I hope that you were able to get out yesterday to enjoy the sunny day, and that all those celebrating Ramadan had a chance over the weekend to share a moment with family and friends. While health indicators continue to trend in a positive direction, as we move forward into the next phase of this public health crisis, I encourage you all to stay safe and follow best practices, to stay home as much as possible, and to practice social distancing when out and about.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a phased plan to “Un-PAUSE” New York. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has put forth guidance that states can begin to reopen if hospitalization rates have declined for 14 days. The State is closely monitoring the hospitalization rate, the infection rate, and the number of positive antibody tests, as well as the overall public health impact, and will make adjustments to the plan and other decisions based on these indicators. The Governor shared that New York will reopen in phases to ensure the safety of our residents.
- Phase one will involve the reopening of low-risk manufacturing and construction.
- Phase two will open certain industries based on priority and risk level. Businesses considered “more essential” with inherent low risks of infection in the workplace and of low risk to customers will be prioritized, followed by other businesses considered “less essential,” or those that present a higher risk of infection spread. As the infection rate declines, the pace of reopening businesses will be increased.
There will be two weeks in between phases in order to monitor the effects of reopening businesses and risk to public safety.
Governor Cuomo addressed the importance of taking a regional approach to re-opening, especially for our downstate counties. The plan will entail coordinating the opening of transportation systems, parks, schools, beaches, and businesses, with special attention on summer activities for downstate, public housing, low-income communities, food banks, and child care.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the creation of a Fair Recovery Task Force, to be led by a diverse group of civic leaders. The goal is to spur a recovery that confronts deep inequities, reaches into every neighborhood, and leaves New York stronger than ever. Mayor de Blasio has asked the group to provide a preliminary roadmap to recovery by June 1st. Members of the task force include:
- Patrick Gaspard, President, Open Society Foundation
- Richard Ravitch, former Lieutenant Governor of New York
- Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO, Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies
- Carl Weisbrod, Senior Advisor, HR&A Advisors
- Henry Garrido, Executive Director, DC37 / AFSCME
- Maria Torres Springer, Vice President of U.S. Programs, Ford Foundation
- Liz Neumark, CEO, Great Performances
- Fred Wilson, Partner, Union Square Ventures
Mayor de Blasio will name Sector Advisory Councils, which will begin meeting in the first week of May. The councils will focus on specific sectors including small business; large business; public health and healthcare; arts, culture, and tourism; labor; nonprofits and social services; the faith-based community; and education and vocational training; and will advise on industry or area-specific best practices to move us into the next phase while ensuring public health and safety.
The Mayor also announced a Task Force on Racial Inclusion and Equity, to be led by Chirlane McCray and Deputy Mayor Phillip Thompson. This task force will monitor the city’s response in the hardest hit neighborhoods, and will work with city agencies to address long standing racial and economic disparities. Lastly, the mayor announced his intention to name a Charter Revision Commission which will hold public hearings around the city, to look at ways to implement bold structural changes to foster a fair recovery.
Tomorrow, Westchester County Executive George Latimer, joined by members of the Westchester County Board of Legislators, will sign the recently passed Property Tax Relief Law. The new law will complement the New York State Executive Order which allowed County Executive Latimer to remove property tax late fees for County residents and businesses whose municipalities signed on.
If you need assistance with a civil legal matter, lawyer referral and legal services organizations remain open for business and are all currently operating remotely. Legal services organizations provide income-eligible New Yorkers with free legal assistance on a variety of issues, including housing, public benefits, unemployment insurance, workers’ rights, family and immigration law, and health care coverage. To connect with these organizations, click on the links or call the phone numbers listed below.
- The New York City Bar Association operates a Legal Referral Service, and provides low cost services in limited areas. To find out more, click here.
- The City Bar Justice Center. To learn more, click here or call 212-382-6600.
- New York Legal Assistance Group. To learn more, click here or call 212-613-5000.
- Bronx Legal Services. To learn more, click here or call 917-661-4500.
- The Legal Aid Society. To learn more, click here or call 212-577-3300.
- Mobilization for Justice. To learn more, click here or call 212-417-3700.
- Urban Justice Center. To learn more, click here or call 646-602-5600.
- Legal Services of the Hudson Valley. To learn more, click here or call 877-574-8529.
Small Business Resources for Westchester Residents: Westchester County’s Economic Development program is starting an SBA Application Assistance Program to assist small businesses through the application process. The county is seeking volunteers to assist. Learn more and sign up to volunteer here. The volunteers at SCORE Westchester also stand ready to advise small businesses and entrepreneurs in a variety of areas. Learn more about SCORE’s programs here.
