From Helen Rosenthal <[email protected]>
Subject Street Safety; Rent Increases; Anti-Racism Workshop; In-Home Vaccinations & Other News
Date June 24, 2021 6:14 PM
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Dear Neighbors,

Thank you to everyone who participated in this week's Primary Elections. Their importance cannot be overstated -- the leadership we are electing will play a critical role in New York City's recovery.

We should have complete election results by July 12th, including for absentee ballots. It is possible that the Board of Elections will still be examining contested ballots into July, but we will have a firm sense of New York City's next Mayor, Comptroller, Public Advocate, Borough Presidents, and Council Members.


Baby Bonds
I am very pleased to share the news that New York City will open a savings account for every public school kindergarten student next school year. The City's initiative, announced on Juneteenth, is intended to directly confront the racial generational wealth gap in the U.S. It builds on the great success of a pilot project in Queens School District 30.

The City will open a 529 savings account for each child entering public kindergarten, putting a minimum of $100 into every account. The initiative will be carried out via public-private partnerships and the City will invest $15 million annually through 2025. Every public dollar is estimated to leverage 15-20 times in philanthropy, family savings, community scholarships, and investment returns by the time a child graduates from high school.


UWS Emergency Shelters Closing
The City's Dept of Homeless Services has announced that they will no longer be using private hotels as COVID emergency homeless shelters. They expect the transition back to congregate shelters to be complete by the end of July.

In our area, the remaining shelter residents at the Lucerne will return to their congregate shelter next week; and residents of the Belnord will return to their shelter in early July. We will keep you posted regarding the closure of the remaining emergency shelters in District 6.

NYCHA Food Distribution Event
A huge thank you to tenant leaders, Met Council, and my team for organizing last week's very successful food distribution event for Upper West Side NYCHA residents. And our special thanks to DeHostos Apartments for hosting the event.

In just a few hours, we distributed a wide variety of non-perishable food items to 400 households.

Food insecurity remains at record levels across New York City -- with one in six residents and one in five children living in homes that cannot afford enough food.

If you are food insecure, assistance is available now. You can find up-to-date, detailed food resource guides for every NYC neighborhood here ([link removed]) .


Local Senior Centers Are Beginning to Re-Open!
In-person services are starting to resume at Upper West Side senior centers. We will continue to keep you posted as the centers roll-out their new schedules.
* Project Find Hamilton Senior Center: Grab & Go meals are available Monday through Friday, from noon - 1:50pm. Limited in-person activities will begin on July 6th -- including art, music, and educational programs, and access to the computer lab. (141 W. 73rd St. 212-787-7710)

* Goddard Riverside Senior Center: Grab & Go meals are available Monday through Friday, from noon - 1pm. In-person activities and congregate meals will begin on July 6th. (593 Columbus Avenue. 212-873-6600)

* Project Find Clinton Neighborhood Center: Starting next Monday (6/28), limited in-person programs will be available, including access to the computer lab. Services will be scheduled using an RSVP system. Grab & Go lunches will be available beginning July 6th. (530 W. 55th St. 212-757-2026)

Street Health Outreach + Wellness Event
Join NYC Health + Hospitals and West End Church for a special health event next Tuesday, June 29th, from 12:30pm - 7:00pm. Location: 77th Street and West End Avenue.

All services are free. No appointment necessary!
• COVID-19 Testing & Vaccinations
• Hepatitis A Vaccinations
• Wound Care
• NARCAN Distribution


Workshop & Dialogue on Community Anti-Racism Efforts
Please join Manhattan Community Boards 1, 4, 6, 7, and 12, and the NYC Commission on Human Rights next Tuesday, June 29th for this two-part event. Click here to register ([link removed]) . Learn more here ([link removed]) .
* 6pm: Workshop on Human Rights Law and Protections Against Anti-Black Racism & Other Forms of Discrimination Based on Race and Color
* 7:30pm: Dialogue on AntiRacism Efforts with Manhattan Community Boards 1, 4, 6, 7, and 12


Planning for Safer & More Accessible Streets
Street safety is one of the most urgent issues affecting our community. In response to Local Law 195 ([link removed]) (passed by the City Council in 2019), the City's Dept of Transportation is developing the first NYC Streets Plan.

The five-year plan seeks to improve the safety, accessibility, and quality of all city streets. It will involve an in-depth analysis of current planning efforts, with the goal of setting "equitable and ambitious" goals for our streets. For more information, click here ([link removed]) .

