UC Must-Reads: Los New Yorkers: Essential and Underprotected in the Pandemic’s Epicenter

Adriana Gallardo and Ariel Goodman penned an absolute must-read piece in ProPublica that looks at the hardworking and marginalized people that keep this city and this society up and running. The searing article does a deep dive to uncover the struggles and perils of being an undocumented “essential worker.” It is a tough but important read. Check it out below ASAP.

Read more: UC Must-Reads: Los New Yorkers: Essential and Underprotected in the Pandemic’s Epicenter

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¡Uptown Palante! With Mino Lora: Episode 3

If you missed this week’s episode of ¡Uptown Palante! With Mino Lora, don’t worry we got you. This week’s special guest is Maria Lizardo of the mighty NMIC. Also, our founder and EIC interviews Uptown treasure, Veronica Liu, of the beloved Word Up Books. Click below and check it out. It is the antidote to the Trump/Coronavirus Blues.

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Go Fund Me Spotlight: Word Up Books

Word Up Books - Outside

A Word From Word Up Books

Help us remain closed and healthy as an organization, until we can safely and responsibly reopen for our community!

In June 2020, Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria will celebrate its ninth birthday. Since our beginnings as a pop-up shop, Word Up has become a fixture for literature, art, education, and social justice in Northern Manhattan, and a unique model for community spaces around the world. Thanks to your support over the last nine years, we currently have two salaried full-time staff members and one part-time salaried staff member to coordinate our 60-person-strong volunteer collective and community-based activities. We have received some government and neighborhood relief funding, which helps us in the immediate future, and we will be able to cover staff salaries and occupancy expenses through the end of this month. But, beyond that: Because we are in a zip code that has been hard hit by the virus, and in the hardest-hit city in the world, things are a little less clear, and we want to plan responsibly. And so we are turning to you, our supporters.

Word Up closed its doors to the public on March 13, earlier than most if not all other bookshops in the city. We did so with the knowledge that our revenue would immediately drop, but that our community would be safer. With our Washington Heights neighborhood as the epicenter of some of the first cases in New York City, we felt the responsibility both to close as quickly as we could, while safely offering whatever services we could.

On the ground, our volunteer corps has spent time helping individuals and organizations whose constituents are facing immediate material needs. We were able to move some major events online, and our online book sales are higher than ever thanks to your support. But we are still facing significant losses without our usual sales from in-store and offsite events, like school book fairs and literary conferences throughout the city where we have been booksellers for years. While we have a mix of income streams, earned income from book sales is our highest.

We are asking for your contributions now so that we can remain safely closed and healthy as an organization until we can responsibly reopen. We want to do right by our community by staying closed for as long as needed, to protect our volunteers and our customers.

Support Here: Go Fund Me Spotlight: Word Up Books

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Relief in Release | Manhattan Times

By Gregg McQueen and Debralee Santos

"We’re sentencing people to death right now," argued Assemblymember Carmen De La Rosa.

“We’re sentencing people to death right now,” argued Assemblymember Carmen De La Rosa.

Overlooking Highbridge Park, the building is an unassuming structure tucked into a quiet, leafy intersection on Edgecombe Avenue.

It once served as the 100-bed Mother Cabrini Memorial Hospital, one of the numerous facilities founded in the name of the patron saint of immigrants and operated by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart.

The site now serves as a minimum security correctional facility aimed at providing a second chance in the form of constructive re-entry programs to parolees and parole violators.

But advocates who gathered outside its doors recently said the state is essentially condemning residents housed there to needless health risks, and possibly death, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Faith leaders, criminal justice reformers and elected officials rallied outside of the Edgecombe Residential Treatment Facility (ERTF) in Washington Heights on Tues., May 12th to demand the release of incarcerated individuals amid the crisis.

Declaring that those in correctional facilities with congregate housing such as ERTF are at extreme risk of contracting the virus, they called on Governor Andrew Cuomo to grant clemency to prisoners who are elderly or medically vulnerable, within one year of their release, or held due to technical parole violations.

