I know this newsletter can be unwieldy; click on these anchor links to go straight to a section you’re interested in: News & Information // Useful items // Events 

(This edition was originally sent on Thursday, January 5, and the email software says you didn't open it then; I thought you might welcome the chance to read it on a slower day...)


It’s Thursday, January 5, 2023—happy new year, and happy Three Kings Day, too (tomorrow!).

The new COVID variant which we mentioned last week, already prevalent in the Northeast, is described as the most transmissible yet and is now predicted to sweep the U.S.: Omicron offshoot XBB.1.5 could drive new Covid-19 surge in US (CNN). Here’s a visualization of how it could spread. But XBB.1.5 has not yet been labeled a “variant of concern”—the World Health Organization is conducting a risk assessment now. 

The virus appears to be evolving in ways that evade immunity. This Wall St Journal Opinion piece (Are Vaccines Fueling New Covid Variants? gift link) explains the dynamic well.

Katelyn Jetelina (“Triple-demic State of Affairs, Jan 5”) reports that influenza-like illness is still widespread in the U.S., but the flu seems to be on a decline—along with RSV—which started early this season among seniors and children and now seems to have peaked. This doesn’t rule out a second wave later this Winter, though—as the southern hemisphere already experienced during last summer. As Jetelina puts it, “There are a lot of sick people out there and still plenty of winter season left.”

A reader writes:

The COVID cases here are severely undercounted. My husband and I both had it and used home test kits. We called to report that but they wouldn't accept the results from home test kits. (They don't think we can tell the difference between one line and two lines?) So they are missing all the people like us who had it and used the home kits. I'm sure that's a lot of people!” 
Yes, and that’s why hospitalizations are the best measure of current conditions! COVID hospitalizations for people over age 70 are rising, though not yet at last winter’s levels. 

Boosters, tests and masks: Use this pre-built search (at for bivalent booster availability here in the 6th Council District. We still have plenty of free test kits and blue surgical masks available for pickup during business hours at my district office: 563 Columbus Ave. at 87th St., from 10 am – 5:30 pm. To order a free set of four test kits mailed to you, visit


Two glimmers of hope. The FDA has now allowed expanded access to Mifepristone, one form of abortion medication, from only clinics and doctors to drugstores, if the retail outlets so choose (which is the next hurdle): Abortion Pills Can Now Be Offered at Retail Pharmacies, F.D.A. Says (NY Times). And South Carolina's Supreme Court has struck down that state's six-week abortion ban

I accompanied NYC Sheriff Anthony Miranda as he and his team followed up on our survey of unlicensed smoke shops today, as they seized illegal cannabis and tobacco products.

News & information.

This Monday, 1/9, at 10:00 9:30 am in the Council Chambers at City Hall, there’s a hearing by the Committee on Civil Service and Labor, on “A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to health insurance coverage for city employees, city retirees, and their dependents.” For convenience, here’s a pdf of the legislation file that’s linked at the hearing notice above. If you want to testify, visit this link for instructions.

This is the next step in the saga of the City and the major municipal labor unions’ attempt to shift retirees over to a Medicare Advantage plan from the current coverage. Here is a link to my December 19 statement on Medicare Advantage (also printed in a previous edition of this newsletter) and related coverage in The Chief (“Retirees’ Medicare Fight has Council Ally”). 

Wednesday 1/11, the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement is conducting a second public hearing (PDF) on new rules governing short-term rentals (known as Local Law 18, passed by the Council earlier this year). I already testified in support of these new regulations (see a copy here in PDF format), but I realize it will affect many who rent out their space using services like VRBO and AirBnB. 

