Newburgh Leaders Seek Subpoena Power For Citizen PD Board
Newburgh, NY - August 14, 2020
Ali T. Muhammad gets a seat at the table. Newburgh resident, local activist, and public servant Ali T. Muhammad has been selected to be part of the City of Newburgh Police Community Review Board. The City of Newburgh established a Police Community Relations and Review Board (PCRRB) with the goal of community outreach and education. In addition to regular monthly business meetings, the PCRRB shall hold public meetings in each ward a minimum of once each year for the purposes of inviting and facilitating public discussion between the City of Newburgh Police Department and City residents regarding law enforcement and services, crime and crime prevention and community relations within the City of Newburgh. The PCRRB will also handling the filing of complaints. Complaints concerning police conduct shall be filed with the PCRRB and the City of Newburgh Police Department as provided in this subsection. Learn more about the PCRRB here: https://ecode360.com/10870770
Muhammad was nominated by Councilwoman Ramona Monteverde to represent Ward 2 on the seven-member board. “We had so many people wanting to be involved," Monteverde said. “Now we have seven passionate members. There was no leadership before.” Mayor Torrance Harvey has also been pushing for subpoena power for the community board, which the council finalized after a 20-minute discussion at Thursday’s work session.
While the City is actively engaged in bringing about change, the community is building, Muhammad is a member of Next Step Hudson Valley Coalition who's mission is actively seeking to end systemic racism, discrimination, and police brutality. Muhammad believes some officers might actually want the board to have subpoena power. That way, he said, an officer who reveals sensitive information before the board wouldn’t be seen as “telling” on other officers. “If you didn’t do anything wrong, but you’re afraid of this blue wall or you’re afraid of whatever, here’s a way out,” Muhammad said. “Come tell the truth, because you’re not going to purger yourself.”
According to the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE), police oversight can benefit not only the individual complainant, but also the larger community, police and sheriff’s departments, and even elected or appointed officials. The actual benefits that occur depend on how well the involved groups work together and the type of model implemented. The addition of subpoena power for the PSCRB would help enable transparency and accountability. This a critical step to ensure the PSCRB, as an independent oversight agency, would have the ability to obtain necessary information in order to be an effective overseer. If you're not at the table and demanding transparency and accountability you're on the menu wondering what is going on and who's in charge.
Ali for New York | @ali4newyork
Facebook post from Martha White:
This is LONG BUT WORTH IT. Please READ AND SHARE! I’ve heard a lot of people asking lately: Why bankrupt Newburgh homeowners with high taxes? Why cripple landlords with a combination of high taxes and rent caps?
Here’s the deal: Those consequences aren’t an unfortunate by-product: They’re the ENTIRE POINT.
Newburgh’s elected and appointed leaders have embraced the Ford Foundation-funded “4th Regional Plan,” a plan for housing, transportation, conservation, economic growth — the whole kit-n-kaboodle. There’s a link to the report at the bottom of this, but I’ll excerpt the key part here (on pg 25) and explain the development jargon in plain English. Read the below first.
“The Newburgh Land Bank, formed in 2014, played a critical role in rehabilitating hundreds of formerly blighted properties and supporting infill mixed-use development of vacant lots. Houses were made available to low- and moderate-income first-time homebuyers, and many apartment buildings were turned into affordable cooperatives or community land trusts with permanently affordable units.”
So. The Land Bank is the entity that winds up with a lot of the houses that get foreclosed on for back taxes, because the city council/CM have a habit of basically rubber-stamping their requests. This means: The more people that lose their homes because they can’t afford taxes, the more real estate the Land Bank can gobble up and then dole out to whomever at their discretion.
That’s bad enough, but for landlords, it’s worse: “Buildings were turned into affordable cooperatives or community land trusts with permanently affordable units.” Let’s break this down! What they’re really doing is taking real estate away from owners. And “affordable cooperatives” means they’re turning buildings from privately-owned into property that is held by a nonprofit (Heyo! More property off the tax rolls!) entity.
BUT WAIT — there’s more. Also on pg 25 of the report: “Newburgh even partnered with surrounding municipalities in Orange County to ensure development was concentrated in the city through transfer of development-right agreement that conserved land outside.”
Again, here’s a jargon-to-English translation: “Transfer of development-right agreements” means OTHER municipalities (think New Windsor, Cornwall, etc.) will be able to pay Newburgh to cram more people into our four little square miles so THEY can have more parks and pretty green space. That sounds crazy, right? Like, why would we agree to that? ...Well, we wouldn’t, unless we were SO cash-strapped that we had no other choice… (ohhhh… )
And suddenly, the erosion of the tax base looks like a deliberate tactic rather than happenstance. This is a big honking land grab, facilitated by Newburgh’s so-called leaders, that benefits the “philanthropic” poverty industry and our richer neighbors. And it’s not a mistake. It’s THE PLAN.
