WCP Story of the Week

THE WESTCHESTER COUNTY PRESS

The Westchester County Press is a weekly newspaper publishing positive stories about our community.

This week's stories...

New Absentee Ballot Measures Signed into Law

Governor Cuomo has signed into law election reforms that will make it easier for New Yorkers to vote and be counted in November. The three-part package includes a new measure which allows absentee ballot applications to be submitted to the Board of Elections immediately. A second measure gives voters the right to request an absentee ballot due to risk of illness to themselves or others, meaning that concern about contracting COVID-19 is now a valid reason for requesting an absentee ballot. The third measure ensures that all absentee ballots postmarked on or before Election Day or received by the Board of Elections without a postmark on the day after Election Day will be counted. Ballots w

Former Engel aide declares: “These are times that challenge us all to do more, to take action.”

MOUNT VERNON, NY - On the night that the national Democratic Party sent the Biden-Harris ticket out to take on Trump and his bigotry, Mount Vernon Democrats nominated 27-year-old Tyrae Woodson-Samuels as the next Westchester County Legislator, signaling a strong investment in the next generation of Democratic leadership. “I want to thank the Mount Vernon Democratic Party and my fellow district leaders for their unanimous support. I’m deeply honored to accept this nomination to carry the Democratic Party banner into the November special election,” said Woodson-Samuels, a native of Mount Vernon. “Like so many of you, I’ve been listening to the messages of our national Democratic Party this we

Stop & Shop, Feeding Westchester, and Neighbors Link to Donate and Distribute Local Produce to

To address the food security issue in Westchester, Stop & Shop will be donating and distributing 5,000 pounds of fresh, local produce to those in need in the Westchester area at Mt. Kisco Elementary School, 47 W Hyatt Avenue, Mt. Kisco, NY 10549, on Thursday August 27th from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Feeding Westchester will also be providing produce, bringing the total to 10,000 pounds of produce expected to be distributed to between 500 and 700 families. Local Stop & Shop store employees will be on-hand to distribute the produce so families affected by COVID-19 have nutritionally balanced meals to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This produce distribution event is also in collaboration with Neigh

NYS Coronavirus Update: Testing Sites at Airports -- Youth Sports Can Resume in September

For the 17th straight day, the statewide infection rate is under 1 percent, and our positivity rate hit a record low with 0.66% of yesterday’s COVID-19 tests returning as positive. We continue trending in the right direction but we do so only because we remain alert for any signs that can hamper that progress. In Western New York, the infection rate has been above 1 percent for six days. The increase is driven in part by clusters at a steel plant in Erie County and at a food processing factory in Chautauqua County, as well as from a cluster of seasonal workers at farms. This is not a cause for alarm, but it is a caution sign. Fortunately, our robust testing means that we were able to iden

AG James Takes Action to Force Trump Organization to Comply with Investigation Into Financial Dealin

Eric Trump Refuses to Show Up for Scheduled, Subpoenaed Interview NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James this past Friday took legal action in an ongoing civil investigation into the Trump Organization’s financial dealings. Attorney General James opened an investigation into Donald Trump and the Trump Organization in 2019, after Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, testified before Congress that Trump’s annual financial statements inflated the values of Trump’s assets to obtain favorable terms for loans and insurance coverage, while also deflating the value of other assets to reduce real estate taxes. At dispute are seven subpoenas which would provide the Office of the Attorne

County Health Department Offers Free Back-to-School Vaccines by Appointment August 24-31

WHITE PLAINS, NY – During National Immunization Awareness Month, the Westchester County Department of Health reminds parents and guardians that now is the right time to plan a visit with their child’s healthcare provider. This will help ensure children have the vaccines they need for a healthy start in school, whether they are at home or in the classroom. For families with no insurance, ChildHealth Plus or Medicaid, the Westchester County Health Department can help. Call the County Health Department at (914) 995-5800 to find out if you qualify for vaccines at no charge. Visits are by appointment only on Aug. 24 or 31 at the Health Department clinic at 134 Court St. in White Plains. All par

