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Brooklyn Borough President
209 Joralemon Street
Brooklyn, New York 11201
Since entering Borough Hall in January 2002, Marty has reinvigorated the office of borough president, serving as the tireless chief advocate for Brooklyn’s economic, social, and cultural interests, while initiating and promoting efforts to improve Brooklynites’ quality of life.
His goal is to ensure that all Brooklynites have the opportunity to share in the historic renaissance sweeping across the borough — and if he puts a smile on your face while he’s at it, even better! Born and raised in Crown Heights, Marty graduated from Wingate High School in 1962. He received his B.A. in Political Science after attending night school at Brooklyn College from 1962 to 1970. Marty began his career in public service in 1971, at the age of 26, by organizing the Flatbush Tenants Council, which grew into Brooklyn Housing and Family Services, the largest tenants’ advocacy organization in New York State. He is also widely known for creating two of New York City’s largest and longest-running free concert series: the Seaside Summer Concert Series in Coney Island, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Concert Series, in Flatbush.
Marty was elected to the New York State Senate in 1979, where he served 11 consecutive terms representing Central Brooklyn. But he always dreamed of serving all of Brooklyn, a goal he achieved as the first borough president elected in the new millennium. He was honored to be re-elected to a second term in 2005. As borough president, in addition to setting an ambitious agenda focused on the core issues of his more than three decades in public service — housing, neighborhood preservation, and community development — Marty has enacted programs to boost civic pride, improve health, empower young Brooklynites, and generate more resources for the borough’s businesses and residents.
When the NBA Nets were put up for sale in 2002, Marty saw a chance to fulfill his campaign promise of returning a national sports team to Brooklyn for the first time since the Dodgers left for Los Angeles in 1957. Marty has actively supported moving the team from New Jersey to a new Downtown arena at Atlantic Yards. The team hopes to play its first game in Brooklyn in the fall of 2009. Combined with comprehensive plans for Downtown Brooklyn’s additional development, and the burgeoning BAM Cultural District, Marty is helping to establish a vibrant new center of life for Brooklynites and all New Yorkers. Bringing a pro sports team here is just one way Marty is working to make sure that no one ever has to leave Brooklyn for anything. With the goal of maintaining Brooklyn’s ethnic and economic diversity, he consistently seeks to maximize the amount of affordable housing for lower- and middle-income Brooklynites in every residential project that comes before him for review. More than 2,200 of the rental units planned at Atlantic Yards will be affordable housing, as will an estimated 3,000-plus of the new units resulting from the 2005 Greenpoint-Williamsburg rezoning. In addition, Marty’s own Brooklyn Housing Development Fund has helped create hundreds of affordable-housing units to date.
Marty also works with Brooklyn communities to preserve their historic character and prevent out-of-scale development. Sections of Park Slope, Sunset Park, Midwood, Bay Ridge, and Bensonhurst have all been down-zoned by the City Planning Commission, and similar plans are moving forward in Canarsie, Dyker Heights, Sheepshead Bay, Plum Beach, Homecrest, Greenpoint-Williamsburg, and Fort Greene-Clinton Hill. Through efforts large and small, Marty also helps create the jobs Brooklynites need. He oversaw an historic community benefits agreement for Atlantic Yards, guaranteeing that the majority of the new jobs generated by the project will go to Brooklynites who need them most, including residents of nearby public housing. He has been a tireless advocate for bringing the cruise-ship industry to Brooklyn, and in April 2006 the Queen Mary 2 will begin docking in Red Hook, followed by the Crown Princess in June, creating new jobs and introducing thousands of visitors to our great borough. Marty also chairs the Initiative for a Competitive Brooklyn, an innovative partnership to expand core economic sectors in Brooklyn, including health services, real estate and construction, the food industry, and tourism.
Marty is Brooklyn’s biggest cultural booster, extolling our world-renowned character, and cast of characters, while putting the borough back on the national and international maps. In February of 2004 he launched the Brooklyn Tourism & Visitors Center, making Brooklyn the first borough with its own tourism center. Also in 2004, he launched the annual “Dine In Brooklyn” restaurant week, which attracts thousands of diners to the hundreds of restaurants that are fast making Brooklyn the culinary capital of America. And Marty’s vision of restoring Coney Island as “America’s Favorite Playground” will be realized as the plan for its redevelopment takes shape. On quality of life issues, Marty has been pro-active and aggressive. In August 2005, a law introduced on his behalf by Council Member David Yassky to wipe out no-fault insurance “medical mills” and reduce sky-high auto insurance rates for Brooklynites and all New Yorkers The bill was passed unanimously by the Council and signed into law by Mayor Bloomberg in May 2006. Also in 2005, Marty became party to a lawsuit to force ExxonMobil and ChevronTexaco to clean up an oil leak under Newtown Creek that has contaminated Greenpoint for decades. In 2004, he founded the Brooklyn Center on Health Disparities, fulfilling a pledge he made with Deputy Borough President Yvonne Graham to help reduce rates of cardiovascular disease, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, infant mortality, asthma, and diabetes among Brooklyn’s minority communities.
