Thursday, April 11, 2019

Georgetown Students Vote on Slavery Reparations Fund

Glenn Greenwald Says Julian Assange’s Arrest is a 'Grave Threat to Press Freedoms'

Lawmakers Just Confronted the IRS Over Tax Audits That Target the Poor

Click here for the report.

Source: ProPublica

Nipsey Hussle Memorial Service (Full Coverage)

WARNING: Coverage may contain vulgar language some viewers may find offensive. Discretion is advised. 

Rapper Nipsey Hussle was mourned at a public memorial Thursday at Staples Center in Los Angeles. 

The website for the 21,000-seat downtown arena said organizers are calling the event Nipsey Hussle's Celebration of Life. 

The memorial begins at 10 a.m. Thursday. No details were given about who may be appearing, performing or speaking. 

Hussle, a 33-year-old father of two and a hip-hop artist as beloved for his work in his community as his music, was fatally shot March 31 while standing outside his South Los Angeles clothing store. 

Two days later, police arrested Eric R. Holder Jr. in the killing and on Thursday prosecutors charged him with murder. Holder has pleaded not guilty.

Deputy’s Son Arrested in Fires at 3 Black Churches in Louisiana

Click here for the report.

Source: KALB

JLUSA: New Trump Rule Would Leave Job Seekers with Records Unprotected

The following announcement was submitted by JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA).

A new rule proposed by the Trump administration would require applicants for federal jobs or contractor positions to inform the employer if they've ever completed a diversion program — a move that would defeat the purpose of a policy that’s meant to protect people from discrimination in the hiring process.

This proposal will erect even higher barriers for people with records when searching for employment. At JustLeadershipUSA, particularly through the #WORKINGfuture campaign, we fight so that everyone with a record can have access to meaningful employment, affordable basic services, and dignity for themselves and their families.

If this proposed rule is passed, it will continue a decades-long trend that excludes people with records from employment, food access, housing, voting, and other basic human and civil rights.

We need your voice to call on the Trump administration to end this dangerous practice before it begins. 

We are calling on all JustLeadershipUSA members and supporters to submit a letter to the Trump Administration before April 23rd to demand an end to this proposal.

Click here to submit your letter. 

SPLC Launches Digital Initiative to Promote Honest Discussion of Confederate History

The following announcement was submitted by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). 

Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas all devote public time, energy, and resources to celebrating “Confederate Memorial Day” or “Confederate History Month” each year. We launched a digital initiative this month to correct the false narratives of the “Lost Cause” mythology, which idolizes people who fought against the United States in order to preserve slavery. 

Click here for the full announcement. 

Suspect Arrested in 'Suspicious' Fires at Black Churches

Full Press Conference

'Year of Return': Hundreds of African-Americans Resettle in Ghana

Sudan's Omar al Bashir Steps Down, Say Government Sources

GMO Foods: Why It's 'Meaningless' to Label Genetically-Modified Organisms

EU Agrees to Delay Brexit Deadline Until October 31

This report was published on YouTube on April 10.

Julian Assange Arrest: Lawyers Speak Outside Westminster Magistrates Court

Gov. Cuomo Discusses How Federal Gov't Policies Are Hurting NY

This video was published on YouTube on April 10.

Mayor de Blasio Makes Announcement on Single-Use Plastics

Harlem School of the Arts Announces $9.5 Million Renovation

Click on the image to increase its size. 

Click here for the report.

Source: The New York Times

NY Charter Schools Angry as City Seeks to Kill Marketing Service

The practice, begun more than a decade ago, has drawn criticism from activists who say it siphons students away from traditional public schools and Mayor de Blasio said at a town hall meeting in February that he’d look into changing it.

Click here for the report.

Source: The New York Daily News 

Final Verdict on General Electric’s PCB Cleanup Likely Five Decades Away, Federal Officials Announce

The EPA deferred its conclusions on the work done on the river north of Albany, and promised to make sure the environmental cleansing effort was completed to its satisfaction. The “Certificate of Completion of the Work” for GE is likely more than five decades down the road, the EPA said.

Click here for the report.

