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Greater Harlem Coalition Logo

June 14, 2023



Harlem's City Council Election Day Approaches

Early voting starts June 17 and in-person voting is on June 27.

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A City Council member represents one of 51 Council Districts in New York, which vary in size according to the redistricting process but typically cover two to four neighborhoods.

Council members are responsible for proposing and voting on bills relating to all aspects of civic life, for example: policing, housing, street safety and environmental issues like the plastic bag ban.

Bills passed by the Council go to the mayor to be signed into law. The Council can override a veto from the mayor with a vote of at least two-thirds of the members.

The Council also negotiates with the mayor to pass the city budget every year. Each Council member has his or her own discretionary budget to fund local projects and groups. The Council holds oversight hearings through its many committees. And, critically, the body votes to approve or reject development projects that need public approval.


Where Has DOHMH Located Syringe Service Programs?  [Spoiler: NYC's Communities of Color]

Notice the correspondence with many of New York City's communities of color.


No Surprise.  Addiction Programs Packed Into Majority Black Communities.

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A Philadelphia resident - Sonja Bingham - testified to the Pennsylvania Legislature and called out the racial disparities in resources, support, and attention given to communities of color, when compared to wealthier Philadelphia neighborhoods.

"...my purpose today is to advocate for those who are truly unheard, the Black and Brown residents held captive in their homes..."  

Binghamton noted that, “My experience has been an exhausting fight.”  “Every single day I get up, I clean up whatever feces, urine, trash, clothing, and graffiti is on my block. I patrol the neighborhood, submit 311 reports, and send emails to the Mayor’s Office, Managing Director’s Office, police department, and City Council.”

"...children who can't use their parks and play and have to walk past users allowed to shoot up openly..."

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"The working mothers and fathers who every day must navigate the unsafe and unsanitary conditions on their way to work on buses, subways with more of the same."

Bingham notes that when people speak up about neighborhood issues in wealthy neighborhoods — where residents are predominately white — the City resolves them. But in her Kensington neighborhood, which has some of the highest poverty rates in the city and where a majority of residents are not white, the City forces them to wait for solutions.


1 West 126th Street HDFC Joins GHC

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Our HDFC neighbors at the intersection of West 126th Street and 5th Avenue have joined The Greater Harlem Coalition and support our work for Community Harm Reduction and a Harlem that thrives.

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