Sunnyside bix district gets bike friendly
Aug 29, 2014 | 345 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Pictured from left to righta re State Senator Michael Gianaris, Julie Roberts, co-chair for Transportation Alternatives Queens Activist Committee, Rachel Thieme, executive director of Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, and Shira Siegel, social coordinator for Transportation Alternatives Queens Activist Committee.
Pictured from left to righta re State Senator Michael Gianaris, Julie Roberts, co-chair for Transportation Alternatives Queens Activist Committee, Rachel Thieme, executive director of Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, and Shira Siegel, social coordinator for Transportation Alternatives Queens Activist Committee.
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The Sunnyside business district has become the first in Queens to be declared bike friendly. On August 23, local elected officials and Transportation Alternatives (TA) joined local business owners and over 50 cyclists and pedestrians to launch the borough’s first Bike Friendly Business District. "Sunnyside entrepreneurs understand that bicycling is not only an enjoyable transportation choice, it's good for business, too,” said Caroline Samponaro, senior director of Campaigns and Organizing for TA. “Local merchants are supporting more livable streets that prioritize walking, biking and public transit access - safety improvements that have proven to boost local retail sales." Participating businesses will advocate for a transformed Queens Boulevard that would include safe space for pedestrians, protected lanes for cyclists and dedicated lanes for buses. Supporting local activists’ efforts to transform Queens Boulevard into a more people-friendly corridor, local merchants are taking the lead on street safety. “Designating Sunnyside as a Bike Friendly Business District means that we’re committed to making the neighborhood safe, accessible and fun for everyone,” said Rachel Thieme, Executive Director of the Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District. “I am encouraged to see so many local businesses signing on to this important cause.” Following the announcement, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and Transportation Alternatives led a leisurely tour through the neighborhoods of Sunnyside and Woodside to highlight over 70 local participating businesses who joined the cause. “The launch of Sunnyside’s very own Bike Friendly Business District is an opportunity for our neighborhood to showcase its diversity as well as its eclectic mix of shops, restaurants and cafes,” said Van Bramer. “As ridership climbs in our City, and the cycling infrastructure grows here in Western Queens, Sunnyside hopes to capitalize by highlighting all we have to offer.” New York City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer was joined by Transportation Alternatives, Rachel Thieme, Executive Director of Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District,
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Available on Amazon.com
Available on Amazon.com
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Brian F. Martin, founder of Childhood Domestic Violence and author of Invincible
Brian F. Martin, founder of Childhood Domestic Violence and author of Invincible
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Did you grow up in a home with domestic violence?
Aug 29, 2014 | 119 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Brian F. Martin, founder of Childhood Domestic Violence and author of Invincible
Brian F. Martin, founder of Childhood Domestic Violence and author of Invincible
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Available on Amazon.com
Available on Amazon.com
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While there is universal awareness of domestic violence, there is staggeringly low awareness of what happens when someone grows up living with domestic violence. In its report entitled Behind Closed Doors, UNICEF calls growing up with domestic violence one of the most pervasive human rights violations of our time, affecting one billion people globally.

After discovering this research, Brian F. Martin, founder of the non-profit organization Childhood Domestic Violence (CDV) began his crusade to build global awareness and solutions for what he and now other researchers call childhood domestic violence.

“One of the reasons why there is such low awareness is because most people don’t know what to call it,” Martin says of children who grow up living with domestic violence. “Researchers often call it child witness to intimate partner violence, which has less than 5 percent awareness. And the word ‘witness’ isn’t appropriate because it doesn’t adequately describe the impact.

“There are 40 million adults and 15 million children who experience domestic violence every day but they don’t know what to call it. The fact that they don’t know what to call it is maddening. We needed a new phrase and that is where Childhood Domestic Violence was born.”

To combat the impact, Martin writes in his new book, Invincible, The 10 Lies Your Learn Growing Up With Domestic Violence and the Truths to Set You Free, “You need to address the root of the issue first: The self-concept.”

Childhood domestic violence impacts a developing brain and cognitive belief system. It encodes a series of as Martin calls them, ‘lies,’ that a person often grows up to believe as an adult.

In December 2012, the Department of Justice released their Report of the Attorney General’s Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence, which went further than any other government endeavor to shed light on the issue and its long-term effects, Martin says. The report’s authors say childhood domestic violence is “one of the most significant challenges to the future of America’s children we have ever known.”

And while he lauds UNICEF and the Justice department for their efforts to acknowledge the effects of domestic violence on children, he notes that the problem still tends to be one relegated to the background in mainstream culture.

“It’s encouraging that governments worldwide are recognizing the alarming scale of the problem. Yet, shockingly, it remains entirely off the radar of our social consciousness,” Martin writes in his preface to Invincible.

There are some resources geared toward providing support to children living in partner-abusive homes, but Invincible is the first resource directly aimed at helping the adults those children of yesterday have become to reach their full potential.

“From the outset, I wanted this book to present as complete a picture as possible of the emotional turmoil that I have seen—and personally experienced—in people who grew up living with domestic violence,” Martin writes.

To date, CDV can be credited with a number of achievements, among them, the production of the award-winning documentary, “The Children Next Door,” and the development of the Emmy-nominated Nick News segment, “Family Secrets, When Violence Hits Home.”

Throughout the text of Invincible, Martin compiles much of the institutional knowledge currently available surrounding Childhood Domestic Violence, and presents it in a way that makes sense to those who need it most, like himself.

“My story is not unique. In the United States alone, more than 55 million adults and children are living with or lived with domestic violence—just as I did,” Martin writes. Statistically, he says, these children are “six times more likely to commit suicide, 50 times more likely to become addicted to drugs or alcohol [and] 79 times more likely to be violent to someone.”

That is why Martin and his colleagues at CDV are so adamant when it comes to educating the public about the effects of childhood domestic violence. He writes, “Having grown up in that house, there are certain lies you learned in childhood about who you believe you are and they may be holding you back from reaching your full potential and experiencing the happiness that was meant for you.”

After reading an advance copy of Invincible, Amber Pannell wrote in a Good Reads review, “I’m intrigued by this book because the author didn’t only do his own research, he shared his own childhood experiences.”

Kizzie Adam added, “This book hit home for me coming from a domestic violence home. Thanks for writing a real version of what life is like coming from a home with domestic violence.”

*This space was provided by donors
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