Jannie Armstrong, Virginia Bird, Leticia Cintron, Claudette Coles,
Annette de Jesus, Diana Diaz, Dior Doward, Margarita Espinosa, Maria
Garcia, Robert Holliday, Dr. Helene Jones, Sara N. Logan, Magdamari
Marcano, Isabel Matias, Floretta A. O’Brien, Rosa Peraza, Denise
Sleigh-Bradley, Alexis Thornton, and Perquida Williams.
Capers, Frank J. Franz, Marie Howse, Thomas J. Murray, Rev. Hiram Ratliff, Wendy
Rodriguez, and Lissette Torres.
Elected officials present:
Assemblyman Victor Pichardo
Elected officials representatives present:
Mangual, representing Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.Miguel Rondon,
representing State Senator Gustavo RiveraJennifer Rosado, representing State
Senator Jeff KleinHelen Reyes Jacome, representing State Senator Ruben Diaz
Sr.John Sanchez, representing Assemblyman Michael BlakeJoshua Crespo,
representing Assemblyman Luis SepulvedaRafael Moure Punnet, representing City
Council Member Ritchie Torres
CALL TO ORDER
December 10, 2014 meeting of Bronx Community Board #6 was held at the
International Central Gospel Church, which is located at 4500 Park Avenue,
Bronx, New York, and was called to order at approximately 6:40 p.m. by the
community board’s 1st Vice Chairperson, Ms Sara N. Logan.
meeting’s invocation was delivered the church’s pastor, the Rev. Prince Nyarko.
following individuals requested to speak as part of the meeting’s community
Imani Brown, representing the Citizens Committee for New York City
informed us that the Citizens Committee for New York City is currently offering
micro grants of up to $3,000 to fund volunteer lead community improvement
projects. The deadline for submission of grant applications is January 26,
2015. Additional information about the Citizens Committee and copies of the
grant application may be obtained by visiting its website at
Rene Peralta, representing Metroplus Health Plan
Peralta informed us about Metroplus Health Plan, a medical insurer for
individuals who do not currently have health insurance and who do not qualify of
Medicaid. Additional information about Metroplus Health Plan and its open
enrollment period may be obtained by telephoning Mr. Peralta at (646) 634-4756.
James Montgomery, representing the Fordham Towers Tenants Association
Montgomery introduced himself as the president of the Fordham Towers Tenants
Association and conveyed the association’s objections to efforts by Flash #1 Car
Service to expand its operation by establishing a taxi base on the ground floor
of the Fordham Towers apartment building (480 East 188th Street). He
informed us that out of the housing development’s 165 leaseholders 111 of them
signed a petition in opposition to the car service moving into the building.
The tenants association is to meet shortly with representatives of Flash #1 Car
Service in order to discuss their differences.
Hellen Taylor, representing the First Glorious Church, Inc.
Taylor asked that the community board support the First Glorious Church, Inc.,
in its efforts to have the intersection of Arthur Avenue and East 180th
Street co-named in honor of the church’s late pastor, the Rev. Abner Bernard (A.B.)
Bernard Abudu, representing the International Central Gospel Church
described some of the outreach and community services that are performed by the
International Central Gospel Church, including its food pantry, and its summer
and winter clothing drives. He also announced that the church is attempting to
adopt Bathgate Park. To aid in this effort, he asked that we sign the
church’s petition that will be submitted to the Mayor Bill de Blasio along with
a request that the city fund this endeavor.
BRONX BOROUGH PRESIDENT’S REPORT
Borough President Ruben Diaz’s report was presented by his community, liaison,
Ms. Aurea Mangual, and included the following information:
President Diaz encourages the public to apply for membership on their respective
community board. The deadline for submission of applications is February 6,
2015. Current community board members will receive their reappointment
application through the mail at the place of residence. Due to recently changes
in the law, individuals as young as 16 years of age are now eligible for board
President Diaz recently joined with the city’s other borough presidents and the
city’s comptroller in calling for a “Five Borough Broadband Bill of
Rights” for public Wi-Fi. Such a bill would improve Internet service across the
President Diaz also issued a statement regarding passing of former Bronx Borough
President Herman Badillo.
closing, Ms. Mangual referred us to various fliers that were attached to the
Borough President Diaz’s written report. They included fliers announcing job
opportunities with the New York City Police Department; information about
Homebase, a program which officer free eviction prevention services; and
announcements about upcoming community forums and special events.
ELECTED OFFICIALS’ REPORTS
Assemblyman Victor Pichardo
Pichardo informed us that that State of New York is currently sitting
on a 5 billion dollar surplus. He asked us to contact our state
legislators and to advise them that the surplus should be spent on
improving our schools. Assemblyman Pichardo also invited us to attend
a holiday party that he is sponsoring on Friday, Dece,ber 19 , 2014,
from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., at his district office, which is located at
2015 Jerome Avenue, Bronx, New York.
Jennifer Rosado representing State Senator Jeff Klein
Rosado informed us about some of the work in which Senator Klein’s office has
been engaged in terms of constituent services and outreach.
