MANH Lawmakers on the Move, July 28, 2020

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Ayala, Brewer Announce East Harlem Grant Program Launch

Council Member Diana Ayala (Photo credit:
Council Member Diana Ayala

Yesterday, Councilmember Diana Ayala (D-East Harlem, Mott Haven) and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (D) announced the creation of a new  $4 million East Harlem Small Business Grant Program.

The program will help small businesses in the neighborhood who are struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds for the program came from the proceeds of a property sale on Southeast corner of 125th Street & Lexington Avenue.

“While we focus on long-term solutions to the economic devastation this pandemic has brought to the East Harlem small business community, this grant opportunity will provide some immediate relief to the businesses that have struggled and faced enormous challenges during the past several months,” said Ayala.  “The survival of our small businesses is contingent on the expeditious manner in which these funds are administered and pivotal to their overall success.”  

Brewer Kicks Off Census Week with Special Edition Fortune Cookies

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer

Yesterday, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (D), F.Y. Eye and Wonton Food kicked off Census Week by distributing special edition fortune cookies to Chinese restaurants.

Instead of standard fortunes, the cookies come with messages reminding patrons to fill out the Census if they haven’t already. Over thirteen million cookies went out, with messaging in English, Spanish and Chinese.

“As New York reopens for business, we need to make sure our city is prepared for the challenges to come, and that includes getting our fair share in funding for schools, hospitals, first responders and small businesses,” said Brewer. “As of last week, our city’s census response rate was only 53%. This creative and innovative campaign by F.Y. Eye, Wonton Foods and my office aims to encourage New Yorkers to fill out the census while supporting our Chinese American small businesses as they reopen amidst this pandemic. Chinatown needs our business and New York needs to secure its fair share of funding now more than ever.”

De Blasio Announces $7.8 Million in Funding for COVID Testing, Contact Tracing

Mayor Bill de Blasio (Credit: William Alatriste)
Mayor Bill de Blasio

Yesterday, Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced the allocation of $7.8 million for community-based organizations (CBOs) to promote COVID-19 testing and tracing in highly affected neighborhoods.

More than 30 different organizations received funding to educate the public on curbing the spread of COVID-19 and engaging with the Mayor’s Test and Trace Corps. Messaging will begin at the end of July and continue through November.

“Our city will not recover until we address the painful disparities laid bare by the COVID-19 crisis,” said de Blasio. “As we emerge from the crisis, we are doing everything we can to deliver care to New Yorkers in the heart of their communities. The Test and Trace Corps is our most effective way to stop the spread of the virus and ensure that New Yorkers have the tools they need to protect themselves and their loved ones.”

Chin to Sponsor Age Diversity Seminar

Council Member Margaret Chin (Photo credit:
Council Member Margaret Chin

This Thursday, Councilmember Margaret Chin (D-Battery Park City, Chinatown) will be sponsoring a webinar on age diversity in the workplace.

At the webinar, NYC Commission on Human Rights Chair Carmelyn Malalis and several advocate leaders will discuss how to prevent age discrimination in the workplace and the new challenges of the COVID-19 era.

The event will take place on Thursday, July 30 from 3-5 p.m. on WebEx. To RSVP, click here.

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