Blogs :

Here is the recording of an important webinar with South Dakota State Senator Red Dawn Foster on the work of Return to the Heart Foundation, an Indigenous-led grantmaking organization that empowers women-led initiatives throughout Indian Country. https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=594420184612151 For Native Americans, Covid-19 has hit hard, from the growing number of infections in Navaho and Hopi Nations to the racism that the Lakota continue to face in protecting their borders. South Dakota State Senator Red Dawn goes into detail about how Native nations are staying resilient and how mutual aid can support their efforts.

 

For those of you who missed the presentation today, it was recorded in its entirety (one hour) and has been posted on our Facebook page and website. We had over 80 people attend the presentation.  There is clearly much interest in this subject.  For all of you who asked questions, I am forwarding to the presenters and you should be hearing from them soon.  You can watch the presentation here

The three presenters were:

Patti Wood is the founder and Executive Director of Grassroots Environmental Education, Inc., an award-winning science-based non-profit organization. A Visiting Scholar at Adelphi University, Ms. Wood lectures on the environment and related health issues in the College of Nursing and Public Health. She is the recipient of the 2016 national EPA Children’s Environmental Health Excellence Award, and is the author of “Helping to Heal,” a book for parents of children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.

 

Doug Wood is the Associate Director & Chief Strategy Officer for Grassroots Environmental Education, Inc., and the Founder and Director of Americans for Responsible Technology.  An accomplished filmmaker, Mr. Wood’s documentary films on environmental issues and children’s health have been widely acclaimed and used by organizations around the world to promote protective public health policies.

 

Dr. Devra Davis is the founder and president of Environmental Health Trust. She is the author of more than 200 studies and publications published in the Lancet, the Journal of the American Medical Association, Scientific American and the New York Times. Dr. Davis was the founding director of the Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology of the U.S. National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences, and former Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Health in the Department of Health and Human Services. 

What a magnificent awards gathering the WESPAC Community had last night!  Between the awardees and our keynote speaker, we were all transported to the realm of possibility and the world that we can make happen together!  Take a listen: https://www.facebook.com/WESPACFOUNDATION/videos/747136596090336/?vh=e

WESPAC 2020 Dinner Journal Final

The Antiracist Alliance, WCPR, the local chapter of NYCLU as well as WESPAC have worked together to put together this letter. We are asking for additional organizations, groups and congregations to please add your names if you support our list of specific reforms outlined in the letter. Now is the moment. If you agree, please sign on here June 5, 2020

A Call to Police Leaders

Communities across the country, including our own, are angered and appalled as we witness an unending stream of callous, disrespectful, and often deadly encounters between police and civilians. While many of these events occur elsewhere, both individual experience and published research reports tell us that there is not a community in Westchester County that is not afflicted by disturbing police-civilian encounters, racially biased policing practices, and a problematic lack of transparency by its law enforcement agencies. 

This is a call for you to make a firm and public commitment to transparency, accountability, and a zero-tolerance approach to police misconduct. 

While we are wary after decades of refusals to reform, we remain willing to partner with our law enforcement leaders who embrace the tenets of accountability, transparency, equal justice, and respect for all human life. 

Below you will find a list of specific reforms that we wish to see implemented immediately here in Westchester. Achieving these recommendations will send a strong message to all members of our community that our leaders are committed to fundamentally redefining the relationship between our police department and our community. This is tough work, but if we commit to it, we can build a stronger community: one that is rooted in the fundamental ideals of liberty and justice for all.

In peace and commitment to partnership for the safety of all,

Residents and organizations of Westchester County (list is still in formation):

AntiRacist Alliance 

Black Westchester

Blacks in Law Enforcement

CD17 Indivisible

Indivisible New Rochelle

Indivisible Scarsdale 

Indivisible Westchester Districts 6 & 7

Indivisible White Plains

Indivisible Yorktown Heights

Larchmont/Mamaroneck Indivisible

NYCD16-Indivisible

PISAB/The People’s Institute; for Survival and Beyond NY/Northeast

SURJ Westchester Coordinating Committee

WESPAC

Westchester Black Political Conference

Westchester Coalition Against Islamophobia

Westchester Coalition for Police Reform

Westchester for Change 

Westchester Martin Luther King Jr. Institute for Nonviolence

OUR EXPECTATIONS

We expect you, as leaders with authority and responsibility for law enforcement in Westchester County, to assume full responsibility for meeting the highest possible standard of accountability, transparency and equal protection to all residents and visitors to our county. Our specific expectations are detailed below. 

  • Make publicly available the current policies and patrol guides of all law enforcement agencies under County jurisdiction, including but not limited to policies on: de-escalation tactics, implicit bias, use of force, department diversity, enforcement of low-level offenses, field interviews, search and seizure, use of surveillance technology, and the penalties for violating these policies.

  • Make public the training materials used for police officers: including hours spent training on de-escalation, implicit bias, and use of force. 

  • Commit to collecting comprehensive data on all police stops – including the rationale for the stop and the race, ethnicity, age, and sex of people stopped – and making that data publicly available. 