Marty’s office acquired two state-of-the-art graffiti-removal trucks in 2002, which have since cleaned more than 1000 sites across the borough. In 2004, Marty launched the Neighborhood Beautification Fund, which distributed $1 million in its first year to Brooklyn block associations for the purchase of hundreds of new street trees and tree guards. In 2005, he increased the fund to $3 million to further green our neighborhoods. Each year, Marty’s Camp Brooklyn sends hundreds of young Brooklynites to summer camp in upstate New York, while his Summer HEAT (Help Employ Ambitious Teens) program gives hundreds of teens their first job experience.
Marty married his wife, Jamie, in 1999. They are the proud parents of Beep, an 8 years old African Grey Parrot.
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Helen M. Marshall
Queens Borough President
120-55 Queens Boulevard
Kew Gardens, NY 11424
Helen Marshall was overwhelmingly re-elected Queens Borough President in November 2005, winning 74 percent of the vote. She was elected to her first term as Borough President in November 2001 with 68 percent of the vote. She is the 18th Borough President of Queens and the first African American and second woman to hold the post of highest-ranking elected official in a borough with a population of more than 2.2 million residents.
Since becoming Queens Borough President, Ms. Marshall has allocated more than $75 million to the Department of Parks and Recreation. Ms. Marshall has also allocated more than $44 million for new libraries, expansions, additions and technological improvements. In 2005, she was the recipient of the statewide Daniel Casey Library Advocacy Award. She has also helped to fund the expansions of cultural institutions across the borough and provided $60 million in funding to improve neighborhood parks and playgrounds. The Borough President’s “War Room” meetings with education officials have also helped to ensure the timely construction of 30 new schools with more than 17,800 seats. Marshall also provided $6 million in capital funding and spearheaded the historic effort that will result in the first CUNY presence on the Rockaway Peninsula in a newly converted former courthouse.
Marshall, a founder of the Langston Hughes Library in Corona, has been a lifelong advocate for public libraries, job training programs and economic development. She was a parent activist in the public school system for 15 years and a member of Community Board 3 for 13 years. She was also a founder of the Queens County Overall Economic Development Corporation. The Borough President‘s Zoning Task Force has been largely responsible for the rezoning of more than two dozen neighborhoods, protecting many of them from over development. Concurrently, she also created the Commercial Corridor Program that improves commercial strips with landscaping and increased lighting. She also was successful in restoring millions of dollars in funding for services for senior citizens and fought to save a hot meals program that delivers meals to homebound seniors. Prior to becoming Queens Borough President, Ms. Marshall represented the 21st District in the City Council for 10 years, beginning in 1991, when she secured 91 percent of the vote. She was the founding Chair of the Higher Education Committee and fought against the privatization of remedial programs of CUNY. She also served as a member of the Housing & Buildings, Environmental Protection and Women’s Issues Committees, and co-chaired the Council’s Black and Latino Caucus. While a member of the City Council, she supported the expansions and upgrades of every library in her district, restored funding to rebuild a free children’s dental clinic in Corona, led the fight to prevent the sale of Elmhurst and the Queens Hospital Center and provided funding for two new senior centers and for vans to transport seniors. She was also the prime sponsor of legislation to relieve senior citizens’ contributions to Medicare Part B.
Before her election to the City Council, Marshall, a native New Yorker, served five terms, beginning in 1982, in the New York State Assembly, where she chaired the Rules Committee and served on the Leland Commission. Prior to joining the Assembly, Ms. Marshall was an early childhood teacher for eight years. She left the teaching profession in 1969 to become the first Director of the Langston Hughes Library. A post she held for five years. She was also Director of the EMCOR Testing Assessment and Placement Program for eight years, placing hundreds of residents in meaningful employment positions.
Ms. Marshall is a graduate of the City’s public school system and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Queens College. She has also taken graduate courses at the Bank Street College and Long Island University. She is a recipient of the President’s Medal from Hunter College, LaGuardia Community College and St. John’s University. She was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Science from the College of Aeronautics. She has been married to Donald Marshall for more than 50 years and has two children, Donald Jr. and Agnes Marie. Ms. Marshall is also the proud grandmother of Chandler and Chasen, the children of Donald and Charlena.
