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Senator Brad Hoylman’s Community Update

(BRAD HOYLMAN) April 20, 2021


Today, a verdict was delivered in the case of Derek Chauvin, the Minnesota police officer who killed George Floyd. He was guilty on all counts. I hope this verdict brings comfort to George’s family and marks the beginning of real systemic reform of policing in America.

COVID-19 Vaccine Updates

The City’s in-home vaccination program, which had been on a pause along with all J&J administration in New York City, will resume using the Moderna vaccine starting this week. Screening calls for verifying eligibility have resumed, and New Yorkers interested in receiving an in-home vaccination can sign up at nyc.gov/homebound or by calling 877-VAX-4-NYC. The CDC updated its guidance on this issue based on new stability data on the vaccine. The City is taking all necessary precautions to ensure the vaccine remains potent and is transported safely. The city offers walk-up vaccinations for residents 50+. In addition, one individual age 16+  may accompany that 50+ New Yorker and also receive an immediate appointment. Both individuals must show proof of age upon arrival at the vaccination site.

How to Schedule a Vaccine Appointment

There are several ways to schedule an appointment online:

To schedule an appointment by phone:

  • For NYC-run sites, you can call 877-VAX-4NYC (877-829-4692).
  • For NYS-run sites, you can call 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829)

If you are 75 years and older, there are a number of sites you can just walk into without an appointment. You and another person 16+ can both get your vaccines. Walk-up site locations and age eligibility will change, so please keep an eye on the list of sites that is updated weekly on NYC’s Vaccine Command Center website. 

If you live in my district and are still experiencing difficulty scheduling an appointment, please sign up for assistance from my COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment Help Center. https://bit.ly/HoylmanHelpCenter. If we are successful in securing an appointment for you, we will contact you to let you know.  We have helped over 2,100 people receive the vaccine and will not rest until every New Yorker who wants the vaccine has received it. 

COVID-19 Testing

When it comes to COVID-19, there is no such thing as over-testing. Getting tested keeps all of us healthy and helps to identify hot spots and variants before they spread. 

NYC Health + Hospitals offers free testing throughout the five boroughs. A schedule of mobile testing locations throughout the City, as well as detailed information on locations and types of testing offered at regular testing sites (including rapid testing and antibody tests), can be found https://www.nychealthandhospitals.org/covid-19-testing-sites/. ​

New York City’s Comeback: A Four-part Virtual Event Series

In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce presents a four-part virtual event series, “New York City’s Comeback,” which is focused on the best ways to accelerate the city’s economic recovery:

  • Ensuring an Equitable Recovery for our Workforce (April 30)
  • Building Back Record Tourism (May 13)
  • Unleashing Entrepreneurship (May 19)
  • Attracting Back Remote Workers (June 10)

All events will start at 1:00 pm and be moderated by Jessica Walker, the Chamber’s President and CEO.

Learn more here: https://www.nycindicators.com/event-series

Community First Fair: Centering Holistic Care

On April 30th from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. in Times Square, Community First will be hosting a fair full of  to celebrate the work that has been done so far to bring the community together in 2021. On site will be linkages to mental health support, homeless outreach and case management, care and services for eldery people, sexual health and medical services, COVID-19 vaccine support, clothing, bras from I support the girls, fresh sandwiches from Sullivan Street Bakery, water, free haircuts, public naloxone administration training for community members, a gardening class, free public yoga class with Wesley Collier at noon, and more.

Source: https://pubfiles.nysenate.gov/crm/hoylman/view/3cd9372b61348588

Protecting Yourself From Deportation

(TEAM AOC) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, July 17

Two weeks ago, the Trump Administration threatened thousands of people with deportation and massive ICE raids across the country. Now, they’re threatening to do it again.

They were forced to back down the first time. Now, we’re not so sure if that will happen again. That means we need people like you to spread information that can help people threatened by ICE know their rights, and avoid having their families torn apart. 

Will you share this information with your network right now? It could stop these cruel, inhumane, and borderline illegal deportations:

Share on Twitter

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All that it takes for injustice to triumph is for good people to do nothing. Always remember, inaction never benefits the victim, only the oppressor. 

Thanks for taking action, 

Team AOC

The City Newsletter

(THE CITY) June 16, 2019

Our reporting gravitated to a few main themes last week: Rikers, Albany and housing. Here’s where we try to tie some of it together. If you have any questions, do let us know (by replying to this newsletter).

What happened at Rikers?

On June 7, Layleen Polanco, a 27-year-old transgender woman, died in solitary confinement at Rikers Island. She had been locked up for prostitution and the lowest level of drug possession charges stemming from a 2017 arrest. Her bail was $500. She didn’t have it.

Sources said jail officials put Polanco in solitary as punishment for her part in a fight at Rikers. 

Following her death, a demonstration and our reporting, the news spurred strongly worded calls for reform from some lawmakers. “The restrictive housing unit where Laylee Polanco died stays in lockdown for 17 hours out of the day,” state Senator Luis Sepulveda (D-Bronx) wrote on Twitter. “This is torture and it’s time to end this inhumane practice before more lives are lost to solitary confinement.”

