When NYS’s OASAS agency oversaturates struggling communities with opioid treatment programs it justifies this by looking at addiction rates. What OASAS fails to acknowledge or admit to local community boards and politicians, is that they’ve already oversaturated struggling communities, and want to add more capacity to avoid the more difficult process of equitably locating programs in unserved wealthier neighborhoods.
It’s strange to think of wealthy and white communities as underserved, but the pattern of locating addiction programs in Black and Brown communities, does just that – it keeps addiction programs out of wealthier and whiter neighborhoods.
In the end, is OASAS servicing a need or are they helping to keep struggling communities struggling?
East Harlem business owners and East Harlem residents see that over-concentration brings illegal drugs to our streets and increases crime and reduces our quality of life. Systemic racism as practiced by OASAS, maintains an economic and public safety status quo that benefits underserved wealthy and whiter New York Neighborhoods.
Chocolate from the Harlem Chocolate Factory
A brownstone shaped chocolate bar with food grade gold powder.
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.