New York News


Staten Island News from Councilwoman Debi Rose — June 5, 2020

NYC Taxi and Limosine Commission food distribution

New York City Taxi and Limosusine Commission (TLC) Commissioner and Chair Aloysee Heredia Jarmoszuk visited a number of emergency food distribution sites since the service was officially launched by Mayor Bill de Blasio on April 18 to thank TLC-Licensed Drivers for their potentially lifesaving work delivering meals to senior citizens and others who cannot shop for themselves during the COVID-19 crisis.  The Commissioner also spent time thanking members of the National Guard, as well as staff from TLC, Emergency Management, DSNY, and the Parks Dept.

“These Drivers are stepping up in a huge way to help our most vulnerable neighbors,” said Commissioner Heredia Jarmoszuk.  “And while the program offers drivers hourly pay, I’m not at all surprised that some with whom I’ve spoken have said they equally value the opportunity to aid in our city’s recovery from this unprecedented crisis.”

To date, the program has delivered over 6 million meals to those who cannot leave their homes or are otherwise unable to shop.

Participating drivers earn $20 per hour for shifts, including $5 an hour for expenses.  They can select shifts by visiting  There are distribution centers located throughout the five boroughs.

Deliveries are virtually contactless, as their vehicles are loaded for them, and deliveries are typically made at curbside or doorstep.

Licensed TLC Drivers may participate with properly-licensed personal vehicles, so drivers need not rent or lease a vehicle to sign-up.

City Bar Justice Center Launches Pro Bono COVID-19 Small Business Remote Legal Clinic


Contact: Eric Friedman 


Eli Cohen 


New York, April 9, 2020 – The City Bar Justice Center has launched a pro bono, remote legal clinic to help small businesses understand and access options available under the federal government’s COVID-19 stimulus package and other opportunities available through federal, state and local programs. 


Through the Justice Center’s Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project (NELP), the Small Business Remote Legal Clinic will offer qualifying small businesses in New York City free 45-minute consultations with pro bono attorneys who will also answer broader legal questions on circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics covered will include loans, grants, business contracts, labor and employment, commercial leasing, tax, and insurance.  


The Justice Center’s website has an online form for prospective small businesses to fill out if they would like assistance through the remote clinic. For City Bar members and attorneys at Justice Center-partnering law firms and corporate legal departments wishing to volunteer, they can complete a volunteer registration form. 


The Justice Center clinic is the kickoff of a larger nationwide project in conjunction with Lawyers for Good Government and dozens of law firms. The Justice Center has partnered with the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis to launch the project in New York City, and with several other law firms, including Cleary Gottlieb, Mayer Brown, Orrick, Proskauer and Sullivan & Cromwell, who are providing training for the volunteers and information sheets for small businesses. 


“We are thankful that the experience of our Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project and law firm and in-house partners strongly positions us to spring into action to help small businesses in these unprecedented times,” said City Bar Justice Center Executive Director Lynn M. Kelly. “Our communities and our economy itself depend on the health of our small businesses.”  


NELP is run by its founder, Akira Arroyo, who began the project after 9/11 to help small businesses disrupted by that tragedy, and in the nearly 20 years since has assisted over 15,000 small businesses with corporate formation, contract and a range of other legal advice. NELP’s success owes in part to its longstanding partnerships with community organizations that assist small businesses, as well as dozens of law firms and corporate legal departments that supply volunteer attorneys to work with the program. 


Organizations interested in providing pro bono legal support to the COVID-19 Small Business Remote Legal Clinic or other crisis response initiatives should contact the Justice Center’s Pro Bono Counsel, Kurt M. Denk, at 


More information is available on the City Bar Justice Center’s website here 


About the City Bar Justice Center 


The City Bar Justice Center, the pro bono affiliate of the New York City Bar Association, increases access to justice by leveraging the resources of the New York City legal community. The Justice Center operates the city’s busiest legal hotline and annually provides direct legal representation, community education and advocacy to over 26,000 New Yorkers in areas including immigration, homelessness, veterans assistance, housing, elderlaw, cancer advocacy and entrepreneurship. 





