The Flatbush Caton Market located at 2184 Clarendon Road, Brooklyn.
Caribbean Life, October 23-29, 2020 3
By Vinette K. Pryce
New Yorkers will get nine extra days
to vote a choice for the next president of
the United States.
Beginning on Oct. 24, 88 polling stations
will open for early voting.
According to the Board of Elections
website, voters can be assured that at
each polling site strict safety health
guidelines will be imposed in order to
prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The city has also mandated that voters
must wear masks.
Those without will not be turned
away but will be provided face covers
before being allowed to vote.
Antiviral wipes will be available,
along with antiseptic sanitizers to regularly
wipe surfaces clean.
To further insure safe health standards,
poll workers will be separated from
voters by plexiglass barriers.
Needless to say, social distancing
floor markers will clearly path voters to
designated stations where stylus pens
will be provided to mark the ballots.
Some of the major voting sites
throughout the boroughs include —
Madison Square Garden in Manhattan;
the Barclay Center, Kings Theater, and
Brooklyn Museum in Kings County, the
Bronx County Supreme Courthouse in
the Bronx, in Queens, York, Queens College
and La Guardia Community Colleges,
Queens Public Library at Jackson
Heights, and at Staten Island Technical
High School and Calvary Presbyterian
Church among others on the island.
Grouped to influence women to cast
early votes, some of the music industry’s
celebrated females are already making
Together they formed TWIST — Tuff
Women In Strange Times and since Oct.
6 have been using social media to influence
Multiple award-winning recording
artists Patti Austin, Chaka Khan, Dee
Dee Bridgewater, Brenda Russell, Sheila
E., Terri Lyne Carrington, India.Arie,
Ledisi, Siedah Garrett, Lisa Fischer,
and Lalah Hathaway are the superstar
female coalition rallying voters to the
polls for Election Day 2020. Together
with special guest, noted activist, academic,
and author Angela Davis, they
have been appearing during a series
of special voter encouragement videos
under the banner TWIST2020.
By Nelson A. King
New York Attorney General Letitia
James on Thursday issued guidance to
remind New York non-profit organizations
of the political activities in which
they may or may not engage in.
“We must ensure the integrity of the
election in November, which means
ensuring everyone is abiding by the
rules on election activities,” she said.
“The nonpartisanship of non-profits
ensures that these groups can operate
transparently and with the trust of
“My office remains committed to
helping New York charities understand
the laws regarding political activity
and their responsibility to uphold
them,” she added.
James said charitable organizations,
including houses of worship
that receive a tax exemption pursuant
to section 501(c)(3) of the Internal
Revenue Code (IRC), are prohibited
from participating in any political
campaign on behalf of a candidate for
She said a violation of those provisions
may result in the denial or
revocation of tax-exempt status by the
IRS; the loss of exemption from New
York income, sales and use taxes; and
enforcement or regulatory actions by
the New York Attorney General.
In the guidance, the Office of the
Attorney General (OAG) lists several
actions prohibited for 501(c)(3) organizations:
Making or soliciting contributions
for, on behalf of, or against any
candidate for public office or to a political
party (a candidate for public office
includes any candidate in an election
for a national, state or local public
office); endorsing or opposing a particular
candidate or political party; and
making statements in support of, or in
opposition to, a candidate or a political
party, whether orally, recorded, or in
writing, including by in-person distribution,
mail, email, text, or posting on
social media or the internet.
Other actions include: Using the
organization’s resources — including
office space, telephones, internet
account, printers, employee time — to
engage in political campaign activity;
and providing funds from a 501(c)(3)
organization to a 501(c)(4) organization,
which engages in political activity
without controls to assure that
the funds are used solely for 501(c)(3)
exempt activities, and not for political
By Nelson A. King
The Flatbush Caton Market (FCM) team
says it has raised direct cash assistance
funds, through the Flatbush Caton Micro
Entrepreneur Relief Fund, to aid Caribbean
vendors in the wake of the coronavirus
(COVID-19) economic shut-down.
“The funds raised through the campaign
were intended to meet whatever
urgent needs had emerged for vendors
as a result of COVID-19 hardship and the
forced market interruption,” said FCM on
“Flatbush Caton Market entrepreneurs
know best what they need,” it added. “So,
the goal was to support them in meeting
those immediate needs and preparing
them to be stable in the long term.”
FCM said the campaign was launched
on June 18 and remained active for
three months, receiving donations from
145 unique donors in raise a total of
$46,691.30 for market vendors, “speaking
to the importance of preserving Caribbean
culture in New York City.”
It said the Caribbean vendor marketplace
was established in 2000 to protect
local street vendors from police harassment
and provide a permanent facility to
sell their wares.
“FCM vendors are now our community
elders, enriching Brooklyn with the
diverse cultures of the Caribbean Diaspora
through their micro businesses,” FCM
“Like too many high-barrier entrepreneurs,
these mothers, fathers, grandmothers
and grandfathers operate at the
edge of the formal economy,” it added.
“They lack the banking relationships or
operational capacity needed to access government
responses to the COVID-19 economic
crisis, including the PPP and EIDL
“Meanwhile, the health epidemic is not
over,” FCM added. “As older adults, FCM
vendors face acute risks from COVID-19.
The virus has claimed too many in our
community, and the disparate impact on
Black and Brown residents means that
FCM vendors face a steeper climb to recovery.”
FCM said delivering assistance in cash
form is imperative, “as vendors are at various
points on the path to fully formalized
“Twenty years ago, former Councilwoman
Dr. Una Clarke recognized the intrinsic
value created by Flatbush’s Caribbean
street vendors and established a formal
indoor market where ambition could be
met with dedicated support,” FCM said.
“Today, Flatbush Caton Market vendors
are our elders, providing the goods we
need and the comfort we seek,” it added.
“We come to shop, but we also come to
keep traditions alive.
“We come to commune in Kreyol and
Patois and Spanish while shopping for
Labor Day,” FCM continued. “We come to
find a familiarity that transports us to the
markets of the islands. We come to celebrate
the Caribbean through literature,
music and food.”
FCM said this is a critical moment in
its experiment, stating that vendors are
operating from a temporary location at
2184 Clarendon Ave. in Flatbush, while a
new market building is constructed at the
corner of Flatbush and Caton.
Members of TWIST — Tuff Women
In Strange Times.
Caribbean vendors at Flatbush
Caton Market get funding
James issues political activity guidance for non-profits
Seize the time,