August 10, 2015
Mayor Bill de Blasio: Good morning, everyone.
Thank you, and good morning to everyone.
We have got a lot to do on this Monday morning. First, we’re going to go through some bills that we need to sign now, related to a variety of matters. At the end, we’re going to do street renamings, so we’re going to try to move this along. I know a lot of people are here for the street renamings, and it’s very important to all of us. Just bear with us a few minutes while we deal with these other matters first.
I want to welcome everyone.
The first item of business is Intro 558-A, which requires the Parks Department to issue an annual report on its compliance with the American with Disabilities Act. The sponsor is Council Member Mark Levine, the Parks and Recreation Committee Chair.
Signing this bill comes at a very meaningful moment for this city and this nation – the 25th anniversary of the ADA. A number of us joined with its author, Senator Tom Harkin, for the first ever Disability Pride Parade a few weeks ago – also an extraordinary moment. So signing this bill at this time is an incredible statement as to how far this city and this nation have come over 25 years. This is literally – the ADA was literally one of the nation’s greatest pieces of civil rights legislation, and it was the first in the world, for any nation, addressing the needs of people with disabilities as a fundamental right.
The bill we’ll be signing today helps carry on the ADA’s legacy of equality and fairness, and things that have made such a difference in peoples’ lives that have been achieved through the ADA. The bill will ensure that we have full and equal access to all our Parks facilities. The reports required in this bill will tell us which Parks facilities comply with ADA standards for accessible design, which don’t, and what work must be done to remedy the situation.
My administration firmly believes in the goal – and we’ll achieve the goal – of making New York City the most accessible city not only in this nation, but on this earth.
And I want to thank all those who were part of bringing the bill to fruition – of course, our Parks commissioner, Mitchell Silver; our Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities commissioner, Victor Calise; Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. Thanks to all of them.
Now, it’s my honor to introduce Council Member Mark Levine.
The next item is Intro 847-A, which requires the Taxi and Limousine Commission to study the impact of the growth in the taxi and for-hire vehicle industries, sponsored by Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chair of our Transportation Committee in the City Council, and Council Member Rory Lancman.
The taxi and for-hire vehicle industries are changing the landscape of our transportation network in this city, and they’re experiencing dramatic growth. This industry is now transporting more passengers per day than the Long Island Rail Road and Metro North combined. The study required by this legislation will examine how this growth affects mobility in this city, and other factors in the life of our city.
I want to thank TLC Chair Meera Joshi; DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg; DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd; the Director of the Mayor’s Office Sustainability Nilda Mesa; again, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito – and now, introduce Chair Ydanis Rodriguez
Mayor: Democracy is moving swiftly this morning.
Okay, next we have two pieces of legislation. We will treat them together. Intros 89-A and 830-A, which strengthen the Human Resources Administration’s Adult Protective Services program. Sponsors are Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito; Council Member Paul Vallone, chair of the subcommittee on senior centers; and Council Member Stephen Levin, the chair of the general welfare committee.
These bills step up our efforts to protect our most vulnerable fellow New Yorkers. The APS program helps adults with physical and mental challenges live safely in their homes. Many are unable to carry out basic activities of daily living, like preparing meals and washing clothes.
Intro 830-A ensures that city employees are trained to identify individuals in need and connect them to services that will help them maintain independent living. We’re making sure we’re on the front lines of helping those who need the help the most.
Intro 89-A requires HRA to report semi-annually on referrals to these Adult Protective Services – allowing us to monitor the effectiveness and efficiency of the program and show who we are helping, but also that those who may have been referred were ultimately eligible, and making sure that no one ineligible was referred. This will allow us to make sure the services, of course, are going to those who truly need them.
I would like to introduce the commissioner of the Human Resources Administration, Steve Banks.
Mayor: Okay, now, Intro 425-A, which requires the New York City Climate Change Adaption Task Force to create a plan to protect our telecommunications infrastructure in the event of certain emergencies. Sponsors – Council Member Mark Treyger, chair of the committee on recovery and resiliency.
We all know from the experience that we had in Hurricane Sandy, how necessary it is to take such protections. Sandy wrought major power outages and telecommunications failures. We know we can and we, in fact, must improve the resiliency of our electric and communications grids. This bill requires our Climate Change Adaption Task Force – coordinated by our Office of Recovery and Resiliency – to first, evaluate the effects of climate change on this critical infrastructure; second, propose short and long-term recommendations for improving its resiliency.
We are now staring down – we all know this – we’re staring down the threat of more extreme weather than we’ve ever known before. And we must make sure our city is fully prepared. I want to thank Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito; the Office of Emergency Management – Commissioner Joe Esposito; Dan Zarrilli, our director of the Office of Recovery and Resiliency; Anne Roest, our commissioner for IT.
And now it’s my pleasure to introduce Council Member Mark Treyger.
Mayor: This is like legislative speed dating.
Okay. I think we have – let’s see, now. We’re going to go into all of them. Okay.
Let me just start – as we now go into what so many people are rightfully here for – these very important and moving renaming of streets and other locations around our city, in honor of people who did so much for all of us. Let me just, at the outset, thank two folks who are here with us, who we work with regularly – first of all, Michael Palladino, President of the Detectives' Endowment Association, and second, Izzy Miranda, President of the Uniformed EMTs, Paramedics, and Fire Inspectors Local 2507. Thank you to both.
We’re going to do everything that involves renaming together. So the first is a small, but important, matter. Intro 235 amends the official map of New York City – sponsored by Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer.
Two thoroughfares in Queens are currently both named the same name – Court Square – which is understandably confusing. This bill will respectively rename the streets Court Square East and Court Square West. This is a victory for government making sense of things. Okay.
