Vigil, Tomorrow at 10

For tomorrow’s vigil for Yao Pan Ma, please find the updated list of officials in attendance in the poster: Alvin Bragg, Tish James, Jose Serrano, Robert Rodriguez, Gale Brewer, and Mark Levine.  From the Asian communities, we will have officials Grace Meng, John Liu,  Ron Kim, and Yuh-Line Niou. We will speak to them about the need for equitable distribution of social services and the need for more resources to come help uplift our young people.  

A representative of Yao Pan Ma will deliver a statement. Importantly, quite a few Asian seniors will attend and we hope residents of all races can come out to show their support. The seniors are terribly shaken by recent incidents. 

Note also that a good number of media will be present, including New York Times, ABC, NBC, PIX.

If you can’t join, please help spread the word: 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/umasianalliance/status/1484315082024624130?s=20

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/CY-IJxLsirh/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UpperManhattanAsianAmericanAlliance/photos/a.104250952160463/109227031662855/

Harlem Neighborhood Block Association Meeting Tomorrow (Thursday) at 7:00 PM

The January HNBA meeting will be virtual, and you are invited. 

We’ll gather tomorrow: Thursday, January 20th at 7:00 PM to hear from, and ask questions of, NY State Senator Cordell Cleare.  If there is something you want Albany to do for you, or Harlem, here’s your chance to speak directly to our state senator.

In addition, we’ll have a brief presentation from the West Harlem Art Fund on Florence Mills, and the Art Fund’s effort to name the plaza in Historic St. Nicholas Park after her.

Make sure to invite a neighbor.

Click COMMENT (below) to request the Zoom link.

The House of God Church

Keith Dominion

Free At Home COVID Tests

The Postal Service is delivering one shipment of 4 COVID tests per residential address. Enter your name, address and email at www.usps.com/covidtest

Vigil on Friday

On Jan 21st (Fri) at 10 am, you are invited to a vigil in memory of Mr. Yao Pan Ma. Join us to grieve with the Ma family and wish that justice will be served. We will lay down white flowers and light white candles at the location of the attack. 

Come join Harlem’s residents our officials to recommit to unity. We will call for better safety in the area where Mr. Ma was attacked and more social services for our vulnerable people, including our seniors and our homeless population. May something good come out of this tragic event.

PLEASE HELP spread the word about the event to the media and residents. Your support would be a great solace for the grieving family and to our large Asian senior population in Harlem.

You can also help repost and retweet on social media here: TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.

For more information, write to Upper Manhattan Asian American Alliance at [email protected] or call 415 215 2035. Anyone interested in supporting the Asian residents in Harlem can sign up to volunteer or donate on our website here.

Block Association Meeting on Thursday, 7pm

The January HNBA meeting will be virtual, and you are invited. 

We’ll gather on Thursday, January 20th at 7:00 PM to hear from, and ask questions of, NY State Senator Cordell Cleare.  If there is something you want Albany to do for you, or Harlem, here’s your chance to speak directly to our state senator.

In addition, we’ll have a brief presentation from the West Harlem Art Fund on Florence Mills, and the Art Fund’s effort to name the plaza in Historic St. Nicholas Park after her.

Make sure to invite a neighbor.

Click COMMENT (below) to request the Zoom link.

Serpico

A number of scenes from the blockbuster film of the 70’s, Serpico, were filmed in East Harlem.

and

This site details them all and shows how the area around Pleasant Avenue, Rao’s, and Jefferson Park was crucial for a number of scenes.

Join Your Community Board

The Manhattan Community Board Application Deadline is March 1.

Each board has up to 50 members, all volunteers. Board members serve via staggered two-year terms, which means half must be reappointed or replaced every year.

All of those people are appointed by their own borough president. City Council members can recommend new applicants, but the final call rests with the BP.

You can apply to join Manhattan’s boards and get chosen without special access or expertise, you just need to care about the issues that are relevant and important to the community. There are no prerequisites to join a board, except that you must live or work in the district where you’d like to serve. Any city resident 16 or older can join. Community Boards are particularly lacking New Yorkers without cars on boards.

