Justice for Jacob Blake, Election Security, Low Census Participation and more from Rep. Clarke

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To the Good People of New York’s Ninth Congressional District,

This past week has put on display both the best and worst of America. On Monday, Jacob Blake, a Black man, was shot seven times by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin, paralyzing him from the waist down. While it is a miracle that he remains alive, his life will never be the same. He should never have been shot.

In response, we’ve seen Americans from all backgrounds come out in protest of the shooting and in solidarity against the legacy of systemic racism that pervades every aspect of our country. From NBA players going on strike in protest to this weekend’s historic March on Washington, Americans are making their voices heard. To everyone out there on the frontlines, I salute you and your efforts.

Like many of you, I was also incredibly saddened to hear of the death of actor Chadwick Boseman this weekend. For the Black community especially, Chadwick was a bright star, illuminating the world through his masterful portrayals of Black change-makers like Jackie Robinson and Thurgood Marshall.

Through his most recognized work as King T’Challa in Black Panther, he gave millions of Black children and adults a hero to root for who looked like us and brought Black pride to the silver screen.

He was a larger-than-life figure, giving his all to his craft even in spite of his illness and making the time to give back to his community. He will be deeply missed. May he rest in peace.

Locally, the Census response rate in our district lags behind that of several other districts citywide and across the country.

The Census is quick, easy and ensures that our community can get the funding it needs for the next decade. Funding directed by the Census affects school classroom sizes, neighborhood health care services, electoral college votes and economic development plans. It’s a pretty big deal.

To help tackle the low response rate, I am proud to announce that my office is partnering with the COJO of Flatbush, Marine Park JCC and Crown Heights JCC to offer the ability to safely be counted in-person. Further information is listed below:

COJO of Flatbush – 1523 Avenue M, Brooklyn, NY 11230

Hours: Thursday, August 20 – September 24, 2020, from 10:00 AM – 11:00 PM

Marine Park JCC – 1102 Coney Island Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11230

Hours: Thursday, August 20 – September 24, 2020, from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Crown Heights JCC: 387 Kingston Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11225

Hours: Friday, August 21 – September 25, 2020, from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM

However, if possible, you should complete the Census at home, either by logging on to my2020census.gov  or by calling (844) 330-2020.

While it may sometimes seem otherwise, the coronavirus remains with us. Our city’s recovery has been predicated on the combined efforts of all New Yorkers to follow the recommended best practices. It is important that you continue to follow CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of the disease: wearing a mask, frequent hand washing or sanitizing and practicing social distancing.

Finally, due to inclement weather this past Saturday, my planned Gun Violence Prevention Day and Solidarity Walk Event has been postponed to September 12. Further information will be forthcoming over the next two weeks.

Regards,

Yvette D. Clarke

Member of Congress

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LEGISLATIVE HIGHLIGHTS:

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

  • Along with members of the House Democratic Caucus, I signed on to Rep. Diana DeGette’s letter to the EPA , urging the administration not to abandon existing protections against methane emissions. Methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gases responsible for climate change, and without these important protections, the catastrophic effects of climate change, like Hurricane Sandy and the California wildfires will become more common.

Committee on Homeland Security

Friday, August 31, 2020

  • At the Homeland Security Committee’s hearing on election security , I asked Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and activist Tamara Patrick about some of the logistical challenges of collecting mail-in votes, and how young folks and people of color’s mail-in ballots are more likely to be undercounted. As we approach the November election, the Committee is dedicated to ensuring that every American can rest assured that their vote will be counted accurately.

IN THE DISTRICT:

Thursday, August 27, 2020

  • I joined Ebro and the team from Hot 97 for a wide-ranging discussion about issues facing our community, like gun violence, jobs the Census, and the importance of voting. You can check out my interview here. 

Sunday, August 30, 2020

  • Alongside State Senator Zellnor Myrie, Assemblywoman Diana Richardson, and Councilman Mathieu Eugene, I participated in a community “Stop the Violence March” to address the recent spate of gun violence that has plagued our borough. This issue touches all of us, and it’s going to take our combined efforts to make our streets as safe as possible.

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Jacob Blake never should have been shot. Too often, the consequence of being Black and interacting with a police officer is brutalization. This must change.

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Experts are confirming what we’ve known for the past few years. Facial recognition technology poses a threat to people of color and I will continue to pursue legislation and federal action that addresses this critical issue.

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Black women have been at the forefront of nearly every liberation movement here in America. Naming a park after Marsha P. Johnson is a small step, but still a step towards more deserved recognition for Black women.

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