New York, NY: Tony Herbert, candidate for Public Advocate in the February 26, 2019 Special Election wants the Governor and Mayor to transfer the management of NYCHA to the Battery Park City Authority. He says BPCA’s stellar record of creating a 92 acre mixed use community which has been studied by designers around the world, makes it the perfect entity to manage, repair and upgrade NYCHA’s 2,602 buildings scattered around New York City.
Herbert says the legislation creating the Battery Park City Authority mandates that excess revenue generated from ground leases be used for affordable housing outside the BPCA footprint. BPCA also has the ability to issue bonds which may be the best way to ensure that the 178,895 NYCHA apartments housing approximately 600,000 residents, are repaired quickly and efficiently.
Said Herbert, “It is clear that the need to repair NYCHA buildings has reached crisis levels. It is also clear that the Mayor’s plan to sell off NYCHA property and transfer more than 60,000 NYCHA apartments to private developers under the RAD program is a risky proposition that could have a detrimental outcome as was the case in Virginia. Rather than put residents at risk and transfer our city’s most valuable assets to private developers, I want legislators to transfer all of NYCHA to the Battery Park City Authority. The BPCA has proven to be an effective and efficient development authority. Throughout it’s fifty years of existence, it has transferred more than a billion dollars in excess revenue to the city, in addition to building and operating roads, ballfields, community centers and parks. I don’t know of any other development authority that has achieved that level of excellence, so it only makes sense to allow it to manage and operate our city’s largest and most valuable asset – NYCHA.
“By transferring NYCHA to the BPCA, the asset will remain with the city.That is a stark contrast to Mayor de Blasio’s NYCHA 2.0 which sells off the asset to private developers. The people of NYCHA deserve a clean, safe place to live without fear of being displaced. And New York taxpayers deserve to know that the asset their tax dollars has been supporting will appreciate in value and be preserved for future generations rather than be traded to a private developer to fatten his/her portfolio.”
Herbert says that language in the legislation that transfers NYCHA to the BPCA should include a mandate that no more than 5% of apartments remain vacant at any given time; that BPCA create a timeline to construct additional affordable housing on unused NYCHA land; and that the Public Advocate have an appointee on the Battery Park City Authority Board.
“The City should have a seat on the Battery Park City Authority board because the excess revenue generated by the BPCA goes to the city. The Public Advocate is the absolute right person to make that appointment because decisions made by the board affects the lives of thousands of individuals.”Read More
HERBERT WANTS SANITATION DEPARTMENT TO AVOID TRASH PICK-UPS ON BLOCKS SURROUNDING SCHOOLS DURING MORNING STUDENT DROP OFFS
Brooklyn, NY: Tony Herbert, candidate for Public Advocate wants the New York City Department of Sanitation to avoid picking up trash on blocks surrounding schools during morning student drop offs. Herbert says that the agency should be establishing trash pickup schedules after coordinating with other agencies such as NYC DOT and Community Boards during District Service Cabinet meetings.
Said Herbert, “We need to make New York City a kinder, gentler place for the people who live here and that can begin by ensuring that the delivery of City services does not interfere with our daily lives. Sanitation trucks picking up trash in the morning can cause traffic jams on New York City streets where alternate side of the street parking doesn’t begin until after school starts. With cars parked on both sides of the street, sanitation trucks have no choice but to stop in the middle of the street to pick up trash. One truck can cause a traffic jam that extends for many blocks.
“Traffic is one of the most annoying quality of life issues for most New Yorkers. The City Charter provides us with a mechanism to deliver City services with the least amount of negative impact on the community. All we have to do is use it.”
The City Charter mandates monthly District Service Cabinet meetings at which Community Boards, City Council members and all agency officials with line authority for the district:
· Coordinate service functions and programs of the agencies that deliver services in the community district;
· Consider interagency problems and impediments to the effective and economic delivery of services in the district;
· Plan and recommend joint programs to meet the needs and priorities of the district and its residents;
· Consult with community district residents and their representatives about local service problems and activities; and
· Keep a public record of its activities and transactions, including minutes of its meetings.