NEW YORK – At 10:30 AM on Monday, March 2, just nine days before the launch of the 2020 Census, NYC Census 2020 and the New York Immigration Coalition are hosting a South Asian and Indo-Caribbean Media Roundtable for media that represent and serve these communities in New York City.

The South Asian and Indo-Caribbean media roundtable will focus on the critical importance of the census in determining billions of dollars for education, healthcare, housing, transportation, and more, as well as ensuring that all New Yorkers from all backgrounds are fully represented in the nation’s once-in-a-decade count of its populace.

Collectively, NYC’s South Asian and Indo-Caribbean communities are among the largest, most diverse, and fastest-growing immigrant groups in New York City. Though South Asians and Indo-Caribbean groups have had a discernible presence in New York City since the 1960s, populations are continuing to rapidly grow and diversify, yielding new opportunities, challenges, and forms for community-based organizing.

What: NYC Census 2020 and New York Immigration Coalition’s South Asian and Indo-Caribbean Media Roundtable

When: Monday, March 2 from 10:30 am – Noon

Where: New York Immigration Coalition: 131 W 33rd Street, Ste 610 (btwn 6th and 7th Avenues)

B/D/F/M-N/Q/R/W to 34th Street-Herald Square or 1/2/3 to 34th Street-Penn Station


  • Meeta Anand, Senior Fellow, New York Immigration Coalition (moderator)
  • Amit Singh Bagga, Deputy Director, Mayor’s Census Office (New York Census 2020)
  • Fahd Ahmed, Executive Director, DRUM (Desis Rising Up and Moving)
  • Aliya Bhatia, Census Manager, ABNY (Association for a Better New York)
  • Mariam Rauf, Census Outreach Manager, Asian American Federation
    • Ahsia Badi, New York State Census Director, Emgage USA
  • Annetta Seecharran, Executive Director, Chhaya Community Development Corporation

Fahd Ahmed
Executive Director
DRUM- Desis Rising Up & Moving
72-18 Roosevelt Avenue, 2nd Floor
Jackson Heights, NY 11372
Tel (718) 205-3036


Contact:         Jake Oliver, Anat Gerstein, Inc

              , 347-361-9983

 For Immediate Release

Iconic Woodhaven watering hole featured in Goodfella’s had feared it would close after operating for 190 years before deal reached with landlord

For photo, click here

 QUEENS, NY, January 10, 2020—Today, Loycent Gordon, owner of Neir’s Tavern, and property owners Ken and Henry Shi, announced they have reached a handshake agreement that will keep the historic bar, which has served patrons in Woodhaven since 1829, open. The two sides met Friday afternoon at the Queens Chamber of Commerce headquarters to reach an agreement that will see the oldest bar in New York City remain in business.

“New York City’s small businesses are what make this city so special, and as the city’s oldest bar, Neir’s Tavern leads the pack. I’m proud to have helped keep the doors open so New Yorkers can continue to enjoy a place that has meant so much to so many over the years. Cheers to another 190 years!” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“Small businesses are the backbone of NYC’s economy and Neir’s Tavern is a treasure that adds to the distinct character of this city. SBS is proud to offer services to help the business, assist them in keeping their doors open and help maintain the history and vitality of Queens,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services.

 “I am proud to be part of an administration that takes our legacy venues and nightlife so seriously. I congratulate Mayor de Blasio and Small Business Services Commissioner Gregg Bishop for working so quickly to find a solution to save Neir’s Tavern, a celebrated and historic local venue. The Office of Nightlife has spoken with the owner and we are here to help support them moving forward. New York’s legacy venues are the lifeblood of our communities, and the City will do whatever it can to ensure that they are protected and supported, it is one of many reasons why the Office of Nightlife was established,” said Ariel Palitz, Executive Director of the New York City Office of Nightlife.

“We are thrilled to announce a handshake deal has been struck between Loycent Gordon and Ken and Henry Shi,” said Thomas J. GrechPresident and CEO of the Queens Chamber of Commerce. “Small businesses are the lifeblood of Queens, adding to the unique character of our neighborhoods and creating jobs and opportunity for New Yorkers. It would be a shame to lose an institution with as much history as Neir’s, and we’re thrilled the bar will continue to serve its patrons for years to come. This would not have been possible without the efforts of New York City Council Member Robert Holden and New York State Assembly Member Michael Miller. The support and intervention from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s team was also instrumental in reaching this agreement.”

