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State Budget, Neighborhood Get Togethers, and Community Resource Library Updates
April 22nd, 2022
Happy National Volunteer Month and Happy Early Earth Day!
Some of what you’ll find below:
Learn about the finalized state budget, approved this month
Check out what’s new in the Community Resource Library
A lot of great events to attend and awesome organizations to support below
Featured Issue: State budget
Lawmakers reached a consensus on a state budget a week after the April 1 deadline.
The finalized budget will:
Revise the state’s bail reform law,
Support the governor’s $850 million subsidy for a Buffalo Bills Stadium
Extend to-go drinks for the next three years
Provide a gas tax holiday through the end of the year
Notably excluded from the budget are two requests from Mayor Adams; Mayoral control of the school system, and many of Hizzoner’s desired rollbacks to state bail law.
Bail law in New York has been revised to allow for judicial discretion on “dangerousness” when deciding to set bail, and allows for bail to be set for gun charges that were previously subject only to release.
The state has also decided to expand Kendra’s Law, allowing NY courts to involuntarily determine treatment for individuals with severe mental illness.
Harvey Rosenthal, CEO of the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services, sees each use of this law as a systemic failure,
“Too often, the court orders are forcing people into the same services that failed them the first time… 4 out of 5 Kendra’s Law coercive treatment orders are applied to Black and Brown people in New York City. The people I support are 11 times more likely to be victims of violence and five times more likely to be victims of murder”
This law, as part of Hochul’s 10-point public safety plan, seeks more punitive measures to be applied to offenders. Lawmakers from the Black, Puerto Rican, Asian & Hispanic Legislative Caucus released a rival 10-point plan which engages with public safety "at the root causes of violence, the root causes of poverty, and tackling those issues in a holistic way" in order to end the "perpetual punishment of our communities,” Assembly Member Michaelle Solages, the caucus chair, said in an interview last Saturday. This alternative puts more focus on program funding in frontline mental health and youth programs, as well as transit solutions and educational funding to focus on the causes and opportunities for crime, rather than the punishment of offenders.
Resources of the Week
Check out some new additions to our Community Resource Library:
Resource: Free Clinic Directory
What is it: Free Clinic Directory is a directory of medical and dental clinics and community health centers that can help low-income and uninsured people by offering free and discounted rates for medical and/or dental care. Search by location, name, or phone number.
Resource: Affordable Connectivity Program from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
What is it: Eligible low-income households can get help paying for internet service and connected devices. Benefits include:
Up to a $30/month discount on internet services
Up to a $75/month discount if the household is on qualifying Tribal lands
One-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer (with a co-payment of more than $10 but less than $50)
Resource: Neighborhood Housing Services of Queens CDC
Description: Non-profit offering homeownership assistance for low-to-moderate income families in Queens through a variety of free and low-cost counseling and seminars
Key: $ = Items # = Items
$ North Brooklyn Mutual Aid is fundraising for recently displaced neighbors under the BQE after police destroyed encampments. Stay up to date via their Instagram here
Donate here and sign up to volunteer here
# Donation drive with Churches United for Fair Housing for those who have been displaced by the recent sweeps. Items wanted include clothing, emergency blankets, tarps, metrocards, suitcases, and more
Check here for a comprehensive list of items needed
When: Monday, April 25th from 5-7pm
Where: Our Lady Presentation and Loreto Church, 677 St Marks Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11233
$ Astoria Mutual Aid Network’s funds are running low and they are looking for donations. Donations made between April 21-24 will be used to supplement grocery bags with culturally appropriate foods for Ramadan. Donate here!
Events Coming Up
April 23 @ 10-11am: Market Day hosted by Gowanus Mutual Aid
Where: Corner of Douglass and Bond
Gowanus Mutual Aid is holding their monthly Market Day at the Free Store where they collect essential items and give them to the community for free. Check out their website here if you want to donate items or sign up to volunteer
April 23 @ 11am-2pm: Hope Against Hate Community Safety Training
Where: Sunset Park (44th St & 6th Ave), Brooklyn, NY
Learn about situational awareness, upstander intervention, and basic first aid. The training will be facilitated in English with translations in Spanish and Chinese.
April 24 @ 10am-4pm: Earth Day Celebration with Harlem Grown
Where: 118 W 134th St, Manhattan, NY
Come out for yoga, kids programming, free food, music, produce giveaways and more at this event focused on sustainability and renewal! Check out their schedule for the day here!
April 24 @ 12-3pm: Volunteer Potluck Hangout with Bushwick Ayuda Mutua
Where: Maria Hernandez Park, Brooklyn, NY
Come Hangout with Bushwick Ayuda Mutua this Sunday. If you can, please bring snacks and beverages!
April 30 @ 12-3pm: Meet your neighbors with Upper Manhattan Mutual Aid
Where: 137th St and Broadway (outside 137th St Station), Manhattan, NY
Come out to meet your neighbors over free groceries, food, and games!
May 20-22: A Regional Gathering: Building Autonomy and Surviving Disaster
Where: Ridgewood, NY
Woodbine and Symbiosis will host a gathering to discuss the last two years of organizing for survival and the future of these movements.
Learn more and register here
For Mutual Aid Groups
Are you a neighborhood-based mutual aid group? If so, please complete the Mutual Aid Group Survey, designed to capture the efforts of mutual aid groups since March of 2020.
This research will explore civic responses to COVID-19 by examining their varied relationships with partners, their transformational potential, and their adaptive capacity. The linked survey will ask about your group’s guiding principles, decision-making structures, and network connections, as well as how mutual aid practices have evolved, merged, or folded since March 2020. The information collected in this survey will be crucial to understanding the ways that post-disaster mutual aid work has challenged more traditional aid streams, providing communities with tools to meet their basic needs while advocating for a new system of care. The data you share will be used for published academic papers and will generate helpful resources and lessons learned to support other mutual aid groups like yours.
All groups participating in the survey will be entered into a drawing with the winning group receiving a $100 donation to support your work.
This survey is part of a graduate dissertation project at Rutgers University. Please email email@example.com with questions.
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Going to the I Need Help page
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