Senator Hoylman said, “In the middle of the worst public health crisis of our lifetimes, our government should be leading by example in providing remote options for participation in community meetings to protect vulnerable New Yorkers from infection. Earlier this summer, with public safety issues a major concern for many of our constituents, I helped lead a letter among my elected colleagues to the NYPD urging precincts to offer at least a call-in option at all community meetings moving forward.”
“While we received an encouraging response from the NYPD promising changes in August, it is extremely unfortunate that precincts are still holding in-person meetings with no remote accessibility. The NYPD must make good on its commitment and provide remote access for community meetings. Our residents should not have to choose between protecting their health and joining their neighbors to discuss issues of public safety,” Senator Hoylman continued.
On June 29, 2020, Senator Hoylman sent a letter with numerous colleagues to the NYPD Chief of Patrol Fausto Pichardo expressing concern about large in-person community meetings on public safety that were held without a call-in option, contradicting the then-current gathering directives of Governor Cuomo’s Executive Orders and phased reopening protocol.
Joining Senator Hoylman was Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, State Senator Brian Kavanagh, State Senator Liz Krueger, State Assemblymember Harvey Epstein, State Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick, State Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou, State Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, NYC Council Member Carlina Rivera, and NYC Council Member Helen Rosenthal.
Chief Pichardo’s response letter stated that he would permit remote access for subsequent Build the Block meetings, which are meant to help bridge the gap between communities and local police officers. To date, these meetings have not had a remote option.