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Levine shares plan to bring arts back to NYC
BY DEAN MOSES
Council Member Mark Levine outlined a plan
to fund the arts in NYC to support the COVID
19 recovery process, if elected Manhattan
Plays, musicals, and operas have always been synonymous
with New York City as we know it and
Council Member Mark Levine agrees, believing the
arts to be instrumental with aiding in the big apple’s
economic restoration. Many businesses took a hard
economic hit during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic,
but art-based hubs like Broadway, which support
tourism, have often been overlooked. If elected
as Manhattan Borough President, Levine has told
amNewYork Metro that he plans to dramatically increase
funding for the Department of Cultural Affairs
from .02% to at least 1% of the city’s budget. All of
these funds will be utilized to install HVAC systems
to these theaters, many of which are housed in buildings
that are over one hundred years old.
“There is no comeback for New York City without
PHOTO BY DEAN MOSES
On March 20, Council Member Mark Levine
met with Theatrical Teamsters Local 817.
the arts. This sector is a huge economic engine for the
city because of the good jobs directly in the arts, but
also there is a multiplier effect because the arts are a
magnet for people to visit, to work, to live here, and
so there many other sectors from hospitalities to restaurants
to retail that thrive because of the draw that
arts have to our city,” Levine told amNewYork Metro
in an exclusive interview.
He also shared that if elected Manhattan Borough
President, he will advocate and facilitate funds for
the arts. Levine states that the position of Manhattan
Borough President has access to millions of dollars in
capital money to use at their sole discretion, which he
will additionally utilize to aid the art industry.
“I don’t think the arts can come back without the
support from the public sector because of the unique
blow they have sustained over the past year. Also, I
see this as a way for the arts to come back different
and better. For example, to address the inequality that
has defi ned the sector in many ways to really lift up
art institutions in color, artists of color, and diversity
in content,” Levine said.
Blaz signs on for a more diverse NYPD
NYC MAYORAL PHOTOGRAPHY UNIT
Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive
order on NYPD reform on March 31, 2021.
BY ARIAMA C. LONG
Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order
mandating diversity hiring in the NYPD on
March 31 during his morning briefi ng.
While noticeably lacking a little of the usual,
pre-pandemic spectacle of an in-person reception,
the event proved impactful nonetheless in moving
forward his police reform package.
“One of the areas we continue to work on is improving
the relationship between police and community,
deepening reforms of the NYPD, this is
work that will continue to go on,” said de Blasio.
“The work always continues.”
The mayor said they’ve aimed to dismantle the
“poverty to prison pipeline” and address the root
causes with input from city officials and advocates.
A key way to make that happen, said de
Blasio, is to ensure that for every position and
level people of color are considered and given the
maximum opportunity to excel.
“It’s important to show the communities of this
city that everyone is represented in the leadership
ranks of the NYPD,” said de Blasio.
De Blasio was asked during the virtual briefing
about his appointment of Police Commissioner
Dermot Shea in December 2019, which was largely
considered a missed opportunity to promote
from within a person of color. He neatly dodged,
saying that this is not about who is commissioner,
He gave Shea credit for helping the city through
crisis last year, seemingly despite their at times
contentious relationship, and building a leadership
team that does represent the city.
“I think that this has been the right approach,”
said de Blasio. “And it needs to be systemic which
is why we have the executive order.”
De Blasio said his police reform plan addressed
a host of other issues, including considering cancelling
pensions if an officer has a bad assessment
or an egregious instance of misconduct. His police
reform plan has been criticized by criminal
reform advocates and groups, as “not going far
Who do they like?
Innocence Project co-founder
endorses Bragg for DA
Peter Neufeld, Co-founder of the Innocence
Project, announced that he personally endorsed
Alvin Bragg for Manhattan District Attorney.
“Alvin’s experience as a defender of civil rights,
as co-director of the Racial Justice Project, as a
prosecutor of those who physically obstruct a
woman’s right to choose, of those who unlawfully
withhold wages from our most vulnerable, of
those who redline and racially profi le is the best
evidence that as our next District Attorney Alvin
Bragg will pursue transformative racial justice
while keeping everyone safer,” Neufeld said.
West Side pols back Low in CD1
Jenny Low, candidate for City Council in District
1, was endorsed by progressive leaders representing
west side Manhattan neighborhoods from
Tribeca to SoHo to Greenwich Village, including
Congressman Jerrold Nadler, State Senator Brad
Hoylman, and Progressive Action of Lower Manhattan
(PALM), a chapter of NYPAN.
“Our communities in SoHo, Tribeca, the Village,
and beyond need a leader who’s ready to hit
the ground running from day one on the Council
and deliver real investment in our communities,”
said Low. “I’ve spent my life advocating for our
shared progressive values, and I’m ready to keep
fi ghting for protecting our communities, stronger
schools, access to high quality healthcare, and relief
for our small businesses.”
—Compiled by Clarissa Sosin
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Schneps Media April 8, 2021 9