Pandemic Primary | Bronx Free Press

New York’s pandemic primary day is at a close, but several races are far from decided.

Tuesday marked an unusual day in New York’s election history, as COVID-19 reduced the number of polling sites and necessitated the use of absentee ballots.

Due to coronavirus fears, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order allowing all registered voters to apply for an absentee ballot, which needed to be postmarked by June 23 in order to be counted.

On the ballot this time were Democratic candidates for U.S. president, New York Congressional races, state legislature and Queens Borough President.

Election results are not yet official, as absentee ballots must still be counted. The process of reviewing absentee ballots is not slated to begin until July 1, meaning it could be some time before close races are decided.

The city’s Board of Elections said it mailed about 750,000 absentee ballots to registered voters.

A hotly contested race for Congressional District 16 in the Bronx has already been called as upstart challenger Jamaal Bowman declared victory over Eliott Engel, who has been in Congress since 1989.

After the polls closed on Tuesday, Bowman had amassed 61.8 percent of the vote compared to 34.9 percent for Engel.

“Many doubted that we could overcome the power and money of a 31-year incumbent,” said Bowman in a statement. “But the results show that the people of NY-16 aren’t just ready for change – they’re demanding it.”

Read more: Pandemic Primary | Bronx Free Press

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06/29/20: ¡Uptown Palante! – The Reopening Episode

Listen up familia, you don’t want to miss the latest episode of ¡Uptown Palante! on Monday, June 29 at 9 am. The Reopening episode tackles this crucially important topic. Mino Lora of the People’s Theatre Project talks to the always erudite Councilmen Mark Levine and our very own Led Black talks to Joey Moronta of Uptown institutions, 809 and Dyckman Express. This show is as Uptown as it gets so please spread that Uptown Love and tune in folks.

Tune In: https://www.youtube.com/user/theatreintheheights

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UC Must-Reads: The Power of Black Lives Matter

Jamil Smith penned a powerful must-read in Rolling Stone on the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement and how it has changed the country. The exhaustive article delves into the history of the movement as well as where it is headed. The piece also boasts some stunning black and white images. A shout out is also in order to the one and only Kadir Nelson for the searing cover art seen above.

UC Must-Reads: The Power of Black Lives Matter

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#TheGramUptown: Uptown In Defense of Black Lives

By Led Black (@Led_Black)

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¡QUE VIVA LA REVOLUCIÓN! ✊🏽✊🏽 Yesterday, on what would have been the Puerto Rican Day Parade (& Che Guevara’s birthday) mí gente marched from Washington Heights to @fsumc in East Harlem in solidarity and in unity. I cannot describe the feeling of our people coloring the streets with our flags, our cries, and our demands. Not only this, but calling out our own anti-blackness in the Latinx community, how we continue to deny our African roots; educating ourselves alongside OG Young Lords and Black Panthers that have been fighting for the community for over 50 years. I insist on reading up on this deeply-rooted history Black and Brown people have in New York City. Use these as examples for us to learn HOW to fight and WHY we’re fighting. This is not a race, it is a marathon. I’ve tagged some resources to learn more! ¡PA’LANTE!

A post shared by Anthony Rojas (@theanthonyrojas) on

We are living in revolutionary times. The people are finally waking up. Laws that have been in force for decades are now being repealed virtually overnight. People united against oppression made that happen. Solidarity is the only way forward. Apathy and disunity are impediments to liberation. On Sunday, June 14, Uptown did something historic. We came together to say enough is enough. The status quo just won’t do. A better world is possible and is up to us to build it together. The only thing we have left to lose is our chains. Let’s get it.

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Ballers’ Break | Manhattan Times

By Gregg McQueen

Dyckman Park - Washington Heights

This time of year, the legends come to play.

Come June, the courts uptown are typically buzzing with the annual Dyckman Basketball tournament. The iconic streetball event runs through August every summer and attracts elite players from around the world.

But the basketball courts at Dyckman Park currently stand vacant, the rims and hoops removed from the backboards.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, courts across New York City are still off limits in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus.

It’s a loss like no other for diehards yearning for the familiar swish of nylon and cinematic plays.

“It’s intense,” said Dyckman Basketball founder Ken Stevens. “It’s what summer basketball is supposed to look like. The crowd is so electric, you feel it’s like a college or NBA championship.”

The tournament’s outsized reputation has also drawn a host of hip-hop luminaries and NBA stars to Inwood.

“I’ve watched Kemba Walker, Kyle Anderson, Kevin Durant, JR Smith, Carmelo Anthony,” Stevens said. “We’ve had so many NBA guys at the park every summer. It’s inspirational for the younger kids to see what they can become.”

This year’s tournament, which would have kicked off on June 8, was scrapped due to the pandemic.
For Stevens, the decision to cancel the tournament was a necessary one for public health, but still a tough pill to swallow.

“This would have been our thirtieth year,” he Stevens. “It’s really disappointing to not be doing this tournament right now.”

Stevens said the event’s cancellation will have a ripple effect on the development of young players as well as local employment.

Read more: Ballers’ Break | Manhattan Times

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Happy Emancipation Day!

It’s #Juneteenth y’all. On June 19, 1865, almost 3 years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, the enslaved people of Texas were informed that slavery was no longer the law of the land. The holiday is celebrated globally but it has added resonance in these turbulent times. Remember this though, Abe Lincoln did not free anyone, Black people freed themselves. Juneteenth commemorates the struggle to make Black Lives Matter, it is a struggle that continues today. Let’s Get FREE!

UC - BLM Uptown - Dyckman

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Decision on DACA | Bronx Free Press

The United States Supreme Court has blocked the Trump administration’s move to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which has protected more than 800,000 young immigrants from deportation – including 50,000 New Yorkers.

In a 5-4 ruling on Thursday, the Supreme Court denied Trump’s bid to end DACA, stating that the administration failed to provide a sufficient reason to justify termination of the program.

The decision means that DACA recipients may continue to renew their status in the program, which was implemented by President Barack Obama in 2012. It allows immigrants who were brought into the U.S. as children to live and work legally in the U.S. while avoiding deportation.

In September 2017, the Trump administration announced the program would be rescinded. After two federal court injunctions delayed DACA’s demise, the program ended up in the hands of the Supreme Court.

Read more: Decision on DACA | Bronx Free Press

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06/21/20: Father’s Day BLM Children’s March

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.