Racism has determined where people live since colonial times

Racism has always played a role in residential patterns in New York City. When New York City was a Dutch colony, it was just the southern tip of Manhattan. Wall Street got its name from the city’s protective wall.

In 1661, when Black people petitioned the colony for land in the area, they were given land north of the wall, outside of the city proper.

Throughout history, many different practices have shaped racial and residential patterns in New York City. In the 20th century, a practice called redlining made racism a federal policy – with long-lasting repercussions for our housing and our health.

Federal policy drove residential segregation.

In the 1930s, the federal government developed color-coded maps to guide loans to potential home buyers in cities across the U.S.

On these color-coded maps, neighborhoods were divided into 4 categories:

  •  Best
  •  Still desirable
  •  Definitely declining
  •  Hazardous

This classification was clearly rooted in racism, since neighborhood descriptions included statements like:

“Detrimental influences: Infiltration of Negroes. Mixed races.”

The government denied loans to Black and Latino people trying to buy homes in redlined neighborhoods. Instead, these resources went to new White-only suburban communities.

The map below shows how New York City’s neighborhoods were categorized.

This was redlining.

This process became known as “redlining:” systematically denying public and private resources based on where people live, targeting people of color.

Redlining helped drive urban segregation in the 20th century, as new neighborhoods were built for white people while people of color were forced into neighborhoods declared to be “declining.”

Since home ownership is an important way to accrue wealth, redlining drove economic inequality, too – by denying people of color the same opportunities for home ownership that white people had.

East Harlem’s Union Settlement Sues NYC’s Department Of Education

From: Harlem World Magazine

Union Settlement, one of the largest nonprofit early childhood education providers in New York City.

Announced today that it is suing the New York City Department of Education (DOE) to reverse a flawed contract award process that is having a severe adverse impact on young children in East Harlem, as well as their parents and the small businesses that provide early childhood services.

In 2019, DOE issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to identify organizations to provide early childhood education services throughout New York City.

This included proposals for organizations to operate Family Child Care Networks (FCCNs), which are networks of individuals and small businesses providing child care services in their homes.

Union Settlement has overseen an FCCN for decades, and offered to continue operating that program, overseeing a network of providers serving children ages six weeks old to four years old, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every weekday, 12 months per year (referred to as “extended day/year” services).

Contrary to the terms of the RFP, DOE instead awarded Union Settlement a contract to serve only 3-year-olds, only until 2:30 p.m. each day, and only during the school year (referred to as “school day/year” services).

This violation of the RFP process harms children, families and providers in six different ways:

  • Children make deep connections with caregivers, and are harmed by continuing changes in caregivers.  Allowing FCCN providers to serve children ages from 6 weeks old to 4 years old creates a multi-year period for the child to be with the same early childhood educator, rather than having one individual up to age 3, another at age 3, and another at age 4.
  • Working parents – particularly single parents – need full-day care for their children and need care 12 months per year.  The “school day/year” model does not work for these parents because they have to make alternative arrangements for their children in the afterschool hours, as well as in July, August and during school holidays.
  • School day/year services are also harmful to children, who as noted above benefit greatly by making strong connections with their caregivers, rather than having to transition to someone new every afternoon and during the summer months.
  • The FCCN providers are small businesses offering early childhood education services in their homes. To be financially viable, those small businesses need to take care of children for the entire day, and they cannot afford to shut down their businesses for two months in the summer, and during the many school holidays.
  • Allowing FCCN providers to care for children from 6 weeks to four years old creates a continuum of care not just for the children, but for the providers as well.  Limiting care to just 3-year-olds forces FCCN providers to recruit an entirely new set of children every year, which again undercuts the financial viability of their businesses.
  • Finally, while providers in wealthier neighborhoods can keep their businesses open by bringing in “private pay” children from wealthier families, this is not an option for FCCN providers in low-income communities of color like East Harlem, where most families do not have the financial means to do so.

The process that DOE used to make the FCCN awards violated the clear language of the rules set forth in the RFP, and Union Settlement has made multiple efforts over the past year to resolve this matter, including proposing resolutions that would eliminate all of the harms noted above, without imposing any additional costs on DOE.

Those efforts were unsuccessful, and Union Settlement has now been forced to sue DOE to prevent these harms from occurring.

“I simply do not understand why DOE wants to force litigation in this matter, where the flaws in the decision-making process are so clear, and there is an easy resolution that benefits the children, families, and caregivers, and that costs DOE nothing,” said David Nocenti, Executive Director of Union Settlement.  “I hope that Chancellor Meisha Porter, who was not involved in the original decisions, will take a hard look at this and decide to take action to benefit the children, families and small businesses here in East Harlem.”

“Our goal is to prepare community members to establish and run their own home-based child care businesses which provide a safe and caring learning environment for children,” said Denise Ramos, Union Settlement’s Interim Director of Early Childhood Education. “My heart goes out to the providers, parents, and children who are caught in the middle of this unfair situation that can be easily remedied without cost to DOE.”