Source: The New York Daily News 

Off Duty NYPD Cop Killed in Motorcycle Crash on Belt Parkway in Queens

Click here for the report.

Source: The New York Daily News

Happening in Harlem: Active Shooter Presentation by F.B.I. Special Agent

 Source: A. Smith, President/NYPD Civilian Volunteer, 32nd Precinct CC

Contact (646) 470-2178 or for more information. 

From The G-Man is urging community residents to attend this meeting and others. It is the only way to find out what the precinct and department are doing to address crime in the area.

Additionally, the meetings provide information on community events and allow residents to convey concerns or pose important questions to those charged with the task of protecting and serving.

The turnout for the March meeting was phenomenal. Do you think you can keep it going, Harlem? This news site believes you can. See you there! 


H. Carl McCall Retires as SUNY Chairman

Click here for the report. 

Source: Newsday

Statement from SUNY Student Assembly
President and Trustee Michael Braun 

“While SUNY students are sad to see Chairman McCall end his 12 years of service to the SUNY system, we stand grateful for his unparalleled record of leadership and service to our system and state.

Chairman McCall has consistently fought to enhance the student experience, secure the funding our campuses need to thrive, build academic excellence, and promote diversity, equity and inclusion across the system.

Chairman McCall’s decades of experience in public service inspires students across the system to dream big and aim high.  Under his leadership, SUNY has made tremendous strides towards fully realizing its mission of offering an affordable and accessible higher education to all. In recognition of Chairman McCall’s commitment to ensuring that the promise of a SUNY Education includes everyone, the Student Assembly has endowed the H. Carl McCall Award for the Promotion of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. For years to come, the Student Assembly will honor a campus student government that displays the same passion for these key values as the Chairman has demonstrated throughout his career.

As he approaches retirement, the Student Assembly wishes Chairman McCall the best of luck in all future pursuits, and we thank him for all he has don to create a SUNY that works best for everyone in it.”

Source: SUNY SA

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Trump Executive Order Will Aim to Prevent States from Blocking Pipelines, Energy Infrastructure

Click here for the report. 

Source: CNBC

Statement from Governor Andrew Cuomo 

"President Trump's Executive Order is a gross overreach of federal authority that undermines New York's ability to protect our water quality and our environment. States must have a role in the process for siting energy infrastructure like pipelines, and any efforts to curb this right to protect our residents will be fought tooth and nail.

"Especially at a time when the federal government has abdicated its responsibility to protect our environment and public health, states like New York are on the front lines protecting our clean water and the public health.

"While the Trump Administration continues its hostile assault on our environment, we are proud to be leading the way forward to build the clean energy economy of tomorrow in New York."

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

In Memoriam: Alexa Valiente, ABC News Producer

Click here for the report. 


Community Accountability Forum to Be Held in Madison, WI, After Black Girl's Assault

Click on the flier to increase its size. 

The following announcement was submitted by Brandi Grayson, Executive Director of Urban Triage

Hello All, 

I'm sending this email as a personal invite to our Community Accountability Forum. The purpose of the forum is to provide space and opportunity to center Black families and youth voices relating to Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) restraint policies and individual education plans (IEPs). It is also an opportunity for our community to ask questions of MMSD staff and other experts on policies and procedures relating to the use of restraints and IEPs.

This forum was organized as a result of an 11-year-old Black girl being brutalized by an MMSD staff person in front of her class. Her hair was yanked out of her scalp and she was punched in the face. The incident started because she and another student sprayed Frebreeze in the classroom. 

In addition to the question and answer session, a breakout session will be included to provide the community with the opportunity to create actionable steps to support students who are the most vulnerable based on the information received from the experts on the panel.  

Food and childcare will be provided. If transportation is needed, or if you would like additional information or have any questions or concerns, please contact me at I also invite you to forward this announcement to your network(s).  

Thank you for your time and consideration.

President Trump's Immigration and Border Security Policies

Brandon Judd, President of the National Border Patrol Council, discusses the subject. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

Global Bank CEOs Testify Before House Financial Services Committee

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

Pharmaceutical Executives Testify on Rising Insulin Costs

Click here for video. 