Now, the main event, Intro 849. Intro 849 co-names 51 streets and public spaces in this city – gives families and communities a physical reminder of loved ones who have made such a tremendous contribution to this city. These streets will be found across all five boroughs. And you’re going to have further evidence of how much interest and feeling there is for this moment by the list of sponsors that I’m going to read to you – the different sponsors of all the different pieces of this bill.
Of course, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito – we thank her for her sponsorship and leadership. And the following councilmembers – Arroyo, Barron, Cabrera, Constantinides – Constantinides – I always have trouble – Constantinides, Cornegy, Crowley, Cumbo, Dickens, Gibson, Johnson, King, Koo, Levin, Levine, Maisel, Matteo, Menchaca, Mendez, Miller, Reynoso, Richards, Rodriguez, Rose, Treyger, Vacca, Vallone, Van Bramer, Williams, and Deutsch. We thank all those councilmembers for their support.
Now, I want to first talk about those who served us in the way that we read about, we hear about, we see about in movies. But some people do this in real life, and they deserve our deepest appreciation and praise and remembrance – those who made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting their fellow New Yorkers.
I’m going to read you a list of each of those who are being honored today.
First, Detective 1st Grade Brian Moore – renaming Brian Moore Way. He served for five years in the NYPD – served with great distinction, rose up to the position of the anti-crime unit, and was shot, tragically, while on patrol.
Detective Dennis Guerra Way – an eight-year veteran of the NYPD, died of injuries sustained after responding to a fire in an apartment building, trying to save lives.
Phillip Cardillo Way – five-year veteran of the NYPD shot while responding to an officer in distress call.
EMT Luis De Pena Jr. Square – he died of illnesses resulting from work at Ground Zero.
Bruce Reynolds Way – an officer killed on 9/11 while trying to rescue victims trapped in the World Trade Center.
Captain James McDonnell Way – died of injuries he sustained while responding to a fire.
Police Officer Ronald G. Becker, Jr. Way – 20-year veteran of the NYPD who died from illnesses contracted participating in the rescue and recovery efforts after 9/11.
Firefighter John P. Sullivan Way – also died from illness related to the recovery work at Ground Zero.
Officer Thomas Choi Avenue – member of the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority Police Department, who died after being struck by a driver.
All of these individuals deserve our particular feeling, emotion, praise, and remembrance. And this is one of the ways that we will – for their families, for their communities – remember them for the rest of time.
Next, some other very exceptional men and women whose public service to the city will never be forgotten. Robert Lowery Way – honoring the first African-American fire commissioner in this city’s history.
Sergeant Charles H, Cochrane Way – honoring the first openly gay NYPD officer.
Wayne “Chops” Derrick Way – beloved employee of P.S 18 on Staten Island for 34 years.
Assistant Principal Linda A. Romano Place – a devoted assistant principal at the American Experience Academy at I.S. 227 in Brooklyn.
Dorothy Skinner Way. She was a great Harlem community leader who worked for the DOE as well – active in helping the NYPD from the community in the 1970s and 80s, and devoted to making Harlem a safer place.
Here’s one a lot of people, I’m sure, will feel because it’s touched so many lives. Mitchell-Lama Way. Well, there were two people behind that legislation – MacNeil Mitchell and Alfred Lama – two state legislators who authored such a tremendously important law that transformed the city’s housing landscape and created affordable housing for generations of middle-income New Yorkers.
Detective Clarence M. Surgeon Way – brave member of the NYC Transit Authority Police Department for nearly four decades.
Next, I’m going to read streets dedicated to many others and they’ve all done something extraordinary to get to this point where they are honored by their entire city – all 8.5 million New Yorkers are honoring them through the actions being taken today. We’re also doing something special. We’re honoring an iconic film that meant so much to this city. And we’re honoring a Native American tribe that has a deep connection to this city and its history. It’s not possible, because there’s so many, to go into detail on each, but all here present should know each of these are meaningful to all of us. And that’s why this extraordinary action is being taken, by renaming a part of our city after each and every one of these individuals. And we are forever grateful to all of them.
Here are the streets that are going to be co-named and I’m going to do it by borough. First, in the Bronx – Bill Twomey Place, Carmen Rosa Way, Gregorio Luperón Way, Henry "Red" Allen Way, Maxine Sullivan Way.
Streets to be co-named in Brooklyn – Briana Ojeda Way, Catherine McAuley High School Way, Do The Right Thing Way –
Mayor: You guessed it – Father Connie Mobley Boulevard, Gus Vlahavas Place, Louis Powsner Way, Peter W. Piccininni Way, Seth Kushner Way, Tanaya R. Copeland Avenue, Vincent Abate Way.
Streets to be co-named in Manhattan – Albert Blumburg Way, Larry Selman Way, Leonard Harper Way, Matty Alou Way, Rabbi Sidney Kleiman Way, William Soto Way.
Streets to be co-named in Queens – Allison Hope Liao Way, Bishop Joseph M. Sullivan Way, Dennis Syntilas Way, Frank Kowalinski Way, James English Way, Marjorie Sewell Cautley Way, Mary’s Way, Matinecock Way, Sheila Pecoraro Way.
Streets to be co-named in Staten Island – Art Hall Way, Dr. Meryl Efron Way, Dominick (Dom) Lambert Way, Elizabeth Egbert Way, and Mrs. Rosemary Way.
Some of my colleagues from the City Council want to speak to these extraordinary renamings and what they mean for our communities. So I’m going to call on them in the order handed to me now, starting with Council Member Jimmy Vacca.
Mayor: Thank you very, very much. Before we sign the final bills, just a quick summary in Spanish.
[Mayor de Blasio speaks in Spanish]
With that, we’re going to sign this legislation. I’d like everyone now to really give a strong New York cheer for all the people we’re honoring today.