NYC Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit Newsletter – 12/19/22

Dear New Yorker,  

With holiday parties in full swing and family gatherings on the horizon, now is a good time to mask up, New Yorkers! Wearing a mask in public places will help protect you from recent increases in COVID-19, the flu, and RSV.  

Wishing New Yorkers a Happy Hanukkah! May peace, love, and joy come to you during this Festival of Lights. I hope this Hanukkah brings warmth and happiness to your families.  

For the latest updates, please follow CAU on Twitter and Facebook, and be sure to check out the Mayor’s ‘Week In Review’ video below!  

All the best,
Fred Kreizman Commissioner,
Community Affairs Unit      

Key Updates:    

It’s that time again! Mulchfest starts December 26! 
Wrap up your holiday season and say goodbye to your tree at Mulchfest. Join NYC Parks and the New York City Department of Sanitation in the NYC holiday tradition of recycling your Christmas tree! Put on your boots and haul your tree to a Mulchfest location — we’ll chip your tree into wood chips that we’ll use to nourish trees and make NYC even greener.    

The kindergarten application is open! Apply by January 20, 2023. This year you can add G&T programs to it, too!
In New York City, children enter kindergarten in the fall of the calendar year they turn five, and are guaranteed a kindergarten seat at a public school. Once your child starts kindergarten, they can remain at the same school until its final elementary grade. Watch our video series to learn more about kindergarten admissions.

Need an elementary school for your child now?
Learn if your child has a zoned school by entering your address at external link) (this website includes schools’ contact information) or by calling 311. Contact your zoned school directly to enroll. If you don’t have a zoned school, contact schools of interest directly or visit a Family Welcome Center for help finding a school.      

Keep swimmers safe next summer by becoming a lifeguard!
Take the qualifying test this month and protect New Yorkers. More info:      
In case you missed it:         

.@mayorsCAU Cmmr @FKreizman joined our #Brooklyn Borough Directors, @NYPDBklynSouth Asst Chief McEvoy, @NYPDBklynNorth Asst Chief Henderson, as well as Mr. & Mrs. Santa Claus for the “Santa Claus is Coming to Town To Spread Love The Brooklyn Way” toy giveaway at Grand Army Plaza!

— Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit (@mayorsCAU)

December 14, 2022  

.@mayorsCAU #Bronx Borough Director and Senior Faith Advisor enjoyed the @NYPDCommAffairs Happy Holidays Christmas Wonderland at @consofrito! It was nice to see so many New Yorkers from the local community. 🎅

— Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit (@mayorsCAU)

December 14, 2022>        

Highlights From the City Hall Press Office:      

Historic Investment in Preschool Special-Education Support:
Mayor Adams announced an expansion of early childhood education special-education seats across the five boroughs, in partnership with community-based providers, that will provide an early childhood education special-education seat for every child living with a disability by the spring of 2023. Previously, early childhood seats for children living with disabilities were few and limited, and their educators were paid less than their general education peers. The Mayor is expanding the number of seats reserved for students living with disabilities across early childhood education as well as increasing pay for educators and providers.  

Preliminary Design Concepts for Re-Envisioned BQE Central:
Mayor Eric Adams marked a new phase in his effort to accelerate a long-term fix and redesign for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE), unveiling preliminary design concepts for a re-envisioned BQE Central, the city-owned section of the BQE from Atlantic Avenue to Sands Street. The concepts offer a modernized, resilient structure with significant public space upgrades for community members and visitors as well as safety upgrades for pedestrians, drivers, and cyclists. The design concepts and an abbreviated version of the presentation given at tonight’s public meeting are available online.  

Community Driven “NYC Speaks Action Plan” Released:
Mayor Adams released the “NYC Speaks Action Plan” — created in partnership with civic and community leaders — outlining policy goals for five issue areas that are priorities for New Yorkers: Housing and public safety, youth mental health, community spaces, jobs in high-growth sectors, and civic engagement. NYC Speaks is a public-private partnership led by Deputy Mayor for Strategic Initiatives Sheena Wright, working alongside various philanthropic partners, community leaders, and civic institutions to inform the priorities and policies of the Adams administration.  

“Making New York Work for Everyone” Action Plan Released:
Mayor Adams and New York Governor Kathy Hochul today released‘New’ New York: Making New York Work for Everyone,” set of 40 proposals intended to make New York City the best place to work and serve as a roadmap for the city’s future. The New New York panel was launched in May 2022. The broad and diverse panel of civic leaders and industry experts worked for six months to generate recommendations for the city and state – at a time of historic alignment between the two – to partner with each other and across sectors to reimagine a “New” New York that propels the city and the region forward for its next chapter of equitable, inclusive growth.  

More Than $58 Million in Grants Awarded to Over 1,000 Nonprofits:
Mayor Adams announced over $58 million in Cultural Development Fund (CDF) grants to 1,070 cultural organizations across the five boroughs. This year’s process introduced a series of equity reforms dedicated to identifying and reducing biases in DCLA’s grantmaking process, and saw the return of the competitive, peer-panel review process for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. With a record investment from the Adams administration and the City Council, DCLA awarded the most funding to the largest number of cultural organizations ever, marked by major boosts for smaller groups and organizations led by people of color, as well as an increase in the number of groups receiving city support for the first time.      

Additional Resources:      

Food Help NYC: Free food locations including food pantries & soup kitchens.

NYC Well: Free, confidential mental health support in more than 200 languages, 24/7/365. Call 888-NYC-WELL or text “WELL” to 65173.

Mental Health For All: A comprehensive hub with helplines and services that offer a range of free, direct support to meet the needs of all New Yorkers.

Buildings After Hours: Free in-person information session with DOB staff every Tuesday from 4 PM to 7 PM at your local borough office.

Notify NYC: Enroll for free in New York City’s dedicated emergency public communications program.

311: Non-emergency municipal services available online, by texting 311-692, or by calling 3-1-1 from within the City or 212-NEW-YORK outside the five boroughs. TTY service is also available by dialing 212-504-4115.          

Mayor’s Office–Community Affairs
253 Broadway 9th Fl
New York, NY 10007
United States