It’s Thursday, November 4, 2021– happy Diwali! Welcome to my weekly update.
New York City’s COVID positivity rate is now 1.39%, down from 1.41% last week. Those interested in diving more deeply into local COVID statistics can check the NYC Dept. of Health website or thecity.nyc’s COVID tracker. If you’re not yet vaccinated, find a vaccine site– including those for boosters– here.
The big news this week is that CDC Director Rochelle Walensky has approved use of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5–11 (12 and over were already approved for Pfizer). These vaccines are available today (11/4) at City-run vaccine sites (where children will be eligible for the $100 incentive), at many schools starting this Monday (11/8– see the school vaccine site schedule here), and at many (if not most) pediatricians’ offices and pharmacies. The City now has a parent hotline to answer specific questions: 212-COVID-19 (212-2684-319).
Daylight savings ends this Sunday morning (11/7) at 2 am– traditionally a good time to check your smoke/carbon monoxide alarm batteries!
Now that the election is over, I’d like to share some updates below about the work I’ve been up to since the summer…
To address the public health and safety hazard of non-essential helicopter flights over Manhattan, I’ve spearheaded the first-ever coalition of elected officials, advocates, and local residents from New York and New Jersey to call on the federal government to take immediate action.
In a news conference outside the West 30th Street Heliport last week, my Helicopter Task Force released a letter signed by 35 elected officials addressed to the Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg asking his agency to impose special flight rules for non-essential helicopter flights over densely populated areas, including the City of New York, and adjacent New Jersey.
It’s long past time to end helicopter rides being treated as a wild, wild, west that benefit only tourists and the wealthy.
Last month, I was honored to be among the City & State Manhattan Power 100 recipients who spoke at the annual reception. If you didn’t catch the event live, watch it here.
I applaud Mayor de Blasio’s funding of facade rehabilitation at NYCHA developments, which will result in removal of the “sheds” that have been protecting pedestrians for far too long. Sheds are a big issue everywhere, though, and last month, I protested a shed that’s been up for 15 years at 51 W. 86th St.
Every Tuesday my virtual Manhattan Vaccine and Recovery Task Force meets, sharing excellent information about the pandemic and New York City’s reopening. To join the 3 pm Zoom any Tuesday, email firstname.lastname@example.org in advance. Here are links to recordings of the sessions along with what we discussed at each meeting (see the full archive here):
Drug addiction, harm reduction, and rehabilitation (10/26)
Technology and COVID recovery (10/19)
Vaccination strategies and how to help employment numbers rebound (10/12)
Home-delivered meals and mental health (10/5)
The trajectory of the pandemic and the NYC Dept. of Education Situation Room (9/28)
Climate change’s impact on NYC (9/21)
The return to in-person school (9/14)
Arts and culture (8/31)
Food access, school-based mental health, and community schools (8/24)
I made ULURP recommendations about 250 Water Street (Community Board 1), the Starrett-Lehigh and Terminal Warehouse (CB 4), and the Open Restaurant Text Amendment (citywide).
This brings the total to 189 ULURP recommendations since I became Borough President in 2014.
The ULURPs still on the docket before the end of my term are:
an 82-unit supportive housing project by Fortune Society on a City-owned vacant lot in CB 11; and
the New Providence Women’s Shelter, a proposed 21-story building in CB 6 that would include a 171-bed shelter, 130 units of affordable housing, and a public medical clinic.
In other land use news, the City Council will hold a hearing about the SoHo/NoHo rezoning on Tuesday (11/9) at 10 am. Register to testify here, submit written testimony here, or watch the hearing here.
Since the summer, I’ve testified in many venues about issues such as Vision Zero, congestion pricing, and Open Restaurants. Catch up on the various testimony here.
There are two more trainings in my annual “Leadership Development” training series. The classes are free, but require registration at the links below. Everyone is welcome!
“Manhattan 101: An Introduction to our Borough and Our City”
Monday (11/8) at 6 p.m. Register here.
Led by Rob Snyder, Manhattan Borough Historian
Manhattan is so dense and dynamic that you can lose sight of its long history. In a short lecture and discussion, Manhattan Borough Historian Robert W. Snyder will describe how big changes in labor and economics, immigration and migration, and the evolution of our island landscape have shaped our own time. We will devote special attention to how the latest Census data affected how we live and work. This cohort will then break into small groups to discuss what these changes mean for our neighborhoods.
Human Rights Law & Protections Against Discrimination Based on Race & Color”
Friday (11/12) from noon – 1:15 p.m. Register here
Presented by the NYC Commission on Human Rights
This session provides a historical context for race and color-based discrimination and how it has impacted the lives of New Yorkers, institutions, and the delivery of services and resources in NYC. This course educates participants on their rights and protections against discrimination under the Human Rights Law. Participants will analyze concepts related to race and color, learn about efforts and resistance to combat racism, and find ways to become the voices for social and racial justice.
