I was pleased this afternoon to welcome to New Rochelle the President of Dominica, Charles Savarin. Iona University and Monroe College have attracted a significant number of students from Dominica, who have, in turn, established a meaningful connection between our community and the island nation. These ties brought the President to New Rochelle in the context of a trip primarily focused on meetings at the UN and in Washington.
Governor Hochul has released a proposed Action Plan that would direct $41.2 million in federal funding to help our region recover more fully from Hurricane Ida and to mitigate the impact of future storms, with a focus on historically underserved communities. New Rochelle participated in discussions with State officials to help shape the program’s parameters and will also host a public hearing on September 8th. There’s much more detail here.
Since early March, the Westchester Jewish Coalition for Immigration (WJCI) has worked to help Ukrainian refugees resettle in the United States. WJCI has successfully brought three families to safety; two more are coming this summer, and many more will soon follow. To help these families, WJCI is seeking short-term temporary housing, while securing more permanent options. If you can help give a Ukrainian family a haven, or if you have any questions or ideas, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In light of the Supreme Court’s chilling decision today overturning Roe v. Wade (and its equally chilling implications for other rights based on substantive due process,) I am re-upping this post from 2020. The exercise of power in our nation is increasingly de-linked from popular will, making today’s action by the Court not only a devastating blow to the rights of women that inserts the government into the most personal of decisions, but also exhibit A in a growing crisis of democratic legitimacy.
Today’s NY Times accurately captures the sense of frustration felt by mayors across the country, as we grapple with escalating gun violence in the absence of effective federal action. While Governor Hochul and the NYS Legislature are doing good work, many of the policy failures that put guns in the wrong hands are national in scope and require a national approach. Despite strong advocacy from the Biden Administration, the political impediments in Congress seem overwhelming, with only minimal measures under serious discussion. The United States is the only industrialized nation with an epidemic of mass shootings — guns are the reason. There is no issue which better illustrates the capacity of a motivated, well-organized minority to trample over the clear interests and preferences of the great majority of Americans.
I joined 230 colleagues across the nation in urging federal action to provide universal background checks for gun sales, one of several measures urgently needed to curb the epidemic of gun violence. Read our letter here.