Source: C-SPAN

'Raven's Challenge' Bomb Squad Training Returns to New York

The New York State Preparedness Training Center in Oriskany is hosting the 2019 Raven's Challenge, the world's largest training event for bomb squads and military explosive ordnance disposal teams. The annual event, held in four locations around the country, trains bomb technicians on how to counter the threat of improvised explosive devices to keep the public safe. This year's exercise will feature bomb squads from around the northeast, Canada and Europe.

"Public safety is our top priority, and it is critical that our first responders have access to the highest quality exercises and trainings available,"said Governor Andrew Cuomo. "New York is proud to once again host the Raven's Challenge, and to welcome first responders and law enforcement from across the globe to our world-class preparedness training center right here in the Mohawk Valley."

Led by the United States' Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) National Center for Explosives Training and Research, the 2019 Raven's Challenge runs at four locations throughout the U.S. from March 10 to June 14. In addition to holding the event at New York's State Preparedness Training Center for the third time, exercises are also being held in Colorado, Florida and Indiana. During the week-long exercise, teams participate in scenario-based exercises developed with the current threat environment in mind.

During the Raven's Challenge, more than 100 bomb technicians from various law enforcement and military entities participate in scenario-based training, including a dignitary protection sweep coordinated by the United States Secret Service, a situation involving a 3D printed grenade that can be dropped by a drone or projected by a tube, and a courthouse checkpoint scene involving an explosive device uncovered during an X-ray.

Click here for the full announcement.

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

The Green Party Electoral Strategy is a Failure

'Future Hope' Column

By Ted Glick 

I received an email from a friend of mine, Howie Hawkins, a few days ago indicating that he is planning to run for the Presidential nomination of the national Green Party for 2020. Howie’s a good man, a dedicated, intelligent, long-distance runner for transformational change, but this is a really bad idea. I’m against him or anyone running as a Green Party Presidential candidate in 2020.

Why is he doing this? Here’s how he describes the main reasons: “In my discussions with Greens who are encouraging me to run, we have conceived of a campaign that would center around two purposes: building the Green Party and advancing an ecosocialist platform.”

So in an election 19 months from now that could lead to the most dangerous man in the world being re-elected President for four more years, Howie and the Green Party aren’t even concerned about what that result would mean for the disrupted climate and the world’s peoples? They continue to believe that Bernie Sanders is getting nowhere with his tactical decision to run within the Democratic Party and have no problem with the very real possibility that they’d be running against him? It’s mind-boggling.

This problematic approach that the Green Party has been following for 20 years, failing every time, even on their own terms, led me to leave the Green Party about a year and a half ago. I continue to believe that there are a whole series of electoral reforms needed to open up the US two-party, corporate-dominated, political system so that a genuinely progressive, mass-based, independent political party can emerge and become viable, but the GP is not such a thing, and I don’t see it doing much to get us to one.

I would have left the GP many years ago but for the fact that, in the early 2000’s after the Ralph Nader/Winona LaDuke Presidential campaign and my subsequent 2002 US Senate Green Party campaign in New Jersey, an effective local GP group in my area came together. We focused not on running candidates but on doing community organizing, primarily, as it evolved, around the issue of the climate crisis.

In 2003, I was one of the leading proponents of an approach to running Green Party Presidential campaigns that took into account the fact that we do not have proportional representation in the USA. Because we don’t, and because it is worse to have someone like Trump, or Bush, or Reagan in the White House, I urged the Green Party to use a “safe states” strategy as a way to build up its strength. Using this strategy, and taking into account that Presidential elections are actually 50 separate elections to the Electoral College, the GP would focus its campaigning in those 35-40 states where it was virtually certain which of the two corporate parties would win. In those states the GP could argue that progressive-minded people should not waste their vote and should vote for the party whose values and positions were most progressive.
Click here for the full article.