See the full post here: Martha White's Facebook post
Read more here: The Fourth Regional Plan
A teacher that can’t follow the rules is not a Mayor for the people. During this past Thursday’s City Council workshop, Mayor Harvey was asking for the demonstrators (our first responders) to be “dealt with” for peacefully protesting an egregious proposed tax hike and cuts, offered on his watch. But he can’t abide by the law himself. Harvey was electioneering at the early voting polling center (https://midhudsonnews.com/2019/10/27/area-residents-turn-out-for-early-voting/).
New York Election Law states while the polls are open no person shall do any electioneering within the polling place, or in any public street, within a one hundred foot radial measured from the entrances designated by the inspectors of election, to such polling place or within such distance in any place in a public manner; and no political banner, button, poster or placard shall be allowed in or upon the polling place or within such one hundred foot radial. (N.Y. Election Law § 8-104(1))
His harassing, bully behavior is not conducive to our community. Let’s utilize this election and demonstrate that his time is up! You have the right to cast one vote for Mayor. Cast your vote for me, on Line G. I will follow the rules, be accountable, and transparent, from day 1.
Where: City of Newburgh Activity Center, 401 Washington Street in the City of Newburgh
When: Early Voting: Sunday, Oct. 27 - Sunday, Nov. 3* and on Election Day Tuesday Nov 5th (6a-9p)
*Times vary during early voting for more info please visit: https://www.alitmuhammad.com/early_voting
During a City Council work session Mayor Torrance Harvey described a peaceful protest by city fire union members as dangerous and unprofessional. Harvey would go on to say "asking people to blow their horns, drowning out the work-session presentation about criminal justice reform and public safety, creates a clear and present danger, as well as a noise nuisance."
The only clear and present danger to our public is Mayor Harvey’s administration's negligent preparation and decision making.
Since being elected in 2015, Harvey has pontificated about more subsidized projects while abandoning OUR community. He’s delivered NO plans at all on the record that would create commercial economic development on the waterfront and Broadway, to lift up our entire community with tax resources. Now he is attacking OUR freedom of speech! In an article published in the Mid-Hudson Times Harvey said "People have the right to express themselves with free speech until their speech becomes limited and that is in the United States Constitution, which is the supreme law of this nation."
Mr. Harvey should study the the Constitution more closely if he is going to try to lecture the public and our children on it. The principle of “clear and present danger” does not appear ANYWHERE in the Constitution. The phrase was used in a Supreme Court case, Schenck v. the US (1919), in which the Supreme Court determined the circumstances under which free speech could be curtailed. The SCOTUS ruled that free speech could be limited when it proposes and imminent danger to the public.
Mr. Harvey’s self-serving and factually inaccurate interpretation of the Supreme Law of the Land is at least irresponsible and at most dangerous. Imagine if the same argument was used to suppress the March on Washington, sit-ins and freedom rides and other forms of civil disobedience that achieved so much during the Civil Rights Movement during the 1950’s and 60’s?
Support our first responders, support our city, support our neighbors, VOTE ALI ON LINE G on November 5th!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CITY OF NEWBURGH — As a former City Councilmember, I’ve voted no when needed. I’m proud of my environmentally conscious and humanitarian driven voting record. The bottom line in regard to the proposed Danskammer Power Plant is this: There’s no need to continue poisoning us — our community, our constituents, our neighbors — with fossil fuel emissions. If we have the options and opportunity to utilize a cleaner and more efficient form of energy, we ought to. If we care about the future of our city and the next seven generations, the answer toDanskammer is NO.
I’m proud of my former hometown, Beacon, NY, and Mayor Randy Casale, for making a statement opposing Danskammer. They joined 7 other Lower Hudson Valley municipalities, including Yonkers, to pass resolutions opposing the project. Our neighbors believe this would be a step backward in the marathon against climate change.
I’m over the City of Newburgh Mayor Torrance Harvey’s lackluster approach to public service. Quick to pass the buck or kick the proverbial can down the road, he’s quoted, “We are going to “meet those deadlines” and pursue those things. We are going to reach out to those “environmental agencies” to make sure our environment is clean and safe “from these toxins.
I have a few simple questions that we, the concerned citizens of Newburgh, NY want to be answered in the name of god government, transparency, and accountability:
1. When are the deadlines and are we on track to meet them?
2. What other environmental agencies have you worked with and where are you in your
efforts to “reach out to them”?
3. As Mayor and City Manager, how has your administration “made sure our environment
is clean and safe from those toxins”, in case the project is approved?
4. What are those toxins?
Mayor Harvey’s refusal to make a decision is a failure to lead. Regardless of a toothless charter that enables the City Manager to manage the city however they see fit. Our neighbors, friends, and family deserve public servants willing to lead and listen to the people. We ought to have a government that works for the people. The citizens of the City of Newburgh, the people, oppose Danskammer. It's time our City Council acts accordingly.
Contact: Campaign Manager David S. Quill +1 (845) 625-3352
Ali T Muhammad, a Newburgh resident works within the Hudson Valley advocating for community development through civic engagement and volunteering. Muhammad is a lifelong Democrat running for Mayor of Newburgh endorsed by the Orange County Independence Party (Line G). For more information about him and his campaign, visit www.alitmuhammad.com
While a few of our elected officials have had the unique opportunity to educate our youth on important values and help them achieve them, the past 3 decades have demonstrated us that these “Community leaders” do not value our young folk's lives or quality of life. It makes folks like myself question their body of work as “Community leaders”, inside and outside of the classroom, entirely.
