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What’s Going On – 6/9

AMERICA/ PRIMARY FEVER
NEW YORK, NEW YORK NY hosts two primaries this summer. The first will be held on June 28 when voters cast ballots for Democrats or Republicans running for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, NYS Assembly members, Judges and Committee Members. The second primary will be held on August 23 to determine Congress members and NYS Senators.

Antonio Delgado

Democrat gubernatorial candidates are Governor Kathy Hochul, NYC public advocate Jumaane Williams, and Congressman Tom Souzzi. The Democratic Lieutenant Governor’s race includes three contenders, including recently appointed African American LG Antonio Delgado, who seems to have a fat war chest based on his frequent TV ad buys targeted to Blacks and Latinas Ana María Archila and former NYC Council member Diana Reyna. Delgado is unknown downstate, but not for long. On June 6, he was on Malcolm X Boulevard and 125th Street hanging out with Harlem Democrat muck-the-mucks Committee member Londel Davis; NYS Assembly members Al Taylor, Inez Dickens, Eddie Gibbs; and Committee member Alyah Horsford-Sidberry, all of whom are June 28 Primary candidates. He mixed with passersby. Sure that similar downstate stops are planned for Brooklyn, Bronx, and Queens.

Republican Gubernatorial candidates are super conservatives Lee Zeldin; Andrew Giuliani, whose only job of note was with the Trump White House; Rob Astorino, all Trump allies; and independent businessman Harry Wilson.

The new NYS congressional map, contains 26 districts and presents problems galore for Democrats. Will Black freshman Representatives Jamaal Bowman, who represents north Bronx and southern Westchester and Mondaire Jones, from the Hudson Valley, return to Congress with the new map? One will be job hunting. Ditto for veteran Representatives Jerold Nadler, of Upper West Side and Carolyn Maloney, of Upper East Side, whose districts are merged.

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Hakeem Jeffries


Brooklyn was the only downstate area that got a revision of the new map which initially split Bedford Stuyvesant and Crown Heights and which would force Reps. Hakeem Jeffries and Yvette Clarke to compete with each other in one district. Jeffries loudly objected to a redrawn single district. His protests paid off. Jeffries and Clarke keep their old districts. Rep Ritchie Torres of the Bronx, observes that South Bronx is primarily Latino and was concentrated in one district which is now split into three. Black northeast Bronx has been divided into several districts. He concludes that the new congressional districts ran roughshod over communities of color.

THE NATION: CALIFORNIA: Twelve names are on the June 7 primary ballot for the Los Angeles mayoralty. This includes six-term Congress member Karen Bass and billionaire real estate developer Rick Caruso, a Republican turned Democrat who has spent more than $40 million on the race. They are the front runners who must get 50% of the vote, or the top two contenders will advance to a November runoff. With 53% of votes tallied on 6/8, Caruso had a small lead.

ARTS/CULTURE
More than 1000 artists will perform across 10 stages at Lincoln Center during the next three months. SUMMER STAGE is back with a variety of dance and music concerts (Jazz, HIP-HOP, Latin, Afrobeats, contemporary) in local parks in five NYC boroughs, from June until October. Visit summerstage.org.

The Apollo theater hosts its Annual Spring Benefit on Monday, June 13, an extravaganza that celebrates its legacy as a cultural force. It honors film/tv/theater impresario Tyler Perry with an Impact Award and LionTree with a Corporate Award. The Gala’s entertainment roster boasts names like The Roots, Stephanie Mills, OGI, and Anthony Hamilton. The evening’s fare includes dinner and dancing. Fundraiser proceeds will support performing arts, education, and community initiatives of the Apollo Theater, a 501(c)3 nonprofit. Visit access@apollotheater.org.org or 212 5315305

Mia Mottley

MEDIA: TIME MAGAZINE announces its 100 most influential list for 2022. The Black people who made the cut are LEADERS: Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of the Republic of Barbados, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy-Ahmed (2019 Nobel Peace Laureate, engaged in civil war since 2020), and Letitia James, NYS Attorney General. ARTISTS: writer/actor/producer Quinta Brunson (“Abbott Elementary”), fine artist Faith Ringgold, playwright Michael R. Jackson, and vocalist Jazmine Sullivan. ICONS: Mary J. Blige, Issa Rae, Jon Batiste, Nadine Smith. TITANS: Oprah Winfrey, Elizabeth Alexander, Mellon Foundation President PIONEERS: Candace Parker, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, and scientist Gregory L. Robeson

EDUCATION: The Wadleigh Scholars Program (WSP) is a Harlem-based education treasure that was founded 58 years ago by visionary educator Edouard Plummer. An enrichment program, WSP targets and prepares NYC middle school students for admission with scholarships to the nation’s elite boarding and private high schools. The following lists the WSP Class of 2022 graduates and their High School destinations. Saib Abubakar, Phillips Exeter Academy, NH; Kardene Anderson, Scanlon HS, Bronx, NY; Summer Zaire Bell, Miss Porter’s School, CT; Nathaniel DaRocha, Phillip Academy, MA; Adya Gould, Nightingale Bamford NY; Genesis Lewis, Miss Porter’s School, CT; Tanijah McMillan, Andover, CSP, MA; Caelen Meade, Middlesex School, MA; Ewomazino Owheruo, Frederick Gunn School, CT; Sara Rahiman, Miss Hall’s School, MA; and Kezia Skeete, George School, PA.

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James Weldon Johnson

NEWSMAKER
The state of Maine will honor the legacy of James Weldon Johnson, designating June 17 each year beginning 2022 as James Weldon Johnson Day. The inaugural celebration will be span 3 days, beginning at St. Phillip’s Church in Wiscasset, Maine. James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938) was an African American attorney, journalist, activist, scholar, author, ambassador, and composer, who co-wrote the song known as the Black anthem, “Lift Every Voice And Sing.” In 1920, he became the first Black person to head the NAACP. A true renaissance man, Johnson is buried in Brooklyn at the Green-Wood Cemetery.
A Harlem-based management consultant, Victoria can be contacted at victoria.horsford@gmail.com