What's Going On

What’s Going On – 7/29

NYS lawmakers next order of business is REDISTRICTING. An independent Redistricting Commission is reviewing 2020 Census data in order to reconfigure NY congressional and state legislature districts. Redistricting follows Census numbers calculated every 10 years. New York lost a Congressional seat, wonder where that will be? The Redistricting Commission submits its redrawn maps to Albany lawmakers who can accept, modify, or reject them.

Governor Andrew Cuomo recently issued a gun violence state of emergency and committed $139 million to curb it throughout the state. Good idea. How will the money be distributed? Will there be input from community stakeholders as well as the Albany lawmakers? Cuomo’s silence on vaccination mandates is deafening. Newspaper headlines read “California and NYC call for vaxx mandates.” Could people lose jobs because of their refusal to be vaccinated?

The NY Times article on the Eric Adams Inner Circle is instructive, including NY muck-a-mucks like Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, Ruben Diaz, Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Daughtry, Bill Bratton, Ingrid Lewis-Martin, Nathan Smith, Laurie Cumbo and Ydanis Hernandez. Adams’ son Jordan Coleman made the circle.

The 2021 summer is hot with violence and unbearable extreme heat, from east to west coast. The Covid Delta virus is not going away, and it is running amok in states like Florida, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Missouri, places with low vaccine numbers. Hospitalization numbers in those states are comparable to January numbers. The good news is that many Republican governors have gotten the memorandum about the vaccine efficacy and are promoting its use. Sixty-somethings with compromised immune systems may have to get ready for a third shot, a booster, to insure that the Delta virus is kept at a distance. The Center for Disease Control seems to contradict itself during short time windows. Masks are back with a vengeance. Social distancing will return. Believe that virus protocols were lifted prematurely. Pharmaceuticals are looking at COVID vaccine for elementary school set.

WANTED: Businesses in certain NYC neighborhoods and zip codes are eligible for a 0% loan up to $100,000 through the NYC LMI Storefront Loan Program, offered by the NYC Department of Small Business Services. Attend webinars on July 29, Aug 10 and 12. Applications welcome through Tuesday, August 17. Apply at nyc.gov/storefrontloan.


The NYS rent moratorium on evictions ends August 31. NYS has $2 billion in Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) for tenants who owe back rent due to the pandemic. Apply today for ERAP funds with the help of various citywide nonprofits like the Robin Hood Foundation, the Lenox Hill Neighborhood Houses. Check with your borough president’s office. Citizenship is not a requirement for eligibility. Visit otda.ny.gov/programs/emergency-rental-assistance

Last October, Killer Mike Render activist/rapper, and his business partner Ryan Glover announced a new Black/Latinx financial venture, the Greenwood Banking Platform, which was set for a January 2021 launch, which has been postponed twice, owing to the more than 500,000 people who signed up for accounts. Early 2022 looks like the official launch. Originally capitalized at $4 million, Greenwood now has $40 million in Series A funds provided by financial institutions such as JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Truist. The Bank platform was named Greenwood after the successful Black enclave in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a/k/a Black Wall Street, the scene of massacre by whites that claimed more than 300 Black lives in 1921.

MEDIA: Glass ceilings were broken in Texas where two heavily credentialed African American women were named executive editor of major newspapers, Maria Reeve, 53, at the Houston Chronicle and Katrice Hardy, 47, at the Dallas Morning Star.

The 2021 National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Annual Convention and Career Fair will be held as a virtual event August 18-21. Convention will be frequented by Black leaders and influencers in journalism, media, technology, business, health, arts and entertainment. Visit nabj.rg.

THEATER: Aaron McKinney was named executive director of nonprofit Hi-ARTS, formerly known as the HIP HOP Theater Festival, a national incubator of acclaimed works by playwrights like Dominique Morisseau, “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg,” and Liza Jessie Peterson, “The Peculiar Parrot.” Hi-ARTS celebrates its 20th Anniversary with a $60,000 grant from the Howard Gilman Foundation.


“HANDS UP: 7 PLAYWRIGHTS, 7 TESTAMENTS, a radio play, will premier August 16-23 at the National Black Theater. Directed by Jonathan McCrory, HANDS UP is a collection of monologues about racial injustices in America surrounding the deaths of Black people like Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice and Treyvon Martin and others which total 1600 since the Brown tragedy. “Hands Up” will be presented on demand on Vimeo.

SPORTS: Coming to America was a good move for Greek- born Giannis Antetokounmpo, 26, now the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks forward who scored 50 out of 105 points last week, delivering his team its first title in 50 years. He earned the Bill Russell Finals MVP, a first for a foreign player. Known as the Greek Freak, everyone pronounces his surname with great precision. His parents are Nigerian and early life was not easy in Athens. That all changed 9 years ago when he arrived in America. Last year, the Bucks offered him a 5-year contract extension for about $250 million in 2020

AUGUST MONDAY is a national holiday observed in most British Caribbean nations to commemorate the abolition of slavery by the British Empire, on August 1, 1833. The celebration, held on the first Monday in August, is often paired with annual carnival in most Caribbean countries like Anguilla, Antigua/Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica, Monserrat, St. Kitts/Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Trinidad/Tobago observes emancipation on August 1.
AUGUST 3: The National Night Out, NNO, is a Community/Police awareness raising event held in the USA the first Tuesday in August. Introduced in 1984, the NNO is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch in the USA. Event attracted more than 38 million participants in 2016. Harlem location is Adam Clayton Powell Plaza at 163 West 125 Street. Visit NATW.ORG for site in your community.
HOLD THE DATE: Lloyd Williams and the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce host the 47th Annual Harlem Week August 8-15, as a live and virtual event with most of its traditional trappings, including A Great Day In Harlem; Film, Music and Theater festivities; a Technology and Business Conference and more. For full calendar of events, visit HARLEMWEEK,com

A Harlem based brand and media consultant, Victoria can be reached at victoria.horsford@gmail.com

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