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Come to our 2023 kickoff party and fundraiser on Feb. 27.
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早安, New Yorkers ☀️

Today we are reeling. Both Tennessee and California are hundreds of miles away, but the reality of police violence and hate crimes are all too real for our neighbors in New York who are feeling the grief.

What comes with the grief is a reminder of how close the issue hits home. The “hot spot” police unit responsible for killing of Tyre Nichols is similar to many that have been cropping up around the country. Here in New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul is planning similar initiatives, focusing on a grant program intended for law enforcement officials to “aggressively patrol crime-dense communities, closely monitor their members, and compile information on likely ‘offenders.’”

NEW YORK FOCUS has the story:

After ‘Hot Spot’ Cops Killed Tyre Nichols, Hochul Boosts Them in New York
Kathy Hochul wants to quadruple grants to these controversial street cops — while similar units face scrutiny for killings and abuses nationwide.
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In New York City specifically, the administration of Mayor Eric Adams, a former police officer, isn’t any different. HELLGATE explores current NYPD commissioner Keechant Sewell’s level of impunity for cops.

Adams Administration Says Police Misconduct Shouldn’t Be Such a Big Deal - Hell Gate
How are New Yorkers served by cutting the cops more slack? On Saturday, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards sent a letter to Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell expressing concerns about “emboldening officers with an existing penchant to not follow proper procedure” and the erosion of “public…
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DON’T FORGET: A newsletter for New Yorkers is nothing without the voice of New Yorkers. Send us your favorite or annoying New York moment, whether it’s on the subway or with the pigeons or overhearing tourists. We’ll pick our favorite to highlight in the next newsletter. Email newyork@optout.news!

New York’s asylum seekers camped outside a midtown hotel last weekend protesting their forced and unscheduled removal to a Brooklyn shelter they say is “jail-like.”

I spent Sunday night speaking to many of them as they geared up to fall asleep in their tents and makeshift beds in the cold outside the Watson Hotel in Manhattan. The space had been a shelter for male asylum seekers but is now being readied to bring in families seeking asylum. The men are being sent to a cruise terminal in Brooklyn.

Pictures from the cruise facility show rows of beds (as one put it, “like you find in the army”). And I mean hundreds of beds in one big warehouse. Most of the asylum seekers were so terrified upon seeing the facility that they walked 30 minutes on foot to get to a bus station and return to Manhattan.

Many of the asylum seekers have jobs near the Watson Hotel and are concerned whether they’ll be able to keep them once they’re settled in Brooklyn.

“They have us over here, they have us over there. They never leave us on one site,” Armando Carima told THE CITY. “How do you move around to find work if you don’t have a place to live?”

Shuffle to Brooklyn Cruise Terminal Makes Jobs Harder to Find and Keep, Say Asylum Seekers
Migrants have refused to move from the Watson Hotel in Hell’s Kitchen, some citing the long commute and destabilizing transfers as detrimental to their efforts to start a new life in NYC.
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CITY LIMITS also covers the situation.

Tensions Over Conditions at Emergency Shelters as NYC Struggles to House Migrants
For weeks, City Limits has been speaking to people sheltered at two of the city’s Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers, or HERRCs: one at The ROW Hotel and another at The Watson Hotel in Manhattan, where adult men asylum seekers were recently transferred out.
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Can you pitch in to help grow our New York program? We're raising money to make this New York newsletter weekly, expand our network of New York-focused outlets, and manage a communications channel for New York journalists. All donations are tax-deductible.

At the core of the housing concern in New York is an inability (or unwillingness? idk) to increase supply of housing in different ways. Gentrification, housing supply, displacement—the conversation is a complex web of issues, and FAQ NYC explores that.

“We can’t fight the housing crisis project by project,” Annemarie Gray, director of the grassroots housing organization Open New York, shared with THE CITY’s Alyssa Katz.

“We really need a more comprehensive and more holistic approach, and we really have to be looking at city-scale policies but especially state-level policies which New York as a state has really not grappled with.”

Listen to their conversation on the FAQ NYC podcast.

LISTEN: Building a Bigger Tent to Build More Housing
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Remember that entire blowup re: gas stoves? Turns out all that smoke was gold. The pilot program that replaced gas stoves with electric induction units in 20 apartments in the Bronx is back with its results: those households showed “a 35% decrease in daily concentrations of the pollutant nitrogen dioxide and a nearly 43% difference in daily concentrations of carbon monoxide.”

THE CITY has the good news.

Bronx Residents Got Rid of Their Gas Stoves. Their Air Quality Improved.
In a pilot program at NYCHA, households with induction stoves showed a 35% decrease in nitrogen dioxide and a nearly 43% difference in carbon monoxide.
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Coming back to the police (because we’re just perpetually doing that), there’s something oddly confusing going on in Connecticut, where Democratic and Republican lawmakers want a raise for cops, but some Republicans…don’t? But then some in the GOP are also blaming Democrats for bringing down police morale by introducing accountability laws for the police following the murder of George Floyd.

And these two are connected how?👇🏽

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New CT state police contract offers raises to boost recruitment
A new contract could boost wages for CT state police nearly 10% in its first year as Connecticut tries to reverse a recruitment problem.
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Before Adams, there was room to dance: at Rikers Island, following years of advocacy by the Department of Corrections’ LGBTQ+ Affairs Unit, Rikers’ trans inmates were finally getting (or about to get) access to housing that would be consistent with their gender identities (including drag shows!).

During Adams' mayorship, the option has collapsed, leaving many trans inmates vulnerable to sexual assault and physical violence.

Read THE CITY’s story:

Under Adams, a Rikers Unit That Protected Trans Women Has Collapsed
Detainees tell THE CITY that they are stranded in all-male housing units, subject to physical violence and sexual assaults.
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You can discover more independent LGBTQ+ coverage here.

As we wrap up, let’s take a moment to honor the victims of California’s lunar new year shooting, farm shooting, and Tyre Nichols in Tennessee. 🕊️ 🕊️ 🕊️

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