Two days ago, the paper got an email from firstname.lastname@example.org, detailing a day of action going on today, April 1st, at the corner of Willis Avenue and East 139th Street in the Bronx. At 2pm, the tenants in the South Bronx will converge to demand rent freezes as well as better living conditions during this international pandemic.
The Fordham and Belmont communities have had a long, tenuous relationship with each other, to say the least. As we know, Fordham University has a student body that is predominantly both white and from upper-class backgrounds. In contrast, Belmont is incredibly ethnically diverse and one of the poorest in New York City. Specifically, 31% of Belmont residents fall below the poverty line. This compares to a Bronx average of 25% and a New York City average of 20%. Additionally, the average income in Bronx Community Board 6, which Belmont is located in, is a measly $25,972. To put that number in perspective, the average income in Bergen County, New Jersey, where many Fordham students originally hail from, is about $85,000. The unemployment rate in Belmont is much higher than the national average. As of the last count, it was about 16%. This is more than 5 times the national average!
A woman hopped over the fence into the lion exhibit at the Bronx Zoo last Saturday, September 27th. Caught on video, her close contact with the big cats was posted across multiple Instagram pages, including her own. The woman’s video opens with her handing her phone to a man, saying “Yeah I’m about to climb over, I want to get closer to them.” The man responds with “you’re not supposed to do that.” which is unheeded by the trespasser. “Go ahead and fall in there. See what happens.” he adds. The lion takes notice of the woman, making eye contact and stepping slightly closer to her. The woman starts waving at the animals, while someone in the background asks if the man holding the camera knows her. “Can you tell her to get back? It’s probably not safe” “I told her, she don’t listen to me.” In another video, the woman is seen waving at the lion, calling out “Hi baby, baby! Hi I love you!”
This is not the article I thought I would be writing. After all, the federal government had been shut down for over a month, and a resolution seemed more distant than a stepfather in a 90s movie.
“I’m Cynthia Nixon, and I’m running for governor because I love you.” Accompanied by local activists, Cynthia Nixon passionately argues her case to become New York’s first female governor.
The Environmental Protection Agency is currently lifting limits on lead paint and asbestos. And, despite the allure of America’s favorite murderous foam, these new policies are potentially deadly for people in the South Bronx and other historically redlined neighborhoods.
The fire is the deadliest one to affect NYC since the 1990s.