Friday, September 18, 2020

State Senator Bailey and Assemblywoman Fernandez Book Bag and Food Giveaway


Thursday afternoon State Senator Jamaal Bailey and Assemblywoman Nathalia Fernandez gave out two-hundred book bags provided by the assemblywoman, and two-hundred boxes of assorted foods provided by the American Albanian Open Hand Association on East 204th Street in the Norwood section of the Bronx. They were joined by various community leaders such as Community Board 7 Chair Emmanuel Martinez, 80th A.D. State Committeewoman Sandra Pabon, Community Activist Sheila Sanchez, Mr. Aleksander Nilaj President AAOHA (along with several AAOHA workers, and staff members of both elected officials). There were also tables set up by two health providers giving information about their health plans, and gifts.

Above - Assemblywoman Fernandez and one of her staffers line up the book bags to be given out.
Below - A group photo as the Book bags are all given out.

Above - The line of people across East 204th Street. 
Below - The boxes of food are off loaded from the delivery truck.

Above - Assemblywoman Fernandez and State Senator Bailey hold boxes of assorted foods they gave to people waiting on line.

Below State Senator Bailey hands this box of food to this woman to take home.

Above - Community Activist Sheila Sanchez puts this box of food in this woman's wagon.

Below - A group photo of all who helped in the book bag and food giveaway. 



 Mayor Bill de Blasio today appointed Edward Grayson as the Acting Commissioner of the City of New York Department of Sanitation (DSNY). Grayson, currently the Director of DSNY’s Bureau of Cleaning and Collection, began his DSNY career in 1999.

“Edward Grayson is the kind of experienced, steady hand New York’s Strongest needs to lead the department through this transitional period,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I’m grateful for his service, and I look forward to working with him to give New Yorkers the safe, livable communities they deserve.”
"Edward Grayson has devoted his career to making New Yorker City a safer and cleaner place for all New Yorkers, and I am looking forward to working with him in his new role," said Deputy Mayor Laura Anglin. "I also want to thank both outgoing Commissioner Kathryn Garcia and First Deputy Commissioner Steven Costas for their years of dedicated public service. Their tireless work made this city a better place to live."
"When I was a kid, I always wanted to be a sanitation worker, because my dad was one,” said DSNY Acting Commissioner Edward Grayson. “Every single member of this Department is someone's family, but during these unprecedented times, we are each other's family, too, and I promise to never forget that. I want to thank Mayor de Blasio for the confidence he has placed in me, and Commissioner Garcia for the example she has set of competent, forward looking leadership and commitment to sustainability – a commitment DSNY will not abandon."
Edward Grayson is a 21-year veteran of the Department of Sanitation, most recently appointed four-star chief and Director of the Bureau of Cleaning and Collection in September of 2017. Acting Commissioner Grayson has held a range of positions throughout the Department. He was Operations Chief overseeing snow removal during the 2016 Jonas Blizzard, the largest snow storm in New York City history.
As Director of the Bureau of Cleaning and Collection, Grayson oversees day-to-day operations for DSNY, including the collection, recycling and disposal of more than 12,000 tons of waste per day and efforts to keep the city's communities healthy, safe and clean. He has implemented new technologies to improve snow removal and reform front-line operations, and he has been a leader in the Department's implementation of the City's aggressive zero-waste goals.
His father was a life-long Sanitation worker and supervisor and his mother was recycling outreach coordinator during the rollout of the City's groundbreaking citywide recycling program in the 1990s. Acting Commissioner Grayson was raised in Middle Village, Queens.

Governor Cuomo Announces Results of Impaired Driving Crackdown


 3,262 Tickets Issued for Impaired Driving During STOP-DWI "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" Campaign

116,292 Tickets Issued for Other Vehicle and Traffic Law Violations

Fatal Impaired Driving Crashes Decreased More Than 19 Percent in New York State from 2010 to 2019

  Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that law enforcement agencies throughout the state issued 3,262 tickets for impaired driving during the STOP-DWI "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign, which ran from August 19 through September 7. During that time, officers also issued 116,292 tickets for other vehicle and traffic law violations, such as speeding and distracted driving.

