Shame

This afternoon, the Republican majority in the House of Representatives will vote to strip away health insurance from 24 million people, reduce the quality of health insurance for millions more, dramatically weaken protections for pre-existing conditions, and recklessly re-shuffle about a sixth of the American economy.

They will do so in a chaotic rush, in the face of overwhelming opposition from experts and the general public alike, and without any of the careful analysis, review, or discussion that usually accompanies major legislation.

If this bill, or anything resembling it, is ever signed into law, then many people will die as a consequence, while many others will be consigned to financial or medical misery.  That’s not a possibility or a probability; it’s a certainty.

In the modern era, it is hard to think of a prior Congressional action quite so intellectually incoherent, morally bankrupt, or needlessly cruel.  For those responsible, there is no plausible route to redemption, no possible combination of compensating, positive acts that might even the scales of historical judgment.

Every representative voting in favor deserves to be swept out of public office.  Every single one.

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You Are Invited . . .

Click on the invitation to RSVP.

Please join me for brunch on Sunday, June 4th.

This will be my first fundraiser in almost three years – an opportunity for friends and neighbors to stand together in support of innovative public policy and in our commitment to shared values.

On this web page, you can get all the details, reserve tickets, and RSVP.  Or click here to view the invitation.  For more information please contact Kim DiTomasso at 917-991-8276 or kim@noambramson.org.

I hope to see you there!

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Tree City

Celebrating Arbor Day 2017 at Huguenot Park.

Last week, I joined a group of very adorable preschoolers, students from the New Rochelle High School fauna and flora class (also adorable, in a teenage sort of way,) and several City officials (only minimally adorable – sorry, colleagues) to plant two willow trees at Huguenot Park.

We were observing Arbor Day in a small, ceremonial nod to the City’s larger commitment to urban forestry.  Thanks to our newly approved capital budget, New Rochelle is on track to meet the goal of 10,000 new public trees by 2030.

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The Only Mart on Main

The Bubble Tea & Juice Bar

Last week, I bought some fun snacks for the office: herbed popcorn with kale & pomegranate seasonings, dried goji berries, a package of udon noodles, a jar of spicy kimchi.

So where did I pick up all my goodies?  Whole Foods?  Maybe some speciality market in Manhattan?  Nope.

The Only Mart at 518 Main Street, a brand new organic food market right here in New Rochelle.  In addition to a full range of organic produce and household items, The Only Mart also features a bubble tea & juice bar, which should satisfy quite a few cravings.

The Only Mart Grand Opening

The Only Mart‘s owner, June Lu, says she was “attracted by New Rochelle’s rich history, enthusiastic environment, and artistic atmosphere.”  In turn, her business and others like it contribute to the range and vitality of our growing downtown.

So if you are partial to organic foods, or if – like me – you have a hankering for interesting snacks, or if you simply want to support a great store that is taking a chance on New Rochelle’s future, please check it out.

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Big Grant Paves Way for Quaker Ridge Road Upgrade

Among New Rochelle residents, especially residents of the North End, Quaker Ridge Road is well-known as a highway to no where.  Its absurdly excessive traffic capacity practically compels drivers to speed, while its measly and poorly engineered sidewalks give short shrift to pedestrians.  And cyclists?  Don’t even ask.  About the only time Quaker Ridge Road feels like a friendly neighborhood street is when it’s closed once a year for the annual soap box derby.

A better design would calm traffic, improve safety, and permit residents to walk or bike to schools, shops, and houses of worship.  That’s been the City’s goal for many years – and, in fact, Quaker Ridge Road is part of the Complete Streets initiative encompassed in our newly-adopted capital budget.  But the hefty price tag of reworking such a large roadway (repaving alone will run into the millions) has perpetually pushed the project off into the middle-distance.

Well, the time for Quaker Ridge Road has finally come.  Last week, New Rochelle received news of a $3,518,638 State grant to help pay for improvements.  Combined with local funds, this should be sufficient to jump-start the project.  There is much more in this press release.

To be clear, there’s still lots of design work that needs to be completed, and the City will seek ample public input prior to implementing changes.  After all, this is a heavily-used roadway, and we’ve only got this one chance to get it right.

So it’s not going to happen tomorrow.  But, for the first time, I can say confidently, that it is going to happen.  And that’s great news for our community.

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