Vote Tomorrow! – Paul’s 2012 NYC Primary Voter Guide

Posted by paulnewell on September 12, 2012
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This year’s NY Democratic Primary election has been moved to Tomorrow, Thursday, Sept. 13th. In addition to a change of date, redistricting has put many of us in new districts, and many poll sites have been changed.  Even if you think you know your poll site, I encourage you to check at http://gis.nyc.gov/vote/ps/index.htm. Polls will be open from 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM Tomorrow, Thursday September 13th.

Below are my endorsements in seven selected races in Lower Manhattan and around the city.  Please feel free to reach out to me about these candidates or any other races or issues.

1) Rita Mella for Manhattan Surrogate’s Court JudgeAll of Manhattan

The Surrogate’s Court oversees estates, wills, adoptions and guardianship proceedings. It touches many thousands of lives every year, often when people are at their most vulnerable.  In this race, I emphatically endorse Judge Rita Mella (http://www.mellaforsurrogate.org/).  Rita Mella sees the Surrogate’s Court as not just about wealthy estates and art collections.  She focuses on smaller estates and is passionate about the court’s role in emancipating adult developmentally disabled people.  She is one of the kindest, smartest and most compassionate judicial candidates I’ve ever seen.

Mella has been endorsed by The New York Times, El Diario, Downtown Independent Democrats, Stonewall Democrats and more.  She was found “Most Highly Qualified” by the Independent Judicial Screening Panel.  Judge Rita Mella has the experience, integrity and perspective vital to this important court. Please vote for her tomorrow.

2) Lincoln Restler for Democratic State Committee –50th AD – Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Ft. Greene

Lincoln Restler proves, more than anyone in NYC, why District Leaders and State Committeemembers can be important.  Because of the latest spate of scandals in Albany, we have the best chance in a lifetime to actually reform the broken Brooklyn Democratic Party.  No Brooklyn leader has been more of a force for change in recent years than Lincoln Restler.  Lincoln is an incredible organizer, a tireless campaigner and a strong, progressive voice.  Brooklyn and the NY Democratic Party can not afford to lose him.

I strongly endorse Lincoln Restler for reelection (http://www.lincolnrestler.org/).  This is expected to be an extremely close election.  Please be sure to vote.

3) Brad Hoylman for State Senate  – 27th SDWest Side of Manhattan, Stuy Town, East Village

State Senator Tom Duane is retiring after 14 distinguished years in Albany. In the election to replace him, I endorse Brad Hoylman (http://bradhoylman.com/).  Hoylman is clearly the most qualified of three well-intentioned candidates.  Brad is a fellow District Leader, and is the Chair of Community Board 2, where he’s worked to get additional schools and affordable housing.  Brad has been endorsed by The New York Times, TenantsPAC, The Working Families Party, The League of Conservation Voters, Downtown Independent Democrats and many many more.

4) Brian Kavanagh for State Assembly 74th AD – L.E.S., East Village, Stuy Town, Gramercy, Murray Hill, Kips Bay

The northern end of my district (parts of the East Village, Village View, First Houses) has been redistricted into a the 74th Assembly District. In the 74th, I enthusiastically encourage you to vote for Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh (http://www.briankavanagh.org/).  Brian is one of the smartest, hardest working legislators in Albany.   Kavanagh merits reelection because of his work for a more open political process, affordable housing, tenant rights, urban environmental solutions, gun control, and more.

5) Nily Rozic for State Assembly25th AD – Fresh Meadows, Bayside and environs, Queens

If you live in this part of Queens, I ask you to vote for Nily Rozic for Assembly (http://nilyrozic.org/) tomorrow.  It’s never been clearer why we need more progressive, reform-minded women in Albany.  I’ve known Nily through her work with Assemblymember Kavanagh.  She has the mind of a great legislator and the energy or a brilliant organizer.  She’s been a big part of efforts to reform NY’s elections process and more.  Nily has been endorsed by The New York Times, Women’s Campaign Fund, Citizen’s Action and many others.

6) Jo Anne Simon for Democratic State Committee – 52nd AD – Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, DUMBO, Boerum Hill, Park Slope.

