Showing posts with label Bill De Blasio. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bill De Blasio. Show all posts

Sunday, September 10, 2017

A campaign stop for Mayor de Blasio in Tompkins Square Park

Mayor de Blasio stopped by Tompkins Square Park today as part of a campaign stop ... where he was joined by Carlina Rivera, who is running for City Council in District 2...

The NYC primary election is Tuesday. The Lo-Down has a voter's guide on all the candidates running for City Council in districts 1 and 2 here. As for the mayoral race, The Villager endorsed Sal Albanese, who emerged as de Blasio’s most serious opponent.

Photos by Derek Berg

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Report: Details emerge about the city's plans for HDFC buildings

More details are emerging about Mayor de Blasio's plan to impose new regulations on nearly 1,200 privately owned co-ops, including a number in the East Village.

The co-op buildings are part of the city’s Housing Development Fund Corp. (HDFC) program, which gives homesteaders ownership of blighted buildings, along with certain conditions and enticements, per the Post, where the story was Page 1 on Sunday (with the headline "Man of Steal.")

Per the article:

The private co-ops were once derelict buildings in neighborhoods like Harlem, Washington Heights and the Lower East Side that the cash-strapped city sold to residents beginning in the 1980s for as little as $250 per unit. The city was happy to off-load the headache properties, which had been abandoned by absentee landlords or seized from tax deadbeats.

Over the years, the homesteaders banded together to create livable apartments, and at the same time revitalized blighted neighborhoods.

Now, the city wants to seize control of what have become valuable assets, and livid residents are preparing for a legal war to stop it.

While many of the co-op buildings have prospered, the city says 27 percent of them are in "significant distress" from mismanagement and other issues.

According to the Post, with de Blasio’s proposal, two years in the making, the buildings would sign 40-year agreements with City Hall that would put them under the watch of a nonprofit monitor that the city would choose, and the co-op would pay for.

Several Manhattan City Council members are asking the city — specifically Maria Torres-Springer, the incoming Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) commissioner — to hold off on the process to "ensure real meaningful input" from co-op residents.

"There was virtually no consultation with HDFC shareholders as this regulatory agreement was being crafted, and it was essentially sprung on them after it was already completed,” Council member Corey Johnson told the Post. (The paper called de Blasio's planning "Stalinesque.")

Critics contend this is merely a political move to boost the mayor's affordable housing numbers. Per the Post: "De Blasio has pledged to create or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing in 10 years — and the controversial plan would add 30,000 units to his inventory."

A spokesperson for the mayor said that said the proposal was meant to protect HDFC co-ops.

One EVG reader and co-op resident recently summed up the situation this way:

This new proposed Regulatory Agreement is overreaching and would result in a loss of autonomy and decision-making abilities that benefit HDFC buildings, as well as costing individual shareholders hard-earned equity.

The new rules include a 30 percent flip tax on all units when they sell; the requirement of hiring outside managers and monitors at our expense; a ban on owning other residential property within a 100-mile radius of New York City; and more draconian clauses. Community meetings to discuss the agreement have been contentious and hostile, and so far not one HDFC in the entire city has publicly supported the plan. Very few HDFCs in the city need financial help and we strongly oppose a "one size fits all" regulatory agreement that will cost us money, resources, and most important, value in our home equity.


The problem was that HDP wrote the Regulatory Agreement without any input from HDFC shareholders. When we caught wind of what was happening, we were able to force a community meeting, with the help of Council Member Mendez's office. They have since held a handful of meetings but say they are moving forward within the next couple of months. They are also not giving a clear timeline, which of course has many of us panicked.

For more background, you may visit the HDFC Coalition website here. There is also a petition here.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Meeting on Jan. 17 for shareholders living in HDFC buildings

CB3 will hear HPD presentation on HDFC regulatory agreement this Wednesday night

Monday, November 21, 2016

Mayor de Blasio calls for unity during anti-hate rally at Cooper Union this morning

Mayor de Blasio spoke at Cooper Union's Great Hall this morning to continue spreading a message of unity in NYC.

Per the Daily News:

De Blasio ... said it's important for New York to be at the forefront of a burgeoning anti-Trump movement because this city has always been a beacon of opportunity all over the world.

He urged the crowd — which twice gave him a standing ovation — to "always be proud of our values."

