An investigation on the part of the New York Post has revealed that a nonprofit organization that was recently created to be advocates for communities in Harlem is run by people relationships with elected officials.
Evidence has been uncovered that shows the group New York 4 Harlem, is not the grassroots organization that it billed itself to be and is in fact connected with state representatives. This has caused the true intent of the nonprofit to come in question.
This is problematic for the organization because laws for the state of New York prohibit the group from involving themselves in campaign activity.
The controversy centers around a fundraiser held last month at Sylvia’s restaurant that was at least partially organized by Assemblywoman Inez Dickens. Dickens was very open about the matter on a Facebook page she operates and also alerted the public that the event would be attended by other influential members of the political scene in Harlem.
In the post, Dickens requested supporters to donate from $500 to $5000 and added that donations be mailed to a Harlem address that was associated with a Dickens’ campaign consultant, Darren Rigger.
The group also sponsored a trip to Albany this past Saturday for an event put on by a group of black and Puerto Rican Legislators. The flier that advertised the event included photos of a quartet of Harlem politicians which included Dickens.
Shana Harmongoff, the contact person for the event is a staffer that is employed by the office of Senator Brian Benjamin. Harmongoff referred questions pertaining to the matter to Londel Davis, who also earns a salary of $4000 a month as a campaign strategist for Dickens. Donel Davis, who is the twin brother of Londel, is a treasurer for New York 4 Harlem.
Dickens has maintained that she has no power of control over the organization and did not play a significant role in the creation of the group. A statement from Dickens explained that New York Harlem 4 is “just another group.”
One long-time participant in the Harlem political scene disagrees with Dickens and calls the group “Inez’s thing.” The source is definitive in estimation that Dickens is the ringleader of the group and feels that Dickens is seeking to make a play for the power that was vacated by Charlie Rangel with his retirement.