GHC Meeting Tonight

Join the Greater Harlem Coalition’s look at the intersection of Harlem and East Harlem’s quality of life issues and the 2021 NYC elections. Click here to learn more tonight.

City Comptroller

The person who oversees City Hall’s wallet is called the comptroller, a position currently filled by Scott Stringer.

Four contenders are vying to replace the term-limited Stringer (who is running for mayor). And while the ultra-crowded mayor’s race will undoubtedly steal most of the attention this election cycle, choosing our next comptroller is critical for city voters.

The primary vote is set for June 22 of this year. Given New York’s firmly Democratic lean, whichever comptroller candidate nabs a win then will have a strong advantage heading into November’s general election. A Republican has not been elected comptroller since 1938.

New York City’s comptroller is our municipal auditor and fiduciary.

The Office of the Comptroller does several things, but its chief responsibilities are to prepare audits and oversee how city agencies are spending their money, manage the city’s public pension funds — the largest in the world at $224.8 billion as of October, Stringer’s office says — and issue bonds to help pay for large projects. The comptroller also reviews city contracts.

To do all this and more, the comptroller employs a staff of about 800. The comptroller has another important role: serving as second in line of succession to the mayor, after the Public Advocate.Here’s a comprehensive list of duties from the comptroller’s office.

Brian Benjamin

Benjamin, our Harlem neighbor and State Senator represents Harlem, East Harlem and the Upper West Side. The former investment banker and affordable housing developer pledged to return some donations in early January after THE CITY found donors named in campaign records who said they’d never given money to his campaign.

Brad Lander

Lander currently serves as the City Council member representing Carroll Gardens, Park Slope and Kensington. Previous to government work, he directed a community planning center at Pratt Institute.

Kevin Parker

Parker, a Brooklyn native, is the current State Senator representing Flatbush and surrounding neighborhoods from Ditmas Park to Park Slope. Before taking elected office, Parker worked for local officials, including the then-state Comptroller H. Carl McCall and then-Flatbush Council member Una Clarke.

David Weprin

Weprin, a native of Queens, currently serves as the State Assembly member representing northeast Queens. He previously represented the area in the City Council, worked in the financial services industry and, in the 1980s, served on the state’s Banking Board.

As Seen on 2nd Avenue in East Harlem

Unfortunately, no, the 2nd Avenue Subway isn’t yet in East Harlem. This remnant of an earlier attempt to build the 2nd Avenue Subway is at 117th Street, and was part of the “cut and cover” trenching done in the 1970s

The new 2nd Avenue Subway will incorporate some of this earlier tunneling into the project.

Greater Harlem Coalition Meeting on Wednesday

Join the Greater Harlem Coalition for an Election 2021 conversation about what candidates have said they would do about the quality of life issues that impact you, your family, your guests, and your neighbors, on Wednesday at 7:00 PM. Register by clicking on this link:

https://fordham.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_yW9VWS-8QtivypY6O6olWA

The ‘Final’ List of City Council Candidates

The New York Board of Elections has finally produced a list of candidates for Harlem:

PRIMARY CONTEST LIST
Primary Election 2021 06/22/2021, New York Democratic Party
TENTATIVE – SUBJECT TO CHANGE

Member of the City Council 8th Council District

Tamika Mapp 342 East 119 Street 5B New York, NY 10035
Manuel Onativia
122 East 103 Street 19 New York, NY 10029
Antoinette D. Glover 2415 2 Avenue New York, NY 10035
Diana I. Ayala 430 East 118 Street 6H New York, NY 10035

Member of the City Council 9th Council District

Pierre A. Gooding 2050 Frederick Douglas Boulevard New York, NY 10026
Athena Moore 216 West 136 Street New York, NY 10030
William A. Allen 1925 Seventh Avenue 6H New York, NY 10026
Kristin Richardson Jordan 45 West 132 Street 2D New York, NY 10037
Bernadette McNear 159 48 Harlem River Drive New York, NY 10039
Ruth L. McDaniels 110 West 137 Street 3A New York, NY 10030
Mario Rosser 300 West 135 Street 4K New York, NY 10030
Keith Taylor 32 Edgecombe Avenue New York, NY 10030
Cordell Cleare 1851 Adam C. Powell Jr. Boulevard New York, NY 10026
Bill Perkins 1295 5 Avenue 15D New York, NY 10029
Billy Council 2130 Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard 5J New York, NY 10027
Sheba T. Simpson Amsterdam 30 West 141 Street 8N New York, NY 10037
Joshua Albert Clennon 7 West 122 Street 1 New York, NY 10027

Manhattan Borough President’s Harlem Forum Tonight

Join the Greater Harlem Coalition in a forum for Manhattan Borough President candidates, focused on Harlem issues and concerns:

https://fordham.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_7Mv7N2a1SA-S2fPY_KvokA

Saturday: Graffiti Cleanup Day

Wanted to invite you to Saturday’s Graffiti Clean-up.  (See the flyer below). 

As a reminder, we are offering our youth community service hours for participating.  I will need names for those who need community service letters before Saturday – however, everyone is welcome to participate.

We need a headcount of attendees so please let me know if you or a young person want to come to hang out with us to clean up the graffiti around the community. 

We will meet up at the Precinct (25th Precinct – 120 East 119th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues) 10 AM and head out to the various sites at 10:30 AM.  We will meet back up at the Precinct parking lot at around 1 PM for refreshments and close-outs – maybe even a special something or other depending on how many people respond. 