"The president-elect talked during the campaign about the movement that he had built. Now its our turn to build a movement, a movement of the majority," he said.

You can read a full transcript of his speech here ... including remarks by First Lady Chirlane McCray. Other speakers were FDNY chaplain Rev. Ann Kansfield, Rabbi Joseph Potasnik and NYPD chaplain Imam Khalid Latif.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

[Updated] Prepping for the mayor's arrival in Tompkins Square Park

[Photo by Derek Berg]

Mayor de Blasio is expected in the Park today at 1... we hear it's about an outreach program for the homeless...

[Photo by EVG reader Ronnie]

You may watch the livestream here.

Or you can be like Ese ... and bring your own cushion in and find a nice spot to sit...


Updated 12:30 p.m.

A Park worker told an EVG reader: "The mayor's coming to talk about the homeless and they moved all the homeless so he wouldn't see them."

And the Park regulars were absent from the freshly cleaned area around the chess tables by East Seventh Street and Avenue A ...

[Photo by Steven]

...and the Mayor making his way from the Park...

[Photo by Steven]

Updated 5:30 p.m.

The Post reports that Avenue A and Park regular Jerry got the boot from the Park. (The Post refers to Jerry as a "drunk vagrant.")

“Politicians suck!” shouted Jerry Foust, 41, who had grabbed one of the blue folding seats in the East Village park set up for the mayor’s Tuesday afternoon press conference in hopes of hearing how he planned to improve life on the streets.

“I want to see what the mayor had to say about homelessness because I’m homeless and I want to f–king help homeless people,” he said.

But around 1 p.m., two cops approached Foust and booted him from the park, where he regularly hangs out and which is a haven for homeless encampments.

Foust said he was told to leave because he was taking swigs out of a bottle of gin, but was not issued a summons for an open container.

5:35 p.m.

The Mayor was there to announce that the city's Home-Stat program was now fully operational. Per the Mayor's office:

Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced over 500 workers are helping homeless people move from the streets of New York City to shelters with an array of services now that the Administration’s new HOME-STAT initiative has been fully staffed. The Mayor also announced that beginning May 2, the City will be adding three new homeless counts, in addition to the annual Homeless Outreach Population Estimate (HOPE Count).

“HOME-STAT represents an unprecedented response to street homelessness in New York City. Today, we are doing even more to count and connect homeless people to care. Every homeless person had a path to the streets. Each one needs to find a path back from the streets. It is our responsibility to help them get there, and we will continue these efforts until we reach each person. The only way to do that is to literally walk the streets.”

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Media coverage of Mayor de Blasio's affordable housing plan getting the OK from City Council

As expected yesterday, City Council approved Mayor de Blasio's housing plan that will pave the way for a series of rezonings across New York City that aim to build and maintain 200,000 units of affordable housing by 2024. Here's a roundup of headlines from various media outlets about the mayor's rezoning victory ...


New York Passes Rent Rules to Blunt Gentrification (The New York Times)

De Blasio’s affordable housing plans both clear City Council with ease, despite spirited protest from community groups (Daily News)

City Council Approves Zoning Changes Key to de Blasio's Affordable Housing Plan (WNYC)

Council overwhelmingly approves de Blasio’s plan to rezone the city (Politico New York)

Community Groups Disappointed by Lack of Details and Info on Rezoning Deal (DNAinfo)

Developers say de Blasio affordable housing plan is “almost meaningless” without 421a (The Real Deal)

De Blasio Earns Political Win in NYC Affordable-Housing Vote (Bloomberg)

Developers Are "Very, Very Excited To Pioneer" New Neighborhoods Under De Blasio's Affordable Housing Plan (Gothamist)

New York City Just Took A Huge Step To Tackle Obscenely High Rents (Huffington Post)

What you need to know about de Blasio's affordable housing victory (New York Business Journal)

Activists Vow to Fight Mayor's 'Gentrification Plan' in the Neighborhoods (DNAinfo)

Protesters Denounce De Blasio's Housing Plan Ahead Of Vote: "The Word Affordability Has Been Co-opted By The Government" (Gothamist)

City Council Approves Mayor's Affordable Housing Plan, But Not Without Drama (NY1)

New York City affordable housing programs designed to benefit developers (World Socialist Web Site)

Friday, February 12, 2016

[Updated] Reader report: Mayor de Blasio to speak outside building where undocumented worker died on East 8th Street

[Photo from Dec. 24]

On Dec. 24, a partial building collapse at 356 E. Eighth St. between Avenue C and Avenue D led to the death of a worker, as we first reported here.

