On Tuesday next week, the Harlem Neighborhood Block Association will host our final pre-election meeting at 7:00 PM. (we will be taking a break during July and August, returning in September with a – planned – hybrid meeting on Tuesday, September 14th)
We hope you’ll be able to join us on Tuesday at 7:00 PM to hear more from (and ask questions of) a number of candidates for office:
A long-overdue article in The City highlights the mental deterioration of Bill Perkins. For years now residents and political insiders have known that Perkins is a shell of his former self. The magazine City & State noted that Perkins was New York City’s least responsive and least active of all 51 Council members. The incompetence of Perkins office was well known, but many refused to speak publicly regarding how his staff worked to continue the illusion that Perkins was able to work and serve.
The tragedy for Harlem is we’ve essentially not had representation at City Council for 4 years now. Bill Perkins has, according to the article, been shuffled by his staff from Zoom to Zoom, not really knowing what’s going on.
Keith Lilly, Bill Perkins’ long time aide, seems intent to prop Perkins up, despite the damage an apparently mentally disoriented Council Member has done these last 4 years, and the future damage he might do if elected.
HNBA members who discussed this article and Keith Lilly’s role, have speculated that “he just wants to keep his job” and “it has nothing to do with what’s right for Harlem, it’s what keeps Keith on the payroll.”
Mark your calendars. On Tuesday, March 9th we’ll have 3 amazing presentations.
7:00 PM – We will have a Q+A with Kristin R. Jordan, who is a candidate for Council District 9 – [email protected]. In addition to giving us a sense of who she is and what her key platforms are, Kristin will address the burden that our part of the district bears with 2 sanitation garages, the M35 Bus, numerous homeless shelters, and the Lee Building’s infamous role as a regional methadone megacenter.
7:30 PM – Nicole from – rankthevotenyc – will help us all understand Ranked-Choice Voting that will affect us all in the voting booth this June and later in November, and beyond. If you have questions about ranked-choice voting, and how you can use this new form of voting to strategically vote for more than one candidate, Nicole will answer all.
8:00 PM – Ray McGuire, will join us to introduce himself, and to present his plans for New York City’s post-COVID recovery. Ray was the first in his family to graduate from college and after Harvard University and a law degree, he worked on Wall Street for many years. Ray will introduce himself, his platform, and talk about his impressions of, and plans for East Harlem and New York City as a whole (he has spent significant time in our community, listening to business owners and neighbors at Ginjan Cafe, and knows many of our issues well.). Come out to learn more about RayForMayor.
Made in Harlem
Join the Maysles Cinema for free screenings of seminal documentaries on Harlem.
The Borough President would like to prioritize Harlem residents in the queue for vaccines, and this is asking you (if you qualify) to preregister using the link, above.
Token of Hope Inc. New York is working hard to connect the Harlem community to much needed resources and help. In partnership with the Manhattan Borough President Office, Token of Hope Inc. is collecting names of residents in the Harlem community in need of the vaccine. This information will be provided directly to the Manhattan Borough President’s staff for expedition and attention. Please complete this survey as soon as possible to ensure that you receive service as the vaccine is available.
New Yorkers now pay about 34% of their income in rent. This ratio has been going up in fits and starts (but mostly up, up, up) since 1965. We’ll see how this pandemic and the economic fallout impacts these numbers:
In 1979, Eugene Giscombe paid $40,000 for the 12-story office building at 1825 Park Avenue known as ‘The Lee Building’ (neighbors now think of this building as the Mount Sinai – hiding under the name Beth Israel -methadone hub of East Harlem).
He was quoted (when selling it recently for $48 million) that, next to marrying his wife, buying the historic Lee Building in Harlem was the best decision he ever made.
When Giscombe first purchased the building, it was only 20 percent occupied. Savanna, the current owner, is asking around $75 million for the early 1900s-era building, or about $555 per square foot.
Tenants include Beth Israel Medical Center (Mount Sinai methadone) and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates the Metro North Railroad and New York City subway lines that run through the nearby 125th Street station.
Tenants recently signed about 16,000 square feet of leases in the building, including an extension and expansion by Beth Israel and a new lease with Northwestern Mutual.
State Senator Brian Benjamin: More Revelations Regarding Potentially Illegal Campaign Contributions
The City has more this morning about very questionable donations to State Senator Brian Benjamin. Observers are wondering how the Senator can run for an office whose primary mission is fiscal oversight when his own campaign missed contributions that clearly were made to make it appear as if more people were donating to his campaign. Instead of having Terry English donate $350, for example, Terry English donated $100, and English Terry topped that up with a ‘separate’ $250…
The three donors contacted by THE CITY who denied ever contributing to or even knowing of Benjamin were employed by a security firm called Prime Protective Bureau or PPB.
Also among the Murphy-directed $250 donations Benjamin’s campaign now pledges to return came from a PPB manager named Rashaun Dudley, who acknowledges making a contribution. His employer is listed as “student” in the records the Benjamin 2021 campaign submitted to the CFB.
PPB’s founder and CEO, Terry English, made a $100 money order contribution to Benjamin in July 2020, as did his wife, Sharon Doldron. A third, $250 money order donation to Benjamin is on record in the name of “English Terry,” dated Nov. 8, 2019 — coinciding with the start of the donations pooled by Murphy.
None of those three donations are among the 23 the campaign says it will be relinquishing to the Campaign Finance Board.
The Wall Street Journal has some sad new that the Alhambra Ballroom on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. and 126th street is facing bankruptcy because of the lack of weddings, parties and other events that typically book the Alhambra.
The ballroom was renovated in 2003 and recently got a supermarket, below. This space has featured stars like Billie Holiday. And, while he didn’t go in the Alhambra, Fidel Castro held many press conferences in front of the Theresa Hotel, with the marquee of the Alhambra not far behind.
New York City is the center of the largest metropolitan region in the United States, encompassing 22.6 million people living in 9.1 million homes across three states, 31 counties, and nearly 900 hamlets, villages, towns, and cities. The combined economic activity of the metropolitan region, which covers the Hudson Valley and Long Island in New York, southwest Connecticut, and northern New Jersey, accounted for approximately 10% of United States Gross Domestic Product and generated $1.9 trillion in 2017, which would make this region the 10th largest economy in the world.
We’ll all readily admit that it won’t be the same, but we’re going to try anyway. Now that the turkey leftovers are gone, let’s usher in the holiday season with a Zoom HNBA Party on Tuesday, December 8th at 7:00 PM.
Subscribe to this blog: https://hnba.nyc/subscribe-to-the-hnba-blog/ to get the Zoom link (we’ll have it for you in the next week or so), and we’ll toast the end of 2020 and (hopefully) light at the end of the tunnel in 2021.
We’ll all readily admit that it won’t be the same, but we’re going to try anyway. Now that Thanksgiving’s over, let’s usher in the holiday season with a Zoom HNBA Party on Tuesday, December 8th at 7:00 PM.
Subscribe to this blog: https://hnba.nyc/subscribe-to-the-hnba-blog/ to get the Zoom link (we’ll have it for you in the next week or so), and we’ll toast to the end of 2020 and (hopefully) light at the end of the tunnel in 2021.