  • Pass legislation/Require officers making police stops to provide an identification card, state the reason for the interaction, and to state that you may not be searched without your consent without probable cause. 

  • Pass legislation/Require a full, independent investigation into any police-civilian interaction that results in civilian injury or death. 

  • Advocate for legislation that would make the measures outlined above mandatory throughout New York State, including Repeal 50-a, (the law which currently cloaks police officers’ disciplinary records in secrecy), the Right-to-Know Act, which requires officer identification during police stops, and the Police-STAT Act, which requires that police departments collect and report data on police stops so that they can be monitored for patterns of racial profiling.

 We remain committed to working to advance racial justice and hold our police officers accountable, and we invite you to join us in this fight.

WESPAC has entered into a partnership with Keffiyeh masks. If folks purchase face masks here https://www.keffiyehmasks.com/ and type WESPAC in the coupon code section, WESPAC will keep 20% of the sale.

 

Now, more than ever, New Yorkers must stand united against fear and xenophobia, and our elected officials must stand ready to ensure every New Yorker across the state can access the essential services they need to keep their families safe and secure, regardless of legal status.

The New York Immigration Coalition, and our members, partners and allies, call on all levels of government to immediately enact these common sense measures to ensure immigrants across the state can remain safe and healthy.

 
This week, to collectively raise our voices around our federal needs, we will be engaging in a social media campaign and invite you all to join us. This toolkit contains messaging for the #NYUnited campaign asks at the federal level targeting Senator Schumer to take action to protect immigrant New Yorkers.
 
To amplify our efforts most effectively, please use the toolkit above to craft your message and post on your various organizational or personal social media pages during both dates & times below:
 

Day of Action #1 (Tier 1):  May 13th from 12:00PM-1:00PM

Day of Action #2 (Tier 2):  May 15th from 12:00PM-1:00PM

Feel free to share with your networks. 
 
In solidarity,
 
Vanessa

Vanessa Agudelo

Manager of Member Engagement- Hudson Valley

She/Her

Take a look at what the WESPAC Director is up to in this one minute video: https://www.facebook.com/groups/193230157949484

Good morning, all,

I am working with local, county and state authorities to create a pollinator pathway on the large grassy patch in front of the WESPAC office.  I will keep you posted as soon as the NYS Thruway Authority gives its final okay.  A big thank you to Anne Jaffe Holmes with the Federated Conservationists of Westchester County who has given me excellent guidance and has connected me to key people.  I am also grateful to Patricia Weems who has made excellent connections on our behalf.
 
If you are interested in donating your expertise or human labor to creating this pathway once the approval comes in, please let me know!  We are very excited about this project as there are so many benefits.   Municipalities all over the world are figuring out ways to reduce our consumption of fossil fuels with lawn mowing.  There are many, many secondary benefits to creating meadows and pollinator pathways including preserving micro diversity of local flora and fauna, protecting native plants and species, enhancing the health of our overall local ecosystem, increased nourishment for our local pollinators (without which we have vastly reduced food supply) and on and on:  https://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/dublin-in-bloom-city-thrives-under-new-wilding-policy-1.4235320

