NEW YORK POLITICS
Brooklyn Boro President Eric Adams is on his way to the second hardest job in America, as the next NYC Mayor when he wins the 11/2 election. The former cop and NYS Senator, he understands the dynamics of New York power politics. His campaign was centrist and practical. He courted unions, real estate industry and the business community, concurrent with romancing Blacks, Latinx and working-class people of all ethnic groups. He visited the five boros frequently. While he did not get the necessary 50% vote on the first count, he did get most votes in all of the boroughs save Manhattan. He seemed to have his fingers on Gotham’s pulse. The election is four months away, but the Adams’ momentum is infectious. New Yorkers wait with eager anticipation for change at City Hall. He was invited along with other national leaders to the 7/12 gun violence meeting convened by President Biden. Read the Errol Louis NY Daily News opinion piece “A MOMENT THAT HAS BEEN A LONG TIME COMING: The Rise of Black Political Power in NY.” It seems to reside in Brooklyn.
Other Democratic primary previews indicate Jumaane Williams, Public Advocate and Brad Lander, Comptroller. The Borough President results include African American Vanessa Gibson, Bronx; Antonio Reynoso, Brooklyn; Mark Levine, Manhattan; and incumbent Donovan Richards in a close but ugly race with Elizabeth Crowley. Total votes for boro prexies Bronx 100,867, Brooklyn 287,795, Manhattan 234, 631 and Queens 194,518
Of the 300+ City Council hopefuls for the 51 seat chamber, there were a few upsets among races for incumbents, not the least of which was the presumed winner of Manhattan, District 9, Kristen Richardson Jordan, one of incumbent Bill Perkins’ 12 challengers. She had a 100 point advantage on July 7. In Brooklyn’s Council District 41, incumbent Alicka Ampry-Samuel lost to Darlene Mealy. The Board of Elections announces official 6/22 Primary results on 7/14. Since NYC is a Democratic stronghold, most of the above will be undisputed victors in November.
2021 SUMMER: THE AMERICAS
In the USA, the Texas Republican majority legislature drafted draconian voter restrictions laws, designed to negatively impact the Texas people of color electorate. Outnumbered Texas Democratic lawmakers fled town to DC, denying a state quorum. Texas Governor vows to arrest the returning legislators.
This year foretells a long, hot tumultuous summer for our neighbors south of the border. Major problems loom large for Haiti and Cuba. Haiti, America’s second republic, is on the brink of chaos. Cuba current events is filled with stories about massive street demonstrations and protests regarding food and medicine shortages. Demonstrations have been prohibited from Cuba for 62 years.
HAITI, a failed state, is on the precipice again. President Jovenel Moise was assassinated and his wife was shot, in their home last week by alleged Columbian and Haitian mercenaries, who penetrated security, self-identified as DEA agents, as in US Drug Enforcement Agency. What caused the assassination? President Moise had authoritarian ways, dismissed the Legislature a year ago, arbitrarily named prime ministers, extended his stay in office as he was re-writing the constitution. Who ordered the hit? Many of the mercenary hit men were apprehended and claimed ties to the DEA and admitted being FBI informers. Florida-based Christian Emmanuel Sanon, MD, who was arrested, has emerged as major coup conspirator. He was allegedly on a mission “to save Haiti from hell and one of his dreams was to take charge of his country.” Story has too many plot twists and turns, all of which defy logic and credibility. Haitian officials requested US troops while gang violence dominates its streets. President Biden has sent reps to Haiti to evaluate the situation. No commitment was forthcoming.
US Media has a short memory and continues to blame Haiti for all of its problems, poorest nations in the Americas, conveniently forgetting external US and French influences on Haitian sovereignty. Read no media reference to US/France/ Canada ouster of Democratically elected Haitian President Aristede and his involuntary relocation to Africa, nor any mention of recipients of the billions of dollars donated to Haiti for post 2010 earthquake recovery. Why aren’t TV newsrooms consulting with Haitians/Haitian Americans about life in Haiti. Read the NY Sun article by Raymond Joseph, “Haiti’s Assassinated President Faced A Country In Revolt Against His Government” for some substantive perspective. Joseph is publisher of NY based Haiti Observateur, former Haitian Ambassador to the USA. Read Emerson College Professor Roger House’s NY Daily News opinion piece TO HELP HAITI, HONOR ITS HISTORY which chronicles the influence of the Haitian revolution on the USA, Britain, France and on South America’s Simon Bolivar in the 19th Century. Dr. House recommend US Black Caucus action for Haiti during the unfolding crisis.
On Saturday, July 17 at 12:30 pm, the Harlem block on West 132 Street between Adam Clayton Powell and Frederick Douglass Boulevards, will be co-named in honor of the late Evelyn Thomas, a 132 Street resident/homeowner, who successfully fought NYC Robert Moses and his Urban Renewal Program of Harlem slum clearance, during the 50s, and saved the block’s four- story brownstones, owned primarily by US and Caribbean Blacks, from demolition. She founded the Central Harlem Association of Small Businessmen, which managed to rehabilitate 83 out of 86 brownstones on 131 and 132 Streets without benefit of city, state or federal investments and which was the forerunner of today’s Neighbors United of West 132 Street. Long overdue, the Evelyn Thomas Way co-naming ceremony will be attended by current and former elected officials, 132 Street stakeholders and preservationists.
Jazzmobile’s 57th Summerfest 2021 began on July 7 and runs through August 27, with a live jazz concert roster, featuring masters and emerging musicians on stages around NYC. Visit jazzmobile.org
The summer edition of NYC RESTAURANT WEEK runs from July 9 to August 15, Monday to Friday. Participating restaurants serve lunch/dinner with a three-tier pricing level, $21 and $39 for an entree and one side and $125 for three courses or more. Visit nycgo.com
The Olympics begins in Japan on July 23, amidst a COVID 19 surge. A cadre of 70,000 athletes, staff and media will descend on Tokyo, including four-time grand slam tennis champion Naomi Osaka who participates representing Japan. Osaka dons the cover of Time Magazine Olympics Preview issue and talks about “putting mental health first.” Netflix streams a three-part Osaka special prior to the Olympics. Same issue highlights 40 Must-Watch Olympians like Allyson Felix, Sue Bird, Simone Biles, Kevin Durant, Sally-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Jamaica, Simone Manuel, and Kenyan marathoner Eliud Kipchoge.
HARLEM WEEK, summer’s uptown cultural center of gravity and multicultural party is back with a vengeance from August 8 –15, for it 47th Anniversary, in a live and virtual experience. Visit HARLEMWEEK.COM
A Harlem-based brand/media consultant, Victoria is reachable at email@example.com