“I only have one child enrolled in my program and I usually have six to seven kids.  I am struggling to pay my monthly rent of $3,800, and I was recently served a court order due to my inability to pay because my income is reduced,” said Maria Martinez, a Family Child Care Network provider. “I have successfully operated my child care business for 16 years which allowed me to provide for myself and my sons.  If the DOE does not change the award so I’m able to enroll more children, I will be forced to close my child care business.”

“I am worried about losing my job in retail because I am only able to work limited hours because I don’t have anyone to care for my son after 2:30pm,” said Wendy Diaz, an East Harlem parent.  “As a single mom, I can’t afford to pay the provider out-of-pocket and don’t have anyone else to take care of my son in the afternoons or during the summer when no care is available.”

“DOE’s failure to amend the award is adversely impacting East Harlem, one of the poorest neighborhoods in New York, as it tries to overcome the longstanding health and economic disparities it has always faced, and that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mr. Nocenti. “Amending the award will benefit East Harlem children and parents, because this community needs extended-day, extended-year care for children of all ages, and also will benefit the FCCN providers, who need to stay solvent and feed their own families.”

Union Settlement is an on-the-ground resource for East Harlem residents of all ages, and a passionate advocate for the needs of underserved communities.

Established in 1895, Union Settlement provides a broad array of education, wellness and community-building programs to over 10,000 East Harlem residents each year, including early childhood education, afterschool and summer youth programs, college preparation, job readiness, English language classes, behavioral health counseling, small business assistance, senior centers, Meals on Wheels and more.

For more information about Union Settlement, visit www.unionsettlement.org.

Walking Distance to a Park

How Calculated: 

A map of “walk-to-a-park service areas” from the NYC Parks Department was overlayed onto a map of 2017 population estimates by census tract to calculate the percentage of the population that potentially live within the service area. These percentages were aggregated up to a neighborhood level.

Source: New York City Department of Parks and Recreation,New York City DOHMH population estimates, modified from US Census Bureau inter-censal population estimates

Manhattan 11 DSNY Garage Moving to East 127th Street

The equipment parked and stored at the decrepit garage on 1st Avenue will all move to East 127th Street in the next year or so. The new facility that is being built across from the Proton Center and between 2nd and 3rd Avenues will be open air.

Tax Cut Today (Thanks, Democrats)

On Thursday, July 15, American working families get a huge tax cut. On that day, initial payments go out to 92% of American families with children: $250-$300 per month, per child, so that a family with three kids, aged two, four, and ten, will get $10.200 per year. (For that family it’s $850/month, on the 15th of every month, until the family files its 2021 tax-year taxes, at which time the family will receive the rest of the $10.200 in one lump sum.

Keep in mind that this is actual money paid to families, not some mere tax deduction.

It is real money. For real people. More than $10,000 per year for that family of five.

This is a huge tax cut for families who have not benefited from tax cuts that previously went mostly to millionaires, billionaires and big corporations. 

The expanded child tax credit affects even people who have not had to file taxes in the past, or have little or no income. (Links below).

This tax cut encourages a generational transformation, lifting almost half of poor American children out of poverty–childhood poverty that breeds adult poverty, educational failure, decreased productivity, disease, crime, incarceration, and premature death. 

Until this week, America has had a dismal, shameful record of childhood poverty–far worse than other wealthy nations. No more; this tax cut will change American lives for the better, for generations. What it is, is a legitimate shot at the American dream, for families that never really had hope of achieving it.

This tax cut/tax credit is part of the American Rescue Plan. President Biden signed it. And not a single Republican voted for it.

Details in links below.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/child-tax-credit/

https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/advance-child-tax-credit-payments-in-2021

https://www.benefits.gov/benefit/938

Alice Neel at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

A 1958 painting at the Alice Neel show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Titled, Sunset in East Harlem

https://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2021/alice-neel

NYC’s Department of Health Approves Bringing More Men and Women In Crisis Into East Harlem

You may have heard of Project Renewal’s Support and Connection Center (SCC) which was located on East 116th Street. This innovative project was supposed to allow officers of the 25th Precinct to bring men and women experiencing a crisis, into a supportive dormitory where trained staff members could help with a wide range of resources and assistance (both short and long term).

At a community advisory board meeting, it was announced that the Department of Health (DOHMH) had expanded the catchment area of the East Harlem pilot project to include the 28th and 32nd Precincts. This move was explained by a Department of Health official as a way to “address the underutilization of the beds.”

There was no mention that this move may be in response to the scathing press from May of this year that noted:

East Harlem has served just 45 people — coming out to $1.1 million per visit.