Thursday, 1/18/23 at 10 am (moved from 1/12 at 1 pm), there will be a hearing on “Proliferation of Unlicensed Smoke Shops in NYC” held jointly with my Oversight and Investigations Committee, the Health Committee chaired by Lynne Schulman, and the Committee on Consumer and Worker Protection chaired by Council Member Marjorie Velázquez. Another shocking shooting of a worker at a store that’s selling unlicensed cannabis occurred on the Lower East Side this week: Robbers shoot clerk at NYC shop selling pot without a license (Daily News)

Wednesday, 1/18, 5 pm, virtual: I’m cosponsoring a Grant Information Session with Council Member Shaun Abreu and the Citizens Committee for New York City. Small businesses or community based organizations (for-profit and non-profit) can apply for micro-grants from CCNYC of up to $10,000. Click the link to register. For questions about small business grants, email; for community action grants, email 

Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine has opened the 2023 Manhattan Community Board application period, now through 3/17/23. Current members who wish to serve another term must reapply. Community Boards provide New Yorkers with an opportunity to participate in local democracy and decision making, helping to shape the future of Manhattan. Community Boards touch every aspect of life: parks, sanitation, education, land use, and public health. (As Borough President, I appointed or reappointed hundreds to serve on Community Boards; I served on Community Board 7 myself back in the 1990s— I recommend it!)

On the night of Tuesday, 1/24, the annual Homeless Outreach Population Estimate (HOPE) Survey, a point-in-time survey undertaken each winter that helps the City estimate the number of unsheltered New Yorkers living on the street on what’s historically one of the coldest nights of the year. Volunteers needed from 10 pm – 4 am; visit to learn more and to register.  

It was great to receive a thank-you from a West Side couple who had been trying to resolve a ConEd billing issue since 2015. When they reached out to my staff, we gathered the details and forwarded to our contacts at the utility. As they put it, “I was actually stunned and shocked to receive a phone call from that department just yesterday (end of month) to tell me that after researching our complaint we would be receiving a refund from them within a week’s time of close to $2000!

Serving constituents is a prime role for any elected official—we love to help if we can! 


Is New York City facing a ‘doom loop’ scenario? A discussion has started. (Gothamist)

Citi Bike to hike prices for the second time in a year (Gothamist)

New year, new laws: Here are some taking effect in NY on Jan. 1 (Gothamist)

Delivery Worker Hubs En Route to West Side and The Bronx (
New hubs are coming to Verdi Square and Fordham Heights

Marijuana Use Spills Into NYC Classrooms as Educators Grapple With New Cannabis Landscape (

College funds for NYC’s kindergartners: How to get and give seed money for higher education (Chalkbeat) is coverage of the NYC Kids Rise savings program. 

NYC education department blocks ChatGPT on school devices, networks (Chalkbeat)

Why Saving Kids Is Bad Business in America (NY Times Opinion video) “Profit-driven management has eroded pediatric health care in America. Health care providers make more money treating adults than they do children. As a result, the number of hospitals offering pediatric care has decreased dramatically over the past two decades.” (This is a good reminder of the importance of the bill in the Council I’ve cosponsored with Justin Brannan (Intro. 325)  to require outreach by the Dept. of Health to educate parents, educators and pediatricians as to which hospitals have fully-equipped and staffed pediatric ERs in NYC (not every hospital has one). Meanwhile, here’s a list of genuine pediatric ERs my staff has compiled.)

Useful items.

I visited the Stewart Hotel on 7th Avenue, where more than 2,000 residents —600+ families—seeking asylum are being housed. While the City is providing food, items for babies, coats and other essentials onsite, there are some things the City is unable to provide quickly and at scale—particularly eye exams/glasses, dentistry, and English-language instruction. If you have leads for volunteers or donations in quantity in those categories, please contact my office at (212) 873-0282.

Meanwhile, here are donation points for those with clean clothes for all ages and food/diapers in original packaging: 

  • Church of St. Mary’s the Virgin, 145 W. 46th St., daily from 7 am – 7 pm, (212) 869-5830
  • Aid for Life, 131 Varick St., Suite 1006, Mon-Fri 10 am – 4 pm, (212) 337-8043
  • Salvation Army, 120 W. 14 St., Mon-Fri 7:30 am to 4:30 pm, (212) 337-7200
  • Mision Cristiana Juan 3:16, 518 W. 168 St., Weds & Sat 10 am to 2 pm, (914) 310-8948

Sites outside Manhattan are listed in this Gothamist story: Shoes, clean clothes, and diapers: Where to donate supplies to help NYC migrants

The NYC Economic Development Corporation has released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a license agreement or lease or other agreement to operate one or more Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers (HERRCs) with at least 60,000 usable sq ft. The RFP and Q&As are available to download at this link. Responses are due no later than 11:59 pm, Friday, 1/27. 

