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In Public Service – September 3, 2019

Deutsch, Ampry-Samuel secure funds for veterans program

Two Brooklyn city councilmembers have secured more than $300,000 in city funding for a nonprofit group that provides employment and housing services for at-risk military veterans.

Chaim Deutsch, chairperson of the New York City Council’s Veterans Committee, secured $315,000 for the Jericho Project. Councilmember Alicka Ampry-Samuel, a Democrat who represents Bedford-Stuyvesant and Ocean Hill-Brownsville, secured an additional $5,000.

“Thanks to the steadfast support of Councilmembers Deutsch and Ampry-Samuel, Jericho Project can deliver services to prevent homelessness among our veterans and enable those who have served our nation to move forward in their civilian lives with dignity,” said Jericho Project CEO Tori Lyon.

Deutsch, a Democrat who represents Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach and Sheepshead Bay, said he paid a visit to a Jericho housing facility in the Bronx and was impressed. “The building was modern and clean, and I particularly appreciated the atmosphere of unity and compassion that Jericho’s team fosters among the residents,” he said.

Back-to-School BBQ a big hit, lawmakers say

Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte and Councilmember Farah Louis, who teamed up to host a back-to-school barbecue in the courtyard of P.S. 152 on Aug. 25, said the event was a big success.

“With the backdrop of a beautiful sunny day and the wide open courtyard, fun was had by all,” Bichotte wrote in a newsletter to constituents. Bichotte, a Democrat, represents Flatbush, East Flatbush and Ditmas Park. She worked with fellow Democrat Louis, whose council district includes Flatbush, Flatlands and Marine Park, to organize the barbecue.

More than 850 local residents attended the barbecue, which featured games in the school courtyard and gymnasium, as well as a lineup of vendors offering resources to parents.

Velázquez announces grants for health centers

U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez has announced that health centers in her congressional district, including two in Brooklyn, have been awarded federal grants to continue their work.

Sunset Park Health Council, Inc. received $148,865 in funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for its Ryan White Title III HIV Capacity Development and Planning Project as well as $263,199 for its Health Center Cluster project. The Opportunity Development Association was awarded $46,000 for its Health Center Cluster project.

“All individuals deserve access to a culturally-sensitive healthcare environment, regardless of income, background or documentation status,” said Velázquez, a Democrat representing parts of Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. “These centers have been built with our community in mind and that’s why I’m proud to see them receive the funding necessary to continue their important work.”

Cymbrowitz has ‘strong concerns’ over gifted program changes

Assemblymember Steven Cymbrowitz said he has “strong concerns” about the recommendations made by a panel appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio to eliminate gifted and talented programs in public schools.

In a letter to Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, Cymbrowitz wrote that “while the current programs are far from perfect and would certainly benefit from reform in order to make them more inclusive of our city’s diverse population, I am concerned that eliminating the gifted and talented model entirely would drive countless families out of the public school system and ultimately make it harder to create high-quality, integrated schools that meet the needs of all students.”

Cymbrowitz, a Democrat who represents Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach and Brighton Beach, said parents often make the decision to send their children to public schools based on admission to gifted and talented programs. “These parents, by and large, tend to be heavily involved in their school community, volunteering to chaperone on school trips, leading school events, attending PTA meetings, etc. and their involvement benefits the school as a whole, not just the G&T program,” he said.

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