitable resources, recovery and reopening for Bronx businesses.

NYCDOE CEC 8 Kindness Awards Ceremony

Councilman Mark Gjonaj was glad to be part of the NYCDOE CEC 8 Kindness Awards Ceremony honoring 37 student kindness winners. Congratulations to the students and thank you Superintendent Dr. Erika Tobia, District 8 Choir, teachers, parents and staff for all your efforts. #KindnessMatters

Weekend City Island Clean-Up

This pandemic should not be a reason for anyone to litter our streets and our neighborhoods. Great work by our partners Wildcats on this weekly assignment cleaning the City Island!

Graffiti Removal Services

After complaints to our office about graffiti on 2112 White Plains Road/Corner of Maran Avenue, we are glad to share that it has been removed and painted.

Thank You: Domestic Violence Resources Tele-Townhall

Thank You Letters



COVID-19 Cleaning Services


COVID-19 Protective Supplies & Food Distribution in District 13


Report a Social Distancing Violation


Graffiti Removal Services


Saluting Heroes of the Week


Free Legal Services

NYLAG’s Mobile Legal Help Center is continuing to help constituents in our district with free legal help. Please contact our office at (718) 931-1721 for available appointments via phone for Wednesday, May 13, 2020.


Free Immigration Assistance

In partnership with CUNY Citizenship Now, our office is offering free immigration assistance to constituents in our District. See the information below!


In light of the coronavirus pandemic, Councilman Mark Gjonaj is pushing to introduce legislation that would help New Yorkers get through this time of uncertainty. Please find below the list of Legislative Service Requests Councilman Gjonaj has submitted to alleviate the hardships that many of our neighbors are facing today. To view Councilman Gjonaj’s proposed legislation, Click Here.

Guidance on Face Coverings

As per Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order, businesses are authorized to deny entry to any customer who doesn’t wear a mask or other face covering. All New Yorkers MUST wear a cloth face covering or a mask when out in public and in situations where social distancing cannot be maintained.

Testing

Jacobi Hospital in our District, part of NYC Health and Hospitals, has resumed offering free COVID-19 testing for the community with no appointment needed. CityMD will be offering COVID-19 and Antibody tests seven days a week at 123 sites, and walk-ins are welcome. If patients are uninsured, City MD will cover the cost. Click Here to find a CityMD location near you. AdvantageCare Physicians is also offering COVID-19 testing. Click Here to find a location near you.

Contact Tracing Program

If you test positive for COVID-19, a Contact Tracer will connect you with the support and resources you may need to quarantine, such as help getting medical care, child care, groceries or household supplies. The Tracer will work with you to identify anyone you’ve been in contact with over the past 14 days to trace and contain the spread of the virus. Note that if you get a call from a Tracer, your caller ID will in most cases say “NYS Contact Tracing. (518-387-9993)” If you get a call, please answer the phone. Answering the phone will keep your loved ones and community safe.

Nursing Homes

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Cuomo announced the State Department of Health is partnering with Attorney General Letitia James to investigate nursing homes who violate Executive Orders requiring these facilities to communicate COVID-19 test results and deaths to residents’ families.

The Governor also announced a new directive requiring nursing homes to immediately report to DOH the actions they have taken to comply with all DOH and CDC laws, regulations, directives and guidance. DOH will inspect facilities that have not complied with these directives, including separation and isolation policies, staffing policies and inadequate personal protective equipment, and if DOH determines that the facilities failed to comply with the directives and guidance, DOH will immediately require the facility to submit an action plan. Facilities could be fined $10,000 per violation or potentially lose their operating license.

Combat Stress & Mental Health Support

In difficult times mental health is very important and it is understandable and common to feel anxious and stressed, but no one should feel alone – help is always available. Click Here to find a list of mental health resources.

Drug and Alcohol Use Services

The COVID-19 pandemic presents unique challenges for people with substance use disorders and in recovery. The City has many free and low-cost services for people with drug and/or alcohol problems. In addition to these services, you can call New York City’s 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week hotline at 1-888-NYC-WELL (1-888-692-9355) or visit NYC Well online.

Important Links on Daily Updates

Click on the following sources for daily updates on the coronavirus:

Text COVID to 692-692 for regular SMS updates on the latest COVID developments in New York City. To receive updates in Spanish, text COVIDESP to 692-692.

