June News + Covid-19 Update #12: Curfew, Floyd, Get Tested, Billions in Waste, Town Halls for Tenants & Parents, Meet the Speaker, Vote in June
It’s been a rough year and we aren’t even halfway through.
We’ve stayed home and succeeded in flattening the curve but still saw an incalculable loss of over 100,000 lives nationwide so far. As of June 2, New York City saw 21,649 confirmed and probable deaths from coronavirus. Last week, we finally dipped below all the milestones the city and state are tracking to re-open, with a plan for Phase 1 starting on June 8th. Please remember that as people continue to test positive for coronavirus, that you must still practice social distancing and wear a face covering to protect yourself and others.
The city has instituted curfews in the wake of the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, all too reminiscent of Eric Garner pleading “I can’t breathe.” We are a nation and city in pain seeking a just world where black men will no longer die at the hands of our police. At the same time, Mayor de Blasio has proposed a budget that invests in policing our children instead of caring for them. Instead we can defund the NYPD by the billion dollars of growth its budget saw since I’ve been in the Council and invest that money in education and programs known to reduce crime such as afterschool, summer camp, and youth jobs. We also need to hold bad cops accountable for driving SUVs into protestors and work with the police to protect residents and protestors from those who would seek to use this time of pain to engage in violence and looting. We don’t need a “law and order president;" we need a president for all Americans who will join us in saying black lives matter. We also need to repeal 50-a, a law that allows the police to withhold vital information, including body camera footage from the public.
We have a lot of work to do to heal and recover from seeing too much death for any lifetime.
It is more important than ever to protect our essential workers and those who will be returning to work with “Just Cause” legislation I authored, which was recently endorsed by Senator Elizabeth Warren, to protect workers who ask for safe working conditions.
Last month, we distributed free face coverings throughout the district from Roosevelt Island to East Harlem and have now partnered with local neighborhood associations to continue free distributions. You can also pick up free facemasks along with grab and go meals at public schools throughout the district including Roosevelt Island. We tried to support small businesses with a town hall we held with the new Small Business Commissioner and Congress Member Carolyn Maloney and a letter co-authored with Borough President Gale Brewer and fellow East Side Council Member Keith Powers asking the city to reduce crowding outside bars and restaurants by converting parking and closing streets for safe socially distanced outdoor seating. Finally we joined Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams to raise awareness around Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome.
The Council is deep in budget negotiations and I’ve been questioning each and every penny, finding billions in waste. From a quarter billion for iPads purchased at almost twice the market rate to another quarter-billion-dollar hotel contract with $100 per day for overhead and meals including an $18 breakfast, I am looking for savings anywhere I can. This month we will be holding a hearing on Tuesday, June 23rd at noon to hear from non-profits who have been providing services to youth and seniors on behalf of the city throughout the pandemic.
Sorry for the longer than usual letter. It’s been a long a month. They’ve all been long months during the pandemic. We are here for you and doing the best we can. If there is anything you need, don’t hesitate to reach out.
You are all heroes, whether you are working an essential job, letting us know how we can help, partnering to distribute masks, peacefully protesting, or just staying home. Stay safe, stay healthy, and we will get through this together.
Most events are held online. Click for details.
Tenants' Rights Town Hall
Thursday, 6/4, 6pm
Tuesday, 6/16, 8pm
Community Conversation with Speaker Corey Johnson
Thursday, 6/18, 6pm
New York Congressional and State Primary
New York Classical Theatre: King Lear
Thursday, 6/25, 8pm
FREE FACE COVERING DISTRIBUTIONS
Distributions run by partners. Check details before attending.
86th St. Neighborhood Assoc.
Wednesday, 6/3, 11:30am
East 79th St. Neighborhood Assoc. & CERT Division 3
Thursday, 6/4, 5pm
Carter Burden Network Leonard Covello Senior Center
Friday, 6/5, 11:30am–1pm
East 72nd St. Neighborhood Assoc.
Saturday, 6/6, 11am–12pm
Carnegie Hill Neighbors
Wednesday, 6/10, 3pm
Friday, 6/5, 8am – 10am
Drag Queen Story Hour
Saturday, June 20, 10am
TABLE OF CONTENTS
(If you experience trouble with the links below, read in your browser)
- Citywide Curfew Now in Effect
- George Floyd, Defund the NYPD, Free Speech, Donald Trump, Police Misconduct, and Reform
- Vote in June by Absentee, Early, or in Person
- Identifying Millions in City Savings on Covid-19 Hotel Room Contract
- Questioning City’s Spending at Budget Hearing
- Tenants Know Your Rights Town Hall (Virtual)
- Virtual First Friday (Past and Next)
- Parenting During the Pandemic
- Community Conversation Town Hall
- Face Mask Distribution Through Community Partners
- Drag Queen Story Hour
- NY Classical Theater
JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESSES
- Helping Our Local Business by Providing Places to Socially Distance on Streets
- Support for Small Businesses from Commissioner Jonnel Doris and Congress Member Maloney
EDUCATION & VIRTUAL LEARNING
- Questioning Chancellor Carranza on Reopening Schools, Billions Spent on iPads and More
- Rallying to Educate Parents on Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome with BP Adams
- Rallying to Save the City’s Summer Youth Education Program
- PUMP Initiative Launches Free Virtual Learning Program (Virtual Learning)
- Literacy Inc. Offering Online Programming for Early Literacy (Virtual Learning)
- Getting Streets Open for Safe Outdoor Social Distancing
- Talking Post Covid-19 Recovery with NYers for Safer Streets
- New York Road Runners launch NYRR Striders at Home (Virtual Learning)
FOOD & ENVIRONMENT
- Improving Nutritional Standards of the Food We Give Our Most Vulnerable
- Save our Compost Digital Town Hall
- Calling for Crisis Preparedness at the Waterfront Alliance Virtual Symposium
- Discussing the Future of Food Policy at the 2020 Food Systems Summit
- Food for Stanley Isaacs Neighborhood Center Seniors
- LiveOn NY Virtual Rally for 25th Aging Advocacy Day
- Ben in Your Building
- Five New Community Board Appointments
- Chinese-American Planning Council Annual Advocacy Day
- New York Junior League Town Hall
- Virtual Tank Gala
RESOURCES & ONLINE SERVICES
- The Shed Launches New Digital Commissioning Program “Up Close” (Arts Resource)
- NAMI-NYC Constituent Mental Health Services (Health Service)
- Yorkville Little Library Community
- Moving For Life Dance Exercise Classes Online (Arts Resource)
- The Samaritans’ Mental Health Wellness Support Line (Health Service)
- Lottery Opens Mixed-income Luxury Apartments on Roosevelt Island (Online Housing Resource)
- New York Legal Assistance Group Launches NY Covid-19 Legal Resource Hotline (Legal Resource)