Join Melissa Tonight At Bronx Town Hall Meeting: Community Safety & NYPD Accountability

We are now a month into Flyod v. City of New York, the federal class action law suit filed against the NYPD that claims they engaged in racial profiling and uncalled for stop and frisks on law-abiding New Yorkers – and the impact that stop and frisk practices have on African-American and Latino communities is more prevalent than ever. Mott Haven’s 40th precinct has one of the highest rates of stop and frisk in the city.

This evening, Melissa will be at a Town Hall meeting in the Bronx that she is co-sponsoring, demanding there be an end to discriminatory NYPD practices and calling for a more effective approach to community safety and the passage of the Community Safety Act. It’s time that the NYPD takes accountability for their actions. The Bronx Defenders and the Vacamas Programs for Youth will be hosting tonight’s meeting.

bronx town hall

WHO: Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, Senator Gustavo Rivera, Council Member Annabel Palma, Bronx Defenders Organization, Vacamas Programs for Youth, Morris Justice Project, SOS South Bronx, Justice Committee, Picture the Homeless, New York Harm Reduction Educators (NYHRE), and VOCAL-NY
WHAT: Bronx Town Hall Meeting
WHEN: Thursday, April 18, at 6:30 PM
WHERE: Vacamas GLOW Classic Center, 286 East 156th Street (at Morris Avenue)

* Food & childcare will be provided
Spanish translation will be available

Join Us For A Town Hall Meeting About Stop And Frisk

On Monday, March 18th, please come join us at a Town Hall Meeting in the Bronx, where you can share your thoughts about Stop and Frisk practices. We are looking forward to having open conversation about ways to improve public safety and working towards a real solution.

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WHO: Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, Comptroller John C. Liu, Senators Jose Serrano and Gustavo Rivera, Assembly Members Vanessa Gibson and Eric Stevenson, Council Members Fernando Cabrera and Helen Foster; and community partners
WHAT: Town Hall Meeting
WHEN: Monday, March 18, 2013. 6 to 8 PM
WHERE: Latino Pastoral Action Center. 14 West 170th Street, Bronx, NY 10452

Help End Discriminatory Policing

Please join us tonight, Tuesday, February 5th from 6:30 to 8:30 PM for a Know Your Rights! training that will be hosted by Picture the Homeless. Here, you will learn your rights with the NYPD and how to exercise those rights as safely as possible. We will also be holding a Cop Watch! training next Tuesday, February 12th from 6:30 to 8:30 PM, hosted by the Justice Committee. At this training, we will learn how to observe and document police activity in your neighborhood. The ultimate goal of these trainings are to help end discriminatory policing – we believe in standing up and being a part of the solution.

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WHO: Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, Picture the Homeless, The Bronx Defenders, Justice Committee, and Communities United for Police Reform
WHAT & WHEN: East Harlem Stand Up! Trainings

  • Know Your Rights! Training: Tuesday, February 5th; 6:30 – 8:30 PM
  • Cop Watch! Training: Tuesday, February 12th; 6:30 – 8:30 PM

WHERE: Taino Towers, Crystal Room. 240 East 123rd Street (4/5/6 to 125th St)
For more information or to RSVP:

  • Know Your Rights! Training: shaun@picturethehomeless.org
  • Cop Watch! Training: info@justicecommittee.org

East Harlem Stands Up Against Discriminatory Policing

Last Thursday, Melissa addressed over 200 East Harlem and South Bronx residents at Taino Tower’s Crystal Room at the East Harlem Stand Up event co-sponsored by Melissa, Justice Committee, Picture the Homeless, and the Bronx Defenders. The town hall forum was meant to address discriminatory policing in our community.

The event included speeches by Comptroller John Liu, as well as organizers who educated participants on their constitutional rights, and what to do and say if you are stopped or harassed by the NYPD. Residents were also given the opportunity to speak out about their experiences with stop and frisk.

Melissa called for the East Harlem community to unite and fight this unconstitutional practice:

“East Harlem has had over 17,000 stops in our 23rd Precinct alone, the highest number in Manhattan.  This policy is criminalizing an entire generation of young people in our community!

This is why I introduced a resolution in support of a change in state law that would end the NYPD’s enforcement of small-time marijuana possession during stop-and-frisks, where police would routinely ask individuals to empty their pockets, and upon finding marijuana would arrest them.

This practice was leading to the arrest of more than 50,000 New Yorkers each year, costing over $75 million, money which should instead be invested in youth programs.

This administration has been closing our schools, cutting our after-school programs, and then cracking down on our kids when they’re on the street. This is racial discrimination at its finest! 

If the city wants to combat violence in our communities than we have to look at the Root Causes: poverty, unemployment, lack of decent affordable housing or health care or education or recreational programs for our youth.  ”

Speak Out Against Discriminatory Policing at East Harlem’s Town Hall Event on Thursday, January 17

On Thursday, January 17th, Melissa will be co-sponsoring a town hall event about discriminatory policing with the Justice Committee. At “East Harlem Stand Up!”, community members will be encouraged to speak out against the NYPD’s Stop & Frisk policy, and the program will also include Know Your Rights training and a discussion of the Community Safety Act which Melissa is co-sponsoring. East Harlem is disproportionately impacted by this policy, with the highest number of stops in Manhattan.

