The preliminary results in the contested race to represent the 65th Assembly District (which stretches from the Battery to Vesey Street on the West Side and traces a jagged line between Broadway and the East River, topping out just above Houston Street, on the East Side) in Albany favor incumbent Yuh-Line Niou over challenger Grace Lee.
Of all the ballots 7,214 ballots cast in Tuesday’s Democratic primary, according to the City’s Board of Elections, Ms. Niou garnered 4,440 (or slightly more than 61 percent of the total), while Ms. Lee took 2,741 (or 38 percent).
Although the November election will technically decide who represents Lower Manhattan in the State Assembly for the next two years, the heavily “blue” landscape of Lower Manhattan usually makes the nomination of the Democratic party tantamount to winning the wider contest, and most often relegates the actual election to the status of a formality.
But neither candidate has declared victory or conceded defeat, because this year’s contest will also incorporate an unknown (but much higher than usual) number of mail-in ballots, which were made available as a precautionary measure to help stem the spread of the pandemic coronavirus. These votes are unlikely to be counted until early July, City election officials say.
Whether the absentee ballots will break down differently than those cast in person, and whether they could do so in sufficient numbers to change the election’s apparent outcome, remains unclear
Challenger Grace Lee
In the meantime, Ms. Niou says, “while we will continue to make sure every vote is counted, last night’s numbers show us winning in every part of our district. We ran our campaign with integrity and persistence, powered by a grassroots army focused on lifting up our community in Lower Manhattan.” She also expressed gratitude to supporters, ranging from Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, to member of Congress Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and City Comptroller Scott Stringer.
“In this truly unprecedented time, I believe that we need to meet this moment with bold ideas, followed up by bolder actions,” she continues. “New York needs a real plan for recovery that protects and supports our working families and small businesses, and we simply cannot pretend that there is some solution that does not involve asking the wealthiest among us to pay their fair share. Failing to do so means cuts to schools, cuts to hospitals, cuts to transit, cuts to infrastructure, cuts to our safety net, cuts to senior programs. And the impact of these cuts will put a stop to any recovery, so more people will suffer longer while we wait on a farcical trickle-down economy that will never arrive.”
“The votes have all been cast, but because we successfully fought for vote-by-mail, we have to be patient until every vote is counted,” she concludes. “I am immensely grateful to every person who sent in their ballot, voted early, or voted in person on Tuesday. With the power of our community behind us, we will make sure every vote is counted until our victory is affirmed!”
Ms. Lee says, “usually, on an election night we have answers, but our public-health crisis has made everything uncertain until the absentee ballots are opened on July 1. Still, I am proud of the movement we built, which started in my living room, and I am especially grateful to my friends, family and supporters who made this journey with me.”
“I am very thankful for the supporters who made calls, inspired others, went to the polls, mailed their ballots and voted for new leadership,” Ms. Lee adds. “We always knew this was an uphill battle.”
City Plans Black Lives Matter Street Mural for Lower Manhattan
Lower Manhattan will soon have new piece of street art: the Administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio has commissioned a Black Lives Matter mural for Centre Street, between Worth and Reade Streets. The painting will consist of large letters emblazoned on the roadbed, and is among five such installations, with one planned for each borough.
This project was inspired by the impromptu creation of a similar mural on Fulton Street, in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn a week ago. When word spread of this project, Mr. Blasio showed up at the site and helped paint it. A few days later, he announced that this section of Fulton Street was to be closed to vehicular traffic for the remainder of the summer.
Pandemic and Economic Downturn Impact Local Leasing
A new report from brokerage Douglas Elliman and appraiser Miller Samuel indicates that rents are trending downward in Lower Manhattan, while the inventory of vacant apartments is ballooning. These tidal shifts appear to be attributable to the health crisis associated with the pandemic coronavirus, and the economic slowdown it has triggered. The monthly Elliman Report for May documents that new lease signings have fallen at an unprecedented rate, while vacancies have surged to a new record.
For all of Lower Manhattan, the report finds that the median rent is now $3,895, which represents a 7.3 percent drop from one month earlier when the median rent was $4,200, but a slight increase of one-half of one percent from last May, when the median figure was $3,875.
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The Downtown Virtual Calendar
Thursday June 25
Pieces of China: Episode 5: Bohan Phoenix
Listen to the song that inspired rapper Bohan Phoenix Bohan Phoenix is a Hubei-born, Brooklyn-raised bilingual rapper. His music reflects his multi-hyphenate identity and bridges the two cultures he calls home. Bohan has been heralded as one of Asia’s most exciting emerging artists, with collaborations ranging from China’s #1 female rapper, Vava, to UK radio presenter Benji B and Chengdu supergroup Higher Brothers. FREE
Understanding Anne Frank With Teresien Da Silva
Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust
Each day, a different encore presentation from the company’s Live in HD series is available for free streaming on the Met website, with each performance available for 23 hours, from 7:30 p.m. EDT until 6:30 p.m. the following day. The schedule will include outstanding complete performances from the past 14 years of cinema transmissions, starring all of opera’s greatest singers.
Tribeca Community On Display
All of Us Thank All of You
Fine artist and long time Downtown resident Adele H. Rahte has spent the stay-at-home period designing and creating these fabric collages representing the people in our community as a special form of thank you to the essential workers of our community and city for keeping us safe.
On display during the month of July at the Tribeca Community Window Gallery located at 160 West Broadway.