As far as we know, no other media outlet covered this tragedy. According to a reader, Alberto Pomboza, an undocumented worker from Ecuador, died after he fell from the third to the first floor in the townhouse undergoing a gut renovation.

An EVG reader who lives on the block reports that the NYPD is clearing the street ahead of an appearance this morning by the Mayor who will apparently address what happened here...

Updated 2:20 p.m.

[Photo via @zmack]

The Mayor was on the scene this morning to announce this new enforcement sweep... via the Mayor's office...

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Department of Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler today announced that they will quadruple the penalties for serious construction-safety lapses, conduct a wave of more than 1,500 enforcement sweeps, and require new supervision at construction sites citywide to protect workers and the public amid the record building boom.

To make sure builders cannot profit by skirting safety rules, the City is raising the penalties for serious safety lapses from $2,400 to $10,000, and the penalty for lacking a construction superintendent will increase from $5,000 to a maximum of $25,000. Construction has surged more than 300 percent since 2009, contributing more jobs and more housing to New York City, but leading to an increase in preventable construction-related injuries and fatalities.

Updated 5:10 p.m.

DNAinfo has a piece on the city's inspection blitz here.

They also have more details about the worker who died here.

The worker, 33-year-old Luis Alberto Pomboza, was working on the renovation of 356 East 8th St. when he fell from the third to first floor, according to records from the Department of Buildings.

Pomboza — an undocumented Ecuadorian immigrant and father of five — was transported to Bellevue Hospital in serious condition with trauma to the head and face but later died of his injuries, according to the NYPD and Medical Examiner’s Office.

Updated 8 p.m.

Gothamist has a report here.

Previously on EV Grieve:
[Updated] Reader report: Partial building collapse on East 8th Street; unconfirmed report of a fatality

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

With CleaNYC, Mayor de Blasio declares war on litter, graffiti

[Random 1st Avenue photo from last month]

Mayor de Blasio today announced the formation of CleaNYC, "a holistic effort to keep communities clean in all five boroughs."

Per ABC 7:

The effort will include stepped up Graffiti-Free NYC efforts, sidewalk power washing in commercial corridors, the expansion of Sunday and holiday litter basket collection service, and high shoulder/ramp cleanup.

Graffiti-Free NYC will remove graffiti from private and public structures, power wash sidewalks and remove stains from street furniture. The new Graffiti-Free NYC trucks will be equipped with power inverters, allowing the equipment to run without using the engines or gas-powered generators.

Per DNAinfo:

"This is so important for the lives of everyday New Yorkers for whom their neighborhood is the center of their life," de Blasio said. "It's so important for our small businesses, it's important of our economy. And the people of this city deserve nothing less than the cleanest city we can make it."

Under the plan, announced a day ahead of the mayor's State of the City address, the Department of Sanitation will increase litter basket pickups on Sundays and holidays by 40 percent in heavily trafficked areas starting April 1 by adding 20 more trucks.

Per a city news release announcing the initiative, CleaNYC will cost $4.2 million in expense funds in Fiscal Year 2017, and $2.5 million in capital funds.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Petition asks Mayor de Blasio to remove the Skywatch tower from Tompkins Square Park

[Photo Tuesday by ‏@urbanmyths]

The patrol tower that the NYPD installed in the middle of Tompkins Square Park on Tuesday has prompted plenty of discussion. (Our post has 135 comments and counting.)

Yesterday, East Village resident Penny Rand, who has lived in the neighborhood since 1968, launched an online petition asking Mayor de Blasio to remove the tower.

Per the petition:

There is no crime happening in the park that cannot be handled by foot police or officers in patrol cars. The precinct is just around the corner, patrol cars find their way into the park on a moment's notice.

Take down the tower. We don't want it. It makes us feel violated, insulted and angry that you chose this path under the guise of protecting us.

Take down the tower. We don't need it. It is overkill and just a display of muscle that infringes on our enjoyment of the park.