Coronavirus Update: County IDA Launches Financial Assistance Program

WHITE PLAINS, NY -- (August 24, 2020) – The Westchester County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) today officially launched a new program designed to ensure the short-term viability of both small businesses and not-for-profit corporations negatively impacted by COVID-19. The program allows the IDA to provide financial assistance through the State Disaster and Emergency Loan and Grant Program. Under the program, the IDA is providing grants to small businesses and small not-for-profit corporations in an amount not to exceed $10,000. The proceeds must be used for the purpose of acquiring personal protective equipment or installing equipment necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The ID

2020 Census Update: Unconventional Methods and Response Rates

Both sides of the aisle and independents wondered whether the Democratic National Committee could produce an engaging convention experience in the midst of a pandemic. Based on the theme, “Uniting America,” the DNC’s unconventional decision to virtually showcase America’s diversity and natural beauty was a success. Raising $70 million during the four-day primetime event, August 17-20, 2020, spoke favorably about the DNC’s ability to engage viewers via the digital platform, Zoom. As each evening evolved, the convention staff smoothed out transitions from the hosts, to the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance, moments of prayer, musical performances, the roll call of delegates, group chats, acknowledg

National Urban League Sues to Stop the Political Weaponization of the U.S. Postal Service

“The Constitution requires the President and the Postmaster General to faithfully execute the laws and to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and the rights guaranteed therein. The constitutional and statutory rights of Americans to vote are among the most sacred of those laws. Defendants should be taking every effort to facilitate mail-in voting. But, at a minimum, they should not be weaponizing the Postal Service in order to infringe the sacred right to vote.”—federal lawsuit filed by National Urban League, Common Cause and the League of Women Voters against Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and the United States Postal Service. Few institutions are more fundamental to American

GET YOUR BALLOT NOW!

What would you do if somebody walked by your house and promised to rob it the next day? Most of us would take every precaution, checking the locks, the door, and the windows. Some of us might weapon up, making sure we could defend our homestead. Some might also reach out to law enforcement, sharing the threat with them. Almost all of us would take the threat seriously and make the appropriate precautions to prevent our violation. The 45th President of the United States has warned us that he plans to rob us. First, he placed one of his crooked cronies in charge of the postal service. Then he said that he would not fund the postal service to facilitate the timely processing of mail ball

The HBCU Community Must Stand With Billionaire Philanthropist Robert Smith

I have admired Black billionaire Robert Smith since I first discovered him years ago, long before he transformed the lives of an entire graduating class from Morehouse College, the only all male historically Black college. I thought highly of Smith when he contributed to Carnegie Hall and Cornell University. I even thought of traveling to Dallas or anywhere that I might meet him to share ideas about investing in HBCUs. I was so proud when the wealthiest Black man in America retired the debt of so many promising young men. The act established Smith as a preeminent thought leader of our time. The primary focus of my work with the HBCU Green Fund is to advocate for investment in historically B

Both the Economy and Senate Stumble

On the same day we learned that the US economy contracted by 9.5 percent in the second quarter of this year, the United States Senate adjourned and went home, even though the economic contraction is the largest since growth data has been collected. They left without passing the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act. They left without continuing the $600 per week emergency assistance for those out of work because of COVID-19. They left without meaningful action, although another 1.434 million people had filed unemployment claims, an announcement that was made the same day that they fled Washington. Hopefully, if they help constituent service hours in their

A G James Refuses to Back Down in Fight Against NRA

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today released the following statement in response to a National Rifle Association (NRA) countersuit that seeks to distract from illegal conduct to divert millions of dollars away from the organization’s charitable mission to personally benefit senior leadership, as well as to claims by President Donald Trump and others that the NRA should relocate to another state: “While President Trump and others have suggested that the NRA should simply pick up and leave New York in an effort to evade responsibility, I’d remind them that we shut down the president’s own foundation, recouped millions in diverted funds after unearthing the illegal use of

Census 2020 Operations Have Been Shortened By One Month

Westchester County has been notified that the U.S. Census Bureau will be halting Census 2020 efforts one month early, with operations concluding on September 30. With the new timeframe restrictions in place, it is more important now than ever that all Westchester County families fill out their Census forms. During a normal Census, the Census Bureau recruits thousands of people across the country to do field work beginning in mid-May through July 31, a total of 2 ½ months. With the 2020 Census timeframe being cut short one month early, Census workers will now only have 1 ½ months in the field. There are an estimated 370,000 housing units in Westchester from single family homes to accessory

Why is fair housing still a distant journey for Black America?