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WHO: Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, The Bronx Defenders, Picture the Homeless, and the Justice Committee
WHAT: Town Hall on Discriminatory Policing
WHEN: Thursday, January 17th, 6:30 – 8:30 PM
WHERE: Taino Towers in the Crystal Room – 240 East 123rd Street
* For more information, call 347-676-1878 or email yul-san@justicecommittee.org  
* Spanish translation, childcare and free food will be provided!

Para ver el volante del evento en español, haga clic aquí.

Melissa Applauds Governor Cuomo’s Renewed Push for Marijuana Arrest Reform

Yesterday, Melissa issued the following statement in response to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s strong support of legislation that would end small-quantity marijuana arrests, calling for its passage and the passage of a minimum wage increase before considering pay hikes for legislators.

“I commend New York Governor Cuomo for urging the State Legislature to adopt what he calls ‘The People’s Agenda,’ which includes an end to unjust small-quantity marijuana arrests, before they consider a potential salary hike for legislators.

“I strongly support this principled act of leadership in the face of a hostile Republican State Senate which in the last session blocked legislation to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana in public view. This inaction has led to thousands more unjust stop-and-frisk arrests of young men of color when they are told to empty their pockets during stops. Enforcement of this policy costs the city an estimated $75 million each year.

“The new law would make marijuana possession merely a violation, like a traffic ticket, and not a crime that the police can arrest people for committing. Since there are currently over 50,000 annual stop-and-frisk arrests for small-time marijuana possession in NYC, this will dramatically reduce the unjust criminalization of our youth. Earlier this year, the New York City Council passed a resolution in support of this legislation, which I sponsored, and Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly have voiced their support of these reforms. The Commissioner even issued a directive to officers intended to slow down the number of marijuana arrests. Still, it is essential to codify this policy change at the State level, and I thank Governor Cuomo for taking this issue so seriously.

“I am also very pleased that Governor Cuomo is renewing the push to raise the state’s minimum wage, a vitally important measure which will help working families remain in New York City and the state during times of increasing poverty and income disparity.”

Let’s Implement the Community Safety Act!

Melissa, along with the Progressive Caucus and many members of the City Council, believe that there is a need for more police accountability in New York City. Progressive Caucus Member Jumaane Williams, with the support of the Progressive Caucus, is sponsoring four bills that collectively make up the Community Safety Act.

The Community Safety Act includes the following:

  • Int 0799-2012: A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to requiring law enforcement officers to provide notice and obtain proof of consent to search individuals.
  • Int 0800-2012: A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to prohibiting bias-based profiling by law enforcement officers.
  • Int 0801-2012: A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York in relation to requiring law enforcement officers to identify themselves to the public.
  • Int 0881-2012: A Local Law to amend the New York city charter, in relation to establishing an office of the inspector general for the New York city police department.


Join us at one of the upcoming hearings:

RSVP Today for a Special Know Your Rights Training for NYC Youth

A special Know Your Rights Training session for NYC youth will take place on Thursday, August 16, 2012 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM. Knowing your rights is the first step to empowering yourself.

Our community, like other minority communities in NYC is plagued with racially biased and unlawful stop and frisk practices, which could lead to unjust arrests for possession of marijuana. We’ve sponsored a resolution that the City Council overwhelmingly adopted and the New York State Senate failed to agree on, we’ve held silent marches and we’ve spoke out for justice.  This event for our city’s young people is the next step. Sponsored by the New Yorkers for Health and Safety, and a collaboration by the Drug Policy Alliance, Institute for Juvenile Justice Reform & Alternatives,  Center for NuLeadership and VOCAL-NY, Know Your Rights Training is giving our young people the knowledge and tools that they need to implement justice and accountability in their everyday lives.

We strongly urge you to RSVP today or find out more information by calling Chino at (718) 484-5887 or Alfredo at (718) 415-9254. Spread the word!

WHEN: Thursday, August 16th – 5:30pm-7:30pm

WHERE: RFK Building, 113 East 13th Street (between 3rd and 4th Avenues), New York, NY 10003 [Directions: 4, 5, 6, L, N or Q train to 14th Street Union Square]

Melissa Marched on Father’s Day to End Stop and Frisk

On Father’s Day, Melissa marched with the East Harlem contingent and tens of thousands of other New Yorkers to call for an end to the NYPD’s Stop and Frisk policy and racial profiling in New York City. Melissa has been an outspoken leader in the growing movement against stop and frisk and has sponsored a resolution in support of state legislation to end the thousands of unjust marijuana arrests of young men of color that result from police making them empty their pockets during stop and frisks. Melissa is supporting passage of The Community Safety Act sponsored by Council Member Jumaane Williams, which would ban racial profiling by the NYPD and seriously reform the stop & frisk policy.

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