Food Pantries & Distributions
*Check www.feedingwestchester.org for their regularly updated calendar of food distributions
*Try to check by phone or internet first for all distributions, as things are changing often because of coronavirus.
To sign up for notifications of drive-thru food distributions across Westchester, you can register here with Feeding Westchester.
For the mobile food pantry, which offers fresh produce, dairy, protein and grains, click here for the calendar.
For special temporary distributions, click here for the calendar.
White Plains
White Plains Community Action Partnership
Madison House, 70 Ferris Avenue, White Plains, New York 10603
Emergency Food Pantry
Call (914) 428-7030 for information
White Plains – Lifting Up Westchester
Meals available 10:30-11:30 a.m. weekdays, including Thanksgiving Day, at Grace Church Parish Hall, Grace’s Kitchen, 33 Church St., White Plains; call Deborah Williams at 914-948-3075 Ext. 9310, email [email protected], or visit https://www.liftingupwestchester.org/food-outreach.
*Because of coronavirus, lunches will be in bags for takeaway.
First Seventh-Day Adventist Church
180 Juniper Hill Rd, White Plains, NY 10607
Doing two distributions per week. Arrive by car preferred, but they will also give food to those who come by foot. One bag of food.
Tuesdays 11am-12:45pm
Thursdays 1pm-2pm
New Rochelle
Hope Community Services
St. Gabriel’s Church
50 Washington Avenue, New Rochelle, NY 10801
Dial for food – 914-636-4010
Breads, fruits, rice, peanut butter, and other supplies are available. They also offer surplus USDA Commodities, like cheese or meat.
Saint Gabriel’s High School has on site the Hope Community Services Food Pantry
Address – 50 Washington Avenue
New Rochelle, NY 10801
Phone number – 914-235-2607
Food distribution hours: Alternate Wednesdays 9:00 Am – 12:00 Noon; Closed In August
Salvation Army New Rochelle Food Pantry
Supports all of Westchester County. Call for free food and other assistance.
22 Church Street, New Rochelle, New York 10801
Telephone number – 914-632-0381
Hours: 1st and 3rd Wed: 2:00- 4:00 PM
Boxes of groceries, referrals, and more is passed out. Other items include the Angel Tree Christmas toy program and Thanksgiving/Easter meals.
https://hitesite.org/resource/8652
Shiloh Baptist Church Food Pantry
185 Lincoln Avenue
New Rochelle, New York 10801
914-636-7440
Hours: 3rd Saturday Every Month 9:00 Am- Noon
Union Baptist Church Food Pantry as well as Soup Kitchen
438 Main Street, New Rochelle, New York 10805
Phone – 914-632-3627
Hours: 2nd And 4th Monday From 6:00 PM- 8:00 PM. The hours of the soup kitchen are Friday 6:00-7:30 PM
Get free food or referrals to local charities or nonprofits. They also offer Easter, Christmas, and Thanksgiving turkey dinners (for free) with all the toppings.
Mamaroneck
Larchmont/Mamaroneck Hunger Task Force, Mamaroneck CAP
Address: 134 Center Avenue, Mamaroneck, NY 10543
Call the food bank at 914-698-7140
Hours: Every 2nd & 4th Tuesday 7-8:30PM
2nd & 4th Wednesday 9Am-11Am
Bags of groceries, basic needs such as clothing, baby formula, and more is served.
http://www.lmfoodpantry.org/
Mamaroneck – St. Thomas Brown Bag Lunch
168 West Boston Post Road
Mamaroneck, New York 10543
914-698-0380
Hours: Tues; 11 Am – Noon
https://www.saintthomasmmrk.org/index.php/brown-bag-lunch/
*Call first to confirm if they will be open, but they hope to be, and those who come can take a bag of food home.
Mount Vernon
Bronx-Westchester Community Church
Center address – 358 South Ninth Avenue, Mount Vernon, NY 10550
Call the food bank at 914-663-1374
Hours: 2nd and 4th Saturdays From 2PM-4PM
https://networks.whyhunger.org/organization/view/16192
Grace Baptist Church Food Pantry
Address of the facility – 52 South 6Th Avenue, Mount Vernon, NY 10550
14-227-8828
Hours: Every Third Wednesday Of Month 1:00-4:00 PM
Some of what may be offered includes rice, cereal, canned juices, tuna, meats, peanut butter, bread, dairy and more.
Sacred Heart Food Pantry
115 Sharpe Boulevard South
Mount Vernon, NY 10550
914-668-7440
Hours: 1st Thurs Of Month-Seniors And Disabled 9am-Noon , 4th Thurs Of Month – Community 9:00 -11:00 am
Numerous amounts and types of food is passed out. Groceries, rice, breads, frozen items and more. Free holiday food baskets, turkey dinners, ingredients and more are offered too.
Saints John Paul And Clement Food Pantry
126 South Ninth Avenue
Mount Vernon, NY 10550
914-668-0551
Hours: Friday 8:30-10:00 Am (Closed July)
First Reformed Soup Kitchen
135 South Sixth Avenue
Mount Vernon, NY 10550
914-664-3846
Kitchen and food distribution Hours: Monday 5PM-7PM
A hot breakfast, lunch and/or dinner may be served.
Mount Vernon SDA Soup Kitchen
230 Columbus Avenue
Mount Vernon, NY 10550
914-664-8586
Hours: Sunday Noon-2:00PM
Free meals are served, including at Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
https://networks.whyhunger.org/organization/view/16198
Other Cities
Croton-Cortlandt Emergency Food Pantry
Food bank address – 19 Old Post Road South
Croton-On-Hudson, NY 10520
Call 914 271-3150
Free groceries and more is provided to qualified low income families.
https://www.foodpantryincroton.org/
Cortlandt Manor – Holy Spirit Food Pantry
1969 Crompond Road
Cortlandt Manor, New York 10567
Phone – 914-737-2111
Hours: 3rd Or 4th Monday 6PM – 8PM And Wednesday 10am – Noon
Harrison Community Services Food Pantry
1 Heineman Place
Harrison, New York 10528
914-670-3026
Hours are only Last Thursday 7:45am – 9:00am
(Call In Advance For Food Bags or to make an appointment). There may be pasta, baby formula, meat, baked goods and more.
https://www.harrison-ny.gov/community-services
Mount Kisco Interfaith Food Pantry, United Methodist Church Of Mt. Kisco
300 E. Main Street
Mount Kisco, New York 10549
914-977-3295
Hours: Tuesday 5:30PM-7:00PM, Wednesday 9:30Am-11:00Am
Immigrants and migrant workers are also welcome at this free food pantry.
https://www.mountkiscofoodpantry.org/
Don Bosco Community Center
22 Don Bosco Place
Port Chester, NY 10573 (map)
[email protected]
Tel: 914-939-0323 x11
Food pantry and soup kitchen – call first to confirm
Monday – Friday Soup Kitchen – 10:45 – 12:45pm
Tuesday/Saturday Food Pantry and Children’s Closet – Tuesday (8:00 – 10:30am) and Saturday (7:00 – 9:30am)