Mueller Report Expected 'Within a Week'

CDC Warns About Mysterious 'Superbug' Fungus

Mystery Surrounds American Woman Freed in Uganda

Sudan Protests: 'We Are Trying to Bring Peace, to Move On and to Seed Hope'

US Support for Netanyahu 'Undoubtedly' Made a Difference in the Election

Palestinians React to Israeli Election

What Could Happen? Possible Brexit Scenarios

Pressure on al-Bashir Builds as US, UK and Norway Call for Response to Protests

30% of Votes for Comedian Zelensky in First Round of Ukraine Presidential Election

Lynchings in Mexico: When Angry Mobs Act as Judge, Jury and Executioners

Six Companies Receive New York State Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Certification

Office of General Services Commissioner RoAnn Destito today announced that the following six businesses have recently been certified by the Office of General Services’ (OGS) Division of Service-Disabled Veterans’ Business Development (DSDVBD): 

Cloud Capital Associates LLC, located in Albany, NY, provides administrative, compliance and support services.

SMF Photos LLC, located in West Babylon, NY, specializes in photography and videography.

Vaz Medical & Industrial Safety Inc., located in Bronx, NY, supplies medical and laboratory equipment.

Malcolm Khaleel, located in Bronxville, NY, is a healthcare and social assistance consultant.

Kash1 Capital LLC, located in New York, NY, provides general construction.

Brig Gen (Ret) Harris Kline, located in Manalapan, NJ, is a keynote speaker and consultant.

The Division was created by Governor Andrew Cuomo in May, 2014 with enactment of the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Act. As of April 10, 2019, a total of 617 businesses have been certified.

The Act promotes and encourages participation of SDVOBs in NYS public procurements of public works, commodities, services and technology to foster and advance economic development in the State. More information on the program and the certification process can be found here.

Source: The Office of General Services

2,700 New York City Public School Students Refuse to Vaccinate

Click here for the report.

Source: The New York Daily News

Black Detectives Who Sued NYPD for Discrimination Score $700K Settlement

NYPD Intelligence Detectives Jon McCollum (left) and Roland Stephens 
Click here for the report.

Source: The New York Daily News

L.I. Marine Among 3 Dead After Roadside Bombing in Afghanistan

Marine Cpl. Robert Hendriks

The roadside bomb that killed a city firefighter and Marine reservist in Afghanistan also took the life of a soldier from Long Island, authorities said.

Click here for the report. 

Source: The New York Daily News 

Governor Cuomo Directs Flags to Half-Staff

Governor Andrew Cuomo today directed flags on state government buildings to be flown at half-staff in honor of two Marine Corps Reservists who were killed in Parwan Province, Afghanistan on April 8. Flags will be lowered from today until their interment.

Cpl. Robert A. Hendriks, 25, of  Locust Valley, Nassau County, and Staff Sgt. Christopher K.A. Slutman, 43, who was a 15-year member of the FDNY, stationed at Ladder Company 23 in the South Bronx, were killed in an improvised explosive device attack while conducting combat operations along with a third Marine, Sgt. Benjamin S. Hines, 31, of York, Pennsylvania.

All were members of the 25th Regiment, 4th Marine Division, Marine Corps Reserve.

"I am deeply saddened by the loss of two members of the family of New York, Cpl. Hendriks and FDNY member Staff Sgt. Slutman, while they were serving our country in Afghanistan," Governor Cuomo said. "Their deaths are a tragic reminder of the bravery and sacrifice of our service members, who put their lives in harm's way to protect our values and way of life. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my condolences to their friends and loved ones, and I am directing that flags be lowered in their honor."

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

From The G-Man has posted the following video in honor of Cpl. Hendriks and his service to the country. May he forever rest in peace.

Can’t Meet the April 15 Tax Filing Deadline?

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today reminded taxpayers to obtain an automatic extension of time to file if they are unable to submit a completed income tax return by the April 15 deadline. The extension request is due by 11:59 p.m. Monday, April 15.

“Taxpayers can receive more time to file using our online Personal Income Tax Extension service,” said New York State Taxpayer Rights Advocate Margaret Neri. “An extension will provide more breathing room so they don’t have to file in haste, but not—it’s important to note—more time to pay any tax owed.”

Taxpayers must make full payment of the properly estimated tax balance owed when requesting an extension of time to file. Personal income tax returns filed on extension are due on or before Monday, October 15, 2018.