Here is the full article in The City:

https://www.thecity.nyc/2021/5/9/22426250/thrive-nyc-nypd-diversion-centers-for-mentally-ill-sit-empty

The press coverage of the SCC debacle was a huge blow to New York’s DOHMH and the administration of Mayor Deblasio. Many members of HBNA noted how yet again New Yorkers paid millions for a mental health program with little to no result.

To see the full minutes of the SCC CAB meeting and the justification for bringing more men and women in crisis to East Harlem, see:

As a member of the SCC CAB I have written the following response:

Hello Daylyn, 
Thank you for these minutes.

  1. Could we please have a discussion at the next CAB meeting centered on how the decision by DOHMH to take on referrals from neighboring precincts contributes to (bureaucratic) systems of structural racism?  In particular, I would like to hear how the decision by DOHMH to add referrals from neighboring precincts helps an already oversaturated and already extremely vulnerable community.  Perhaps we could all take a look at: https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/dpho/race-to-justice-action-kit-impacts-of-racism-on-health.pdf and discuss this in light of the NYC Department of Health’s “Race to Justice internal reform effort to help [their] staff learn what they can do to better address racial health gaps and improve health outcomes” (see: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/health/health-topics/race-to-justice.page)
  2. I would also like to know if when SCC was being proposed and presented to the East Harlem community, was it made clear that the East Harlem SCC would/could take on referrals from neighboring precincts?
  3. Lastly, I would like to know if this is now the SCC/Community workflow; that SCC will make (or be told to make) programmatic and policy changes and then present these changes to the CAB as a fait accompli?  I’m trying to understand whether or not the members of the CAB are partners that are consulted and engaged, or if the SCC CAB is simply a forum for SCC to announce changes, milestones etc.

Our block association (HNBA.org) looks forward to hearing more about these issues.
best,
Shawn Hill

Run For Justice

JOIN US FOR THE 4TH ANNUAL #RUNFORJUSTICE World Day For International Justice is 7/17 and we invite you to join us for the 4th annual Run for Justice 5K! For the 2nd year in a row, Latinos Run and Black Men Run are teaming up for this great event. By participating, not only will you further our missions to increase health and fitness in communities of color, but you will help us bring awareness to social justice issues and promote equity, diversity, and access to resources. A portion of our proceeds will support two organizations at the forefront of social justice: ACLU and Equal Justice InitiativeDon’t forget to share your pics and hashtag us#RunForJustice #LatinosRun #BlackMenRun
SIGN UP

Black Women Bicycling

Photo: Baltimore Afro-American newspaper, 1928. Addison Scurlock, photographer. Photographcourtesy of the Smithsonian Institution.

NMAAHC historian, Marya McQuirter, uncovered this amazing story about five black women who biked cross-country in the mid-1900s while working on her PhD dissertation. 

Nearly 87 years ago, five friends; Marylou JacksonVelva JacksonEthyl MillerLeolya Nelson and Constance White biked from New York to Washington, DC during Easter weekend. 

In 1928, these five black women biked over 250 miles in three days — an unusual feat for black women at the time. They started out on the morning of Good Friday in Manhattan, where they all lived, and biked 100 miles (a century in bike terms) to Philadelphia. They spent the night at the Philadelphia Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA). On Saturday morning, they biked 40 miles to Wilmington, where they spent the night, and on the morning of Easter Sunday, they arrived at the nation’s capital. While in DC, they did some sightseeing on the National Mall and at Howard University. And they also posed for the above photograph in front of the Washington Tribune newspaper building at 922 U Street, NW. Addison Scurlock, founder and owner of the popular Scurlock Studio, was the photographer. Scurlock was known for documenting the life of African Americans in the nation’s capital.  

To learn about the history of the Scurlock Studio, check out the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s exhibit, The Scurlock Studio and Black Washington: Picturing the Promise.

image

Photo: “Phillis Wheatley YWCA” by AgnosticPreachersKid – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

They spent the night at the Phillis Wheatley YWCA at 901 Rhode Island Ave, NW. The next day they returned to Manhattan via train.  

These women made a conscious decisions to master one of the 19th century’s foremost technological advances for pleasure, mobility, sport and visibility.

I’ve collected some quotes from the cyclists about their journey: 

  • On pleasure: when asked why they took the trip, they responded that it was for the “love of the great out-of doors.”
  • On mobility:  they chose the bicycle as their vehicle for traveling ‘down south’ at the same time that when women, men and children were fleeing the south to escape white terror
  • On sports:  they challenged women 21 years and older to replicate their trip in less time
  • On visibility:  they wanted their feat to be shared with the masses, hence securing features in the Baltimore Afro-American, the New York Age and the Washington Tribune newspapers.

And to this latter point, they weren’t the only ones. I have found dozens of examples of other black women with bicycles who have sought visibility, whether through studio portraits, family photographs, publicity shots, vacation pictures and more.  

image

Photo:Howard University coeds use bicycles to teach elementary school students how to calculate the circumference of a circle. c. 1930s Addison Scurlock, photographer. Photograph courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution.

