January 2020 Highlights
Dear Neighbor,

We are off to a great start in the new year, tackling the issues that matter to our communities. In just one month, we have mobilized people of diverse backgrounds to help prevent deed theft and hate crimes. With January designated as National Human Trafficking Prevention Month, the Office of Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and I hosted a forum to educate communities on the relevance and impact of human trafficking in our backyard.

As we stood side by side, our message was clear - we will not tolerate the victimization of others on the basis of one's religious belief, gender, or race. I am proud that we remain united to ensure that the City of New York is a safe place for all. We have to set a guiding principle for our youth as they prepare to make a lifetime of decisions.

The future of our city is relying upon us to pave the way for them to succeed and we cannot afford to fail them. With the deadlines for the New York City Council FY2021 funding requests fast-approaching, I met with District 45 school principals and several not-for-profit organizations to discuss how we can close the opportunity gap.

This is only the beginning of an extraordinary year to inspire, innovate, and integrate new resources that will take our community to the next level.

Sincerely,
Farah N. Louis
Council Member, 45th District
In recognition of January as National Slavery & Human Trafficking Prevention Month, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and I hosted a forum to normalize discussions of these uncomfortable but dire issues. Advocates and fellow elected officials spent time sharing stories of strength and survival while taking the time to teach us about the tactics traffickers use to move through our communities. I left each event feeling prepared to continue these conversations and develop real policies to end sex and labor trafficking in our lifetime.

Photo: Kamesha K. Howell, M.S.W. 
District 45 Principals Breakfast
I held a forum for District 45 school administrators, in partnership with Council Education Committee Chair Mark Treyger and Deputy Brooklyn Borough President Ingrid Lewis-Martin, to hear firsthand from educators about the financial needs and goals for our public schools.

When it comes to nurturing our city's brightest minds, we cannot nickel and dime our institutions of learning. We have to invest in the education of our students by advancing the technology, library, and infrastructure upgrades that are often long overdue. I want to thank the Council of School Supervisors & Administrators and the School Construction Authority for their support.
I Will Graduate Youth Rally
I Will Graduate Day was such a powerful and inspirational way to kick off a new year and decade of learning.   As a member of the Committee on Education, I delivered remarks to encourage youth of all ages to pursue their aspirations - college, trade school, or entrepreneurship - without hesitation.

Photo: Kamesha K. Howell, M.S.W. 
67th Precinct Clergy Council Meeting
At the start of every new year, the 67th Precinct Clergy Council convenes faith and community leaders to envision how we can uplift our community. We are working in unison to stop the violence and continue our conversations on how we can improve public safety in East Flatbush. I look forward to expanding our reach towards a better tomorrow.
#ProtectOurHomes From Deed Theft
I participated in the #ProtectOurHomes Campaign launched by NYS Attorney General Letitia James to ensure that District 45 remains culturally and economically diverse. Hundreds of volunteers, consisting of community residents and leaders, were trained and later canvassed Brooklyn to educate homeowners on various ways to prevent deed theft.
Clarendon Library Reopens With Ribbon-Cutting
After being closed for what seemed like an eternity, the Clarendon library was reopened to the public with a ribbon-cutting ceremony officially marking the occasion. The scope of the five-month renovation included the installation of new flooring, shelving. and signs; newly painted walls, and additional electrical outlets. I, along with Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte and Sen. Kevin Parker, were honored to celebrate this milestone with Brooklyn Public Library President Linda Johnson and our young readers. The library has been a mainstay in District 45 since 1954. In addition to being a place to read and study, the Clarendon library is also home to an award-winning robotics team.

Photo: Brooklyn Public Library
Recipient of the Unity in Action Leadership Award
I am proud to serve and represent District 45, one of the most culturally and economically diverse communities in the City of New York. I will continue to champion unity and inclusion, while working alongside community residents and stakeholders to create safe spaces for all. Thank you Mark Meyer Appel and The Bridge Multicultural & Advocacy Project for honoring me with the Unity in Action Award!
No Hate. No Fear. Solidarity March in NYC
Religious freedom and cultural diversity is what makes this city distinct and vibrant. It is our moral obligation to stand up and denounce any attack fueled by hate against any members of our community.  We cannot allow anyone to change or dictate who we are. In the weeks following a series of hate crimes against the Jewish community in the states of New York and New Jersey, I joined thousands in a Solidarity March to condemn anti-Semitism and echo calls for unity.

Photo: Emil Cohen/ NYC Council
The faculty makeup of higher education is changing rapidly across the country. As the largest urban public university in the U.S., CUNY has an opportunity to set an example of equitable hiring practices and fair compensation for all employees, especially adjunct professors, who are routinely underpaid and overworked. I am encouraged by the changes promised in the 2017-2023 Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiated between the Professional Staff Congress and CUNY, which includes across-the-board salary increases and workload restructuring. I call upon CUNY to deliver on these promises & to continue to collaborate with its staff in order to build a better system for all involved in higher education-- professors and students alike. 
Women's Caucus Meets with New NYPD Commish
The Women’s Caucus hosted NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea and the Executive Team for a conversation around women’s issues in New York City. Both parties were able to discuss mutual concerns and needs regarding the Special Victims Division, sexual assault, human trafficking, and the well-being of survivors. While I believe there is much work to be done, the Caucus is committed to continuing this exchange of ideas in service of a more gender-equitable City.

Photo: Everton Smith/NYC Council
Saluting Our Veterans
It was truly an honor to celebrate a veteran of great distinction and now centenarian Reverend James E. Blakely. I joined my colleagues in recognizing his extraordinary legacy of service with the United States Navy, particularly during the deadly attack on Pearl Harbor and World War II. Thank you for your courage, strength, and heroic acts! I wish you the happiest of birthdays and many years of good health!  

Photo: John McCarten/NYC Council
Upcoming Events
Black History Month Celebration
Friday, February 28th
Black History Month Celebration
Tuesday, February 25th
Black History's Next Chapter
Wednesday, February 26th
3-K/Pre-K Information Session
Thursday, February 13th
Construction Training for NYCHA Residents
Registration is Required.
Free Tax Preparation & Filing
January 21st - April 14th
2020 Census Recruiting Event
Saturday, February 15th
2020 WOD Awards
Friday, March 27th
High School Equivalency Help
Tuesday, March 10th
Become a Member of Your Community Board
Community Board Membership Applications Are Now Open
February 14, 2020
        
Community boards are local representative bodies. There are 18 community boards in Brooklyn and each one consists of up to 50 non-salaried members appointed by the Borough President, half of whom are nominated by their district’s City Council members. Members of the community board must reside, work, or have some other significant interest in the community.

Each community board employs a District Manager who establishes an office, hires staff, and implements procedures to improve the delivery of City services to the district. While the main responsibility of the board office is to receive complaints from community residents, they also maintain other duties, such as processing permits for block parties and street fairs. Many boards choose to provide additional services and manage special projects that cater to specific community needs, including organizing tenants associations, coordinating neighborhood cleanup programs, and more.
Council Member Farah N. Louis | Website