While we still don’t know how Polanco died, on Friday we found out that she spent eight days in the hospital just two weeks before her death.

During the course of our reporting, a *second* detainee died while in Department of Correction custody. Jose Rivera, held a little over a month, never got see a lawyer.

What’s happening in Albany?

A lot. But maybe nothing more groundbreaking than the generational changes to rent regulation. 

The law eliminates or downsizes multiple ways landlords long had to increase rents and remove rent-regulated apartments from the system. Now, landlords have just three ways to legally raise rents for the nearly 1 million New York City households covered by the rent laws. There are also additional protections for tenants who aren’t in regulated units. 

We could tell you more about those laws here in this newsletter but it’d get too long and we want you to check out our visual guide. (We explain those new laws using windows.)

But it’s not ALL rent. You may be asking yourself: What about legalizing recreational weed, driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants, scaling back solitary confinement and victims’ rights? Good question. Lawmakers still have some unfinished business.

What about the evergreen issue of housing in New York City?

For those involved in Third Party Transfer, following lawsuits from foreclosed property owners and backlash from elected officials, the city’s housing agency launched a task force to take a fresh look at its TPT program for buildings that owe back taxes

For those living in NYCHA housing, we discovered that some NYCHA workers were using expired dust wipes to test for lead in apartments with children. And now the city Department of Investigation and NYCHA are looking into the matter

For those keeping track of the shelter system, an appeals court this week cleared the way for a homeless shelter to operate on Manhattan’s Billionaires’ Row, yet the 140-bed men’s facility still isn’t able to open. Why? Looks like the state — that for two years has had a hand in an application to certify the shelter to operate — is the last remaining obstacle.

For those concerned about that proposed 50-story building at the Holmes Towers complex in Yorkville, housing officials have scrapped the existing plan. It’s been controversial from the get-go, and it probably didn’t help when the Manhattan borough president sued to challenge the project.

Thanks, as always, for reading. Have a great Sunday!


Of Course Somebody Took Close-Up Pictures of Suspected Bomber’s Van: Here They Are

(COMMON DREAMS) Jake Johnson, October 26, 2018 — After federal authorities on Friday arrested 56-year-old Cesar Sayoc in connection with the explosive devices that were sent to nearly a dozen public officials and critics of President Donald Trump over the past week, a Twitter user posted close-up photos of the suspect’s van, which is covered in photos of Trump, American flags, and bizarre right-wing paraphernalia.

The photos posted on Twitter—which are from an earlier date—show the same covered object on the back of the van that was seen in video footage after the suspect was arrested.

via Of Course Somebody Took Close-Up Pictures of Suspected Bomber’s Van: Here They Are.

He spent 27 years wrongly convicted of murder. He wants to spend the rest encouraging inmates to read – CNN

(CNN) September 14, 2018 — The first book John Bunn fell in love with, curled up in his cell at a maximum-security prison in upstate New York, was Sister Souljah’s novel “The Coldest Winter Ever.”

In the book, a maternal woman advocates for the improvement of her black community in Brooklyn as she watches the people she loves suffer from the consequences of incarceration, violence and a seemingly endless cycle of poverty.

“I related to that book on so many levels,” Bunn says.

Bunn knows more than most what it’s like to face injustice. Arrested and imprisoned as an adolescent in New York City, he spent 17 years in jail for a crime he didn’t commit and a further decade on parole, fighting for his exoneration. In that time, he battled, among others, the courts, police investigators, PTSD and the challenges of illiteracy. He was 16 before he could read and write.

Today Bunn is 41 and a free man at last, mentoring at-risk young people and advocating for the power of reading through his own program that brings books to prisons.

In many ways, his own story sounds straight out of a Sister Souljah book. Except that Bunn, who survived years of wrongful incarceration with his humanity intact, is determined to write the next chapter himself.

Source: https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/08/health/john-bunn-exonerated-literacy-trnd/index.html

Department of Sanitation’s Collection and Snow Operation

(DSNY) January 6, 2017 — New York City Department of Sanitation to Resume Limited Collection on Saturday

The Department of Sanitation will resume limited collection tomorrow evening, starting with Saturday material. Residents should remove any snow and ice from around bags and cans to make the material accessible for Sanitation Workers. There will be delays in collection, and it is permissible for residents to leave properly packaged material at the curb for collection.

Also: Snow Operations Continue

The Department of Sanitation will continue with snow cleaning operations during daylight hours on Saturday. Salt spreaders will be working over the weekend to address icy streets, and plows will be assigned to cleaning operations, working to widen streets. “Quality of life” issues, such as pedestrian areas, cross walks and bus stops will be addressed.

Snow Laborers

Snow Laborers should report for work on Saturday, January 6 at 8:00 a.m. Snow laborers were employed by the Department on Friday, January 5 and helped shovel snow and ice from step streets, crosswalks, fire hydrants and other areas. Those interested in registering to become a snow laborer can find information at nyc.gov/dsny.

