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Greater Harlem Coalition Logo

October 5, 2022


"Why are these people not getting the services they need that they are sitting on sidewalks next to schools and homes while using. What are you doing to address this?"

In early August, GHC reached out to its 1800+ members and asked a few simple questions including, “What would you’d like to say to our elected officials regarding the systemic oversaturation of Harlem? What has its impact been on you, your family, your neighbors, and your community?”

In the responses, GHC members spoke of deep concern for their community and how life has changed for them. Three weeks ago we began sharing your voices on how oversaturation has impacted your community and your families. This week we share your thoughts specifically directed to our City Council members, Deputy Speaker Ayala and Council Member Kristin Richardson Jordan.

You can also share your experiences with Council Members Jordan (Central Harlem) and Ayala (East Harlem) directly. You can as well using the links provided below.

Concerns directed to Deputy Speaker Ayala:

The most common concern was repeatedly labeling the oversaturation of Harlem as a “Not in my backyard” (NIMBY) issue and re-directing blame to others

  • "...this is not a ‘nimby’ issue as you have characterized it, this is a public safety and public health concern.”
  • “Stop redirecting the blame for this and work towards the goal of actually helping people.”
  • “The normalization of drug sales, use and abuse has led to the people of Harlem (including children and elderly) to fear leaving their homes."

Other comments noted that Ayala did not respond to constituents' questions

  • “I have visited your office which is close to my home and close to encampments of openly drug using and drug selling addicts. I have never received any follow up.”

Concerns directed to City Council Member Richardson Jordan:

The most common concern was directed at Jordan giving “lip service” to oversaturation issues during the campaign only to change her approach once elected and in office

      • “When you were running for office, you gave lip service to the issue of oversaturation of opioid treatment centers in Harlem and East Harlem. I had great faith in your causes, but since then all you have done is alienate the police, lose money for the community by alienating the City Council, make ignorant comments justifying Russia's invasion of Ukraine, further alienating even more constituents.”
      • “Remember when, as a candidate, you said that you would address the issue of over saturation?”

      Other comments noted Jordan prioritizing her personal agenda over community needs

        • “Please stop pushing your personal agenda and start standing up for your constituents who you represent. Let THEIR voices be heard rather than your own."


        The Lex & 3rd Block Association

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        A huge shout-out to the Lex & 3rd Block Association for the clean-up work they are doing on the streets of East Harlem.  DJ Brenda Black and others are getting it done, making our community cleaner and safer. 


        The Lex & 3rd Block Association is now a GHC community member.


        Opioids in Safe Supply Program Are Prescribed by Doctors Directly to Users

        NPR's Morning Edition featured a conversation with a U.S. public health expert studying Canada's harm reduction programs -- which include supervised injection sites and legally prescribed drugs that people with an addiction can use to get high.


        Click on the NPR logo (below) to listen to the article:

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        And for some context, click the link below to use Google Street View to see what Canada's first injection site and community now look like.  Make sure to pivot to the opposite side of the street.

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