Last week, New York City’s Mayor de Blasio and the City Council greenlit a $100 billion 2022 budget which was all inclusive with lots of built-in items for post COVID society and for economic recovery, including a $200 million bump for the NY Police Department, an amount which most New Yorkers will not object to owing to the spike in crime and gun violence in every corner of Gotham this year. From July 2 to 4, 26 people were shot in NYC, six less than the same period in 2020.
The 6/22 NYC Primary was a low voter turnout affair. Only one third of the city’s 4 million registered Democratic voters participated in the Primary. On July 7, the Board of Elections announced projected citywide Primary winners, according to Associated Press counts, which included in-person and absentee ballots and which factor in ranked-choice options. Congrats to winners Eric Adams, Mayor; Brad Lander, Comptroller; Jumaane Williams, Public Advocate.
On Manhattan front, Democratic Alvin Bragg will be the Democratic Manhattan District Attorney nominee. The City Council race, District 9 was an election anomaly. Dark horse candidate Kristen Jordan, one in a field of 13, caused an upset with 100-vote advantage over incumbent Bill Perkins, a veteran politico. Jordan’s website describes her as a “creative Black lesbian activist, Brown University alum, author, teacher, and social justice advocate whose platform encompasses 7 policy items that spells out HARLEM.”
2021:SUMMER IN AMERICA
The 2021 new year opened with a 1/6/21 failed insurrection led by Trump followers after a MAGA rally he convened to prevent Congress from confirming the results of Electoral College results, asserting that election was stolen from him. Their assault on the Capitol and the Congress members was tragic, making America look more like a banana republic than the world leader it once was. The coup failed but was instructive about USA vulnerabilities. Congress will start hearings on the 1/6 threat to American democracy and the more perfect union. President Joe Biden hit the ground running put the nation back together again, dealing with the COVID19 vaccine initiatives, economic recovery, small business survival, infrastructure projects, immigration reform, education and climate matters. President is spot on with his leadership and the revival of nation’s hopefulness.
Last week, was the second time that the Robert’s Supreme Court took another step to gut the remains of the historic Voting Rights Act of 1965. In 2013 it eliminated the key provision of the law, which required states with a history of racial discrimination in voting to get federal approval prior to changing voting procedures, with a 5-4 vote. Hopes were dashed with latest Supreme Court vote, 6-3, again voter denial protections, which will impact Black America. Decision sends signals to Justice Department about its threat to sue states like Georgia for its new voter repression laws. It’s a mess but so is life occasionally! Supreme Court decision will impact midterm elections and beyond. It underscores the necessity for the US Senate to vote on a new voting rights act or review the House bill HR1 that would set federal standards and override voter suppression provisions nationally.
The fourth of July weekend in America was frantic with festivities celebrating the arrival of summer and the nation’s 235th birthday anniversary. The weekend was equal parts family reunions, beach and local BBQ parties, fireworks and violence orgies in many cities. Chicago, Illinois Pastor Anthony Williams of the MLK Community Church and Illinois Congressional Black Caucus members began a “WE WANT TO LIVE” Walk from the Windy City to Washington, DC by July 4 to persuade President Biden to declare Violence a national mental health crisis, by executive order, following a similar local initiative observed by Illinois Governor JB Pritzker.
The US Small Business Administration (SBA) has extended the deadline of its $100 Million Grant Community Navigator Pilot Program, designed to help businesses adversely affected by COVID 19 with a priority focus on businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantageous individuals as well as women and veterans. This initiative, established the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, will make grants which will range from $1 million to $5 million for a two year performance window. It will connect small business with SBA assistance and programs. Extension deadline is July 23. Awards decisions will be made by September 2021. Visit sba.gov/navigators
Dr. Kizzmekia S. Corbett, 35, virologist and research fellow at the National Institute of Allergy And Infection Disease, a division of the National Institute of Health, and lead government COVID19 researcher, has a new employer. Dr. Corbettt worked with the Moderna Lab in development of the COVID vaccine. Last month, she joined the Harvard University faculty at the T.H. Chan School of Public Health as assistant Professor, in the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases. She also has an appointment there as head of a new Coronaviruses and Other Relevant Emergency Infectious Diseases Lab.
ARTS AND CULTURE
Critical Race Theory, CRT, is a new Republican propaganda weapon utilized to influence fear and to inject more distortions into American public education curriculum for grades K-12 and a few public colleges. It reached full gestation shortly after the NYT published the special magazine issue by Blacks titled “1619 Project” in the 400th Anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans to the USA with narratives about how the nation’s history really unfolded. Whites anti-CRT want to block schools from teaching subjects “that would lead students to feel discomfort, guilt or anguish because of one’s race or ancestors like making white students feel bad about the sins of their ancestors.”
Their anti CRT war is battled nationally. Their anti CRT fits into the voting suppression laws being enacted in states like Georgia and Florida. Arizona. See how it works. The UNC Chapel Hill offered NY Times journalist Nikole Hannah Jones, one of the architects of the “1619 Project” a 5-year teaching contract without tenure. An UNC Chapel Hill alum, she sued and was given tenure. She declined the offer and heads to Howard University to become the first Knight Chair in journalism. She promised Howard that she’d bring $15 million in resources to the school.
BOOKS: Non-Fiction books by Black Authors on 7/11 NY Times Best Seller List include “Caste” by Pulitzer winner Isabel Wilkerson #5; “How the Word Is Passed,” about the legacy of slavery and its imprint on centuries of American history #8; “On Juneteenth” by Pulitzer winner Annette Gordon-Reed, American history interwoven with personal memoir to emphasize the importance of events in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865; “Somebody’s Daughter” by Ashley C. Ford, a memoir about an impoverished “Black girl in Indiana with a family fragmented by incarceration; “How to Be An Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi
A Harlem based brand specialist, Victoria can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org