Recap: Land Use, Zoning, and Knowing your Rights as a Tenant

On Wednesday, February 15th, I was joined by New York City Council Land Use Director, Raju Mann, and Brooklyn Legal Services Attorneys: Catherine Barreda and Michael Bailey for a presentation on land use, zoning, and tenant rights.
The event not only covered the subject matter, but evolved into a passionate discussion about neighborhood needs and concerns. I admire and share your love for the community, and hope that moving forward, we can continue to engage in meaningful and thoughtful conversations about how I can best serve you.
In the meantime, please review the enclosed information that was discussed at the event and save the date for our upcoming Community Exchange events!
Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo
Contact information
Brooklyn Legal Services
  • 718-237-5500 – general hotline
DHCR (New York State Homes and Community Renewal)
Department of Housing Preservation & Development
  • Call 311 and ask for inspection (specifically)

Recap: Status Update on the Bedford Union Armory Part 1

On Thursday, February 2nd, 2017, I was joined by New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), BFC Partners, and several community organizations for the first status update on the Bedford Union Armory project.

We began with an open house, followed by a presentation, and concluded the public forum with a question and answer session.

Thank you to all who attended and provided your honest feedback. It is through forums such as these that your elected officials, including myself, can gain a deeper understanding of your concerns and priorities.

I urge you all to attend the second Bedford Union Armory status update on March 14th, as well as the remaining events in the Community Exchange Series. Let’s keep the conversation going!


Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo

Recap: “How to Form a 501(c)(3) Organization”


“How to Form a 501(c)(3) Organization” took place on Saturday, January 28th, 2017, and was a great success! I was joined by over 100 people as we discussed the legal requirements, tax documents, and challenges associated with forming your own non-profit.

Special thanks to Jacques David of the The Legal Aid Society, Lisa Steadwell and Lloyd Rodriguez of the Brooklyn Pitbulls, and Bishop Gonzales of MACADEMY for taking part in this dynamic event!

See below for information resources:

Presenter contact information

Important links

Lastly, don’t forget to mark your calendars for the next event in the Community Exchange Series, “Status Update on the Bedford Union Armory part 1.” See you there!


Recap: “How to Apply for City Council Funding”



On Wednesday, January 18th, I was joined by over 100 individuals who were eager to understand and ultimately engage in the application process for City Council funding. The potential growth of cultural institutions and nonprofit organizations is often intertwined with their capacity to secure funding to cover operational costs, expand programming, or undergo critical upgrades.

As the representative of Brooklyn’s Cultural District and a member of the Committee on Cultural Affairs, I understand how vital it is to create opportunities and provide the necessary resources that will sustain their progress and increase their positive impact within our communities. Through this workshop, we were able to show every participant how to successfully navigate the application process. Thank you to Leora Estersohn of Nonprofit HelpDesk and our participants! I wish you all the best! See below for a recap on what we covered during the event, as well as important documents and contact information.

-Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo

Important Deadlines

  • Discretionary funding application due Tuesday, February 21, 2017.
  • All arts and cultural organizations seeking fiscal support from the Department of Cultural Affairs should note that all applications must be received by February 13th , 2017. 

Important links


Important documents

Forms in application

Contact Information

  • Presenter
    • Name: Leora Estersohn, NonProfit HelpDesk
    • Phone number: 718 449 5000 x 2267
    • Email address:
  • District 35 Budget Director
    • Name: Matthew Pitt
    • Phone Number: 718-260-9191
    • Email address:
  • City Council Finance 
    • Email address:

Community Exchange Series Event Schedule






Recap: “Everything You Need to Know About Area Median Income (AMI) and Affordable Housing”


From the seasoned panelists to the engaged audience, Tuesday’s forum was an incredible way to kick off my seven-part Community Exchange Series. Representatives from city agencies, legal providers, community-based organizations, and housing advocates provided an overview of affordable housing and the lottery process, tenants’ rights, and housing discrimination. Through the presentation and public discussion, many of us gained a deeper understanding of the area median income and how it impacts affordable housing. We are now informed and empowered to enact change through advocacy and legislation.

If you did not have an opportunity to attend “Everything You Need to Know About Area Median Income (AMI) and Affordable Housing,” you can view the recording or review the HPD presentation. Please feel free to share it with others.

I want to thank our panelists: Deputy Commissioner Daniel Hernandez of the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Stephanie Blue of IMPACCT Brooklyn, Adrien Weibgen of the Urban Justice Center, and Catherine Barreda of Brooklyn Legal Services. I also want to recognize our resource expo participants: Brooklyn Legal Services, Bridge Street Development Corporation, IMPACCT Brooklyn, Brooklyn Neighborhood Services, HPD, and MetroPlus for the wealth of information they provided to our participants.

I hope you will join us for our next session, “How to Apply for City Council Funding” on January 18th at 6:30PM in the Medgar Evers College EOJ Auditorium located at 1638 Bedford Avenue Brooklyn, NY.


January -March 2017 Events: Community Exchange Series