Sunday, January 17, 2021

Bronx Progressives January Virtual General Meeting


Join Fellow Progressives for our January Virtual General Meeting!

When: Wednesday, January 27 at 7pm 
Where: Zoom

Topic: Bronx Progressives January Virtual General Meeting
Time: Jan 27, 2021 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 880 5393 1096

Greetings Bronx Progressives Members!
Happy and most prosperous New Year! Hope this email finds you and your loved ones healthy and filled with energy, faith, high hopes, and optimism for 2021! I hope that at least you're looking forward to number 45's last day in office January 20.  

Let's keep a close eye at the Biden and Harris new administration, as they settle in and begin to take serious action with addressing our COVID-19 crisis, a course towards expediting an effective and proactive vaccination campaign across this country, implementing rent cancellation or relief for tenants and small business owners, and a stimulus relief package that truly aims to get at the root of the problems that the working class in this country face. 

In the spirit of starting a new year with high hopes, and energized in figuring out collectively what should be our vision for 2021, our working group to reactivate  Bronx Progressives will be proposing a couple of ideas to keep us active for the first quarter of the year. One of our ideas is to join a coalition of organizations like Concerns Citizens for Change, North Bronx Indivisible, Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition, and others across the state to push passing the NY Health Act.

As many of you know, we still don't have an Executive Committee. This is critical in order for us to function as an organiztion. Therefore, another idea is a plan to expand membership within our group, in order to vote on the formation of an executive committee. We're also excited to share other ideas, but we want to make sure that you're part of the discussion as well, where you can share feedback and ideas on what should be our vision for 2021. 

We will also be joined by our very own George Diaz, member of Bronx Progressives, who will discuss the upcoming special elections in Council Districts 11 and 15' seats formerly held by Andrew Cohen and Richie Torres respectively. He will break-down for us the candidates running, and some background on them, which candidates are aligned with our progressive values, and the challenges they face with solving local issues in their districts. 

Join us Wednesday, January 27 at 7pm, to our January Virtual General Meeting. Link below:


  • Greetings and Welcomes (2 Mins.)

  • Quick review of the agenda (3 Mins.)

  • House Rules (3 Mins.)

  • Introducing George Diaz (3 Mins) 

  • George Diaz speaks (20 Mins.)

  • Q&A (10 Mins.)
  • New Business/Announcements   
  1. February Annual Meeting 
  2. Reminder to review and be ready to vote on Bylaws at TBD. Link to bylaws:
  3. Special Elections in CD11 and CD24. March 23. Discuss Early Voting, Absentee, Election Day
  • Working Group discusses idea plans for 2021


When: Wednesday, January 27th at 7pm 

Where: Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 880 5393 1096



 Beginning this week, seniors age 65 or older who are unable to make their own arrangements and need transportation to and from a COVID-19 vaccination appointment can sign up for transportation through the City, Mayor de Blasio announced today.


"We are moving heaven and earth to get our senior neighbors vaccinated", said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "Now, seniors who need a ride to an appointment will get one, ensuring our vaccines go to those who need them most.”


“I would like to thank our network of senior centers and providers, who have worked tirelessly during the pandemic providing critical services to thousands of older adults, and are ready to mobilize transportation services and assist them in getting to their vaccination appointments. I also would like to thank the City, the Vaccine Command Center, and partners for ensuring we never forget our commitment to older adults as New York is an age inclusive city,” said Department for the Aging Commissioner Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez.


Older New Yorkers age 65 and over who make an appointment for vaccine at a City-operated site will be asked whether they have a way to get to and from their appointment. If they require transportation, they will be screened and directed to transportation options, including Access-a-Ride, ambulette services, cab service via Curb and in a few weeks, transportation by select Senior Center programs.  DFTA providers will be able to reach out and link seniors to transportation through phone outreach, ensuring that every senior knows the range of available options. In total, the City will offer approximately 10,000 rides per week.


To reach all New Yorkers age 65 and over, the City will broaden its outreach in partnership with nonprofit partners and trusted community leaders. With a comprehensive outreach campaign to be spearheaded by the Vaccine Planning Workgroup for Older New Yorkers, the City is partnering with local organizations to get the word out about safe and accessible vaccinations in New York City - knocking on doors, placing direct calls and robocalls, holding virtual townhalls, delivering flyers, and partnering with local health providers and more.


On-site vaccination clinics for seniors living in NYCHA developments are also up and running, providing on-site vaccinations for residents 65 and older. Clinics at Van Dyke I & II Houses in Brooklyn, Cassidy Lafayette Houses in Staten Island, and Polo Grounds Towers in Manhattan are currently open, with plans to move to different sites across the city in the coming weeks.


Free COVID-19 Testing Friday January 22nd In Front of 2141 Holland Avenue 9 AM - 2 PM.