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James P. Molinaro
Staten Island Borough President
120 Borough Hall
Staten Island, NY 10301
James P. Molinaro is Staten Island's 14th Borough President, and the first registered Conservative to hold borough-wide office in New York City. Molinaro was elected Borough President on November 6, 2001 and assumed office January 1st, 2002. He was re-elected on November 8, 2005 and is serving a second term as Borough President from January 1, 2006 through December 31, 2009. A recognized leader in fighting for Staten Island, Borough President Molinaro works closely with City and State officials to continue the improvements made on Staten Island and enhance the quality of life of its residents.
As Borough President, James Molinaro’s leadership has resulted in major improvements and progress for Staten Island.Molinaro’s downzoning effort, the largest downzoning on Staten Island in 40 years, affected more than 6,000 individual properties and over 40,000 acres of land. This comprehensive downzoning has reduced the number of new homes that can be built on the Island by 75,000. Borough President Molinaro spearheaded the renaissance of South Beach, including a multi-million dollar reconstruction of the Boardwalk and the addition of new ballfields, parks and a fishing pier that opened in 2003. Working closely with Mayor Bloomberg, Molinaro helped to create this new park with ball fields, soccer fields, basketball courts, walking trails, a playground and scenic waterways. A long awaited plan for the development of a 135 acre site in Charleston will soon bring a new retail site anchored by Target. Also on the property will be new ballfields, soccer fields and passive parkland. In addition, land has been set aside for an MTA bus garage, future school construction and a senior retirement village.
Molinaro is a longtime resident of the Fort Wadsworth section of Staten Island, where he and his wife raised their two sons. The son of Italian immigrants, Molinaro was born on March 11, 1931 on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where he grew up with brothers Vito and Tony, and sisters Jean and Ann. Prior to public service, Jim operated a successful small business in recycling. Though Mr. Molinaro is widely recognized for many accomplishments, he is most proud of the everyday gestures of help he has made to people from all walks of life, particularly his work with the elderly, the chronically ill, and the poor.
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Manhattan Borough President
1 Centre Street, 19th Floor
New York, New York 10007
Northern Manhattan Office
163 West 125th Street
New York, New York 10027
Scott M. Stringer was sworn in as Manhattan’s 26th Borough President in January of 2006 after serving 13 years in the New York Assembly, where The New York Times credited him as having “a sterling reputation as a catalyst for reform. During his first two years in office, Borough President Stringer helped breathe new life into Manhattan’s Community Boards, ensuring that every neighborhood has a strong voice in decisions that impact local residents' lives. He revamped the Borough President’s Land Use Division and effectively weighed in on crucial development projects that will shape Manhattan’s future. His continued advocacy for development that reflects neighborhood values has resulted in victories for local residents from Battery Park to Washington Heights.
Since taking office Borough President Stringer has emerged as one of the City’s leading voices on the need for comprehensive transportation reform. He has continued his career-long fight for affordable housing by conducting the first ever borough-wide survey of vacant lots and abandoned buildings to identify sites for the creation of more affordable housing in Manhattan, and working with legislators in Albany and on the City Council to introduce laws that will further that goal. The Borough President has authored a number of ground-breaking policy reports on issues of importance to every New Yorker, including parental involvement in our public schools, nursing home emergency preparedness, public safety, transportation and paid leave for employees.
In 2007 Borough President Stringer launched the Go Green East Harlem initiative, a multi-faceted campaign to improve residents’ health in East Harlem, and to serve as a model for other environmentally neglected neighborhoods. Go Green initiatives to date include a new asthma center, the planting of hundreds of street trees in East Harlem, a new farmers’ market on 106th Street, a “green building” conference for developers, planners and community advocates, and the Go Green East Harlem Cook Book, which features healthy, mouth watering recipes for appetizers, soups, salads, entrees and – yes – desserts. The bilingual cook book is given free of charge to East Harlem residents, and sold nationwide, with proceeds going to the Community Fund for Manhattan, a nonprofit organization created by the Borough President’s office, which funded the book’s publication.
Borough President Stringer worked to secure a $900,000 grant from the federal Justice Department in order to crack down on domestic violence in Northern Manhattan and followed through on his pledge to create the Manhattan Borough President’s Youth Sports league which serves more than 1,000 children across the borough by providing much needed after school activities.
During his thirteen years in the State Assembly, Mr. Stringer authored landmark legislation to protect victims of domestic violence, led the fight against repeal of the commuter tax, voted against every attempt to weaken rent regulations and sponsored legislation that ended “empty-seat voting” in Albany. Borough President Stringer was born in Washington Heights where he graduated from local public schools and went on to graduate from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
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Source: All biographies come from respective Borough President websites