Race and Class
A Lower Manhattan Community Leader Considers How Much Has Changed and How Much Still Needs To Change
“I’m a lot older than many of the young people now protesting in the streets,” reflects Pat Moore, 67, who chairs the Quality of Life Committee on Community Board 1. “And my father, who died last January, was a police officer at a time when there were very few black men on the NYPD. So I have a slightly more complicated perspective about all this.”
“I was born in 1953, and my family is from Louisiana,” she recalls, “so I’m old enough to remember traveling to the South as a little girl, and sitting at the back of the bus, or visiting the public pool, where nobody who looked like me was allowed to go in.”
Local Leaders Urge Heightened Federal Response to September 11 Mental Health Issues
Community Board 1 (CB1) is urging federal lawmakers to expand benefits offered by the World Trade Center Health Program and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund to include more robust help for survivors of the terrorist attacks who are grappling with mental health issues.
‘A Fraudulent Scheme to Evade the Rent Stabilization Laws’
FiDi Renters Seek Recompense for Years of Rent Overcharges; U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Overturn Tenants’ Victory
More Financial District tenants are going to court to demand restitution from years of illegally high rent, on the heels of a 2019 ruling by New York State’s highest court, which found that as many as 5,000 Lower Manhattan apartments had been illegally deprived of rent stabilization benefits.
The most recent suit was filed on behalf of tenants at 90 Washington Street, a 397-unit rental building located between Rector and Joseph P. Ward Streets. This filing follows similar legal actions on behalf of tenants at 63-67 Wall Street, Ten Hanover Square, 50 Murray Street, 90 West Street, and 53 Park Place.
Every day is Sun day for the month of June, when the Sun is up for 15 hours plus a few minutes most days and darkness prevails, most days, for a few minutes less than 9 hours. The longest days of the year occur as Earth reaches the point in its orbit when the North Pole is tilted closest to the Sun, known as the summer solstice. This year, astronomers calculate that the solstice occurs on Saturday, June 20 at 5:44pm. According to my pencil on paper figuring from Starry Night* data, which is offered to a tenth of a second, day length at our location on Friday the 19this 3 seconds shorter than on the solstice and on the 20th day length is 2 seconds longer than on Sunday the 21st.
Community Board 1 is calling upon City and State transportation officials to close—at least temporarily—the lane of Route 9A (also know as the West Side Highway) that adjoins the Hudson River Park, between Chambers and Canal Streets, to enable continued social distancing, as New York scales back quarantine measures in the wake of the pandemic coronavirus outbreak.
The plan would use concrete barriers to bar traffic from the westernmost lane of the eight-lane highway, for a half-mile stretch of the waterfront boulevard, in order to allow users of the Hudson River Park additional room for biking, jogging, and walking.
1630 – Fork introduced to American dining by Gov. Winthrop
1667 – Dr Jean-Baptiste Denys, French doctor, performs first blood transfusion
1798 – US passes Alien Act allowing president to deport dangerous aliens
1868 -President Andrew Johnson passes a law that government workers would work 8 hr day
1876 – Battle of the Little Bighorn: 7th Cavalry under Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer wiped out by Sioux and Cheyenne, Custer killed
1910 – Mann Act passed (no women across state lines for immoral purposes)
1938 – Federal minimum wage law guarantees workers 25 cents per hour (rising to 40 cents by 1945) and a maximum 44 hour working week
1940 – Adolf Hitler views Eiffel tower and grave of Napoleon in France
1953 – 86°F in Anchorage Alaska
1967 – 400 million watch Beatles “Our World” TV special
1987 – Pope John Paul II receives Austrian President Kurt Waldheim
1988 – Cal Ripken Jr plays in his 1,000th consecutive game
1997 – Christies auctions off Princess Di’s clothing for $5.5 million
June Lockhart with Lassie
1865 – Robert Henri, US painter, leader of Ashcan school
1903 – George Orwell, [Eric A Blair], British India, British writer (Animal Farm, 1984), (d. 1950)
1924 – Sidney Lumet, Phila, director (Group, Pawnbroker, Fail Safe)
1925 – June Lockhart, NYC, actor (Lassie, Lost in Space, Petticoat Junction)
1945 – Carly Simon, NYC, singer (Anticipation, You’re So Vain)
1767 – Georg Philipp Telemann, German late-barok composer, dies at 86
1876 – George Armstrong Custer, US General, dies at the Battle of Little Bighorn aged 36
1906 – Stanford White, Architect, shot dead atop Madison Square Garden which he designed by Harry Thaw jealous husband of Evelyn Nesbit
1916 – Thomas Eakins, American artist (b. 1844)
1979 – Philippe Halsman, American photographer (b. 1906)
1995 – Warren Earl Burger, Supreme Court Justice, dies of heart failure at 78
1997 – Jacques Cousteau, French oceanographer, dies of heart attack at 87
2003 – Lester Maddox, American businessman, one-time segregationist and Governor of Georgia (b. 1915)
2009 – Michael Jackson, King of Pop (The Jackson 5, Thriller, Dangerous) dies of cardiac arrest at 50
Previously Published Downtown News
CB1 Endorses Push to Expand VCF Coverage to Pandemic Illness
Community Board 1 (CB1) has signed on to a campaign that aims to expand the eligibility criteria of the September 11 Victims Compensation Fund (VCF) to include illnesses related to the outbreak of the pandemic coronavirus.