  “We are very happy to have Neir’s Tavern stay open and continue our 190 years of continuous operation,” said Loycent Gordonowner of Neir’s Tavern.

 “Thank you to all parties for helping to make this project work. We are indebted to Mayor de Blasio, Council Member Robert Holden and NYS Assemblyman Mike Miller,” said Ken and Henry Shi.

 “I am thrilled to be a part of the negotiations to save the historic Neir’s Tavern,” said Council Member Robert Holden. “Thank you Tom Grech and the Queens Chamber of Commerce for bringing us all into a room to resolve this matter. It was a great team effort by the owner Loy, the landlords, and city and state officials. We can all sleep well knowing that this beloved 190-year institution will not have to close its doors and can continue serving the community.”

 “I’ve been a supporter since I first came to office 11 years ago, having events, meetings, lunch and dinner at Neir’s,” said NYS Assembly Member Michael Miller. “I’m happy to have been a part of this historic meeting to save such an iconic landmark in my district. Thank you to the Shi brothers, building owners of 87-48 78th Street and Loycent Gordon, owner of Neir’s for coming together and reaching an agreement to keep Neir’s in business. I want to thank all parties who helped make this happen, Mayor Bill de Blasio, the Queens Chamber of Commerce, the Queens Economic Development Corporation, Councilman Robert Holden and my staff for coming up with a solution. I am looking forward to celebrating Neir’s 200th Anniversary.”

 About the Queens Chamber of Commerce:
The Queens Chamber of Commerce is the oldest and largest business association in Queens, representing more than 1,100 businesses and more than 100,000 Queens-based employees. Its mission is to foster connections, educate for success, develop/implement programs and advocate for members’ interests.


Jake Oliver


Communications, Public Relations, Public Affairs, Marketing.

p. 347 361 9983

c. 917 653 9619



 Part of City’s ongoing efforts to prevent anti-Semitic hate crimes

NEW YORK—Mayor de Blasio announced that the NYPD will be installing 100 new security cameras in Williamsburg, Crown Heights and Borough Park. The surveying will begin immediately, and the first 30 cameras will be installed by March. The NYPD will work with community members to identify the best locations for the remaining 70 cameras with installation to follow for a total of 100 cameras.

 This announcement builds on the City’s ongoing efforts to prevent anti-Semitic hate crimes The NYPD has increased deployment in these neighborhoods, and now have over 150 additional officers patrolling and building relationships in the community. The NYPD’s Intelligence Bureau has also launched the Racially and Ethnically Motivated Extremism Unit (REME), a new unit within the NYPD’s Intelligence Bureau that brings together groups to detect, prevent and investigate domestic terrorism and organized hate groups. The Department has also installed more than 20 light towers in these neighborhoods.

 “An attack on the Jewish community is an attack on all New Yorkers. These new security cameras will increase the NYPD’s visibility into these neighborhoods, and help our officers on the ground keep New Yorkers safe,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

 “The NYPD stands with members of the Jewish community. These new security cameras will support our increased patrols and the targeted deployment of Counterterrorism officers at key locations to ensure that everyone is safe,” said Police Commissioner Dermot Shea. “We also need the public’s help—if you see anything suspicious, call 911 or flag down a police officer right away. There is no place for hate in NYC, or anywhere.”

 “These investments by the New York Police Department are important tools in our fight against hate crimes,” said Deborah Lauter, Executive Director of the Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes. “Along with our commitment to strengthening communities through neighborhood coalitions and providing educational resources for our schools, the Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes continues to work alongside New Yorkers to ensure everyone can feel safe in their neighborhood.”

 “New York City stands united against anti-Semitism and we are fully committed to ensuring that our Jewish neighbors can feel safe on our streets. The Council will continue to work with the NYPD and with all Jewish New Yorkers to fight anti-Semitism. That means added security measures to protect our communities, as well as through spearheading educational and community building initiatives,” said Speaker Corey Johnson.

