More or Less: Notes to Our Next Mayor
During the fall of 2021, More Art hosted More or Less: Notes to Our Next Mayor — a series of three conversations inviting community members to discuss the most pressing needs of New York City residents: shelter, food, and health. As new leadership enters City Hall, these conversations have culminated in an open letter to the new administration, providing a list of demands in order to prioritize underserved populations in New York City. As part of our At the Table – Dialogue + Art series, the conversations — On Food with guest artist Candace Thompson; On Shelter with Betty Yu; and On Health with Jeff Kasper — brought together activists, artists, and community members across the five boroughs to craft this document to Mayor Adams.
On Food with guest artist Candace Thompson.
October 26, 2021
As part of our first At the Table gathering in our More or Less: Notes to Our Next Mayor series with Candace Thompson of The C.U.R.B., we spoke On Food (access, justice, sustainability). Food is often the center of a community, of a neighborhood, of New York City, yet New Yorkers already living precariously prior to the pandemic were hit particularly hard by the 2020 pandemic. How do we ensure the integrity of our communities and their access to this basic need?
Thank you to Essex Street Market for hosting our On Food conversation.
On Shelter with guest artist Betty Yu.
November 14, 2021
For our second segment of More or Less: Notes to Our Next Mayor, we were joined by artist and activist Betty Yu to speak On Shelter. We discussed community land trusts, preventing tax breaks for luxury developments, and what a livable NYC could look like.
On Health with guest artist Jeff Kasper.
December 6, 2021
We wrapped up our At the Table fall series by speaking On Health with guest artist Jeff Kasper. From community health clinics, specialty care centers, and the nation’s first supervised injection site, we discussed that many New Yorkers are unaware of the care available in their own neighborhoods. Where do you go for care? Is this well-publicized and accessible? How can the city and our individual communities inform us and our neighbors about what’s available to us?
As new leadership enters City Hall, the above conversations On Food, On Shelter, and On Health have culminated in an open letter to the new administration, providing a list of demands in order to prioritize underserved populations in New York City.
From the letter: “We are writing today after many conversations over many months with our community of artists, activists, educators, community organizers, immigrants, new New Yorkers and lifetimers to address the crucial, intersecting issues of guaranteed access to food, health and housing for all New Yorkers. Inspired by the grassroots efforts of organizers, activists and artists to provide much-needed care for their communities during the pandemic, we are determined to continue advocating for the City’s underserved populations and demand your new administration prioritize their well-being with a series of policy reforms.”
culminating panel discussion.
February 10, 2022
To wrap up our fall series of At The Table, More or Less: Notes to our Next Mayor, we hosted a culminating panel discussion following the launch of our open letter to hold Mayor Adams and his administration accountable for ensuring access to basic needs for all New Yorkers.
We were joined by guest artists Candace Thompson, Betty Yu, Jeff Kasper, Nathan Hunter (Bronx based educator and land steward), Amy Ellenbogen (therapist; founder – Conspiring for Good; Center for Court Innovation), Michael Higgins (Senior Housing and Sustainability Organizer, Brooklyn Movement Center) in a discussion of the open letter, our process, and the work that needs to be done to ensure an equitable future for all New Yorkers.
Watch the panel below.
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Find more information on the guest artists and organizations mentioned in our At The Table discussions and culminating panel at the links below: