Government agencies, courts, resource guides

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Government

8/1/2020 The City Planning Commission will start holding remote meetings in August. This will allow developments that create affordable housing, jobs, health facilities, resiliency projects and more to move forward after a safe and inclusive public review. Information about how to participate in public hearings is available at NYC Engage www1.nyc.gov/site/nycengage/index.page, the newly launched portal to facilitate public engagement in remote hearings. The first remote CPC meetings will be a Review Session on August 3, followed by a Public Meeting on August 5. During Review Sessions, the CPC discusses new applications that are about to commence public review, holds post-CPC-hearing discussions on applications and votes on City Council modifications. For Public Meetings, the CPC typically holds public hearings and votes on applications.

4/1/2020 City Agency Service Updates www1.nyc.gov/nyc-resources/city-agency-service-updates.page

4/18/2020 Gov. Cuomo issues Executive Order Allowing New Yorkers to Get a Marriage License Remotely.

3/31/2020 The City launched the Help Now Portal www1.nyc.gov/site/helpnownyc/index.page for individuals and organizations who need help and want to help. The portal connects New Yorkers who need help to resources on employment, benefits, seniors, food security, NYCHA residents, mental health, and education--and to also give those who want to GIVE help a way to do so.

4/19/2020 ACCESSNYC is a city-run portal for NYC residents to determine their eligibility for more than 30 economic programs and benefits. https://access.nyc.gov.

Community Board 5 committee meetings will take place remotely. Check their calendar: www.cb5.org. Manhattan Community Board Five (Luke Szabados, Luke@cb5.org) is asking businesses to email their 30-Day Standardized Notice Forms and application materials for alcohol licenses rather than sending them through the mail to avoid small delays.

Community Board 6. Meetings are canceled for the rest of March. The CB6 district office is closed and will operate remotely. cbsix.org. Email help@cbsix.org or info@cbsix.orgLiquor License Applicants: email all 30-Day Notices to BASA@cbsix.org.  Coronavirus Website Page https://cbsix.org/update-on-coronavirus-covid-19/

Council Member Keith Powers's office will continue to be closed to constituent walk-ins and essential meetings will be held virtually. Staff and Council Member Powers will be available to take your calls and answer your questions. Mobile office hours are postponed for the month of March. Please reach out kpowers@council.nyc.gov with any needs and questions.

3/24/2020 All 12 Manhattan Community Boards have been provided Zoom teleconferencing accounts by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer's office, and will be able to conduct full board meetings, committee meetings and other necessary multi-participant conferences. These sessions will be posted for the public's participation on each Board's website. Her office will also conduct monthly Borough Board and Borough Service Cabinet meetings using this same web-based meeting tool. Community Boards will continue to be supported by the civic technology nonprofit BetaNYC.

4/11/2020 Related information: For those using ZOOM, there have been recent concerns about mischief and violations of privacy. ZOOM has fixed problems in its updates. Knowledgeable sources urge you to update your ZOOM software.

Councilwoman Carlina Rivera. Offices are closed, but they are working remotely. Email District2@council.nyc.gov

NYC Council Member Keith Powers' COVID-19 web page https://council.nyc.gov/keith-powers/resources/covid-19-updates-and-information

The Attorney General of New York, Letitia James, has created a resource page where individuals can find guidance on Coronavirus and warnings about consumer scams https://ag.ny.gov/coronavirus.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney's office will remain reachable via phone and email. All staff will begin telework on Monday, March 16 and all meetings will be moved to telephonic or electronic communication. All offices will be physically closed. Constituent casework will continue uninterrupted. For any urgent matters, constituents can still call the Manhattan office at 212-860-0606 or email urgentNY12@mail.house.gov. The Sergeant-at-Arms has closed the Capitol Building to all public tours, among other restrictions.

Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)

7/30/2020 When in-person service resumes at the DMV, reservations will be required. The new reservation-only policy will help limit visitors and maintain social distancing. Reservations will be available only for services that cannot be conducted online or by mail or drop box. Visit dmv.ny.gov/reservation to reserve a time. The following services are currently available through mail or drop box: Registrations and license plate transfers, License plate surrenders, Sales tax only transactions, License and registration renewals (also available online), Replacement of lost documents (also available online), Address change (also available online). For more information on online, mail-in and drop box services, visit: dmv.ny.gov/more-info/dmv-reopening-guidance

7/6/2020 Department of Motor Vehicles. Limited in-person transactions began at DMV locations across New York City. Driver licenses, non-driver identification cards and vehicle registration that expired on or after March 1, 2020 were extended, along with vehicle inspections that expired on March 31, 2020. The enforcement deadline for the REAL ID has been extended to October 1, 2021.  

5/31/2020 The NYS Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will resume limited remote services, beginning Monday, June 1. State-run DMV offices in the five boroughs of New York City will begin to process vehicle registrations and other transactions by mail, and beginning June 4, will accept transactions through secure drop boxes located at each office. County Clerks that operate DMV offices in the remaining 51 counties of the state are advised to follow the State DMV’s timeline and guidance for reopening. For specific information about services offered by county-operated offices visit dmv.ny.gov/dmv/dmv-office-locationsExtension of Expired Documents: All driver licenses, non-driver identification cards and vehicle registrations that expired March 1, 2020 or after and vehicle inspections that expired March 31 or after were previously extended and continue to be extended. All documents and instructions are available on dmv.ny.gov.

Department of Motor Vehicles. For those looking to renew their driver’s license online dmv.ny.gov/driver-license/how-renew-license, the DMV has announced that eye tests are now allowed from any doctor or optometrist’s office that is open, not just those normally approved to submit to the DMV directly. Find a vision test location dmv.ny.gov/vision-registry-locator. Learn more dmv.ny.gov/driver-license/vision-requirements-restrictions.

Social Security has closed all of its offices to the public. Many services are available online at socialsecurity.gov. Help is available over the phone call 1-800-772-1213. Visit Social Security’s COVID-19 web page at socialsecurity.gov/coronavirus 

4/8/2020 Office of Rent Administration (ORA) and Tenant Protection Unit (TPU) of the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) under The Rent Stabilization Law, The Emergency Tenant Protection Act, and the New York State and City Rent Control Laws: hcr.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2020/04/advisory-op-2020-1.1-final-version.pdf

New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) is scaling back on many services, including: Vital Records If you have an emergency request please call 311 or email nycdohvr@health.nyc.gov. you can order certificates online at: nyc.gov/vitalrecords or by mail.

Landmarks Preservation Commission: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, LPC has temporarily closed its office at 1 Centre Street, but continues to provide services by email and phone. On April 21, 2020, they resumed public hearings and meetings. LPC is holding virtual public hearings/meetings by livestreaming them on YouTube and via Zoom. LPC Hearings page www1.nyc.gov/site/lpc/hearings/hearings.page.

4/8/2020 New York state judges will virtually reopen their courtrooms to pending lawsuits and criminal cases on Monday, using new remote video capabilities to unfreeze dockets for “nonessential” actions that were stalled by the shuttering of physical courtrooms during the coronavirus pandemic, Law360 reports.

Governor's office updates sign up at: now.ny.gov/page/s/coronavirus-updates

NYC coronavirus updates: NYC.gov/coronavirus

All City Council Meetings can be viewed online on the City Council website at council.nyc.gov/livestream. Those who wish to testify must pre-register in advance on the website at council.nyc.gov/testify. NYC Council legislative and budget hearings calendar (remote) legistar.council.nyc.gov/Calendar.aspx

5/9/2020 The Office of the City Clerk has released Project Cupid, a tool for getting your marriage license online in a few simple steps projectcupid.cityofnewyork.us/app/cupid#/display/5ea1d0bda46ab1020e1659f4.

5/16/2020 The NYPD will no longer arrest people for not wearing masks in public, and will focus on enforcing social distancing around gatherings, particularly large gatherings.

Housing Court Answers hotline will be operating from Monday through Friday 9am to 5pm. Any folks with questions about court or evictions can call 212-962-4795 for more information.

NYCHA encourages households experiencing a loss of income to visit the NYCHA Self-Service Portal. The HPD Section 8 Customer Service Office at 100 Gold Street is closed until at least March 30th, but the HPD Section 8 team is available by email at DTRAI@hpd.nyc.gov or fax 212-863-5299 for assistance. 