I have been inspired by the 5 cyclists to share the larger story of individuals who mobilized multiple technologies—bicycles and photography—for their own needs. To that end, I am curating a book of historical photographs of black women and bicycles, from the 1880s to the present.

Written by Marya McQuirter., Historian, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. 

APPLY NOW APPLY APPLY NOW FREE AIR-CONDITIONERS 

CALL  212-331-3126 for immediate assistance to have your AC installed 
Priority given to residents who have one or more of these risk factors: 

Chronic health conditions including:
◻ Cardiovascular or respiratory disease
◻ Obesity (BMI > 30) 
◻ Diabetes 
◻ Chronic mental illness 
◻ Cognitive or developmental disorder

Have difficulty thermoregulating
◻ Diuretics 
◻ Anticholinergics 
◻ Neuroleptics 
◻ Drug or alcohol misuse 
◻ Socially isolated or with limited mobility
CASH ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE; 
Applicants who meet income requirements, receive SNAP benefits, or other criteria can apply for cash payments from the NY State Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) to purchase and install an air conditioner. These are available now until August 31, 2021.Applications can be printed or will be mailed to the person. Completed applications must be mailed to NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA). At this time, HEAP funds cannot be used to pay electric utility costs.
CALL  212-331-3126 
for immediate assistance 
to have your AC installed 

YOU CAN HELP BY: 
✓Encouraging heat-vulnerable people without air conditioners to call 311 or the HEAP Conference Line at 212-331-3126 to ask for a HEAP cooling assistance application.

The application can also be downloaded at: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/hra/help/energy-assistance.page.

✓Provide the required written documentation of increased risk for heat-related illness due to a medical or psychiatric condition or use of medications that increases risk. CALL  212-331-3126 
for immediate assistance 
to have your AC installed 
For Additional Assistance

March for Homeless Rights

Happy 4th of July

Vaccination Scholarship Incentive

Enter your vaccinated 12-17-year-old for a chance to win a full scholarship to a SUNY or CUNY school.TOPVaccination Scholarship IncentiveSHARE

GET A SHOT TO MAKE YOUR FUTURE

The ‘Get a Shot to Make Your Future’ vaccine incentive is a public outreach campaign consisting of a series of statewide drawings to increase awareness of the availability and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and provide incentives to New Yorkers 12-17 years of age to get a COVID-19 vaccination.

Parents or legal guardians of any New Yorker, ages 12 to 17, can enter their child who has received at least their first COVID-19 vaccine dose, for a chance to win one of 50, four-year full-ride scholarships (including tuition, fees, room-and-board, and expenses) to any New York State public college or university.

REGISTER TODAY

Enter to Win a Full Scholarship

Parents or legal guardians, enter your vaccinated child for a chance to win a full scholarship to any New York Public College or University.

REGISTER

The Marcus Garvey Park Bathroom Construction Saga

Dear Friends:

I am pleased to report that the construction of the Little League clubhouse building has finally been completed. The construction fence was removed yesterday.  The public bathrooms are fantastic.  They have air conditioning and heating and are far superior to the bathrooms in almost any other Parks Department comfort station.  However, at the request of the Department of Environmental Protection, we are not opening them yet.  DEP needs to repair the sewer line in Mt. Morris Park West, and we are waiting to find out when that will happen.  It has been my hope that we can open the bathrooms in time for the start of the Classical Theatre of Harlem’s performances on Tuesday evening, but unfortunately that is not clear at this point.

I will try to keep you posted.

Steve Simon

Chief of Staff – Manhattan
NYC Parks
T 212.408.0110

Kudos to Metropolitan Hospital

The Metropolitan Hospital – as a part of NYC Health + Hospitals – has announced it will participate in a “Medical Eracism” initiative to eliminate biased, race-based assessments used for decades in hospitals and clinics across the country to influence medical decisions that have been found to negatively impact the quality of care patients of color receive. The public health care system has already eliminated two common diagnostic tests – for kidney disease and vaginal birth after a cesarean delivery (VBAC) – that have embedded race-based calculations for severity of illness and risk, and can lead to implicit biases and errors in diagnosis and treatment. This initiative builds on the health system’s commitment to eliminate implicit bias in health care and provide equitable, quality care to more than one million New Yorkers who choose NYC Health + Hospitals as their medical home. For more information visit here.

Metropolitan has also been named “America’s most racially inclusive hospital” in the 2021 Lown Hospitals Index, the first ranking to examine the racial inclusivity of over 3,200 U.S. hospitals. For more information on the rankings, visit here.

Seen on FDB

CB11 Wants to Hear From You

Manhattan CB11 is seeking your input to help determine East Harlem’s greatest needs and budget priorities for the upcoming fiscal year. You can participate in the annual budget process by filling out the Public Input Survey today! We will be accepting responses through August 22, 2021. 
Access the survey here: https://forms.gle/qHEr3WvVrxcH2kNa6

For more information, please contact the community board office at
(212)831-8929 or [email protected].

