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Today’s Headlines from New York City

Details about the recently approved city budget at NYC.gov. Mixed City Council reaction to poverty formula for grants. (Capital NY) New York City budget funds Rockaways ferry service only through October (7online) AP IMPACT: NYC Jails Neglected Suicide Precautions . (AP/ABC) New York City Approves Municipal ID Cards for Undocumented Immigrants (Democracy Now!) More Than Half of NYC Holocaust Survivors Living in Poverty Despite German Reparations. (Forward) A Guide to New York’s New Medical Marijuana Law.(NYmag) Brooklyn DA Discusses Efforts to Turn Tide in His Office (NY1) Steven Wishnia examines New York’s retirement crisis in a two part series for LaborPress. 1. Fear of a Cat-Food Diet: Facing New York’s Retirement Crisis 2. Avoiding a Cat-Food Diet: Ideas to Fix the Retirement Crisis NYC is looking to hire an Assistant Deputy Commissioner, SNAP (HRA). (CityLimits) Queens Museum announced the Jerome Foundation Fellowship for emerging NYC artists– three $20,000 grants + artist’s project at Queens Museum   The New…


fuerza center worker co op far rockaway queens ny occupy sandy

Occupy Sandy: Building Community and Worker Power in Far Rockaway

“When the workers get together and decide how to distribute the income in such an enterprise, would they give the CEO $25 million in stock bonuses while everybody else can barely get by?” Three and a half months ago, the walls upstairs at the Church of the Prophecy in Far Rockaway, a low-income coastal neighborhood of New York City, were covered with maps of where help was most needed. The church was a hub for the Occupy Sandy relief effort after Hurricane Sandy. Now, nearly five months after the hurricane struck, the maps have been replaced by posters extolling the virtues of collective struggle and art made by neighborhood children enrolled in Occupy Sandy’s twice-weekly after-school program. “The kids missed a month and a half of school,” explained Luis Casco, a member of the church’s congregation who pulled strings to help move Occupy into Far Rockaway. The after-school program was,…


(Photo: Diego Lopez/CC/Flickr)

Hospital Closures in Brooklyn and Queens: The Sick Get Sold out

There is a national trend of closing hospitals under the guise of saving taxpayers money. Brooklyn and Queens have been and continue to be negatively affected by the same trend, despite the fact that closing hospitals doesn’t actually save anyone money. The bed to patient ratios in Brooklyn and Queens are considerably lower than the state average of 3.1 per 1,000 patients, 2.3 and 1.7 respectively. Not only do patients and their families suffer, but so do the thousands of healthcare workers that have lost their jobs. There is no bail out in sight for the sick, uninsured and under-insured working class neighborhoods in the outer boroughs. •Parkway Hospital – Opened 1963, closed 2008. Located in Forest Hills, Queens, it had 251 beds and employed approximately 600 people. Half of those employees were members of the healthcare union SEIU/1199. •Mary Immaculate and St. John’s Queens Hospitals – St, John’s was…


It took hundreds of sanitation trucks to clear the debris strewn across New York City in the wake of Super Storm Sandy. (Photo: NYC Department of Transportation)

Three Months After Sandy: By The Numbers

Three months after Superstorm Sandy, thousands of New Yorkers are still recovering. We took a look through some of the numbers and this is what we found. Second Costliest Storm in U.S History: Sandy was surpassed only by Hurricane Katrina in total damage. Sandy unleashed over $65 billion dollars in weather destruction in less than five days. Total number of homes affected by power outages: 8,100,000. Sandy damaged infrastructure to a point where some electrical grids simply shut down. People in at least 17 states were left without power in one way or another. Historic size and numbers: Hurricane Sandy’s greatest size was 820 miles in diameter. measured just before Sandy unleashed on Atlantic City. The last storm to affect New York City specifically, Hurricane Irene, was half the size and nowhere near the power of Sandy. Sandy also had the lowest barometric reading ever recorded – 940 millibars –…


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NY Fast Food Workers Serve Up a Fight for Economic Justice

The sidewalk in front of the Wendy’s on Brooklyn’s Fulton Mall was choked with people at noon on November 29th. The signs they held were mostly handmade, in English and Spanish, calling for higher wages, more respect on the job. A small group of them held a bright red banner, that read “STRIKE for higher pay for a stronger New York.” A young woman led the rally, her bright red hair pulled back, her voice already ragged from chanting, from shouting her story. I was later told by an organizer she’d been out since 5 AM, showing up to support the first of the fast-food workers to walk out on that day’s strikes, and she’d be onstage at the end of the day, too, whipping up the crowd underneath the glittering lights of McDonald’s in Times Square. Her name is Pamela Flood, and she works at the Burger King at…