Funeral and Burial Guidance

All New Yorkers deserve to celebrate, honor, and memorialize their loved ones. The City has released guidance documents for funerals and burials in English and Spanish. HRA will provide financial assistance to individuals in need of assistance to meet qualifying funeral expenses. To address the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic, DSS/HRA issued an emergency rule by increasing the burial allowance from $900 to $1,700 and increasing the cap on burial costs from $1,700 to $3,400. The timeframe for when you can apply has been extended to 120 days from the date of the individual‘s death. Applications received on or after March 12, 2020 will be considered for the increased burial assistance allowance. Learn more about eligibility requirements by Clicking Here or call 718-473-8310. Families are encouraged to limit the size of funerals. You need to obtain a death certificate to hold a funeral – you can request an NYC death certificate online by Clicking Here.

Mass Gathering Restrictions

New York State on PAUSE: Governor Cuomo has extended the ‘New York State on PAUSE’ plan through June 13 for regions that do not meet the ‘New York Forward’ requirements. Non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason will continue to be canceled or postponed at this time. Any concentration of individuals outside their home must be limited to workers providing essential services and social distancing rules remain in place. When in public individuals must practice social distancing of at least six feet from others. Click Here to view the new Executive Order.

All Non-Essential Street Events in June are Cancelled: The City has cancelled all non-essential street events in June — including the Pride March and the Puerto Rican Day Parade. The cancellation order includes all other parades, concerts, rallies and other large gatherings scheduled for June.

Houses of Worship: Houses of worship are not ordered closed however it is strongly recommended no congregate services be held and social distance maintained. 

Governor Cuomo’s NY Forward lays out a plan to determine phases of reopening for businesses, where they are allowed to operate to date, and the affirmations for businesses needed once a region is in Phase 1. Click Here for more guidance.

Families of front-line workers killed by coronavirus will be entitled to government-backed death benefits, Gov. Cuomo announced Monday. The governor said public health workers, police, firefighters, transit workers and medics deserve more than just a thank you for their work during the pandemic. Money for the benefits will be provided by local or state pension funds, the governor said.

Sales Tax Deadline Extended

New York state has further extended sales tax interest and penalty relief. Businesses will have until June 22 to file sales tax, which were previously extended to May 19 from the initial due date of March 20.

Current Relief for Small Businesses

New York Forward Loan Fund: New York Forward Loan Fund is a new economic recovery loan program aimed at supporting New York State small businesses, nonprofits and small landlords as they reopen after the COVID-19 outbreak. Pre-applications for the New York Forward Loan Fund will be open on May 26, 2020 at Noon EST. Click Here for more information and apply now.

US Small Business Administration: Congress has reached a deal on a fourth coronavirus relief package, which will aim at sending additional help to small businesses, among others. $310 billion will be allocated for additional Paycheck Protection Program loans, $60 billion for small lenders and community banks and $10 billion for Economic Injury Disaster Loan grants. For more information, please visit: sba.gov or contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955.

NYC Small Business Services: NYC will provide relief for small businesses across the City seeing a reduction in revenue because of COVID-19. The NYC Small Business Continuity Loan Fund offers businesses with fewer than 100 employees who have seen sales decreases of 25% or more with zero interest loans of up to $75,000 to help mitigate losses in profit. Click Here to learn more and apply for the loans and grants offered.

NYS Shared Work Program: Consider the Shared Work Program as you manage business cycles and seasonal adjustments. Shared Work lets you keep trained staff and avoid layoffs. Employees can receive partial Unemployment Insurance benefits while working reduced hours. Full-time, part-time and seasonal employees are eligible. Click Here for an overview of the Shared Work Program.

Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC) Emergency Loan Fund: Bronx-based businesses who apply and qualify for the BOEDC Emergency Loan Fund can borrow up to $100,00 to help stay afloat during this time of crisis. For more information, please email Marlene Cintron at mcintron@boedc.org

Current Relief for Non-Profits

US Small Business Administration: To apply for loans offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), please visit: sba.gov and to view which loans nonprofits are eligible for, Click Here.

Robin Hood Foundation: The Robin Hood Foundation has announced they will be providing immediate response grants to nonprofit organizations, averaging $45,000 in funding for the first three months. Click Here to apply for the grants.

New York Community Trust: The New York Community Trust has created the NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund, providing grants and loans to nonprofits struggling with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Click Here to apply for the loans and grants.

Current Relief for Faith-Based Organizations

US Small Business Administration: To apply for loans offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), please visit: sba.gov and for more information on which loans faith-based organizations are eligible for, Click Here.