Prominent Leaders Voice Strong Support for Attorney General James’ Lawsuit Against NYPD


State and Community Leaders Across New York Praise Fight Against Excessive Use of Force
File footage
After New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit yesterday against the New York Police Department (NYPD) for excessive use of force and making false arrests against New Yorkers during peaceful protests, dozens of elected officials, community leaders, and scholars across New York came out and expressed their support for the lawsuit.

They include, U.S. Representatives Jerry Nadler (NY-10), Carolyn Maloney (NY-12), Gregory Meeks (NY-05), Yvette Clark (NY-09), State Senators Brad Hoylman, James Sanders, Jr., Leroy Comrie, Brian Benjamin, John Liu, Zellnor Myrie, Assemblymembers Linda Rosenthal, Dan Quart, Rebecca Seawright, Carmen De La Rosa, Yuh-Line Niou, Harvey Epstein, Catalina Cruz, Khaleel Anderson, New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards.

Here is what your Bronx Representatives said about the issue which came to light after the Bronx incident on the East 149th Street business area that was left unharmed, with 249 people arrested.

Bronx Congressional Representatives - NONE.

Bronx State Senators - 
Gustavo Rivera -“I commend Attorney General Letitia James for her righteous investigation into the NYPD's brutal display of force during last summer's massive protests that followed the murder of George Floyd, during which thousands of New Yorkers marched against the very same police violence inflicted on Black people,” said State Senator Gustavo Rivera. “Her public hearings further amplified the voices of those who were subjected to the NYPD's disturbing strategies, like kettling and the excessive force we witnessed, as well as the targeting of legal observers and support service providers. The attorney general's lawsuit will rightfully hold law enforcement accountable for inflicting violence on New Yorkers, whose right to peacefully protest is sacred.”

Jamaal T. Bailey - “I would like to thank Attorney General Letitia James for her leadership in filing a lawsuit against the NYPD’s policies and tactics,” said State Senator Jamaal T. Bailey. “I believe this will lead to more transparency and accountability within the force and ensure that our communities are treated fairly and are not driven by racist policies and actions. I thank Attorney General James for her steadfast commitment to justice and fairness.”

Alessandra Biaggi - “This summer we witnessed devastating police brutality against peaceful protesters and bystanders at the hands of the NYPD,” said State Senator Alessandra Biaggi. “The barbaric behavior of the NYPD reveals deeper structural and systematic issues with our approach to policing and the increasing militarization of our police force. I commend Attorney General Letitia James for her unwavering leadership to protect the civil rights of New Yorkers and to hold accountable the people and institutions that violate those rights. I remain committed to working with my colleagues in the New York state legislature to pass meaningful legislation to eradicate institutionalized racism and violence within law enforcement.”

Bronx members of the State Assembly - 
Jeffrey Dinowitz - “As reflected in the landmark criminal justice reforms that were enacted over the past several years, the New York state legislature has made clear that we must hold all law enforcement officers to the highest standards of professional conduct and public duty,” said Assemblymember Jeffrey Dinowitz, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Codes. “The allegations made by individuals involved in the protests this past summer are deeply concerning and, if true, indicate that there are institutional problems within the NYPD that have resulted in officers being unprepared for these types of responses. While we know that the overwhelming majority of those in law enforcement are professional and effective, there are exceptions. Thank you to Attorney General Letitia James for investigating these allegations, and I look forward to a resolution that ensures the safety of both the police and those who are being policed.”

Nathalia Fernández - “Our officers take an oath to protect us; yet, we know that there has always been a double standard as it relates to who the police actually serve,” said Assemblymember Nathalia Fernández. “I commend Attorney General Letitia James for taking steps to ensure that the NYPD is held accountable for their egregious actions. It is clear the entire department needs a full-scale culture change — that should be a priority of the next mayor and police commissioner as we must take steps to rebuild trust between communities and law enforcement.”

Newly Elected Assemblymember Kenny Burgos - “The unmitigated brutality and excessive force we witnessed this summer at the hands of the NYPD against peaceful protesters reflects a disturbing and longstanding pattern of systemic failures that allow such abuses,” said Assemblymember Kenny Burgos. “Make no mistake, there are incredible officers who put their lives on the line every day, but no objective observer could watch the violence we saw and deem it remotely acceptable. I salute Attorney General James for her bold and compassionate leadership in this lawsuit, and for using the power of our judicial system to hold the NYPD accountable, protect the civil rights of New Yorkers, and restore some semblance of trust in our law enforcement.”

