Sustainable South Bronx has launched a number of initiatives to tackle the poor air quality and the adverse effects of heat waves in the area. One of these is NYC Cool Roofs, which provides free reflective coating for roofs in affordable housing complexes. This coating can reduce a building's energy consumption by decreasing its cooling load in summer and, at the same time, reducing the temperature of the surrounding area. The Y community is committed to promoting equity for all, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, nationality and ability.
To this end, they have created the New Americans Initiative to create a welcoming environment for all. The Bronx Rises Against Gun Violence program works with youth, local residents, community organizations and the public to promote safer streets and new norms where violence is not accepted. It uses the Cure Violence (CV) evidence-based anti-violence model that originated in Chicago, Illinois. The goal is to identify young people who have been injured by violence and are at risk of retaliation, to work with victims and their family and friends to help prevent future acts of violence, and to provide links to resources and follow-up services.
The team is mainly composed of credible messengers who are people from affected neighborhoods who can establish good relationships with young people and other residents due to their previous history of participating in activities that exposed them to the risk of involvement in the judicial system. They identify areas of the Bronx with a high incidence of gun violence and connect with youth in the community to provide alternative ways to resolve conflicts and to help develop a positive mindset. Participants in this program meet certain criteria. The initiative also offers a range of high-quality services and opportunities for development in the areas of mental health, physical well-being, economic mobility, education, and more.
Examples include NYC Cool Roofs, Education & Vocational Services, Computer Literacy for Seniors in Eastern New York, Brooklyn, End of Summer Back to School Party for Eastern New York Families BRAG, and more. This initiative will prepare local residents for an anticipated increase in job opportunities as a result of economic development efforts in the Bronx. In addition, it has partnered with criminal justice professionals, researchers, and legislators on initiatives to improve community safety, increase trust in the criminal justice system, and ensure fairness in the criminal justice process. This reformulates a traditional approach to workforce development to address 21st century skills, allowing workers to learn while earning income in careers in the healthcare, technology, manufacturing and food service sectors.
The Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative aims to connect the poorest neighborhoods to services they can use to embark on new opportunities, break cycles of poverty and share the success that many communities in New York City have experienced in recent years. The YMCA and EDI Committee create programs and events designed to educate and engage staff members and the Y community in promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion throughout New York City. This coordinated approach between residents, community organizations, institutions of higher education, businesses, philanthropic organizations, government agencies, and others will address the challenges faced by the most impoverished people in three distinct areas of the South Bronx. Mayor de Blasio has implemented several initiatives that demonstrate his commitment to small businesses in New York City.
These initiatives promise immediate relief as well as systemic change in the near future. State Senator Kevin Parker praised these initiatives for recognizing the importance of small businesses in this city.