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VOL. 23 NO. 10


OUR TIME PRESS 7-13 March, 2019

BK Lawmakers Applaud Expansion of Women Monuments Across the City ■■


omen’s History month is starting off with some bronze, as the city’s First Lady Chirlane McCray  and  Deputy Mayor  Alicia Glen  announced four new monuments as part of the She Built NYC initiative. The initiative honors the trailblazing women who have helped shape New York City while addressing the absence of female statues in our public realm. The monuments will honor  Billie Holiday, Elizabeth Jennings Graham, Dr. Helen Rodríguez Trías, and Katherine Walker. According to the press release on the announcement the monuments will mark a critical step towards creating a more dynamic, diverse, and inclusive collection of permanent public artwork across all five boroughs. “Public monuments should tell the full history and inspire us to realize our potential – not question our worth. In honoring

Repeal The Blindfold (NEW YORK, NY) –– a coalition of labor unions, grassroots organizations, public defenders, criminal justice reform advocates, impacted New Yorkers, and others – applauded an opinion piece in the  Times Union  by Kings County District Attorney Eric Gonzalez in support of comprehensive discovery reform. Discovery is the process by which information and evidence is disclosed by prosecutors to the defense. “Kings County District Attorney Eric Gonzalez joins a chorus supporting comprehensive discovery reform, including wrongfully convicted New Yorkers; LGBTQ+; victim advocates; criminal defense attorneys; grassroots advocates; faith leaders; labor unions; and prosecutors from other states that have already changed their discovery rules. For over thirty years, most people accused of crimes and their defense attorneys in Brooklyn have had access to early and open discovery to make informed decisions about whether to plead guilty, and in many instances, effectively demonstrated their innocence. This practice helps avoid wrongful convictions, unjust incarceration, and court delays while balancing public safety. Rebutting the scare tactics of the District Attorneys Association of New York, DA Gonzalez wrote, “The safety of victims and witnesses is not compromised by our practice [of open-file discovery] and they are not discouraged from coming forward.” Meanwhile, people across the East River in Manhattan and in other counties throughout the state are denied crucial evidence on a daily basis and are forced to plead guilty or go to trial without having any police reports or other important information. Open-file discovery is a successful and proven model that can work in counties throughout New York. Other elected district attorneys and those aspiring to hold the office should come forward now in support of early, open, and broad discovery and support Governor Cuomo, the Senate, and the Assembly in passing discovery reform in the State budget.”

By Kings County Politics

Billie Holiday these four trailblazers today, New Yorkers will have the opportunity to see powerful women who made history receive the recognition they deserve,” said McCray. The four new monuments will be placed throughout the five boroughs: The monument to Holiday will be built in her home borough near Queens Borough Hall. Holiday lived in Addisleigh Park

and later in Flushing. She currently also has a theater named for her in BedfordStuyvesant’s Restoration Plaza. Billie Holiday (born Eleanora Fagan Gough, 1915-1959) is one of the most celebrated jazz singers of all time. Her career helped to define the New York “swing sing” jazz scene and to challenge racial barriers. One of the first black women to sing with a white orchestra, she struck out on her own to win fame with Strange Fruit, a powerful protest song about lynching, named by Time Magazine “the song of the century” (1999). Her career was recognized by four posthumous Grammys and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The monument to Jennings Graham will be placed in the Vanderbilt Avenue Corridor near Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan. Elizabeth Jennings Graham (1827–1901) challenged racial segregation a century before the modern Civil Rights movement. On July 16, 1854, the 27-year-old schoolteacher

Elizabeth Jennings Graham boarded a streetcar that did not accept African-Americans as passengers. When the conductor confronted her, she refused to leave until forcibly removed by the police. Graham used her education and connections ➔➔ Continued on page 10


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Profile for Mike Kurov

OUR TIME PRESS | March 7-13, 2019  

OUR TIME PRESS | March 7-13, 2019  

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