Our Time Press

What’s Going On

Mayor deBlasio

By Victoria Horsford

NEW YORK/NEW JERSEY

NYC Mayor deBlasio

Mayor Bill de Blasio named African-American James Johnson, 58, New York City Corporate Counsel. Former Assistant US Attorney, Johnson held several positions with the US Treasury. He will oversee approximately 1000 city attorneys. Johnson succeeds African-American Zachary Carter.

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka sues NYC and Mayor de Blasio to enjoin them from exporting members of its homeless population to New Jersey. Under the SOTA (Special One-Time Assistance) Program, NYC relocates its homeless and pays one-year’s rent for them to live in some of the most squalid conditions.

Ras Baraka

More than 1000 NYC homeless families have been relocated to Newark. During his Monday night session with NY1 host Errol Louis, Hizzoner did not have any concrete answer for the alleged lawsuit. If memory serves, didn’t 12-year NYC Mayor Bloomberg pay the homeless about $20,000 to leave New York.
Dermot Shea, the 44th NYPD Commissioner, was sworn in on December 2 by Mayor Bill de Blasio. Shea, 59, succeeds NYPD Commish James O’Neill, who succeeded Commish William Bratton, a “Broken Windows” advocate, an unlikely choice for a progressive like de Blasio who had major support from the NYC Black community. An NYPD officer since 1960, Shea says that he wants “lower crime rates and better relationships between the police and the community which they service.” Time is the best arbiter. The NYPD’s highest-ranking African-American, Ben Tucker, was overlooked again by Hizzoner. Tucker articulated his disappointment.

Former NYC Police Commissioner Benjamin Ward

NYC boasts two African-American police commissioners: Benjamin Ward, who was appointed by Mayor Koch who admitted that the Ward promotion was in response to the trouble he countenanced with the Black community, and Lee Brown, who was Mayor David Dinkins’ appointee.

A 12/2 THE CITY story, “Detox Units Closing at All 11 NYC-run Hospitals,” is alarming. NYC Health +Hospitals Administration attributes the closing to financial woes. Some stats were cited. NYC-run HHAs provide 24/7 operation that offers the largest percentage of detox services: 40% for alcohol abusers, 37% to cocaine abusers, 35% for other drug abusers, 60% of inpatient services for schizophrenic and 50% for bipolar. With the city hospitals closing Detox Units, where will people get services? Where will people go to get detox services?… to extant private programs, which will proliferate in Harlem, Brooklyn, Bronx and Queens, areas with a high concentration of Black and Latino residents already disproportionately burdened with rehab programs and related untoward activities. NYC is to blame for the Health + Hospitals failure. What are politicos in Albany and City Hall doing about this impending health crisis. Mayor Bill de Blasio, what’s going on?

2020 ELECTION UPDATES

Indo/African-American US Senator Kamala Harris has suspended her bid for the 2020 Presidential race, citing her campaign’s inability to raise funds as a major consideration. She added that she could not effectively compete with the Democratic billionaires, without calling names, who are in the presidential race. That comment would preclude her as a running mate for Michael Bloomberg or Tom Steyer, if either emerges as the Democratic presidential nominee. Kamala Harris’ plate is full until her Senate term ends in January 2023. If national polls are to be trusted, Americans do not have much of an appetite for a woman president today. The Harris exit means that no Black person will be a part of the Democratic Presidential Debate this month unless US Senator Cory Booker can raise funds to meet debate criteria. Visit corybooker.com and make a donation.

The Congressional Intelligence Committee has finished its report and it will provide the public and private hearings to be delivered to the US Judiciary Committee, which will evaluate it, along with its own hearings, to proceed with Articles of Impeachment for President Donald Trump. Trump is in Europe attending a NATO Summit in London. The United Kingdom holds its general elections next week, a major test for Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Brexit. Johnson, through intermediaries, has advised the White House that he wants to keep his distance from Trump, highly disliked by Britons. Any association with Trump would be toxic for Johnson with British voters. Cannot remember a time when an American leader was so despised in a nation of one of our key allies.

LAND USE

BROOKLYN: Construction work began for a 12-story, 180 apartment units of affordable housing development in Brownsville on the NYCHA Van Dyke Housing campus. Building is a result of an NYC HPD, NYC Housing Development Corporation and a Trinity Financial partnership. Building will include studios and 1-3-bedroom units and will serve extremely low and low-income households.

HARLEM: The Greater Metropolitan Baptist Church, an architectural marvel located at 147 West 123rd Street, in a landmark district, is available for sale. Built in 1898, the monumental neo-Gothic church has been occupied by three generations of African-American congregants. Home to the Greater Metropolitan Baptist Church for the last 34 years, officials say that the ideal buyer would be “a new congregation to carry it into the future.”

ARTS/ CULTURE

Author Pierre Thiam

BOOKS: Senegalese author/culinarian Pierre Thiam’s third book, “THE FONIO COOKBOOK: An Ancient Grain Rediscovered,” is a treasure trove of African culture, part-memoir, part-cookbook which includes the history of fonio, Africa’s oldest grain, a potential RX to satisfy hunger for the continent and beyond.

The nonfiction book, “DRIVING WHILE BLACK: African-American Travels the Road to Civil Rights,” by SUNY Professor Dr. Gretchen Sorin, is a vigorous, historical look at the automobile which fundamentally changed African-American life, another perspective of the multiple Oscar award-winning film, “The Green Book,” which will be published next month.

The Robyn Crawford book, “A SONG FOR YOU: My Life with Whitney Houston,” one of the world’s most highly anticipated memoirs which details the complex life of the pop music diva and sets the record straight about their relationship. Crawford is making the right publicity starting with the “Wendy Williams Show.” It’s a fixture on the NY Times best-seller list.

Playwright Rome Neal

THEATER/MUSIC: “ ‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE KWANZAA,” a comedy directed by Rome Neal and written by Carl Clay, that “finds Santa Claus” diverted to Africa to learn about Kwanzaa at the Black Spectrum Theatre Company, located at 177th Street at Baisley Boulevard, Jamaica, NY. Playdates are December 6-8 and 12. [Visit blackspectrum.net or call 718.723.1800] In Manhattan, Rome Neal’s Banana Puddin’ Jazz presents “JAZZ & JOKES,” an evening featuring Neal, Rhonda “Passion” Hansome and the Benny Rubin, Jr. Quartet on December 7 at the Nuyorican Café, located at 236 East 3rd Street, Manhattan. [Visit romekyn@earthlink.net or call 718.288.8048]

A Harlem based brand/media consultant, Victoria is reachable at Victoria.horsford@gmail.com

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