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Greater Harlem Coalition Logo

June 21, 2023



Make Sure to Vote in Harlem's City Council Primary!

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Vote now in early voting or cast your vote on Tuesday, June 27th.  The Greater Harlem Coalition endorses Assembly Member Inez Dickens and we hope you'll rank her #1.


In 2021 Harlem's City Council seat was won by only 114 votes

In 2017, East Harlem City Council seat was won by only 117 votes


And Ignores Harlem

Earlier in March, ten community members, including Xavier Santiago, Chair of Community Board 11, who helped coordinate the meeting, met at Patsy's Pizza on a Saturday morning to meet a delegation from San Francisco that included San Francisco Supervisor Hillary Ronen, Lydia Bransten from the Gubbio Project, and staff from their offices. Patsy’s very kindly fed us during the meeting.

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Xavier Santiago invited everyone to introduce themselves and share how close they lived to the OnPoint site. All those present from NYC lived between 1 to 5 blocks from OnPoint.

Xavier Santiago provided a timeline of the various social, political, policy contextual factors in the past 3-4 years that preceded the opening of OnPoint.

Our group described our first-hand experiences with the many negative issues facing us as residents in the community, and we explained that these issues coincided in time with the opening of the facility. We discussed issues of open injection and drug use, open drug dealing, prevalence of crime and violent crime, shoplifting, challenges to businesses such as IHOP and drug stores, some of which have closed. The mother children who attend ABC daycare described feeling unsafe for herself and her children and described ABC installing bullet-proof glass in response to the increase in drug dealing on West 126th Street adjacent to the ABC building. We talked about how OnPoint has never provided data to community members who requested it. We said there has been a shocking lack of evidence from OnPoint, which makes many claims but never provides evidence beyond simple numbers of reversed overdoses which are not known to be unique individuals, making even that data difficult to interpret. Data has been promised by OnPoint but has never been given to us. Promises have been made and broken.  [Continued...]

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Politico Says All City Council Candidates Are Against Oversaturation of Harlem

The candidates frequently field voter concerns about the so-called oversaturation of social services in Harlem from drug treatment centers to a supervised injection site and a possible marijuana dispensary. While the contenders are united in their opposition to the sites, they’re trying to use the issue to motivate voters in an off-year election that could be decided by a few hundred votes.

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The neighborhood houses opioid treatment programs that are responsible for 12 percent of the total capacity of New York City’s services, but it is only home to 2.6 percent of the overdose deaths in New York City, according to an analysis by the Greater Harlem Coalition, an advocacy group aimed at reducing the number of local drug centers. 

The District 9 candidates argue that Harlem has been a longtime target of programs that critics say disrupt the area’s quality of life, while acknowledging that:

75.4 percent of patients admitted to treatment programs in Harlem are not actually residents of the neighborhood


Tranq (Xylazine) Threat Growing in Illegal Drug Supply

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Xylazine a powerful tranquilizer used in veterinary care (hence the street name 'tranq') is increasingly found in the illegal drug supply.  In addition to not having approval for human use, 'tranq' expresses heavy sedative effects like an opioid but doesn’t respond to the opioid overdose antidote, naloxone, also known as Narcan.

On the other hand, fentanyl is a fast-acting opioid that users say seek to mix with xylazine in order to extend the duration of the high.  This toxic combination can make drug overdoses even deadlier, the DEA says.

Additionally, people who inject drug mixtures containing xylazine may develop severe necrotic skin wounds that may lead to tissue death and amputation.

“Xylazine is making the deadliest drug threat our country has ever faced, fentanyl, even deadlier,” DEA Administrator Anne Milgram said in the alert. “DEA has seized xylazine and fentanyl mixtures in 48 of 50 states. The DEA Laboratory System is reporting that in 2022 approximately 23% of fentanyl powder and 7% of fentanyl pills seized by the DEA contained xylazine.”

Xylazine is in all 50 states but is most concentrated in Philadelphia, according to Dr. Rahul Gupta, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

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