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May 10, 2023



Vancouver Flails, Trying To Staunch Overdose Deaths

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Vancouver's overdose rates continue to soar despite opening numerous supervised injection sites throughout the city and recently seeing drug legalization (for personal use amounts) enacted.

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In the light of these alarming numbers from Vancouver, New York must reevaluate the Vancouver harm reduction model and the country's first two injection sites.


A Letter Sent To NYC's Department of Health

The Greater Harlem Coalition and the Harlem Neighborhood Block Association sent the following letter to New York City's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, as a follow-up to our walk+talk meeting:

Hello Maura and Jon,

And thank you both once again for coming to see how an oversaturation of shelters, New York City's largest OASAS-licensed OTP, and a supervised consumption site, can exacerbate existing structural challenges in a vulnerable community like East Harlem. We appreciate your willingness to listen to the difficult stories that East Harlem residents conveyed and hope that when you both think about programming, funding, and policy, that you will remember those voices, and work towards a more racially and socially equitable distribution of DoHMH-funded projects and programs.

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We all understand the enormity of the addiction crisis and applaud you and DoHMH for all that you do to help. We are simply asking the DoHMH abide by commitments to anti-racist action, and think about that in the light of:

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We look forward to hearing more about post walk+talk conversations you have had, and how DoHMH can begin to acknowledge and program around the racial equity issues we raised, and speak to a larger sense of 'community' - one that encompasses the residents whose voices you heard.

Why @NYCHealthCommr are you funding an injection site across from a school and reinforcing the redlining of Manhattan's most vulnerable community? Are Harlem children acceptable collateral damage for @NYCHealthy? Move OnPoint away from Harlem's families and children.


Over-Concentrating Addiction Programs Makes the Work of Drug Dealers Easier

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To the Editor:

Re "One Year Inside a Radical New Approach to America's Overdose Crisis," by Jeneen Interlandi (Opinion, Feb. 26):

The safe injection site approach, and other harm reduction services, may work as intended when facilities are not hyper-concentrated in a few neighborhoods like Harlem.

If you don't address the hyper-concentration of facilities and the very complex historical factors causing "medical redlining" -- siting facilities based on race, economic status and lesser local capacity to oppose services like methadone clinics and addiction services -- your journalism won't help move the needle to get these facilities placed in regions like Staten Island and Queens that reject them but need them.

At worst, your coverage will get elected officials, or private donors, to release more money for more addiction facilities in Harlem. Non-addicted Harlem residents are being strained to the breaking point under the weight of the services and from people traveling to Harlem from outside ZIP codes already.

For example, three Harlem Village Academy schools on my block of West 124th Street, with more than 96 percent Black and brown students, are located less than a block away from three methadone clinics that bring hundreds of addicted people to their block daily from as far away as Staten Island.

Over-concentration only benefits drug dealers and causes an increase in harm both to vulnerable users, as dealers descend on the concentration of addicted people in Harlem in predatory fashion, and to the non-addicted local residents.

Hudson Roditi
New York


Harlem's Councilmember Will Not Attend Join WeAct's Environmental Issues Forum

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WeAct's City Council District 9 Candidates Forum

The New York Primary Election is June 27 and one of the most hotly contested seats this year is in Harlem. The District 9 race for New York City Council is heating up, and for our May Membership Meeting, we are hosting a forum to hear from three of the candidates in this race (Inez Dickens, Yusef Salaam, and Al Taylor) on what they plan to do for Harlem and for environmental justice. 

Join us at Twenty-first Century Academy for Community Leadership at 501 West 152nd Street on Saturday, May 13 from 10 am - 1 pm

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