Still Don’t Know Who To Vote For?

The City has the answer to all the ranked choice confusion swirling around in our collective zeitgeist

By going through their version of political online dating, The City will show you which candidate’s answers to the same questions, most parallel yours:

https://projects.thecity.nyc/meet-your-mayor/ultimate-match.html

And a Great Article on New York’s Fractured Political Landscape from FiveThirtyEight.com

The 5 Political Boroughs Of New York City

By Nathaniel Rakich

Filed under New York City

Published Jun. 21, 2021

EMILY SCHERER / GETTY IMAGES

If you’re one of the approximately 320 million Americans who don’t live in New York City, it might seem like its Democratic mayoral primary has gotten an outsized amount of media coverage. But even I, a Bostonian, can admit that the complex politics of New York City makes Tuesday’s election one of the most intriguing races of the year.

The city is a stark reminder that “heavily Democratic” does not necessarily equal “far left.” The front-runner for mayor is Eric Adams, a Black former Republican who has staked his campaign on his opposition to defunding the police. Kathryn Garcia, Maya Wiley and Andrew Yang are also within striking distance in the polls, but only Wiley unambiguously belongs to the party’s progressive wing.

But it’s too facile to just say it’s progressives vs. moderates in New York City — there are far more divisions at play. The city’s politics may share the same contours that have defined so many Democratic primaries nationwide, but its racial diversity, parochial neighborhoods and sheer number of Democratic voters — each with his or her own cross-cutting identities — expose fissures within fissures. 

To illustrate this, we’ve redrawn New York City’s five boroughs into five political regions based on the results of four recent Democratic primaries: for president in 2016 (Hillary Clinton vs. Bernie Sanders), and for governor (Andrew Cuomo vs. Cynthia Nixon), lieutenant governor (Kathy Hochul vs. Jumaane Williams) and attorney general (Letitia James vs. Sean Patrick Maloney vs. Zephyr Teachout) in 2018.1 

You already know Clinton and Sanders; Nixon, an actor and progressive activist, and Williams, a self-identified socialist then serving on the New York City Council, waged spirited primary challenges to moderate incumbents Cuomo and Hochul but ultimately fell short. James, the New York City public advocate at the time, had previously been a progressive darling but aligned herself with Cuomo in the attorney general’s race; instead, Teachout, a law professor who had unsuccessfully primaried Cuomo from the left in 2014, claimed the mantle of the left in that race. (Maloney, a moderate upstate congressman, was a nonfactor in most parts of New York City — with some important exceptions.) These four races produced four different voting patterns, so together they provide a not-half-bad template for understanding the city’s political geography.

So hop on the virtual subway with us and take a tour of New York City’s five “political boroughs.” These categories will come in handy while following along with and interpreting the results of the mayoral election over the next several weeks (it’s expected to take until mid-July to get final results because New York is slow to count absentee ballots, and because the city is using ranked-choice voting for the first time). But even if that’s not your bag, the mix of ideology and identity that marks these boroughs can help deepen our understanding of the broader divisions within the Democratic Party nationwide.

The Elite Circles

When people say that New York City’s political, economic and social elite live in a bubble, this is the bubble. The Elite Circles borough2 includes most of Manhattan from the Financial District to Central Park as well as adjacent parts of Brooklyn and Queens. It’s defined by its high levels of education (63 percent of residents age 25 or older have at least a bachelor’s degree) and its whiteness — a majority of its residents (56 percent) are non-Hispanic white. However, the political borough also includes some gentrified but historically ethnic enclaves with significant Hispanic, Asian American and Black populations.

Elite Circles demographics
DEMOGRAPHICPERCENTAGE
White56%
Black8
Hispanic20
Asian14
Bachelor’s degree or higher (among 25+ population)63

White, Black and Asian American residents are non-Hispanic.

SOURCE: AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEYADVERTISING

The Elite Circles is the most progressive slice of the city. It was Williams’s best political borough in the 2018 lieutenant governor race and was the only one to support Nixon for governor and Teachout for attorney general. Sanders also turned in an above-average performance here in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary.

Recent Elite Circles election results
RACECANDIDATEVOTE SHARE
2016 Pres.Clinton61%
Sanders39
2018 Gov.Cuomo49.6
Nixon50.1
2018 Lt. Gov.Hochul38
Williams62
2018 Att. Gen.James31
Maloney15
Teachout52

SOURCE: NEW YORK CITY BOARD OF ELECTIONS

But different parts of this political borough are different degrees of progressive. Some, especially hip neighborhoods with lots of young professionals, are dyed-in-the-wool leftist, even socialist — for example, all four progressive candidates carried the state Assembly districts that cover Ditmars Steinway and Astoria in Queens and Greenpoint and Williamsburg in Brooklyn by at least 8 percentage points. And in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, Sanders got more than 30 percent of the vote in these areas even though he had already dropped out of the race by the time New York voted.

