I hope this email finds you well during a very difficult time for our communities and our nation.
I believe that the terrible killing of George Floyd has brought forth a moment of national reckoning, a moment that makes me optimistic and determined at the same time. I am optimistic that Americans of all colors, faiths and ages are forcing us to look reality in the eye and acknowledge our system must change to confront and end racism in all of its forms. I am optimistic that young people are demanding that we act; to that end, my office has received over 3,500 emails & calls over the past week supporting change. And we now have acted to make change.
This week, my legislative colleagues and I adopted a package of bills that takes a bold and important step toward reform—a step we had to take to begin to rebuild trust between law enforcement and Black & Brown New Yorkers. Click here to watch my speech on the Senate floor. Included in these reforms was the repeal of section 50-A, which effectively prohibited the release of an officer’s disciplinary record, even when relevant to a misconduct claim; a statewide ban on the use of chokeholds by law enforcement; and the creation of an Office of Special Investigation, under the Attorney General, to investigate & prosecute any incident of death in a police-civilian interaction. A full list of policing reform measures adopted this week is also included in a section below.
NEW YORK FORWARD UPDATES
- The Governor issued a new Executive Order extending the time for voting for school board elections and school budget votes. According to Executive Order 202.39, ballots for school board elections and school budget votes must be received in person or by drop-box by Tuesday, June 9th, or received by mail by Tuesday, June 16th, in order to be counted. Previously, I had spearheaded a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo requesting a short term extension of the due date as a result of printing and mailing delays encountered by many school districts because I wanted to be sure that eligible residents had an opportunity to vote.
- In person, outdoor graduations of up to 150 people will be permitted beginning on June 26th. Earlier, a number of my Senate Colleagues and I sent a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo urging that New York State permit outdoor, in-person graduation ceremonies this summer under guidance set by the NYSDOH. This new directive is a good step forward, and I’m hopeful it will be extended in the future.
- Masks are mandatory on public transportation, including Metro-North, the Bee-Line Bus System, and the NYC Subway System.
- Outdoor dining was authorized in Westchester County beginning on June 9th as part of Phase 2 of reopening. Click here for outdoor dining guidelines for employees and employers. Additional guidance about industries included in Phase 2 are noted below.
- Many local libraries are offering scheduled pick-ups of materials. Call or email your local library, or check their website, to find out more.
REOPENING WESTCHESTER COUNTY
County Executive George Latimer announced this week that Westchester County has under 1,000 active cases of the coronavirus—a great achievement for the county which saw nearly 12,000 active cases at our peak. Westchester County and the Mid-Hudson region have remained in control of all 7 metrics required to continue reopening, and the region entered Phase 2 of reopening on Tuesday, June 9th. Industries included in Phase 2, and the guidance for those industries, is included in a section below.
CENSUS JOBS AVAILABLE
On Tuesday, June 16th at 12:00 PM, the New York Regional Census Center and the Westchester County Association will host a live video chat about immediate job opportunities with the U.S. Census, and how you can apply. The position pays $23/hour, the hours are flexible, and 1,900 additional workers are needed now through December. Join the live chat using any of these links:
OPERATION NEIGHBORHOOD FOR BHCF
The Town of Bedford's Prison Relations Advisory Committee (PRAC), Bedford Hills Correctional Facility Superintendent, and Hour Children, have come together to offer a few ways we can support the 630 women of the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility with a few necessities and small comforts. They have created a shopping list, available here, for supporters to purchase needed items. Please send the items to: The Parenting Center at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, 247 Harris Road, Bedford Hills, NY 10507. Thank you to all involved.
UPCOMING VIRTUAL EVENTS:
Prepare, Respond, Recover: What To Do When Disaster Strikes, Thursday, June 11th, 4:00 PM
I will be presenting jointly with the American Red Cross a virtual meeting to help you prepare, respond, and recover from local emergencies and large-scale disasters in your community, and what to do to be prepared from any disaster. Of course, we will discuss COVID-19 related challenges. This event will be streamed on WebEx. Click here to register for the event with Event Password: BePrepared611.
Virtual Coffee & Tea, Wednesday, June 17th, 4:00 PM
Join me for a virtual coffee & tea informal discussion on Facebook. We will talk about the state's response to the coronavirus pandemic, reopening plans, community response to the killing of George Floyd & our legislative response, and answer any questions you have. You can email your questions in advance to email@example.com or ask them live in the comments. The Coffee & Tea will be livestreamed to my Facebook Page: Facebook.com/ShelleyMayerSD37. You do not need a Facebook account to join us. Click here for a flyer to share with interested friends and neighbors.
FREE HAND SANITIZER FOR RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS & COMMUNITY GROUPS
Religious institutions, senior buildings, public housing and community groups who need hand sanitizer may complete a request form here. My office will be in touch with you to coordinate drop-off. As of now, we are prioritizing institutions in the 37th Senate District, but we are also working with our regional Senate partners to accommodate as many requests as possible.
As always, feel free to contact my office at (914) 934-5250 or firstname.lastname@example.org if there is an issue with which we can offer assistance or if you have questions about reopening for yourself or your business.
Shelley B. Mayer