The Lower East Side Ecology Center hosts E-Waste recycling events throughout the city (with the support of Con Edison and the NY City Council); here are the next two in Manhattan: 

An alert from the 20th Precinct (which covers 59th to 86th Streets, CPW to the river): There’s an increase in older adults losing their pocketbooks in grocery stores. People absentmindedly leave them in their shopping cart—sometimes with flaps or tops open—while they scan the shelves. When the store or aisle is crowded, perpetrators are able to blend in and move quickly to steal the pocketbook or, often, dip in and grab a credit card or cash inside (which isn’t discovered until they get to the cashier, or spot unauthorized charges to their account). The C.O. at the 2-0 says, “We urge everyone to keep their items securely closed and in their direct control.

As we work to finalize a workshop on Local Law 97, the new emissions regulations taking effect in 2024 for the largest source of emissions— apartment buildings— this annual report from the Local Law 97 Advisory Board (PDF) may be of interest for building owners, including coop and condo boards. 

Over 40 people have registered for my office’s January virtual Housing Clinic next Wednesday (1/11). This month’s topic is “Succession Rights,” of vital interest to those in rent-regulated apartments. Register at

In addition, my District Office has a trained volunteer to assist with Senior Citizen and Disabled Rent Increase Exemption applications and renewals for those in rent-regulated units every Monday from 2–6 pm (but not on Monday holidays!). There’s so much demand for SCRIE/DRIE help that, starting in January, we’ll also have a representative from the City Dept. of Finance in the District Office once a month on Tuesdays who will also be able to assist. We will take calls at (212) 873-0282 for appointments 10 am–2 pm on the second Tuesday of each month.

The great City Limits publishes this great roundup of housing-related events each week. Here’s this week’s (for 1/5–11).

NYCParks’ annual Mulchfest has begun.

This weekend (1/7–8), New Yorkers can drop their tree at a chipping site (starred below), watch the tree be chipped, and take home a bag of mulch. Or just drop at a non-starred location to get it out of your house! More information (and the full citywide list of 73 Mulchfest sites) at the link above.

  • Central Park West at 106th Street / Drop-off only
  • Central Park West at 65th Street / Drop-off only
  • *Central Park West at 81st Street and the bridle path / Chipping
  • *DeWitt Clinton Park at West 53rd Street and 11th Ave. / Chipping
  • *Inwood Hill Park, Isham Street and Seaman Ave. / Chipping
  • Morningside Park, West 123rd Street and Morningside Ave. / Drop-off only
  • *Riverside Park, West 83rd Street and Riverside Drive / Chipping

DSNY will also conduct curbside collections of Christmas trees for mulching and recycling Friday, 1/6 through Saturday, 1/14.

The NYPL has opened applications for a free Small Biz Growth Accelerator course; the deadline to apply here is 1/17. The program starts Tuesday,1/24/23, 5 – 8 pm, at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library (455 Fifth Avenue, Fifth Floor) and is led by instructor Jimmy Newson, and includes  

  • Two 3-hour in-person workshop-style classes
  • Two additional virtual sessions for Q&A, workshop accountability, and peer networking
  • Strategic Planning Template
  • 5 Action Plan Workbooks
  • Financial Literacy Program
  • Accessibility Training Program
  • In-Depth Software demos

Applications open Monday 1/9  to run for a community or citywide education council; applications are due by 2/13. Learn more at the links.

The Dept. of Education is “Boldly Reimagining Special Education” by creating an Advisory Council; complete this survey by 1/15 to be considered. Members will be selected on a rolling basis. 