Here is what The City recommends:

  • Attend a board meeting, or several, before you apply. It’ll give you a sense of how — and how well — your local board is run, and votes are cast. Many of the board applications ask whether you’ve attended meetings, so be prepared. Bonus points if you attend a committee hearing!
  • A board application is a bit like applying for a job. You may be asked for a resume or references. Bear in mind, applications are subject to the Freedom of Information Law, meaning they could be made public down the line.
  • Usually, new members “have an issue that’s hard in their minds that they want to deal with,” said Winfield — parks funding, or homelessness. But whatever it is, he tells new members: “Don’t lose it. Once you get on the board, keep that issue and join the right committee.”
  • Don’t count yourself out. Boards don’t necessarily need experts, people of a certain professional class, or veteran movers and shakers. Washington said a community gardener with 20 hours a month to dedicate to the housing committee is worth way more than “the best accountant in the world” with only “two minutes a month.”
  • That said, if you’re accepted, get ready to dedicate a good chunk of time to it, Washington said. He estimates it may take up between 10 to 15 hours every month between meetings and brushing up on the issues on the agenda. For super-members like Winfield, it’s even more. “It’s a lot of reading and it’s a lot of investigating,” Winfield said.
  • Get ready for some… spirited debates! Much of board life is a bit mundane, or procedural, but when there’s a divisive issue on the agenda, it can get heated. Keep your cool — and bring snacks and water for occasional long meetings.

Many people looking to work in government or run for office in New York get their experience at a community board first. The proof is in the pudding: current Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin, and former Speaker Corey Johnson all served as chairs of boards, in southeast Queens, Harlem and Chelsea, respectively.

“You learn a lot about the city government structure,” said Winfield. “It’s a learning place.”

https://www.cb11m.org/

The Manhattan Community Board Application Deadline is March 1.

From Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg:

Day 1 Memo – FACT SHEET

Over-incarceration has not made Manhattan safer. Years of data and research have proven that incarcerating those charged with nonviolent and minor offenses leads to recidivism, and makes us less safe. Proven strategies to address the root causes of this behavior, such as mental health and drug and alcohol addiction, make us safer.

And with jail now costing a half million dollars per year just to house one person, reserving this tool only for those who commit truly violent acts allows our city to use those millions of dollars to prevent gun violence and focus on truly violent crime. Tellingly, for years, Manhattan has over-incarcerated relative to every other borough in NYC, and has higher crime rate (see charts).

Through his personal life growing up in Harlem and his professional life as a civil rights lawyer and prosecutor, DA Bragg has seen every side of the criminal justice system. He’s released his policies and guidelines for his office to deliver safety and fairness for all.

Here are key points:

Continuing to prosecute dangerous crimes – Safety is paramount. New Yorkers deserve to be safe from crime and safe from the dangers posed by mass incarceration. DA Bragg will be tough when he needs to be, but will not be seeking to destroy lives through unnecessary incarceration.

Not prosecuting minor offenses that have no impact on public safety – This will not only make us safer by not further destabilizing lives, it will also free up prosecutorial resources to focus on violent crime.

Increasing the use of diversion and evidenced-based programs in lieu of incarceration – Well-designed initiatives that support and stabilize people – particularly individuals in crisis and youth – can conserve resources, reduce re-offending, and diminish the collateral harms of criminal prosecution.

Reduce Pretrial Detention – Particularly given the ongoing crisis at Rikers, and drastic rise in deaths in custody, we must reserve pretrial detention for very serious cases. The data show that the overwhelming majority of those released pretrial do not commit a violent crime while at liberty. The data also shows that incarceration in and of itself causes recidivism, so unnecessary incarceration makes us less safe.

Limit Youth in Adult Court – Research tells us that prosecuting children in adult court can lead to recidivism, making us less safe. This should be reserved for only the most serious cases.

Limit sentence length – Research is clear that, after a certain length, longer sentences do not deter crime or result in greater community safety.

Actively support those reentering – Supporting those returning from incarceration reduces recidivism and makes our communities safer. Over half of people returning to the city from state prison end up in homeless shelters. Finding better supports for them will make us safer.

Invest in communities impacted by gun violence – Communities impacted by gun violence need additional funding for community-based programs to strengthen community bonds and to support vulnerable individuals.

Day 1 Memo – FAQ

1.         Why did he make these changes?

Alvin Bragg was elected to deliver safety and justice for all. From growing up in Harlem and working as a prosecutor, he’s seen every side of the criminal justice system and one thing is clear – what we are doing now is NOT working. He released a plan to fix it. New Yorkers deserve to be safe from crime and safe from the dangers posed by mass incarceration. He will be tough when we need to be, but we will not be seeking to destroy lives through unnecessary incarceration.