Three more weeks remain for my GrowNYC “Fresh Food for Seniors” program, where seniors pay $9 cash, a week in advance, to receive a bag worth upwards of $15, containing a variety of locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables that they pick up the following week. It’s win-win– it helps local farmers, and seniors too! Sign-up dates and times vary per location; contact any site below for more details.
Hell’s Kitchen, Chelsea, and West Village (in partnership with Council Speaker Corey Johnson)
Delivery dates: 11/9, 11/23
SAGE (305 7th Ave., 15th floor, 646-576-8669)
VISIONS (135 W. 23rd St., 646-486-4444)
Greenwich House (27 Barrow St., 4th floor, 212-242-4140)
Encore Senior Center (239 W. 49th St., 212-581-2910)
Hudson Guild NORC (441 W. 26th St., 212-760-9800)
West Village Houses (642 Washington St., 212-255-2035)
Upper West Side (in partnership with Council Member Helen Rosenthal)
Last delivery date: 11/17
Goddard Riverside Senior Center (593 Columbus Ave. at 88th St., sign-up takes place at each pick-up from 1–3 pm, contact Shula or Rita below with any questions)
Project Find: Hamilton House (141 W. 73rd St., 212-787-7710)
NCJW Council Lifetime Learning (241 W. 72nd St., 212-687-5030)
Bloomingdale Aging in Place (212-842-8831)
Lincoln House Outreach (303 W. 66th St., 212-875-8958
For more information, contact:
Shula Warren Puder in my office at 212-669-2392 or email@example.com
Rita Genn in Council Member Rosenthal’s office at 212-873-0282 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Speaker Johnson’s office at 212-564-7757 or email@example.com
An affordable housing lottery has opened for 27 East Harlem apartments at 2269 1st Ave., including studios, one-bedrooms, and two-bedrooms. Applicants must earn between $58,286–$167,570 depending on household size. Learn more and apply here by Wednesday, 12/29.
East Harlemites of all ages are invited to complete the four-question community priorities survey from the Human Services Consortium of East Harlem as part of the Mayor’s Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity. The survey is available in English and Spanish. Complete it here.
Lenox Hill Neighborhood House’s Early Childhood Center is still accepting new students ages 3–5, free to qualifying families.
Free, in-person field trips to the South Street Seaport Museum for public schools have resumed through February 2022. Students can enjoy outdoor STEM and history programs aboard the Museum’s fleet of historic ships and on walking tours throughout Lower Manhattan. To book a program or learn more, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications are still open for the NYS COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program, which awards up to $50,000 to small businesses that earn up to $2.5 million
Child care providers can get assistance applying for the NYS Child Care Stabilization Grant from the Chinese-American Planning Council. Due Tuesday, 11/30, the grant helps providers cover unexpected costs due to COVID. For help applying, contact Matthew Li at email@example.com, 212-941-0030 x 284, 929-538-9407 or Jason Liu, firstname.lastname@example.org, 212-941-0030 x 219, 929-538-9544.
People living with HIV or AIDS can access legal services by calling the Legal Aid Society’s dedicated helpline: 718-579-8989. Clients can be connected to assistance with government benefits, health services, and general civil law matters.
The Bloomingdale School of Music’s free, semi-monthly faculty concert series has begun. Check this page for upcoming concerts– tickets go fast, so plan ahead.
Friday (11/5) from 10 am – 3 pm is a free flu shot clinic at 106th St. and Amsterdam Ave. hosted by Assemblymember Daniel O’Donnell and Ryan Health. To secure a spot, call 212-866-3970 or email email@example.com. Drop-ins are also accepted.
Friday (11/5 at 6 pm) and Saturday (11/6 at 2 pm and 6 pm) is a free production of “Sherlock Holmes: The Baker Street Irregulars” from the Pied Piper’s Children Theatre of NYC on the Audubon Terrace of the Hispanic Society (Broadway btwn 155th–156th St.).
Saturday (11/6) at 10 am, volunteer to help plant daffodils at Seward Park (Canal St. and Essex St.), hosted by the Seward Park Conservancy in partnership with the New Yorkers for Parks’ Daffodil Project. Register here.
Saturday (11/6) from 10 am – 1 pm, volunteer to help with garden maintenance (repairing raised beds, shoveling topsoil, planting herbs, vegetables, fruits, and flowers, spreading mulch, picking up trash, weeding) at Concrete Safaris’ Mad Fun Farm. Meet at 1775 3rd Ave. (or if late, meet at the garden just south of the Washington Houses flag pole between 2nd–3rd Ave./98th–97th St.). Register here.
Saturday (11/6) at 11 am, head to Roosevelt Island’s Manhattan Park Lower Lawn to smash and compost your pumpkins, hosted by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation. If you can’t make it, find a food waste drop-off site here.
