Weekly Advocacy Alert, September 23: City Council Hearing on Culture!

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Weekly Advocacy Alert, September 23: City Council Hearing on Culture!


Weekly Advocacy Alert, September 23: City Council Hearing on Culture!

Submit Written Testimony at the City Council: Committee on Economic Development Jointly with the Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations Hearing on Thursday, September 24, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. EST.  
     a. Learn more at legistar.council.nyc.gov
      b. Register to submit testimony. Written testimony may be submitted up to 72 hours after the hearing has been adjourned.


1. Updates on Federal:
     a. A group of Democratic and Republican lawmakers from the House of Representatives worked together to make a plan for COVID-19 relief: 
          i. The plan proposes $500 billion in aid; extended unemployment benefits of $450 per week for eight weeks; another round of $1,200 direct stimulus payments; funding for testing, SNAP & WIC, rental assistance, schools, childcare, election assistance, and the Postal Service.
          ii. Calls for a second round of Paycheck Protection Program loans, expanded flexibility, and simplified forgiveness, as well as $50 billion for the Employee Retention Tax Credit
          iii. The plan includes the 2020 Census Deadline Extensions Act (S. 4571) bill that would extend two key statutory deadlines for the 2020 Census by four months and require the Census Bureau to continue field operations through October 31, 2020
          iv. You can call or email Congress to tell them about how COVID-19 has changed your life, for example your housing, services, health, school, or work. Every call and email matters.

     b. Download Dance/USA #Dance2Vote tool kit! Share information to ensure dance artists, dance professionals, supporters of the arts, and the general public have accurate information about voting during the November 3, 2020 elections and know the relevant issues impacting the dance industry and the arts sector. 


1. Sign the Nonprofit Position on Rent Relief and NYS legislation:
This letter supports meaningful rent forgiveness, rent relief, reimbursement for loss of rental income, resources for administration, community resources and relief for workers. 



2. Sign the Open Letter from NYC Small Business Owners to State and City Leaders: The Western Queens Small Business Coalition has written an open letter to NYS Governor Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl M. Heastie, Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Council Speaker Corey Johnson regarding urgent matters threatening small businesses. 



3. The deadline for health insurance special enrollment has been extended through December 31, 2020. New Yorkers without health insurance can apply for coverage through the NY State of Health Marketplace, by phone at 1-855-355-5777, or by connecting with a free enrollment assistant. 

4. The moratorium on commercial evictions is extended until October 20th. This extends protections already in place for commercial tenants and mortgagors in recognition of the financial toll the pandemic has taken on business owners, including retail establishments and restaurants. 

5. One of the greatest concerns of this pandemic is making sure all New Yorkers have access to food. No New Yorker should go to bed hungry. To find a food pantry that services your county, visit ny.gov/foodbanks.

6. Updates on COVID: 
     a. On September 18th, the percent positive rate dropped to 0.88 percent. 
     b. If you are experiencing COVID symptoms or believe you were exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID, get tested. Find a testing site near you.


1. Take the Census by September 30th
     a. In NYC only 62% of ppl have filled out, that is a loss of 38% in funding! There is only ONE week left! Tell your friends and family to complete the census by September 30! 
     b. Each New Yorker represents $3,000 in federal funding each year. Our city’s share of $675 billion in federal dollars each year is at stake.
     c. If we are undercounted, we will lose seats in Congress, which means a           weaker voice in Washington on decisions that affect our future on local and state levels.
     d. If you have already completed the census, please take 10 minutes to email, text, or call family and friends - especially those in NYC - to ensure that they have also filled it out.


Or call 844-330-2020


2. Register to Vote by October 9th
     a. The NYC Board of Elections (BOE) recently launched two new online portals for absentee voting ahead of the November 3 General Election on its Vote NYC website: one that allows residents to apply online for a mail-in ballot and another that allows applicants to track their ballot online.
    b. If you aren't registered to vote, or need to change your voter registration address, visit https://elections.ny.gov for more info. 

3. Dance/NYC hosts weekly dance field-wide calls to address our questions, needs, and plans for the future as a field. Calls occur every Thursday, 4:00 pm. – 5:00 p.m. Register!


• Dance/NYC Coronavirus Preparedness Resources.
• Dance/NYC Racial Justice Resources 
• Join the movement: #ArtistsAreNecessaryWorkers

Visit dance.nyc/news for more information.

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