"New York has zero tolerance for impaired driving and the results show reckless motorists will be caught and will be held accountable," Governor Cuomo said. "Our message is simple: drive sober or plan for a safe ride home. Impaired driving puts you and all those sharing the road at risk - it's just not worth it."

The STOP-DWI "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign, supported by the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC), occurs multiple times throughout the year to reduce alcohol and other drug-related traffic crashes. According to data from the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research at the University at Albany's Rockefeller College, New York's efforts to reduce impaired driving are succeeding. Fatal crashes involving an impaired driver have decreased more than 19 percent from 2010 to 2019.  

Attorney General James' Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit Releases Report on Investigation into the Death of Dwayne Pritchett


  Attorney General Letitia James’ Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit (SIPU) today released its report into the death of Dwayne Pritchett. After an exhaustive investigation, SIPU did not find criminal culpability on the part of the members of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) who were involved in the incident. The chief impediment to any criminal charges in connection with Mr. Pritchett’s death is that the precise legal cause of his death is unknown, as the medical examiner determined there were several contributing factors. In addition, it was impossible for SIPU to conclude if any officers were engaged in potentially criminal conduct, due to the absence of body-worn cameras or other video footage, and a sole, inconsistent witness account, among other issues.

However, the officers’ alleged conduct during and after the incident raised serious concerns, and SIPU has provided a number of recommendations to ensure that appropriate policies, procedures, and training are implemented and followed in the future. SIPU has also made a referral to the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) to investigate the police conduct and determine whether discipline is necessary.

“Dwayne Pritchett’s death was a tragedy and we send our condolences to his family and loved ones,” said Attorney General James. “Despite a lengthy, exhaustive, and comprehensive investigation, the facts and circumstances surrounding his death and encounter with police remain frustratingly unclear. In the absence of conclusive answers about the precise cause of death, and a lack of definitive evidence, it is impossible to determine whether a crime was committed, and if so, by whom. We do believe that the actions of some of the responding officers were concerning and must be addressed immediately. The NYPD must implement our recommendations, and we trust the CCRB will take the additional action it deems appropriate.”



 Jefferson County Applied For $9M Grant From DoD To Convert Vacant Building In Downtown Watertown Into YMCA Community Center; Schumer Has Been Fighting To Secure The Funding Since June

Senator Says Funding Will Revitalize Regional Economy And Improve Quality Of Life For Fort Drum Military Families

Schumer: DoD Funding For Watertown YMCA Will Boost Jefferson County Economy

 After his personal call to Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper earlier this month, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced $9 million for the City of Watertown’s YMCA community center project in downtown Watertown. The funding will come from the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Defense Community Infrastructure Pilot (DCIP) grant program, and will contribute to the conversion of a currently vacant building in the city’s downtown into the YMCA’s newly planned community center. The project will provide a year-round community space for Fort Drum’s military families, in addition to bolstering downtown Watertown.

“The YMCA plus Watertown plus Fort Drum is a winning formula for a healthier and more vibrant Watertown region. As New York recovers from the effects of the COVID pandemic, this project and the YMCA will be integral to rebuilding a sense of community promoting public health and boosting the economy,” said Senator Schumer. “I am thrilled to announce this funding and commend the Jefferson County IDA and YMCA for putting together a strong, winning proposal. The new YMCA community center in Watertown will improve the quality of life Fort Drum’s families and community residents and energize the city’s downtown."

On his call to Secretary Esper on September 4, Schumer noted on the call that the new community center would align with the DCIP program’s mission of improving the quality of life for military families and enhancing infrastructure in communities where military bases are located. The center will be especially integral to maintaining the health and community of Watertown and Fort Drum during Upstate New York’s harsh winters. Schumer also wrote Secretary Esper in June to advocate for the funding.  