A dedicated community activist and attorney, Jo Anne has been a leader in the fight against Vito Lopez’s broken political machine for years.  With the possibility of real change on the horizon, it’s imperative that she be reelected on Thursday.  I encourage all Democrats in brownstone Brooklyn to vote for Jo Anne Simon tomorrow (http://www.joannesimonforbrooklyn.com/).

7) Jason Otaño for State Senate – 18th SD – Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Bushwick

North Brooklyn voters have another opportunity to strike a blow at the party bosses and get a dynamic, progressive State Senator in the process.  Otaño knows the issues facing Brooklynites intimately, and I guarantee you he’ll work hard in Albany.  The Daily News recently described Jason’s opponent as “an undistinguished soldier of the scandal-scarred county Democratic boss.”  I couldn’t have said it better.  I’m proud to endorse for Jason Otaño for State Senate.  (http://jasonotano.com/ )

After tomorrow’s primaries, we face an extremely important national election in November.  I spent last week in Charlotte at the Democratic National Convention, and am fired up to reelect President Barack Obama, retake the U.S. House starting with picking up four Congressional seats right here in New York, and to retake the New York State Senate so we can start delivering on the affordable housing, quality schools, livable streets and access to healthcare that our neighborhoods, our city and our country deserve.

Thank you.

September 11th Anniversary Info 2012

Posted by paulnewell on September 10, 2012
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Tomorrow, Tuesday, September 11th, will again be a difficult day for our neighborhood, our city and our country.  You do not need me to tell you so.

Below is some information on the significant traffic changes to expect tomorrow, as well as on commemorative events.

Please also note that this year’s Primary Election has been moved to this Thursday, September 13th so as to avoid conflicting with the commemorations.  In addition to a change of date, many district lines and poll sites have been changed.  More information is available at http://vote.nyc.ny.us.

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The commemoration for family members of the victims of the 2001 and 1993 attacks will take place at the 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center site tomorrow from 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.  Following a citywide moment of silence at 8:46 a.m., the names of the victims will be read with music as a backdrop throughout the program. There will be five additional moments of silence throughout the program at the following times: 9:03 a.m., 9:36 a.m., 9:59 a.m., 10:03 a.m., and 10:28 a.m. The Tribute in Light will begin at sundown and will stay lit throughout the night.

Vehicle and pedestrian access in the immediate area of the World Trade Center site will be affected during this time.  Residents and employees should carry work and/or personal identification when traveling in the event area. ? Use public transportation whenever possible to stations outside of the event area.

Below is an outline of the vehicle and pedestrian access information for Tuesday, September 11, 2012.

STREET CLOSURES – The following streets will be closed to traffic from 12:01 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Pedestrian access will be very limited:
·      Liberty, Cedar, and Thames Streets between Greenwich Street and Trinity Place.

·      Greenwich Street between Liberty and Carlisle Streets

·      Albany Street between West and Greenwich Streets

·      Washington Street between Liberty and Carlisle Streets

·      Vesey Street between Church Street and Broadway

PARKING RESTRICTIONS The following streets will not have access to parking:

·      Liberty and Cedar Streets between Broadway and Greenwich Street

·      Greenwich Street between Liberty and Edgar Streets

·      Albany and Carlisle Streets between West and Greenwich Streets

·      Trinity Place between Liberty and Cedar Streets

·      Vesey, Fulton, Dey, Cortlandt, Liberty, and Cedar Streets between Church Street and Broadway

IMPORTANT NOTES:

·      West Street will remain OPEN to vehicular and pedestrian traffic. However

·      trucks will not be permitted northbound on West Street from the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to Vesey Street. Trucks will be diverted from the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to Trinity Place/Church Street to travel north.

·      Church Streets/Trinity Place and Broadway will remain OPEN.

·      The Liberty Street pedestrian bridge will be closed from 7:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 11, 2012. To cross West Street, pedestrians will be directed north to cross at the Vesey Street pedestrian bridge or south to cross at Albany Street.

