New York City Council District 40 Newsletter

May 6, 2024
Dear Neighbors,
Happy Monday ! 

To anyone who celebrated Cinco de Mayo yesterday, I hope your festivals were filled with incredible cultural celebrations. This week, I was honored to host the National League of Cities Coalition with Council Member Gale Brewer at City Hall. We were able to learn about other cities across the nation and discuss ways to improve the quality of life here in New York City and more. Additionally, I attended my inaugural meeting with Morris Heights’ Maternal Health Coalition to discuss the current state of maternal health, where it is imperative to open the discussion on opening more pathways to resources, with the help of an open conversation with mothers and doctors. At City Hall, I  attended a Public Safety Hearing, held by Council Member Yusef Salaam, Chair of the Committee on Public Safety;  where we discussed efforts to evaluate and remediate wrongful conviction claims. I was able to join the Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW) at their annual luncheon to learn more about the trade workforce for women and the different programs offered to help women build careers in nontraditional workplaces. Over the weekend I spoke at the New York Historical Society’s Event, Slavery in New Netherland and the Dutch Atlantic World. I was able to shine a light on how we should invest more when it comes to including the history of slavery in modern-day education and in our cultural institutions across New York City. Finally, in partnership with our office RISE hosted an event in Prospect Park that focused on Mental Health and Wellness, given that May focuses more on Mental Health Awareness, where we were able to help promote healthier ways to release stress, free massages and giveaways took place. The community was able to relax and have healing circles, as well as grow plants.  May is  Mental Health Awareness Month. More than 1 in 5 adults in the US suffer from mental health issues, and over 1 and 5 youth have suffered from severe mental illnesses. 

Below is a resource for that you can share with friends and loved ones:  

Warm regards,
Rita Joseph
Your Council Member

The New York State Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents hosted their Annual Scholarship Gala with New York City Council Majority Leader Amanda Farias, where we were given the opportunity to meet the brilliant minds behind the scholars who had received these scholarships.

Council Member Rita Joseph at the Public Safety Committee Hearing focused on evaluating and remediating wrongful conviction claims.
Council Member Rita Joseph at the New York Historical Society delivering remarks at the Slavery in the New Netherland and Dutch Atlantic World.
Council Member Rita Joseph at Prospect Park with RiseProjectNYC for a community mental health awareness event. 
Council Member Rita Joseph at the Prospect Park Alliance Legislative Breakfast.


Upcoming Events
Join us for our next food distribution on Parkside Plaza on May 18th!
Brooklyn Emerge is an incredible community-based organization in Brooklyn.
Please spread the word about this weekly food pantry!

Get Involved!
Interested in STEM after-school programming? Digital Girl Inc has you covered!
NYC Parks is Hiring for the 2024 Spring/Summer Season! They have a wide range of seasonal positions available. These positions include Aquatic Specialist, City Park Worker, City Seasonal Aide, Summer Camp Counselor, Recreation Specialist, Security Guard, Wildlife Monitor, and much more. To see a full listing of all job opportunities with NYC Parks, go to Jobs at Parks. For a quick application to their seasonal Maintenance and Security positions, you can apply via the QR code below or by visiting this link:
The Brooklyn Conservatory of Music has incredible summer programs. To learn more visit: !Topics Concerning Constituents: Housing 

Governor Hochul Passes Housing Deal that Addresses Some Tenant Concerns Within the Housing Crisis 
As we all know and what some of you have personally experienced, New York City is going through a major housing crisis. Rent prices have risen causing many people to no longer afford their homes resulting in eviction, homelessness, and an increase in demand for affordable housing.  Regardless of your position on the crisis, we can all agree that everybody deserves the right to housing and to protect their homes. Housing should be affordable to everyone and families shouldn’t have to fear being evicted or losing their homes to foreclosure in already difficult times. 