In order to bring about change, we must change within ourselves. Our current City Officials continue to carelessly spend taxpayers dollars on technology (Spot Shooter Maintenance) to combat gun violence in a community with generational woes and traumas. This is like putting a band-aid over a 9-inch wound. Without even disinfecting it first...We’re not healing. We’re not rebuilding wholeheartedly. We’re covering up many issues that are nearest and dearest to our hearts. Continuing to kick them down the road.
Our next generations ought to have more. That’s our responsibility now because our youth and their families deserve better today.
February 5, 1928 - September 1st, 2019
"In March of 1965, a young Army major named Bill Larkin found himself in Alabama. His assignment — along with thousands of other soldiers, National Guard members and FBI agents — was to escort a march in support of voting rights from Selma to Montgomery. And just before the marchers stepped off on their 50-plus mile route, Larkin met the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”
I’ve had the opportunity to meet Former State Senator a few times in my life. Mainly at the Newburgh Armory. From what I knew and saw, he dedicated himself to his district and was a great example, in Albany, and at home. My love and condolences to the Larkin family. May you Rest In Peace Senator Larkin. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi, we belong to Allah (God) and to Allah, we shall return.
“Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” - Reverend Dr. MLK Jr.
Senator Bill Larkin -- The Record Online
Our city is at a crossroads. Public safety is a major concern for the people. This issue has been danced around through the lack of actions by the Harvey Administration. Talked about on social media although his voting record doesn’t reflect any plan. If he wanted crosswalks for example (as an avid biker...), the council would have passed the complete streets legislation in 2015 when he was first elected. Instead as a reactionary measure, Complete Streets was passed this past April. If implemented appropriately by our council, the $200k that Senator Skoufis’s Office secured for Summer help, could have gone to painting those much-needed sharrows (bike lanes). Or sidewalk improvement for instance.
Currently, our municipal government is being led by a Mayor, whose a professional entertainer that acts like a politician. We are being managed by a City Manager who is a politician and political appointment, not a public servant.
It’s a new day in Newburgh, New York. I am a visionary and servant leader, who takes pride in listening to my neighbors. I’m not here to make friends, I’m running to serve my neighbors and make our government work for us. If you have any suggestions on how we can revitalize our neighborhoods, please message here: Suggestion Box.
It’s time we heal our community, together.
“Think outside the box, for the people.”
If you know anything about Newburgh, New York, you know that the folks living here are some of the strongest humans ever. Some of the impactful issues facing our neighbors are high unemployment rates (4.9%), high ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) residents (76%), and a high violent crime rate that is at its lowest in years. As important as it is to lower the tax burden by attracting folks that can help build a tax base, we must invest in our neighbors. Lifelong Newburgh residents are already being displaced and have been since 2015.
We strongly need tax stabilization and a holistic approach to government. All of our neighbors need this support. This past weekend Chloe and I visited Ghent and Hudson New York. We shopped at a local farm store (btw Newburgh is a food desert). The Hawthorne Valley Association (non for profit) has a school and camp (Waldorf) on their campus, a biodynamic farm as well as farmer training, and housing. In all my years of organizing and serving, their concept and practice are the most holistic and socially conscious that I’ve encountered. Partnered with some of the excellent non for profits and local leaders in Newburgh, we could systemically impact our next seven generations for the good if we formed some kind of public-private partnership.
Sometimes it just takes an outside perspective and a willingness to know there are things we do not know, to benefit our community at large. Check out their website (https://hawthornevalley.org/) and contact me if you’re interested in figuring out a way to use some of our lands for the people. #Newburgh #Hawthornevalley #Peace #Unity #BuildOurCommunity
Our campaigns have never been about elections, we’ve always been focused on human connections. Immediate support is needed for our neighbors on Van Ness Street, Lutheran Street, City Terrace, and Carpenter Ave, in Newburgh, New York. Thank you Marcus and John for showing me around today and sharing your perspectives and insights. We’re grateful for the work you’re putting in daily!
Drug addicts, dealers, and ill individuals with no help or support have been pushed to these streets. Needles and crack pipes are what children are forced to walk over and play near every day in this environment. Many landlords on these streets aren’t fixing properties and they have the nerve to demand their money on the 1st of the month, with no exemptions. All while good standing and good natured folks that have lived in Newburgh their entire lives do their best to scrape by.
These are the issues that our neighbors are facing in the City of Newburgh. From their mouths to my ears. Humans need support. Our neighbors need support. The voices that you don’t hear, our neighbors that are unheard need our support now. Not on or after November 5th, 2019. These issues didn’t occur overnight and they won’t be fixed overnight. The only way to properly address these issues is by making real connections and working with the human beings that live right up or down the road from us. The ones that live inside the historic corners and corridors of our great city. From Broadway to South Street, near St. Lukes and Mount St. Mary’s, they are our forgotten brothers and sisters at risk of being displaced tomorrow. They need our support today. #Newburgh #Peace #Unity #InTheFeild