·      No parking will be in effect on all closed streets, including official permit parking and all cars parked illegally will be towed. If you have further questions, please call 311 or visit www.nyc.gov.

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Here are a few ways to commemorate the event.

The Lower Manhattan Community Remembers 9/11: Living Together in a Global Community.

120 Warren Street, Tuesday Sept. 11th, 7-9PM (Map: http://goo.gl/maps/4z2Qb)

The Downtown Community Center will host a community discussion of the impact of 9/11 on our community, and building a better future for our neighborhood and our planet.

Invited Guests include Councilmember Margaret Chin, Rabbi Levine of The Downtown Synagogue, Rev. Grant of Tribeca Spiritual Center, Rabbi Glass, Synagogue for the Arts, Diane Lapson of the IPN Tenants Organization, Catherine McVay Hughes and Pat Moore of Community Board One and Bob Townley of Manhattan Youth.

The Museum of Jewish Heritage.

36 Battery Place (Map: http://goo.gl/maps/p9J91)

Entrance to the museum will be free, to provide a venue for visitors to remember and reflect.  www.mjhnyc.org

Riders Alliance Happy Hour – August 14th

Posted by paulnewell on August 06, 2012
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Next Tuesday, August 14th, I am hosting a happy hour for The Riders Alliance, an important new organization.  I hope you will join me.

Riders Alliance New York is a new organization that’s on the ground, organizing mass transit riders into a political constituency—to stop the destructive cycle of fare hikes (another one is scheduled for next March), service cuts and longer, more uncomfortable commutes.

Mass transit is an essential part of what makes New York City the dynamic, creative and economically vibrant city we love. It defines New York more than the skyline or the bright lights ever could.  Yet our elected officials continue to let this vital service languish.

Riders Alliance aims to stop this trend.  Over five Million people ride public transit in New York every day.  That is a powerful constituency.  Please join us on Tuesday as we start to mobilize.  Of course, we’ll ask you for support at the event, but there’s no charge to attend, and there are happy hour drink specials as well.

Please RSVP at http://www.ridersny.org/event.php that you’ll join us on Tuesday, August 14th for happy hour drinks and a spirited discussion with Executive Director John Raskin about the Riders Alliance and the fight for better transit in New York.  Details are below:

Please join Paul Newell, Mary Cooley and Quinn Raymond for
Riders Alliance –Happy Hour
Tuesday, August 14th, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
Suspenders Bar & Grill: 111 Broadway (1 block north of Wall St. MAP)
Please RSVP online today at http://www.ridersny.org/event.php!
On Facebook  http://www.facebook.com/events/484851051525846/

If you can’t make it Tuesday, please consider joining the Riders Alliance.  It costs as little as $3 a month (which isn’t much when you consider many of us spend $104 a month already). You can learn more and join at http://www.ridersny.org/.

Karaoke to the Court! — Fundraiser for Judge Rita Mella Candidate for the Surrogate’s Court

Posted by paulnewell on July 25, 2012
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Tonight I will sing a song for justice.  Specifically, I’ll be singing at a karaoke party benefiting Judge Rita Mella’s candidacy for Surrogate’s Court in Manhattan.  I’ll be joined by Councilmembers Rosie Mendez and Margaret Chin, Assemblymember Micah Kellner, my esteemed co-leader Jenifer Rajkumar and many others.  There will be song, laughter and celebration.  And all to support one of the best judicial candidates around.

Surrogate’s Court isn’t well known, but it impacts the lives of many thousands of people every day.  Judge Mella – an addition to being the first Latina ever to run for the court – will bring the kind of unshakeable integrity that the Surrogate’s Court needs.  She is a tremendously qualified jurist.  But perhaps more importantly, she understands how the courts affect the lives of New Yorkers.  We need Rita Mella on the Surrogate’s Court.

So, please come sing with us tonight in the Lower East Side.  I promise it will be the most fun political fundraiser of the Summer.  Details are below, and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/events/282804031826488/.

