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 


It’s Thursday, December 15, 2022. Sunday is the first night of Hannukah—Chag Sameach!


“The U.S. has administered more than 655 million doses — 80 percent of the population has received at least one dose — with the cumulative effect of preventing more than 18 million additional hospitalizations and more than 3 million additional deaths.” according to a new study from The Commonwealth Fund

Last Friday, too late to include in last week’s newsletter, the city health department issued a health advisory, urging New Yorkers to wear a mask in indoor situations (and crowded outdoor ones). And City Dept. of Education sent word to school families this week that they are recommending that students and staff wear “well-fitting masks” inside schools—all to help reduce the caseloads of COVID, flu, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), the so-called Tripledemic.   

Don’t forget we have plenty of free test kits available for pickup during business hours at my district office: 563 Columbus Ave. at 87th St., from 10 am – 5:30 pm. We’ve run very low on N95 masks, not surprisingly—we’re working on getting more—but have have plenty of the blue surgical masks.

Covid spreads and medical staff sicken after China relaxes restrictions “Beijing municipal officials said at a briefing Monday [12/12] that 22,000 patients visited fever clinics the day before, 16 times the daily average a week ago.”  (Washington Post)

News & information.

We had a good crowd, in person and online, at the West Side Cannabis Town Hall at John Jay College of Criminal Justice Tuesday night (12/13) sponsored by me and Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal (shown above). The NYS Office of Cannabis Management presented a long powerpoint deck, and we also heard from representatives from the NYPD, the Manhattan DA, NYC’s Depts. of Consumer and Worker Protection and Small Business Services, and Community Boards 4 and 7. The session followed our release of a district-wide survey of unlicensed stores that are selling cannabis (and even unlicensed tobacco) that was covered by the Daily News

On Monday and Tuesday, 12/19–20, the Council’s Committee of the Whole will examine the City’s response and delivery of services to migrants. (I joined with four Council colleagues (CMs Ayala, Brannan, Won, and Hanif) in asking the Mayor for an accounting of the now-deactivated Randall’s Island HERRC—the “Humanitarian Emergency Relief and Recovery Center.” The IBO issued this response to queries about costs of serving asylum seekers (PDF).

I’ll be speaking at the dedication of the “Gate of the Exonerated” at 11 am on Monday, 12/19, at the new gate on 110th St. between 5th Ave. and Lenox Ave. This is the first “gate-naming” in over 100 years, and follows in a tradition of honoring New Yorkers in Central Park. In this case, it memorializes the wrongful arrest and incarceration of Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise, and celebrates the 20th Anniversary of their exoneration in the attack on a woman jogging in Central Park. As Borough President, I helped encourage Manhattan Community Board 10’s Exonerated 5 Task Force, which worked with the Exonerated 5, Justice 4 the Wrongfully Incarcerated, NYCParks, the Central Park Conservancy and members of the community.

Here’s coverage from Citizens Union’s Gotham Gazette on last week’s oversight hearing on the Mayor’s mid-year budget cuts, and here’s my public commentary at the hearing:

 “The loudest criticism came from Council Member Gale Brewer, whose committee released a report for a hearing earlier this year on the city's depleted workforce. She pointed out that the city did not baseline increased personnel funding for the Department of Investigation, even though it generates revenue through fines and recouping city funds, and critiqued vacancy cuts at the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), where understaffing has already hampered the city’s affordable housing efforts. She also raised, in passing, questions about the administration lowballing salaries to potential hires and the mayor’s refusal to allow work-from-home or hybrid working schedules.

“I am livid about this issue that we have nobody inspecting anything, no HPD, no DOB [Department of Buildings], no fire department, no health department,” [Brewer] said. “And we learned today there's nobody at the Commission on Human Rights. Nobody is doing inspections in this city…[T]his city is not going to function if you don't have these vacancies filled and people doing the inspections. We’ll have no supportive housing, no opening of restaurants, no opening of new business. Nothing.”

New City Council district boundaries have been approved. In June and November 2023, there will be primary and general elections to select Council members for a full four-year term using those new lines. The 6th District lines have been altered only slightly—losing about a dozen blocks near W. 96th St. View the new Manhattan maps here.

