New York State: Gov. Andrew Cuomo Launches Vital Brooklyn Civic Infrastructure Initiative


 

 

According to the Governor’s Office

“For too long investment in underserved communities has lacked the strategy necessary to end systemic social and economic disparity, but in Central Brooklyn those failed approaches stop today,” Governor Cuomo said. “We are going to employ a new holistic plan that will bring health and wellness to one of the most disadvantaged parts of the state. Every New Yorker deserves to live in a safe neighborhood with access to jobs, healthcare, affordable housing, green spaces, and healthy food but you can’t address one of these without addressing them all. Today, we begin to create a brighter future for Brooklyn, and make New York a model for development of high need communities across the country.”

Social and economic indicators show that Central Brooklyn is one of the most disadvantaged areas in all of New York State, with measurably higher rates of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure, limited access to healthy foods or opportunities for physical activity, high rates of violence and crime, wide economic disparities from unemployment to poverty levels, and inadequate access to high quality healthcare and mental health services.

Vital Brooklyn will break down barriers of health and wellbeing through eight integrated areas of investment:

  • Open Space and Recreation
  • Healthy Food
  • Community-Based Healthcare
  • Comprehensive Education and Youth Development
  • Economic Empowerment and Job Creation
  • Community-Based Violence Prevention
  • Affordable Housing; and
  • Resiliency

 
VITAL BROOKLYN

Open Space & Recreation
Currently, Central Brooklyn residents have some of the fewest opportunities for physical fitness in the entire state. In fact, 84 percent of Central Brooklynites have gone without adequate physical activity in the last month alone, which is more than 30 percent higher than the rest of the state.

To ensure residents have access to recreational amenities, nature and open space, Vital Brooklyn will:

  • Eliminate the area’s “park deserts” by building green space and revitalizing athletic facilities within a 10 minute walk of every neighborhood
  • Enhance amenities at more than a dozen community gardens and school yards to create public spaces for recreation and fitness
  • Create more than five acres of recreation space at state-funded housing developments
  • Improve and enhance existing recreational facilities through grant opportunities

Healthy Food
Today, one in four Central Brooklynites are food insecure — almost twice the state average — meaning they lack access to quality and variety in their diet, leading to diabetes, obesity, and other health issues.

To promote healthy lifestyles, Vital Brooklyn will increase access to nutritious food through:

  • Farm-to-Table initiatives that connect Upstate growers with Downstate families, proving youth job training and life-long healthy habits
  • Increase access to locally-sourced food by adding more than a dozen new farmer’s markets at community schools
  • Provide job training for young people through the United Federation of Teachers to develop entrepreneurial skills
  • Provide existing community gardens with additional resources to expand their services.


“Today, we begin to create a brighter future for Brooklyn, and make New York a model for development of high need communities across the country.”

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Community-Based Health Care
Compared to the rest of the state, Central Brooklyn lacks access to primary care doctors and other critical mental health services. Current statistics show that there are only 55 primary care physicians per 100,000 people in Central Brooklyn, while the statewide average doubles that figure. Additionally, there are 497 Emergency Room visits in Central Brooklyn for every 1,000 people, which also eclipses the statewide average.

Communities need access to healthcare facilities that recognize and prioritize people’s unique needs, which is why Vital Brooklyn:

  • Will strengthen local healthcare facilities to close current gaps and increase services
  • Will transform the healthcare system by increasing access to quality services and preventive care
  • Will develop a 36-site ambulatory care network which will include partnerships with existing community-based providers

Comprehensive Education & Youth Development
Today, a well-rounded education requires more than in-class learning. The Billion Oyster Project and the State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Environmental Justice programs will expose at-risk youth to hands-on learning on shoreline and habitat restoration efforts in the Jamaica Bay.

Vital Brooklyn will grow these efforts by:

  • Adding more than 30 new environmental education sites across the community
  • Expanding the Billion Oyster Project school-based curriculum to 20 sites, exposing more than 9,500 students to oyster habitat restoration and Staten Island Living Breakwaters Project
  • Leveraging DEC Environmental Justice Program to engage at-risk youth in green jobs training and habitat restoration projects

 

“Today, we begin to create a brighter future for Brooklyn, and make New York a model for development of high need communities across the country.”

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Community-Based Health Care
Compared to the rest of the state, Central Brooklyn lacks access to primary care doctors and other critical mental health services. Current statistics show that there are only 55 primary care physicians per 100,000 people in Central Brooklyn, while the statewide average doubles that figure. Additionally, there are 497 Emergency Room visits in Central Brooklyn for every 1,000 people, which also eclipses the statewide average.

Communities need access to healthcare facilities that recognize and prioritize people’s unique needs, which is why Vital Brooklyn:

  • Will strengthen local healthcare facilities to close current gaps and increase services
  • Will transform the healthcare system by increasing access to quality services and preventive care
  • Will develop a 36-site ambulatory care network which will include partnerships with existing community-based providers

Comprehensive Education & Youth Development
Today, a well-rounded education requires more than in-class learning. The Billion Oyster Project and the State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Environmental Justice programs will expose at-risk youth to hands-on learning on shoreline and habitat restoration efforts in the Jamaica Bay.

Vital Brooklyn will grow these efforts by:

  • Adding more than 30 new environmental education sites across the community
  • Expanding the Billion Oyster Project school-based curriculum to 20 sites, exposing more than 9,500 students to oyster habitat restoration and Staten Island Living Breakwaters Project
  • Leveraging DEC Environmental Justice Program to engage at-risk youth in green jobs training and habitat restoration projects

SEP Students please read more and review the video. Take notes for discussion(s) and out follow-up activities.

https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-announces-14-billion-vital-brooklyn-initiative-transform-central-brookl

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