Miguel Rondon, representing State Senator Gustavo Rivera
Rondon announced that the Senior Citizens Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE)
program is severely underutilized. He urged senior citizens to take full
advantage of this program and stated that Senator Rivera’s office will assist
them in completing all necessary applications. Mr. Rondon also informed us that
Senator Rivera recently convened a conference regarding the Ebola outbreak, and
is currently conducting a medical supply drive in response to this crisis. The
medical supply drive will continue until December 15, 2014.
Rafael Moure Punnet, representing City Council Member Ritchie Torres
Punnet announced that Council Member Torres is now in the second stage of the
Participatory Budgeting process and is currently sorting through the hundreds of
budget proposals that he has received from his constituents. Council Member
Torres also has a bill in committee in the City Council which, if enacted into
law, would require police officers who stop an individual for questioning to
provide that person with their business card and an explanation as to why he/she
Helen Reyes Jacome, representing State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr.
Jacome reported that Senator Diaz recently surprised a senior citizens group
with free holiday food vouchers. She also announced that the senator will hold
his annual Christmas party at Maestro Caterers on Friday, December 19, 2014.
Senator Diaz will also distribute holiday food at Intermediate School 216 on
Wednesday, December 16, 2014 beginning at 4:00 pm. On January 3, 2015 he will
distribute holiday food at Public School 5 from 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m. in honor
of Three Kings Day. Additional information about these events may be obtained
by contacting Ms. Jacome at (718) 991-3161.
Ms. Jacome invited us to provide her with our email addresses so that she may
ensure we receive copies of Senator Diaz’s opinion piece entitled “What You
Joshua Crespo, representing Assemblyman Luis Sepulevda
announced that Assemblyman Sepulevda is conducting a holiday toy drive.
Additional information on this matter may be obtained by contacting the
assemblyman’s office at (718) 931-2620.
Sanchez, representing Assemblyman Michael Blake
reported that Assemblyman Blake is sponsoring state legislation that would
require the state attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor in all cases
where a civilian is killed by a police officer. Ms. Sanchez also reported that
Assemblyman Blake will participate in the upcoming march on Washington. The
assemblyman’s office address is 1149 Boston Road; its telephone number is (718)
842-2019. Mr. Sanchez may be reached by email at
DISTRICT MANAGER’S REPORT
reported that a meeting has been scheduled between the community board and
representatives of the New York City Department of Youth and Community
Development (DYCD) for 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at the community
board’s district office. This meeting is in response to the community board’s
letter requesting that DYCD fully explain the criteria it uses to determine
which community based organizations receive DYCD funding and how information
about its funding opportunities is disseminated to the general
A copy of Ms
Galarza’s written report was included in our meeting packages for us to read at
ROLL CALL ATTENDANCE
A roll call
attendance was taken verifying the presence of a quorum of nineteen (19)
Enforcement Committee: Ms. Claudette Coles, Committee
reported on the business that was conducted at the November 18, 2014
meeting of the 48th police precinct’s community council.
At that meeting, the council received an update from Deputy Inspector Thomas
Connolly on our community’s current crime statistics. Also, a request was
made by the council’s president for monetary donations to purchase uniforms
for the precinct’s youth explorers program. The council’s next meeting will
be at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 16, 2014 and will be held at the
precinct, which is located at 450 Cross Bronx Expressway
Enforcement Committee: Ms. Maria Garcia, Committee Co-chair
who represents the community board at the 42nd police precinct’s
community council, stated she will have a report on the council’s activities at
our next meeting (January 2015).
Recreation Committee: Ms. Margarita Espinosa, Committee Chair
reported on the Parks and Recreation Committee’s meeting of Monday, December 8,
2014 with merchants from East Tremont Avenue and representatives of the New York
City Department of Parks and Recreation. The purpose of the meeting was to
continue the discussion of the department’s 20-year plan for the renovation and
improvement of Crotona and Tremont parks. Comments arising out of that meeting
included a suggestion that additional lighting be installed in the parks; that
the parks include a track and field; and that a gymnasium be constructed that
includes both basketball and tennis courts. This discussion will be continued
at an upcoming committee meeting.
Education Committee: Ms. Perquida Williams, Committee Chair
announced that the Youth and Education Committee met on November 29, 2014 for
the purpose of continuing to plan for its upcoming annual Youth Peace
conference. The conference will be held on Friday, January 16, 2015 at the
International Central Gospel Church, which is located at 4500 Park Avenue,
Bronx, New York. Ms. Williams asked that we actively participate in planning
for this activity and that we recruit others to do the same.