 “The weeds of hate will not be allowed to choke away the healthy garden of diversity in Brooklyn. We must use every tool in our toolbox to address the scourge of anti-Semitic assaults in our borough head-on. I support the installation of security cameras and an increased police presence in areas that are seeing the highest concentration of attacks, and look forward to working with Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Shea to ensure we are taking appropriate steps to protect Orthodox communities throughout the city,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

 Councilmember Chaim Deutsch, Chairman of the NYC Council’s Jewish Caucus said, “Cameras are one of the most effective law enforcement tools at our disposal, particularly in regards to combating hate crimes. That’s why I joined with Councilman Kalman Yeger in allocating more than $2 million for cameras in our districts around houses of worship, parks, playgrounds, and schools.  I am very pleased and grateful to learn that the Mayor is expanding this with 100 additional cameras, as well as new light towers, and the influx of 150 officers within these targeted communities. These are significant and vital resources in the fight against the hatred and antisemitism that has infiltrated our city.”

  “In the face of an alarming spike in hate crimes–especially those targeting Jewish New Yorkers–our city must take urgent action to protect vulnerable neighborhoods,” said City Council Member Mark Levine. “The addition of these cameras in key locations is an important step towards ensuring safety in the neighborhoods that have been directly targeted in this wave of vile attacks.”

 This is one part of the City’s ongoing effort to stop anti-Semitism. Earlier in January, the Administration announced the launch of Neighborhood Safety Coalitions in Williamsburg, Crown Heights and Borough Park. These individual coalitions will identify and address issues that drive hate-based crimes, bringing together stakeholders from across their communities. They will meet community members where they are — in schools, on street corners, in religious institutions — to be a regular presence to deter acts of hate.

 The coalitions are based on a successful model already used by residents in East Flatbush and Williamsburg/Bushwick through the Mayor’s Office to Prevent Gun Violence, in which community groups, neighborhood leaders, and clergy have worked together with local police precincts to dramatically reduce gun violence in their communities.

 The Department of Education is committed to ensuring schools are welcoming, inclusive environments for all students and will be implementing hate crime awareness programming this month for middle and high schools in Williamsburg, Crown Heights and Borough Park, including workshops with community partners and leveraging existing social studies curricula and resources. Curriculum on hate crimes will be launched at middle and high schools in these neighborhoods beginning in the 2020-21 school year. These curriculum resources will also be available to middle and high schools citywide.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 7, 2020, (212) 788-2958

First-in-nation plan provides roadmap to universal broadband; steps the City will take to close the digital divide

NEW YORK––Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chief Technology Officer John Paul Farmer today announced the New York City Internet Master Plan, a bold vision for affordable, high-speed, reliable broadband service across all five boroughs that offers seamless connectivity at home and on the go. The plan envisions a future for internet service in New York City, anchored in five principles––equity, performance, affordability, privacy and choice. With the release of the Master Plan, the de Blasio Administration charts a path for internet providers in the private sector to work in partnership with the City to address gaps in the market, close the digital divide and deliver universal broadband to all New Yorkers.

As part of the plan, the City will work with service providers that meet the City’s principles and expand its role across all broadband components by coordinating among permitting entities, optimizing City real estate like rooftops and lightpoles, and building fiber optic lines to connect City assets. The City will initiate the plan by issuing a Universal Solicitation for Broadband (USB) to steer the relationship between the City and the private sector toward universal service with a focus on covering areas of the City that currently lack connectivity. Read the plan here.

“Every New Yorker deserves easy, affordable access to the internet,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “With the Internet Master Plan, we are giving notice to corporations that the days of creating a digital divide in our city are over. Providing equitable broadband service to all New Yorkers regardless of where they live or how much they make is vital to ensuring everyone has the basic tools they need to succeed.”

“All New Yorkers should have access to affordable, reliable, high-speed internet, regardless of their zip code or the size of their paycheck,” said Deputy Mayor Laura Anglin. “We will work closely with our partners in the private sector as we endeavor to end the digital divide in New York City and ensure internet access for all.”

