Stringer Chastises NYCHA for Lead Exposure
City Comptroller Scott Stringer (D) released a statement yesterday following a startling report about lead exposure in NYCHA apartments.
Earlier, NYCHA officials publicly acknowledged that roughly 9,000 NYHCA apartments were children live contain lead paint. The number is three times the size of the 3,000-unit estimate they put forth two years ago.
“Every failure to protect children from lead exposure is outrageous and unacceptable,” said Stringer. “Sixteen years ago, New York City set a goal to eliminate lead poisoning once and for all, but mismanagement and bureaucracy have let thousands of children fall through the cracks. Last year, I issued a report revealing systemic breakdowns that left thousands of buildings uninspected for lead paint. The City had the data but failed to connect the dots — and more children were exposed to lead as a result. Now, NYCHA has suddenly discovered 6,000 more apartments where children may have been exposed.
“We can’t keep failing to protect our kids. We need real management and accountability. No amount of lead in a child’s blood is safe or tolerable — period. I won’t waver in my focus on this issue until we’ve done absolutely all that we can to eliminate the threat of lead paint from our city. Our children deserve nothing less.”
Gillibrand Announces Bill to Create More Equitable Health Care System
Yesterday, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D), alongside a group of colleagues, introduced bicameral legislation to address health disparities for marginalized communities.
The COVID-19 pandemic has both highlighted and worsened existing inequalities in access to healthcare between communities. Communities of color and low-income neighborhoods have had a much harder time coping with the virus, due to comparatively low access to health education and medical care.
The Health Equity and Accountability Act (HEAA) seeks to dismantle those systemic barriers by expanding access to healthcare in underserved areas, funding programs to address diseases that disproportionately affect minorities, and diversifying the health workforce, among other measures.
“The coronavirus pandemic has devastated historically underserved communities and underscored the importance of equal access to health care for all,” said Gillibrand. “Yet, for far too many Americans health care remains an unaffordable, inaccessible privilege. The HEAA will make critical investments to address health disparities and help to ensure equitable access to affordable and quality health care – regardless of race, gender, zip code, or immigration status. I thank Senator Hirono for her leadership on this bill and in the fight for a more equitable health care system.”
Maloney Demands NYCHA Finish Urgently Needed Repairs at Campos Plaza II
Last Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens) called on NYCHA Chairman Gregory P. Russ to immediately finish repairs at the East Village’s Campos Plaza II after an outpouring of complaints from its residents.
Maloney had attended a tenant association meeting a week prior to hear the residents’ concerns. Among their grievances were an intolerable odor, worsening roof leaks, a lingering population of rats, and front doors with non-functioning locks. One resident alleged that a security guard was nearly killed by a fallen brick from a crumbling facade.
“What I heard and observed was deeply upsetting,” said Maloney. “I hope you can provide Campos Plaza II residents with a robust plan to improve the living conditions at their development.”
Read the full letter here.