Transportation Committee: Ms. Magdamari Marcano, Committee Chair
reported on the Transportation Committee’s meeting of December 4, 2014 which
dealt primarily with a request from Flash #1 Car Service for a letter from the
community board stating that it has no objections to the car service expanding
its operations by establishing a base on the ground floor of the Fordham Towers
apartment building located at 480 East 188th Street. Ms. Marcano
also reported that the Fordham Towers Tenants Association submitted a petition
to the community board stating that it is strongly opposed to the car service
moving into its building. Consequently, the committee has invited both the
tenants association and representatives of Flash #1 Car Service to attend its
next meeting in the hope of reaching a compromise.
Land Use Committee: Ms. Sara N. Logan, Committee Chai
Ms. Logan reported that the Housing
and Land Use Committee met on December 4, 2014 to consider a request by SoBRO
for a letter from the community board supporting its plans to
develop 4529 Park Avenue (located at the corner of Park Avenue and East
183rd Street) as a seventy-six unit apartment building for a mixed
population of special needs tenants with preference given to veterans and
low-income individuals and families. The committee resolved to table discussion
of this requests until such time as it meets with representatives of Urban
Pathways, the non-profit organization that will provide support services to the
matter, the committee resolved to recommend that the community board issue a
letter to City Council Member Ritchie Torres asking that he introduce
legislation in the New York City Council that would permit the intersection of
East 180th Street and Arthur Avenue to be co-named after the Rev.
Abner Bernard (A.B.) Duncan, the late pastor of the First Glorious Church, Inc.
The church is located at 2084 Arthur Avenue, Bronx, New York.
Citizen Outreach Committee: Mrs. Virginia Bird, Committee Chair
announced that the Senior Citizens Outreach Committee would begin to meet
regularly on the first Thursday of each month in conjunction with the other
community board committees that meet that day.
ADOPTION OF MOTIONS
A motion to adopt the minutes of Bronx Community Board #6’s meeting of
November 12, 2014 was made by Mrs. Bird, seconded by Ms. Rosa Peraza and
unanimously adopted by acclamation.
A motion to issue a letter to City Council Member Ritchie Torres asking
that he introduce legislation in the New York City Council that will result in
the corner of East 180th Street and Arthur Avenue, in the borough of
the Bronx, being co-named in honor of the late Rev. Abner Bernard (A.B.) Duncan,
the former pastor of the First Glorious Church, Inc., was made by Ms. Jannie
Armstrong, seconded by Mr. Robert Holliday, and adopted by a vote of sixteen in
favor, two opposed (D. Diaz and M. Marcano) and one abstention (R. Peraza).
A vote to amend and table the motion to support the efforts of the Murphy
Houses Tenants Association to establish a community garden on East 181st
Street, directly across the street from its housing development was made by Ms.
Espinosa, seconded by Ms. Diana Diaz and adopted by a vote of eighteen in favor,
zero opposed and one abstention (R. Peraza).
Background on the
motion: The original motion incorrectly referred to the Murphy Houses
Tenants Association rather than the Monterey Houses Residents Watch and,
therefore, needed to be amended. Additionally, Mr.
Isabel Matias, President of the Monterey Houses
Tenants Association suggested that the proposal for a community garden on
East 181st Street requires further study and deliberation. He
then provided the community board with a petition and counter proposal that
was signed and endorsed by a sizable number of residents of the Monterey
Ms. Marcano informed us that the
Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) will hold a public hearing on its
proposed bus and subway fare increases on Thursday, December 11, 2014 at the
Walt Whitman Theater at Brooklyn College. She stated that it is important for us
to attend the hearing inasmuch as the MTA proposes to increase the fares
effective March 2015.
Ms. Galarza announced that she has
invited a representative of the MTA-New York City Transit to attend the
Transportation Committee next meeting in order to address the committee’s
concerns regarding local bus service.
Ms. Espinosa announced that the
next meeting of the Parks and Recreation Committee will be held on Wednesday,
January 7, 2015 at the Monterey Houses’ community center.
Mr. Jose Padilla informed us that
the filling period for the Heat and Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) closes at
the end of the month (December 2014).
Community Board #6 member Alexis Thornton spoke briefly about the city’s
Conflict of Interest law and provided us with literature regarding the same.
XI. SPECIAL PRESENTATION
At this point, Pastor Prince, on behalf of the
International Central Gospel Church, presented plaques to Assemblyman Pichardo,
District Manager Galarza, and (in absentia) to Senator Gustavo Rivera and
Council Member Ritchie Torres in appreciation of their support of the church’s
There being no other business to discuss, the
December 10, 2014 meeting of Bronx Community Board #6 was adjourned at
approximately 9:30 p.m.
Respectfully submitted by:
Leslie A. Jones,