Again, if you have kindergarten-age children (those born in 2018), you probably already know that kindergarten applications are open now. Sign up for 3-K, pre-K, and/or kindergarten admissions mailing lists at The DOE is making the kindergarten application the same for regular and gifted and talented programs;  waitlisting will be available simultaneously for both kindergarten and G&T. Families will only be able to accept one offer at a time—but the G&T offers will be provided sooner, which will ease some stress. These are the remaining DOE virtual information sessions covering 3-K, pre-K, kindergarten, and gifted and talented programs at NYC public schools: 

  • 1/12/23, 6 – 7 pm | Arabic, Haitian Creole, Russian 
  • 1/26/23, 6 – 7 pm | Chinese (Mandarin), French, Urdu 
  • 2/1/23, 2 – 3 pm | Arabic, Haitian Creole, Russian 
  • 2/15/23, 6 – 7 pm | Bangla, Korean, Spanish  

There’s no difference in content among events—only in the interpretation languages provided. Each event will be hosted live online; check your email or visit the day before the event to find the password and any other information you’ll need to join, as well as how to receive interpretation. Log onto Zoom at the event’s start time here. They’ll post a recording of the presentation in January.  

Registration is now open for the 15-week spring semester of Encore Creativity for Older Adults’ chorale for those 55+, which begins 1/11. Weekly 90-minute rehearsals on Wednesdays (at 1:30 pm at the Broadway Presbyterian Church, 601 W. 114th St.) culminate in a free concert performance for family, friends and the community. All are welcome; there are no auditions—and no experience is necessary. Bernadette Hoke conducts an eclectic mix of songs. Not free ($190). As explained in the West Side Rag, Encore was “founded in 2007 by Jeanne Kelly during an NIH-funded study to address the mental and physical health benefits of singing for older adults. Encore Creativity for Older Adults now hosts chorales nationwide, plus its annual summer camp, winter retreat and travel abroad programs.” Click the first link to learn more or to register (or call 301-261-5747). 

The Civilian Complaint Review Board's Youth Advisory Council (YAC) application is open to New Yorkers ages 10-18 years old; deadline to apply Tuesday, 1/31. Apply at this link. Video and audio statements can be submitted via link in the application's "Please describe why you would be an ideal member of the CCRB Youth Advisory Council" section. 

Nominations for the Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards  are due Monday, 1/9. The New York Landmarks Conservancy’s highest honor, the Moses Award is bestowed upon an outstanding individual in the field of historic preservation. Awards are given to projects that demonstrate excellence in the restoration, preservation, or adaptive use of historic buildings, streetscapes, and landscapes that preserve commercial, residential, institutional, religious, and public buildings. Only projects that are substantially completed during 2022 and located within the five boroughs of New York City will be considered. Books, other publications, and films are not eligible. If you have any questions please email Andrea Goldwyn at

The 2023 Open Streets application is now live; click the link to access the application and to learn more about the program. If your Open Street plan is to launch on or before 6/30/23, apply by 1/31/23. If you plan to launch on or after 7/1/23, or for a school applying for the 2023-24 academic year, apply by 4/14/23. 

If you’re a non-procrastinator and doing your 2022 taxes now, it’s worth knowing that the deadline to apply for a $150 NYC property tax rebate has been extended to 3/15/23 for homeowners who couldn’t apply by the 11/15 deadline due to an extenuating circumstance. If your property is your primary residence and adjusted gross household income is $250,000 or less, you may be entitled to a property tax rebate. If you think you qualify, visit:

The Grace Institute provides women with free workforce training and placement support in administrative and healthcare roles. Information sessions for their Administrative Professionals (AP) Program and Patient Service Representative (PSR) Program will be held 1/11/2023, 1 - 2 pm, and 1/23/2023, 5 - 6 pm

Disturbing news if you use LastPass as a secure password keeper on your computer or phone. They are now saying that hackers were able to copy a backup of customer vault data, which means hackers theoretically now have access to all those passwords. So if you use LastPass (now or in the past), your password vault may be in hackers’ hands. If you have a strong master password and the most recent default LastPass settings, you may be ok but the company says that “as an extra security measure, you should consider minimizing risk by changing passwords of websites you have stored.”