Met Council on Housing tenants’ rights hotline is open to answer questions by calling 212-979-0611. The hotline is Monday and Wednesday 1:30 pm - 8:00 pm, Tuesday 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm, and Friday 1:30 pm - 5:00 pm

The Department of Youth and Community (DYCD) website https://www1.nyc.gov/site/dycd/services/DYCD-funded-programs.page.

VOLS Elderly Project Legal Hotline. Seniors age 60+ in need of legal assistance, as well as their social workers, health care professionals, and caregivers, should contact Peter Kempner, Legal Director & Elderly Project Director at Volunteers of Legal Service (www.volsprobono.org) directly by phone or by email if they are in need of legal assistance: (347) 521-5704 pkempner@volsprobono.org 

July 7, 2020, nydailynews.com, by Molly Crane-Newman
Grand jury proceedings and other in-person court matters to resume in NYC in August [On Aug. 10]. New York residents summoned for jury duty in the coming months will be subjected to COVID-19 screening and must wear masks inside at all times. Acrylic barriers have been installed in certain areas in the courthouse and social distancing will be enforced, OCA [Office of Court Administration] said. The courts are also set to resume in-person conferences of felony cases where the person charged is not in custody, and hear various criminal matters not deemed essential — such as plea hearings and desk appearances. Expanded in-person proceedings will also include a small number of bench trials in civil matters.

Suspension of Jury Trials. If you have been summoned for jury duty, beginning on March 16th and continuing until further notice your service has been suspended at this time. You will hear from the courts in the future with another date for service.

New York City implements virtual court proceedings
March 24, 2020, timesunion.com, by Brendan J. Lyons
New York City criminal and family courts are shifting to "virtual court operations" due to the COVID-19 pandemic...The city's criminal courts will ...use videoconferencing platform Skype for Business...Family Court proceedings...will take place via video and teleconferencing.

Justice Department Closes Most Immigration Courts After Demands From Staff
March 18, 2020, gothamist.com, by Beth Fertig, WNYC

3/13/2020 Gov. Cuomo suspended parts of the state's Open Meetings Law with an executive order. New ways will have to be found to keep the government running during the pandemic without jeopardizing public health and while maintaining transparancy and accountability.

3/25/2020 ULURP timelines and LPC hearings have been suspended, but the Department of Buildings (DOB) has NOT paused the clock on zoning challenges; and the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) is continuing to hold hearings. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer wrote to Mayor de Blasio requesting that he put both of those items on pause. 5/11/2020 The ULURP timetable continues to be suspended to 5/15/2020. However, the City Council and many Community Boards are taking up projects that underwent prior phases of review before the suspension.

5/7/2020 Open streets application: Organizations who are interested in hosting an open street may apply at surveymonkey.com/r/nycopenstreetscommunityrequest. Note: Submitting an application does not guarantee acceptance into NYC Open Streets program. Email openstreets@dot.nyc.gov with questions or concerns.

Federal government resources and information

For the most up-to-date information about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, its common symptoms, and measures you can take to prevent its spread, please visit www.coronavirus.gov.

To learn more about how you can help those affected by the coronavirus, including information regarding the need for medical supplies or equipment, please visit www.fema.gov/coronavirus/how-to-help.

If you or your business have been impacted financially by COVID-19, learn more about resources available to you at irs.gov/coronavirus-tax-relief-and-economic-impact-payments.

Visit the Small Business Administration’s website to find information regarding relief programs for those affected by this pandemic sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today launched the COVID-19 Response Resource Center to provide stakeholders and other interested parties with improved access to USPTO initiatives, programs, and other helpful intellectual property (IP)-related information regarding the COVID-19 outbreak uspto.gov/coronavirus/uspto-covid-19-response-resource-center. The USPTO invites the public to submit recommendations or suggestions for the USPTO to consider as it assists the IP community. Please email comments to COVIDcomments@uspto.gov.

Resource guides

NYC Resources page for those who may be unemployed due to COVID-19 or are seeking additional assistance: nyc.gov/site/em/resources/covid-19-services-resources.page.

