View From Here
By David Mark Greaves
President Biden’s $1.9 billion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 is rooted in a bottom-up strategy, where it is the masses of people who get the money and the services they need. This plan with its many parts will reset the nation’s trajectory, concentrating its efforts on the faith and development of the nation’s best asset, the health, well -being, and development of its people.
The Act, which passed without any Republican support in the House or the Senate, is available online at www.congress.gov, and the Table of Contents alone is astonishing in what it says for the path the country has turned to. An example of what’s in the Act is here:
TITLE II the Committee on Education and Labor, subtitle A—Education Matters, PART 1—Department of Education
SEC. 2001. Elementary and secondary school emergency relief fund.
(a) In general.—In addition to amounts otherwise available through the Education Stabilization Fund, there is appropriated to the Department of Education for fiscal year 2021, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, $128,554,800,000, to remain available through September 30, 2023, to carry out this section.
(b) Grants.—From funds provided under subsection (a), the Secretary shall make grants to each State educational agency in accordance with this section.
(c) Allocations to States.—The amount of each grant under subsection (b) shall be allocated by the Secretary to each State in the same proportion as each State received under part A of title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 in the most recent fiscal year.
(d) Subgrants to local educational agencies.—Each State shall allocate not less than 90 percent of the grant funds awarded to the State under this section as subgrants to local educational agencies (including charter schools that are local educational agencies) in the State in proportion to the amount of funds such local educational agencies and charter schools that are local educational agencies received under part A of title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 in the most recent fiscal year.
A little further on we see that in SEC. 2008, Howard University gets $35,000,000 and in Section 3041, there is $6,094,000.000 for Indian Health.
The Act did not enact the $15 minimum wage, but as you read it become clear that President Biden has an Administration with a people-centered agenda, and the nation and streets we live on will be better for it.
Again, Eric Adams for Mayor
All of the above confirms that in these unsettled times for the city and the country, we want people experienced in the intricacies of government leading the nation and the city.
Thusly, we maintain our support for Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. We suggest everyone review the candidate websites for positions on issues. It cannot be denied, despite the interchangeable rhetoric, that all of the major candidates are talented and capable with each having a different take on uplifting the city with housing, economic development, climate change, and every other situation the city is faced with.
Andrew Yang has Basic Income and formation of a Public Bank as one of his key items, Maya Wiley has a Works Progress Administration-style program as the centerpiece for her New Deal for New York, Ray McGuire calls his signature initiative the Comeback Plan to generate 500,000 jobs, and Shaun Donovan, in his section on aging, highlights how he would address the “astounding gap in life expectancy of almost 19 years between East Harlem residents (71.2 years) and people living on the Upper East Side (89.9 years),” and Dianne Morales has a “Dignity Now” first 100 days plan including defunding and decreasing “NYPD’s power by removing them from schools and traffic enforcement and ensuring the next budget sees them defunded by at least $3B.”
Comptroller Scott Stringer, says he’s “read on Day One,” and shows his chops as befitting the City’s chief financial officer for seven years, with a very impressive program that comes closest to rivaling the Borough President’s agenda.
But it is in Eric Adams’ “100+ Steps for New York” that we find far and away the most detailed and deeply thought-out plan for the city. Adams’ agenda has an emotional undercurrent that comes from his experience as President of Brooklyn, the borough that would be the nation’s fourth largest city if it stood alone. This perspective and his background give him a visceral understanding of day-to-day needs and challenges people face, that the other candidates simply cannot match, despite what they put on paper.
And now, with the ranked choice voting system, voters in the June 22 Democratic Primary, can rank the candidates one through five, and if the first choice does not win, who would you want to see as second choice.
I Got My Shot, Get Yours
When I arrived at Medgar Evers College on Crown Street for the Covid vaccination, the first thing I saw was a long white tent-like tunnel with a line of people visible through the clear side. I was taken aback and immediately assumed it meant a long wait. I was wrong.
The process was handled with military precision by active-duty Air Force personnel. The time from my arrival to sitting at vaccination station number 24, answering a list of health questions including confirming that I was okay with getting the Pfizer vaccine, to having the shot in my arm was less than 15 minutes.
After another 15-minute wait in the sitting area to confirm there was no bad reaction I was back on Crown Street headed home with my appointment card to return in 3-weeks for the second dose.
There is a lot of misinformation circulating online about the dangers of vaccinations from messengers who appear to be creditable. Do not believe them. It is safe, it is necessary and when it’s your turn, get the shot.
In these unsettled times the vaccination process left me with confidence that the national government was finally working again and leading us out of this horrible period of our lives. Soon I will be able to hug my granddaughter and great grandson for the first time in over a year and finally get to hold my seven-month-old great granddaughter.