Today’s news:

Pols cheer Ratner

Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty (Met Council) netted more than $1 million this past week, during its annual Builder’s Luncheon honoring Bruce Ratner, chairman and CEO of Forest City Ratner Companies.

The nearly 500 guests spanned the real estate, political and communal spectrum. Jerry Stiller warmed the audience with his humor, while City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Congressman Anthony Weiner, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Congresswoman Yvette Clark, and State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli praised Ratner for his work in developing New York City. Numerous other elected and appointed officials were present as the keynote speaker, Speaker of the Assembly Sheldon Silver, presented Ratner with a beautifully decorated charity box.

Speaker Silver commented in his address, “Bruce is responsible for much of the development and growth that’s gone on in Brooklyn and in Manhattan. He is a major force in New York City for the good.” Speaker Silver also praised Met Council for its commitment to helping all New Yorkers lift themselves out of poverty through innovative programs and services.

As part of the event, a special grant of $200,000 was made in honor of Speaker Silver by Henry Orenstein, a long-time supporter of Met Council, to benefit Met Council’s crisis intervention services.

The money will support Met Council’s extensive supportive housing projects, which shelter the low-income elderly, formerly homeless and mentally ill throughout New York City. Current projects in development include the Seaview Nurses’ Residence in Staten Island, with 104 units, and Council Towers V in the Bronx with 70-units, both for low-income seniors.

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