Melissa’s office has begun holding special office hours for the growing number of Chinese-speaking constituents in our district each Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. These office hours will run through the end of August. Below is an introductory letter in both English and Chinese from Preston Tan, our liaison to the Chinese community.
Below are a few articles outlining our efforts to engage the Chinese-speaking constituents in our District:
This Saturday, July 30th, join us at Thomas Jefferson Park (1st Avenue between 111th and 114th Streets) for two FREE events for local pet owners, co-sponsored by the Office of Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito.
The ASPCA will set up its mobile spay/neuter clinic and offer FREE services to El Barrio/East Harlem residents on a first-come, first-served basis. Check-in begins at 8:00 a.m. Giveaways include a free collar and leash, pet tag, bag of pet food and Operation East Harlem t-shirt. Be sure to read this flyer carefully before attending the event. If you have additional questions, please visit www.aspca.org/mobileclinic or call 877-SPAY-NYC (877-772-9692). Cats must arrive in carriers and dogs on leashes. In order to be spayed/neutered, your pet cannot eat after midnight.
From 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, celebrity dog groomer Jorge Bendersky will host a FREE dog grooming workshop at the Jefferson Recreation Center (1st Avenue and 113th Street). Jorge Bendersky became a celebrity dog groomer soon after moving to Manhattan from his native Argentina. Today he is one of Manhattan’s most sought-after groomers. Jorge’s talents have been seen on Animal Planet’s reality show, Groomer Has It, as a judge on TLC’s Extreme Poodles and as the new grooming expert on Animal Planet’s Dogs 101. Jorge will share tips on how to brush your dog properly, as it is one of the most important tools in the early detection of a range of potential diseases. Click here (or see above) to view the flyer for this event.
We hope our local pet owners can join us this Saturday!
Photograph by Héctor Méndez-Caratini, taken at the Alegría residence, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito issued the following statement in response to the death of renowned Puerto Rican scholar Ricardo Alegría:
I am very saddened by the death of the extraordinary Puerto Rican scholar Ricardo Alegría. No single individual has done more to preserve Puerto Rican history, heritage and culture than Mr. Alegría. During his long and fruitful life, Mr. Alegría helped so many of us proud Puerto Ricans – whether living on the island or stateside – to understand and appreciate more deeply our roots, and to preserve the history of the island within our collective identity as a people.
As founder of the Institute for Puerto Rican Culture and the Center for Advanced Studies on Puerto Rico, Mr. Alegría dedicated his entire life to studying the origins and evolution of modern Puerto Rican culture, focusing in particular on the strong influence of the island’s Taino heritage. He also worked tirelessly to preserve the archaeological beauty and history of Old San Juan and other parts of Puerto Rico, which continue to serve as a visual reminder of our history.
Mr. Alegría’s work has been of importance not only to those Puerto Ricans living on the island but also to the millions of us who are part of the diaspora and have to make even greater efforts to preserve our cultural heritage. As part of ASPIRA of NY I had the great honor of leading a group of young Puerto Ricans born and raised in New York on a trip to the island to help them learn about their culture and their history. Mr. Alegría humbly welcomed us into the Institute and personally led a talk with the youth, which was as impactful for me as it was for them. The ability to witness the generosity of his spirit in taking the time to speak with these teenagers was a truly unforgettable experience and one that speaks to his character as a person.
Mr. Alegría, “protector y promotor de nuestro patrimonio”, has left for us Puerto Ricans such incredible contributions, thereby ensuring that his memory lives on for generations to come. I send my condolences to his family and to all Puerto Rican people as we mourn this terrible loss.
Tomorrow is the official launch of hours exclusively for seniors at El Barrio/East Harlem’s Jefferson Pool. To celebrate, Melissa’s office will be co-sponsoring a Senior Pool Party tomorrow at 9:00 am in conjunction with Age Friendly NYC, the Parks Department and the New York Academy of Medicine. Senior hours will be held every Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 am to 11:00 am during the months of July and August at Jefferson Pool (112th Street and 1st Avenue). Tomorrow’s Senior Pool Party will include snacks and music, as well as give-a-ways including free swimming caps, t-shirts and locks.
Senior pool hours is the latest initiative to come out of the El Barrio/East Harlem Age Improvement District (AID), which is coordinated jointly by the New York Academy of Medicine and our office and seeks to make our neighborhood more liveable for older adults. Our AID is the first to launch in the city, and El Barrio/East Harlem is the first community in New York City to have specialized hours for seniors to swim in a public pool.
The idea for senior pool hours emerged directly from surveys completed by local older adults as part of the AID initiative. Seniors expressed a desire to take advantage of the health and recreational benefits of swimming but were hesitant to do so at times when pools were more crowded with children and families.
Please help us spread the word about tomorrow’s Pool Party and our new senior pool hours!