Other neighborhoods in this borough — especially traditionally tony neighborhoods in Manhattan — are more progressive-curious. For instance, districts containing Chelsea and the Upper West Side split their 2018 tickets between Cuomo for governor and Williams for lieutenant governor. And districts that include Midtown East and the Upper East Side voted strongly for Teachout in 2018 but even more strongly for Clinton in 2016. 

In this year’s mayoral race, expect that division to manifest itself again. The Elite Circles seems like it will be fertile ground for both Wiley and Garcia, who are especially strong with college-educated respondents in polls. But the more technocratic Garcia, who has the endorsement of The New York Times, seems like a better fit for Manhattan, while the more ideologically leftist Wiley, who was endorsed by the Working Families Party and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, will likely do better in Brooklyn. (A recent Marist College poll for WNBC, Telemundo 47 and POLITICO provides evidence for this.)

The True-Blue Bronx

On the other side of the ledger, the True-Blue Bronx3 is the least college-educated (just 18 percent) and most consistently pro-establishment region of New York City. Clinton defeated Sanders 70 percent to 30 percent here; Hochul beat Williams 59 percent to 41 percent. Teachout got only 8 percent in this political borough, well outpaced by both James and Maloney. Most dramatically, Cuomo defeated Nixon 84 percent to 16 percent here.

Recent True-Blue Bronx election results
RACECANDIDATEVOTE SHARE
2016 Pres.Clinton70%
Sanders30
2018 Gov.Cuomo84
Nixon16
2018 Lt. Gov.Hochul59
Williams41
2018 Att. Gen.James69
Maloney20
Teachout8

SOURCE: NEW YORK CITY BOARD OF ELECTIONS

As the name implies, the True-Blue Bronx overlaps closely with the real-life borough of the Bronx, except without its northwestern neighborhoods like Riverdale, which are noticeably more progressive than the rest of the borough. (It also takes in North Corona and East Elmhurst’s Assembly district in Queens, just across the East River.) That the Bronx is a safe haven for moderate, even conservative, Democrats won’t come as a surprise to observers of city politics: One of the borough’s best-known politicians is Democrat Rubén Díaz Sr., an anti-abortion city council member who has spoken favorably of former President Donald Trump.

True-Blue Bronx demographics
DEMOGRAPHICPERCENTAGE
White7%
Black29
Hispanic57
Asian5
Bachelor’s degree or higher (among 25+ population)18

White, Black and Asian American residents are non-Hispanic.

SOURCE: AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY

The True-Blue Bronx is predominantly (57 percent) Hispanic, with particularly strong Dominican and Puerto Rican communities. However, there is also a notable non-Hispanic Black population (29 percent), and the East Bronx is pretty racially heterogeneous. Although every district that constitutes the True-Blue Bronx voted more establishment than the city as a whole in all four primaries, progressives tended to do especially badly in more homogenous districts.

With multiple moderates in the mayor’s race, it’s hard to predict how this borough will vote on Tuesday. As the overall front-runner, Adams could do well here, but one recent poll suggested Yang is the preferred candidate of Hispanic voters. Which candidate carries this political borough may well decide who wins the mayoralty.

The Black Bloc

The Black Bloc4 also tends to vote strongly for establishment-aligned candidates. In fact, it gave a higher share of the vote to Clinton (73 percent), James (a whopping 81 percent) and Cuomo (an even more whopping 86 percent) than any other political borough. 

Recent Black Bloc election results
RACECANDIDATEVOTE SHARE
2016 Pres.Clinton73%
Sanders27
2018 Gov.Cuomo86
Nixon14
2018 Lt. Gov.Hochul48
Williams52
2018 Att. Gen.James81
Maloney13
Teachout5

SOURCE: NEW YORK CITY BOARD OF ELECTIONS

But what sets it apart from the True-Blue Bronx is that it also voted for the progressive Williams for lieutenant governor, 52 percent to 48 percent. The likely explanation: Williams, a Black man, enjoyed strong support with New York City’s Black community even as his running mate Nixon and other progressives fizzled with them. And the Black Bloc is heavily (63 percent) non-Hispanic Black.

Black Bloc demographics
DEMOGRAPHICPERCENTAGE
White7%
Black63
Hispanic16
Asian9
Bachelor’s degree or higher (among 25+ population)23

White, Black and Asian American residents are non-Hispanic.

SOURCE: AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY

While virtually every corner of the Black Bloc voted the same way for president, governor and attorney general, Williams ran especially strongly in the western half of this bisected borough: heavily Black, low-income neighborhoods in Brooklyn like East Flatbush and Brownsville. But Hochul (narrowly) carried the eastern half, which comprises middle-class Queens neighborhoods like St. Albans and Queens Village that are more racially diverse. The difference may be because Williams has closer ties to the Brooklyn side of the borough (he grew up in East New York and represented East Flatbush and Canarsie on the City Council).