The public comment period on new proposed FAA and National Park Service rules governing tourist flights in New York Harbor which will likely increase helicopter traffic and noise in Lower Manhattan is open until 12/30. Please take the time to submit your comments at this National Park Service link. Visit Stop the Chop for guidance on the topic. Email them using this form for guidance on what to say. 


Major Fusion Energy Breakthrough to Be Announced by Scientists (NY Times)

Video of Sen. Raphael Warnock’s victory speech. (YouTube)

Gen Z came to ‘slay.’ Their bosses don’t know what that means. (Washington Post)

Elon Musk Is a Far-Right Activist (The Atlantic)

Anthony Fauci: A Message to the Next Generation of Scientists (NY Times)

Useful items.

The U.S. Postal Service will raise the price of a first-class “forever” stamp from 60 cents to 63 cents on Jan. 22, a 5% increase. A first-class stamp covers the cost to mail a 1-ounce letter. An additional ounce will remain 24 cents. Metered letters will rise to 60 cents from 57 cents. Domestic postcards will rise to 48 cents from 44 cents. Outbound international letters will rise to $1.45 from $1.40. ADD JOHN LEWIS

The Upshot section of the NY Times has published “Help The New York Times map New York’s neighborhoods” an interactive article where people can locate their neighborhood and draw what they think the boundaries are. They’ll use the data to create a crowd-sourced citywide map, touching on how the neighborhoods of New York are constantly in flux (and how people love to fight about them). They’re looking for more responses from the 6th Council District, including Lincoln Square, Upper West Side, and Hell's Kitchen.

Housing Conservation Coordinators’ Legal Clinic is open to all New York City residents, regardless of income. The questions they answer are primarily about housing and housing-related legal issues, but questions about other basic legal matters (employment, contracts, family law, etc.) are also fair game. Call 212-541-5996 to reserve one of the eight 15-minute slots on any Monday between 5 and 7 pm. 

In addition, my District Office has a trained volunteer every Monday from 2–6 pm (but not on Monday holidays) to assist with Senior Citizen and Disabled Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE/DRIE) applications and renewals for those in rent-regulated units. There’s so much demand for SCRIE/DRIE help that, starting in January, we will 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 following Tuesdays:

  • Jan 10, 2023
  • Feb 14, 2023 (Yes, Valentine's Day!) 
  • March 13, 2023
  • April 11, 2023
  • May 9, 2023
  • June 13, 2023

My office’s January virtual Housing Clinic (held on the first Wednesday of each month)  is on the topic of “Succession Rights” on Wednesday, 1/11/23 (it’s the second Wednesday. because of holidays). Register at

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 the link at New York Foundation for the Arts to learn more. Application deadline is Wednesday, 1/25/2023 and successful applicants will be notified Summer, 2023. 

PS 75 has created this Amazon wish list of holiday gifts to be given to students in transitional housing, most of whom are recent migrants. The shipping address to look for is “Mercedes Eustache Gift Registry Address.” Please consider purchasing one before tomorrow, Friday, 12/16. 

The JCC is collecting new and very gently used children’s winter clothing as part of a winter clothing drive in their lobby (334 Amsterdam at 76th St) through Friday, 12/16. Learn more at the link.

And the Ascension Church Food Pantry (221 W. 107th St.) is collecting toys for new neighbors/immigrants and for parish children. They're also accepting clothes, shoes, and jackets or gifts bought at this registry until 12/20. 

Call for nominations for the Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards (Deadline: Monday, 1/9/23). The New York Landmarks Conservancy’s highest honor, the Moses Award is bestowed upon an outstanding individual in the field of historic preservation. Past honorees include Ruth Abram, Wint Aldrich, Kent Barwick, John H. Beyer, Fred Bland, Stephen Briganti, Yuien Chin, Joan K. Davidson, Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, Andrew Dolkart, Franny Eberhart, Lola Finkelstein, Kenneth K. Fisher, Daniel Garodnick, Anne Van Ingen, Nancy, and Otis Pratt Pearsall, Ruth Pierpont, Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, Barnett Shepherd, and Anthony C. Wood.