Filers who use the online option will receive confirmation that the NYS Tax Department received the extension request.

Source: The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Amid Talc Worries, Johnson & Johnson Focused Ads on Minority, Overweight Women

A Reuters Special Report 

The company sought for decades to shore up weakening sales of its iconic talc with ads aimed at specific types of women – many of the same types who today are among those alleging in thousands of lawsuits that J&J powder caused their cancers.

Click here for the full article.

Stoning Gay People to Death in Brunei Is an Outrage and Not My Definition of Islam


I was 13 years old when I first heard of the Sultan of Brunei. The absolute ruler of a tiny, oil-rich kingdom in Southeast Asia, Hassanal Bolkiah was the subject of a much-discussed TV documentary by the British filmmaker Alan Whicker in 1992. As a young teenager, sitting in front of the television, I was in awe of this Muslim king. He was the richest man in the world! He earned a quarter of a million pounds every hour! He owned more than 150 cars!

Today, however, I’m filled not with awe but with disgust. Brunei has become the first country in Southeast Asia to impose capital punishment for “crimes” such as adultery and gay sex.

LGBTQ Bruneians, who are in particular danger, have been fleeing the kingdom. Can you blame them? According to the Associated Press, “Homosexuality was already punishable in Brunei by a jail term of up to 10 years. … But under the new laws, those found guilty of gay sex can be stoned to death or whipped. Adulterers risk death by stoning too, while thieves face amputation of a right hand on their first offense and a left foot on their second. The laws also apply to children and foreigners, even if they are not Muslim.”

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Intercept_

Trump Administration Lets Foster Agency Turn Away Catholics and Jews

In their zeal to stop gay people from adopting kids in need, conservatives have empowered state-funded agencies to turn away anyone they deem unsuitable.

By Jay Michaelson

Aimee Maddonna is the kind of foster parent that child welfare agencies dream of: a married mom of three children, two of them with special needs, and hoping to foster kids who also have special needs. No surprise that when she visited the largest child-welfare agency in her hometown of Greenville, South Carolina, she passed all of the screening tests with flying colors.

Until she told them she was Catholic. That’s when her application was summarily rejected.

That’s because the agency in question, the state-funded, evangelical-run Miracle Hill Ministries only places children with “born again” Christian parents. In 2018, South Carolina’s Republican governor, Henry McMaster, issued an executive order specifically allowing this discrimination and asked for a federal waiver to allow Miracle Hill to receive federal taxpayer dollars disbursed by the state and turn away not just LGBT people, unmarried people, and anyone else they deemed religiously unfit, but non-evangelical Christians and Jews too. (At least two Jewish couples have also been denied by Miracle Hill.)

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Daily Beast

Hate Crimes and White Nationalism Discussed in House Judiciary Committee Hearing

Complete Coverage

Barr Faces Mueller Report Questions in Testimony to House Committee

Complete Coverage

PBS NewsHour: Attorney General William Barr testified today in a House appropriations subcommittee hearing. Barr's opening remarks did not mention special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia report. The hearing is largely about the Justice Department's Fiscal Year 2020 budget request, but that hasn't stopped lawmakers from asking Barr about when the report would be made public, and how Barr reached the conclusions in his own four page summary of the report. 

The hearing begins at the 5:00 mark.

Mayor de Blasio Makes An Announcement Regarding the City’s Measles Response

Complete Coverage

Libyans Flee Tripoli Fighting to Tunisia

Iran Declares US 'State Sponsor of Terrorism' in Reprisal

Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Leaders Face Seven Years in Prison

Algerian Parliament Confirms Bensalah as Interim President

Sudan Protests: Seven More Activists Killed in Clashes with Police

Syria: War-Torn City of Aleppo Slowly Coming Back to Life

UK's May Heads to Paris and Berlin to Seek Brexit Delay

Polls Open in Israel: Will Netanyahu Manage to Stay in Power?

