Kim Makes Progress In Adult Literacy Funding

    Assemblymember Ron Kim/Facebook

    Assemblymembers Ron Kim (D-Whitestone, Flushing, College Point, Murray Hill) and Yuh-Line Niou (D-Manhattan) announced this week they were proud to be the primary representatives of New York City in restoring and securing adult literacy funding for the 2018-2019 State Budget.

    Though the final funding amount, $7.793 million, represented an increase from previous years, it still fell short of the estimated $15.3 million that adult literacy advocates and community groups stated was needed to cover recent a gap caused by changes on the federal level.

    Even with this increase, an $8 million gap in funding for adult learners in New York still exists following recent changes to the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act which took effect last year. Kim and Niou pledged to continue fighting to fill this void in funding, which ended access to educational programs for approximately 17,000 adult learners.

    “I thank my colleagues, Assemblymember Patricia Fahy and Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou, for fighting tooth and nail with me to secure and expand adult literacy funding in New York. There is a growing chasm between the number of working adults, especially immigrants, who need these services and the limited resources that are actually available,” said Kim.

    “Though it has taken almost all that we have just to keep and slightly expand the currently authorized amount of funding of approximately $7.79 million, changes on the federal level alone have still created an estimated gap of an additional $8 million. It is essential that we cover that gap if we want to ensure the 3.5 million New Yorkers without a high school diploma or English-language proficiency continue to be productive members of our workforce,” he added.

    Ramos Pushes MTA To Renew Commitment To Transparency

    State Sen. Jessica Ramos

    State Sen. Jessica Ramos (D-Corona, East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, parts of Astoria, Woodside) yesterday announced she grilled Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) officials at a recent legislative hearing to commit to more transparency.

    Ramos noted that New Yorkers have had a long and fraught relationship with the MTA and the only way to build trust is to begin promoting transparency, which will restore credibility.

    “At the hearing on assessing the effectiveness of our transportation networks, I asked CFO Robert E. Foran if the MTA was willing to put its budget book in open data format. Soon after, I sent newly-confirmed Chairman and CEO Pat Foye a letter, underlining the need for open data. Chairman Foye has been open to these conversations, and I am excited to work with him and advocates on improving the MTA’s FOIL and open data processes,” said Ramos.

    Sanders’ Earth Week Expo Lineup Announced

    State Sen. James Sanders Jr.

    State Sen. James Sanders Jr. (Rochdale Village, Far Rockaway) yesterday announced the lineup for his upcoming Earth Week Expo, which will examine how to make the planet a better place through positive environmental practices.

    The keynote speaker will be Josh Fox, an award-winning film director, playwright and environmental activist. His 2010 documentary “Gasland” was nominated for an Academy Award.

    Other featured guests will include: Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Assembly Members Felix Ramos, Clyde Vanel and Taylor Raynor, and Council Member Costa Constantinides, Chairman of the City Council’s Environmental Protection Committee.

    “This Earth Week Expo will be educational and interactive fun for the whole family as we discuss the everyday steps we can take as a community to combat climate change. There will also be information about green jobs, the usage of renewable energy sources, urban gardening, recycling, composting, using rain barrels to conserve water, healthy eating, and much more,” said Sanders in announcing the lineup.

    Sanders recently introduced a Green New Deal for New York, legislation which establishes a task force to plan how to make our state greenhouse gas emissions neutral by 2030 by transitioning from a fossil fuel-based economy to one based entirely on clean renewable energy. The goal is to prevent the catastrophic consequences of climate change, promote economic growth and job creation, and provide a just transition to benefit of all New Yorkers.

    The Earth Week Expo is slated between 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Saturday, April 27 at PS 52, 178-37 146th Terrace in Jamaica.

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