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 questions, please email Andrea Goldwyn at

The Manhattan delegation on the Council is still looking for the borough’s representative on the Taxi and Limousine Commission. It’s an unpaid post, but for those looking for a public service role, it’s an important one. Email my office (with a resume) at


Housing Court Answers, an independent nonprofit, seeks a full time Hotline Specialist. They provide non-lawyer assistance to people from information tables in Housing Courts in all 5 boroughs, through a hotline, and for NYCHA tenants at the impartial hearing office. HCA also works on policy issues surrounding Housing Court. Hotline Specialists assist callers with rent arrears and eviction issues, utility arrears, public benefits problems or questions, questions about Housing Court and Housing Court procedures and questions about housing rights and responsibilities. Salary (currently, salary is $51,819) and benefits are negotiated through collective bargaining. Send resume and cover letter to with “Hotline Position” in the subject.


The MTA's “Nostalgia Rides” continues for one last time, this Sunday 12/18, when its vintage Train of Many Colors will operate along the 7th Avenue line. I’m told it’s making express stops between 96th and Chambers, and I do not know at press time if it’s still running on the 1 line to 137th St/ City College station, from 10 am –5:30 pm. Fifth Avenue's Open Street has one more remaining Sunday too: it will be car-free between 48th and 57th Streets from noon to 6 pm on 12/18. Uptown Grand Central has one more of its “Hot Chocolate Rides,” too, where you can go on a (cold) bike tour of Harlem and sip some of the best hot drinks across Harlem. (See also this Gothamist story: “Shop local with distinction at these NYC alternative holiday markets”)

This Saturday, 12/17, is the last holiday edition of the Harlem Night Market at La Marqueta. More than 50 local vendors with authentic food and one-of-a-kind gifts, with a trolley running loops to their pop-up ice skating rink at the Uptown Grand Central community plaza at 125th Street. D.J.s Stormin' Norman, Jay Boogie & Agujita will be heating up the dance floor at La Placita, and Uptown Vinyl Supreme will be at the 125th Street ice rink. And Los Pleneros de la 21 will kick off the evening with a traditional parranda. El Museo del Barrio educators will be on hand with Three Kings Day crafts at La Marqueta, plus there'll be a bounce house at 115th Street, a 360-degree photo booth in La Placita and a human-sized snowglobe in Urban Garden Center's Winter Wonderland. (And a roaming Santa!) Get free tix for the market here, and for the ice rink here.

Virtual classes held by EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care in December include Chair Yoga (Mondays, 1 – 1:30 pm), Mindful Meditation (Tuesdays, 12:15 – 12:45 pm), Zumba with Cheryl Mitchell (Tuesdays, 1 – 1:30 pm), and Mental Health 101 (Thursday, 12/15, 1:15 – 2:30 pm). Free and open to all. For the upcoming schedule and to register for classes, visit the link.

Thursday, 12/15, 7:30 pm, Lincoln Center’s Clark Studio Theater (Rose Building on W. 65th St. betw. Broadway & Amsterdam): LayeRhythm (On The Move) with STASIS, led by Mai Lê Hô. Embodying the continuum of concert and social dance, weaves a mix of freestyle dance, live music, and audience interaction, celebrating the vibrancy of street and club dance cultures. In collaboration with 92NY and HI-ARTS. Tickets are “choose what you pay” starting at $5.  

Friday, 12/16, 3 pm, virtual: Cultural Medallion ceremony honoring Hannah Arendt’s residence at 370 Riverside Drive. Speakers at the ceremony will include: 

  • Leon Botstein, President, Bard College
  • Jana Schmidt, Director of Academic Studies, Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities, Bard College
  • David Bromwich, Sterling Professor of English, Yale University
  • Suzanne Nossel, Chief Executive Officer, PEN America
  • Yascha Mounk, Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations
  • Michael Waldman, President, Brennan Center for Justice

Since 1995, the Historic Landmarks Preservation Center, chaired by Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, has installed more than 135 cultural medallions on buildings throughout the five boroughs of NYC where notable New Yorkers lived and worked.

Friday, 12/16, 7:30 pm, David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center: Lulada Club Salsa Christmas Party of vintage tropical salsa, boogaloo, bolero, and cha cha cha at this performance of danceable classics and deep cuts. Part of the ¡VAYA! Latin Dance and Music series. Free.

Friday–Saturday, 12/16–12/17, 6:30 pm, ONX Studios (645 Fifth Ave, Lower Level): Ice Theatre of New York’s newest collaboration with Lajuné McMillian, The Unseen, a real-time motion capture performance on ice, honoring Black figure skaters of the past and present. Tickets are free, but seating is limited. Click on the title to reserve. 