Canadian Terrorists Responsible for More Than 300 Deaths, Injuries Overseas

Canadian Chemical Industry: Proposed Clean Fuel Standard Will Double Our Costs

Ukrainian Congress Committee of America: We Need Volunteer Election Observers for Second Round of Ukraine's Presidential Election

On April 4, Ukraine’s Central Election Commission (CEC)  released the final results of the March 31 presidential elections. With 39 candidates vying for president, no candidate received an absolute majority. According to the CEC, with voter turnout at 62.8%, Volodymyr Zelenskiy secured 30.24% of the vote, while Ukraine’s incumbent president, Petro Poroshenko garnered 15.95%.  The presidential run-off election between Zelenskiy and Poroshenko will be held on Sunday, April 21.

Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA) is therefore, once again, seeking volunteers to join its Election Observation Mission (EOM) to monitor the April 21 decisive run-off elections.

Interested individuals must fill out the observer application and provide a scanned copy of their passport to the UCCA office by April 12. Those observers accredited for the March 31 vote are eligible to monitor the April 21 vote.

With long-term experience in observing elections, the UCCA EOM will conduct a training briefing for its observers on Thursday, April 18 on how best to serve as international election monitors. Official CEC accreditation will be provided and coordinated through the UCCA, which will also organize in-country travel and lodging, translators and guides, if necessary.

The goal of the UCCA EOM is to support an open and transparent electoral process during the run-off elections, specifically to monitor adherence to the law, prevent violations and provocations at polling stations during voting and provide an assessment of the electoral process. The UCCA does not support any one candidate or political party and supports Ukraine’s commitment to OSCE standards for a free and fair election that accurately reflects the will of the electorate. The UCCA-EOM is therefore comprised of volunteers, with registered International Election Observers responsible for all costs related to their participation in the UCCA-EOM, including, but not limited to, travel and lodging.

For further information about the UCCA's International Election Observer program, or to submit your application please email UCCA’s EOM Coordinator, Tamara Olexy at

Source: Ukrainian Congress Committee of America

FPWA to Host Third Courageous Conversations Conference

FPWA, an anti-poverty policy and advocacy non-profit in New York City, in partnership with the New York University McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research, is hosting its third Courageous Conversation Conference to explore the often-unseen ways that trauma and poverty play out in mission-driven work and identify opportunities to course correct.

The event will take place on April 10, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at the New York University (NYU) Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South.

The conference will also feature an award presentation to the Students of Color Matter, who courageously staged peaceful protests at Ethical Culture Fieldston School in response to what students deemed "a school culture of racism and bias".

The keynote speaker will be Alan van Capelle, CEO and President of Educational Alliance and Adjunct Professor of Public Service, NYU Wagner. 

Panelists will include: Gabby Cudjoe Wilkes, Pastor, Double Love Experience, Mayra Lopez, LMSW, Senior Director of Trauma-Informed Programming, Good Shepherd Services in New York City, Stanley Richards, Executive Vice President, The Fortune Society, and Dr. Shari K. Brink, President and CEO, Blanton-Peale Institute and Counseling Center.

Source: Mercury 

Angela Yee of 'The Breakfast Club': Join Me in Supporting Libraries and Library Workers

The following statement was issued by Angela Yee, Power 105.1 FM radio personality and co-host of "The Breakfast Club". 

Librarians changed my life. Growing up in Brooklyn, library workers guided me toward the books I didn't yet know I needed to read. I learned about womanhood from Judy Blume's Are You There God, It's Me Margaret and the atrocities of racism in Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. I fell in love with the cadence of Shakespeare and devoured the teenage drama of Sweet Valley High.

Library workers had an undeniable hand in shaping me into the person I am today: an entrepreneur, a nationally syndicated radio host, and a lifetime, die-hard lover of books, reading, and libraries.

One of the most exciting things about using my voice to strongly support libraries—and to act as the first New York Public Library Ambassador—is the opportunity I have to encourage New Yorkers to explore their local branches and get to know their library workers. Every single day, at all 217 public library branches in New York City including Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, library workers are helping people find books that capture their imaginations, encourage empathy, improve schoolwork, and teach. They're also helping people access the numerous free programs and resources available at libraries—like job training, technology and ESOL classes, early literacy workshops, film nights, community events, and so much more.