Karaoke to the Court! — Fundraiser for Judge Rita Mella Candidate for the Surrogate’s Court
TONIGHT, Wednesday, July 25, 2012
7:00pm-9:00pm
At: BOHO, karaokeboho.com/
196 Orchard Street, (Between Stanton & Houston St), New York City

 

Suggested Donations:
$500 Crooner
$250 Singer
$100 Back up Singer
$50 Lip Sync-er
$25 Lip Reader

 

Performances by: Councilmembers Rosie Mendez and  Margaret Chin, Assemblymember Micah Kerllner District Leaders Paul Newell and Jenifer Rajkumar, GOLES E.D. Damaris Reyes & YOU

8:00 pm Welcoming Remarks and…
Special Performance by: Rosie, Jenifer and Damaris of “Mella State of Mind” (Jay Z & Alicia Keys’ Empire State of Mind)

Lost your singing voice? Got Stage fright? No prob! You can still help ensure NY County has the best possible Surrogate’s Court. Make a contribution (and learn more about Rita) at http://www.mellaforsurrogate.org/.  Thank you.

Keep on rockin’ in the free world,

Paul

Healthcare Vote celebrates the Affordable Care Act

Posted by paulnewell on June 28, 2012
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Today the Supreme Court of the United States upheld The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  The most significant improvement in healthcare and economic justice to come out of Washington in generations has been affirmed. The decision is cause for celebration.  It also calls upon us to redouble our efforts for affordable, accessible healthcare for all Americans, including a Public Option.

Let us be clear.  This is not the law we would have written.  It is far too dependent on a broken, privatized healthcare system.  Far superior would be a Medicare-for-All plan, also known as Single Payer.  Failing that, the law should have included a public option.  That would have enabled near universal coverage, without relying on failed private insurers.

But the Affordable Care Act remains the most important development in healthcare policy in over 40 years.  It promises to extend health insurance to over 30 million Americans.  It will save millions of lives and billions of taxpayer dollars.  That is not a project we can give up on.  It is our opportunity as citizens and voters to make that happen in this year’s presidential and congressional elections.

We believe that health care is a human right.  Denial of healthcare for economic reasons can be as cruel as any regime’s torture chambers.  Many countries poorer than ours do not deny any of their citizens adequate care.  And they do so at a fraction of the cost we pay.  That can, and must be our goal.

The Supreme Court’s ruling today upheld the “individual mandate” as constitutional.  We agree.  But we cannot stop there.  There would be no debate as to the constitutionality of a Single Payer system or even a mandate with a Public Option.  Indeed, Medicare and Social Security are both mandatory state-run insurance plans.  They are also the most successful anti-poverty programs in American history.  Universal access to healthcare cannot and will not be achieved by the private sector alone.  Healthcare Vote 2013 is committed to continuing the fight to improve the Affordable Care Act by including a Public Option – and eventually moving to a Medicare for All system.

Today, and for the next four months, our priority must be to ensure we have a President, a Congress and Supreme Court committed to healthcare for all.  That means working to reelect President Barack Obama and regain Democratic control of Congress this fall.

But we cannot stop there.  Neighborhoods throughout New York City and around the country have been devastated by the epidemic of hospital closures like the one at St. Vincent’s on the Lower West Side of Manhattan.  Healthcare Vote 2013 is committed to focusing the debate both nationally and locally on this issue.  In elections for Congress this year, and locally for Mayor, City Council and more in 2013, people who ask for our vote must commit to extending adequate access to healthcare to all.

We start this afternoon.  Please join us at 5:30 PM for a Rally for Healthcare for All at Foley Square in Lower Manhattan. The event is cosponsored by Healthcare Vote 2013, Metro New York Health Care for All Campaign, Make The Road New York, Citizen Action of New York, New York Immigration Coalition and many other organizations.  It will be an important step in the fight.  Details are below.  Please join us.

Yours in Solidarity,

The Steering Committee of Healthcare Vote 2013:

Yetta G. Kurland, Esq.,     Hon. Paul Newell,    Eileen Dunn, RN,
David L. Kaufman, MD and Thomas Shanahan, Esq.

