Saturday, April 17, 2021

260 Days and Counting


Things are really crazy up in the Bronx. I thought the Bronx Democratic Party Leader had some influence, but that must have been County Leaders like Jose Rivera, Carl Heastie, and even Marcos Crespo, but now I understand why Crespo bailed for a high paying job with Montefiore Hospital. 

Jamaal Bailey you are abandoning your district leaders, and they are abandoning their assembly members such as in the 80th A.D. Your undeclared Bronx Borough President candidate winds up at the bottom of the list, and your declared candidate for City Comptroller also is at the bottom of the ballot for that position, where former Bronx Assembly candidate Dion Powell (of all people) gets the number one spot for City Comptroller. Go Dion Powell, 'Powell for the People'.

Bronx Democratic Party - Join Team Benjamin and Senator Jamaal T. Bailey for a voter contact session


Dear friends,

This Tuesday, April 20 at 6 pm, please join us and Senator Jamaal T. Bailey to talk to Bronxites about Brian Benjamin's campaign for New York City Comptroller. We will be calling and texting our neighbors using Hustle to get out the vote for Brian. He is running to be our next NYC Comptroller to bring transparency, accountability, and leadership to New York City. Brian is an experienced financial manager with the background and vision to lead the city through the Covid-19 recovery and beyond. Learn more about Brian at

Don't worry if you're new to this or if it's your first time using systems like Hustle, we'll provide you with training to set you up for successful conversations. Training begins at 5:30 pm for those who would like to learn more.

We look forward to having you join us!

The Bronx Dems

Friday, April 16, 2021

Governor Cuomo Announces More Than 40% of New Yorkers Have Received at Least One Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine


233,973 Doses Administered in the Last 24 Hours

Nearly 1.5 Million Doses Administered Over Past Seven Days  

Vaccine Dashboard Updated Daily on the State's Vaccine Program; Go to

 Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that more than 40 percent of New Yorkers have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 233,973 doses have been administered across the state's vast distribution network in the last 24 hours, and nearly 1.5 million doses have been administered over the past seven days.       

"We remain locked in a footrace between the rate of infection and the vaccination rate, and we are continuing to work around the clock to get shots in arms as quickly and fairly as possible," Governor Cuomo said. "Our vaccination efforts are going very well - we have opened hundreds of vaccination distribution sites across the state, we've expanded to universal eligibility and we are investing in public awareness and education to make sure every New Yorker knows the vaccine is safe and effective. However, we are still largely dependent on the supply from the Federal Government, and until we have reached herd immunity all New Yorkers must continue with the safe practices we know work to stop the spread."

New York's vast distribution network and large population of eligible individuals still far exceed the supply coming from the federal government. Due to limited supply, New Yorkers are encouraged to remain patient and are advised not to show up at vaccination sites without an appointment.                                                

The 'Am I Eligible' screening tool has been updated for individuals with comorbidities and underlying conditions with new appointments released on a rolling basis over the next weeks. New Yorkers can use the following to show they are eligible:

  • Doctor's letter, or
  • Medical information evidencing comorbidity, or
  • Signed certification                

Vaccination program numbers below are for doses distributed and delivered to New York for the state's vaccination program, and do not include those reserved for the federal government's Long Term Care Facility program. A breakdown of the data based on numbers reported to New York State as of 11 AM today is as follows.                                              


Total doses administered - 12,872,765

Total doses administered over past 24 hours - 233,973

Total doses administered over past 7 days - 1,485,899

Percent of New Yorkers with at least one vaccine dose - 40.2%

Percent of New Yorkers with completed vaccine series - 27.0%  

Governor Cuomo Announces Lowest COVID-19 Hospitalizations Since November 30 April 16, 2021


Hospitalizations Drop to 3,884

868 Patients in the ICU; 543 Intubated

Statewide Positivity Rate is 2.81%

Statewide 7-Day Average Positivity Rate Drops to 3.04%--Lowest Since November 25

43 COVID-19 Deaths in New York State Yesterday

 Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that COVID-19 hospitalizations dropped to 3,884, the lowest since November 30. The statewide 7-day average positivity rate dropped to 3.04 percent, the lowest since November 25.

