Clarke Delivers Food and PPE to Brooklyn Churches
U.S. Rep Yvette D. Clarke (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Kensington, Midwood, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Park Slope) and Brooklyn’s own Grace Foods delivered food and personal protective equipment (PPE) to Brooklyn pastors for distribution to their congregations.
“Brooklyn’s clergy provide not only worship services and spiritual guidance, but also food and clothes for those in need, activities for children and a multitude of other resources for my constituents—it was a special moment for us to come together this weekend so we could support our clergy-members during coronavirus in the same way they have always supported our beloved community,” said Clarke.
While social distancing, Clarke and members of Grace Foods delivered food plus protective equipment to local churches, including Beulah Church of Nazarene and Calvary Community Church. Both these churches that Clarke visited serve majority Caribbean congregations and have large immigrant populations.
Persaud, Williams, and Maisel to Host Virtual Town Hall
Senator Roxanne J. Persaud (Canarsie, East New York, Brownsville, Mill Basin, Sheepshead Bay, Bergen Beach, Marine Park, Flatlands, Mill Island, Georgetown, Ocean Hill, Starrett City), Assembly Member Jaime Williams (Canarsie, Georgetown, Mill Basin, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach), and Council Member Alan Maisel (Mill Basin, Canarsie, Flatlands, Bergen Beach, Floyd Bennett Field, Gerritsen Beach, Marine Park, Plum Beach) will join representatives from the NYC Department of Social Services in an interactive virtual town hall meeting for constituents to ask questions about various public assistance programs, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic tomorrow.
The virtual roundtable will be webcast via www.facebook.com/sd19senatorpersaud and constituents are encouraged to submit questions using the chatbox. Individuals wishing to listen via telephone may submit requests for call-in details to [email protected].
The meeting is slated from 6-8 p.m., today May 5.
Felder and Eichenstein: NYS WIC Program to Offer More Kosher
Senator Simcha Felder (D-Borough Park, Midwood, Flatbush, Ditmas Park, Kensington), Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein (D-Borough Park, Midwood) and Assembly Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan), got the NYS WIC program to add more kosher certified foods to its list of accepted food products.
“I am thrilled that the DOH has agreed to include a variety of higher certified kosher products on WIC’s Acceptable Foods Card, including kosher baby food,” said Eichenstein. “This will be a tremendous help to so many families in my district and beyond who are struggling to feed their children, especially during these difficult and uncertain times. I thank Health Chair Gottfried for partnering with me on this important matter that is so vital to many of my constituents and to Jill Dunkel, Jean Reo, and the entire staff at WIC for recognizing the need and responding to our urgent requests.”
After receiving many complaints from constituents regarding the lack of kosher options, particularly baby food, Eichenstein joined forces with Gottfried and Felder in the State Senate, urging the New York State Department of Health to include more and higher standard kosher products available through the WIC Program.
Adams Convenes Bereavement Task Force
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams convened funeral home directors, faith leaders, morgue operators, cemeteries, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME), and other stakeholders for a Bereavement Task Force as the city continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Even a public health crisis of this magnitude should not get in the way of treating decedents with basic dignity. These aren’t just pieces of flesh; these are our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, loved ones. We must institute common-sense reforms to make our handling of bodies more respectful and allow families to have the comfort of a proper, quick ceremony [since not everyone buries their dead]. That’s why we are convening this task force today — to come up with a comprehensive set of proposals to ensure that the unimaginable pain of losing a loved one is not compounded by seeing their body treated in a disrespectful manner,” said Adams.
In recent weeks, funeral homes have reported being overwhelmed by the number of decedents, which was vividly illustrated last week when dozens of bodies were discovered in a U-Haul truck outside a funeral home in the Flatlands section of Brooklyn.
Adams and members of the task force discussed potential policy solutions that ensure decedents are being treated in a dignified manner, and which allow their loved ones to lay their bodies to rest peacefully.
Myrie’s Daily Reminders and Updates
State Sen. Zellnor Myrie (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Gowanus, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, South Slope, Sunset Park) reminds everyone to socially distance despite the sunny weather outside, along with other COVID-19 updates.
The rate of hospitalizations continues to decline, but not as quickly as it rose when we were approaching the peak, Governor Cuomo noted today. There have been 19,415 deaths statewide, with 226 in the past day.
Assembly Speaker Heastie and Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins announced two upcoming legislative hearings on the impacts of COVID-19. One hearing will focus on small businesses and a second, separate hearing will investigate the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on minority communities. The dates of the hearings have not yet been set.
Over the weekend, the governor announced that New York will join seven other states to launch a regional purchasing consortium for personal protective equipment and medical supplies. The effort aims to ensure all of the states in the agreement can obtain the supplies they need without bidding against each other. In addition to New York, the other states included are New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.
The state’s antibody survey of more than 15,000 New Yorkers found that 12.3 percent of the state’s population have tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies, with the majority of cases among New York City residents.
The state created a new initiative to quickly reroute New York’s surplus agricultural products to populations who need them most through the state’s network of food banks.
School Board Elections
As a reminder, the governor signed an executive order moving school board elections and budget votes statewide to June 9. The elections and budget votes will be conducted by mail and all qualified voters will be sent an absentee ballot with return postage paid. Although the presidential primary is cancelled, other down ballot primaries are still on and all registered voters will receive applications for absentee ballots.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza announced the launch of Let’s Learn NYC!, a new educational public television program produced by the WNET Group in partnership with the New York City Department of Education (DOE) featuring lessons for children in 3K through second grade that will supplement remote learning. More info at http://thirteen.org/letslearn.