2.         What does the Day 1 Memo say about resisting arrests?

Answer: First, assaulting an officer is a felony crime that the DA will prosecute (and has prosecuted previously in his career). Our policy change states that people cannot be charged with resisting arrest as a standalone crime, or when resisting arrest for a non-criminal offense such as “disorderly conduct.” This means that if someone is charged with a genuine crime and resists arrest, they can be prosecuted.

3.         What does the Day 1 Memo say about robberies?

Answer: Robberies are a serious offense and will continue to be prosecuted (and have been prosecuted by DA Bragg previously in his career). The memo instructs ADAs to make a common-sense difference between two very different types of cases: a person holding a knife to someone’s neck, and someone

who, usually struggling with substance use or mental health issues, shoplifts and makes a minimal threat to a store employee while leaving. We will not treat these cases equally. We will continue to charge those who pose a genuine risk of harm with violent felony offenses, but will not over-charge those who pose no genuine risk with the same violent felony offense.

4.         Over the last couple of years, there appears to be more mentally ill people on the streets. How will your Office help?

Answer: We will address the root causes of this, working hand in hand with the Mayor’s Office and other agencies to invest in services, including supportive housing, to ensure seriously mentally ill people receive the services they need and to ultimately reduce crime in our communities. When those charged with crimes present mental health issues, we will find appropriate programs to address those issues, and not send them to jail where we know they will not get the help they need.

5.         What charges will no longer be prosecuted?

Answer: All felonies will continue to be prosecuted, but we will not prosecute certain low-level misdemeanors that will not impact public safety, unless they are part of a larger felony case. These include: marijuana, fare evasion, some trespass cases, driving with 1 or 2 license suspensions, non- criminal offenses such as traffic infractions, resisting arrest for any non-criminal offense, prostitution, and obstructing governmental administration.

6.         How will we address repeat shoplifting?

Answer: We will establish a taskforce to work with mom-and-pop business owners, cure violence providers, community leaders, advocates and law enforcement to develop community-solutions and support services to this serious issue.

Vote on Tuesday

If you live in the 68th Assembly District (Robert Rodriguez’s old district)

Voting in the 68th Assembly District (the yellow area in the map, below)

which is mostly East Harlem has a special election day set for Tuesday, Jan. 18.

Patch.com’s Nick Garber has profiles on the two main candidates:

There are two candidates: Democrat Edward Gibbs and Republican Daby Benjaminé Carreras. Click on each candidate’s name to see their profiles, based on questionnaires that Patch sent to both men.

Your Voice

New York State and New York City politicians can’t read your mind. If you want change in the community, then here’s your chance to speak to Albany or speak to City Hall.

Please reach out to: GreaterHarlem.nyc/Volunteer to learn more and connect with other neighbors who want #FairShare4Harlem

Harlem Academy’s New Building

Harlem Academy has a new main campus at 655 St. Nicholas – just below 145th Street.

The brick building is 5 stories tall, and replaces 3 previous locations into one consolidated whole. ’s permanent new home is now complete and officially open at 655 St. Nicholas Avenue in Manhattan’s Hamilton Heights neighborhood. The five-story building unifies the school’s operations and classroom facilities, which were previously scattered across three rented, non-contiguous storefronts.

Harlem Academy was originally founded in 2004 and serves students in grades one through eight. As of last year, the school’s population was capped at 125 students.

The new building will allow the academy to double its enrollment of students from Harlem.

Saved from The Ku Klux Klan

The New York photographer, Percy Loomis Sperr, was interested in everyday people and how their lives were lived in the 1920s to the 1940s. Sperr sought to document and preserve the city as fully as possible.

Born on December 27, 1899, Sperr attended Oberlin College, and by the 1920s was venturing into East Harlem to document the culture he encountered there. He was, in particular, attracted to the immigrant culture of Halrm, describing with sympathy the feast day of St. Anthony of Padua in Manhattan.

The photo (above) focuses on a large ex-voto, constructed in East Harlem to thank Saint Anthony of Padua (in 1932) for saving an Italian-American man from death at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan.

The photo is at the corner of 1st Avenue and 106th Street, a dense Italian immigrant community during the depression.

Sleighs in 19th Century Harlem

25th Precinct’s Community Council January Meeting

2022 has come in like whirlwind.  We have a lot to cover.  Many of you have reached out about a number of things and I would like to do some due diligence in covering the topics. 
Please send your questions and/or concerns to me in a separate email so that I can invite appropriate people/personnel to join the meeting to respond to your inquiries.
This month’s meeting will be totally remote.  If there is anyone that needs accommodations to meet a different way please let me know and I will do my best at helping you out.  If it means that I have to set up in the Precinct we will follow all necessary precautions outlined by NYDOH.