Public pressure to restore a key HUD rule has united civil rights, public and private sector stakeholders in a swelling and nearly daily drumbeat of concern calling for fair housing to be supported and HUD’s replacement rule be rescinded. On July 23 the rule known as Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) HUD Secretary Ben Carson termed the rule as “a ruse for social engineering under the guise of desegregation”. “The worst thing we can do in a major health pandemic is increase housing instability, homelessness, and overcrowding — which is what will happen if the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing provision is significantly weakened,” noted Lisa Rice, President and CEO of the

THE POLITICS OF AMBITION

Black women all across this nation should be outraged by the commentary that a qualified African-American woman is “too ambitious” to be selected as the running mate for presumptive Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden. Biden allies, Chris Dodd, Co-Chair of the Biden Vice Presidential Selection Committee, along with major donors have essentially asserted that ambition should bar an otherwise qualified woman from consideration for the Biden ticket. Not only should Black women be outraged, but all Americans should be equally offended. Despite seemingly insurmountable odds, African-American women have excelled in all areas of human endeavor including corporate America, government, law,

Harlem will be the NUL’s New Headquarters

“Harlem was home; was where we belonged; where we knew and were known in return; where we felt most alive; where, if need be, somebody had to take us in. Harlem defined us, claiming our consciousness and, I suspect, our unconsciousness.” – Actor and activist Ossie Davis In 1904, a few years before George Edmund Haines and Ruth Standish Baldwin founded the National Urban League, Black New Yorkers pushed out of other neighborhoods began moving into Harlem. They were soon followed by a flood of migrants escaping the violence and terrorism of the Jim Crow South. The convergence of ambitious, motivated Black people from around the country with employment opportunities created by World War I exp

Trump’s Housing Announcement Seen as So Racist, “It’s ‘Not Even A Dog Whistle Anymore’

President Donald Trump has rolled back a Barack Obama-era housing rule intended to halt racial segregation and eliminate racial disparities in American suburbs. Trump announced on Wednesday, July 29, that he officially eliminated the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule that Obama put in place in 2015. The rule required local governments to identify and address racial segregation patterns outlawed under the Fair Housing Act of 1968. The law tied federal funding to efforts to bridge inequalities. The AFFH helped low-income and minority households, many of whom now face housing uncertainty because of the coronavirus pandemic. Some interpret the move as an attempt to stoke fea

Our Battle to Protect Democracy’s Greatest Tool: It’s on us to honor the legacy of Rep. John Lewis

When a young John Lewis led hundreds of foot soldiers in a march over Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965, he and hundreds of non-violent protesters would be attacked with billy clubs and tear gas by Alabama state troopers and their dogs. Lewis later recalled he believed he might die there in a battle to protect the right to vote; others did give their lives in the fight for an America that lives up to the ideals upon which it was founded. Lewis would go on to honorably serve the people of his beloved Georgia in Congress for 33 years and continue making good trouble, which led to his being arrested over 40 times in the name of equality and justice before his passing last month at 80 years

NYS Coronavirus Update: Deadline for School Plans -- Record Low Hospitalizations -- “Coping Circles”

Dear Fellow New Yorkers: School districts have until Friday, August 21st, to submit plans for in-person learning to the Department of Health. Currently, a number of school districts have yet to submit a plan. If they fail to meet the Friday deadline, they will not be allowed to open in person. What is the right plan for your school district? The right plan is the one in which parents and teachers have confidence. That requires a dialogue. There is no one-size-fits-all plan for NYS schools, but it is essential, and mandatory, that school districts have conversations within their communities to address all concerns. Here’s what else you need to know tonight: 1. The total number of CO

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