Commissioner Polly Trotenberg says NYC streets are safer
By Michelle D. Winfield
On Thursday, September 28, 2017, Commissioner Polly Trotenberg spoke at the New York Law School focusing on the Department of Transportation’s mammoth task of designing and redesigning the roadways and transportation systems in New York City. “How do we accommodate the increased numbers of residents, tourists and workers?” The Department of Transportation continues to collect data and use technology to improve safety conditions. Statistics show New York City’s traffic fatalities have declined three consecutive years in a row, while other large cities are increasing. The Commissioner remarked, “My greatest achievement, with the support of the department, has been the success of Vision Zero. We have made streets safer through lowering the speed limit, increasing the number of speed cameras and pedestrian right of way.” She added, “We were surprised there was little opposition to lowering the speed limit from 30 to 25.” The Commissioner asked for the help of legislators to establish laws to require seat belt use for people riding in the back seat of cars.
Members of CB Six Manhattan Transportation Committee Gene Santoro and Lawrence Scheyer were present. After the questioning session, to accommodate competing use of street space, Mr. Scheyer, an attorney, suggested holding a design charrette for filling in the gap in a protected Second Avenue Bike Path and pedestrian protections at the Queens Midtown Tunnel and Queens Borough Bridge entrance. Commissioner Trotenberg seemed to agree to discuss this matter further.
Finally, Sekou M. Sheriff, Deputy Chief of Staff in the Commissioner’s office, handed out his business card soliciting questions and problems dealing with traffic. His information is below:
55 Water Street – 9th Floor New York, NY 10041 T: 212-839-6409 C: 347-931-6519
The New York Law School breakfast talks are open to the public and is located at 185 West Broadway in Manhattan, MTA subway # 1, Franklin station.
Senator Bernie Sanders speaks to his troops
By Michelle Deal Winfield
On Monday, August 28, 2017 at 7:00 p.m., Senator Bernie Sanders stood in the same pulpit Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood 50 years ago opposing the Vietnam War. The Riverside Church at 409 Riverside Drive at 120th Street on the Westside, opens its doors to various issues. Sanders recalled, “168 newspapers condemned Dr. King, a civil rights leader, for opposing the Vietnam War.”
Sanders was here to introduce his book, Bernie Sanders Guide to Political Revolution. The event was sponsored by Harper’s Magazine and co-sponsored by Book Culture, book store. As people filed in the church, they were given Draft Bernie for 2020 posters to hold up.
The audience exploded when their leader appeared. The cheers and smiled filled the hall. Sanders proclaimed, “The Republican Party didn’t win the election. The Democratic Party lost the election because they turned their backs on the workers.” He asked, “Which side are you on?”
Sanders tackled most of his social themes: equal pay, $ 15 an hour and distribution of wealth, eliminating tax breaks for the rich, universal health care, jobs for youth, support for illegal immigrants, reduce use of fossil fuel and free college tuition. Bernie Sanders called for a political revolution to fight the greed and tax cuts for the billionaires in America. He stated, “The Walton family owns more wealth than 42 % of the nation. In the last decade 51 millionaires have risen to 565 in number. During the Wall Street crisis, the middle class bailed out Wall Street and now Wall Street needs to bail us out.”
The church was filled to capacity, 2,100. This was an opportunity for Senator Sanders to build momentum of his political revolution. He asks, “How do we get a vibrant political system where everyone gets one vote and the billionaires don’t buy the election?” Sanders provided the answer, by saying, “Every time change is happening, it is the grassroots that gets it done. The $ 15 an hour fight was a grassroots initiative. First Seattle, San Francisco and then New York said yes to a $ 15 an hour wage for a minimal standard of living. Anything less is a starvation wage.”
Thirteen members from the Progressive Action of Lower Manhattan, PALM, a group formed by President Arthur Z. Schwartz, regularly meets at the Seafarers International at 15th Street and Irving Place were in the house. PALM proudly boasts there are 119 original members. Recently, I became the State Committeewoman from the NY 74th Assembly District and believe that everyone should be at the table to discuss, question and demand transparency on behalf of the services for our residents. PALM is a vital link between elected officials, community leaders and other community-based organizations to improve our society. Like, Senator Sanders, PALM supports Progressive candidates. We were delighted to raise our hands in solidarity to hear Bernie conclude by saying, “Progressives get elected by standing up and having the courage to do what is right. He asked a final question: “Where do we want to be tomorrow?”
The audience erupted in applause with cameras and cell phones documenting the moment.
CSA Book Club – Prince of Darkness, Shane White
April 12, 2017, Professor Shane White visits Council of Supervisor’s Book Club –Prince of Darkness
Don Cheadle, actor – raising 20 million dollars to do a film about Jeremiah G. Hamilton
Merchants had lawyers on retainer.
Xeroxed 20, 30, 40 newspaper articles
Arrived home to Australia and read a headline $ 50,000 Nigger Hamilton
Wall Street had nicknames for people all the time. Did not realize JGH was black.
Collected materials of styling and ordinary street life intrigued me – JGH had been erased from history
People thought he was white & had a deep tan
No entries, offer context, he worked 30 years
JGH book – full time researching & writing, 2 years
African American history is important
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison – the theme was not being seen
JGH behaved like a white man, visibly not white
Visible in newspapers
Blacks generally have a celebratory theme, too much I think
After Hamilton died in 1875, historians ignored his legacy, whites stood in line bearing gifts to get Hamilton’s market advice
Freedom’s Journal featured in newspaper: Barbara Singer, daughter of JGH, went to Europe
Wall Street was fast, loose and ruthless
Carnegie said, “I bought shares if I had inside information”
Hedge funds – bought shares, lost would exact revenge – get even, screw one another
Insurance told brokers if they bought shares from Hamilton, they would be expelled
Hamilton bought shares of Railroad shares even though he wasn’t allowed to ride on public transportation
Segregation was invented in the North and the South adopted it
Draft Riots of 1863, chanted “68, 68, 68” Purpose was to kill Hamilton, lived 68 East 29th St
Benjamin Day (white) + Hamilton, interracial relationship, walking down the street arm in arm- it was said WE CAN’T HAVE THAT!
East 29th Street, NYC everyone had different incomes on the same block
Hamilton had exquisite taste
James McCune Smith, first black doctor and was trained in Edenborough said, “Hamilton is not doing what we are doing (supporting black charities)
Downey Oyster House, black owner, wrote checks to black organizations but did not allow blacks in his establishment
Significance of fire vs. freedom, blacks would set fires
Black parents trained kids: to white people give short answers, avoid confrontation, never speak unless spoken to
You can’t look back in history & say it didn’t happen
Same skin color makes it easier to integrate
Slave culture – dance, how they negotiated, instead of violence, a plantation of 30 slaves, if treated too harshly- slaves would go into the woods and come back after the planting
Vanderbilt death 1887, said he respected Hamilton, noted in obituary,National Republican Newspaper, Jan 5, 1887
Newspapers used often in business battles
People were ignorant
No slavery in NY at a NY Historical Society exhibit
Reviewed 60 cases where JGH was a participant, suing or being sued
Suggestion: Have Stock Exchange put up a plaque recognizing Jeremiah G. Hamilton