A FEMA staffer directs Brooklyn residents at Medgar Evers College during
the opening of COVID-19 mass vaccination in the fi rst week appointments.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke
Caribbean Life, FEB. 26-MAR. 4, 2021 3
By Tangerine Clarke
In a recent move to help Brooklyn
residents combat the hardship due
to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic,
State Senator Kevin Parker is urging
families to submit Hardship Declaration
Forms, due on Feb. 26 to avoid eviction.
This comes on the heels of a historic
legislation passed by State Senator Parker
and the Senate Majority in a December
2020 special Session that ensured
New Yorkers facing financial hardships
can stay in their homes.
Under this new legislation, tenants
will be given an opportunity to submit
hardship declarations and an additional
two-month moratorium extension will
be in place for both renters and homeowners.
Parker urges New York State residents
to submit Hardship Declaration
Forms to avoid eviction.
According to Sen. Parker, since late
June, 38,000 New York City residential
eviction cases have been filed in New
York City but less than 2,300 forms have
been submitted. With the deadline to fill
out the form quickly approaching, Sen.
Parker urges community organizations,
tenants and media platforms to get this
“My colleagues and I have fought
hard to provide our constituents with
assistance during the pandemic. And
this session we successfully passed a
moratorium for evictions for those who
have lost their jobs to the pandemic
and are struggling to pay rent,” said the
“Now that we have fought hard for
this legislation it is equally as important
for us to use our platform to ensure constituents
are aware of this initiative and
the resources available to them.”
“We are asking anyone who has been
financially affected by the pandemic to
submit a Hardship Declaration Form
to avoid eviction. No one should have
to fear losing their home when the
resources are available,” he said.
By Nelson A. King
The Brooklyn-based, newly-formed
Caribbean American Lawyers Association
(CALA) hosted its first annual Black
History Month celebration on Zoom on
Saturday under the theme, “Black Family:
Representation, Identity and Diversity.”
“Our organization is proud to present
today’s program, which highlights the
aspects of this theme,” said CALA’s first
president, Barbadian-born Justice Sylvia
Hinds-Radix, who serves as an Associate
Justice of the New York State Appellate
Division, Second Department.
“Now more than ever, the events of
the past months have made us acutely
aware of the family,” she added in her
introductory remarks. “The deaths of
George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, amongst
many others, and a pandemic which
has claimed almost 500,000 lives in our
nation – a significant number of whom
were people of color – demonstrate our
need to take care of each other.
“The month of February has been
dedicated to our heritage, but it doesn’t
have to end there,” Justice Hinds-Radix
continued. “Every day of every month
is important to us. There is still a lot
of work to be done before we will really
acknowledge equality, no matter what
our individual or collective contributions
to this country and the world may be.
“But we must remain steadfast,” she
urged. “We must continue to stand
together and make our voices heard – not
only during February but always.”
Queens Congressman Gregory Meeks,
chair of the US House of Representatives’
Foreign Relations Committee, was the
Other speakers included Dale Fong-
Frederick, Esq., and Dr. Arlene Henry-
Brennan Luke Forte recited an original
poem, and Roberts played Bob Marley’s
“We Jammin” on pan.
CALA also named the trail-blazing
former New York City Council Member
Dr. Una S.T. Clarke as the first recipient
of its Lifetime Achievement Award.
Jamaican-born Dr. Clarke was the first
Caribbean-born woman to be elected to
the City Council.
CALA vice president Michelle DeSouza
Forte, Esq., a solo practitioner for
seven years before joining the firm of
Grimaldi and Young, and Sonia Blake,
co-founder and chief executive officer of
the Federal National Land, LLC, a minority
women business enterprise moderated
By Tangerine Clarke
Eligible persons lined up outside 231
Crown Street, on Wednesday 24, for the
opening of mass vaccination at the first
week of appointments at the new State
FEMA Brooklyn and Queens sites at
Medgar Evers College, and York College,
for adults 65 and over, persons with underlying
conditions, and essential workers.
MTA will launch a pilot program on
March 1 to enhance bus service from
NYCHA and community centers to York
College and Medgar Evers College.
Sites will vaccinate 3,000 New Yorkers
per day and serves as a national model for
equitable distribution of vaccine.
Eligible New Yorkers can make appointments
for Medgar Evers College and York
College State-FEMA vaccination sites
through New York’s ‘Am I Eligible’ website,
by calling 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-
4829) or by visiting https://www.governor.
“New York has a vast network of vaccine
providers to ensure that every eligible
New Yorker has access to the vaccine.
With the opening of community-based
mass vaccination sites like Medgar Evers
College and York College we are even
close to reaching that goal,” Governor
“Not only are these sites located directly
in traditionally underserved communities
of color that were hit hardest by the
pandemic, but thanks to enhanced MTA
bus service, we’re making it even easier
to access this life-saving vaccine. As we
move forward, we will continue to prioritize
social equity and fairness and do
everything we can to ensure every New
Yorker, regardless of race, background or
where they live, gets vaccinated,” said Gov.
Cuomo, according to the website.
Eligible zip codes in Brooklyn, where a
very high percentage of Caribbean nationals
reside, include: 11206,11221,11216,1
1238,11225,11213,11233, 11207, 11208,
11236, 11212,11203,11226, 11210.
Yvonne, a Panama national, said she
accompanied her sister who met the criteria
of being 65, while another resident said
she does not like the odds of not getting
the vaccine, as opposed to taking it.
Miss Fraser from Trinidadian & Tobago
assured that residents in her neighborhood
were taking the vaccine so she felt
it would be beneficial in the fight against
Gail and husband applied online at
www.governor.ny.gov and were directed
to several portals, they signed-up for an
appointment, arrived at the site on Feb.
24, and were quickly ushered into the
building from a line that had dwindled.
Persons must be prepared to provide
proof of identification and eligibility upon
arrival for the vaccination appointment.
Depending on eligibility category, proof
can include employee ID card, a letter
from an employer or affiliated organization,
a pay stub, a driver’s license, passport,
or any legal proof of date of birth and
residency. The vaccine is free.
State Senator, Kevin Parker. Offi
ce of Senator Parker /New York
State Senate Photography
COVID-19 vaccinations begin at Medgar
Evers College for those over 65
CALA celebrates first Black History Month on Zoom