Saturday (11/6 at 1 pm) and Tuesday (11/9 at 5:30 pm), Landmark High School is holding open houses for prospective 9th and 10th graders (351 W. 18th St., 4th floor). Register here.
Saturday (11/6) from 1–4:30 pm, young residents of the Polo Grounds, Wagner, and St. Nicholas NYCHA developments are invited to the “MAP Youth Policy Summit,” an opportunity to meet with City government leaders to discuss safety, health, environment, economics, and youth opportunity, sponsored by the Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety. Click the title to register.
Saturday and Sunday (11/6–7) from 1–5 pm, the virtual scientific conference “Looking Back, Looking Forward: Preparing for the Post-Pandemic World” explores how medical professionals treating Asian American communities can help address the discrimination their patients face and gaps in the public health system, hosted by the Chinese American Medical Society. Medical professionals, social service providers, and community-based organizations are invited. Register here.
Monday–Wednesday (11/8–10), the free, virtual “Smart Cities New York Urban Tech Summit” features 20+ panels about how tech can improve cities and topics like closing the digital divide, rethinking social services, and using tech to develop safer streets. See the full schedule and register.
Monday (11/8) at 5 pm, pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum parents are invited to a virtual forum to have an open, honest conversation with trusted sources about the safety and efficacy of the COVID vaccines, hosted by CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy, the National Black Leadership Commission on Health, and Hunger Free NYC. Chelsea Clinton will moderate the session. Register here.
Tuesday (11/9) at 10 am, virtual policy forum “Helping NYC’s Vital Asian-Owned Businesses Come Back Stronger” is co-presented by the Center for an Urban Future and the Asian American Federation. Click the title to register.
Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12:40 pm through 11/18, catch a free pop-up concert at the Bryant Park ice skating rink, performed by the Ice Theatre of New York.
Wednesday (11/10) at 11:30 am, the next virtual parenting workshop in the “Fostering Emotional Wellbeing” series discusses strategies and resources that parents can employ to address stress, prioritize their mental health, and stay emotionally well while balancing parenting responsibilities, hosted by the Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health. Click the title to register.
Wednesday (11/10) from 1–4 pm, meet with expert gardeners at Madison Square Park to learn more about native plants and their importance in preserving Manhattan wildlife. The Madison Square Park Conservancy will also be giving out free native plants.
Next Thursday (11/11) at 6 pm, parents are invited to a virtual forum about how to begin preparing elementary school students for the college and career choice journey and how families can organize financially to cover college expenses, hosted by Empower My Hood. Register here.
A cheap antidepressant lowers the risk of Covid hospitalization, a large study finds.
(We linked to complete study in The Lancet on 10/28)
By Benjamin Mueller, NY Times, Oct. 28, 2021
Five Big Questions About COVID Vaccines for Kids
…a pediatrician and infectious-disease expert weighs in on what’s next.
By Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, Oct. 29, 2021
NY Pediatricians Prep For Early Rush to Vaccinate Youngsters
By Caroline Lewis, Gothamist, Oct. 30, 2021
CDC says unvaccinated foreign travelers under 18 don’t need to quarantine on arrival
By Rachel Pannett, Washington Post, Oct. 30, 2021
FDA delays decision on Moderna coronavirus vaccine for adolescents to evaluate myocarditis risk, company says
By Laurie McGinley, Washington Post, Oct. 31, 2021
Why at-home coronavirus tests are easy to use and hard to find
By Lateshia Beachum and Lindsey Bever, Washington Post, Nov. 1, 2021
COVID-19 has killed 5 million people—and the pandemic is far from over
By Amy McKeever, National Geographic, Nov. 1, 2021
How Often Do Covid Vaccines Cause Heart Problems in Kids?
The latest data is reassuring. Myocarditis remains very uncommon, and it is almost always mild and temporary. The heart risk from Covid-19 itself is far greater.
By Apoorva Mandavilli, NY Times, Nov. 1, 2021
The Biden administration sets a Jan. 4 vaccination deadline for private sector workers.
By Lauren Hirsch, NY Times, Nov. 3, 2021
How Tyson Foods Got 60,500 Workers to Get the Coronavirus Vaccine Quickly
By Lauren Hirsch and Michael Corkery, NY Times, Nov. 4, 2021
Britain Becomes First to Authorize an Antiviral Pill for Covid-19
By Rebecca Robbins, Aina J. Khan and Megan Specia, NY Times, Nov. 4, 2021
#somosny @SomosNY with Wayne Ho @cpc_nyc; @marializardo NMIC Great leaders. Nov 4 2021
Despite news coverage of vaccine-refusal, you should know that there is good news about vaccination rates. In Manhattan, we are leading at 82% of all ages who have at least one dose. Schedule your dose now at http://vax4nyc.nyc.gov