“The Internet Master Plan is a brand new approach to breaking down the barriers to internet adoption in a city as large and as densely populated as New York City,” said Chief Technology Officer John Paul Farmer. “No New Yorker should be without affordable access to this critical 21stcentury technology. Now is the time for the private sector to get serious about working with the City to bring connectivity to all New Yorkers. No other city in the nation has introduced such a clear, strategic, and partner-focused roadmap to universal broadband.”

Current broadband subscription costs can be a burden on the budgets of low-income families. For example, 46% of New York City households living in poverty do not have broadband in the home. The Bronx has the highest percentage of residents without home broadband at almost 38%.

The digital divide in New York is considered a barrier to economic opportunity for residents and small businesses and a threat to long-term economic growth in the City. While many New Yorkers use a mobile connection and a home connection, New Yorkers increasingly need both connections to make full use of the internet. 40 percent of households do not have this level of connectivity today. 18 percent of residents – more than 1.5 million New Yorkers – have neither a mobile connection nor a home broadband connection. This significant portion of the City faces barriers to education, employment, banking, healthcare, social networks and government services that other residents do not.

Universal broadband that meets the City’s principles will transform the City with widespread economic benefits. Based on the City’s analysis of the economic impact of universal broadband, getting all New Yorkers connected and establishing equitable infrastructure citywide may result in up to 165,000 new jobs, a $49 billion increase in personal income, and $142 billion in incremental Gross City Product in 2045. While all New Yorkers will benefit from universal broadband, these impacts will be most dramatic for the people who are currently excluded from full participation in the digital economy.

“Internet access is no longer optional for families to succeed,” said Department of Buildings Commissioner Melanie La Rocca. “We look forward to working with our agency partners and other stakeholders to help connect New Yorkers and build a fairer city for all as we help clarify policies for telecoms on approving the installation of wireless equipment.”

“DOT is proud to be part of the city’s new Internet Master Plan to help expand broadband and close the digital divide,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “Our light poles will be crucial to the effort, as they are an electrical source found along almost every street in all five boroughs.  We look forward to having those poles play a new and creative role in bringing high-speed internet to communities that need it.”

“New York City’s Internet Master Plan tackles the persistent digital divide in New York City head-on. We are excited to support this effort to ensure that all New Yorkers can take advantage of the power of high speed internet access in a safe and equitable way,” said Geoff BrownHead, New York City Cyber Command.

“The brightness of our City’s future in part depends on how quickly New Yorkers can upload and download data from the internet,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “We are in a race against the rest of the modern world and to ensure we have the brightest future possible and that are residents are meeting their full potential we must close the digital divide and work to bring every New Yorker up to the speed of the modern world. Broadband speeds are a necessity in today’s world, whether in school or in the workplace, anyone who does not have access is at risk of permanently falling behind. This masterplan for internet connectivity infrastructure is just as important as any other infrastructure plan. It will determine our future and put New York City at the forefront of closing the digital divide and developing technology we cannot even imagine right now. Thank you to Mayor de Blasio and to the Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer for coming up with this plan and for making this a priority for this new year.”

 “New York City continues to lead the way in building a tech-based economy that works for everyone,” said Aneesh Chopra, 1st Chief Technology Officer of the United States. “The Internet Master Plan demonstrates NYC is prepared to compete with anyone anywhere and is committed to solidifying its position as a globally recognized technology and innovation leader.”

“Through its Internet Master Plan the Mayor’s Office takes a hard look at the root causes of the ongoing digital divide and asks why such gaps in connectivity still exist. Bridging the divide is not just about addressing problems of network availability and incentivizing the carriers to build out networks further,” said Timothy Karr, Senior Director of Strategy and Communications, Free Press. “The high costs of their services and a lack of choices prevent many in New York City’s most vulnerable neighborhoods from going online even when a connection is available. The Mayor’s plan offers a more equitable and comprehensive approach to providing high-performing broadband services at costs all New Yorkers can afford.”

“New York’s innovative plan represents the best of information sharing, cooperation, and problem solving,” said Blair Levin, Executive Director, 2010 United States National Broadband Plan. “All cities seeking to improve their broadband position should emulate this approach.”

