Message from Councilman Mark Gjonaj
BRONX TIMES REPORTER, J 46 ULY 26-AUGUST 1, 2019 BTR
COUNCILMAN MARK GJONAJ
From rallies in front of City Hall to
bringing to light the abuses of the food
delivery industry, I have unceasingly
devoted myself to uplifting and promoting
the needs of small businesses.
Along the way, there have been many
challenges: the rise of big box stores
undercutting the market, outdated
and complex regulations, and the
slow pace of government. However,
each blockage has not deterred me
nor, more importantly, small business
This is the reason I introduced Int.
1000 and Int. 1467. The fi rst bill would
defi ne the term “micro-business” as a
business with ten or fewer employees,
which is vital when considering legislation
for small businesses. The latter
would require the Commissioner of
Small Business Services to compile,
in plain language, all of the rules and
laws that apply to small businesses.
This will decrease the number of summonses
and allow businesses to better
navigate the intricate and vast web of
rules and regulations governing commerce
in New York.
Although this administration has
continuously sided against momand
pop shops in favor of large business,
they continue to persist. Small
business in the state of New York employ
4 million people. Therefore, even
with the rise in e-commerce and constantly
changing consumer tastes,
small businesses still employ over
half of the workforce.
Despite their incredible signifi -
cance to our community’s character
and economy, the city continues consider
legislation that is not ‘business
friendly’. Rules and laws that govern
large corporations, such as McDonald’s
and Shop Rite, also apply to your
local pizza shop and bodega. This
damaging negligence allows these
larger businesses to completely consume
and decimate their smaller competition.
Thankfully, as of this week, these
bills are on their way to becoming
law. This incredible development will
fi nally allow for the primary employers
of New Yorkers to get their fair
share of respect by the city. Microbusinesses
will now be defi ned and
not held in the same category as their
Goliath competitors. A small business
will fi nally be able to search and
comprehend all the rules and laws to
avoid violations and improve their
businesses. Legislation supporting
small business has been long overdue
– this is a win for small businesses.
July 17th Meeting
Dark turbulent clouds of
uncertainty infi ltrated the
summer night sky as area residents
fi lled the Knight of Columbus
Hall for our July meeting.
The deeply concerned
voices of passionate residents
appropriately blended with
the ominous night sky.
Quality of life and community
-unity were central
themes of the evening. As dialogue
progressed it became
evident that shifting trends
and evolving dynamics in the
local political scene created a
dire need for inter-community
unifi cations among low-density
communities. To attain
this goal political, social, personal,
and petty differences
must be cast aside for the benefi
t of the cause. In this ‘we
before me’ endeavor selfl essness
must supersede selfi shness.
Henry Ford stated, “Coming
together is the beginning.
Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success.”
Our steadfast resolve will ultimately
bring concept to reality.
B Sector NCO’s, police offi
cers Singh and Trinidad
elaborated on several topics
related to Quality of Life.
They announced numerous
NYPD actions and collaborations
that properly addressed
the nuisance noise emanating
from the off shore waters
and industrial zones of our
community. These dedicated
offi cers explained the spirit
and intent of NYPD’s ‘Build
the Block’ program that is designed
to better the relationships
between our community
and police offi cers. A spirited
question and answer session
followed their detailed presentation.
Every question was addressed
courtesy, and respect.
The next Build the Block
event to discuss relevant Sector
B police issues is Thursday
July 25, 7: 30 p.m. at St. Theresa
School. Our association
and community thank police
offi cers Singh and Trinidad
for their quality presentation
and diligent service. We are
fortunate to have these two
quality individuals involved
with our neighborhoods.
The detrimental affect of
the proposed MTA bus redesign
and its dubious method
of information dissemination
startled those in attendance.
The 100 signatures quickly
attained in opposition to this
unwarranted change verifi
ed community displeasures.
In total, our association has
gathered approximately three
hundred signatures of opposition
that will be submitted to
the MTA by the July 31 deadline.
In addition, Councilman
Mark Gjonaj and Assemblyman
Michael Benedetto are
working with affected communities
to stave off this unnecessary
In 2019, the 45th Precinct
will lose six police offi cers
through attrition. This action
shows that NYPD hierarchy
believes that the expansive
territory of the 45th Precinct
is over-manned. It is plausible
to suggest that most area
residents would adamantly
disagree. A multiple community
effort will be launched to
show our collective displeasure
with this egregious action.
Change.org petitions in
opposition to this decrease in
police presence are available
on the Friends of Community
Board 10 and
The Unoffi cial 45th Precinct
websites. Thanks to
Annie Boller and Frank Connolly
administrators of these
sites that benefi t our fi ne community.
The absence of local elected
offi cials at this resident-only
event created an atmosphere
of community spirit. Residents
engaged in meaningful
dialogue and brought to the
forefront the profound affect
nuisance issues have on quality
It has become evident that
communities must band together
in order to successfully
battle common issues. In attendance
were multiple civic
association leaders including
Deborah Roff, Marjorie
Hooks, Michele Torrioni, Annie
Boller and Andrew Chirico.
Their presence reinforced
the need for strong bonds between
multiple civic associations.
These bonds can form
the solid blocks of foundation
needed for future expansions.
Political leaders to gauge a
community’s interest and fortitude
use the attendances at
local civic association meetings.
Large turnouts by our
community show our elected
offi cials that we have the fortitude
and resolve needed to
confront adversity. It is critical
for our community to continually
build on this momentum.
After an August break we
will come back rested and
ready in September. The next
meeting of the Spencer Estate
Civic Association is Wednesday,
September 18, 7:30 p.m.,
at Knights of Columbus (corner
of Ampere and Research
Our valued friend, Councilman
Gjonaj is the scheduled
key note speaker for
our second half kick-off. Any
area homeowner or renter
interested in membership to
the all inclusive Spencer Estate
Civic Association in box
George Havranek on Facebook
or send-email with subject
matter Spencer Estate to
email@example.com. If we want
to ‘keep and reap the blessings’
of our fi ne quality of life
‘we must undergo the fatigue
of supporting it.’ Inclusion
BY AL D’ANGELO
We have come a long way
and I’m not sure it’s a good
were killed on 9/11 running
into harms way while we were
running for our lives in the
other direction. And we reward
their sacrifi ce by disrespecting
that same badge 18
This past week an incident
was fi lmed showing police offi
cers being doused with buckets
of water while they were
making an arrest in Brooklyn.
It is reprehensible.
How do you think that will
impact the community? If you
were a police offi cer how fast
would you respond to an emergency
in a community where
you were embarrassed and demeaned
while the onlookers
Fortunately, our NYPD is
better than that.
How about the law-abiding
members of the community
who want safe streets for
their children devoid of gangbangers
and drug dealers?
What’s wrong with a city that
allows their law enforcement
agencies to be disrespected
in such a manner? Why were
the police told to stand down
when ANTIFA beat a reporter
in full view of the Portland,
The only thing that stands
between us and anarchy is
our law enforcement agencies.
The police take an oath
to protect and serve and city.
Mayors also take an oath, “to
defend the constitution of the
United States against all enemies
foreign and domestic”.
The arm of that defense in
the cities is the police department.
To take away their tools to
do an effective job puts us all
in harms way. When a police
offi cer uses poor judgment, he
could be suspended or fi red.
When a mayor uses poor
judgement he runs for re-election.
Go fi gure.