This has been a brutal stretch for America. With funerals for the fallen Dallas officers taking place this week, it's more important than ever that we express our gratitude for the sacrifices of the men and women in uniform who put their lives on the line for us every day.
The tragic deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile also make it more urgent than ever that we confront the inequities and prejudices of policing in America. And that means retiring once and for all the â€œfew bad applesâ€ theory of police misconduct. Â We need to challenge the whole law enforcement system--a system in which aggressive enforcement disproportionately falls on African American men, too often to fatal effect. Â
A common thread among all three of last weekâ€™s tragedies is the ubiquity of guns in America. The NRAâ€™s argument that increasing the number of firearms in private hands makes us safer is bogus--more obviously so than ever. Â To break the cycle of senseless violence in America we must end our fetish with guns.
Yes our country is divided. But as one commentator put it, almost all of us want the same thing: for the killing to cease and for every American to feel respected and safe.
It is imperative that we work harder than ever to reach those goals.
Please join me next week for one of the following community conversations:Tuesday, July 19 6:30pm - Community forum on race, justice, and equity
Community Health Academy - 504 West 158th StreetThe Community League of Â The Heights invites you to come together to discuss the social impacts of race, justice, and equity on our nation, and to look for active solutions for the prevention of hate and violence against each other. Please RSVP here
Wednesday, July 20, 6:00 pm - Community conversation with Borough President Brewer
Synod House, Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine,Â 1047 Amsterdam Ave
Share your perspectives so we can learn from each other's experiences, identify and root out discrimination in our neighborhoods, and create communities where all of us are safe and respected. Please RSVP here.
Graduates Get A Great Start To The Summer
As another school year came to an end, I was thrilled to attend many graduations of our thriving students. Our district is full of great schools, filled with great kids, and I am so proud of all their hard work. This year, my office provided certificate of achievement and scores of other resources to our graduating classes. I am very pleased to announce that we were able to attend 21 different graduations, and give out graduation packets to an incredible 1,389 students. If we did not attend your graduation, please contact our office so we can include you next year and come by to pick up a list of resources for this summer.
Our Back to School Block Party Returns This August!
Come out and enjoy the fun as we get the block rocking for our 3rd Annual Back to School Block Party. There will be lots of educational resources, entertainment, and giveaways. Save the date.
When: Thursday, August 25th 5-8pm.Â
Where: W 141st St btw Hamilton Pl and AmsterdamÂ
We hope to see you there!
Residents Find Help Applying For Citizenship
Every day in our neighborhoods I run into good people who love our city and our country, but are unable to afford the expensive fees required to file for citizenship. Thatâ€™s why my office coordinated with CUNY to host the CUNY Citizenship Now event on June 25th. We were able to help over 130 residents file for citizenship. Immigration law can be a very expensive and confusing process, which is why itâ€™s so important that we continue to help those of us that want to become Americans, but donâ€™t always have the means to do so.
Free Legal Aid Services
So many New Yorkers are in need of legal assistance and often cannot afford the expenses of a lawyer. Â In an effort to provide relief, I was proud to hold our first Free Legal Fridays program, in which our office Â cooperated with New York Legal Assistance Group to offer constituents free legal services on a variety of civil issues. Over the course of three days, dozens of district 7 residents received free legal help. Whether itâ€™s housing issues, immigration needs, or anything in-between, my office is always looking to help residents with legal problems they may be having. Keep an eye out for future events!
What You Need To Know About The Zika Virus
As of June, 2016, 233 Zika virus infections have been diagnosed among New York City residents, including 24 pregnant women. Â All cases were associated with travel to an area with ongoing Zika virus transmission. The most frequently visited areas were The Dominican Republic (140 travelers), Puerto Rico (20), and Guyana (14).
We need to do all we can to keep Zika from taking root in our city. Before travelling abroad, talk to your healthcare provider about the risks of Zika. Pregnant women should not travel to Zika areas. If you must travel, learn how to protect yourself from mosquitos. Zika can also be transmitted through unprotected sex. If you or a partner travelled to a Zika area, I strongly encourage you to talk to your healthcare provider about getting tested. Find a full list of information here or call 1-888-364-4723
Free Summer Tennis Program For Kids Age 5-18
My office is once again partnering with the New York Junior Tennis & Learning to provide free summer tennis program for kids age 5 to 18 at PS 125M. Registration is now open and is on-going allowing parents/guardians to register their children any day that the program operates.
WHAT: Free Childrenâ€™s Tennis Program
WHERE: 425 West 123rd Street, NY, NY 10037
WHEN: July 6th - August 26th. Monday, Wednesday, Friday â€“ 9am to 12pm
Visit www.nyjtl.org for more info.
Recycle Your Electronic Waste
The Lower East Side Ecology Center is hosting an upcoming electronic waste event this August. Electronics often contain materials that can be harmful to our environment when thrown in the trash. Help make a positive impact on our environment by recycling your old electronic waste.
WHAT:Electronic Waste Recycling Event
WHEN:Saturday, August 20th, 10am - 4pm
WHERE:La Salle Street and Broadway in Morningside Heights
Get Paid While You Earn Your GED
Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation is currently recruiting for its YouthBuild Program. If you are between the age of 17-24 and you have not completed high school, call 212-453-5378 to apply today and help secure your future.
Free Vocal Training and Audition Prep for Incoming Eighth-Grade SingersÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
In the fall of 2016, Carnegie Hall is offering the opportunity to train for free with a professional vocal coach to prepare auditions for New York City performing arts high schools.
For more information and to get an application form, click here. Indicate whether or not you want to attend the Monday/Wednesday sessions or the Tuesday/Thursday sessions, then send the application form to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any questions, contact Margaret Fortunato at email@example.com or 212-903-9625.
Share Your Thoughts on the Upcoming NYPD Body Camera Program
This fall, the NYPD is launching a 1,000-camera pilot of its body-worn camera program in select precincts throughout the city. In order to ensure that its body-worn camera program responds to the interests and concerns of the communities it serves, the NYPD has asked the Policing Project to assist the department in gathering public feedback. The NYPDâ€™s proposed policy is now available online, along with a short fact sheet outlining the key provisions.
The survey will be available online from now until July 31, 2016 here
DOB Launches â€œStay Safe. Stay Put.â€ Campaign For Elevator Safety
This week, the New York City Department of Buildings launched the agencyâ€™s â€œStay Safe. Stay Put.â€ campaign to remind New Yorkers that if youâ€™re stuck in an elevator, the safest place to be is inside the car. Just ring, relax, and wait for help to arrive. Elevators are among the very safest forms of transportation, but New Yorkers have been seriously injured trying to escape stalled elevators.
Additional info can be found here. And remember, if youâ€™re stuck in an elevator: â€œStay Safe. Stay Put.â€
Free Stop â€˜Nâ€™ Swap Community Reuse Event
We happily invite you to bring clean, portable, reusable items to share with those who can use them. No one is required to bring something to take somethingâ€”you can simply show up with a bag and see whatâ€™s free for the taking. Books, toys, fashionable clothing, housewares and electronics are just some of the offerings.
WHAT:Free Stop â€˜Nâ€™ Swap Community Reuse Event
WHEN:Saturday, July 16, 12pmâ€“3pm
WHERE:W 143rd Street (between Amsterdam Ave & Hamilton Place)
Anything leftover at the end of the day is donated or recycled. Furniture and other large items are not accepted at the swap.