And similarly, there's this: Hackers leak email addresses tied to 235 million Twitter accounts (Washington Post), which sets the stage for anonymous handles to be linked to real-world identities, which “poses threats of exposure, arrest or violence against people who used Twitter to criticize governments or powerful individuals, and it could open up others to extortion, security experts said. Hackers could also use the email addresses to attempt to reset passwords and take control of accounts, especially those not protected by two-factor authentication.

Much news from the New York Foundation for the Arts:

The NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship is a $8,000 unrestricted cash grant available to artists living in New York State (and/or an Indian Nation within state boundaries). They are currently accepting applications in the categories of Craft/Sculpture, Digital/Electronic Arts, Nonfiction Literature, Poetry, and Printmaking/Drawing/Book Arts. Visit this link at New York Foundation for the Arts to learn more. Application Deadline is Wednesday, 1/25 and successful applicants will be notified Summer, 2023. 

NYFA’s "Ask the Artist" series offers inspiration and words of encouragement from 30+ NYFA-affiliated literary, performing, and visual artists, including:
Kyle Abraham • Shimon Attie • Desiree C. Bailey • Camille A. Brown • Widline Cadet • Geoffrey Chadsey • Debi Cornwall • Maia Cruz Palileo • Alvin Eng • Derek Fordjour • Coco Fusco • Chitra Ganesh • Johanna Goodman • Sarah Hennies • Lily Honglei • Chemin Hsiao • Nina Katchadourian • Baseera Khan • Kalup Linzy • Ani Liu • Chico MacMurtrie • Eva and Franco Mattes • Dennis McNett • Meredith Monk • Lauri Lynnxe Murphy •  Erin O'Keefe • Sarah Oppenheimer • J.T. Rogers • Jean Shin • Elizabeth Streb • Rupy C. Tut • Luis Valderas • Kay WalkingStick • Jennifer Wen Ma

And next Friday 1/13 (5 pm) is the deadline for applying to NYFA’s Rauschenberg Medical Emergency Grants, which “provides one-time grants of up to $5,000 for recent unexpected medical, dental, and mental health emergencies to artists in financial need who are creating in the visual arts, film/video/electronic/digital arts, and choreography…” Funds may be requested for emergencies occurring 4/1/22 and later. Grants may be requested for expenses already paid, pending, or for treatment the artist is putting off due to lack of funds. 


The American Folk Art Museum (2 Lincoln Square) has a number of upcoming events, including:

  • “Closer-Look Exhibition Tours” on 1/5, 1/8, 1/15, 1/19 and 1/22 (at 1 pm each date), which will offer new perspectives on the work of Morris Hirshfield. To register, email

  • Free Music Fridays 1/13, 6 – 7:30 pm, Facebook Live. Enjoy new performances by Chris Michael (Lyrically dense songs), Jessi Robertson (Otherworldly indie rock), and Ruby Rae (Indie rock Americana). Register at this link

  • Wednesday, 1/18, 1 pm, Delight in jazz standards from the American Songbook with guitarist Bill Wurtzel and Jay Leonhart. Limited seating and advance registration for museum admission is required

  • Friday, 1/27 from 11 am – 5 pm: “Unexpected Partners: Self-Taught Art and Modernism in Interwar America” a full-day virtual symposium where panelists will revisit a vital moment of American cultural history and highlight the important contributions that unconventional artists such as Morris Hirshfield made to the development of modern art. Click the link for a full list of speakers and schedule.

Recordings of past events are at this Vimeo link

This week is the last to experience the Lou Reed Listening Room at the Vincent Astor Gallery in the NYPL Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, closing 1/7 (The full exhibit, “Lou Reed: Caught Between the Twisted Stars” remains on view until 3 /4; it’s the first large-scale exhibition from Reed’s archive which the Library acquired in 2017). 

The Lou Reed Listening Room is a aural experience—presenting the full range of Reed’s technologically ambitious discography, in the original intended format, including Metal Machine Trio: The Creation of the Universe, Lou Reed’s first and only sound art installation. Recorded live at New York’s Blender Theatre in 2009, the installation is composed of twelve loudspeakers in an ambisonic (or full sphere surround sound) arrangement to create a fully immersive environment. In collaboration with the acoustic specialists Arup in New York, Reed was able to recreate this groundbreaking composition for gallery visitors from exactly the same acoustic perspective he had while performing onstage. See the full Listening Room schedule at the link above and this exhibit review from the Times

Co-sponsored by the NYPL, the Weill Cornell College of Medicine’s Wellness Series. The first session is hybrid, in-person at the NYPL Webster Branch on the East Side and online (links sent the day of the event to those who RSVP at the title links below). The third, 1/23 event is in-person at the Kips Bay Branch.