I'm more aware than ever of how precious a gift a public library with knowledgeable library workers truly is. Where else in New York City can you find people who will help you—and all New Yorkers—access millions of research materials, thousands of public computers and educational programs, citizenship classes, after-school homework help, and more—all for free?

But right now we're at a critical moment. In recent years, the City has asked libraries and library workers to step up and provide even greater outreach to some of New York City's most vulnerable populations. The libraries have taken up this mission enthusiastically and have partnered with the Departments of Corrections, Homeless Services, and others as we've worked to make services and resources available to every single New Yorker in need.

This important work, however, cannot continue without increased funding. The Mayor and City Council leaders are in the process of making decisions about next year's budget for libraries. In order for libraries to keep their services open to all New Yorkers—from me to you, from kids to seniors, immigrant families, world-class researchers, and the incarcerated and their families—it's paramount that City leaders strengthen funds for the city's public libraries.
Please take a moment on National Library Workers Day to sign a letter in support of library workers (then visit a library, get a library card, and thank a library worker in person!). Let City leaders know that the work of library staff matters and deserves recognition—and increased funding. 

As a native New Yorker, I know firsthand how library workers help create and fortify communities. I want all New Yorkers to continue having the same opportunities at the public library that I did as a child browsing the bookshelves.

Last year, there were nearly 17 million visits to our public libraries. This year, let's help our library workers welcome even more visitors through our open doors.

Thank you for joining me today in recognizing the contributions library workers make in keeping our city and all of its communities going strong.


Angela Yee
New York Public Library Ambassador

Source: The New York Public Library

Legislators, Advocates Call for Green Amendment in NY State’s Constitution

Albany – Today, Environmental Advocates of New York, legislative leaders, and advocates, called for an amendment to the State Constitution that would guarantee New Yorkers a right to clean air and water. Comprised of 15 words, this ‘Green Amendment’ would amend Article 1 of the State Constitution to include: “Each person shall have a right to clean air and water, and a healthful environment.”

Additionally, 90 advocate groups have called on the state Legislature to support the bill. A letter in support released today states that the amendment, “will drive better government decision-making at all levels of government and will prevent situations or conditions in which water becomes too polluted, air too dirty, land too contaminated, and natural landscapes too decimated to support healthy lives, including a healthy economy.”

New York’s Green Amendment (A.2064/S.2072) is sponsored by Assemblyman Steve Englebright and Senator David Carlucci. The amendment has passed in the Assembly for the past two years, but has not yet receive a vote in the Senate. In order for the New York State Constitution to be amended, the amendment must be passed by both the Assembly and Senate in two consecutive legislative sessions. It must then pass a statewide voter referendum.

Forty-three states have some form of expression of environmental values in their Constitutions; but only Montana and Pennsylvania have recognized protecting environmental rights as an inalienable right, putting environmental rights on par with other political and civil liberties. In a 2016 report, the New York State Bar Association noted that “several other states, such as Pennsylvania, and 174 nations, have adopted and implemented constitutional ‘environmental rights,’” adding that Article 14 of the New York State Constitution, the Forever Wild clause, does not include such protections.
“Our state’s constitution must be brought into the 21st century and guarantee every New Yorker the basic and fundamental rights to clean air, water and a healthful environment. Our state’s constitution has protections to worship, assemble and even play bingo. It’s time environmental protections be there too for our residents,” said David Carlucci Chairman of Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities and bill sponsor.

“This measure is beautiful in its simplicity, a Constitutional amendment to ensure that clean air and water and a healthful environment are treated as fundamental rights that protect the overall health of the people and the environment,” said Steve Englebright, Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee Chair and bill sponsor.

Source: EANY

Jewish Council for Public Affiars Webcast: Navigating the Progressive Conversation

Click on the flier to increase its size. 

Source: JCPA

Sarina Roffe to Address Congregation Beth Torah

 Click on the flier to increase its size.

Contact the Brooklyn Jewish Historical Initiative at  for more information. 

Source: BJHI

Monday, April 8, 2019