Your participation is critical to ensuring that DOT understands the specific issues affecting the Upper West Side, and what should be included in the City's plan. You can participate in the planning process in two ways:
* Online Platform: use this tool ([link removed]) to provide input regarding the streets in which you live and frequent. The platform includes interactive activities, such as a mapping exercise, a budget allocation activity, as well as survey questions. (Can be completed in roughly 10 minutes.)
* Virtual Public Workshops: DOT is also holding a series of virtual public workshops so that residents can provide insights on the transportation issues that matter most to them. Click here ([link removed]) to see the schedule and register. (The workshop for Manhattan Community Boards 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8 is on Tuesday, July 13th, from 6pm - 8pm.)


Recent Motorcycle Thefts
Nine motorcycles have been stolen in the 20th Precinct's Sector B (W. 70th - W. 79th Streets) over the past six weeks. Thieves are taking the motorcycles from the street and loading them directly into a van.

If you have information or questions about these thefts, please email [email protected] (mailto:[email protected]) or [email protected] (mailto:[email protected]) , officers at the 20th Precinct.

NYPD Handling of Protests & Marches
A reminder that the NYPD has drafted revised procedures for how they will approach "First Amendment events," such as protests, marches, and demonstrations. The NYPD states that the revised procedure "memorializes the duties and responsibilities that have historically been carried out by the NYPD at First Amendment events. Additionally, it incorporates the measures the Department is taking to continue to improve our handling of these types of events."

To review the policy and/or comment, click here ([link removed]) . The public has until the end of June to provide feedback before the policy is finalized.


Encore Presentation: Broadway Celebrates Public School Educators!
On May 26th, Inside Broadway brought Broadway back for one day only with a live concert celebrating and thanking New York City’s public school teachers and administrators. Hosted by Broadway’s N’Kenge!, Broadway's Back for the City's Best was performed at Marseille for a small audience of vaccinated educators. The concert can be watched until June 25th by clicking here ([link removed]) . Password: InsideBway. Learn more about the event here ([link removed]) .
Have You Been Vaccinated?

1.) In-home COVID-19 vaccinations are now available to all New Yorkers ages 12 and older. Click here to learn more ([link removed]) or phone 877-829-4692.

2.) Project FIND is partnering with the Dept of Health and the Dept for the Aging to provide a mobile vaccination van.

Wednesday, June 30th through Friday, July 2nd, from 8am – 6pm.
Location: In front of Holy Cross Church, 331 W. 42nd Street.
Free of charge: the one shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine will be provided.

3.) All City-run vaccination sites are open to ALL New Yorkers. This includes City-run "walk-up" sites (age 12+ accepted at Pfizer sites; age 18+ accepted at Moderna sites).

Click here for the most up-to-date list of walk-up vaccination sites ([link removed]) . Vaccinations can also be scheduled via the City of NY’s Vaccine Hub ([link removed]) , its Vaccine Finder ([link removed]) , or by calling 877-VAX-4NYC or 877-829-4692.

Please check the NYS Dept of Health website ([link removed]) and the NYC Dept of Health website ([link removed]) regularly for vaccination updates and additional information.

4.) Stay Informed! Helpful COVID-19 information sources include:
* Up-to-date information on NYC's COVID response ([link removed]) .
* COVID testing and locations of testing sites ([link removed]) . New Yorkers can also call 212-COV-ID19; or text COVID TEST to 855 - 48.
* NYC Health + Hospitals Testing Sites ([link removed]) .
* Learn more about NYC Care, the City’s healthcare access program ([link removed]) .

Important News for Tenants

Save the Date: July 7th Housing Clinic
Tenants with legal and/or housing court-related questions are warmly invited to join us for our July Housing Clinic, led by TakeRoot Justice. The clinic will be conducted via Zoom on Wednesday, July 7th, from 6 to 7pm. We will send out viewing and topic information on Monday, July 5th.

Increases for Rent-Stabilized Leases
Yesterday (6/23), the NYC Rent Guidelines Board passed the following rent increases for rent-stabilized apartments:

***For a one-year lease commencing on or after October 1, 2021 and on or before September 30, 2022:
* 0% for the first 6 months of the lease and
* 1.5% for the remaining 6 months of the lease.