  • Wed, 1/ 11,  5:30 pm: Men's Health (Dr. Chughtai will be speaking virtually). This lecture will focus on Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). Over 70% of men in their 60s have symptoms of BPH, which can cause loss of productivity and sleep, depression and decreased quality of life. Join us for a discussion reviewing up-to-date diagnosis and management of BPH in addition to new minimally invasive surgical options.

  • Mon, 1/ 23, 11 am: Parkinson's Disease (Dr. Harini Sarva, Associate Professor of Clinical Neurology, Weill Cornell Medicine, in person at the Kips Bay Branch). Nearly one million people in the United States are living with Parkinson's disease, the second-most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer's, with approximately 60,000 Americans diagnosed each year. 

Friday 1/6 is the deadline to register for Tuesday 1/10’s “Admissions One Stop” event held by SUNY’s Manhattan Educational Opportunity Center (at the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building, 163 W. 125th St). 

There are six hour-long sessions—10 am, 11 am, 12 pm, and 4 pm, 5 pm, and 6 pm—where prospective SUNY students can learn about free programs, get help applying online, schedule an admissions exam, and get answers to questions on the spot. Pre-registration is required; each session will start promptly (arrive early!), and a negative COVID PCR test or COVID-19 vaccination required to attend. Click the link to RSVP. 

Saturday, 1/7, 10 am, The American Folk Art Museum (2 Lincoln Square): “Families and Folk Art: Old Picture, New Painting.” In this virtual program, families with children ages 4+ will explore the art of Morris Hirshfield, who launched his career with two paintings on reused canvases. Rather than entirely covering up what came before, he incorporated pieces of the previous pictures into his own work. Following in his footsteps, you will overpaint a pre-existing image to create something new. Free registration required by emailing

Sunday, 1/8, 5 pm (doors 4:30 pm), Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 3 W 65th St: A performance of J.S. Bach’s BWV 1 “Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern” (How Beautifully the Morning Star Shines). Presented by candlelight in the format of a Lutheran liturgical service of evening prayer, Bach Vespers is free and open to the public; a freewill offering will be taken. Artistic Director Anthony Blake Clark. Homily by Rev. Timothy Weisman. Also available on YouTube. Call (212) 877-6815 for additional information.

Sunday 1/8, 1 pm, NY Society for Ethical Culture Adler Hall, 2 West 64th St: ‘One With the Current’ (free eventbrite tickets here). Special performance of Daniel Damiano’s solo play. A North Carolina husband and father accompanies his childhood friend on a fishing trip during the pandemic, but the events that ensue will change his life forever. Directed by Leslie Kincaid Burby. More info at the title link. (Ethical Culture also has other arts and culture events listed at their calendar here and continues their Good Neighbor Initiative which collects and distributes food to food-insecure neighbors.)

Monday, 1/9, 5 – 6:30 pm, Materials for the Arts, 33-00 Northern Blvd, 3rd Fl., Long Island City: Person Place Thing podcast taping with Anna Sacks, who prowls through dumpsters, harvesting what’s casually discarded by the profligate. A Robin Hood of rubbish, she is astute about waste and sustainability. Hosted by Randy Cohen, podcast mogul and former Ethicist columnist for the New York Times Magazine. Click the link to RSVP. 

Tuesday, 1/10/23, 12 noon – 1 pm, virtual: Storytelling Workshop: “Shark Tank” Style. In part two of this webinar series, three volunteers will pitch their stories in a “Shark Tank”-style session. Communications experts from the NonProfit Help Desk will provide real-time feedback, helping participants refine their key messages to tell stories that are differentiated, compelling and consistent. The experts will offer practical advice on how to apply storytelling strategies to each organization’s communications channels as well as possible media targets for their stories. Listen in to be inspired and see how the advice might apply to your organization.