State Senator Brad Hoylman's COVID-19 Resource Guide

State Senator Liz Krueger's resource page lizkrueger.com/novel-coronavirus-covid-19.  Her email is lkrueger@nysenate.gov or call 212-490-9535.

City Hall's master list of resources manhattanbp.nyc.gov/masterlist 

Councilwoman Carlina Rivera's web page council.nyc.gov/carlina-rivera/covid-19-updates.

5/12/2020 The City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) launched its Driver Resource Center, offering drivers services including legal services, financial counseling, health and mental health referrals, and support with applying for public benefits. portal.driverresourcecenter.tlc.nyc.gov

Guidance

6/1/2020 Dentists can reopen on June 1. Interim Guidance For Dentistry During The COVID-19 Public Health Emergencygovernor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/DentistryMasterGuidance.pdf.

6/1/2020 Comprehensive CDC reopening guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/php/CDC-Activities-Initiatives-for-COVID-19-Response.pdf

5/15/2020 CDC's Guidance for Where You Live, Work, Learn, Pray, and Play cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community.

5/7/2020 CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html.

NYC COVID-19 Guidance for Business Owners and FAQs https://www1.nyc.gov/site/sbs/businesses/covid19-business-tips-faqs.page.

Comptroller's page for small business https://comptroller.nyc.gov/services/for-the-public/covid-resources/small-businesses/

4/2020 Guidance for Charitable Nonprofit Organizations Facing the Challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic, issued by the Office of the New York State Attorney General Charities Bureau
https://www.charitiesnys.com/pdfs/charitiesbureauguidance.pdf.

5/8/2020 SBA Guidance for Small Business Loans sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources

Part 2 of a 2-part series: The Pandemic, Personal Privacy & the Law
May 14, 2020, cooperator.com, by Adam Leitman Bailey, John M. Desiderio
The Legal Rights of Residents...While much of the guidance around staying home, social distancing, and wearing masks has been presented in the form of ‘recommendations’ or ‘strongly suggested,’ the fact is that occupants of New York City buildings who are infected with the coronavirus and who do not self-quarantine under the existing social distancing rules and guidelines may be subject to mandatory quarantine under NYC Administrative Code §17-104, which spells out measures to prevent the spread of disease. According to NYC Administrative Code, §17-106, If a person who is “apparently or presumably sick of any communicable disease,” but refuses to self-quarantine is reported to the New York City Department of Health, that person is subject to inspection by “any officer or employee of the department,” and could then potentially be subject to detention in a public hospital...[T]here appears to be general consensus among real estate attorneys that management may disclose the fact that persons infected with COVID-19 are residing in the building, but should not identify specific infected individuals...aside from management’s obligation to report any COVID-positive residents who either fail or refuse to self-quarantine, management would be wise to not implement or take any action that treats an infected resident differently from his or her neighbors. Persons with communicable or contagious diseases are deemed handicapped or disabled persons under federal law. Read Part 1: cooperator.com/article/residential-building-laws-the-covid-19-pandemic.

Resources for the LGBTQ  community

Call the SAGE Hotline at 877-360-LGBT (5428) Talk and be heard at the SAGE LGBT Elder Hotline. They connect LGBT older people who want to talk with friendly responders who are ready to listen. If you are an LGBT elder or care for one, call the free SAGE Hotline, toll-free, at 877-360-LGBT (5428). The Hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in English and Spanish, with translation in 180 languages and managed by SAGE’s partner, United Way Worldwide.

What Trans People Need to Know about Coronavirus (COVID-19): transequality.org/covid19

Volunteers to help local & state governments

Hundreds pledge to help state, local government solve coronavirus challenges
March 24, 2020, statescoop.com, by Ryan Johnston
A loose network of more than 1,000 data scientists, user-design experts and civic-minded technologists — called the U.S. Digital Response for COVID-19 — formed last week to aid state and local government agencies in the fight to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. The group posted a notice on its website asking state and local government agencies to ask for coronavirus-related help. usdigitalresponse.org

Virtual Volunteer Opportunities: Does your organization have virtual volunteer opportunities, like phone-banking, virtual mentoring, or other projects volunteers can help with from their homes? NYC Service can help recruit volunteers. Create an account or log into your organization profile to post volunteer opportunities on nyc.gov/service today!

 

 

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