Protestors clanged and banged in front of Council Member Stephen Levin’s apartment yesterday evening as he joined a majority of members that passed the City Council’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
The protest followed Levin’s announcement earlier this week that he would vote in support of a city budget that cuts the NYPD’s funding by $1 billion.
We restored all $100m+ cuts that bdb made to teachers,social workers, guidance counselors in DOE-We couldn’t create a UBI system in 5 weeks. We need to keep talking after the budget vote, but I’ll be voting yes. Right now, the kids are yelling so getting off Twitter 4 couple hrs
Demonstrators, however, exhorted him to cast a ‘no’ vote on a budget they say didn’t go far enough in defunding the city police.
“We don’t want them to pass the bill. It’s not what we asked for,” said Melina Juárez, a member of the protest who lives in Williamsburg. “It was just moving money around.”
Levin acknowledged that what was on the table was unsatisfactory for many of his constituents.
“This is the most difficult and heart-rending budget in recent memory,” he said during yesterday night’s hearing. “I too am disappointed that we weren’t able to go further with cuts to the NYPD.” Continue reading →
The march’s destination was a street in Williamsburg where City Council Speaker Corey Johnson was rumored to be staying during the pandemic with his “sweetheart,” explained Sandy Nurse, former candidate for City Council in District 37 and community organizer.
“The speaker needs to put into motion plans to make cuts to the [NYPD’s] budget,“ said Nurse, who was a part of a loose, black-led coalition that organized the march, in a phone call. “We wanted to take it to him personally.”
A funeral for an Orthodox rabbi on the streets of Williamsburg Tuesday evening resulted in approximately 2,000 mourners standing side-by-side despite social distancing guidelines in New York that restrict gatherings of more than 10 people during the current pandemic.
Something absolutely unacceptable happened in Williamsburg tonite: a large funeral gathering in the middle of this pandemic. When I heard, I went there myself to ensure the crowd was dispersed. And what I saw WILL NOT be tolerated so long as we are fighting the Coronavirus
The NYPD worked to disperse crowds at the intersection of Bedford Avenue and Rutledge Street on Tuesday night handing out a total of 12 summonses as Mayor de Blasio himself arrived on scene. Police had originally “coordinated and approved” the procession, Gothamist reports.
Footage of the funeral for Rabbi Chaim Mertz posted to social media shows a packed Bedford Avenue with mourners stretching an entire block.
“We have lost so many these last two months + I understand the instinct to gather to mourn. But large gatherings will only lead to more deaths + more families in mourning,” Mayor de Blasio tweeted. “We will not allow this.”
Mayor de Blasio also received criticism for cracking down on Tuesday’s funeral gathering while the city’s parks, especially Williamsburg parks continue to host crowds of people.
During a virtual press conference on Monday morning Mayor Bill de Blasio responded to growing calls to shutdown NYC streets for pedestrian-only use this summer as social distancing measures are likely to extend through the coming months.
Working with the NYPD, DOT, Parks Department and community organizations we’re going to open up streets in and around parks, expand sidewalks and use barricades to open up neighborhood streets. We’ll also be increasing bike lanes.
Mayor de Blasio said he will open 40 miles of streets by the start of summer with the greater goal of reserving 100 miles of streets for pedestrians this year.
“Working with the NYPD, DOT, Parks Department and community organizations we’re going to open up streets in and around parks, expand sidewalks and use barricades to open up neighborhood streets. We’ll also be increasing bike lanes,” de Blasio tweeted on Monday morning, later adding the correction that the “NYPD will not be, and does not need to be, involved beyond dropping their barricades to close off the streets.”
Some Williamsburg parents disagree with the legality of the measure mandating vaccines in New York City and filed a lawsuit against the city on Monday citing “insufficient evidence of a measles outbreak or dangerous epidemic,” the NY Times reports.
Yesterday, the Mayor put the long-stalled BQX waterfront streetcar project back on the table. The light rail trolley slated to run between Brooklyn and Queens was left out of the fiscal budget in April of this year, after missing its 4th feasibility study deadline. Now the project has returned with a shorter route, a higher budget, and the Mayor’s support.
When the project was first proposed in 2016, the advocacy group Friends of the BQX, headed by Jessica Schumer, daughter of Chuck Schumer, envisioned a 16-mile route from Astoria to Sunset Park. The current project stretches 11 miles, from Astoria to Red Hook, stopping in between at Long Island City, Greenpoint, Williamsburg, the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Downtown Brooklyn. Continue reading →
Councilman Stephen Levin was arrested outside of City Hall on Wednesday morning. Levin, who chairs the General Welfare Committee was arrested along with other protestors during a demonstration urging Mayor de Blasio to release the results of a study on supervised opioid consumption spaces.
Safer Consumption Spaces (SCS) are Supervised Injection Facilities where opioid addicts can consume pre-obtained drugs under medical supervision. The Drug Policy Alliance, which advocates for drug policy based on “science, compassion, health and human rights,” sees SCS as one of the most successful approaches to the opioid epidemic, with the potential to save thousands of lives. Continue reading →
A great New York Story occurred August 17th, 1858, when New Yorkers celebrated the first successful transatlantic cable between The United States and England with a party at City Hall. So thrilled were the New Yorkers of yore, that they decided to illuminate City Hall with torches, then set off fireworks over the building. City Hall caught fire, but nobody could alert the fire department, because the fire bell was on top of the burning City Hall. Ultimately, City Hall was saved, but the building lost its cupola, which has since been repaired. Undeterred, New Yorkers had another party at City Hall two weeks later, and they set off fireworks again. That is the city we live in. No matter what, New Yorkers just keep partying. And Mayor Bill de Blasio was at House of Yes in Bushwick on Tuesday to make it even easier to get down in the five boroughs.De Blasio established an Office of Nightlife, and a Nightlife Advisory Board. A Night Mayor will soon be appointed, although Gerard McNamee, former Director of Operations at Webster Hall, is running for the unelected position.Continue reading →
Here we go again Greenpoint. You know the real estate bubble is sure to burst when a Russian Oil company has snapped up the last bit of waterfront to construct a “St.Petersburg style community on the water”.
The Russian Oil Barron, Piet Roscamenofv, quietly began acquiring the land several months ago after he spotted the few empty lots while taking a private helicopter tour during his annual NYC autumn retreat. Roscamenofv is no stranger to NYC Real Estate having plunked down his money into several high profile buildings throughout the city—including the controversial Time Warner Building where he allegedly owns several floors. Continue reading →