The New York City Council is also fighting for its own housing priorities on the city level. Within the city budget, the NYC Council is laying a strong foundation of housing for New Yorkers and families requesting $1.32 billion in capital funding and $56.7 million in expense funding to fulfill priorities within the Executive Budget Response. These priorities include: 

Investing in Affordable Housing – The Council calls upon the Administration to increase capital spending on affordable housing by $3.66 billion over the next five years, including a $732 million annual increase in capital funding for affordable housing and homeownership.
Prioritizing Maintenance Repairs for NYCHA – The Council also urges the Administration to increase capital commitments for NYCHA by $584 million in FY25 to address critical maintenance repairs.
New York City Council Budget Corner 
We are in Stage 4 of budget season where the Mayor has released an executive budget which is an updated proposed budget based on the Council’s response. 

In regards to the state, Kathy Hochul has passed the Fiscal Year 2025 New York State budget and today we are going to discuss education specifically. She extended mayoral control for 2 years which allows Mayor Eric Adams to control the city’s school system for that time. Albany officials will play a role in selecting the head of a city education panel, and New York City officials will enter into firmer commitments on adhering to a state law requiring smaller class sizes. This would require the city to construct more school buildings and maintain levels of funding needed for schools to shrink class size. Within the $237 billion state budget, there’s a $507 million increase in Foundation Aid, $36 billion in funding for the state’s schools, and $2.4 billion will be going to NYC to help support our new New Yorkers. She also signed Back to Basics legislation to ensure New York schools use evidence-based reading instruction and invested $10 million to train 20,000 teachers and teaching assistants in best practices for evidence-based literacy instructional practices. We also can’t forget about higher education, and neither did Governor Hochul who invested $1.29 billion for SUNY and CUNY capital projects, $409 million for SUNY and CUNY operations, and raised the minimum for TAP (Tuition Assistance Program) from $500 to $1,000 along with students income limits for TAP eligibility. 

Read more below:,York%20without%20raising%20income%20taxes.
To stay further updated regarding education within the New York City Council there will be an executive budget hearing on May 15th with the Department of Education. If you would like to testify to voice your educational concerns you can register using the link below :

Where are we currently:
Budget Season is still not over!  Below is a timeline of the City’s Budget Cycle.
 City Council’s Budget Response

Step 1: Preliminary Budget

Each January, the Mayor presents a preliminary budget—an outline of his priorities and goals for the City. The Council then follows a process to ensure this budget meets the needs of our diverse neighborhoods. 

Step 2: Council Analysis & Hearings
From March to April, the Council analyzes the Mayor’s preliminary budget and holds a series of public hearings to identify specific concerns through conversations with residents, advocates, and city agencies.

Step 3: Formal Response
Every year after holding a series of hearings to analyze the Mayor’s Preliminary Budget, the Council releases its response, as required by the New York City Charter. The Council’s Preliminary Budget Response provides an updated look at the City’s Finances and proposes how the Mayor’s Preliminary Budget should change for the Executive Budget. It is essentially the Council’s proposed budget for the city. It also includes a response to the Preliminary Mayor’s Management Report.

Step 4: Executive Budget & Hearings
In April, the Mayor will release an Executive Budget, an updated proposed budget based on the Council’s response. Again, the Council analyzes this budget and conducts a second round of targeted hearings, ensuring that the budget reflects the priorities of New Yorkers in all 51 Council Districts.

Step 5: Adopted Budget
Through May and June, the Council and the Mayor negotiate adjustments to the Executive Budget, resulting in an agreement known as the Adopted Budget. This agreement must be reached before July 1, the beginning of the next fiscal year.TEACHER’S CORNER 

This week is teacher appreciation week! Make a card for your favorite teacher, and make sure you tell them how much you appreciate them!

Article of the Week Events coming up this weekTuesday 5/7: Cleaning Park:

Wednesday 5/8: Hands-on Collection:

Thursday 5/9: Kids Creative Writing Workshop:

Friday 5/10: Dumpling Making with Christine Wong:

Saturday 5/11: Keeping It Old School:

Sunday 5/12: Carousel Rides:

Parent University Classes for New York City Families
Parent University seeks to educate and empower families as partners, advocates, and lifelong educators in their student’s education through free courses, resources, events, and activities. Parent University serves all families, from early childhood through adulthood. Even if you are not a parent, it’s encouraged that you get involved with Parent University. Register and enroll for a course today. Learn more: