Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club in the Bronx, NY
March 29, 2011
Town Hall Panelists:
Andrea Grymes (Moderator)
, News 12 Reporter
Andrea Grymes joined News 12 in November 2006. Her previous experiences include being a production assistant at Fox News Channel and ABC's The View. She also interned at Fox News Channel, WB33 in Dallas. Andrea graduated with honors from Southern Methodist University in Dallas with a double major in journalism and political science. She helped launch SMU-TV's first student-produced newscast, "The Daily Update." Andrea is a New York City native and is happy to be back home. "I really enjoy reporting in the Bronx and Brooklyn because I love meeting different people everyday," she says. In her spare time, Andrea enjoys reading, playing the piano and spending time with family.
Bill de Blasio
, NYC Public Advocate
On November 3rd, 2009, Bill de Blasio was elected New York City’s third Public Advocate. For the prior eight years, de Blasio served in the New York City Council where he fought to make City Hall more responsive and accountable to New Yorkers.
Bill de Blasio began his work in New York City government as an aide to Mayor David Dinkins. During the Clinton Administration, de Blasio was appointed Regional Director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he served under former Secretary Andrew Cuomo. In 1999, de Blasio was elected to the School Board for District 15 in Brooklyn. In 2000, he managed Hillary Rodham Clinton's successful campaign for U.S. Senate. The following year, de Blasio was elected to the New York City Council where he represented District 39 in Brooklyn for eight years.
In the City Council, Bill de Blasio fought to improve and protect public education and child care. In the spring of 2008, de Blasio organized a successful coalition of elected officials, parents, students, and advocates to win back millions of dollars in classroom funding slated for cuts.
De Blasio has also been a dedicated advocate for affordable housing, sponsoring a City law that prevents landlords from discriminating against tenants who depend on Section 8 vouchers to help pay for housing.
As the Chair of the Council's General Welfare Committee, Bill de Blasio spent the past eight years working to protect New York City's most vulnerable populations, including children and the homeless.
Bill de Blasio holds a Bachelors degree from New York University and a Masters in International and Public Affairs from Columbia University. De Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, met while working together in the Dinkins Administration. They live in Brooklyn with their two children, Chiara and Dante.
, Unit Director, Boys & Girls Club
Yolonda Brisbane-Baird is the Unit Director at Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club’s Lucile Palmaro Clubhouse. She was born and raised in the Sheepshead Bay section of Brooklyn, New York and is a product of the public education system, including the State University of New York at Brockport, where she obtained a degree in Communications and African American Studies.
On a mission to positively impact the lives of New York City youth that are most impacted by street violence, hopelessness, and minimized opportunities and exposure to higher education and career options, Yolonda worked for Madison Square Boys & Girls Club (Bronx, NY) as a youth empowerment specialist immediately upon graduating from college. She briefly worked for the National Research Development Institute as an assistant substance abuse counselor for New York City adults.
Yolonda returned to working with youth at the New York State Office of Children & Family Services (New York City), where she started as an aftercare worker for juvenile delinquents and offenders returning home after being sentenced to residential placement. While with OCFS, Yolonda advanced to supervisory and management levels and also worked in intergovernmental affairs and family advocacy.
Although Yolonda valued each opportunity she had to make change in the lives of New York’s most troubled youth, something was missing. She returned to Boys & Girls Clubs of America and was blessed to have the opportunity to work for Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club, where she ahs been able to make a difference in the lives of young people before they become involved with destructive behavior. Kips Bay provides a safe haven; sense of belonging, and endless resources for all young people ages 6 – 18. Youth up to 24 also receive employment opportunities via the Summer Youth Employment Program.
, Vice President of Social Responsibility for the Cartoon Network, Turner Broadcasting
Alice Cahn is in charge of providing the direction and coordination on the structure, design and ultimate implementation of Cartoon Network-created community efforts. Outreach events, advocacy campaigns and other "responsibility initiatives" within any and all Cartoon Network divisions have the guidance of Cahn, who also be continues to develop key relationships with media and child advocacy communities, appropriate sponsors, educators, non-profit organizations and trade associations.
Cahn came to Cartoon Network in January 2004 from The Markle Foundation in New York City where she served as managing director of Interactive Media for Children. There she was responsible for a multi-million dollar funding program designed to explore and encourage production of market-driven, research-based interactive media for children ages 2-12.
Prior to this, Cahn spent two years as Sesameworkshop (formerly Children's Television Workshop) group president where she oversaw all domestic and international creative development and television production, home video and audio production, and development and production of feature films. Among the properties she helped to create are Dragon Tales (w/Columbia Tri-Star); CinderElmo and Elmo and the Wolf (w/Sony Wonder); and Elmo in Grouchland (w/Columbia Tri-Star).
Cahn also served five years as Director of Children's Programming for Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in Alexandria, VA, responsible for the strategic planning and direction of all PBS children's projects and the Ready to Learn Service, created in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education. Original series developed, purchased and/or acquired for PBS under her leadership include Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego?, Arthur, Wishbone and Noddy.
, NYC Education Program Manager, Common Sense Media
Tali Horowitz is the NYC Education Program Manager at Common Sense Media. Her responsibilities include training educators and school leaders on Common Sense’s two education programs: the Digital Citizenship and Literacy Curriculum, whose goal is to empower kids to be safe, smart and responsible online, and the Parent Media and Technology Education Program, designed to provide schools the tools they need to engage and educate their parent communities around digital media. Tali works closely with over 20 middle schools and multiple districts to provide curricular implementation support and to identify best practices to share with educators. She also partners with other organizations to increase education around and awareness of digital citizenship in the 21st Century.
Throughout her life, Chirlane McCray has been committed to pursuing social justice.
Chirlane served as a speechwriter for New York City Mayor David N. Dinkins, City Comptroller William C. Thompson and State Comptroller Carl McCall. She wrote extensively on policy matters including education, health, housing, the arts and the environment. Chirlane was also a presidential appointee during the Clinton Administration at the New York Foreign Press Center.
Chirlane served for five years as Assistant Vice President, Marketing at Maimonides Medical Center, a not-for profit, academic hospital in Brooklyn, New York. She worked to increase the hospital’s visibility city-wide and in ethnic communities. During her tenure at the hospital, Chirlane piloted a successful direct mail program and paved the way for innovation in online communications.
At the New York City Commission on Human Rights, Chirlane was instrumental in designing and producing public education materials that successfully translated human rights law into language accessible to the public. This work promoted the efforts of the Commission and increased its effectiveness.
Chirlane currently is Senior Vice President with the Mack/Crounse Group, a leading direct mail firm.
Born in Springfield, Massachusetts, Chirlane is a graduate of Wellesley College and the renowned Radcliffe Publishing Course, and spent nearly a decade in magazine publishing as a writer, editor and marketing research analyst.
Chirlane and her husband, Bill de Blasio, met in New York's City Hall while working for Mayor David N. Dinkins. They are residents of Park Slope, Brooklyn and proud parents of two politically active children, Chiara (16) and Dante (13).
NYC Licensed Bilingual School Psychologist for the NYC Department of Education. Worked as a licensed teacher for 12 years, and at Kips bay Boys & Girls Club in the Education Department for 13 years.