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
City Council is kind of like Congress, but for the city. It may seem like a small office, but since New York has 8.4 million people living here, a local office like the City Council has more influence than you may think.
Klein pointed out that some leaders — Mayor Bill de Blasio and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, to name two — have used the City Council as a stepping stone to higher office.
“City Council is an entry point into politics — and a way to build a bench for more diverse representation in higher offices years down the line,” she said. “One reason many people are disappointed in the mayoral field is because 15 years ago, the city wasn’t building an exciting and diverse bench of new political talent.”
City Council members represent a district that usually includes two to four neighborhoods, and they have four main responsibilities.
They pass laws
Just like Congress or the state Legislature, the City Council proposes and votes on legislation that makes the rules for all sorts of things ranging from public health, education, housing and transportation. You can see all the different City Council committees here.
After a bill is proposed, the Council holds a public hearing to get feedback from the community and potentially make changes. Then, members vote on the bill.
Bills passed by a majority of the Council go to the mayor to be signed into law. The Council can override a veto from the mayor with a vote of at least two-thirds of the members.
The Council negotiates with the mayor to pass the city budget every year. That means members help decide how your taxes and other revenue will be spent to fund different city agencies and programs — ranging from the public schools to policing to a bunch of social services. The most recent budget was more than $88 billion.
Your Council member can advocate for certain programs or projects to be funded in your neighborhood. And each Council member has their own discretionary budget to fund local projects and groups.
How land is used can affect if housing is affordable, what kind of greenspace is available and how much pollution is likely to affect a neighborhood, among other things.
Klein said: “City Council candidates are extremely accessible in a way that candidates for higher offices aren’t. If you want to get involved in local government, meet with your council candidates, get to know them and ask them questions.”
That means where to build, what to preserve and what to close (like Rikers Island). The Council has a major say in real estate deals for city-owned land and votes on all zoning changes or rezoning.
HERE PRESENTS WORLD PREMIERE OF THE VISITATION FROM STEPHANIE FLEISCHMANN, CHRISTINA CAMPANELLA, AND MALLORY CATLETT
The Visitation, a sound walk, a haunting site-specific experience created by Stephanie Fleischmann, Christina Campanella, and Mallory Catlett. Inspired by the appearance of a one-antlered deer in Harlem in 2016, The Visitation takes the listener on an urban odyssey in search of the collective memory of the deer’s sojourn in Jackie Robinson Park via geo-located avant-pop songs that conjure a series of encounters with the buck. Launching on April 23, The Visitation is a meditation on the presence of the mythic in the everyday and the uneasy relationship between the built environment and the natural world.
Conceived and developed with director Catlett and featuring original music and sound design by Campanella and text by Fleischmann, the soundscape of The Visitation is threaded through with the ethereal sounds of the deer, voiced by Obie-winning legend Black-Eyed Susan, a founding member of Charles Ludlam’s Ridiculous Theatrical Company. Listeners simultaneously traverse interior landscapes and exterior terrain ranging from far-reaching urban vistas to a dense canopy of trees, from the former wilderness of the park to the blacktop of basketball courts and playgrounds. Geo-located songs conjure moments experienced by a handful of characters—including a park gardener,a weeping pharmacist, a neighborhood teenager, and more—whose lives were changed by their encounter with the deer.
Along the way, participants will also encounter Mesingw, a Lenape spirit associated with the deer, who could, it was believed, reinstate balance to a disease-inflicted earth. Listeners may ask themselves, “Where is Mesingw now? How do we navigate his absence, and that of Artemis, Greek goddess of nature, from our contemporary lives? What are the repercussions of the ways we continue to colonize the land on which we live?”
The team for The Visitation also includes Lenape historical consultant Oleana Whispering Dove. Participants must download the Gesso app onto their mobile device to experience The Visitation, which begins a few blocks from Jackie Robinson Park, at West 148th Street and St Nicholas Avenue. The geography of the park includes stairs and some uneven terrain. A map with alternate start and end points is available for individuals with limited mobility. Participants should bring their own headphones. The Visitation can also be experienced remotely via the Gesso app as a 60-minute soundscape.
The Visitation launches on April 23, 202, and is free to download, however, donations at www.here.org are encouraged.
On Saturday, May 1, the creators from The Visitation and the founders of Gesso will host an in-person gathering in Jackie Robinson Park to discuss the inspiration, artistry, and technology behind the sound walk.
