I am deeply saddened and distressed by the killing of yet another young person from El Barrio/East Harlem. In the past three weeks alone, three teenagers from our community have been killed due to senseless and endemic violence in our city.
A young woman, Tysha Jones, gunned down enjoying a day at the beach; a young man, Juan Ortero, shot while walking to a local deli; and now another talented and promising young man, Isayah Muller, stabbed to death on the day of his high school graduation. As we head into the summer, we are seeing far too many lives being cut short due to violence and few communities have felt the impact of these killings more than El Barrio/East Harlem. Though two of these three incidents did not occur in our community, it is no secret that we have also experienced a serious increase in shootings and other forms of violence here in our neighborood, particularly among our youth. We must all continue to come together and reaffirm that this violence must be stopped.
On behalf of my entire community, I send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of these three young victims and all youth who have been tragically and prematurely taken from us due to violence.
Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito released a report today on discretionary expense and capital funds that she has helped secure for organizations and schools in our district in the Fiscal Year 2012 budget. The budget was adopted by the City Council yesterday. The report, which can be found below, also provides information on the restorations to the Mayor’s proposed budget made by the City Council, as well as Council initiatives.
The adopted FY 2012 budget included critical restorations of cuts proposed by the Mayor to the city’s safety net, in areas ranging from education, parks, libraries and senior centers to HIV/AIDS services, fire engine companies and child protective services workers. Most notably, thanks to the Council’s negotiations with the Mayor and the UFT, the 4,000 plus teachers proposed to be laid off will remain in the classroom. Unfortunately, not all programs could be kept whole in this challenging fiscal environment. Melissa and many of her colleagues continue to push for the need for fair share tax reform and alternative revenue options to avoid further cuts in the future.
Please take a moment to review the report, which is embedded below. You can also download it in PDF format by clicking here.