***For a two-year lease commencing on or after October 1, 2021 and on or before September 30, 2022: 2.5% increase.

***There is no rent increase for Single Room Occupancy and residential hotels, starting Oct. 1, 2021. Learn more here ([link removed]) .

NYS COVID Rent Relief: Eligible tenants may seek up to 12 months of rental and utility arrears assistance, as well as three prospective months of rent via the new COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP).
* Applications are being accepted now. Click here ([link removed]) to learn about eligibility and apply.
* Tenants are eligible to apply regardless of immigration status if their household income is below 80% of "area median income," which you can look up here ([link removed]) .
* If you have an eviction case, it will be stayed while you apply, so you can't be evicted while your application is being processed.

For assistance with the application, call New York State at 844-NY1-RENT (844-691-7368). If you live in Manhattan, the two organizations below are designated ERAP "enrollers" and can also assist you.
* Catholic Charities Community Services at 888-744-7900
* University Settlement at 212-453-4500

Other ERAP Resources
* Older adults and persons with disabilities can contact LiveOn NY for assistance with the ERAP application. Phone (212) 398-5045 or email [email protected] (mailto:[email protected]) .
* The NY Legal Assistance Group is also answering questions about the ERAP application. Contact them here ([link removed]) .

Eviction Moratorium
A reminder that Governor Cuomo has signed an extension of the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020 and the Protect Our Small Businesses Act, effectively extending New York’s eviction and foreclosure moratoriums through August 31, 2021.

Tenants facing eviction must submit a declaration of pandemic-related hardship. Tenants who do not submit such a declaration as a justification for non-payment of rent, or who create safety or health hazards for other tenants, can still be evicted. Renters can use Eviction Free NY ([link removed]) , an online tool that automatically sends the hardship declaration to housing court as well as your landlord at no cost.
Especially for Small Businesses

Applying For PPP Loan Forgiveness
While the Paycheck Protection Program ([link removed]) ended on May 31, 2021, borrowers may be eligible for PPP loan forgiveness ([link removed]) . PPP loans made to eligible borrowers qualify for full loan forgiveness if the following conditions were met during the 8- to 24-week covered period following loan disbursement:
* Employee and compensation levels were maintained
* The loan proceeds were spent on payroll costs and other eligible expenses
* At least 60% of the proceeds were spent on payroll costs

Pace University's PPP forgiveness webpage ([link removed]) provides additional information regarding the forgiveness process. If you have questions regarding PPP loan forgiveness or need assistance with the application, the Pace SBDC business advisor team ([link removed]) provides free, one-on-one business counseling.

Pace University also provides information about a variety of grants for small businesses. Learn more here ([link removed]) .


NYC Business Quick Start ([link removed]) is an interagency effort led by the NYC Dept of Small Business Services (SBS) to cut red tape and serve businesses better. Participating agencies include the Departments of Buildings, Environmental Protection, and Health and Mental Hygiene, as well as the Fire Department. Learn more here ([link removed]) .

Assistance includes:
* a concierge service where businesses have a sole point of contact to help navigate City regulations
* a public dashboard
* guaranteed 48-hour response to all small business inquiries
* cutting processing time by 50 percent


Bringing Vacant Commercial Spaces Back to Life
Local non-profit ChaShaMa ([link removed]) has received funding from the NYC Dept of Small Business Services (SBS) for Storefront Startup ([link removed]) -- a new program to activate vacant commercial space with entrepreneurs in need. The goal of the program is to enliven commercial corridors and help micro-businesses, while working with local organizations to implement their own vacancy reduction programs.

ChaShaMa is looking for property owners and co-operatives to provide pop-up locations to activate, and they are also looking for micro-businesses to participate in the program. To learn more, click here ([link removed]) .


Free Assistance for UWS Small Business Owners
The NYC Small Business Resource Network (SBRN) ([link removed]) is a private/public partnership providing local businesses with free, personalized guidance during the pandemic. Business owners should complete a brief intake form here ([link removed]) , and they will be matched with their own Business Support Specialist who will guide them through a variety of economic recovery resources.

SBRN is funded by a $2.8 million grant from the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and led by the Partnership for New York City, the NYC Economic Development Corporation and all five borough Chambers of Commerce.


Webinars for Businesses
* The NYC Dept of Small Business Services' daily webinar schedule can be found here ([link removed]) .

* The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce offers on-line programs covering a variety of topics important to small businesses. Click here to see programs ([link removed]) .

