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March 2020

[caption id="attachment_21870" align="aligncenter" width="842"] Evan Brooks, 50, at a digital literacy workshop in Queens. Photo by Joaquim Salles.[/caption]   When Creig Robinson went to prison for robbery in 2005, most Americans still relied on dial-up connections for their internet. The iPhone would not be released for another two years and Facebook was a hot new start up with six million users. Eleven years later, when Robinson came out, he felt like he was on another planet. “Everything was computers and internet,” he said. “Everybody and their mother walked down the street with a phone like it was a permanent attachment to their arm.

A new city policy may soon offer both small business owners—and pedestrians— some relief. If the Mayor’s Office of Operation and city Law Department approves the proposal, the policy would give business owners the chance to have certain fees waived if their business opens its bathroom up to the public. The program is awaiting the Mayor’s Office of Operation and the city Law Department’s review and approval.  The program will waive fees that arise from 47 different violations of city law including posting prohibited signage and failure to have information in English. These included violations come with a fee between $75 and