Coronavirus Stimulus Checks

The IRS is committed to helping you get your Economic Impact Payment as soon as possible. The payments, also referred to by some as stimulus payments, are automatic for most taxpayers. To check on the status of your Economic Impact Payment, Click Here.

Make and Provide Supplies to our Healthcare Workers

Support Small Business

Price Gouging

Please note New York State’s Price Gouging Law prohibits merchants from taking unfair advantage of consumers by selling goods or services that are “vital to the health, safety or welfare of consumers” for an “unconscionably excessive price” during an abnormal disruption of the market place or state of emergency. To report incidents of price gouging to the NYS Attorney General’s office call (800) 697-1220 and fill the Price Gouging Complaint Form by Clicking Here.

NYC Public Schools

NYC Public Schools are currently closed but are currently holding remote online class for students. Grab-and-Go breakfast & lunch is available at ANY NYC DOE school for ANY student from 7:30AM to 1:30PM. For up to date information, please Click Here

Parent Teacher Conferences: Beginning May 7th, NYC public schools will hold this school year’s last round of Parent Teacher Conferences via phone and video conferencing applications. Click Here to learn more.

Remote Learning: For children who will be learning at home, here is a link to a helpful portal:https://www.schools.nyc.gov/learning/learn-at-home

Grading Policy for Remote Learning: The adjusted K-12 citywide grading policy will maintain a high bar for student achievement and give flexibility and support for students grappling with COVID-19. For more information, Click Here.

Information for Parents: Parents with questions about remote learning and COVID-19 can sign up for updates at http://mystudent.nyc

Remote Learning Devices: NYCDOE has launched a form for those parents whose kids need tablets. Here’s a link for parents to fill out: https://coronavirus.schools.nyc/RemoteLearningDevices

Regional Enrichment Centers: 93 regional enrichment/education centers opened across the City for children of first responders, transit workers, healthcare workers, grocery store workers, pharmacy personnel and other frontline staff.Click Here to enroll your child.

Free Internet for Students: For households with K-12 and/or college students who do not currently have home internet access, AlitceUSA will provide Altice Advantage 30 Mbps broadband solution for free for 60 days. Eligible households interested in this solution can call 866-200-9522 to enroll in Optimum region or 888-633-0030 to enroll in Suddenlink region. Spectrum is offering free internet access to homes with K-12 students. Call 1-844-579-3743 to enroll.

Check your Child’s Position on MS/HS Waiting List Tutorial: Watch the http://MySchools.nyc tutorial to learn how to check your child’s position on any middle or high school waitlist, add them to additional waitlists, and accept a waitlist offer—all without leaving home!

Lets Learn NYC: A new fun way to supplement remote learning from NYC Department of Education for children 3K-Grade 2 with the launch of #LetsLearnNYC an educational public television program produced in partnership with the WNET. For more information please check www.thirteen.org/letslearn

Free Meals for ALL New Yorkers

Three free grab-and-go meals will be available daily for ALL New Yorkers in more than 400 Meal Hubs across the 5 boroughs. For more information and to find a location near you visit http://schools.nyc.gov/freemeals. Kosher meals are now available at 12 sites. Halal meals are available at all 400+ grab-and-go sites and 25% capacity is being added at 32 DOE sites in neighborhoods with high need during the month of Ramadan (approx. 400,000 meals total across the City).

NYC Catholic Schools

In accordance with state and federal guidelines all school buildings will remain closed and home-based learning will continue through May 22, 2020. Click Here for more information and updates.

The New York Public Libraries

After assessing the rapidly changing situation in New York City around novel coronavirus (COVID-19), all NYPL locations in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island are temporarily closed until further notice to ensure the health and safety of patrons and staff. For more info, please visit:https://www.nypl.org/about/coronavirus

Free Tutoring Now Available: Beginning April 15, families with students in kindergarten through 12th grade and an NYPL library card can access tips, activities, and one-on-one tutors through a new partnership with Brainfuse. Tutors are available from 2 PM to 11 PM every day in both English and Spanish. Students can also make use of Brainfuse’s videos, activities, and other learning resources 24/7. To learn more, Click Here.

