MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Sep. 11, 2020

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Kallos, Powers Team Up for “Love Your Neighborhood Day

Council Member Ben Kallos (Photo credit:
Council Member Ben Kallos

Today, Councilmembers Ben Kallos (D-Yorkville, Lenox Hill) and Keith Powers (D-Carnegie Hill, Yorkville) will be hosting a “Day of Service” to help clean up their neighborhoods.

The councilmembers and their teams will be spending the day tending to the needs of the Upper East Side – both its infrastructure and its citizens. Their daily schedule is as follows:

  • 10 – 11:30 a.m.: cleanup and graffiti removal at 97th Street and Park Avenue;
  • 12 – 1:30 p.m.: beautification of East 86th Street, between Lexington and Fifth Avenue;
  • 2 – 3 p.m.: distribution of PPE to small business owners in the East 60’s.

To sign up to volunteer, click here.

Midtown Electeds Reprimand City Hall for Harmonia Shelter Decision

State Senator Liz Krueger (Photo provided by Krueger's Communications Office)
State Senator Liz Krueger

Yesterday, State Senator Liz Krueger (D-Upper East Side, Lenox Hill), Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (D), Councilmember Keith Powers (D-Carnegie Hill, Yorkville) and Assemblymember Richard Gottfried (D-Chelsea, Midtown) released a joint statement denouncing the City’s decision to relocate homeless individuals to the Harmonia Shelter/Hotel Chandler on 31st Street.

Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) and the Department of Homeless Services have decided to move the homeless out of the Lucerne Hotel, which had been functioning as an emergency pandemic shelter. The electeds’ main grievance, however, is that the relocation to Harmonia will result in the displacement of existing residents – who received no advance notice about the change.

“Every community in New York City must be a part of the fight against homelessness,” they said. “We proudly support housing the homeless in our communities, and we will welcome these new constituents. However, we are deeply disturbed that the Mayor is caving to political pressure to move homeless New Yorkers out of temporary pandemic shelter at Lucerne Hotel in a way that will displace one hundred fifty adult families sheltered at the Harmonia, none of whom deserve to get caught up in this politicized process.”

Cuomo Announces 9 Million Test Milestone in New York

Governor Andrew Cuomo (Photo Credit:
Governor Andrew Cuomo

Yesterday, Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) announced that the state of New York has conducted 9 million COVID-19 tests to date.

As of this writing, New York is the #3 state in the country in terms of testing per capita, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. Cuomo also announced that the State has kept its positive test rate below 1 percent for the 34th day in a row.

“New Yorkers are the ones who have flattened the curve,” Cuomo said. “Thanks to their hard work, for 34 straight days, our infection rate has remained below one percent. We have conducted over 9 million tests to date; that’s more than most countries on the globe. But we cannot go backwards. We must keep up the hard work and wear our masks, wash our hands and socially distance.”

Brewer Releases New Broadway Vacancy Report

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (Photo source: US Departmetn of Labor, CC BY 2.0)
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer

Yesterday, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (D) released a report showing 335 vacant storefronts along Broadway.

That number signifies a 78 percent increase since she last surveyed the street in 2017. According to Brewer, the rise is attributable to both the constant rise in rent and the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our survey reflects both relentlessly rising rents and the pandemic’s devastating toll on businesses,” said Brewer. “When there are vacant stores, there are fewer options for residents and visitors. If this unfortunate trend continues, we stand to lose a lot of neighborhood character and what makes our borough special, particularly in our shopping districts from Chinatown all the way up to Little Dominican Republic. New York City without a vibrant Broadway is unimaginable.”

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