Community Board Chairs and District Manager throughout the city complain that District Service Cabinet Meetings are few and far between. Herbert wants agencies to post minutes from District Service Cabinet meetings on their website so the public know what decisions are being made in their districts.
“Our City Charter mandates the coordination between agencies for service delivery. As Public Advocate I want this information to be easy to find. If City agencies perceive taxpayers as customers who deserve quality service people will be more likely to remain in New York.”Read More
Brooklyn, NY: Advocates without Borders founder and candidate for NYC Public Advocate, Tony Herbert is calling on District Attorneys in all five counties to “get tough” on suspects charged with robbing and assaulting senior citizens.
Said Herbert, “Our seniors built this city and it is up to us to ensure they are protected in their golden years. I am challenging all five District Attorney’s to step up to the plate and send a clear message to would be criminals that crimes against senior citizens will not be tolerated.”
Herbert wants the District Attorney to refuse to accept plea bargains when it comes to robbery and assault on senior citizens. He also wants criminals who repeatedly prey on senior citizens to be charged under NYS “hate crimes” law which carry stricter penalties.
Herbert continued, “According to the NYPD website for Hate Crime Statistics, there were a total of 32 felony assault hate crime complaints in New York City during 2018 – that number represents all the complaints deemed to be a hate crime including crimes motivated by race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. NYS says that hate crimes based on age make up less than one percent in the state, but all we have to do is watch the news to figure out that number is way too low. This past December, 87 year old Gladys Marti died after she was assaulted in a Bronx McDonalds, yet statistics are showing that there were zero murders reported under the “hate crime” report.
“We also know that on Christmas Day, 88 year old Lyubov Faynshteyn was brutally attacked in the bedroom of her Coney Island apartment. Several days ago a 68 year old man was robbed by three men in front of his home at Tinton Avenue and E. 169th Street in the Bronx.
“Today we stand here in Red Hook because an 82 year old woman was assaulted.”
“People who prey on senior citizens should be made an example of. I urge our District Attorney’s to ban together and send a clear message that assault on seniors will not be tolerated. They came together to refuse to prosecute quality of life crimes. It’s their obligation to now stand up for our seniors.”Read More
Herbert Calls NYCHA Deal an “Unholy Alliance” Between the Mayor and the Trump Administration that Benefits Real Estate Developers More than Residents – Asks AG James to Bring Criminal Neglect Charges Against Both Administrations
Brooklyn, NY: Just days after HUD Secretary, Ben Carson and Mayor de Blasio mugged it up for the cameras announcing they came to a “deal” on how to fix NYCHA, Founder of Advocates without Borders and Candidate for Public Advocate, Tony Herbert called the agreement an “unholy alliance” between the Mayor and the Trump Administration to make real estate developers richer at the expense of low income New Yorkers.
Said Herbert, “Ben Carson and Bill de Blasio should be ashamed of themselves. Their deal – or should I say, unholy alliance – is nothing more than a sham to make real estate developers rich while pretending to help the good people living in public housing.
“NYCHA 2.0 sells off NYCHA playgrounds and air rights to wealthy real estate developers so they can build luxury housing. It also converts approximately 60,000 NYCHA units to Section 8 under the controversial federal Rent Demonstration Assistance (RAD) program that has caused some tenants to lose their homes due to lack of oversight. A federal judge rejected this plan but the Trump Administration is embracing it. Maybe that’s because the plan is just the type of deal that private citizen Donald Trump and his real estate buddies have capitalized on in the past.
“NYCHA residents need to fight back against this unholy alliance between President Trump and Mayor de Blasio. de Blasio should not be trusted to fix NYCHA because since he has been mayor, New York City’s budget has gone up by almost $20 Billion, yet the conditions inside NYCHA have deteriorated to the point that former Public Advocate, Tish James named NYCHA the worst slum lord in New York City.
