New York City is launching a new $10 million campaign aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus in the Big Apple’s hardest-hit neighborhoods, days after releasing stats that showed the pandemic was disproportionately hurting minorities.
“What we’re announcing today is a new campaign and this one is laser-focused on the communities that have been hardest hit and where the disparities are the greatest,” de Blasio said Monday at a City Hall press conference. “We’ve got to reach out in a really compassionate, open manner.”
The ad campaign will focus on the 88 hardest-hit ZIP codes in the city and will include advertisements in 15 different languages, robocalls and flyers mailed directly to homes.
It follows an $8 million campaign the city launched in March that aimed for a broader appeal to the general population, which included ads in English and Spanish.
The media and outreach blitz comes nearly a month after New York City shut down in a last-ditch effort to slow the spread of the deadly disease — and follows weeks of criticism that City Hall was failing to provide the public with crucial information about its response to the disease and which communities were being hit hardest.
Both the city and state Departments of Health finally released tallies last week that showed that black and Hispanic communities in New York City and across the rest of the state were being hit far harder by COVID-19 than their white and Asian counterparts.
In the Big Apple, the statistics revealed that Hispanics and blacks are dying at roughly twice the rate of whites, raising new questions about the city’s response and its outreach in minority communities — and leading de Blasio to promise the renewed outreach effort.
Additionally, de Blasio announced Monday that he is asking Albany to give renters an additional break by extending the moratorium on evictions until 60 days after the coronavirus state of emergency ends and to allow tenants hit by pandemic-related job cuts to have up to a year to pay their back rent.
De Blasio has also requested state lawmakers allow landlords to use a tenant’s deposit to cover missing payments and ordered the city’s rent board to order rents be held flat for Gotham’s roughly one million rent-regulated apartments.
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