We will ensure to keep everyone safe.  We have extra masks and tons of hand sanitizer.  Please wear something that you don’t mind getting dirty.  

Thank you guys and I hope to see you on Saturday!  I’m looking forward to all the in-person fist bumps and elbow bumps.

Best Regard,

Kioka

Greater Harlem Coalition Meeting Tonight

Join the Greater Harlem Coalition meeting tonight to learn more about Mount Sinai’s plans for new security at its Park/125th Street methadone programs and its plans for their new facility being built on West 124th Street.

Register here for the 7:00 PM Harlem Town-Hall

The Crown

While I’m not watching The Crown on Netflix, the image comparisons that are making the rounds on social media are incredible.

What did interest me, however, was that Princess Diana visited Harlem Hospital in 1989.

As Untapped New York notes:

During her last day at New York, Diana went to the Harlem Hospital (filmed at the Reynold Building in Manchester) to pay a visit to babies who were struggling with AIDS and HIV, an issue the Princess cared about deeply. In 1987, she opened the first purpose-built ward for AIDS patients at Middlesex Hospital in London. At Harlem Hospital, “she picked up a little boy who has AIDS and hugged him,” Margaret Heagarty, Director of Pediatrics at Harlem Hospital, said in a news interview. “This community and this hospital has been delighted with this charming young woman who showed with great sensitivity and compassion and interest in concern for poor children.” Throughout her life, Diana’s compassion for the sick and less privileged helped reduce the stigma of those suffering from AIDS and other diseases.

And below, and image of the hospital entrance today.

Meeting With Mount Sinai, Tomorrow

The Greater Harlem Coalition will have a town hall meeting tomorrow night at 7pm. You are welcome to join by registering here: https://fordham.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_6UAWpErMRkuvGvMDgjQ_4w

Mount Sinai will present on new security measures at their Park/125th Street methadone programs in the Lee Building. To hear more about their plans to address hanging out before and after treatment at their methadone programs next to Metro North, join the town hall.

All welcome.

Mount Sinai Methadone Program Conversation

Join The Greater Harlem Coalition on Thursday next week for a conversation with Mount Sinai who runs the methadone programs in the Lee Building (125th Street and Park Avenue). The Zoom Town Hall will be at 7:00 PM. Click here: To Register

East Harlem Vaccination Site Coming

Patch’s Nick Garber reports that the Mayor has said that East Harlem will be the side of a large-scale vaccination center.

https://patch.com/new-york/harlem/east-harlem-get-coronavirus-mass-vaccination-site-mayor-says

Rabbis, Mean Streets, and Disney

East Harlem has always been a melting pot. I came across this recently and wondered what was now located on East 103rd Street.

The site is located next to the beautiful stone MetroNorth tracks and a trio of stone arches (one for cars, two for pedestrians) but is now a park run by NYRP. The New York Restoration Project – started by Bette Midler – got co-sponsorship from the Disney Corporation for a park overhaul.

Both the former yeshiva and the current Disney park bracket the mid-century life that Piri Thomas brought to the printed page in

his novel Down These Mean Streets which takes place right here, on East 103rd Street – across from the abandoned yeshiva, and before the Disney park.

Manhattan DA Candidates’ Forum

There are 8 candidates vying to replace Cy Vance as Manhattan’s DA. The Greater Harlem Coalition – GreaterHarlem.nyc – is hosting a virtual forum for residents of Harlem and East Harlem.

To attend the forum, go to this link: Attend the DA Candidates’ Forum

To submit a question to the candidates, go to this link: Submit a Question

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.”

https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/how-ivanka-trump-and-donald-trump-jr-avoided-a-criminal-indictment

Given the stakes for the justice and accountability for the current president and his family, criminal justice reform, and many, many other issues, we hope you’ll attend.

A Call for LegislationThe Bronx is Building

The Greater Harlem Coalition has recently written to our elected officials to ask them to begin the work of enacting legislation that will stop and then reverse the oversaturation of drug treatment programs in our community:

The Bronx is Building

A new rental building has been proposed for the Bronx waterfront between the Madison Avenue Bridge and the 145th Street Bridge. This new 43 story tower will be located between the Deegan Expressway and the Harlem River.

For more on this project, see:

CBS News Coverage of Oversaturation and the Explosion of Illegal Drug Dealing in Our Community

CBS News had a great piece last night on how Harlem and East Harlem are oversaturated with substance abuse programs which has attracted unprecedented numbers of illegal drug sellers who prey on the men and women seeking treatment.

Harlem residents showed the CBS reporter evidence of illegal drug sales and use – all concentrated around unsupervised addiction programs that are supposed to help New Yorkers get off drugs.

The President of MMPIA, the co-founder of The Greater Harlem Coalition, and others all showed the reporter video evidence and presented him with the data from FOIL requests to backup their claim that New York is dumping programs in Harlem and East Harlem that they don’t locate in other whiter and wealthier communities.

When asked for a statement, the Mayor’s office gave a non statement, and failed to answer why Harlem and East Harlem have more than their fair share of substance abuse programs.

To see the full video:

25th Precinct Community Council Meeting Next Week

The next 25th Precinct Community Council meeting is scheduled for:

Wednesday, November 18th at 6:00PM

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86235160120?pwd=dXNTVnNkbTJ1RGk5NktnSnNlTkpHQT09

Meeting ID: 862 3516 0120
Passcode: 252020

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