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The Briefly for June 4, 2020 – The "Six Billion Dollars" Edition
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Request an absentee ballot before June 16 Click and sign support for the repeal of 50-a Donate to The Equal Justice Initiative and The Bail Project The city remains on PAUSE, with 5/7 metrics met. We are expected to start phase one on June 8. Over 200 current and former members of Bill de Blasio's administration signed a letter to demand that the mayor "implement four policy reforms to live up to the progressive values he always speaks of." The demands are
Reduce the NYPD operating budget by $1 billion in Fiscal Year 2021, and reallocate that money to essential social services, including housing support and rental relief, food assistance, and health care, in alignment with the demands of the NYC Budget Justice campaign.
Immediately fire all NYPD officers found to have used excessive force—or to have covered their badges—at protests.
Release the names and official disciplinary records of all NYPD personnel who have been accused of using excessive force, covering their badge numbers, or other misconduct.
Appoint an independent commission, in the vein of the Knapp and Mollen Commissions, composed of civil rights attorneys, journalists, and activists, including abolitionist organizers, to investigate the response of the Mayor’s Office and the NYPD to the May and June 2020 protests against police violence. Sign the Black Lives Matter petition to #DefundPolice. “It’s absolutely shameful, that in the wake of all of these protests, our mayor still clings to the notion that the NYPD’s massive budget doesn’t play a huge role in the inequities and racism that we see in this city” -Councilmember Carlina Rivera, underscoring the debate over the city's budget and defunding the NYPD. A budget agreement is due at the end of June. (Gloria Pazmino for NY1) Want to give money for bail funds but also want a pretty sweet rainbow cookie tote bag? Laura Chautin has you covered. (Emma Orlow for Time Out) Photos: NYPD officers bludgeoned, pepper-sprayed, and picked fights with protesters marching peacefully. (Jake Offenhartz, Gwynne Hogan, Nick Pinto, and Sydney Pereira for Gothamist) The story of the Brooklyn Bridge stampede from May 30, 1883. (Alex Wallach and Michelle Young for Untapped New York) It took ONE day for Governor Cuomo to apologize to the NYPD for calling their response to rioters a disgrace. (Joseph Spector for USA Today)
"In a society in which leaders have little political appetite to tackle inequality or to address structural racism, and in a city that has become more unequal with COVID and may become more so, the choice to increase the number of MTA police and thus the policing of people of color — like George Floyd — is perversely sensible. It suggests that our policy makers have not only accepted the reality of structural inequality, but that they see their primary task as simply managing it."
- Kaufi Attoh for Streetsblog, Protests Lay Bare Structural Racism in Mass-Transit Policing
Mayor de Blasio stood in front of us all and promised that internal NYPD investigations into excessive force during protests will proceed at a quicker pace, but his history with police reform says otherwise. (Samar Khurshid for Gotham Gazette) The rules for everyone under curfew. Is this the "new normal" we keep hearing about? (Howard Halle for Time Out) Here are the detailed curfew guidelines for restaurant workers. No Ubers between 8 and 12:30, no Citi Bikes or Revels, no specific rules for ID, no passing through roadblocks, and more. (Tanay Warerkar for Eater) Do you know what pepper spray is good for? Potentially spreading Covid-19 among crowds, according to the chief of emergency medicine at NYU Langone Hospital - Brooklyn. (Virginia Breen for The City) If phase one starts on June 8, phase 2 starts June 22 and with it a surprise, as outdoor dining at restaurants will be included. (Bao Ong for Time Out) The city is poised to start phase one of reopening on Monday, but the mayor's ideas are pure fantasy on how the MTA should operate. (Jose Martinez for The City) How good design and "placemaking" can help the city ease into post-pandemic life. (Tucker Reed and J. Manuel Mansylla for amNewYork Metro) Need a haircut? Keep it quiet, but there's someone in Central Park giving haircuts. (Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West Side) The city's curfew is at 8 pm, but Citi Bikes are unavailable starting at 6 pm. Citi Bike made the announcement that the mayor's office is forcing them to shut down two hours before the curfew starts. (Anna Quinn for Patch) Video: Representative Yvette Clarke debates Adem Bunkeddeko and Isiah James ahead of the June 23 Democratic primary. (Emily Ngo for NY1) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez endorsed Jamaal Bowman in the Democratic primary against longtime Democratic incumbent Rep. Eliot Engel in New York's 16th congressional district. (David Giambusso for Politico) How is Staten Island faring with the Covid-19 pandemic? It depends on which side of its Mason-Dixon line you live on. The northern part of Staten Island accounts for 40% of its population, but 54% of its Covid-19 cases. (Clifford Michel for The City) $600 million of brand new subway cars were pulled from service this week after a car disconnected from the rest of the train at Chambers Street. These are the same cars that were pulled from service in January after their doors were opening when they shouldn't have been. The cars, already defective twice, have cost the city $35 million in repairs and $300 million in lost labor. Almost a billion dollars for subway cars that don't work. Perfect. (Adam Nichols for Patch) There has been a sharp rise in glass recycling in the city than in years past. Our trash is tattling on us, and it turns out we've been drinking a lot of wine. (Anne Barnard, Azi Paybarah and Jacob Meschke for NY Times) A new exhibition, titled "Monuments Now" is coming to Queens's Socrates Sculpture Park this summer, bringing a brightly colored ziggurat, an obelisk that doubles as a BBQ, and a cenotaph frame. (Howard Halle for Time Out) We used to be able to lay on a beach and wait for someone to offer us a concoction that was as strong as it was mysterious about its contents. The Nutcracker isn't like to make a big comeback to beaches this year, but bars are now selling their own Nutcrackers you can take to go. (Daniel Maurer for Bedford + Bowery) SummerStage is going digital this summer, starting June 6. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro) Thank you to reader Lisa for today's featured photo!