“The NYC Internet Master Plan is the most comprehensive approach I have seen from any large city, said Christopher Mitchell, Director, Community Broadband Networks, Institute for Local Self-Reliance. “This plan focuses on realistic solutions that combine municipal assets and strengths with many local opportunities for partnerships to dramatically improve Internet access across a tremendous variety of neighborhoods.”

“Modern infrastructure is essential in creating a truly successful 21st century city and therefore low cost high speed broadband must be available to all at work, home, play, and everywhere in between,” said Andrew Rasiej, Founder and CEO of Civic Hall. “The de Blasio administration is providing our city and the nation with a foundational plan and vision for creating a more equitable and just future with true economic, social, and political opportunity for all.”

“Reliable, fast internet service is vital for everyone, let alone any business or organization, to succeed in the 21st century, making it imperative that all New Yorkers have the connectivity they need,” said Julie Samuels, Tech:NYC Executive Director. “We applaud the city for taking this issue seriously and focusing on improving connectivity throughout every neighborhood. Giving New Yorkers better internet access will require all stakeholders — including the city and the tech sector — to work together, and we are looking forward to that.”

“New York City’s Internet Master Plan is the most thoughtful and comprehensive blueprint by any major city to ensure that every resident and small business has affordable and open access to high-performance broadband,” said Gigi Sohn, Distinguished Fellow, Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law & Policy and Benton Senior Fellow and Public Advocate. “Mayor de Blasio and his team of experts have developed a data-driven plan that treats broadband as vital infrastructure and considers every possible technological solution to connect city residents. Critically, the plan recommends smart solutions to break down non-price barriers to broadband adoption, like digital literacy training and online privacy protections. The federal government has failed to meet the broadband needs of tens of millions of Americans. It is therefore incumbent upon states, cities and municipalities to step up where the federal government has stood down. The Internet Master Plan will be a vital resource for cities big and small so that they too can ensure that their residents have the connectivity needed to participate fully in our economy, our society and our democracy.”

“A common assumption is that everyone has internet on their phones and in their homes,” said Angela Siefer, Executive Director, National Digital Inclusion Alliance. “New York City is addressing that assumption head on. They understand the barriers (cost and digital literacy) and they are actively working on solutions. NDIA would love to see an Internet Master Plan in every U.S. city and town.” 

“Where the private sector and the federal government have left consumers high and dry, states and cities continue to step in,” said Anne-Marie Slaughter, CEO, New America. “New York City’s Master Plan recognizes that internet access is indispensable for living and working in the 21st Century, and that government must play a role in ensuring access for everyone. It’s a real achievement.”

“The New York City Internet Master Plan is a grand step in connecting the millions of residents who risk becoming digitally invisible without adequate broadband access,” said Nicol Turner Lee, Ph.D., Fellow, Brookings Institution. “I applaud city officials for their efforts to create a solid evidenced-based plan to close the digital divide and bring online resources to those who need it most.”

 “The City’s Internet  Master Plan provides a roadmap for accelerating development of New York’s broadband and telecommunications infrastructure through public-private collaboration, ensuring that the city remains at the forefront of the global innovation economy,” said Kathryn Wylde, President & CEO, Partnership for New York City.



October 7, 2019

In Celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, City Collaboration with Citi and National Disabilities Institute Raises Awareness of EmpoweredNYC’s Free Financial Counseling for People with Disabilities and Their Families



NEW YORK, NY – EmpoweredNYC, a collaboration of City agencies and non-profit organizations supported by Citi Community Development dedicated to enabling New Yorkers with disabilities to build a stronger financial future for themselves and their families, today announced the launch of a campaign to raise awareness of free financial counseling tailored to people with disabilities and their families. EmpoweredNYC counselors have more than 100 hours of specialized training to help people with disabilities to manage their budgets, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, tackle Social Security Administration (SSA) overpayments, and transition to work. Campaign ads are running on targeted bus shelters, LinkNYC kiosks, in newspapers, and online.


 “I’m proud that New York City continues to be a leading voice and example for such impactful work. It is critical that vulnerable New Yorkers are given equal opportunities to financial stability,” said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives J. Phillip Thompson. “EmpoweredNYC has impacted families across New York City since its inception and I look forward to seeing its continued progress.”