With new data from a FOIL request to OASAS, we are able to contextualize the size/impact that Mount Sinai has on our community with their two major methadone hubs – West 124th Street, and East 125th Street (The Lee Building at Park Avenue).
Looking at the screenshot below, you can see how large Mount Sinai’s presence is in Harlem and East Harlem.
To see the entire city and the uneven distribution of Opioid Treatment Programs, see the map below:
Greater Harlem Coalition is pleased to host the next forum where 8 candidates for the Manhattan District Attorney position will answer your questions. Come see why some are calling this race
What is the topic of discussion?
The theme of the forum is Harlem’s Fair Share. This will be your chance to join a discussion of what the DA’s office, with so much legal power, can do to correct for the entrenched inequities residents and businesses in Harlem experienced relative to other districts in New York City. The forum can discuss inequities in terms of health outcome, education outcome, public safety, and the oversaturation of drug treatment facilities and adult homeless shelters in Harem. #inequity #healthinequity #educatioinequity #oversaturation #
How is Manhattan DA relevant for Harlem?
There are 8 candidates vying to replace Cy Vance as Manhattan’s DA. To give you some context, the DA office prosecute corrupted politicians, major drug dealers, illegal distributors of pain killers, and are key players in the implementation of supervised injection sites. Traditionally, DA in districts such as Queens and Staten Island have been more adamant in rejecting such sites (see WNYC report here and Gothamist report here).
The theme of the forum will be Harlem’s Fair Share and will be your chance to ask why Harlem and East Harlem have different services, programs, amenities, outcomes, etc. when compared to other New York City neighborhoods and what the Manhattan DA’s office can do about it.
The office of the Manhattan DA is the office that let the Trump children walk away from a criminal indictment, and how, mysteriously and subsequently, a $50,000 campaign contribution appeared in Cy Vance’s account – from one of the Trump lawyers pleading to let the Trump case. The New Yorker has a great article on how Trump got away with it all using high priced lawyers, ‘donations’, and the Manhattan DA’s office:
in 2012, Kasowitz donated twenty-five thousand dollars to the reëlection campaign of the Manhattan District Attorney, Cyrus Vance, Jr., making Kasowitz one of Vance’s largest donors. Kasowitz decided to bypass the lower-level prosecutors and went directly to Vance to ask that the investigation be dropped.
On May 16, 2012, Kasowitz visited Vance’s office at One Hogan Place, in downtown Manhattan—a faded edifice made famous by the television show “Law & Order.” Dan Alonso, the Chief Assistant District Attorney, and Adam Kaufmann, the chief of the investigative division, were also at the meeting, but no one from the Major Economic Crimes Bureau attended. Kasowitz did not introduce any new arguments or facts during his session. He simply repeated the arguments that the other defense lawyers had been making for months.
Ultimately, Vance overruled his own prosecutors. Three months after the meeting, he told them to drop the case. Kasowitz subsequently boasted to colleagues about representing the Trump children, according to two people. He said that the case was “really dangerous,” one person said, and that it was “amazing I got them off.” (Kasowitz denied making such a statement.)
Vance defended his decision. “I did not at the time believe beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime had been committed,” he told us. “I had to make a call and I made the call, and I think I made the right call.”
Just before the 2012 meeting, Vance’s campaign had returned Kasowitz’s twenty-five-thousand-dollar contribution, in keeping with what Vance describes as standard practice when a donor has a case before his office. Kasowitz “had no influence, and his contributions had no influence whatsoever on my decision-making in the case,” Vance said.
But, less than six months after the D.A.’s office dropped the case, Kasowitz made an even larger donation to Vance’s campaign, and helped raise more from others—eventually, a total of more than fifty thousand dollars. After being asked about these donations as part of the reporting for this article—more than four years after the fact—Vance said he now plans to give back Kasowitz’s second contribution, too. “I don’t want the money to be a millstone around anybody’s neck, including the office’s,” he said.
Kasowitz told us that his donations to Vance were unrelated to the case. “I donated to Cy Vance’s campaign because I was and remain extremely impressed by him as a person of impeccable integrity, as a brilliant lawyer and as a public servant with creative ideas and tremendous ability,” Kasowitz wrote in an e-mailed statement. “I have never made a contribution to anyone’s campaign, including Cy Vance’s, as a ‘quid-pro-quo’ for anything.”