Black Lives Matter
Many of us take great pride in being part of Harlem, a community that has been at the forefront of the fight against racism and for equal rights, equal justice, and equal opportunity. Tragically over the past weeks we’ve been reminded that this fight is far from over. The torturous murder of George Floyd, an unarmed man, by a Minneapolis Policeman has brought us grief, anger, and fear, but also feelings of revulsion toward this latest manifestation of our country’s shameful legacy of racism.
Locally these feelings have been long inflamed by the evidence of ongoing NYPD brutality including the murder of Eric Garner and the ensuing investigation that dragged on for years without indictment. Nationally the list of unarmed black and brown men and women killed by police is too long to bear, part of a national crisis that normally lingers below the surface but has now erupted. We’ve seen millions of expressions of anguish and resistance globally, nationally, and right here in our city. Protests here in NY revealed a painful irony: The NYPD often leans into deadly force as a first option, rather than a last resort.
We have a role to play in this crisis. This is the time to demonstrate our values and beliefs as we work to end racial violence and promote social justice. These goals are worthy of our constant attention and the support of the network of neighbors that we’ve built: on our block, in the community, and throughout the city. We support initiatives being taken throughout the nation to transform violent police practices and create a more just and equitable public safety system. We support efforts to reduce the risk of police violence that our black and brown neighbors confront right here, in our own city.
For months we’ve struggled with COVID-19, just been hoping that at some point we could get back to normal. But once again we’re reminded that this “normal” still means that our black and brown neighbors face the menace of a bigoted criminal justice system, unchecked violence by our police forces, the neglect of a broken health care system, and the indiginity of large and small harrassments in everyday life. This is the time to help create a “new normal” built on equality, fairness, and justice. This is the time to demonstrate that Black Lives Matter.
Sugar Hill Concerned Neighbors
An initiative of the West 147th Street Block Association
Sugar Hill Concerned Neighbors works in coalition with neighborhood organizations throughout the Greater Harlem community in support of quality of life initiatives, especially with regards to the over-saturation of social-service facilities in our community.
Your Support is Needed
SHCN has retained legal counsel in support ongoing initiatives. All donations are dedicated to this effort. Click here to donate:
To send donations by check:
Make checks payable to “The West 147th Street Block Association” and include “730 Clinic” in the memo field. Please include your name and address. Mail to: The West 147th Street Block Association, P.O. Box 438, Audubon Station, New York, NY 10032
UPDATE August 10, 2018: The State of New York declined a license to Argus Community Inc. for a methadone clinic at 730 St. Nicholas Ave., effectively ending the possibility of a high-traffic outpatient drug treatment facility in our residential neighborhood. Over 250 individuals joined together in this effort and a core group worked tirelessly for months to achieve this victory. Congratulations to everyone involved.
We are opposed to efforts by Argus Community Inc. to convert a 2-family house in a residential area (730 St. Nicholas Ave.) into an outpatient methadone clinic, serving over 70 clients per day. We recognize the benefits that these organizations provide, however there are already many similar social service facilities in our neighborhood—well above the average for the rest of the city.
Concerned neighbors are invited to join our online group at: https://groups.google.com/d/forum/sugarhillneighbors
Background information on the demolition and conversion of former Bluebird Theater on Amsterdam Ave at 147th St.: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/31/nyregion/harlem-church-where-malcolm-x-was-eulogized-faces-its-own-final-days.html
Sugar Hill Concerned Neighbors compiled data from OASAS on social service facilities in Harlem, and their use by Harlem, and non-Harlem residents: OASAS FOIL Based Charts
Racial Disparities in Methadone Therapies and Siting of Opioid Treatment Facilities: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/12/nyregion/opioid-addiction-knows-no-color-but-its-treatment-does.html
NYC Epi Data Brief: Buprenorphine and Methadone Treatment in New York City: https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/epi/databrief96.pdf