Assemblywoman Inez E. Dickens Newsletter

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Harlem has always been home to me and my family. As a family we volunteered to do our part to improve the lives of our neighbors knowing if they were doing well in life so were we. It is important to know I am not alone in my efforts. The Greater Harlem community is full of ambitious and dedicated New Yorkers who feel just as strongly as I do about the character of our neighborhood. These individuals and groups work tirelessly to support our seniors with essential services to remain in their homes, helping our youth to discover new talents instead of being on the streets after school, and training adults how to prepare for their next job interview, and working with small business owners to grow their companies.

Now as a member of a member of the New York State Assembly I am able to advocate for the issues important the residents of my community as ardently as when I was a member of the New York City Council, issues such as affordable housing, education, health, employment, and cultural arts that benefit all New Yorkers. With the help of the New York State Assembly we will continue make the continued existence and availability of these programs possible.

Harlem ‘rediscovered’ has forced many long-time residents out of the community as the cost of living has grown out of reach, so I have supported affordable housing programs such as New York City Partnership to provide 75 units in relation to the income bands of Harlem residents. The project also features space for a new supermarket to maintain affordable neighborhood food. This is one of a number of projects that seeks to maintain affordability of housing in my community.

For decades, the city has struggled to find space for a new Macombs Branch of the New York Public Library, the city’s smallest library. After years of partnering with community leaders, business and property owners, nothing seemed to work. I was proud to announce that Macombs would receive a new home as I was able to provide capital funding from the New York City Council for renovations and Assemblyman Denny Farrell with additional capital funding towards a new space, in partnership with the New York City Housing Authority. Anthony Marx, President of the New York Public Library and Shola Olatoye, Chair & Chief Executive Officer of the New York City Housing Authority we able to agree on a space near Harlem River Houses that will keep the branches in the community.

Often time, we are so consumed with the responsibilities of the day that we simply put aside our own health, leading to disastrous outcomes later. As part of my commitment toward having a healthier community, I have provided funding for Harlem Hospital Center’s cardiology medical equipment. This will allow for Harlem Hospital’s new Chief Executive Officer Ebone Carrington to combat some of our communities leading health ailments; heart attacks, hypertension, and strokes.

I have always been a believer in the notion that the best way to combat crime is to combat poverty, which means job creation and readiness. Executive Director Donald Notice of West Harlem Group Assistance is at the forefront of training individuals so they can reenter the workforce with the skills necessary to maintain employment.

Harlem has some of the greatest cultural attractions New York City has to offer, both the Apollo Theatre and Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture are the most recognized. However, my community features a host of programs that cover an array of talents by artistic expressionist from all ages. The Dance Theatre of Harlem has traveled to various global destinations showcasing their brand of choreography fused with classical music, rock, pop and soul. The Studio Museum of Harlem displays the paintings and sculptures of renowned African American artist such as Kara Walker, Norman Lewis, and Romare Bearden, while offering arts education classes for kids.