City Hall, NY: A coalition of activists, service providers, and drug policy reformers will take to the streets to escalate their campaign for safe consumption spaces, based on the Mayor’s stalling on the release of the long-awaited safer consumption spaces (SCS) feasibility study. The Mayor and the First Lady broke their promised April release deadline, even after months of pledging that the City Council-commissioned report would be released “soon.” Speakers will focus on the overwhelming evidence in support of SCS as a lifesaving intervention and how the overdose crisis has had a devastating impact on their community.
What: Rally–Community Responds to Release of the SCS Feasibility Study
Where: Broadway Entrance of City Hall
When: May 2nd, 10 am
Details: For over three months, activists and advocates have held actions and teach-ins, attended town halls, rallied elected officials in support, and met with City Hall to urge Mayor de Blasio to release the feasibility study commissioned by the City Council in 2016. The Mayor has repeatedly stated that SCS are very “complex,” with his recent statements suggesting his concern on this issue lies with managing law enforcement Mayor de Blasio has not spoken publicly about the significant body of research showing SCS to be a profoundly successful public health intervention that have the potential to save thousands of lives.
As the Mayor delays, New Yorkers are dying of overdose at a concerning rate: 1,374 people died of overdose in New York City in 2016, and our city is on track for an increase in 2017, marking the 6th year of increases.
A wide array of public figures vocally support safer consumption spaces and have called on the Mayor to not only release the feasibility study but also implement them immediately in NYC: former Mayor David Dinkins, one of Mayor de Blasio’s mentors; City Council Speaker Corey Johnson; Council Member Stephen Levin, Chair of the General Welfare Committee; Council Member Diana Ayala, Chair of the Mental Health, Disabilities, and Addiction Committee; Council Member Mark Levine, Chair of the Health Committee Former Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields; and the New York Times Editorial Board. Additionally, key NYC officials have signaled their support, with Health Commissioner Dr. Bassett stating, “I think the public health literature is clear” and NYPD Commissioner O’Neill stating, “This is about the sanctity of human life, keeping people safe, making sure that people stay alive.”