“People with disabilities have to make unique financial decisions and EmpoweredNYC has already helped hundreds of people with disabilities in their journey to financial independence—and we look forward to helping even more with this campaign,” said DCWP Commissioner Lorelei Salas. “Everyone should have the opportunity to be financially stable and we’re here to assist New Yorkers with disabilities and their families to better manage their finances.”

“Featuring people with disabilities in this groundbreaking citywide campaign will increase awareness of the diverse array of financial situations that people with disabilities face,” said Victor Calise, Commissioner of the Mayor;’s Office for People with Disabilities. “EmpoweredNYC is a powerful resource equipped to educate the nearly 1 million people with disabilities living in New York City. MOPD is proud to be a part of this initiative and looks forward to spreading the word on the benefits of this unique service.”

“People with disabilities often face a unique set of challenges to achieving financial stability and independence,” said Bob Annibale, Global Director, Citi Community Development and Inclusive Finance. “By providing personalized financial counseling services that better meet the needs of New Yorkers with disabilities across all five boroughs, EmpoweredNYC is helping to expand financial inclusion and resilience for people with disabilities.”

“The launch of this campaign is an important step in strengthening the financial stability and security of New Yorkers with disabilities,” said Michael Morris, Executive Director, National Disability Institute. “The EmpoweredNYC financial counseling program is equipping New Yorkers with disabilities with accurate information and expert advice so they can make informed decisions regarding managing their money, transitioning to work, tackling debt, increasing savings and building credit. Financial empowerment is a crucial component to achieve better financial health and well-being.”

The freedom of financial stability can be life changing, and all New Yorkers deserve the opportunity to build financial independence for themselves, said Toya Williford, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. The Mayors Fund is proud to use the power of partnerships to provide New Yorkers who have disabilities with the tools they need to make informed decisions and build financially sound futures.

“NYLAG financial counselors serve over 3,000 clients a year, including people living with a disability. We aim to work collaboratively with our clients to make the best financial decisions for themselves and their loved ones. We have helped clients open ABLE accounts, reduce SSDI/SSI overpayment, and counseled those who are able to return to work. Time and time again we have seen that with the right support, encouragement, and information, our clients with disabilities can overcome enormous financial challenges in order to thrive in their own lives. We are grateful to MOPD,
DCWP, EmpoweredNYC and its partners, and DCWP Commissioner Lorelei Salas for investing in communities with disabilities. We look forward to continuing this critical work and helping even more individuals and families,” said Beth Goldman, President & Attorney-in-Charge at New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG).

“Ariva has been delighted to work with our colleagues at NYLAG to provide financial counseling through EmpoweredNYC. The City of New York has for many years supported free  financial counseling  programs for NYC residents. It has been impressive to see these programs grow to serve, not only the general public, but  to provide tailored  programs to people with particular needs: immigrants, microentrepreneurs and many others. The EmpoweredNYC program further expands the reach and effectiveness of the City-sponsored financial capabilities services. Working on this project has brought new skills and capacity to Ariva
s own financial counseling staff and it will enable us to better serve people with disabilities in all of our programs, ” said Irene Baldwin, Executive Director, Ariva.

More than 50 million people live with a disability in the U.S., and 25 percent of households include a child or an adult with a disability. Nearly one million people in New York City live with a disability, a group comprising 12 percent of the city’s population. New Yorkers with disabilities are twice as likely to be living in poverty as those without disabilities.

For more information about EmpoweredNYC or to schedule an
appointment today, visit, call 311, or call 646-396-5830 for ASL Direct via video phone.

Co-developed and supported by Citi, EmpoweredNYC is a collaboration between the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD), the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE), National Disability Institute (NDI) and the Mayors Fund to Advance New York City. It is the first local program of Empowered Cities, a national public/private initiative to expand financial empowerment and economic inclusion for people with disabilities and their families.

Media Contacts:

Abigail Lootens |
Melissa Barosy

Department of Consumer and Worker Protection
(212) 436-0042








DSNY Begins Fining Businesses Using Single-Use Foam Items as Warning Period Ends