Bronx Borough President Prioritizes Eco. Development, Eliminating Digital Divide in State of Borough Address

Real Estate In-Depth | March 9, 2023

Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson delivered her first State of the Borough address on March 1 at Manhattan College.

NEW YORK—Earlier this month, Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson delivered her first State of the Borough address at Manhattan College, outlining the accomplishments made by her administration in 2022 and unveiling what she termed as a bold strategic agenda for 2023.

With the theme, “Borough of Opportunities,” Borough President Gibson announced new initiatives in education, health, public safety, tourism, and other areas to move the borough forward in a new direction.

“From turning the Bronx into a global destination for tourism to increasing transportation options in the East Bronx through the Penn Station Access Project to protecting and restoring our environment through the One Million More Trees Initiative and plans to cap the Cross Bronx Expressway, I am delighted to share that the Bronx is poised to become a “Borough of Opportunities,” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson.

Among her key initiatives included:

Capital Access

The Borough President is working to reinstate the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, which will help bring economic opportunities to underserved and underbanked areas in the Bronx.

The nearly finalized U.S. Small Business Administration’s Community Advantage Loan Program will allow the Bronx Business Initiative Corporation of New York to approve loans from $25,000 to $350,000 for small businesses to receive access to capital.

Combatting Maternal Mortality

In New York City, Black women are 9.2 times more likely than white women to die from maternal complications. To address this issue in the Bronx, the Borough President will soon release a borough-wide birthing center report with a focus on expanding access to doula and midwifery services for women of color and establishing a Culturally Competent Care Model to support Bronx mothers.

Diabetes Task Force

The Office of the Bronx Borough President is building a coalition of stakeholders and experts to establish a borough-wide Diabetes Task Force to address the high rates of diabetes in the Bronx. The task force will include Chris Norwood from Health People and C. Virginia Fields of the National Black Leadership Commission on Health (Black Health), hospitals, federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), food policy activists, CBOs, FBOs and health educators.

Digitized Community Boards Application

After breaking down barriers by making the Community Board application available in both English and Spanish, Borough President Gibson extended the Community Board application deadline to Wednesday, March 15th, to give interested candidates additional time to apply.

Digital Equity

After a $14.5-million allocation in the FY`23 budget for technology upgrades and capital upgrades for Bronx schools, Borough President Gibson announced her support for the Link NYC kiosks and the need for greater public/private partnerships to eliminate digital deserts.

Fire Safety Legislation

Following the horrific five-alarm fire at Twin Parks North West, Borough President Gibson collaborated with Council Member Oswald Feliz to create legislation to ensure the safety of tenants and hold landlords accountable.

Intro. 104-A establishes the definition of a “self-closing” door, stating that doors must return to the closed position and latch shut when opened and released.

Intro. 105-A requires that doors providing access to interior corridors or stairs be self-closing or equipped with devices that ensure closing after opening. This bill also reduces the amount of time for a landlord to correct a violation to keep or maintain self-closing doors from 21 days to 14 days.

The Borough President announced a partnership with the American Red Cross to “sound the alarm” on fire safety by coordinating smoke detector installations and fire safety workshops in partnership with the FDNY.

Public Safety

With public safety being a significant priority for many Bronx residents, the Borough President will soon create an Office of Public Safety with a focus on working collaboratively with the NYPD, clergy, violence interrupters, and other pertinent stakeholders to holistically address crime in the borough.

Support for Youth

The Office of the Bronx Borough President will continue its partnership with the My Brother`s Keeper initiative and will launch a My Sister’s Keeper counterpart focused on empowering and uplifting young girls of color.

Tourism

For the first time, Bronx residents will get to nominate an educator to be inducted into the Bronx Walk of Fame alongside previous inductees with the introduction of the People`s Choice Award.

We revamped the ilovethebronx.com website to facilitate access for Bronxites and those interested in visiting the Bronx to experience its cultural institutions, restaurants and small businesses.

“This will not be easy, but together, we will ensure our future generations have access to state-of-the-art technology, that our small businesses have the resources to operate, that our residents can continue to afford to live and grow their families here, that your race and/or gender does not affect your quality of care, that we will increase tourism in the borough to highlight the culture and diversity of the Bronx and that the narrative of the Bronx is not one to be ashamed of but instead to be proud of,” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson.