I hope this email find you well and staying safe. These past few weeks have been a challenging time for us all, and I apologize for not communicating with you sooner. I just want to check in to see if there's anything you need and give you some resources that may help during this "new normal."
Whenever a crisis is prolonged, it's easy to think the danger has somehow subsided. Social distancing has helped flatten the curve, and we need to stay the course and continue to keep ourselves safe. I'm including a tutorial here about how to make a DIY face mask with no sewing or special skills required. Please do this or something similar! It will not only help you avoid inhaling the virus, but also prevent you from passing it on if you're an asymptomatic carrier. That said...
First, make sure that you're able to vote on June 23rd! Gov. Cuomo pushed the Federal Primary back by Executive Order, so elections for President, Congress, Senate, and State Assembly will all be on the same ballot this year. To have your voice heard, you MUST APPLY for an absentee ballot by calling 866-VOTE-NYC for a postage-paid application or downloading the form at vote.nyc. I can't stress this enough; if you don't submit an absentee ballot, your vote won't count!
I'm up against a 50-year incumbent who's never had a primary challenger, so make sure you help us make history.
This is a big one for all of us, myself included! Spending most of the day indoors is tough, and adding one or two (or more) people into the mix is a recipe for frustration. Add to that worrying about family and friends who may be sick, and it can be overwhelming.
That's normal, but there is help out there to mitigate some the of the stress and anxiety you may be feeling.
Headstrong Project provides cost-free, bureaucracy-free, stigma-free, confidential, and effective mental health treatment for post-9/11 veterans and their families. They're also offering a free tele-group session during the crisis, so that's still available for any veteran interested.
Access To Therapy For Emergency Services
For first responders and healthcare workers on the front lines, a group of mental health professionals have volunteered their time to support you! Take a pause to talk, to cry, to vent, to breath. Signup for free at www.truereloveution.com.
Headspace, a popular app for guided mindfulness meditation, has offered some of their content to New Yorkers free of charge. Those meditations can be accessed on their website at www.headspace.com/ny.
At the very least, make sure you're talking to someone. Pick a person in your phone's contact list and give them a call, just to say hi. Take a quick walk outside (wear a mask, please) to clear your head. Keep a routine; make the bed, take a shower, wear real pants. It sounds silly but trust me, it all helps.
If you need to file for NYS Unemployment Insurance, you can do so here. If you are self-employed, i.e. freelance or otherwise working in the gig-economy, make sure you follow these instructions on how to file.
Economic Impact Payment
Disabled veterans and civilians who make under a certain amount per year from disability payments do not need to file taxes. If you fall into this category and want to make sure you get your Economic Impact Payment, you can enter your information with the IRS here.
Through the Paycheck Protection Program, the SBA is providing small businesses loans to keep their employees paid during the shutdown. SBA will forgive the loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the loan funds are used for payroll and other designated operating expenses. Applications for the loan are processed through SBA 7(a) lenders. Click on the PPP application and go to the list of participating lenders to find a lender near you.
Artists and Freelance Workers Grants
Artist Relief, a new coalition of national arts grant makers who came together three weeks ago to protect the country’s artists in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, will distribute $5,000 grants to artists facing dire financial emergencies due to the pandemic. To be eligible for a relief grant, applicants must be:
Practicing artists able to demonstrate a sustained commitment to their work, careers, and a public audience;
Experiencing dire financial emergencies due to the COVID-19 pandemic;
21 years of age or older;
Provide a W9 and Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)—we will collect this information after you’ve been notified of your selection;
Residing and working in the U.S. for the last two years;
Not a full-time employee, board member, director, officer, or immediate family member of any of the coalition partners;
Not previously awarded a relief grant from this fund.
New York Foundation for the Arts has a host of links and resources available to help artists of every discipline during this time.
The American Theatre Wing has established a $250,000 fund to support productions cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Emergency Fund Survival Fund for LGBTQ2S Artists, Performers, and Tip-Based Workers is a fund to help LGBTQ2S people who cannot pay for food, medicine, rent, and necessities because most of their income doesn't come from an employer.
The Public Theatre has converted their website to digital content for the general public in the wake of COVID-19.
The Public’s 2019 Shakespeare in the Park production of MUCH ADO &The Gabriels are both available for streaming for free via WNET.
Joe’s Pub Live! Archive streaming (every Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 8pm).
The Metropolitan Opera's Live in HD series is being made available for free streaming on the Met website, with each performance available for a period of 23 hours, from 7:30 p.m. EDT until 6:30 p.m. the following day. The schedule will include outstanding complete performances from the past 14 years of cinema transmissions, starring all of opera’s greatest singers.
If you have any other resources, or things you like to see in our newsletters, let me know. The past few weeks have been a lot to deal with and we're all making it through in our own ways.
If you need anything, please don't hesitate to reach out to me and I'll do whatever I can to see that we all get through this safely and together.
Stay strong, stay safe.
Candidate, NY State Assembly Pronouns: He/Him/His www.dangorman4ny.com