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GNPS Advocacy Projects

Good Neighbors of Park Slope advocates for issues of concern to our members.
 
We need input from you, our members, about what issues you feel are important for us to target in our advocacy efforts. Please come to our Advocacy Committee meetings where we discuss what issues to focus on, and plan how we will go about advocating for changes we decide are necessary. We hope that you will become part of our advocacy team. 

If you already have an issue that concerns older adults in our neighborhood and some ideas of how GNPS can successfully address the issue, please
submit the Advocacy Issues Form. You will then be contacted to talk about the possible next step(s). 
 
List of Current GNPS Advocacy Projects:
Click on an issue below to find out why it's important, what GNPS has been doing about it, and how you can help.
 
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Spreading the word about Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE)
Spreading the word about Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE)
What is SCRIE?
SCRIE is a NYC program that helps seniors pay their rents.  To be eligible, a person must be at least 62 years old, live in a rent regulated apartment, have their name on the lease, pay at least 1/3 of their household income on rent, and have a combined household income of less than $50,000 after taxes.

Why is this issue important to our members?
Only 43% of eligible households have applied for this programs. Elderly NYC seniors living in unaffordable housing on a fixed income face stark choices. Many skip meals, don’t go to the doctor, and do not fill their prescriptions. Not knowing about SCRIE, they spend down their life savings until there is nothing left. Having little discretionary income, their lives become more and more restricted. If the rent goes too high, they lose their apartment and are uprooted from the neighborhood where they know the people around them.

What has GNPS been doing about this issue?
On December 11th 2015, we sponsored an outreach event at the Park Slope Library. We set up tables throughout the neighborhood and handed out and posted flyers to promote the event. Many elected officials and community organizations helped us spread the word. 74 people came for help and 29 people were able to successfully freeze their rents.
rent freeze event 12-11-15
Scenes from December 11th Rent Freeze Outreach Event.

In November 2016, we had our second outreach event working with LiveOn NY, the Department of Finance, and the Brooklyn Public Library's Office of Older Adult Services. It was the largest SCRIE Outreach Event ever held, with 143 people attending and 46 people were able to successfully freeze their rents.

The Department of Finance now has a robust outreach effort to promote events where they help people apply for SCRIE. GNPS sometimes helps spread the word by handing out flyers on the street and assisting at the event. If you are interested in working on this with us email Lynne Ornstein at lynnefcc@gmail.com.


How you can help:

Download and post this flyer and share it on social media: 

For more information on the NYC Rent Freeze Program click here.

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Accessible transportation and age-friendly streets
Accessible transportation and age-friendly streets

What is the issue?

In order for us to maintain our quality of life as we age, we need elevators and escalators in our subways, buses along major routes, and benches along the commercial blocks of our neighborhood. Signage in buses and subways must designate priority seating for the elderly.

 

Why is this issue important to our members?

Our mobility and ability to care for ourselves depends on getting around the neighborhood and the city, by public transportation and by walking.  

 

What is GNPS doing about this issue?

We have been working with our Councilman Brad Lander and Assemblyman Robert Carroll to help organize and participate in activities that advocate for these issues.  We inform our members of upcoming activities that we feel would be useful for us to participate in.  Interested members have spoken at press conferences and other meetings to promote these ideas.


Bench success!  
We submitted requests for 9 new benches along Seventh Avenue and 5 were approved and installed! 

 
Please enjoy sitting on the new benches:  
100B 7th Ave (Union-President)
147 7th Ave (Garfield-Carroll)
160 7th Ave (Garfield-1St)  
274 7th Ave (6-7 Streets)  
365 7th Ave (10-11 Streets) 
Now, where else should we request benches? 

Accessibility advocacy:  
A town meeting was held on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at John Jay HS auditorium, coordinated by Assemblyman Robert Carroll, featuring Andy Byford, the newly appointed president of the MTA who presented his new “Fast Forward” plan for the MTA.  He listened attentively to audience comments, including our Secretary, Jasmine Melzer, who advocated for more inclusive priority seating signage in subway cars to include the elderly and those less able to stand.  Our Board Member Margaret Kelly was also able to ask for improved, real time schedule and arrival information and that this data be open source and not limited to a proprietary MTA app.


In 2019 we mobilized our membership to vote for the “downpayment” project for an elevator at 7th Ave which won in this year's Participatory Budgeting, which means that Councilman Lander will be matching that $250,000 with another $250,000. This project is a long way down the road, but helps to keep us on the list of the next 50 subway stations to be made accessible. 

 

How you can help:

If you are interested in this issue, email goodneighborsofparkslope@gmail.com to help organize and participate in activities that advocate for accessible transportation and age friendly streets.  


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Making Prospect Park Age-friendly
Making Prospect Park Age-friendly

What is the issue?
Older people have mobility and stamina issues not shared by most others using Prospect Park. We want to make the park as age-friendly as possible.

Why is this issue important to our members?
Many of our members have enjoyed the park for years and want to continue doing so. 

What is GNPS doing about this issue?

We have a GNPS member, Jasmine Melzer, on the Prospect Park Alliance Community Committee to represent the needs of older adults at monthly meeting. For more information about this committee click here.

   
In 2017 Jasmine Melzer joined the annual Participatory Budgeting project sponsored by Councilmember Brad Lander and proposed a community project: a Senior Fitness Area in Prospect Park.  This  idea was put on the ballot, and our members helped to successfully vote it in!  It is now in process and expected to open in 2021.


How you can help?
If you are interested in this issue please let us know.




Social Activism Interest Group:

Some of our members have expressed an interest in sharing information with other members about various social activist events that are happening around our area, and possibly arranging to attend these activities as a group.

If you are interested in receiving this information, please add your name to the new 
Social Activitism Interest list, in the ADVOCACY section of the Activities Overview page of our Website. You may then be sent emails from us that have been requested by members who wish to share information.  We will not give out your email address, but if you are interested in these activities or events you can then respond directly to the person who is coordinating.

If you have an event that you would like to share with other members, please send an email with information about the event to goodneighborsofparkslope@gmail.com. Include the name and email and/or phone of the person to be contacted by interested members.  Your email will be sent to all members who have signed the "Social Activism Interest Group" list.

Please note: Good Neighbors of Park Slope is facilitating communication among members with regard to these activities, and is not necessarily supporting or endorsing particular activitie
s.
If you are having any difficulty using this site please call us at 917-947-9121
 
 
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