Free Meal Delivery Program Changes: All participants in the GetFoodNYC program can now sign up for recurring deliveries for a month at a time by calling 311 or through the NYC Food Delivery Assistance webpage by Clicking Here. Participants no longer need to order every 2-3 days. If you are a senior and need help connecting to these meals, you can register with a local senior center so that food deliveries can be managed by the center on a long-term basis. Households that qualify may order three days of food at a time for up to a month. Each delivery will contain three days of food (9 meals per person, but no household will receive more than 18 meals per delivery). All orders will be delivered within three days or less of the order date.

NYC Department for the Aging: For more information on senior resources offered by the City, Click Here

Matilda’s Law: Governor Cuomo also announced “Matilda’s Law” to protect New York’s most vulnerable populations, including individuals age 70 and older, those with compromised immune systems and those with underlying illnesses. The measure requires this group to stay home and limit home visitation to immediate family members or close friends in need of emergency assistance. If it is necessary to visit such individuals, the visitor should get prescreened by taking temperature and seeing if person is exhibiting other flu-like symptoms. Both individuals should wear a mask for the duration of the visit.

NYC Department of Veterans’ Services: To learn more on the veterans’ resources offered by the City such as food assistance, emergency financial assistance, business support, healthcare and much more, Click Here.

NYC Veterans’ Needs and Mutual Aid: The NYC Veterans Alliance is launching Veterans Mutual Aid – NYC Metro a network for intake and coordination of incoming requests from veterans and family members in need. NYC Veterans Alliance staff and volunteers are currently managing requests, and veterans organizations are joining in to create a network of veterans and families helping veterans and families across the metro area. The aid this network will provide ranges from regular check-ins with isolated veterans to helping veterans find safe housing and assistance to make it through the pandemic. Click Here to apply for aid. NYC Veterans Alliance is also maintaining and updating a comprehensive resource list at nycveteransalliance.org/covid_19.

Mental Health Support for Veterans: If you are a veteran living in New York, or New Jersey, you can get trauma counseling and crisis intervention support. Call 311 to get connected to these services; in an emergency, call 911. Veterans can also access mental health support by calling the Veterans Crisis Line: 800-273-8255.

City Parks: At this time, City parks are open. All park goers must take extra precautions to stay healthy and safe. While solo exercise is okay, team sports (such as basketball, football, softball, and soccer) are not permitted in our parks at this time. Please maintain at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and others when outside and avoid congregating in groups. 

Programming Cancellations: As recently announced by the City, in an attempt to continue to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), all public gatherings in NYC parks are cancelled through June 30. In the interest of the health and safety of all, NYC Parks is not accepting or reviewing event applications for any Special Events or Field and Court Permits until further notice. 

City Playgrounds: All NYC playgrounds will be closed to enforce social distancing guidelines. Tennis nets and basketball rims have been removed from Orchard Beach and Pelham Bay Park.

City Pools: All NYC outdoor pools will be closed during the Summer from late June to Labor Day.

City Dog Parks and Runs: New York City dog parks and runs will be closed until further notice as part of efforts to stop the spread of the deadly virus as notified from Bronx Park Commissioner Rodriguez-Rosa!

Orchard Beach Parking Lot Temporary Hours: NYC Parks will be temporarily adjusting the hours of the Orchard Beach parking lot from 7 am – 3 pm. Cars will not be admitted after 3 pm.

Park Restrooms: Park restrooms are open. Restrooms are being cleaned daily with appropriate cleaning products to ensure that they are being fully disinfected. Restrooms located within City playgrounds are closed until further notice.

The most recent numbers released by the state Department of Labor indicate that 1.84 million residents filed initial jobless claims in the eight weeks since March 14. On March 27, 2020, the a federal law was signed that provides additional Unemployment Insurance (“UI”) assistance to workers impacted by COVID-19. This new law provides:

  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance – Extended eligibility for individuals who have traditionally been ineligible for UI benefits (e.g., self-employed workers, independent contractors);
  • Pandemic Unemployment Compensation – An additional $600 per week, on top of regular benefits, to all UI recipients; and,
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation – An additional 13 weeks of UI benefits, beyond the regular 26 weeks already provided, for a total of 39 weeks of coverage. To learn more, Click Here

To apply for Unemployment Insurance, Click Here.

Unemployment benefits WILL be backdated for New Yorkers. The dates to which these payments are retroactive differ based on the type of relief:

  • UI: Your first day of unemployment
  • PUA: Your first day of unemployment
  • FPUC/PUC: 4/5/2020

NYC Health and Hospitals: NYC Health and Hospitals is hiring 500 non-clinical staff to help with patient transport, clerical work, and cleaning. No medical background is required and hiring will be expanded to thousands soon. Please visit nyc.gov/getwork for more information and to apply.