The project has been a top priority for the City of Watertown, has the support of local officials, including the Jefferson County legislature and top economic development officials, and has the complete backing of Fort Drum. The completed community center would consist of a six-lane lap pool, a separate full-size recreational pool, three exercise rooms, an arts/multipurpose room, two indoor tennis courts and a community kitchen.



This Week, New York State Paid nearly $1.9 Billion in Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) Benefits to 2.26 Million New Yorkers  

FEMA has Approved New York for Three Additional Weeks of LWA Benefits, for the Weeks Ending 8/23, 8/30, and 9/6 — Retroactive Benefits Paid Starting Next Week 

New York has Paid Over $44.5 Billion in Benefits During Pandemic Emergency, Representing More Than 21 Typical Years’ Worth of Benefits

  The New York State Department of Labor today announced that New York has paid nearly $1.9 billion in Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) benefits to 2.26 million New Yorkers this week, representing retroactive payments of $300 for the weeks ending August 2nd, 9th, and 16th. In total, New York State has now paid $44.5 billion in benefits to New Yorkers during the COVID-19 pandemic — representing more than 21 typical years’ worth of benefits paid in just six months. 

In addition, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved New York for the second and final round of LWA funding. This round of funding provides three additional weeks of Lost Wages Assistance benefits, paid retroactively for the weeks ending August 23rd, August 30th, and September 6th. New Yorkers will begin to receive these payments next week.  

“Over the last six months, we have moved heaven and earth to connect millions of New Yorkers with their benefits, including nearly $1.9 billion in Lost Wages Assistance payments distributed just this week,” State Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said “While plagued with administrative roadblocks, the federal lost wages assistance program is now finally providing unemployed families with much needed support — and it is unconscionable for the Federal government to once again cut Americans off from this support. Leaders in Washington D.C. must pass a comprehensive package that supports unemployed families and the state and local governments that are hurting from this pandemic. Anything less is simply unacceptable.” 

An estimated 2.3 million New Yorkers are eligible for the second round of LWA payments for the benefit weeks ending August 23rd, August 30th, and September 6th. They include: 

  • Approximately 2.1 million who are pre-qualified for the LWA program because they have previously indicated that their unemployment was connected to the COVID-19 pandemic. These New Yorkers will receive an email and text message informing them they are pre-qualified and do not need to take any further action.
  • Approximately 157,000 who are eligible for one or more LWA payments for the weeks ending August 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th, and/or September 6th but have not submitted a certification indicating they are unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as required by the federal government. These New Yorkers have already received a secure DocuSign email from NYS DOL with a link to certify or can call 833-491-0632 to certify via automated phone system.
  • Approximately 23,700 who are eligible for one or more LWA payments for the weeks ending August 23rd, August 30th, or September 6th but were not eligible for the earlier weeks’ payments because they were not unemployed during the first three weeks of August. These New Yorkers will receive a secure DocuSign email from NYS DOL on September 18th with a link to certify or can call 833-491-0632 to certify via automated phone system. 

New Yorkers who are pre-qualified for the second round of LWA benefits or who must certify and submit their certification by 5pm on Tuesday, September 22nd, will receive their payments next week. Those who submit their certification at a later date will be paid on a rolling basis. 



Mayor Bill de Blasio today released the following statement on the return of indoor swimming pools:
“As New York City continues its gradual reopening and economic recovery, we’re proud to announce we are ready to reopen indoor pools. Swimming pools are a community anchor, an exercise center, and an oasis in their neighborhoods—both literally and figuratively. New Yorkers have worked hard to fight back COVID-19. As transmission rates remain low, we’re proud to offer more ways to slowly return to business as usual.”
Indoor pools will be allowed to reopen on September 30th, subject to strict occupancy limits at 33 percent of capacity. Standard Department of Health and Mental Hygiene inspections will continue to promote compliance with all New York State regulations. New Yorkers who see crowding or other unsafe conditions in indoor swimming pools are urged to report to 311.