Healthcare for All Rally!
TODAY, Thursday, June 28th
5:30 PM.  Foley Square, Lower Manhattan
Across from the Federal Courthouse
at the African American Burial Ground Monument

Map: http://goo.gl/maps/M1s5
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/events/388335861224838/

 

Vote Tomorrow: Reelect Nydia Velazquez

Posted by paulnewell on June 25, 2012
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Tomorrow, Tuesday June 26th, I will be voting to reelect Congresswoman Nydia M. Velazquez.  I’m writing to ask you to join me.  For 20 years, Nydia has been a true progressive voice.  The first Puerto Rican woman elected to Congress, she has been a consistent advocate for women, working families, immigrants, small businesses and economic justice.  I am proud to call her my Congresswoman.

Nydia Velazquez has not been afraid to take tough stances.  She voted against the Iraq War, the PATRIOT Act and the anti-gay “Defense of Marriage Act”.  As Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, she has taken a lead role in fighting for the DREAM Act and for a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented workers.   In housing, Velazquez’s work resulted in an additional $55 million annually to staff and operate NYC Housing Authority buildings that had been underfunded for years.  She was also instrumental in getting $28 billion in Section 8 rental assistance vouchers for 2012.   Those vouchers help over 100,000 NYC families meet their rent obligations.

Nydia also voted for the Affordable Care Act – which will extend health insurance to over 30 million Americans.  Below is a video of her fighting to include a Public Option in the bill.

Nydia Velazquez deserves reelection and our support.  Tomorrow, she will face three primary opponents.  The most serious of them is running as a puppet of the Brooklyn Democratic Party boss – who has long resented Nydia’s independent mind and fierce advocacy for cleaner government.  Allowing the old-line party machine bosses to win would be a serious setback to progressive, reform movement in New York.

The primary election is open to all Democrats in New York’s new 7th Congressional District.  The district includes the Lower East Side, the East Village and Chinatown in Manhattan, as well as Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Williamsburg, Park Slope,  Bushwick, Red Hook and Sunset Park in Brooklyn and Maspeth and Woodhaven in Queens.

Polls will be open on Tuesday, June 26th from 6:00 AM until 9:00 PM.  The district lines have changed significantly since the last election, so even very informed voters may be in the 7th Congressional District without knowing it.

   

To find out if you are in the 7th District and where to vote, go to: http://gis.nyc.gov/vote/ps/index.htm.

   

Nydia Velazquez has been endorsed by The New York Times, The Daily News, President Barack Obama, MoveOn.org, NARAL, Councilmember Rosie Mendez, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Downtown Independent Democrats and many more.  She is exactly the kind of independent, honest progressive voice we cannot afford to lose in Congress.  Please join me in voting for her tomorrow. 

Electeds, Press File Federal OWS Suit Vs NYPD, JP Morgan Chase

Posted by paulnewell on April 30, 2012
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Yetta Kurland 917 701 9590
Leo Glickman 917 582 1405
Wylie Stecklow 917 576 6727

Elected Officials and Members of the Press File Civil Rights Suit Against NYPD and JP Morgan Chase For Arrests Related to OWS

Federal lawsuit alleges civil rights violated by NYPD and private entities including JP Morgan Chase and Brookfield Properties asks for federal independent monitor

New York, NY. April 30, 2012. Lawyers on behalf of 5 elected officials and over half a dozen members of the press filed a major lawsuit today in federal court alleging the City of New York, the MTA, the New York Police Department, Brookfield Properties, JP Morgan Chase and others are in violation of numerous civil rights, including First Amendment rights to free speech and assembly.  The suit seeks redress for police misconduct in arrests made during the “Occupy Wall Street” protests and asks that a federal independent monitor be appointed to oversee the NYPD in order to safeguard the public.

The 143 page complaint submitted by a group of civil rights attorneys including Leo Glickman, Yetta G. Kurland and Wylie Stecklow, was filed today in United States District Court in the Southern District and includes a 24 minute video which highlights the use of excessive force and selective enforcement which many have claimed has become an issue over the past 6 months during the “Occupy” protests.

