BROOKLYN PARTICIPATES IN NATIONAL “COVER THE UNINSURED” WEEK
On May 5, Marty joined Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields and other elected officials to address the health insurance crisis in New York City , and across the country, and to discuss how to provide more city residents with health insurance. According to a recent study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, more than 700,000 — or one-quarter — of New York State ’s uninsured individuals reside in Brooklyn . In addition, Brooklyn has more residents than any other borough who are eligible for public health insurance but not enrolled. The neighborhoods with the highest uninsured populations are Ocean Hill-Brownsville, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights , and Fort Greene .
MARTY HOLDS TOWN HALL MEETINGS ON OVER-DEVELOPMENT IN SOUTHERN BROOKLYN
On May 10 and May 31, Marty held town hall meetings in Bensonhurst and Marine Park , respectively, on over-development in those and other southern and western Brooklyn neighborhoods. Brooklyn residents shared concerns about small homes in their neighborhoods being demolished and replaced by buildings that clash with the character and scale of their communities. These were the first of the over-development meetings Marty promised to hold in his State of the Borough address in January.
“ Brooklyn has become so popular — which is great — but not all development is smart development,” said Marty. “Brooklynites living in neighborhoods stretching from the northern reaches of Sunset Park wrapping around the southern neighborhoods of Brooklyn all the way to Canarsie are pleading for relief from the destruction of their neighborhoods. While Mayor Bloomberg has addressed similar issues in Queens and Staten Island , Brooklyn lags behind in benefiting from the City’s preservation-based zoning. Bay Ridge now has such protections and a section of Bensonhurst is making its way through the public review process. However, throughout much of southern and western Brooklyn , zoning does not closely match the low-rise residential buildings that commonly exists there. By working together we can change this picture.”
LIGHTEN UP BROOKLYN — MARTY LEADS BAY RIDGE AND BROOKLYN BRIDGE WALKS FOR FITNESS
On May 14, Marty and Ms. Full Figured USA 2005, Andria Gazelle, joined groups of Brooklynites to Lighten Up Brooklyn when they led walkers on a hearty Bay Ridge walk. Lighten Up Brooklyn is Marty’s annual weight awareness initiative. In its fourth year, the campaign promotes the benefits of regular exercise and sensible food choices. On May 15 Marty and Ms. Gazelle led a Lighten Up Brooklyn walk from Borough Hall to midway across the Brooklyn Bridge and back.
MARTY CELEBRATES BOROUGH HALL’S FIRST TURKISH HERITAGE NIGHT
On May 18, Marty and the Consul General of Turkey, Ömer Önhon, hosted New York City’s first official Turkish cultural celebration, A Taste of Turkey . “ Brooklyn is proud to be the Turkish capital of New York City — and all of America ,” said Marty. “Together, Consul General Önhon and I decided that the first ever official Turkish celebration in a New York City civic building should be held tonight — right here in Brooklyn ’s city hall. You are all a part of history!” Hundreds of Brooklynites enjoyed a feast of authentic Turkish food, music and dancing.
Mayor Ismail Unsal, from the Turkish city of Besiktas , offered remarks, and Marty issued a proclamation declaring Brooklyn and Besiktas “sister cities.”
MORE THAN 600 BROOKLYN STUDENTS HONORED FOR EXCELLENCE
On May 25 at Borough Hall, Marty honored more than 600 Brooklyn students from public and parochial schools for high achievement in academics, the arts, science, sports and community involvement. Each student received a Best of Brooklyn certificate. “I congratulate all of tonight’s young Brooklynites for representing the Best of Brooklyn,” said Marty. “And I salute all of your parents and teachers for encouraging you every step of the way. I am confident that you will be a success in whatever you do, and always remember that Brooklyn is the place where legends are made and dreams come true.”
MARTY BIDS FAREWELL TO KLEINFELD BRIDAL
“I’m sure Kleinfeld Bridal will look back on its 64 years in Brooklyn as its best years, when it was the star of our Gold Coast of retail, 5th Avenue in Bay Ridge,” said Marty, bidding farewell to the legendary retailer, which is moving to Manhattan . “We wish Kleinfeld all the best as it joins the long list of legends nurtured in Brooklyn , but Brooklynites are by no means jilted by its decision to elope with the outer borough. Like Gloria Gaynor sings, we will survive.”