"COVID-19 hospitalizations are down to their lowest level since November 30, which is basically Thanksgiving, so we are fully back to the point before the holiday surge. I want to make it especially clear that it is the actions of a community—the actions of individuals as a collective—that matter," Governor Cuomo said. "We know how the virus spreads, so it's a question of your behavior and the precautions you take. The more precautions you take, the fewer people get infected. We're at a point now where we've communicated all the information that we can communicate and everyone knows the facts. We've beseeched people to take it seriously, but it is now up to you. It's up to you as an individual, you as a family, you as a community. Our recovery is going to be a function of how many vaccinations we take, and I believe that there is a civic and community duty for individuals to take a vaccine. No one can be safe unless everyone is safe."

Today's data is summarized briefly below:

  • Test Results Reported - 232,929
  • Total Positive - 6,555
  • Percent Positive - 2.81%
  • 7-Day Average Percent Positive - 3.04%
  • Patient Hospitalization - 3,884 (-79)
  • Net Change Patient Hospitalization Past Week - -467
  • Patients Newly Admitted - 472
  • Hospital Counties - 52
  • Number ICU - 868 (-18)
  • Number ICU with Intubation - 543 (-16)
  • Total Discharges - 169,765 (+498)
  • Deaths - 43
  • Total Deaths - 41,391

Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation Establishing First-in-the-Nation Program to Provide Affordable Internet to Low-Income Families


Program Requires Internet Service Providers to Offer an Affordable $15 per Month High-Speed Internet Plan to Low-Income Households, as Proposed in the Governor's 2021 State of the State

 Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation establishing the first-in-the-nation requirement for affordable internet for qualifying low-income families, as proposed in the 2021 State of the State. This legislation requires providers operating in New York State to offer $15/month high-speed internet to low-income families across the state. New Yorkers qualifying for this affordable internet program include households who are eligible or receiving free or reduced-price lunch, supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits, Medicaid benefits, the senior citizen or disability rent increase exemptions, or an affordability benefit from a utility. It also requires providers to report to the Public Service Commission annually on their offers and uptake. This new affordable internet program will impact seven million New Yorkers and 2.7 million households.​

"High-speed internet is essential to our everyday lives, and as we continue to reopen our state and adjust to new norms that have been shaped by the pandemic, we need to make sure every household has access to affordable internet," Governor Cuomo said. "Remote learning, remote working, and telemedicine are not going away. This program - the first of its kind in the nation - will ensure that no New Yorker will have to forego having reliable home internet service and no child's education will have to suffer due to their economic situation."   

Affordability is a key issue in the fight for universal broadband, as many families cannot afford to pay for broadband service in their homes. A basic high-speed internet plan, on average, costs more than $50 per month. Nationwide, 43% of those earning less than $30,000 are not connected to internet at home, and 26% of those making $30,000 to $50,000 remain unconnected at home. It closes to 8% unconnected for those making $75,000 or more. Meanwhile, nationwide only 66 percent of Black households, 61 percent of Hispanic households, and 53 percent of Native Americans living on tribal lands are connected to internet at home, compared to 79 percent of White households.

To further bridge the internet gap in New York, the State has partnered with Schmidt Futures and the Ford Foundation to launch ConnectED NY, an emergency fund to provide approximately 50,000 students in economically disadvantaged school districts with free internet access through June 2022.   

In addition, Governor Cuomo launched the Affordable Broadband Portal to help New Yorkers find the affordable broadband programs in their area. This website also includes critical information about the FCC's Emergency Broadband Benefit Program ($50/month subsidy for broadband service, plus a one-time discount of up to $100 on computers and tablets). 