Saturday, 12/17, 11 am, David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center:  The String Queens: A Holiday Celebration! A trio of women whose skills as educators, orchestrators and performers of pop, jazz, and gospel have performed on the world's greatest stages, including the 2021 virtual inauguration concert for Vice President Kamala Harris. Free. 

Wednesday, 12/21, 5 pm, 1886 Broadway (between 62nd and 63rd St): Ring in the winter solstice by joining the Lincoln Square BID’s WinteRamble—an illuminated community procession of Frost Giant puppets and icicle lanterns (led by Processional Arts Workshop). The procession meanders through the Lincoln Square neighborhood until 6 pm, and there are 3 options to participate at this RSVP link

  • Volunteer to carry a crystalline icicle lantern, 
  • Create your own mini-lantern for the procession in the pop-up workshop (3:00 – 5:00 pm), or 
  • Join the Kalimbascope, an ensemble of amateur music-makers (no experience required). 
Everyone is welcome to take part in this family-friendly event, solo or with a group, or watch and follow along as they celebrate winter’s arrival. Presented by the Lincoln Square BID and part of their Lights Up series on Lincoln Square. 

Wednesday, 12/21, 6 pm, Richard Tucker Park (W 66th St. and Broadway): Chanukah Menorah Lighting and Celebration, with live music and free donuts, latkes, and dreidels, organized by Chabad of the West Sixties.


Wednesday, 12/21, 12 – 2 pm, Adler Hall at the New York Society for Ethical Culture (2 W 64th St.): Christopher Bradshaw and Nelson Ojeda Valdés: Tchaikowsky’s Nutcracker Suite in Four-Hand Piano, part of the Music at Noon Concert Free Series. Hot chocolate and snacks; proof of vaccination and mask are required to attend.

Wednesday, 12/21, 3 pm, Zoom: “Pathways to Social Housing,” from Housing Court Answers, presents a new report from Community Service Society on policies that can encourage conversions from for-profit to social housing models. Presented by Oksana Mironova, Samuel Stein, Celeste Hornbach, and Jacob Udell of CSS. 

Saturday, 12/24, National Action Network’s House of Justice Auditorium located at: 106 W. 145th St.: National Action Network’s Annual Christmas Dinner. Free hot buffet, toy giveaway and festivities. All guests should confirm their attendance with Derek Perkinson at or (646) 659-9850.

Christmas Day, Sunday, 12/25: Goddard Riverside (593 Columbus Ave. at 88th St.) will be hosting Holiday Meals, available for pick up from 12 pm to 3 pm at 593 Columbus Avenue (at 88th Street) and open to anyone. They will also have limited indoor seating available for guests to eat their meals after picking them up. One meal per person. 

Wednesday, 12/28, 12 – 2 pm, Adler Hall at the New York Society for Ethical Culture (2 W 64th St.): Caitlin Caruso Dobbs and Alana Murphy Perform Songs From the American Songbook, part of the “Music at Noon” free concert series. Hot chocolate and snacks; proof of vaccination and mask are required to attend.

Thursday, 1/5/23, 4 – 5:30 pm, virtual: educator training session for City Parks Foundation’s “Green Girls Empowered by ING” curriculum. Intended for educators and community programmers, this training will explain the lesson format and how the curriculum integrates STEM, experiential learning and youth development concepts into each lesson. 

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, 6:30 - 8:30 pm, in person at Harlem Hospital Center Auditorium (506 Lenox Ave) and virtual via Webex (you can register only on a computer, don't ask me why): January Board Meeting of the Civilian Complaint Review Board.

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, and Council Members Shawn Abreu, Erik Bottcher. 

Quirk of the week: Debirdify is a tool which searches those you follow on Twitter for possible Mastodon/Fediverse social media accounts. To use it, click the link, provide access to your Twitter account, and allow it to communicate with Twitter on your behalf. Then, you can explore the Mastodon social media app with familiarity; here’s an excellent how-to-use Mastodon primer (as a Twitter thread, naturally). There are options beyond Mastodon, outlined in this Washington Post story (gift article). 

                                             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
Copyright © 2022, All rights reserved.

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