Harlem Community Protests Potential Smoke Shop Near Heaven’s Tiny Tots Daycare Learning Center

April 5, 2024

The Harlem community is poised to make a powerful statement as residents, elected officials, and advocates come together to protest.

The community is coming together to protest the potential opening of a smoke shop disguised as an Organic Convenience Store next door to Heaven’s Tiny Tots Daycare Learning Center. The protest is scheduled for Friday, April 5, at 11:00 AM sharp, in front of Heaven’s Tiny Tots Daycare Learning Center at 2185 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd, between W. 129th and W. 130th Street.

Harlem Councilman Yusef Salaam and Tanesha Grant, CEO of Parents Supporting Parents NY and Moms United For Black Lives NYC will join Silent Voices United, Heaven’s Tiny Tots Daycare Learning Center, other elected officials, and members of the outraged Harlem community in boycotting the proposed establishment. “This united front aims to deliver a resounding message: ‘Cease Establishing Smoke Shops Adjacent to Our Children’ within our community.”

The potential opening of this smoke shop, disguised under false pretenses, poses a significant threat to the safety and well-being of our children. We call upon Governor Kathy Hochul to enforce and update drug-free school zone laws, organize a city task force with Deputy Mayor of New York City Public Safety Philip Banks III to address the proliferation of these illegal establishments and issue an executive order halting the opening of smoke shops, dispensaries, organic convenience stores, and any other legal or illegal establishments selling cannabis, weed, hemp, or other drug products in close proximity to daycares, youth programs, and schools in Harlem.

The community has voiced concerns over the presence of a telephone kiosk on the corner of West 130th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd due to drug activity. The addition of a smoke shop disguised as an Organic Convenience Store on the same corner would exacerbate the situation, putting the residents and children at Heaven’s Tiny Tots Daycare Learning Center in danger.

Recent headlines detailing murders and robberies linked to similar establishments underscore the urgency of our protest. While Harlem Community Board 10’s 2024 Cannabis Smoke Shop Resolution addresses Harlem resident concerns and the existing legislation, the “SMOKEOUT ACT” on the table in Albany, spearheaded by Queens Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar, there is a critical need for amendments to address the dangers posed by these establishments operating near our children.

The Harlem community stands as #ONEHARLEM, united in our resolve to protect our children and preserve the integrity of our neighborhood. Join us on Friday, April 5, as we raise our voices and demand action.

For media inquiries or further information, please contact:

Tiffany Fulton, Silent Voices United, Executive Director, 646-645-9110

Silent Voices United, Inc.

Silent Voices United, Inc., is a community organization dedicated to advocating for the needs of youth and the concerns of Harlem residents. Through outreach, education, and grassroots activism, Silent Voices United strives to empower community members and ensure their voices are heard in matters affecting their lives.

Photo credit: 1) Tots (right). 2) Poster.

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