Most residents incarcerated at ERTF have less than one year on their sentences, and nearly one-quarter are held exclusively for technical parole violations. Technical violations are not new offenses but occur when a parolee essentially commits an infraction such as visiting a relative out of state without permission or misses a meeting, leading to reincarceration.

The Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) oversees New York’s parole system and 52 state prisons and facilities, including ERTF. The system supervises 43,000 incarcerated individuals and employs approximately 29,000 people. To date, 15 people in New York’s prison system have died from COVID-19.

Read more: Relief in Release | Manhattan Times

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Hamilton film to be released in July | Bronx Free Press

Move over, Mufasa.

There’s a new king coming.

King George – together with Alexander Hamilton and company – are coming to a screen near you.

This July 3rd, just before Independence Day, a filmed version of the original Broadway musical Hamilton is coming to the streaming service Disney Plus.

In February, Disney announced it was bringing the film, which features the original Broadway cast, to North American cinemas in October 2021.

However, in a surprise reveal on Tuesday, show creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and Disney Executive Chairman Bob Iger said the Hamilton film would now be available for streaming this July– 15 months ahead of schedule.

Directed by Thomas Kail, the Hamilton movie was compiled from stage performances filmed at the Richard Rodgers Theatre shortly before the departure of the original cast.

Since it debuted on Broadway in 2015, the musical has been seen by nearly 3 million people and grossed $650 million.

Read more: Hamilton film to be released in July | Bronx Free Press

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Op-Led: Uptown Love in the Time of Coronavirus – Trumpland 2020

BY Led Black (@Led_Black)

According to the models the Trump administration was touting just a few weeks ago, the death toll by August 4, 2020 would be 60,308. Well, guess what? As I write this, we are nearly at 75,000 in early May. According to the latest bombshell in the NY Times, an internal Trump administration document reveals that “the daily death toll will reach about 3,000 on June 1, a 70 percent increase from the current number of about 1,750.” Let that sink in. Our new normal is not going back to the old normal anytime soon.

Add to that the Depression-era levels of unemployment and we are a country suddenly adrift, unmoored and leaderless at the national level. Trump has never been fit for the office he now occupies but it has never been more apparent than now. What is also apparent is that so much of the death, despair and agony that the novel coronavirus has wreaked upon this nation could have been avoided. America the mighty should not have been brought down so low by a virus.

The outgoing Obama team left an actual pandemic playbook and a robust pandemic response team designed to act both locally and globally. The Trump administration, in its hubris, gutted those vital pandemic-preparedness systems. And here we are.

Oh, did I forget to mention the good old American terrorists that Trump keeps stoking with his vile rhetoric and all caps “LIBERATE” tweets? I don’t know about you, but all those pictures and videos of armed vigilantes besieging state capitals protesting sensible social-distancing measures is frightening. We are a nation at war with itself, the future and science.

Welcome to Trumpland 2020. In just one term, Tyrant Trump has brought this country to the brink. Misery and malady really do stalk the land. While other developed nations are starting to slowly reopen and returning to some sort of normalcy, the United States is still in the throes of this pandemic. This is what happens when a racist reality tv star in serious mental and moral decline becomes president and turns existence itself into a wholly owned subsidiary of the Trump organization. The situation is dire and perilous. If we don’t end our long national nightmare this November, it might become permanent.

Pa’lante, Siempre Pa’lante!

Related:

OP-LED: UPTOWN LOVE IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS – CLAP BECAUSE YOU CARE

OP-LED: UPTOWN LOVE IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS

OP-LED: UPTOWN LOVE IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS – THE SIRENS

OP-LED: UPTOWN LOVE IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS – BILL WITHERS TO THE RESCUE

We invite you to subscribe to the weekly Uptown Love newsletter, like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter & Instagram or e-mail us at UptownCollective@gmail.com.