So the Black Bloc is probably best thought of as a stronghold for establishment Democrats, but one that will vote for members of its community first and foremost. In the mayor’s race, this probably bodes well for Adams, the moderate, Black borough president of Brooklyn. But there may also be an undercurrent of support here for Wiley, who is also Black and lives in Brooklyn.

The Lands of Contradiction

At first glance, the Lands of Contradiction borough5 is an enigma. It voted for Cuomo 71 percent to 28 percent, and it was Hochul’s and Maloney’s strongest political borough. But it was also Sanders’s strongest, voting for Clinton just 55 percent to 45 percent.

Recent Lands of Contradiction election result
RACECANDIDATEVOTE SHARE
2016 Pres.Clinton55%
Sanders45
2018 Gov.Cuomo71
Nixon28
2018 Lt. Gov.Hochul61
Williams38
2018 Att. Gen.James47
Maloney27
Teachout22

SOURCE: NEW YORK CITY BOARD OF ELECTIONS

But this incongruity makes more sense when you think of those votes for Sanders as votes against Clinton. In general, Democrats in the Lands of Contradiction tend to be conservative,6 but they likely voted for Sanders anyway as a form of protest against the national Democratic Party (it’s hard to remember now, but in early 2016, conservatives were a lot more anti-Clinton than they were anti-socialist). This hypothesis is supported by the fact that the Lands of Contradiction was by far Trump’s strongest political borough in the 2020 general election; President Biden carried it just 51 percent to 47 percent, whereas he won at least 80 percent of the vote in the other four political boroughs.

Another way to think about the Lands of Contradiction is that it votes less on ideology and more on a candidate’s brand (much like the Upper East Side, just inverted): Although they live in the biggest city in the nation, voters here consistently reject candidates who represent the urban, urbane Democratic Party and gravitate toward the party’s plain-spoken, industrial and/or rural image of yore. (This is also consistent with its support for Trump.) Hochul and Maloney both hail from upstate New York and grew up in middle-class Irish Catholic families; Sanders is from rustic Vermont and could never be accused of focus-grouping his appearance and messaging. 

Lands of Contradiction demographics
DEMOGRAPHICPERCENTAGE
White46%
Black5
Hispanic19
Asian American26
Bachelor’s degree or higher (among 25+ population)35

White, Black and Asian American residents are non-Hispanic.

SOURCE: AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY

These preferences make sense, given that the Lands of Contradiction is mostly white (46 percent, a plurality of the population) and non-college-educated. Italian and Irish Americans are the largest ethnic groups, although no area may sum up this borough better than the heavily Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods of Borough Park and Midwood, deeply conservative pockets of liberal Brooklyn. In addition, the Lands of Contradiction has sizable Asian American (26 percent) and Hispanic (19 percent) populations. In fact, six of the seven most heavily Asian American Assembly districts in New York City are in this political borough.

Six of the city’s eight oldest Assembly districts (going by median age) are also in the Lands of Contradiction, jibing with its more old-school vision of the Democratic Party. And geographically, the borough covers most of famously contrarian Staten Island as well as the parts of Brooklyn and Queens at the ends of subway lines — in other words, some of the parts of the city that are farthest from Manhattan (and its Elite Circles that the borough so disdains).

This political borough can be unpredictable in who it supports, but look for Adams and/or Yang to rack up votes here. In the Marist poll, Adams was the overwhelming choice of conservative respondents, while several Asian American groups have endorsed Yang, who would be the city’s first Asian American mayor. (As a political outsider, he may also appeal to this borough’s disaffected voters.)

The Crossroads

Crossroads demographics
DEMOGRAPHICPERCENTAGE
White21%
Black30
Hispanic38
Asian American9
Bachelor’s degree or higher (among 25+ population)33

White, Black and Asian American residents are non-Hispanic.

SOURCE: AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY

Recent Crossroads election results
RACECANDIDATEVOTE SHARE
2016 Pres.Clinton62%
Sanders38
2018 Gov.Cuomo67
Nixon33
2018 Lt. Gov.Hochul41
Williams58
2018 Att. Gen.James57
Maloney15
Teachout25

SOURCE: NEW YORK CITY BOARD OF ELECTIONS

Finally, the neighborhoods that make up the Crossroads7 are the parts of the city that don’t fit neatly into one of the other four regions. Often, this is because they sit at the intersection of two or more of the city’s political camps. For instance, the gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhoods of Bedford-StuyvesantCrown Heights and Flatbush are on the boundary of the Black Bloc and the Elite Circles. Black and Hispanic New Yorkers together make up the majority of the Harlem and Washington Heights neighborhoods of Manhattan. And Queens’s Jackson Heights and Corona neighborhoods might make sense in the True-Blue Bronx, with their large Hispanic populations, but their significant Asian American communities help them to vote more like the Lands of Contradiction.

