Bills passed by the Council go to the mayor for 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 also negotiates with the mayor to pass the city budget every year. Each Council member has his or her own discretionary budget to fund local projects and groups. The Council holds oversight hearings through its many committees. And, critically, the body votes to approve or reject development projects that need public approval.
You can think of the Council as like Congress for the City of New York, as this guide from the Council puts it. The city’s Campaign Finance Board created the below video outlining some of the duties and responsibilities of the City Council:
Sumptuous Gifts from a Black Women-Owned Harlem Business
If you want a gift from Harlem to take to a friend’s (now that you’re both fully vaccinated), the Harlem Chocolate Factory on ACP at 139, is a great place to consider.
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.
To read the full torrid tale, click on the Download button, above.
Former Sydenham Hospital (now Mannie Wilson Towers) to be renovated
YIMBY NY is reporting that:
Affordable housing development Mannie Wilson Towers in Manhattan’s Harlem neighborhood just received $18.2 million for capital improvements and system upgrades from Merchants Capital New York, a mortgage banking company. Located at 565 Manhattan Avenue, the structure originally debuted in 1892 as Sydenham Hospital, which closed in 1980. Owned by West Harlem Group Assistance, Inc., Mannie Wilson Towers currently provides restricted-income housing to senior residents.
There are 102 one- and two-bedroom units of restricted-income housing for seniors 62 years of age and older that earn 50 percent or less of the area median income in Harlem. Residents have access to supportive services including cleaning, cooking, transportation, and more.
Sydenham began as a private hospital in a Harlem brownstone in 1892, serving mostly African American patients. In 1944 the staff doctors were all white despite serving a mostly African American community.Soon after, it was the first hospital to have a full desegregated interracial policy with six African American Trustees and twenty African Americans on staff. It was New York City’s first full-service hospital to hire African-American doctors and later became known for hiring African American doctors and nurses when other nearby hospitals would not.
Because of its relatively small size, Sydenham continually faced more financial problems than most private hospitals, and on March 3, 1949, control of it was taken by New York City and it became part of the municipal hospital system. However, in a new practice for the municipal hospital system, the city continued to allow Sydenham’s private physicians to hospitalize their patients there. In 1971 Florence Gaynor became the first African American woman to head a major teaching hospital, taking over as Executive Director of Sydenham Hospital during a financial crisis. She also developed a Family Care Center that included a sickle cell anemia clinic.
Sydenham Hospital received many of the residents of Harlem who were injured in the 1943 Harlem Riot – many of them beaten (or shot) by police officers brought in to stop the disturbance.
Soon after Mayor Ed Koch took office in 1977, during severe economic troubles for New York City, he announced an additional 10% reduction in funding for municipal hospitals, and Metropolitan Hospital (in East Harlem), and Sydenham were slated for closure. There was community support of both hospitals. In January 1979, the Committee for Interns and Residents staged a one-day walkout of doctors at municipal hospitals to protest the cuts, and were often supported on picket lines by hospital workers from District Council 37 of AFSCME. A “Coalition to Save Sydenham” supported legal efforts to stop the closing, organized public rallies and lobbying of elected officials, and helped publicize research to demonstrate the need for the hospital. (In 1977 the federal government designated Harlem a “medically underserved area, with the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare Joseph Califano calling it a “health disaster area.”) While a diminished Metropolitan Hospital was saved as an “Outpatient Demonstration:” project, the city insisted that Sydenham had to be closed. In the spring of 1980, as Sydenham was about to be shut down, angry demonstrators stormed the hospital, and initiated an occupation that lasted 10 days under a so-called “People’s Administration.”
Despite the added publicity, this brought, in 1980 Sydenham’s doors were closed for good and eventually, the Mannie Wilson Towers were built within the hospital’s shell.
As you likely know, the mayoral race in NYC is almost overwhelmin. To help voters navigate options, THE CITY has created Meet Your Mayor, which shows you how the candidates’ stands fit with how you are seeing the race.
Here’s what to do: You answer a few short multiple-choice questions on some of the most pressing matters facing the city — from COVID recovery to public school admissions to NYPD discipline and much more.
The major candidates have already answered the same questions.
Voila: Meet Your Mayor will reveal your best match or matches among the candidates
To get started, click below on any of the 3 topics. Answer questions with how you feel about these issues. Then the candidates that agree most with your answers will be displayed:
You may have heard about the fire last week on Park Avenue between 128/129. Given the presence of the Metro North tracks, the trucks had to extend ladders and evacuation buckets in an odd configuration with one extended a number of storefronts, but essentially parallel to the ground:
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.
During the Harlem Renaissance and beyond, dream books were sold at newspaper kiosks to help people interpret things seen in dreams, and to convert those memories into a 3 digit number that could be used to play in the numbers.
Recently a 1949 “Harlem Pete” dream book came on the market. Given that they were cheaply printed on the lowest quality paper, it’s remarkable that this one survived in such good shape.
Patch’s Nick Garber reports that Marvin Holland is being fined by nearly $18,000. Holland was a City Council District 9 candidate during the last election.
A past candidate for City Council in Harlem was hit with nearly $18,000 in penalties this week for eight separate campaign finance violations, the city’s Campaign Finance Board announced Tuesday.
Marvin Holland, a union organizer who ran twice in 2017 for Central Harlem’s District 9 seat, faces $17,909 in penalties amid allegations that his campaign failed to report its spending and did not respond to audits from the board, in violation of city rules.
There is a new map out showing how much political candidates have been able to fundraise.
The race that has generated the largest amount of donations is, unsurprisingly, the mayoral race and that race is headed by Ray McGuire, the Wall Street former finance executive who has received over $85,000 from Harlem.
Eric Adams has pulled in a distant second of $29,000.
Turning to the City Council District 9 Race, you can see in the map below, money has come from all over the city to fuel the 15 candidates.
Zooming in closer, Kristen R. Jordan is far and away the leader with more than $55,000 raise – her base being the lower edge of the district.
Mario Rosser is close behind with almost $48,000 raised. His (financial) support is weaker in the north and south of the district but with strong support in the central core.
And in third place, Keith Taylor – who came to February’s HNBA meeting to introduce himself and his campaign – has raised over $20,000. His support is mostly in the west, with weaker support in the east and north of the district.
And lastly, the dominant force in the Manhattan Borough President’s race in our community, is Mark Levine, by far. Mark has raised well over $400,000 total, and a significant amount has come from the Harlem community, whereas other candidates have had very, very limited fundraising success in Harlem and East Harlem.