On the heels of this singularly terrible year, Bushwick Daily needs your help.
Through the pandemic, primaries, protests and everything else, Bushwick Daily’s reporters and editors were committed to producing neighborhood news that informs, enlightens and uplifts. Our work was done as we faced our own hardships.
Like so many of our friends and loved ones, Bushwick Daily starts 2021 bowed but not broken. We’re clear-eyed about the challenges that lie ahead for our city, for our neighbors, for Bushwick Daily’s fellow local businesses. For all that is to come, we want to be here for you.
We want to cover the impact, in Bushwick, of vaccine distribution rollout, New York state’s rapidly evolving eviction policies and the coming round of small business loans. We want to bring you stories of Bushwick residents’ extraordinary resilience and courage; to solemnize local tragedies and celebrate, when they arrive, turning points signalling the end of the pandemic and the end of the related downturn.
We want to be your faithful correspondents, helping you make sense of how decisions in Washington, Albany, City Hall and corporate boardrooms affect life in our own corner of north Brooklyn. But we can’t do it without you.
If you are able, please consider becoming a monthly paying contributor. Support us and join the fight to save local journalism.
We want to earn your support. To show you we plan to do that in the coming year, we took a look back at our work in 2020 to see what we wrote, and what you read. We believe the stories speak for themselves and show how we served our readers during an unprecedented crisis.
Below, we’ve identified the five major story categories our top 100 stories fell into. Take a look for yourselves—we hope you’ll agree with us that they show our impact and convince you to become a sustaining Bushwick Daily member so we can continue to earn your readership in 2021.
The George Floyd protests
As Bushwick residents—and indeed, untold thousands of New Yorkers and Americans—took to the streets in June to protest the death in police custody of unarmed black Minnesotan George Floyd, Bushwick Daily kept readers updated with details about the ongoing protests details and context on the ongoing demonstrations.
The extraordinary performance of this coverage is a testament to the trust Bushwick Daily readers put in the site when it comes to reliable information concerning local events.
Bushwick Daily’s protest updates allowed the site to serve as a point of entry for many people seeking resources concerning the ongoing demonstrations in New York City as the actions burgeoned in the early summer—leading to, among other things, the repeal in Albany of New York state law shielding police disciplinary records from public scrutiny.
In an election year unlike any other, Bushwick Daily reporters provided insightful coverage of the logistics of voting in a pandemic, candidates for Congress, state legislative races, and even the unusual dustup that occurred as candidates vied to fill one of the two city council seats representing a district including part of Bushwick.
2020’s primary elections took place as incumbent lawmakers faced arguably some of the greatest policy making challenges posed to New York politicians in decades, including hospital systems strained past capacity, soaring unemployment rates, a looming eviction crisis and the shuttering of countless local businesses.
Each of these challenges has shown how unequally New Yorkers are affected by the pandemic. Politicians—both those in office and those who were trying to prove to voters they could be trusted to represent Bushwick in the corridors of power— were forced to confront that inequality, even as tough negotiations lie ahead concerning the state’s unparalleled budget shortfall.
Bushwick Daily is poised to continue the momentum into 2021, which will see a mayoral election and unusually high turnover in the City Council. The state and the city will soon be hard at work seeking federal funds from a new administration in Washington, and the outcome of those efforts will have a huge impact on city services, public transportation, and countless other aspects of life in Bushwick.
Pandemic service reporting
The pandemic upended our lives in innumerable ways. As we worked to make sense of it all, we were also working to figure out what it would mean for our readers, and how we could all contend with the painful new circumstances so many of us found ourselves in.
We did our best to cover resources available locally to the unemployed, including both those who until recently had had more traditionally structured jobs and those who freelanced or worked in the arts, as many Bushwick residents do.
We covered the state’s eviction moratorium, and the covid rent relief program. We covered local coronavirus testing sites as they opened, and we covered the ways in which lockdown orders affected our neighborhood.
Pandemic heroes in Bushwick
Hard times are when you hope people will be their best selves—and so many denizens of Bushwick have indeed performed extraordinary acts of compassion and bravery since the pandemic hit. Bushwick’s mutual aid group, comprising countless locals who donated their time, money and other resources to be there for their community, exemplifies pandemic kindness.
Bushwick healthcare workers labored through nightmarish circumstances this spring, some of them in care facilities that were already overburdened and underfunded. And at least one local business folded as it threw its all into feeding the hungry, knowing it was the right thing to do. It was our privilege and honor to cover these stories, among others.
Local businesses persevering, providing (safe) joys—and new businesses:
In normal times, Bushwick businesses, some old, some new, many of them independently owned, provide local jobs and serve as gathering places where locals form friendships, grassroots organizations, creative collaborations, and countless other bonds.
No one would argue that the loss of third places represents the pandemic’s worst toll, but like the cancellation of the summer’s parades, the closure of museums, and the citywide pause of live performance, the sudden disappearance of things that are first and foremost endeavors to create joy and camaraderie was its own unique kind of loss.
Signs that local businesses have weathered the storm so far serve as reminders that less turbulent days lie ahead.