Unsurprisingly, the Crossroads looks a lot like New York City demographically and politically. No racial group constitutes a majority, or even reaches 40 percent of the population; instead, there are roughly similar numbers of Hispanic, Black and white residents. And at the ballot box, it leans toward establishment candidates, but it will vote for progressives under the right circumstances — just like the city as a whole. 

Of course, that’s just on average; different Crossroads neighborhoods vote differently (in general, they vote in between the two political boroughs they are a combination of). By its very nature, the Crossroads doesn’t have as cohesive an identity as the other four political boroughs. But this heterodoxy also makes it the most “New York” of all of them — and therefore the best bellwether of citywide elections. In the mayor’s race, look for all four major candidates to rack up solid support here, since everyone’s bases are represented.


If these five political boroughs sound familiar, it’s because we’ve seen very similar ideological and identity divides play out in recent Democratic primaries nationwide. Since 2016, an ascendant progressive movement has redefined the left wing of the Democratic Party, and it’s been fueled primarily by white voters. But progressives still make up a minority of the party nationwide. After all, Clinton and Biden won the Democratic presidential nominations thanks largely to their strength with Democrats of color. 

That’s the challenge for the aspiring hizzoners who are fighting for New Yorkers’ votes on Tuesday. Because politics has become so nationalized, their support in many ways is predetermined and limited, even as they try to speak to every corner of a city dealing with inequality, segregation, crime, COVID-19 and an unpopular outgoing mayor. In the end, whoever does the best job expanding their coalition beyond their natural base is likely to become New York City’s 110th mayor.

East Harlem by Afinelyne

https://www.etsy.com/listing/655893661/east-harlem-map?share_time=1623184938000

Lynn Lieberman is an Artist/Writer at GothamToGo Follow her paintbrush @ http://gothamtogo.com or Facebook at GothamToGoNew York, NYgothamtogo.com

Also see more of Lynn’s amazing work here:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/afinelyne?ref=simple-shop-header-name&listing_id=655893661

Seen on Park Avenue

Shootings

Residents of some neighborhoods are at much greater risk of experiencing violence – and its many health effects.

Violence is rooted in historical disinvestment and racism.

Evidence shows that violence results from social structures that limit access to basic needs – structures that are fueled by racism, residential segregation, and neighborhood disinvestment. Where these structures persist, people are exposed to violence. For example, low-income neighborhoods of color are known to be hit the hardest.

This map shows the parts of NYC that were redlined 90 years ago as part of racist housing policy that set off decades of disinvestment and intergenerational poverty.

A map of recent shootings lines up with the heavily redlined areas of the Bronx, Harlem, and northern and eastern Brooklyn – showing clearly how today’s violence is closely related to the ways that racist policies are embedded in our society.

Decades of government and societal disinvestment from practices like redlining means limited opportunity and resources, and results in higher rates of poverty in some neighborhoods.

As a result of this disinvestment, we see a clear relationship between poverty and violence. As a neighborhood’s poverty level increases, so do assaults.

Cars Parked in Front of a Hydrant (with NYPD Placards…) Delay FDNY Response

Two cars with NYPD placards parked on an East Harlem fire hydrant as firefighters rushed to extinguish a brownstone fire. This caused a delay in water as the chauffeur had to maneuver the supply line under and around the cars.

This is a major issue recently with cars blocking nearly every hydrant in the city, not only making them hard or impossible to use , but making them incredibly hard to locate.

When seconds count, these cars could be the difference between life and death.

Migdol Foundation

Walking on Adam Clayton Powell Blvd the other day I spotted three brass plaques put onto a corner building, facing a side street.

The plaques commemorated various individuals and were sponsored by the Migdol Foundation, which I’d never heard of.

According to their website:

The Migdol Organization, lead by principals Jerry and Aaron Migdol, is a Harlem based company that provides specialized services in housing, development, social work and law. Through its subsidiaries, the Migdol Organization develops, manages, brokers and owns various types of real estate throughout New York City.

Migdol & Migdol LLP provides legal services, specializing in pro-bono legal services for shelter residents and community based organizations. The Migdol Family Foundation and the Daniel Migdol Memorial Fund are dedicated to providing educational and housing resources to residents and community based organizations throughout Harlem.

They are located at: 223 West 138th Street, Ground Floor, New York, NY 10030 | 212.283.4423

For more information, see:

http://migdolorganization.com/contact

Indeed…

From the 5th Avenue wall of the Russworm School (135th and 5th Avenue).

City Council 9 Forum Tomorrow at 6:00 PM

Join MMPCIA in person on West 120th Street between Mount Morris Park West and Malcolm X BLVD (bring a folding chair), or on Zoom.