Friday, July 24, 2020

Nayor de Blasio Daily Update July 24, 2020

Mayor Bill de Blasio: Good morning, everybody. Well, I want to talk to you about a couple of quick updates today, but I especially want to focus on our young people. The kids in this city have been through so much in the last few months, and I've talked about it a lot, because I think it's something we really need to focus on. Every one of us has dealt with the strain of this crisis, but our young people, imagine, for so many of them, trying to make sense of this, dealing with a lot of pain around them. The reality of being cooped up, not getting to see their friends, so many challenges – but look, there's some good news starting to emerge here, because with every step we take forward, we're able to open up more and more opportunity for our young people. You go back to March and April, things were very dire. We didn't know what we'd be able to do this summer, but because we've made so much progress, thanks to all of you, we're now able to do a lot more to engage our young people positively and productively this summer and, of course, beyond. So, I want to talk about that. I want to talk about the ways we're going to help them not only have a fun summer, but also have a summer where they grow and they develop and they prepare for their futures.

But before I do that – first, something we should all be celebrating, because this is another sign of rebirth and renewal, opening day of baseball. For so many of us, this is one of the great symbols each year that tells us, you know, good things are ahead – little delayed this time, but, you know, it did happen and I think it's a blessing. For all of you, whether you're a baseball fan or not – I'm a huge baseball fan, but even if you're not, it's something to celebrate. So, congratulations to the New York Yankees, winning their first game of the season. And Dr. Fauci was there, and I want to really celebrate him – a great new Yorker, a great Brooklynite. Look at that, I think he's 79 years old – good form there, Dr. Fauci, that looks pretty good. So, what a great moment for New York City to see a New Yorker celebrated there and the first game of the season in this way and how much he has done for us. It's been absolutely amazing. Well, today, opening day here in New York City. Dr. Fauci thew out that pitch in Washington, but today it's opening day in New York City. Four o'clock at Citi Field, the New York Mets take the field. And yeah, it'll be different – there won't be fans in the stands, it'll feel a little weird, but still what a wonderful thing. And I'm wishing a great season for the Mets as well. And this is something we can really feel good about as New Yorkers, baseball is back.

So, now, let's go back to our young people. And you know, sports is going to be a part of their summer again, because, finally, we're able to open stuff up, and the things that we do to support our young people, like we know baseball is a great tradition. Another tradition in this city is that every summer we do a lot to help our young people have a better summer and to support them. Summer Youth Employment, a longstanding tradition in this city that's done a lot of good for so many tens of thousands of kids each year. This year, the Summer Bridge program, a specially designed program for the reality that we're dealing with now – it begins on Monday, and 35,000 teens and young adults will benefit. And then, they’ll get the kind of support and training that's going to help them with their future. So, this is great for them now, but also for what it means for where they're going. The young people who will be part of this program, they'll be building career skills, there'll be a part of workshops. They'll really be learning and they'll get compensation to help them and to help their families in the middle of everything we're dealing with. A lot of the young people come from public housing, a lot were referred by social service organizations. These are kids who need the most support and the most help, and they're going to get it through the Summer Bridge program.

Now, another great thing – play streets. You know, when you think about all the things that kids have been through, and, again, not being able to get as much physical activity and play, not being able to see their friends as much, a lot of things have been on hold. Well, we're going to open up something – again, a good New York City tradition that has been so great for kids – Play Streets coming back. And that is going to be an important step forward for kids and families to have something to enjoy. We're also going to be opening up 1.5 additional miles of Open Streets, which have been something great for our communities as well. So, more and more opportunities for kids to engage. And on the Play Streets program, the Open Streets with kids, what we're talking about is having a lot of specific things for them to do – arts and crafts, and sports activities, reading corners, dance classes, everything done the smart way. And here's an example, that, that you see on the screen is a touchless obstacle course. So, that's an obstacle course for the age of COVID, but it's still going to give kids a lot of fun and a lot of exercise, and it's going to be great for them.

So, this is the reality of today, but we're going to make it work. We're going to make it work with the right face coverings, social businesses, all the things that we need to do while still giving kids a really rewarding experience. Now, a lot of great activities as you see there. We're going to do them a little bit differently in many ways, but still so many great activities for kids. And I want to thank the partners who would be running these streets for us and providing these great activities for the kids. Street Lab, thank you; Fresh Air Fund, thank you; and the Police Athletic League, thank you. Great activities coming this summer for our kids.

Now, a small, but important matter – I bring it up regularly – and this is an announcement that's actually going to have longer ramifications. Many, many New Yorkers care deeply about alternate side parking because it affects so many people's every-day lives. So, first, for next week, alternate side parking will be suspended next week through Sunday, August 2nd. So, no, alternate side parking anywhere next week. But then, after that, starting Monday, August 3rd, we're going to resume alternate side parking on an ongoing basis. So, we're going to take another step towards something a little more normal, go back to having alternate side parking on a regular basis. That will go all the way from Monday, August 3rd to Saturday, September 5th – the Saturday right before Labor Day. So, for the whole month of August, and the beginning of September, alternate side, parking back the way it was, but with an important change that we're now saying, if you're on one of those streets that has multiple times a week that you have to move your car on your side of the street, we want to address that issue, make it easier for you, make it clear you can only do that one time a week, going forward, and you do that on the last day. We're going to get a lot more information out. But, again, if you're on a street that you have to park your car or honor alternate side multiple times during the week on your side of the street, it will be during this period for this next month only once per week and it will be the last day noted on your side of the street. We'll get a lot more information out on it. And this is – again, why do we do alternate side parking? We do it to be able to clean the curbs, keep our streets clean, keep our sidewalks clean, keep our communities clean. So, we're going back to it, but we're going to try and do it in a way that makes sense and makes it easier for the people of this city.

Now, everybody, I want to tell you, in the midst of this crisis, so many people have been helping out New York City. It's really wonderful. It's really powerful to see. And I want to always give thanks to folks – a particular thanks today to Bank of America that donated $250,000 to provide 100 high school students with college and career readiness and paid internships in the fall. So, this is the kind of thing we want to see our colleagues in the business sector do more and more of, support our young people. Here's a tangible way of doing it. So, thanks to everyone at Bank of America. And then, just want to note some other donors who have been really great and generous. One is a proud New York City public school graduate – his name is Jo-Vaughn Virginie Scott. You may not know that name, but you may know the name of the rapper, Joey Bada$$. So, that's who actually made the donation. We are so appreciative for that. And it's great to see a New York City kid, remember his city and give back. Crown Castle, Meevo, and Jessica Seinfeld and the Good Plus Foundation all have made generous donations. So, again, so many people helping out – always like to show our appreciation for the people helping New York City come back.

Now, let's do the indicators. And let me tell you, a lot to be proud of again today. So, this is such an example of what New Yorkers have achieved together. Day after day, we see this progress. So, daily indicator number one, daily number of people admitted to hospitals for a suspected COVID-19, threshold is 200 patients – today's report, 72. Indicator number two, daily number of people in Health + Hospitals ICU’s threshold 375 – today's report, 295. And percentage of people testing citywide who are positive for COVID-19, threshold 15 percent – today, once again, two percent. That's very extraordinarily consistent. Let's keep it that way and let's see if we can go even farther together.

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