The suit also addresses the City’s relationship with JP Morgan Chase who donated $4.6 million to the NYPD during this time, as well as the fact that members of the press and elected officials have been arrested while observing and/or reporting on these protests.

One of the plaintiffs, New York City Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez, who was bloodied and arrested on November 15, 2011 for attempting to observe the eviction of Zuccotti park stated “While my charges were dismissed, the bigger issue still remains, namely that the NYPD misused their power and did not respect my First Amendment or the NYC Charter which gave me the right to act as an observer.”

New York City Councilmember Letitia James, another plaintiff in the suit, stated “this is about accountability but it is also about ensuring that we have a proper balance of powers in this City. People should not be afraid to suffer harm from the police when they express their First Amendment right to assemble.”

New York City Councilmember Melissa Mark Viverito has also joined the suit. She stated “Some of us in the City Council are looking to address these issues legislatively, in the meantime we will avail ourselves of the United States judicial branch to ask for its help to ensure our police properly protect the public they are entrusted to serve.”

Jumaane Williams, another New York City Councilmember made the point that this effects everyone not just OWS protestors. “We hope this suit will help all New Yorkers, as well as the NYPD. We believe officers should not be put in a situation where they are asked to act in a way which results in this type of misconduct or puts them at odds with the public.”

Paul Newell, a plaintiff and Democratic District Leader for Lower Manhattan added that the police misconduct “had a chilling effect of the freedoms of speech, movement and assembly as well as quality of life in Lower Manhattan.”

John Knefel, a journalist and radio show host, who was arrested while covering a protest in the publicly-accessible Winter Garden in lower Manhattan because he didn’t have NYPD issue press credentials, is one of the plaintiffs as well. “It is of course concerning that the public is arrested for exercising their First Amendment rights, but it is likewise concerning that members of the press are arrested when they try to cover this.”

Justin Sullivan, another plaintiff and citizen press journalist who assembled the video exhibit for the suit stated “I was arrested while covering someone else being arrested for complaining about someone else being arrested for doing a ‘mic check’. This is not how our police should act.”

Attorneys and the plaintiffs will be holding a press conference at 9:45am on the steps of City Hall on Monday April 30, 2012. Copies of the complaint are available below and at http://www.scribd.com/doc/91818746/Rodrigeuz-et-al-vs-Winski-et-al-Complaint .

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[scribd id=91818746 key=key-14f0hjq6w1v0lh6jg4ja mode=list]

Too many of my uncles are dead…

Posted by paulnewell on April 23, 2012
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I have only one biological uncle and he, thankfully, is alive and well.  But growing up in Greenwich Village in the 1980s, I lost many uncles.  It was a community beset by a plague. My mother’s friends, my Bar Mitzvah tutor, our next door neighbors, my favorite teacher at P.S. 41 and many others around seemed to be dying all the time.  Watching the birth of ACT-UP, GMHC and AIDS activism around me taught me what it meant to organize communities.

On May 20th, I will walk in AIDS Walk New York to support Ubuntu Education Fund and several organizations fighting HIV here in New York.  In many ways, this is the defining struggle of my life.

Please help me fight AIDS in NYC and around the world: http://aidswalknewyork2012.kintera.org/newellnyc

In 2001, I traveled to Port Elizabeth, South Africa to help build Ubuntu Education Fund.  I worked with Ubuntu for six years, in NYC and South Africa.  There I met, and lost, countless other uncles, aunts, brothers and sisters to HIV and AIDS.

But there again, I learned that organizing and working with communities can have an incredible impact.  In a community where 1 in 4 adults is HIV positive, Ubuntu works with over 25,000 orphans and vulnerable children and their families.

Whether it’s getting a mother onto life-saving drugs, or enrolling a child who’s lost their family in school, Ubuntu is committed to long term, intensive interventions. 12 years on, Ubuntu’s model is working. Many of the most vulnerable children I worked with in South Africa are graduating university and moving on to careers.

