One of the Greater Harlem Coalition’s members received a letter from Zoraida Diaz, a District Director at OASAS. What is missing from her passing-the-buck response is any acknowledgment of how OASAS has spent decades overstaturating Harlem and East Harlem with addiction programs that other wealthier and whiter communities have successfully blocked. This super concentration of programs (and the men and women who attend them), has become a magnet for illegal drug sellers and caused a toxic decline in our quality of life in Harlem and East Harlem.
Acknowledging OASAS’s role in creating the situation we see on East and West 125th Street and down adjacent Avenues, would be a first step to addressing the roots of the systemic racism that has led to the intolerable conditions we experience every day on the streets of our community.
Sadly, OASAS offers no willingness to begin a conversation on how to end the oversaturation they are responsible for, and how to achieve fair share goals for all New York communities.