Newly Elected Assemblymember Chantel Jackson - “Thank you, Attorney General James, for taking the necessary steps to hold these parties accountable. I, unfortunately, know all too well what excessive force looks like in my community,” said Assemblymember Chantel Jackson. “Just last summer, I watched our police officers rough up young men for not wearing masks. I watched officers beat and detain peaceful protestors for supposedly violating the mayor’s curfew even though it was more than 10 minutes before curfew, while they simultaneously  blocked those same protesters into one space. I watched elected officials get maced by officers for peaceful protesting and just plain terrorize Black, Brown, and poor communities because officers knew no one would reprimand them. I support, and I thank my attorney general for continuously fighting for the voiceless.”

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr - “Following the death of George Floyd our city saw a desperate need to re-evaluate the way the New York City Police Department handles peaceful protests,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. “Over the summer, we saw thousands of New Yorkers met with the excessive use of force when they took to the streets to peacefully protest. Our relationship with the police must be based on trust and not confrontation. I want to thank Attorney General James for taking important steps towards accountability, so that we can move forward together.”

Bronx City Council members - NONE

349 Days and Counting


349 days until January 1, 2022. 

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Governor Cuomo Updates New Yorkers on State’s Progress During COVID-19 Pandemic - JANUARY 16, 2021


Additional Case of UK Variant in Tompkins County Brings Total Cases to 17

8,888 Patient Hospitalizations Statewide

1,580 Patients in the ICU; 983 Intubated

Statewide Positivity Rate is 5.77%

157 COVID-19 Deaths in New York State Yesterday

 Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today updated New Yorkers on the state's progress during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. An additional case of the UK variant was identified in Tompkins County. To date, there are 17 known cases of the variant in New York State.

"New York is fighting to beat back COVID as we distribute the limited vaccine available as quickly as possible," Governor Cuomo said. "We're deploying all the tools in our toolbox—making sure hospitals have enough capacity and conducting ever-higher numbers of tests—to keep New Yorkers as safe as possible. But our actions as individuals and as communities to stay socially distanced, wear masks and wash our hands are of vital importance, as is the willingness of local governments to enforce the rules. When communities decide to slow the spread, it will slow down. It's purely a function of our actions."

Today's data is summarized briefly below:

  • Test Results Reported - 277,286
  • Total Positive - 15,998
  • Percent Positive - 5.77%
  • Patient Hospitalization - 8,888 (+80)
  • Patients Newly Admitted - 1,144
  • Hospital Counties - 56
  • Number ICU - 1,580 (+10)
  • Number ICU with Intubation - 983 (+21)
  • Total Discharges - 114,868 (+949)
  • Deaths - 157
  • Total Deaths - 32,725

Rochester, New York Man Arrested and Charged with Destroying Property and Obstruction of Congressional Proceedings


  WASHINGTON, D.C. – A New York State man was taken into custody and charged today with unlawful entry, destruction of government property and obstruction of an official proceeding. 

Dominic Pezzola, 43, also known as “Spaz” and “Spazzo,” of Rochester, New York, was charged by criminal complaint with one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1512(c)(2); one count of destruction of government property, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1361; and one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section1752(a).  Following a hearing in the Western District of New York, Pezzola was ordered detained.

The affidavit in support of criminal complaint alleges that Pezzola unlawfully gained entry to the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, by breaking a window in the U.S. Capitol with a U.S. Capitol Police shield, as an individual in the crowd yelled “Go Go Go,” before entering the Capitol building. 

The affidavit also alleges that a video posted from inside the Capitol shows Pezzola smoking a cigar inside the building.  In that video, Pezzola can be heard saying words to the effect of, “Victory smoke in the Capitol, boys.  This is f***ing awesome.  I knew we could take this mother***er over [if we] just tried hard enough.” 

The affidavit alleges that Pezzola was photographed in December, 2020, at rallies in Washington, D.C., that included individuals wearing clothing consistent with the “Proud Boys.”

At some point after the incident at the Capitol had ended, the affidavit in support of criminal complaint alleges, Pezzola bragged about breaking the windows to the Capitol with a Capitol Police shield.  The affidavit also alleges that Pezzola and others stated that they would have killed anyone they got their hands on, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Michael Pence.  The affidavit alleges that, in the days after the event, members of the group said that the group would return to Washington, D.C., and kill every single “m-fer” they could. 

A criminal complaint is a formal accusation of criminal conduct for purposes of establishing probable cause, not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Counterterrorism Section of the Department of Justice’s National Security Division. The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Buffalo Field Office, Albany Field Office, and Washington Field Office.

The ATF and FBI continue to urge the public to report suspected use of explosive devices, or violent, destructive acts associated with the recent unrest. Anyone with information can call 1-888-ATF-TIPS (1-888-283-8477), email or submit information anonymously via

The FBI is looking for individuals who may have incited or promoted violence of any kind. Anyone with digital material or tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or submit images or videos at