** For Public School Families

Join the Asian American Student Advocacy Project (ASAP)
ASAP is currently recruiting Asian Pacific American-identifying youth, who are 13-24 years old! Young people interested in joining should click here to learn more and apply ([link removed]) .

ASAP's "Youth for Equity" Symposium: July 3rd
APA-YES is an annual conference led by and for Asian Pacific American (APA) youth. This year's event will be held via Zoom on July 3, with the objective of creating an inclusive and diverse pan-Asian space for NYC's youth to explore the impact of COVID-19 on their lives, and to learn how the pandemic has been exacerbated by APA issues. Learn more and register here ([link removed]) . Read the zine for the 2020 APA-YES symposium ([link removed]) .

Summer Rising, the DOE's new free summer program, is available to all K-12th grade students, including students with disabilities. Families of students in grades K-8 can sign up through Discover DYCD ([link removed]) . Schools will be reaching out to high school students and students with 12-month IEPs to discuss participation and program options.

Summer Rising will feature both DOE academics and NYC Dept of Youth & Community Development school-based enrichment programming.
* K–8 students will be able to address unfinished learning while also having opportunities for outdoor recreation, exploration, and fun. Programs will provide a bridge to the next school year and allow students to reconnect with one another and their schools.
* High school students will be able to make up previously failed courses, complete courses in progress, and participate in academic acceleration. Students will have access to social-emotional support, and will also be able to engage in work experience and internship opportunities, such as the Summer Youth Employment Program. Programs may be in-person or remote, depending on the subject area and community needs.

For detailed information on Summer Rising, including how to find your school's program, click here. ([link removed])

Assistance with the College Decision Process
The Student Leadership Network ([link removed]) has put together free resources to help guide high school seniors through deciding on and enrolling in college. Click here to learn more! ([link removed])

** Important Resources & Updates for Our Community

Mental Health Resources for District 6 Residents
Don't suffer alone. Support is available for any New Yorker coping with issues like depression, anxiety, substance misuse, crime victimization, and serious mental illness. Targeted services are being offered to older New Yorkers, veterans, families with young children, students, and people harmed by crime or abuse.
* Learn about available resources in our district here ([link removed]) .

* NYC Well is the City's confidential helpline for mental health and substance misuse services. Trained counselors can provide you with support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in over 200 languages. Click here ([link removed]) ; call: 1-888-NYC-Well (1-888-692-9355); or text: “Well” to 65173.

Support for Caregivers of Persons with Alzheimer's & Dementia
CaringKind ([link removed]) helps caregivers and professionals understand and navigate the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias. This includes individual and family counseling sessions with licensed social workers; support groups; educational seminars and training programs; early stage services; and a wanderer’s safety program.

Free, live webinars are led by staff members, volunteer attorneys, and guest speakers. See the July webinar schedule here ([link removed]) . To register for upcoming webinars or for information on programming available in Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese, contact CaringKind's Helpline at (646) 744-2900.

Wellness Classes for Youth & Older Adults
* Free Virtual Breakdance Classes for NYC Youth: Saturday Night Lights breakdance classes are offered via Zoom for 4th-8th graders. Learn new moves and how to express yourself in a fun and creative way! Classes offered on Wednesdays, from 4pm-4:45pm -- through June 30th. Once registered, students will receive an access link via email. Learn more and register here ([link removed])

* Moving For Life offers programs that make exercise easy, safe and fun for older adults and people of any age who are dealing with mobility issues from aging, cancer, or other health conditions. Free classes support recovery and diverse wellness goals, and are offered in English and Spanish. Learn more here ([link removed]) .


Older adults may be eligible for a wide range of benefits, including assistance with food, medical, and utility costs, as well as rent freezes and lower property taxes.

If you missed our webinar with LiveOn NY about how to access these benefits, you can review detailed slides from the presentation here ([link removed]) .

If you would like benefits screening and application assistance, phone (212) 398-5045, or email [email protected] (mailto:[email protected]) . You can also complete an intake form with LiveOn NY here ([link removed]) .


Set Up Your "My Social Security" Account!
If you're already receiving Social Security, or are 18 or older and work, you can set up a "My Social Security Account" at You can use your account to check your current benefit and payment information, obtain your official Social Security Statement with estimates of future benefits, and more.


