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Brooklyn community board leaders urge Speaker to reinstate budget funding for Vocal New York

Members of Brooklyn’s Community Board 6 are urging Council Speaker Corey Johnson to reinstate funding for the local drug addiction services organization Vocal New York, which advocates allege Johnson cut from this year’s budget in retribution for the group’s recent protests. Leaders of the advocacy group claim Johnson slashed $2.25 million of previously-allocated funds from this year’s budget — which organizers were planning to use to pay for a new headquarters — as revenge for their involvement in efforts to defund the Police Department. In a July 30 letter to the speaker, CB6 civic gurus asked the lawmaker to undo the cut. “Vocal New York has a history of helping and advocating for those who most need help in…

Manhattan rezoning forges ahead — without the de Blasio administration

Last month, the de Blasio administration rejected a proposal to rezone Morningside Heights. Now, a community group — with the help of the City Council — is moving ahead without the agency. The Morningside Heights Community Coalition is advancing plans to rezone the neighborhood despite the Department of City Planning’s reservations that changes won’t create much affordable housing. City Council Speaker Corey Johnson has pledged to direct the council’s land-use staff to put together a