Disaster Response Jobs at SBA: The SBA is hiring temporary employees to assist with disaster relief efforts. Bilingual language skills a plus. Click Here to apply.

As many industries are laying off employees during the Coronavirus Pandemic, please note the following employers that are currently hiring and apply with them directly:

Recruiting TLC Drivers: New York City is looking for TLC-licensed drivers to help with important work related to the coronavirus, such as delivering food to the elderly who are home bound. This work will be paid $15/hour plus reimbursement for gas and tolls. Drivers will be selected on a first-come, first-serve basis. Click Here to sign up.

Recruiting Medical Professionals: New York State is looking for qualified health, mental health, and related professionals to supplement our health care capacity. Click Here to take the Health and Related Professionals survey.

The State announced an extension of the eviction moratorium for residential and commercial tenants facing COVID-related hardship for an additional 60 days through August 20. Banned late payment fees for missed payments during moratorium and will allow renters facing hardship due to COVID-19 to use their security deposit to pay rent.

In a preliminary vote on potential rent increases for the city’s roughly one million rent-stabilized units, the NYC Rent Guidelines Board approved a proposal to freeze rent hikes for one year leases. The board added that rents could potentially be raised 1% on two year leases. The board’s final vote is slated for June 17.

New York City’s Executive Budget for Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) was recently released. The proposed $89.3 Billion Executive Budget includes drawing down about $4 billion of the city’s reserves and cutting more than $2 billion. The budget requires the NYC Council’s approval by the end of June, and for the first time, hearings, negotiations and votes will occur digitally. Although these are difficult times for our City, I will continue to fight for the priorities of District 13 and the Bronx in the NYC Fiscal Year 2021 Budget. Click Here to view the proposed budget.

During the Coronavirus Pandemic, the Social Security Administration is focusing on providing services to people in dire need. You can conduct most business online by Clicking Here including applying for retirement, disability, and Medicare benefits. 
They will accept also requests for dire need benefit payments including:

  • If you did not receive your monthly payment;
  • If you are currently homeless or at risk of becoming homeless; or
  • If your benefits were suspended and can now be reinstated.

You will continue to receive your monthly benefit amount if you use Direct Deposit. Click Here to find out what services are continuing and which ones are being suspended, how to contact the agency, and important information about deadlines that are being extended to ease the burden on you and medical providers during this pandemic. 

MTA NYC Transit

Starting Wednesday, May 6 the MTA is closing the subway from 1–5AM nightly so employees can clean and disinfect stations, trains and buses as Councilman Mark Gjonaj and his colleagues proposed such in a letter to Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio in mid April. The MTA will be launching a new Essential Connector service to continue moving NY’s frontline heroes at no cost to customers. For up to date information, Click Here.

Alternate Side Parking

Alternate Side Parking has been suspended in New York City until Tuesday, May 12th. Meters will remain in effect. For up to date information, please Click Here.

For-Hire Vehicles

An executive order was signed in NYC banning “pool” or “shared” functions in for-hire vehicles such as Uber and Lyft. 

Governor Cuomo announced all registered voters in New York State will receive an absentee voter application to be able to vote absentee during the June 23rd election. The executive order says all New Yorkers who are registered to vote will receive a postage-paid application to apply to receive a ballot to vote absentee. While voting absentee will be an option, polls will still be open.

NYCHA Receives Coronavirus Testing, Face Masks and Hand Sanitizers: Eight public housing complexes across four boroughs will have access to COVID-19 testing this week, including the nation’s largest complex — Queensbridge Houses in Long Island City. Governor Cuomo also announced that state officials would be sending 10,000 gallons of hand sanitizer and 500,000 cloth masks to all public housing residents, many of whom are vulnerable to the disease because they’re elderly or have pre-existing health conditions.

NYCHA Management and Maintenance: NYCHA’s property management offices remain open, but will suspend direct-contact meetings with residents in an effort to enhance social distancing practices per DOHMH guidance. Property office staff will continue to assist residents via telephone, email, and through scheduled appointments to speak to staff from behind the reception desk. Please refrain from walking into your respective property management office without an appointment unless it is absolutely necessary. NYCHA will reevaluate their policy in 30 days. 