Moratorium Extended on Utility Shut-Offs
Governor Cuomo has signed legislation ([link removed]) extending a moratorium that prevents utility companies from disconnecting residential households and small businesses that are struggling financially due to the pandemic. The moratorium is extended for a period of 180 days after the COVID-19 state of emergency is lifted or 180 days after December 31, 2021, whichever is earlier.

Financial Assistance for Internet Service & Devices
The Federal Emergency Broadband Benefit program provides up to a $50 subsidy for internet bills and a potential $100 voucher to acquire a tablet or computer.

Eligible households can enroll through a participating broadband provider or directly with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). Learn more about the benefit, including eligibility and ways to enroll, by visiting, or calling 833-511-0311.

Residents may be eligible if they:
* receive Medicaid or SNAP
* participate in free or reduced-price school lunch or breakfast programs
* experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020
* received a Pell Grant
* are eligible for an internet service provider's existing low-income or COVID-19 program
* receive affordability benefits from a utility (HEAP, Lifeline, etc.)

LiveOn NY assists older adults with obtaining the benefit. Phone (212) 398-5045 or email [email protected] (mailto:[email protected]) .

Jobs Available with the City Cleanup Corps
The City Cleanup Corps (CCC) is a New Deal-inspired economic recovery program with the aim of creating 10,000 jobs and making New York City the "cleanest, greenest city in the United States." The CCC is funded via federal stimulus dollars and part of the Mayor’s Recovery For All of Us plan ([link removed]) .

Hiring is taking place across 10 City agencies, including the departments of Parks & Recreation, Transportation, Environmental Protection, and the NYC Housing Authority. The CCC will focus on revitalizing New York City’s public spaces and neighborhoods -- prioritizing areas identified by local communities and elected officials, business districts, and the 33 neighborhoods hit hardest by the pandemic.
* Click here to see job opportunities ([link removed]) in neighborhoods across NYC.
* Click here if you are a non-profit organization ([link removed]) interested in a full-time CCC intern. The Human Resource Administration and the JCC of Greater Coney Island have partnered to place paid full-time interns in community organizations.

** Educational & Cultural Happenings

Spend An Hour with a Wild Bird Rehabilitator
Ever wonder who to call when you see a bird that’s injured? Join a Zoom event on June 26th at 11am to meet Annie Mardiney of Wild Mountain Birds, a Hudson Valley organization which provides wild bird rescues, rehabilitation, and educational programs. Advance registration required. Click here to learn more and register ([link removed]) .

Late spring and summer are a busy time for bird rescuers. You'll hear about incubating Carolina Wren eggs the size of a penny, abandoned week old ducklings, the hawks, merlins, woodpeckers and owls who break a wing and cannot sustain themselves in the wild without intervention... and the birds who can never be released, remaining in shelters.

For local and citywide environmental news and events, sign up for newsletters from UWS Recycling ([link removed]) , which come out 6 times/year. Read the May/June Eco Letter here ([link removed]) !

Outdoor Enjoyment This Summer
* Summer on the Hudson is NYC Parks' annual outdoor arts and culture festival in Riverside Park, from 59th to 153rd Streets. Click here to learn more ([link removed]) about upcoming music concerts, dance performances, movies under the stars, DJ dance parties, kids shows, special events, wellness activities, and more. All programs and events are free and registration not required unless otherwise stated.

* Re-Growth, A Celebration of Art, Riverside Park, and the New York Spirit is a free, park-wide art exhibition with site-specific installations spanning several miles alongside the Hudson River. Learn more here ([link removed]) and here ([link removed]) .

* Lincoln Center's "Restart Stages" offers free performing arts and civic programming in outdoor spaces across the LC campus. Learn more here ([link removed]) . And learn more here about Lincoln Center's new "Green." ([link removed])

We're Here to Help

My office assists people with housing issues, seniors, the disabled, the recently un (or under) employed, the food insecure, and all those suffering the many consequences of this pandemic, to help in any way we can. We also provide on-going advocacy with our public schools and other public services.

Please call (212) 873-0282, leave a message and we will call you back as soon as possible; email [email protected] (mailto:[email protected]) ; or check our website, ([link removed]) . We update it on a regular basis with information about public benefits, non-profit resources, and health facts Upper West Siders need to get through this crisis.


P.S. Please forward this newsletter to anyone you think might be interested, or have them subscribe to my e-blasts here ([link removed]) . Also, follow my social media accounts on Twitter ([link removed]) , Facebook ([link removed]) , and/or Instagram ([link removed]) .

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