“I am calling on Attorney General James to file charges of “criminal neglect” against Mayor de Blasio and President Trump for allowing the people of NYCHA to live without heat, hot water and in peril of lead poisoning due to the falsification of records. As Public Advocate she already collected the evidence, now it is time for her to take action.”
Herbert, who had been a longtime advocate for residents of public housing and who is running on the “Residents First” line, has been knocking on doors of NYCHA apartments asking residents to fill out complaint forms which can be downloaded from the Attorney General’s website https://ag.ny.gov/sites/default/files/ceb001_complaint_form.pdfRead More
Facebook Hero Finds Child Who Has Been Missing Since December 23, 2018. Arranges His Safe Return to Mom
Far Rockaway, Queens: Samuel Butler, a 14 year-old Far Rockaway teen who has been missing for more than a week was found today at the Atlantic Mall, Brooklyn by off duty Corrections Officer, Rena Watts. Officer Watts had just finished her shift and decided to do some shopping. She noticed a teen looking into the window of Game Stop and recognized him from a Facebook post that had been shared from community advocate Tony Herbert’s page. Watts walked over to the teen and engaged him in conversation. He told her he was hungry and thirsty so Watts bought him something to eat.
Said Watts, “I recognized him from Facebook and asked him if his name was Samuel. He told me that it was and I told him that I was glad he was safe and that he should call home because people were looking for him. I did my best to establish trust. I bought him something to eat and drink and we spoke for a while. I noticed an MTA police officer nearby so I asked Samuel to watch my bags, hoping that he would agree to help me since I was helping him. He agreed and I slipped away to try to find the phone number on the press release posted on Facebook. There is not cell service in the mall so I had to step outside, but before I did I informed the MTA police officer that the missing boy was watching my bags.
“I was able to reach Tony Herbert who in turn contacted Detectives at the 78th Precinct. When I returned, Samuel was speaking with MTA Sergeant Victor Cabrarian who was able to contact Samuel’s mother and arrange to get him home.”
Said Tony Herbert, “I am overjoyed that Samuel is back home with his mother and I am beyond grateful to Officer Watts and Sergeant Cabrarian. These two law enforcement officers have proven that they are never truly off duty. Officer Watts went above and beyond to ensure that Samuel was returned to his mother. She established trust, thought quickly and acted cautiously. All after completing an overnight shift at the Manhattan House of Detention. She continued to work with us well into the morning until Samuel was returned safely to him mom. We all owe her a debt of gratitude.
“I also want to give a shout out to the Facebook community. 188 people shared the post over a 19 hour period which is how Officer Watts was able to see it. That underscores my point that Amber Alerts should be sent out immediately after a child is reported missing to the police. People power is a tremendous resource.”
Herbert is calling Officer Watts a true New York hero and has already begun reaching out to Correction officials to ask that they recognize her actions.
Said Officer Watts, “I am just thankful that Samuel is back home. He is an intelligent and respectful young man.”
Samuel’s mother, Sabrena Butler reported the teen missing at approximately 5pm on December 23, 2018 after he failed to return home from cashing in cans at Shop Fair Supermarket. No Amber Alert went out.
Herbert wants lawmakers to mandate that Amber Alerts be sent out minutes after a child under 16 is reported missing. “Nearly 1,000 children have been recovered thanks to the Amber Alert program so it only makes sense to use the program whenever a child is reported missing. By removing the subjectivity from the process and issuing alerts for every child under 16 who is reported missing, we increase the chances of the child being found and returned unharmed.”
The AMBER Alert Program is a voluntary partnership between broadcasters, transportation agencies, law enforcement agencies, and the wireless industry to activate an urgent bulletin in the most serious child abduction cases. NCMEC serves as the secondary distributor of these alerts and, to date, 941 children have been successfully recovered as a result of the AMBER Alert program, including 55 recoveries credited to the wireless emergency alert program.
Ms. Butler said she was eternally grateful for Samuel’s safe return.Read More