Additionally,  NYCHA staff will continue to perform EMERGENCY maintenance and repairs such as water leaks, gas leaks, local power issues, stoppages, and hazardous conditions (e.g., electrical issues or fire hazards) at developments and in apartments. For more information, please call the CCC at 718-707-7771 or visit www.nyc.gov/nycha.

Payment Deadline Extended to July 15, 2020: The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service are providing special payment relief to individuals and businesses in response to the COVID-19 Outbreak. The filing deadline for tax returns remains April 15, 2020. The IRS urges taxpayers who are owed a refund to file as quickly as possible. For those who can’t file by the April 15, 2020 deadline, the IRS reminds individual taxpayers that everyone is eligible to request a six-month extension to file their return.

For homeowners who are having challenges paying their property taxes, the Department of Finance offers several programs to assist with hardship including exemption programs as well as a new Property Tax and Interest Deferral program, for those who qualify. Click Here for more information.

Utility Rate Increase Postponed: Utility rate increases that were scheduled to go into effect on April 1st have been postponed for nearly 2 million customers of New York American Water and National Grid. This will help ease the financial stress on families and businesses affected by this pandemic. NYAW’s increase will now go into effect in September and National Grid upstate’s will go into effect in July. The Department of Public Service is asking other utilities to consider postponing rate increases.

Con Edison Update: Con Edison is stopping shutoffs of electric, natural gas or steam service due to non-payment resulting from the health crisis. New late-payment charges are waived for all customers and the fee charged to a customer who is unable to grant access to their property is suspended. Con Edison will continue to shut off service when there is a safety issue. Customer service walk-in centers will be temporarily shut down in the five boroughs and Westchester County. Residential customers can choose one of the other convenient ways to pay their bill, including online, by mail with a check or money order, or by phone at 1-888-925-5016. Click Here for more information.

The New York City Department of Sanitation announced that core Sanitation services will continue on the normal collection schedule during the City’s COVID-19 response. Residents should follow their normal schedule and place their material at the curb after 4 p.m. but before midnight, the evening before their collection day. Curbside Composting have been temporarily suspended beginning May 4. Electronics collection appointments have been discontinued. Anyone with questions about collection schedules should contact 311.

The NYPD will no longer respond to 911 calls for vehicle collisions that result in only property damage. Motorists will be responsible for filling out their own reports and forwarding the reports to the DMV. Police Communications Technicians will connect the caller to a pre-recorded message explaining that the police will not respond and the motorist will be provided with further instructions. 

Police will still respond to the scene of an accident if any of the following conditions are present: 

  • Third party caller, if caller can communicate exigent circumstances, or injury to parties involved,
  • Any person trapped, injured, incapacitated, or deceased,
  • Any vehicle requiring a tow,
  • Motorists unable, or unwilling, to exchange information,
  • Damage to property other than any vehicle involved, or the contents thereof,
  • Disputes,
  • Any act of suspected criminality (i.e. hit and run),
  • Any vehicle displaying or containing hazardous material,
  • Any bus or commercial truck weighing over 10,000 lbs.,
  • Any NYS/City involved vehicle collision, and/or
  • Any vehicle collision involving a deer and/or a domestic animal. 

If you are about to become homeless, Homebase can help you stay out of shelter. Homebase offers:

  • Services to prevent eviction
  • Assistance obtaining public benefits
  • Emergency rental assistance
  • Education and job placement assistance
  • Financial counseling and money management
  • Help relocating
  • Short-term financial assistance

Although Family Justice Centers are closed for walk-ins, survivors and victims of gender-based and domestic violence (intimate partner violence, elder abuse, sex trafficking, stalking, sexual violence), no matter their income, language, immigration status, gender identity, or sexual orientation in NYC can STILL reach the Bronx Center directly, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. through 5 p.m at 718-508-1220. During off-hours and weekends, victims and survivors can access help and resources by calling NYC’s 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline (800-621-4673) or visiting the NYC HOPE Resource Directory online at www.nyc.gov/NYCHOPE.

New Yorkers with disabilities can reach out to the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities for more information about COVID-19 and how to stay safe. New Yorkers can reach out on Twitter to @NYCDisabilities, 311 or visit http://nyc.gov/disability for more information. Hearing impaired New Yorkers can call the office’s video phone at 646-396-5830. 

If you are a pet owner affected by COVID-19 and need assistance, call the NYC COVID-19 Pet Hotline 1-877-204-8821, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week.