Furthermore, New York State will conduct an in-depth statewide mapping study of broadband to identify the availability, reliability and cost of high-speed broadband services and report on its findings within one year. This study will map the quality -- not just the availability -- of coverage. This is part of the State's effort to make broadband accessible and affordable for all. 

The Governor's comprehensive 2021 Connectivity Agenda builds on his work leading the nation in delivering equitable internet access for all New Yorkers. In 2015, the State undertook the largest and most ambitious broadband initiative in the nation, dedicating $500 million to broaden internet access statewide. This investment, coupled with regulatory reforms, expanded the reach of broadband so today 98 percent of New York households have access to high-speed broadband with download speeds of at least 100 Mbps. Furthermore, the Governor took critical steps to tackle the digital divide in schools by signing the 2014 Smart Schools Bond Act. This Act made $2 billion available to school districts across the state for technology devices and classroom enhancements to improve school connectivity, making it possible for schools to weather today's challenges of remote learning. 

Attorney General James Releases Grand Jury Proceedings Related to the Death of Daniel Prude


 New York Attorney General Letitia James today released the transcripts of the grand jury proceedings in her office’s investigation into the March 2020 death of Daniel Prude. The transcripts of the proceedings were released after a judge granted Attorney General James’ motion to unseal and publicly release them. This is the first time in New York history that grand jury proceedings in a case of a police-involved death have been made public.

“This nation has a long and painful history of injustice, and every day, we are working to create a fairer and more equal system,” said Attorney General James. “Our efforts to balance the scales of justice and ensure accountability can only go so far in the absence of transparency. We took the unprecedented action of seeking to release the grand jury transcripts because the public deserves to know what happened in these proceedings. As I have throughout my career, I will continue to use every tool at my disposal to shine a light in the corners of our system that have been hidden for too long.”

After impanelment, the grand jury convened on nine separate occasions between October 2020 and February 2021 for more than 45 hours in total. As ordered by the court, the transcripts of the grand jury proceedings have minimal redactions to protect the identities of the jurors and witnesses who testified.

Session One – October 28, 2020

Session Two – November 4, 2020

Session Three – November 18, 2020

Session Four – December 9, 2020

Session Five – December 16, 2020

Session Six – December 17, 2020

Session Seven – December 21, 2020

Session Eight – January 13, 2021

Session Nine – February 23, 2021

Attorney General James has a long history of pushing to change grand jury secrecy laws. Following the death of Eric Garner, then-Public Advocate Letitia James filed a lawsuit to release the minutes of the grand jury proceeding to ensure full transparency.

Mayoral Candidate Andrew Yang Visits Westchester Square


Mayoral candidate Andrew Yang came to Westchester Square Friday to give out food bags, but wound up holding a press conference, then left after bringing some bags of food to the table set up on the sidewalk in front of the Huntington Library. There were many reporters who wanted to ask candidate Yang several questions now that he has become the leading candidate according to recent polls. 

My question to Mayoral candidate Andrew Yang was about the proposed two, two-hundred bed Single Adult Homeless men's shelters proposed only blocks from the Westchester Square Business District. I said that Community Board 11 was responsible for 748 homeless people, and the two Single Adult men's shelters would account for over fifty percent of the boards requirement when DHS had a formula of no more than twenty-five percent allocation of Single Adult Males candidate Yang did not know what I was talking about. I added that Community Board 11 where both were to be built, the second one by a developer who was a big contributor to the Bill de Blasio campaign, I said what will Mayor Yang do to stop the second Adult Men's 200 bed shelter? I could see that candidate Andrew Yang knew nothing about the homeless situation and in my opinion will make a mayor just like Bill de Blasio if not worse, as he tried to bluff his way through my question. 

Candidate Yang attempts to answer my question on two, two-hundred bed Single Adult men' Shelters near Westchester Square in CB 11, showed that he knew nothing about the homeless problem in New York City. 

Candidate Yang is being showed the historical importance of the Huntington Library by a Community Board 10 member where the library is located.

Mayoral candidate Yang talks to one of a few people who passed by.