Dozens of low-income New Yorkers and advocates gathered around the entrance to the R train at City Hall on Wednesday morning, holding up oversized summonses for subway fare evasion. One read “Immigrant Worker,” another “CUNY Student.” In the spot designated for violation details, all of the slips read “too poor.”
As families around the country prepare to celebrate Mother’s Day, thousands of mothers are sitting in jails before even having been convicted of a crime. Now Black-led groups are working together to bring these mothers home so they, too, can celebrate with their families.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions today issued a sweeping update to the Department of Justice’s criminal charging policy, one that has some New York officials and advocates fearful that the War on Drugs may be returning to levels not seen since the 1980s. In a brief-but-consequential memo released to the public on Friday, Sessions directed federal prosecutors to charge drug suspects with the most serious, provable crimes carrying the most severe penalties.
When the city government announced the Ithaca Plan early last year, the idea of “supervised injection sites” was launched into the center of a heated local conversation, even making national headlines. While the exploration of such a system continues, Ithacans were able to get their first glance of what one might look like.
Unable to quell a steep increase in overdose deaths, New York City has opted to create a Municipal Drug Strategy Advisory Council that will include drug users and propose new policies and pilot programs that could save lives and give a helping hand to beleaguered opiate users.
Homeless shelter residents have been blocked from using a life-saving drug to revive fellow residents who overdose, advocates charge.
VIDEO: Dr. Herminia Palacio, the Deputy Mayor of Health and Human Services, talks to In Focus host Cheryl Wills about the city’s new $38 million program to help combat the opioid epidemic. She’s joined by Hector Mata, an outreach worker for VOCAL-NY, who has saved 26 lives so far by administering Naloxone.
Activists rallied in front of City Hall to call on the city, state and nation to address the issue of violence against sexual minorities and anti-black attitudes, particularly bringing light to the issue of missing black women. The rally—held by the Anti-Violence Collective, Act UP New York, VOCAL New York and Housing Works at City Hall—sought to bring attention to violence against LGBTQ individuals and racism.
Outside the private meetings, in the public halls of the Capitol, anti-homelessness activists demonstrated Monday. Twenty-one were arrested. Members of VOCAL-NY want Cuomo and Republicans in the state Senate to go along with a plan by Assembly Democrats to expand the millionaires’ tax to add several higher brackets to generate even more revenue.
Homeless advocates say Governor Andrew Cuomo is not doing enough to help the homeless community. “Since 2011, Homelessness has gone up in this state 41 percent, 41 percent that’s an absolute disgrace,” Robert Suarez, a Vocal New York member, said.