Golf Course Update: Westchester County opened the Mohansic and Hudson Hills Golf Courses this weekend, but asks all golfers to strictly observe social distancing protocols.
Westchester Park Update: The Bicycle Sundays program will begin on the first Sunday in May. Participants will be able to bike, walk, and jog a 13.1 mile loop of the Bronx River Parkway from White Plains to Yonkers. Social distancing protocols must be observed.
Upcoming District 34 Events:
- Bronx Community Virtual Town Hall: I will be joining Citizen Action NY, Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition, CASA, and the Housing Justice for All Coalition for a virtual town hall on rent relief. Join us next Tuesday, April 28th from 6:00-7:30 pm. Learn more and register here.
- COVID 19 Updates and Bronx Resources Virtual Town Hall: Next Wednesday, April 29th, from 5:00-6:00 pm, New York City Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Phillip Thompson, Bronx Education Superintendent Meisha Ross Porter, and I will answer questions about the COVID-19 response. RSVP and submit questions here.
- The Fight Ahead: Next Wednesday, April 29th, from 5:30-7:00 pm, I am participating in a town hall with Senators Gounardes, Ramos, Liu, Salazar, May, Jackson, and Myrie for a virtual conversation on New York State’s COVID-19 response. We will be discussing revenue raisers, relief for renters, how we can protect essential social services, and more. RSVP and submit questions here.
Share Your Story / Explore the Virtual World
- Monday is National Tell a Story Day. The Department of Records and Information Services invites you to gather virtually on WomensActivism.nyc to share a story about a woman who has made a difference in your life or the lives of others.
- Contribute to history. Read COVID-19 related stories from around the world and share yours in this COVID-19 Archive. Learn more about this effort to preserve history in the making here.
- Take a break with Playland. Find fun and games for the entire family at Playland Playhouse.
- Enjoy live music, at home. Joe’s Pub is sharing free concerts with audiences each Thursday, Friday & Saturday night. Learn more here.
- Connect to educational and wellness virtual resources from The Point CDC here.
- Arts Westchester has rounded up a weekly guide to virtual arts happenings to enjoy from home, including children’s activities, live-streamed concerts, recorded performances, artist workshops and more. Click here for more information.
- Explore digital resources available from the Mount Vernon Public Library here.
Ways to Lend a Helping Hand:
- Support Your Fellow Bronxites: The Bronx Community Relief Fund was created to support on-the-ground operations that focus on meeting the most essential needs of the Bronx community. To learn how to help out, click here.
- Give Blood, Save Lives: The NY Blood Center needs your help if you tested positive and have recovered from COVID-19. Click here to schedule an appointment and donate today.
- Support Car Wash Workers: Almost all of New York’s car wash workers are recent immigrants and the vast majority are undocumented and living paycheck to paycheck. Support these workers and their families by clicking here.
- Support Pelham Together. For more information and how to help at Pelham Together, click here.
- Support Local Businesses: To learn more about how to support your local businesses click on the links below.
- To see how you can get involved for New York State, click here.
- For how to help in New York City, click here.
- For how to help in Westchester, go here.
In New York State, as of April 26th, there were 288,045 confirmed cases. To date, New York has conducted 805,350 tests statewide.
As of April 26th we have lost 16,966 New Yorkers to the virus.
Of the confirmed cases:
- 158,258 are located in New York City
- 34,522 are located in Nassau County
- 32,059 are located in Suffolk County
- 27,664 are located in Westchester County
- 11,256 are located in Rockland County
You can find the geographic breakdown of coronavirus cases by County here.
As of April 23rd, the Westchester County breakdown is as follows:
- 117 are located in the Village of Pelham
- 78 are located in the Village of Pelham Manor
- 1,851 are located in Mount Vernon
As of April 26th, the New York City borough breakdown is as follows:
- 34,711 in The Bronx
- 47,511 in Queens
- 40,593 in Brooklyn
- 19,046 in Manhattan
- 11,275 in Staten Island
You can find more information and data breakdowns here.
This is an evolving situation. For updated information on COVID-19 (in multiple languages) from trusted sources for your designated area, please visit: Center for Disease Control and Prevention, New York State Department of Health, Westchester County Department of Health, or the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
You can also call the New York State Novel Coronavirus Hotline at 1-888-364-3065 or the New York City Hotline at 1-844-NYC-4NYC with any questions.
While you are at home, don’t forget to fill out the Census! Let’s make our communities count! Read here about the creative ways New Yorkers are encouraging each other to complete the census.The self-response deadline has been extended until October. For more information, and to complete the census, you can click here.