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Green Taxi Drivers Grapple With the Collapse of Their Industry

Plus: New York activists rally in Albany to support low-cost health care coverage for undocumented immigrants

Fisayo Okare

Mar 04, 2022

Sing, a taxi driver from India, is struggling to make ends meet during the coronavirus outbreak. Photo: Amir Khafagy

This summary was featured in Documented’s Early Arrival newsletter. You can subscribe to receive it in your inbox three times per week here.

Nancy Reynoso, a 50-year-old mother of three and grandmother of four, became New York City’s first green taxi driver in 2013, fixing her AA001 permit number on a Toyota Camry that carried her family’s dreams. Now, she is turning in her Taxi and Limousine Commission license plates and the permit that allowed her to pick up street hails in upper Manhattan and the boroughs. There were only a little over a thousand green taxi drivers at the end of January this year — a decrease of 85% from May 2015, when that figure was north of 7,000. Green taxis have had a slower recovery from the pandemic-driven collapse compared to other vehicles for hire, though its collapse comes alongside the broader fallout among yellow taxis. The City

In other local immigration news…

Activists rally for health care coverage for undocumented immigrants

Activists with the New York State Immigration Coalition gathered in Albany on Wednesday and called on lawmakers to pass the “Coverage For All” health care bill. The plan would allow qualified undocumented immigrants to enroll in New York’s “Essential Plan,” a low-cost option without a monthly premium. The bill would expand coverage to 400,000 people who currently do not qualify due to their immigration status. “We cannot continue to have our community, who is on the front lines fighting back COVID, on the front lines of keeping our state going, excluded from healthcare,” said Murad Awawdeh, executive director of the coalition said. Assemblymember Richard Gottfried, a sponsor of the bill, said New York has a large budget surplus this year, which could make it a good time to change the law. New York Now

NYPD Seeks Help Tracking Man Suspected of Assaulting 7 Asian Women in 2 Hours 

The New York Police Department is seeking help from the public to help track a male suspect in the case of seven Asian women who were attacked in New York City within two hours last weekend. The department’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating. Victims ranged in age from 20 to 57, were left with several injuries including swelling and cuts on the face. The attack comes after anti-Asian crimes in New York more than tripled in 2021. “All of us … are trying to address this, both the immediate harm and the fears of our community but also long term, the work that we need to be doing to address systemic racism,” Cynthia Choi, co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate and co-executive director of Chinese for Affirmative Action, told Axios. Axios

New York Republican urges support for Ukrainian refugees

Inna Vernikov, a newly elected Republican member of the New York City council and a Ukrainian immigrant, has been channeling support for New York City’s Ukrainian American community despite her party’s tense relationship with immigration. Vernikov has used social media to solicit donations for refugees fleeing violence and lauded city efforts to help more Ukrainian-Americans get their family members to safety in New York. An immigration attorney and former Democrat, Vernikov ran for Brooklyn’s council as an avowed supporter of former President Trump, whose administration worked to slash refugee admissions. The City

Fisayo Okare

Fisayo writes Documented’s "Early Arrival" newsletter and "Our City" column. She is an MSc. graduate of Columbia Journalism School, New York, and earned her BSc. degree in Mass Comm. from Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos.




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