Local Government

Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand (D) New York

New York Office:

780 Third Avenue
Suite 2601
New York, New York 10017

Telephone: 212-688-6262

Fax: 866-824-6340

Website contact form:  https://www.gillibrand.senate.gov/contact/email-me

Senior Citizen Homeowner Exemption Program (SCHE)

Senior citizens who own homes, condominiums or private non-governmentally supervised co-ops may be eligible for the Senior Citizen Homeowner Exemption Program (SCHE). For questions regarding this program, visit New York City’s Department of Finance (DOF) or call 311.

SLA Mapper (SLAM) tool aggregating liquor licences, 311 complaints and health inspections

Courtesy of the BetaNYC team

See a new online app using New York City open data called SLA Mapper (SLAM). This is a tool developed for community boards that aggregates information about active liquor licences, sidewalk cafe licences, 311 complaints about bars, restaurants and clubs and restaurant health inspections onto a single map.

Try typing in the address in Manhattan 493 3rd Avenue (it’s between 33rd Street and 34th Street). 

Street homeless

If you see something illegal, dangerous, or someone who is a danger to themselves or others call 911 immediately. This includes lewd or inappropriate behavior such as nudity or inappropriate sexual displays.

Call 311 for non-dangerous individuals not presenting an immediate danger but clearly in need of mental health services. Be sure to obtain and retain your complaint number. In addition, if you ask to speak directly with social service providers you can direct them straight to the individual that needs assistance. This is an effective way to ensure that people living on the street get the services they need. When you direct the social service provider to someone on the street they are approached by one of the City’s service providers Common Ground or the Bowery Residents Coalition. These trained professionals engage potential clients and guide them to the services that they need to become more stable citizens and maybe even work towards transitioning out of homelessness.

Callers with smartphones can download and use the 311 app, there is a category specifically to report a homeless person. When you make a complaint you can specify “Homeless Assistance”. For a basic non-criminal homeless person use the words: Street homeless, sleeping on the street, or homeless outreach. If you are calling 311 and use the words homeless encampment or abandoned building, it will be automatically bumped to the NYPD. Community Board 6 has a dedicated committee, Community Board Housing, Homeless, and Human Rights Committee. The City of New York and the State of New York have “right to shelter” provisions. These provisions are based on case law as well as State statues. These provisions state that “the aid, care and support of the needy are public concerns and shall be provided by the state and by such of its subdivisions….”

This link to the Coalition for the Homeless’ website is a terrific resource for understanding the legal history: coalitionforthehomeless.org/our-programs/advocacy/legal-victories/the-callahan-legacy-callahan-v-carey-and-the-legal-right-to-shelter/.

Street Tree Map: The NYC Parks Department’s map of street trees in NYC

NYC Parks Department map of street trees in New York City

(By neighborhood) Murray Hill-Kips Bay Street Trees tree-map.nycgovparks.org/tree-map/neighborhood/182
You also can click on each tree and can log in to record activity for the tree, see information about the tree, etc. 

Street tree watering and care

Urban Arborists new tree watering instructions

NYC Parks Department guidelines on street tree care

NYC Parks Department guidelines on tree pit care

Student Loan Borrower Bill of Rights and Assistance

Student Loan Borrower Bill of Rights and Assistance

Source: Senator Krueger’s Community Bulletin – February 2020

Student loan servicers are often the most important points of contact for student loan borrowers. They send your monthly bills and process your loan payments, and they are also supposed to answer your questions and help you figure out the best way to repay your loans. For these reasons, when student loan servicers don’t do their jobs well, borrowers suffer. In 2019, New York passed the Student Loan Servicing Act, which gave the State Department of Financial Services authority to license and regulate student loan servicers and to ensure that they treat borrowers with the respect and professionalism they deserve. The law also created new protections for borrowers and their co-signors. These rights are described in the New York Student Loan Borrower Bill of Rights as follows:

Every Student Loan Borrower In New York Has The Right To:

1. Detailed financial aid award letters from schools in New York.
2. Clear, accurate, and complete information about your loan terms.
3. Information about any available loan repayment plans and options.
4. Information about any available discharge, forgiveness, and cancellation options.
5. Loan payments applied to your account in ways that most benefit you.
6. Knowledgeable customer service representatives who treat you respectfully and fairly.
7. Detailed loan account histories that are easily and securely accessible online.
8. Seamless transfers if your loan is serviced by a new company.
9. Accurate payment history reporting to credit agencies.
10. Responses to complaints you make to your servicer.

The Community Service Society also offers an Education Debt Consumer Assistance Program that can offer assistance with student loan debt issues. If you would like their assistance, visit their website at www.edcapny.org or call their helpline at 888-614-5004.

Substance Abuse Resources

Resources provided by New York State: https://www.oasas.ny.gov/accesshelp/index.cfm

Resources provide by New York City: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/health/health-topics/alcohol-and-drug-use.page

The Department of Sanitation offers Curbside Composting in Community Board 6

This is a free city service, similar to trash and recycling collection, in which Sanitation collects food waste and yard waste from residential buildings once a week. DSNY will provide the bins, weekly collection, and educational materials—all that’s needed from a building is to place the bin in a communal location and roll it out to the curb once a week!

The DOS is encouraging buildings in Community Board 6 to use this program to cut down on rat activity and help keep the neighborhood clean—compost brown bins are more resilient against pests than trash bags. For a building to be added to a route, a tenant or building manager must fill out this online form*. 

*Tenants in 1-9 units can sign up for the building; tenants in buildings with 10+ units can express interest and provide the building manager’s contact info so DSNY can contact them about enrolling in the building or ask their building manager directly to fill out the form. 

For 10-50+ unit buildings, there is also a Building Compost Volunteer option. Learn more about the Building Compost Volunteer Option at the DOS biweekly information sessions at bcvinfo.eventbrite.com

Why Compost?

  • Removing food waste from trash is one significant way to deter rats in the area. The more buildings in a neighborhood sign up, the better the outcome.
  • Food scraps and yard waste comprise a third of NYC residents’ trash. DOS wants to use this material to make compost and clean energy.

For more information, please go to the DOS Frequently Asked Questions page or email compostoutreach@bigreuse.org with questions or concerns. For all NYC composting details, go to www.makecompost.nyc

Help keep neighborhoods clean of litter and pests—sign up for curbside composting!

Make Compost NYC – Social Media
Sign Up for DSNY Email Newsletters and Alerts

The Lexington Democratic Club

Democratic club serving Manhattan’s East side