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State Mass Vaccination Site to Open at RCC

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ROCKLAND COUNTY, NY – Rockland County to finally get a mass vaccination site at Rockland Community College.

They will begin taking appointments tomorrow at 8 AM on the state’s vaccine website. The site will be up and running by Thursday of this week.

Governor Cuomo also announced today that starting Tuesday, April 6 at 8am, all New Yorkers age 16+ will be eligible to schedule and receive the COVID-19 vaccines.

And beginning tomorrow at 8am, all New Yorkers age 30+ will be eligible to schedule and receive the vaccines.

Reactions 

Congressman Mondarie Jones

“For months, as New York State opened dozens of state-run mass vaccination sites all across New York, Rockland County was left behind — until now,” said Congressman Jones. “After repeated calls by myself and my colleagues in the state legislature for Governor Cuomo to take action, Rockland is finally getting a mass, state-run vaccination site. It was unacceptable that the people of Rockland, which has the overall highest rate of COVID-19 infection in the state, have gone this long without their own vaccination site. I said this to Governor Cuomo directly by phone in early February, and my staff has been working hard for months to convey to the Governor’s staff the urgency of Rockland needing its own mass vaccination site. I’m grateful for the partnership of my colleagues at the state and local level in our fight to correct this injustice, and I’ll keep working to ensure an equitable and efficient vaccination effort across our congressional district and beyond.”

State Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick

“I am grateful that Rockland County will finally be home to a state-run mass vaccination center. After months of lobbying the State Department of Health and the Governor’s office, and introducing legislation to make it happen, New York has finally decided to put a state-run mass-vaccination site in Rockland, at Rockland Community College. This long overdue decision will have a tremendous positive impact on ensuring equal access to the COVID vaccine for Rockland residents. I urge all eligible Rocklanders to sign up for a vaccine appointment as soon as possible so we can finally put this pandemic behind us.”

Assemblyman Mike Lawler 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on Rockland County, hurting our families, businesses, and community. Along with my colleagues in the state legislature and local government, we have been advocating for months for the state to establish a mass vaccination site in Rockland County, where we have experienced some of the highest COVID-19 infection and death rates per capita in the state.

Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski 

“After months of demanding that a state site be established in Rockland County, I am incredibly happy to announce that this week, we are finally home to a mass, state-run vaccination site at the RCC Fieldhouse. The site is expected to open Thursday, April 1st and residents can begin making appointments at 8AM tomorrow, Tuesday March 30th. Vaccines will be distributed seven days a week, 8AM-7PM.”

County Executive Ed Day

“The opening of Rockland Community College as a mass vaccination site will have an immediate impact on our county as we continue to grapple with one of the highest infection rates in New York State. I appreciate all of our residents and the local elected officials who spoke out in support of our efforts of opening a mass vaccination site and I thank the Governor and his staff for listening to our concerns and stepping up to help protect the people of Rockland.”

 

We are making progress in our battle against this disease and with the increased availability of vaccine through this site we expect a significant benefit to local residents. I encourage Rocklanders to take advantage of this opportunity to get vaccinated right here in their home county; we spent months fighting for this site and now we must put it to use

Government

“Meet Our New Human Rights Commissioner” By Rockland County Executive Ed Day

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Without question Rockland County is a “melting pot” of diverse cultures and ethnicities which is exactly why my administration made sure to not rush the process of filling the critical position of Human Rights Commissioner.

We took our time combing through candidates to find the most qualified individual to protect the human rights of our residents.

That search started with an extensive recruitment process through multiple avenues including online job sites, the County of Rockland website, with assistance from the Human Rights Commission, members of the County Legislature, and many other
community members.

Once we gathered a list of leading candidates, we had them interviewed by a panel of top human rights advocates, which unanimously recommended that Spencer Chiimbwe move on to the next step of the interview process.

Most recently, Spencer worked for the County of Rockland as a Grants Specialist for our American Rescue Plan Act Department assisting local organizations and communities navigate the sometimes-complicated grant application processes. But as I share more of this Stony Point man’s background it will be easy to see why he is being appointed to this position.

Throughout his career, Spencer worked in an array of positions that solidified his fundamental understanding of government, which is crucial in this role.

He spent several years working at the ACTION Support Center, securing grants from entities like the Ford Foundation.

He spent several years working in the New York State Senate conducting legislative research and drafting policy documents.

He volunteered for Congresswoman Nita Lowey assisting with constituent services and connecting with community stakeholders.

Spencer spent 5 years working with the United African Congress inspiring community engagement and participation around key issues like health care, domestic violence, education, and empowerment.

He also served as Vice President for the When In Need Foundation, a humanitarian and philanthropic nonprofit working with disadvantaged communities.

All that experience is just the tip of the iceberg for Spencer.

I am confident his extensive experience working across cultural lines will aid him in his new role.

We expect our Human Rights Commissioner to be omnipresent, establish trust, and be proactive in helping residents facing discrimination of any kind.

My appointment of Spencer Chiimbwe as our next Commissioner has been submitted to the Rockland County Legislature and I look forward to celebrating his confirmation in the coming weeks.

I remind our residents that no one person, one department, or one group, can get the job done. The collective ownership and responsibility of protecting human rights starts and ends with every one of us.

We must all commit, as a County, to stand united against any form of hate or discrimination that surfaces.

* Column written by Rockland County Executive Ed Day.

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Rockland County Announces Senior of the Year Awards

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POMONA, NY – County Executive Ed Day and Office for the Aging Director Martha Robles honored two super seniors in Rockland Thursday for their longtime community service to helping others.

Winsome Downie Rainford was named 2022 Senior of the Year for dedicating her life to helping others overcome challenges. Rainford spent 42 years teaching political science while also serving on the Board of Directors of the Martin Luther King Multi-Purpose Center in Spring Valley. Winsome has also been an active member of the United Methodist Church since 1984, a Helping Hands Homeless Program volunteer, an officer in the Jamaican Civic and Cultural Association of Rockland (JAMCCAR) since its founding 32 years ago, and continues to serve as JAMCCAR’s Parliamentarian and on its Scholarship Committee.

The second honoree Mamta Arya was awarded the 2022 Outstanding Contribution by a Senior Citizen. Arya has called Rockland County home ever since she immigrated here from India in 1976. After earning her master’s degree, she spent 15 years working with people with mental illness, substance abuse, and special needs. With a passion for helping others, she went on to launch her own non-profit “Jeevan Jyoti.” The organization offers free services to seniors including learning new skills or how to take care of their aging body and mind six days a week.

“These recipients are an inspiration to us all,” said County Executive Ed Day. “And a reminder that regardless of where you come from you can make a difference.”

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