The Governor is also asking all New Yorkers who have recovered from COVID-19 to contact the state and donate blood. Individuals who have recovered from the virus may have convalescent plasma in their blood, which has antibodies against the virus and could help with the development of a treatment for the virus. More information about how to donate is available Here. You can also donate blood plasma through the Red Cross Here.

Taxpayers should be on the lookout for IRS impersonation calls, texts and email phishing attempts about the coronavirus or COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments. These scams can lead to tax-related fraud and identity theft. For more information from the IRS, Click Here.

Food Assistance Resources

During the COVID-19 public health crisis, New York City is taking steps to make sure every New Yorker has access to the food they need. Click Here for food assistance resources offered by the City.

Food Pantries in District 13

  • BJCC: located at 2157 Holland Ave. Thursdays from 10AM – 2PM. If you have a food emergency you can reach out to BJCC Monday through Friday at 718-792-4744.
  • AAOHA and ICNA Relief: Sundays in different locations in Pelham Parkway and Bronx area. Reach out to 347-658-8000 for locations and appointments.
  • AAOHA located at 2141 Holland Ave, Bronx, NY 10462 will offer meals on Saturday at 9AM and 12PM and Sunday 9AM, 11AM, and 1PM. You can reach out to (718) 931-2151.
  • 671 Lydig Ave, Bronx, NY 10462 will offer meals on Saturday at 10AM. You can reach out to (917) 705-0058.
  • AAOHA located at 2132 White Plains Road, Bronx, NY 10462 will offer meals on Sunday at 10AM and 12PM. You can reach out to (718) 931-2151.
  • Saint Lucy Church located at 833 Mace Ave, Bronx, NY 10467 will offer meals on Sunday at 1PM. You can reach out to (347) 249-2791.

Food Pantries Throughout the Bronx

  • Al Masjidul Adam located at 2263 Crotona Ave, Bronx, NY 10457, will offer meals on Thursday at 1PM. You can reach out to (646) 353-0859.
  • 1222 White Plains Road, Bronx, NY 10462 will offer meals on Friday at 3PM and 5PM. You can reach out to (917) 299-8574.
  • Parkchester Jame Masjid located at 1203 Virginia Ave, Bronx, NY 10462 will offer meals at 4PM. You can reach out to (917) 754-0858.
  • Darus Salam Islamic Center located at 677 Elton Ave, Bronx, NY will offer meals on Friday at 2PM. You can reach out to (646) 209-3030.
  • NYPD 43rd Precinct located at 900 Fretely Ave, Bronx, NY will offer meals on Sunday at 11AM. You can reach out to (347) 564-8013.
  • For more information on the Special Groceries Distributions and Food Pantries in the Bronx, please contact (917) 299-8574.

Petition to Save Small Businesses, Jobs and the Local Economy

Small businesses are the backbone of our communities, creating jobs, generating tax revenue and providing valuable services. Councilman Mark Gjonaj asks all small business owners and residents to join him as he calls on the Mayor, Governor and the Federal Government to take the necessary measures to save the local business sector. Social distancing efforts, while necessary, have harmed small businesses. Many businesses have been mandated to shut down, and of the few remaining, consumer activity and sales have fallen dramatically. Click Here to sign and share the petition to ensure that small businesses have the cash flexibility to weather this storm.

Petition to Protect All Essential Employees

As New Yorkers across the city and state are complying with the “New York State on PAUSE” Executive Order, our “essential workers” are going to work every day to provide vital services with no personal protective equipment (PPE). This safety gear will protect our essential workers against COVID-19, avoid overwhelming our healthcare systems and prevent them from spreading the virus to their family & others. Click Here to sign the petition calling on the Mayor, Governor and the federal government to take the necessary measures to secure protective gear such as N95 masks, hand sanitizers, shoe covers and medical gloves for all essential workers who continue to serve everyday New Yorkers.

2020 U.S. Census

The 2020 Census is critical to ensure we have the resources to respond to future crises as well as determine how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding flow into communities every year for the next decade. While we stay home to stop the spread, please take advantage of the opportunity to fill out the 2020 Census by Clicking Here or call 844-330-2020.

Petition Against Cranes on City Island

Team Gjonaj attended a Bronx CB10 Housing and Zoning Committee meeting, as City Island residents expressed their opposition to a Crane Company that wants to come into the small waterfront residential community with industrial cranes. Councilman Mark Gjonaj will stand with the community and will fight on behalf of our residents against such proposal. Click Here to sign the petition to say no to cranes on City Island!

Free Baby Formula Deliveries