Wednesday, August 25, 2010


-- Foundation celebrates anniversary, recognizes community heroes and gives $25,000 to charity via crowdsourcing initiative --

BROOKLYN, NY, August 24 2010 -- In honor of its first anniversary, the Brooklyn Community Foundation, the first borough-wide charitable organization focused solely on Brooklyn, today announced the first-ever online Brooklyn Do Gooder Awards campaign to identify and honor local individuals who embody the highest values of community giving and service. The campaign invites the broader Brooklyn community to identify individuals who display an outstanding sense of giving back locally—with time, talent or charity and to nominate and to vote for them online at The campaign will culminate at the Foundation's anniversary celebration on November 3, 2010 at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Palm House, where the winners will be honored. Media sponsors to date for the campaign include Gothamist, GOOD Magazine, WNYC as well as other community partners.

“The work of the Brooklyn Community Foundation is to encourage giving and service to our communities. Through this effort we hope to recognize those Brooklynites who are giving back everyday to make our borough stronger and kinder. Our motto is Do Good Right Here, and we want to encourage the public to nominate and vote for those people who exemplify that spirit of generosity and goodness in their community,” said Marilyn Gelber, President of the Brooklyn Community Foundation.

Brooklyn Do Gooder nominees should have a demonstrated commitment to Brooklyn through their work within the Foundation’s five fields of interest: Arts for All, Caring Neighbors, Community Development, Education and Youth Achievement and Green Communities. Each of the five winning Brooklyn Do Gooders will receive an award as well as $5,000 to be used as a reinvestment in a recognized 501(c)3 charitable entity working in Brooklyn or in a Brooklyn Community Foundation Field of Interest Fund.

Anyone can nominate and vote for a Brooklyn Do Gooder 18 years of age or older via an online platform which is fully integrated with social media tools like Facebook and Twitter. Online voting will help determine 20 Brooklyn Do Gooder finalists, after which a distinguished panel of judges will choose the winners. Judges currently include WNYC’s Laura Walker, Freelancer Union’s Sara Horowitz, MoCADA’s Laurie Cumbo, award-winning author Peter Hedges and other local leaders. Nominations are being collected through September 30, 2010; Online voting will be open from October 1-October 15, 2010. The community celebration, “Brooklyn Does Good” takes place on November 3, 2010. Start here:

Taxi sting

A recent undercover investigation conducted by the Taxi & Limousine Commission found that 17 percent of New York City’s for-hire car services are either denying disabled passengers or overcharging them for rides.

The 10-month-long investigation occurred in two ways.

In a method called "Bait, Fish, and Hook," when investigators requested vehicles in the guise of disabled people, 31 bases ignored the special requests and sent insufficiently equipped cars.

In another operation done by phone, investigators requested price quotes. Once an investigator received a quote, they would say they needed a wheelchair-accessible vehicle. After receiving the additional information, 49 car services upped their original price quotes, the TLC said.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, livery cab companies are required to provide equal service at the same cost to disabled and non-disabled riders alike.

In total, 80 out of the city’s 460 livery cab and black car services were caught in the TLC sting, and will summarily be fined $1,000 and have their operating licenses suspended.

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