Wednesday 1/11, 7–8:30 pm, The Chapel at the Interchurch Center (enter at 61 Claremont Ave bet. 119th & 120th St): Craig Harris’s OHNEDARUTH (Compassion), a tribute to John Coltrane. The kickoff of Jazzmobile’s Winter Concert series. Craig Harris (Trombone, Composer), Alexis Marcelo (Piano), James Brandon Lewis (Saxophone), Jordyn Davis (Bass), Jerome Jennings (Drums). Click the title link for free tickets. 

Thursday 1/12, Lincoln Center: The New York Jewish Film Festival opens with “America” by Ofir Raul Graizer, in Hebrew with English subtitles; Q&A with Ofir Raul Graizer after the screening. The festival continues through 1/23. Complete schedule at the festival link above. 

Thursday, 1/12, 6 – 7:30 pm, virtual: “What to know about RSV” presented by Lenox Hill Greenwich Village and cosponsored by State Sen. Brad Hoylman, Rep. Jerry Nadler, B.P. Mark Levine, and me, along with Assembly Members Deborah Glick, Danny O'Donnell, Linda Rosenthal, Assembly Member-elect Tony Simone, and Council Members Shawn Abreu and Erik Bottcher. 

Sunday, 1/15, 3 pm, Apollo Theater, Harlem: “Uptown Hall: MLK—Blueprint for the Culture” The Apollo & WNYC’s celebration of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. explores Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement of the 60’s as the template for modern social and civil justice movements. Hosted by WNYC’s Kai Wright along with music, spoken word and other forms of creative expression with WQXR’s Terrance McKnight. Free tickets at the link.

Following the in-person Uptown Hall program, tune in at 5 pm for “Young Changemakers,” a panel discussion on the pivotal role of young voices affecting change within their communities, curated by the Apollo Young Producers with...

  • Luis Jonathan Hernandez, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Youth Over Guns
  • Deja Foxx, Activist, Founder of GenZ Girl Gang, Co-Founder El Rio RHAP
  • Tania Maree Giordani, Founder and Director at NourishNYC
  • Natalie Hernandez, Moderator

Click the title link for instructions on how to watch on Facebook, YouTube, or Apollo's Digital Stage. 

Wednesday, 1/18, 5 pm: Grant Information Session for small businesses or community based organizations (whether for-profit and non-profit) to apply for micro-grants from CCNYC of up to $10,000. Click the link to register. For questions about small business grants, email; for community action grants, email Co-sponsored by my office with Council Member Shaun Abreu and the Citizens Committee for New York City

Saturday, 1/21, York College (Academic Core Building, 94-20 Guy R. Brewer Blvd., Queens): Saturday Citizenship Event. Free screening for citizenship eligibility and help completing applications. Call (646) 664-9400 or (212) 652-2071 to register.

Tuesday, 1/24, 4 – 5:30 pm, virtual: Fundraising Energy: Using Events to Engage Donors. Kimberly Goodis, former Senior Program Officer of Individual Giving at New York Foundation for the Arts, will share key strategies for artists planning fundraising events this year. Learn tips for planning in-person, virtual, and hybrid events, and discover tools that can work in tandem with your project development to maximize its reach and impact. 

Sunday, 2/5, 2 – 3 pm, Congregation Rodeph Sholom (7 W 83rd St): At Family Fun Day & Camp Fair kids can play and participate in fun activities—games, raffles, arts & crafts, face painting, balloon animals, and music—and parents can meet day, sleepaway and specialty camp exhibitors all in one place, in one afternoon.

Quirk of the week: Check in on this live webcam at a watering hole in the Namib Desert in Namibia and you may luck into seeing exotic wildlife. (hat tip: Recommendo)

                                             Stay Safe, 
P.S. If you were forwarded this newsletter from a friend, sign up for your own subscription here!

P.P.S. If you have a problem or concern going forward, please contact me at, or call (917) 685-8657, or contact my Council district office at (212) 873-0282 and
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