Brooklyn Independent Television, a community media program of BRIC Arts | Media Bklyn, will re-air tonight’s address on Friday, February 3 at 9:00 pm and Monday, February 6 at 1:00 pm and 9:00 pm on Brooklyn’s BCAT TV Network: Cablevision 69, Time Warner 56, RCN 84 and in all five boroughs on Verizon 44; After February 6, watch the Address online at www.bricartsmedia.org/bitspecials
BP MARKOWITZ, BROWNSVILLE RAPPER “ASTRO” HAVE THE “X FACTOR” AT 2012 STATE OF THE BOROUGH ADDRESS AT BROOKLYN COLLEGE
BP pledges $1 million and calls on City to designate area in East New York/Brownsville for Apple manufacturing facility; allocates $1 million each for Bedford-Union Armory and home for Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry
On February 1, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz was joined by Deputy Borough President Sandra Chapman, emcee and Senior Advisor Carlo Scissura, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, other elected officials and more than a thousand guests and honorees for the 2012 State of the Borough Address at Walt Whitman Hall at Brooklyn College, the alma mater of BP Markowitz. The Address—themed “One Brooklyn”—also featured a special performance by 15-year-old Brownsville rapper Brian “Astro” Bradley, a finalist on the Fox television series X Factor and co-star of an upcoming episode of CBS’ Person of Interest. Full text of prepared speech attached.
Among the major highlights of the Address:
- BP Markowitz calls on the City to designate area in East New York or Brownsville for an Apple manufacturing plant. BP Markowitz challenged Apple CEO Tim Cook to bring jobs and a new plant to Brooklyn that would manufacture Apple products. He noted that in 1968, IBM located a factory in East New York. In addition, the BP wants the city to designate land in East New York or Brownsville for hi-tech manufacturing, just as it committed Roosevelt Island for an applied sciences school. He promised $1 million in capital to get the effort underway.
- BP Markowitz allocates $1 million in capital support for transforming the Bedford-Union Armory into community center. BP Markowitz will form a Bedford-Union Armory Task Force to gather community input and convert the Armory into a resource like the Park Slope Armory.
- $1 million in capital funds for transformation of Erasmus Hall Academy into permanent home for Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce (CACCI). BP Markowitz announced that the Department of Education is turning over the landmarked Erasmus Hall Academy building—part of Erasmus High School—to become CACCI’s new home as a trade center and Caribbean cultural center, and that he is allocating $1 million in capital support.
- 3rd Ward named designee for Central Brooklyn food incubator. BP Markowitz announced that that East Williamsburg-based 3rd Ward, a multi-disciplinary workspace and education center, has been designated by the EDC as the operator of a food small business incubator in one of Brooklyn’s economically-challenged neighborhoods.
In this year’s State of the Borough Address, BP Markowitz stressed the theme of “One Brooklyn” and Brooklyn’s increasing diversity. “For those of us ‘old school’ Brooklynites who never gave up on Brooklyn, it has been an incredible experience to see the world catch up with what we’ve always known,” said BP Markowitz. “And for all the ways that Brooklyn has changed, our diversity and status as proud home to everyone from everywhere is, and always will be, our strength. No matter where we come from originally, together we form ‘One Brooklyn.’”
Other highlights of the year past included the legalization of marriage equality in New York State and the first wedding ceremonies at Borough Hall; significant construction on the Barclays Center; the opening of Shake Shack and other major retailers in Downtown Brooklyn; the new Sheraton Aloft and Hotel Williamsburg; GQ magazine declaring Brooklyn “Coolest City on the Planet”; the creation of the Brownsville Task Force to combat violence and gangs, as well as the 4th Avenue Task Force, which will oversee the thoroughfare’s transformation into a grand “Brooklyn Boulevard”; and a record-setting summer at Coney Island. BP Markowitz also reiterated his support of a casino at Coney Island and an NYU-Poly applied sciences campus at 370 Jay Street; announced that progress was being made on transforming three armories in Brooklyn into community centers; and called for ferry service to be expanded to Coney Island, Sheepshead Bay and Bay Ridge.
The State of the Borough Address also celebrated community leaders, heroes and everyday Brooklyn “characters” with the “Brooklyn attitude,” including Shirley Au, president and COO of Huge, Inc. in DUMBO; Patrick Beberfield and Pietro Iuni, victims of city bureaucracy; James Black, Jr., national Chess Master; Madeleine Brennan, principal of I.S. 201 and longest serving principal in the nation; William Cardona and Dennis Davie, who rose in the ranks at Lowe’s; India Carney, winner of the Presidential Scholars in the Arts honor; Seven-year-old Drew Champagnie, who called 911 to save the life of his mother, Donna Gilkes; Justiine Davis, graduate of Brooklyn College and star of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire; Etta Dixon, a 79-year-old resident who was among the first Brooklynites to install solar panels in her home; Paula Dunn and Sasha Griffing, lesbian couple among the first in New York State to get married; Tina Roth Eisenberg, founder of Tattly in DUMBO; Marie-Yolaine Eusebe, founder of Haiti support organization, Community2Community; Ernest and Crystal Fluker, who got the wedding of their dreams after 20 years of marriage; Pedro Gomez, Jr., who has lost more than 230 pounds and 26 pant sizes; Father and daughter Jeff and Angelina Grzybowski, who returned a guitar lost on the subway; Ishmael Islam, New York City’s Youth Poet Laureate; Melvin Martinez, assistant principal at P.S. 257; Derrick Oakes, subway hero who assisted fall victim Sabrina Scott; Anthony Presley, a Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority peace officer who turned hero during a shootout at an auto body shop; Alex Rapaport, co-founder and executive director of Masbia Soup Kitchen; Richard Schissler, who has made more than 350 blood donations; father and daughter team Gary Shokin and Kary Laskin, founders of Brooklyn Republic Vodka; Ruth and Martin Spencer, married for 70 years; Emily Thompson, florist for the White House; George Weiss, inventor of the game Dabble; and Amy Yee and Michael Treff, who used food trucks to cater their wedding. BP Markowitz also recognized Brooklyn residents who are editors of some of the nation’s top magazines, and six Brooklynites who won the Pulitzer Prize in 2011.
The borough president paid tribute to Brooklynites of blessed memory, including community activist and attorney Murray Adams (“The Lion of Cobble Hill”); musician Olga Bloom, creator of Bargemusic; former congressman and governor Hugh Carey; nationally renowned cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Joseph Cunningham of Maimonides Medical Center; NYPD Detective Peter Fogoski, who gave his life protecting residents of the 75th Precinct; Norman Henry, founding member of the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Marie Louis, chief operating officer of BUILD and member of Community Board 8; Dr. Marco Mason, founding member of the Caribbean Women’s Health Association; Senator Christopher Mega, former state legislator and judge; Landon Penn, founder and pastor of Universal Temple Church and Brownsville community activist; NYPD Police Officer Alain Schaberger; Ellen Smalls, president of Key Women of America, Brooklyn branch; Brooklyn Dodgers legend Duke Snider; Marine Lance Corporal Jabari Thompson of Brownsville, who made the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan; and Hazel Younger, chair of Community Board 16.