Sidewalk Shoveling

Property owners and occupants are reminded that they must clear snow and ice from sidewalks around their properties. They should NOT push snow into the street, or cover crosswalks with snow. They should clear snow from fire hydrants. Snow may be moved to front yards, behind the stoop line, or to a grassy curb strip.

About the New York City Department of Sanitation

The Department of Sanitation (DSNY) keeps New York City healthy, safe and clean by collecting, recycling and disposing of waste, cleaning streets and vacant lots, and clearing snow and ice. The Department operates 59 district garages and manages a fleet of more than 2,000 rear-loading collection trucks, 450 mechanical brooms and 689 salt/sand spreaders. The Department clears litter, snow and ice from approximately 6,500 miles of City streets and removes debris from vacant lots as well as abandoned vehicles from City streets.

Goodbye, Erica Garner

(COMMON DREAMS) Matt Taibbi, January 5, 2017 — On the heels of a California law legalizing recreational marijuana use, which took effect Monday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is planning to rescind the federal policy that has enabled Americans to grow, sell, and use cannabis in places where it has been legalized, without federal intervention, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

“The move will leave it to U.S. attorneys where pot is legal to decide whether to aggressively enforce federal marijuana law,” the AP noted, a move that will likely “add to confusion about whether it’s OK to grow, buy, or use marijuana in states where it’s legal, since long-standing federal law prohibits it.” The report cited anonymous sources with knowledge of the decision.

“RED ALERT!” the Drug Policy Alliance tweeted in response to the report. “This is not a drill. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is going after legalized marijuana.”

In California—which was the first state to legalize medical marijuana—state officials have, according to the Los Angeles Times, “issued dozens of permits for retailers to begin recreational sales this week, expanding a market that is expected to grow to $7 billion annually by 2020.”

via Goodbye, Erica Garner | By Matt Taibbi | Common Dreams.

Massive fire that killed 12 started by child playing with stove, causing ‘unprecedented’ loss

(ABC NEWS) Julia Jacobo, Morgan Winsor, Dec 29, 2017 — A massive apartment fire that killed at least 12 people — including a 1-year-old girl found with her mother in a bathtub — was sparked by a small child playing with a stove, city officials said.

Add New York as an interest to stay up to date on the latest New York news, video, and analysis from ABC News.

When the family fled the first-floor apartment unit, they left the door open, allowing the flames to spread into the stairwell and shoot up the staircase of the five-story residential building.

“It took the fire so quickly upstairs, people had little time to react,” New York City Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said at a press conference Friday morning. “Open stairs act as chimneys.”

The burned-out halls of the building are seen in video released by New York fire officials on Friday. Soot and ash cover the hallway and stairwell from floor to ceiling.

Source: abcnews.go.com/US/12-dead-including-children-massive-apartment-fire-york/story?id=52035689

Five Argentines among 8 dead in New York City terror attack

(WASHINGTON POST) Renae Merle, Devlin Barrett, Wesley Lowery, Rachel Siegel and Samantha Schmidt, November 2, 2017 — Follow Wednesday’s updates here: New York truck attacker who killed 8 was a lone wolf who ‘radicalized domestically,’ governor says

NEW YORK — A 29-year-old man driving a rental truck plowed down people on a Manhattan bike path Tuesday in what authorities described as a terrorist attack that killed eight and injured 11 before the suspect was shot and arrested by police.

A sunny fall day along the Hudson River erupted in chaos just around the time students were getting out from nearby Stuyvesant High School, when a rented Home Depot truck turned on to the bike path along the West Side Highway.

Witnesses say the speeding truck struck unsuspecting bicyclists and pedestrians while onlookers screamed and scattered. The truck then veered left toward Chambers Street, where it collided with a small school bus, injuring two adults and two children inside, officials said.

Foreign ministries of Belgium and Argentina said five Argentines and a Belgian were among the victims. The Argentine nationals were part of a group of friends celebrating the 30th anniversary of their high school graduation, the Argentine Foreign Ministry said in a statement Tuesday.

Source: Five Argentines among 8 dead in New York City terror attack – The Washington Post

8 Dead in Terrorist Truck Driver’s Bike Path Rampage, Officials Say

(DNAINFO) October 30, 2017 — Eight people were killed and nearly a dozen injured when a terrorist driving a rental truck struck multiple people in a bike path on West Street Tuesday afternoon, officials said.

The unidentified 29-year-old drove the pickup truck rented from Home Depot onto the bike path at West Houston Street about 3:05 p.m. and started heading south, mowing down multiple people along the way, the NYPD said.

The driver then struck a school bus at Chambers Street, injuring two adults and two children on board, before exiting the truck with a paintball and pellet gun in hand, police said.

Responding officers shot the suspect in the stomach before taking him into custody, authorities said. He is expected to survive, police officials said.

Eight people were killed and 11 others seriously wounded in the rampage, police said. Six of the victims, all of them men, were pronounced dead at the scene.

Source: 8 Dead in Terrorist Truck Driver’s Bike Path Rampage, Officials Say – TriBeCa – New York – DNAinfo