NYC: Mayor Eric Adams, no longer Covid quarantined, is back to his 24/7 governance of NYC with matters like public safety, education, health, and homelessness among his top priorities.
Education Chancellor David Banks consistently talks about his vision for NYC public schools. He wants the city’s 1.1. million students to be literate by the third grade, revisiting phonics and the reading tool. He plans to expand the Talented and Gifted Programs, to schools in the five boroughs. Stuyvesant/Brooklyn Tech/Bronx HS of Science will no longer be exclusive gateways to the nation’s top colleges. Great cities are impossible without good public education systems.
Hizzoner announced the Doula and Midwifery Initiatives to address health care disparities in maternal deaths and infant mortality, widespread among city’s Black women and Latinas. The Initiatives will fund training of doulas to serve women in public and private facilities. Again, Adams called attention to the financial and management burdens placed on city’s small homeowners.
NYS: The 2022 Primaries. Recent statewide Siena Poll shows that 44% of the electorate like Governor Kathy Hochul but 57% disapprove of her job performance, finding her weak on crime and the economy. Who will she name Lieutenant Governor since her first choice Brian Benjamin was forced to resign? Whose name will appear on the now-delayed Primary ballot since Benjamin was the person designated by Democrats? Latinos have been screaming about exclusion on the NYS ballot: Ana Maria Archila, supported by the World Families Party, an ally of gubernatorial hopeful Jumaane Williams and former NYC Councilwoman Diana Reyna, an ally of gubernatorial hopeful, Congressman Suozzi. The LG line is separate in primary. Either woman could win primary and be on the November ticket with Governor Hochul.
French President Emmanuel Macron was re-elected April 24, with a 58/42 % margin against far right contender, Marie Le Pen, in a race which pundits said would be close. The Le Pen agenda for France would have been a sharp turn to the right, with close ties to Russia’s Putin, and possible NATO withdrawal. There are parallels between the 2022 French and American elections.
Students of American government and its sharp, dysfunctional divisions should read the book, “The Right: The 100 Year War For American Conservatism” by Matthew Continetti. Conservatives will spend $141 million in 6 states to retake the House and US Senate. Is US electorate aware that the country is veering right to an autocratic state?
Last year, 18 Republican-dominated states passed laws that make it harder to vote, which will impact the Black, Brown, GenX and GenZ electorate. Democrats have a huge problem as effective communicators, unable to articulate their accomplishments, which could impact any November election victories. Cedric Richmond, Sr. Advisor to President Biden and Director of White House Office of Public Engagement, exits to work full time for the Democratic National Committee.
US War and Peace brass, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Anthony Blinkin visited Ukraine President Zelensky, whose country was invaded by Russians two months ago. Austin convened a meeting in Germany on 4/26 with 40 world allies to discuss Ukraine military options with Russia since diplomacy has stagnated. Austin said, “We are going to keep moving heaven and earth” to support the Ukraine military. How did WWI begin? With the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand of Austria, while on official business to Sarajevo? And there is talk of President Biden visiting Ukraine. Not wise!
FILM: The 29th Annual NY African Film Festival is back, unspooling works by African Diasporan filmmakers, from May 12 to June 2, at Lincoln Center, the Maysles Documentary Center in Harlem and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Feature film, FREDA, set in Haiti about one family’s dilemma coping with relentless violence, opens the Festival, which is the brainchild of Sierra Leone- born Mahen Bonetti. Visit Africanfilmny.org for calendar of events.
MUSIC: The Rome Neal Quintet plays opening night at Brooklyn’s latest entertainment venue, The Betty Carter Auditorium, housed at the Major Owens Health and Wellness Center, located at 1561 Bedford Avenue, on April 30, the last day of Jazz Appreciation Month and the last day of the Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium’s 23rd Annual Festival. Visit eventbrite.com//the-rome-neal-quintet or email@example.com
BOOK WORMS: Elizabeth Alexander’s new book, “The Trayvon Generation,” in an earlier incarnation was a NY Review of Books essay about America since the Trayvon Martin tragedy. Alexander was the 2008 inaugural poet for President Barack Obama’s swearing-in ceremony. She is president of the Mellon Foundation.
Will Smith’s memoir, WILL, topped the NY Times best seller list last week. Wonder who gets the film rights. Smith was sited in Mumbai India. Is he there for spiritual retreats and meditation? Is he scouting locations for a new film venture under his Overbrook Entertainment production company umbrella, valued at $800 million. Perhaps, a future Namastes for Chris!
MEDIA: Guess who dons Vogue Magazine’s May cover, “Oh Baby! Rihanna’s Plus One,” in a red jumpsuit by Alaia, is written by Chioma Nnadi with photographs by Annie Leibovitz. Story is titled “Mother Superior” with Rihanna in designer pieces by Marc Jacobs, Rick Owens, Dior, and Balenciaga.
The Frederick E. Samuel Community Democratic Club, FESCDC, hosts its Spring Fundraiser at the Grand Slam Banquet Hall, located at 3534 Broadway, corner of 145 Street, Manhattan. Event honorees are Aliyyah Baylor, Make My Cake, CEO as outstanding Entrepreneur and June Moses, President of the 135 St Apartments Tenants Association, for community service. This FESCDC event is center of gravity for Harlem politicos Keith Wright, NY County leader, Virginia Fields, former Manhattan Boro Prexy. Visit Fredsamsdemocraticclub.com
The Harlem campus of the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine hosts its “Heroes Made Here” fundraiser, honoring Dr. Maurice Wright, MD, Chief Medical Officer of NYC Health and Hospital, and Walter Edwards, Full Spectrum real estate developer. May 10 at 5 pm. at 230 West 125 Street, Harlem. NYC Mayor Eric Adams will attend as an honored guest and will deliver remarks. Fundraiser proceeds will benefit Touro’s scholarship fund. Call 646.981.4516 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Harlem-based strategic management consultant, Victoria can be reached at email@example.com