After 13 months in office, Councilwoman Mercedes Narcisse hosted her first State of the District Address and Town Hall Meeting on Monday, January 30th at P.S. 203, at 5101 Avenue M, with a focus on public health and equity in funding.
Narcisse discussed district priorities, legislation, budget allocations and the role of community. “My purpose was to bring equity to our district and center a public health approach, and I made that clear my very first day in office,” she said.
With experience as a nurse for over 30 years, Narcisse gave thanks to Speaker Adrienne Adams for the honor of serving as Chair of the Council Committee on Hospitals. In that role, she has conducted fact-finding visits to nearly every hospital and city-run health clinic in the five boroughs.
Her top priority is to bring a city-run health facility to the 46th district. She secured an extra $5 million in funding to provide mental health services in schools and, in her first citywide initiative, allocated over $400,000 to recruit a younger and more diverse group of New Yorkers to work as nurses and social workers.
Narcisse, who lays claim to having the second largest council district in New York City, also serves on the committees on Health, Education, Parks, Transportation, Criminal Justice and the subcommittee on COVID recovery; she is a member of the Budget and Negotiations Team.
She introduced legislation to address public and mental health, and public safety issues, bringing special attention to the gun violence that took the life of Ethan Holder, a young assistant teacher who worked at P.S. 203 and was fatally gunned down outside the school.
“To honor his memory, I have introduced legislation to name East 52nd Street and Avenue M Ethan Zachary Holder Way,” she said. Narcisse met with the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice to bring a Cure Violence group to her district to work with the 69th Precinct to help stem the rise in gun violence.
To help support victims of crimes, she introduced a resolution to help them access victim compensation funds.
Due to fatal traffic accidents in the 46th District, she allocated $550,000 to resurface streets in the district’s city streets and sidewalk program. She also introduced a bill to require the DOT and NYPD to create materials that will be handed out at an accident scene so victims can access the resources they need.
She will push congressional representatives to address problem areas that have flooding, ponding and other issues.
As a public health measure, she has allocated funding to the Department of Sanitation’s supplemental Manual Litter Patrol, and for cleaning crews and a pilot program to purchase and install cameras in known dumping areas.
She has funded two organizations, ACE and CEO, to perform supplemental cleanups that are special to her because they hire homeless and formerly incarcerated people to keep the city clean while providing economic opportunities.
She also funded NYC H2O, the Billion Oyster Project and the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy to educate youth to work as partners to maintain green spaces.
She supported two organizations, Birch Family Services and My Time, Inc., whose work centers around children diagnosed with autism and developmental disabilities, and she has introduced legislation that would require the NYPD to train police officers how to recognize and interact with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Narcisse addressed the rise in food insecurity during the pandemic through weekly food giveaways, having served over 5,000 community residents, with additional meals provided by community partners.
School programs received $510,000 for music studios, sports, financial literacy and debate classes; and $274,000 for filmmaking, ecology, arts and STEM classes.
Capital funds expenditures included $1.5 million for an auditorium upgrade at the South Shore High School campus.; $1.4 million to upgrade the science lab at the High School for Medical Professions; $1.1 million to upgrade the multimedia library at P.S. 272; $950,000 to renovate the library at P.S. 312; $750,000 for a library upgrade at P.S. 115: $100,000 to upgrade the auditorium at P.S. 194; and $250,000 to complete the auditorium upgrade at P.S. 203.
She allocated $1.5 million to complete the long overdue renovation of the Canarsie Library and will continue to advocate for completion of multi-million dollar investments in Marine Park/I.S. 278 playground and Canarsie Park. She expressed support for NYCHA residents who she said were treated like second-class citizens.
Narcisse funded over a half a million dollars to organizations that help seniors meet the challenges of growing older, including immigrant and disabled seniors.
Small business investment included $50,000 to the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and support for over 20 small organizations who received funding for the first time.
Narcisse announced the following 2023 street co-namings: East 92nd Street and Flatlands Avenue (Charles Rogers Way); East 69th Street and Veterans Avenue (Kaitlyn Bernhardt Way); East 35th Street and Avenue S (Firefighter Steven Pollard Way); and Avenue N and East 83rd Street (Sgt. Mario Nelson Haitian Warrior).
Mill Basin Civic Association President Paul Curiale emceed the event and introduced multifaith religious leaders who delivered blessings on Narcisse and the community. Among them were Bishop Brugard Brutus, Imam Qazi Hoque, Rabbi Yirmi Levy, Pastor Joseph Victor and Dr. Mecca Nelson.
There were musical and drama performances by P.S. 203 students, Fillmore Academy students and Taylor Boyce who sang the Star Spangled Banner.
Narcisse thanked everyone in attendance and asked numerous individuals to stand up and be recognized throughout the event.
“I again express my pledge to always serve selflessly, with honor, dignity and integrity. I will always be available and responsive to protect and fight for the best interests of all my constituents in the 46th Council District,” she concluded.
Pic 1: Councilwoman Mercedes Narcisse delivers a comprehensive report to her constituents about the State of Council District 46.