25th Precinct Community Council Meeting

Wednesday, Jan 19, 2022 06:00 PM Eastern Time 
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/5184698981

Meeting ID: 518 469 8981
One tap mobile
+19292056099,,5184698981# US (New York)

Hope to see everyone next week.

Have an amazing day! 
Peace and love

Kioka Jackson

Single Seniors

How Calculated: Percent of people aged 65 and older living alone

Source: American Community Survey

A Rare Off-Grid Manhattan Street

Sylvan Court, which has seven properties, rarely sees properties record for sale.

A 1,600-square-foot townhouse in East Harlem returned for sale asking $1.69 million.

Its address is 2 Sylvan Court — a blind alley with just seven homes that’s located off East 121st Street between Lexington and Third avenues. Sales there are far from common, with just one deal recorded since 2017 — that one being for this home, which traded hands for $1.32 million late that year. Before that, the most recent home on Sylvan Court, at No. 4, sold in 2011. 

Vaccine Pop-up On Friday

Feliz Día de Reyes! (3 Kings Day)

Camels on 3rd Avenue

2nd Avenue Subway Enters a New Phase

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced that the Second Avenue Subway expansion project that would extend the Second Avenue line to 125th Street in East Harlem has moved to the engineering phase of the project timeline.

Governor Kathy Hochul and the MTA announced that the 2nd Avenue Subway expansion project will now enter the engineering phase.

This is all due to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed by President Biden in November that has provided $23 billion in new grant opportunities for transit expansion, a historic level of funding that is now being used in Phase 2 of the Second Avenue Subway (SAS2).

Phase 2 will include the construction of three new subway stations at 106th Street, 116th Street, and 125th Street in East Harlem. The governor noted that she’d spoken to “Secretary Buttigieg who shared the exciting news that the U.S. Department of Transportation is making a huge step forward on Phase 2 of the Second Avenue Subway expansion, which will unlock incredible potential for the people of East Harlem in expanding transit equity and economic opportunity.”  She also noted that she has made a clear commitment to the people of East Harlem that she would keep this project moving swiftly.

Approximately 70% of East Harlem residents use public transportation to get to work, much higher than the citywide average of 55%. The expansion of the Second Avenue Subway would help advance the Biden administration’s and New York State’s goal for transportation equity and would improve the local community’s access to jobs, health care, and other services, while reducing congestion, both on the streets and on the Lexington Avenue subway line and improving air quality.

MTA Acting Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said, “The East Harlem community has been waiting for the Second Avenue Subway for decades. The new line extension will build on the success of Phase 1 and bring the total Second Avenue Subway ridership to 300,000, which is equivalent to the entire Philadelphia rail system. A big thank you to the FTA for moving the project to the next stage. My team is ready to go.”

Phase 1 of the project extended the Q line from 63rd Street to 96th Street and was New York City’s biggest expansion of the subway system in 50 years. Service opened on January 1, 2017, with additional stations at 72nd Street and 86th Street. Since its completion, the Second Avenue Subway has carried more than 130 million passengers and carried more than 200,000 passengers on a pre-pandemic day.   

Fast facts to know

  • This phase of the project will extend train service from 96th Street north to 125th Street, approximately 1.5 miles; 
  • There will be new stations at 106th Street and 116th Street on Second Avenue and 125th Street at Park Avenue; 
  • Phase 2 will provide direct passenger connections to the Lexington Avenue (4/5/6) subway line at 125th Street and an entrance at Park Avenue to allow convenient transfers to the Metro-North Railroad 125 Street Station; 
  • Each station will have above-ground ancillary buildings that house ventilation mechanical and electrical equipment. These will include space for possible ground-floor retail; 
  • Expansion will serve an additional 100,000 daily riders; 
  • Will provide three new ADA-accessible stations – raising the bar for customer comfort and convenience; and 
  • Increased multimodal transit connectivity at the 125th Street station – with connections to the 4/5/6, Metro-North trains and the M60 Select Bus Service to LaGuardia Airport, allowing convenient transfers to other subway and commuter rail lines, facilitating smoother, faster transportation across the city and region.

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer said, “The Second Avenue Subway Phase II project advancing into project engineering is great news for the people of East Harlem and all of New York City. Long envisioned – but unfortunately too long delayed – the project is now full-speed ahead. I was pleased to secure the historic $23 billion in grant funding for mass transit capital projects in the bipartisan Infrastructure & Jobs law, and will fight to ensure this critical project gets its fair share.”