Tag public safety

City & State: Q&A with Richard Gottfried on Health and Hospitals

By City & State staff, 2/11/15

Q: Did any healthcare provisions in the governor’s budget stand out?
RG: From what I’ve seen so far, I would not support the hospital private equity pieces they are pursuing. There are good things in there. The governor is advancing proposals similar to what Sen. Gustavo Rivera and I are going to be advancing to promote easier access to clean syringes. Moving forward with advancing integrated delivery system that has to do with care-coordinating is important. It also needs to be done carefully. There are always details we need to watch out for and that’s what we’re beginning a very detailed analysis of now.

Q: What parts of the integrated delivery system need to be watched carefully?
RG: An integrated delivery system can easily become almost a feudal system with a big hospital as the lord and master and that has real peril for patients and for individual healthcare professionals. On the other hand, there are enormous advantages to an integrated system and to well-done care-coordination. So we need to make sure that as much as possible consumers have choice in what system they want to be a part of.

Q: Single-payer healthcare is still a top priority?
RG: Very much so. We are signing up co-sponsors on the bill, particularly among the freshman members of the Assembly. We now have a majority of members in the Assembly as sponsors. We are continuing to increase support in the labor movement and consumer groups and my goal is to have the Assembly pass the bill and reach a stage where, when New Yorkers think about what Albany ought to be doing, that universal health coverage is on everyone’s checklist. Getting the bill passed in the Assembly helps get us to that point. When we are at that point, making this a law becomes an achievable goal.

Gay City News: Dick Gottfried, Gustavo Rivera Push Clean Needle Legalization

By Nathan Riley, January 22, 2015

A legislative proposal in Albany to reduce stigma, curb police harassment of drug users, and improve access to clean needles demonstrated broad support at a January 15 press conference in Manhattan.

State Senator Gustavo Rivera, who represents part of the Bronx, and Chelsea Assemblymember Dick Gottfried, both Democrats, discussed legislation they will introduce that would completely decriminalize syringe possession and lift restrictions on their sale in pharmacies. Distribution of clean needles to drug injectors in New York City has helped bring new HIV diagnoses among that group down from thousands annually to 89 in 2013.

Among those on hand with Rivera and Gottfried was Tracie Gardner, who has served as co-director of policy at the Legal Action Center and last month was named an assistant secretary of health by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Capital NY: Bill Would Decriminalize Syringe Possession

Intravenous drug users would be able to purchase as many clean needles as they need and carry them without fear of police harassment under a bill proposed by Assemblyman Richard Gottfried and Senator Gustavo Rivera.

The bill, which would amend certain sections of the criminal and public health law, is a key recommendation of an anti-AIDS task force commissioned by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The task force’s ambitious goal is to limit the number of new AIDS cases to 750 per year by 2020. In 2013, there were 2,832 new cases statewide.

Times-Union: State, Jail Health Care Providers Settle for $200,000

By James Odato, September 24

A corporate health care provider used by three Capital Region county jails entered into an agreement with Attorney General Eric Schneiderman that requires it to pay $200,000 in restitution and penalties and submit to monitoring in 13 upstate counties.

According to terms obtained by the Times Union, the settlement between the attorney general and Correctional Medical Care resolves claims of dangerous practices as well as unsatisfactory and unqualified staffing that arose after six deaths of inmates in CMC’s care at five county lockups from 2009 to 2011. A probe found serious deficiencies that included unlicensed and inexperienced staff, understaffing, lack of medical oversight and failure to adhere to medical and administrative protocols.

The Villager: Speed on Houston St. Bowery, Sixth Ave. will be slowed to 25 m.p.h.

By Lincoln Anderson, August 7.

In the coming months, 14 more corridors — including Houston St., the Bowery and Sixth Ave. — will be added to the city’s growing number of so-called “arterial slow zones.”

The Department of Transportation announced the second batch of new arterial slow zones on Fri., Aug. 1.

The city’s first two arterial slow zones were launched in May, when it was also announced that Canal St. would also become one — Downtown Manhattan’s first slow zone — by June.

Photos: Night Out Against Crime in Chelsea & Hell’s Kitchen

In August I participated in the Night Out Against Crime events at Fulton Houses in Chelsea and in Hell’s Kitchen Park, where neighbors, community groups and people in law enforcement gather to support crime prevention efforts and celebrate the strength and diversity of neighborhoods.

In Chelsea, I talked with volunteers with the Fulton Houses Tenants Association, the local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), and other neighborhood organizations, and greeted the new Commanding Officer of the 10th Precinct, Deputy Inspector Michele Irizarry. I’m glad she is continuing the Precinct’s “Cop of the Month” program.

In Hell’s Kitchen, I caught up with volunteers for community-based organizations like the Ryan Chelsea/Clinton Health Center, thanked officers with the Midtown North Precinct for working to keep our neighborhoods safe, and spoke with officials from the Midtown Community Court about its important work, which has become a model for similar institutions around the nation and even the world.

I was particularly gratified to learn that the Court often uses a law I recently wrote. If a person is convicted of prostitution, and had been forced into prostitution by human trafficking, the law allows the person to have his or her criminal record erased. It enables the human trafficking victim to move ahead in life without the burden of a criminal prostitution record. It’s an important tool for our Midtown Community Court.

With the Ryan Community Health Network table at the Night Out Against Crime event in Hell's Kitchen Park on August 5, 2014.

With the Ryan Community Health Network table at the Night Out Against Crime event in Hell’s Kitchen Park on August 5, 2014.

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With Miguel Acevedo, President of the Fulton Houses Tenants Association

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With Miguel Acevedo, President of Fulton Houses Tenants Association, and Deputy Inspector Michele Arizzary, the new Commanding Officer of the 10th Precinct

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With Deputy Inspector Michele Arizzary, the new Commanding Officer of the 10th Precinct

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At the Night Out Against Crime event at Fulton Houses in Chelsea on August 5, 2014.

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At the Night Out Against Crime event at Fulton Houses in Chelsea on August 5, 2014.

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At the Night Out Against Crime event at Fulton Houses in Chelsea on August 5, 2014.

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Greeting a leader of Chelsea’s CERT team

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With Jeff Hobbs and Dipal Shah of the Midtown Community Court

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Greeting officers of the Midtown South Precinct

With 10th Precinct Community Affairs officers at the Night Out Against Crime event at Fulton Houses in Chelsea on August 5, 2014.

With 10th Precinct Community Affairs officers

At the Night Out Against Crime event at Fulton Houses in Chelsea on August 5, 2014.

At the Night Out Against Crime event at Fulton Houses on August 5, 2014.