Please help me support Ubuntu Education Fund: http://aidswalknewyork2012.kintera.org/newellnyc

Recently, I’ve been involved in an organization called Healthcare Vote 2013, founded to focus New York City political discourse healthcare in the wake of the closure of St. Vincent’s Hospital.  That hospital was the beating heart of New York’s AIDS epidemic – where so many of my teachers and my parent’s friends were treated. The largest HIV clinic on the East Coast has been closed to make way for luxury condos.

On Sunday, May 20th, I will walk with Team Ubuntu in AIDS Walk New York. I have pledged to raise $5,000 to support the work of Ubuntu Education Fund and many other organizations fighting. I ask for your help.

Even the smallest gift makes a huge difference.

Thank you,

Paul

P.S. Please join me on May 20th. It’s a great time, a beautiful walk, you get a cool T-Shirt and it makes a difference.  Sign up here: http://tinyurl.com/UbuntuAIDSWalk2012

Tell NY Assembly and Gov. Cuomo: NO on GOP’s gerrymander

Posted by paulnewell on March 14, 2012
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The insiders of the New York State Legislature just released new legislative redistricting maps.  They differ in virtually no substantial regard from the widely disparaged maps released in late January.  They continue to divide communities, weaken the accountability of lawmakers and ensure that those in power stay in power.

As a proud progressive Democrat, I want to focus on our party’s role in this.  While the maps drawn by the State Senate Republicans are clearly worse than those drawn by the Assembly, The Assembly Democrats are equally responsible for the Senate Map.  That is because the entire package must be passed by both houses and signed by Governor Cuomo to take effect. If not passed by the legislature AND signed by the Governor, the process will be completed by a Federal Court Panel.  That would undoubtedly result in a legislature that is both more democratic (small “d”) and more Democratic (big “D”).

If New York State is saddled with a corrupt Republican-dominated State Senate for the next 10 years, the Assembly Democrats and Governor Andrew Cuomo will be to blame. If over the next decade that State Senate weakens tenant protections, attacks women’s health or continues to underfund mass transit, the Assembly Democrats and Governor Andrew Cuomo will be to blame.

The Senate Republicans are protecting their party. Assembly Democrats and Governor Cuomo have no excuse to go along.

Why do Assembly Democrats not stand up for their fellow Democrats in the Senate (and the millions of New Yorkers they represent)? Because they get the prize of drawing their own safe districts.  But 100 of 150 Assemblymembers are Democrats.  Their complicity in this subversion of democracy does nothing to advance the Democratic cause – and indeed creates a Republican Senate where otherwise it could not possibly exist.

Much of the lobbying from reformers on this matter has focused on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s explicit promises to veto a gerrymandered map.  Governor Cuomo should keep that promise and veto the bill.

Likewise, any Democratic Assemblymember who claims to support progressive change for New Yorkers should vote against this bill.

Please contact your State Assemblymember at http://assembly.state.ny.us/ and tell them to vote “NO” on the gerrymandering plan.

Please also contact Governor Cuomo at (518) 474-8390 or http://www.governor.ny.gov/contact/GovernorContactForm.php and ask him to keep his promise to veto this Albany insiders’ map.

Press Advisory: All Charges Against Paul Newell from OWS Arrest Dropped

Posted by paulnewell on March 05, 2012
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For Immediate Release

Contact: Paul Newell, 347-351-7285, Paul@NewellNYC.org

March 5, 2012

All Charges Against Paul Newell from OWS Arrest Dropped

At a hearing today before Judge Matthew A. Sciarrino Jr. in Manhattan, all charges against Lower Manhattan District Leader Paul Newell stemming from his November 15, 2011 arrest near Zuccotti Park were dismissed.  The Manhattan District Attorney’s office moved to dismiss the charges of Obstructing Governmental Administration because they did not have evidence to prove the charges.  Newell was represented by civil rights attorney Mark Taylor of Rankin & Taylor.

Newell said “I am grateful for the DA’s swift dismissal of this matter and encourage them to quickly dismiss all the illegal arrests related to Occupy Wall Street and other peaceful protests.  I look forward to continuing to work for economic equality and freedom of speech in Lower Manhattan and more broadly.”

 

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NY Observer: Paul Newell: My Night In The #OWS Lock-Up