Take down the tower, Mr. Mayor. Take it down. Today.

The goal is 1,000 signatures by end of the month. Find the petition here.

Meanwhile, Gothamist talked to people in the Park yesterday about the tower.

"It's stupid, it's a waste of money," Annick de Lorme told us as she walked her dog past the tower last night. "It doesn't make sense to have two police officers sit around."

De Lorme said that she has lived next to the park on East 7th Street for 13 years, and felt that Tompkins is "one hundred percent" safer than it was when she first moved to the neighborhood.

Gothamist also gets an explanation from the city.

Mayor de Blasio's press secretary, Karen Hinton, told us that the Tompkins Skywatch "is a temporary 'high visibility' police command post to address safety issues on a temporary basis," and that "how long it stays is up to the Boro Commander."

Hinton said that the "NYPD tried to park the Skywatch in the street area, away from the park, but that was problematic. The park was the next best solution."

Previously on EV Grieve:
NYPD installs patrol tower in the middle of Tompkins Square Park (135 comments)

The Post reports Tompkins Square Park 'has become a homeless haven' (113 comments)

Observer editors write, 'it's time to take back Tompkins Square Park' (49 comments)

Parts of Avenue C and D now with a SkyWatch tower, additional NYPD lights

[Updated] NYPD patrol tower arrives on Avenue D

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Mayor de Blasio visits Tompkins Square Park

EVG reader Sue Palchak spotted the Mayor just before noon talking to folks in Tompkins Square Park... this brief visit comes several days after the Post and the Observer reported an uptick in the number of homeless people in the Park...

Updated 10:56 p.m.

The Post has five reporters on this story...

Previously on EV Grieve:
The Post reports Tompkins Square Park 'has become a homeless haven' (105 comments)

Observer editors write, 'it's time to take back Tompkins Square Park'

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Mayor's Fund raises $125,000 in response to East Village gas explosion

[Photo yesterday by Vinny & O]

News release via the EVG inbox yesterday…

The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City today announced that $125,000 has been raised to date to support individuals and families directly affected by the Second Avenue explosion and building collapse on March 26.

The Mayor’s Fund launched a fundraising campaign on March 27 to coordinate direct financial support for those impacted by the tragedy. So far, the Mayor’s Fund has received over 350 contributions from everyday New Yorkers, totaling more than $50,000 – the majority of which were donated by individuals contributing amounts ranging from $5 to $15,000.

The total of $125,000 in pledges also includes support from corporate partners, including Con Edison, Gramercy Theatre and Irving Plaza, and Google. In response to New York City Google employees’ interest in helping those affected, Google launched a Disaster Relief Campaign that will run through the end of April. To date, Google employees and Google’s matching funds have raised over $25,000. In addition, local concert venues Irving Plaza and Gramercy Theatre will be offering patrons the option of donating to the Mayor’s Fund when purchasing tickets during the month of April. Live Nation Entertainment, the parent company of these venues, has committed to matching the donations collected up to $10,000.

“It is truly characteristic of our city to join together in the face of adversity, and to show compassion and love to our fellow New Yorkers when they need it most – and these combined efforts of everyday New Yorkers and community and corporate partners are no exception,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Whether they are giving a little or giving a lot, the people of this city clearly have each other’s backs. The donations we’ve seen in recent days prove yet again that a tragedy that affects some New Yorkers touches us all.”

Read the full news release here.

Friday, February 13, 2015

About that Bill de Blasio-tagged van on East 6th Street

The other evening we noticed this van with the Bill de Blasio tag on it parked on East Sixth Street between Avenue A and Avenue B.

Turns out the van belongs to Vit Horejs, artistic director of the Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre. He owns several vans, all named Molly, to transport theatrical equipment.

According to Bonnie Sue Stein, Vit's friend and director of the nonprofit organization 7 Loaves Inc/GOH Productions, the de Blasio tag arrived about two weeks ago.

"The van was not tagged for weeks when we got it, but as soon as one person started, it hasn't stopped," said Stein, a community organizer in the East Village for more than 30 years. "It's frustrating. Vit says he wishes they did a better job. It's not very well-executed. It's a mess. People have been laughing about the de Blasio tag. And one woman who saw it said we should sell the van to a museum because of the de Blasio tag."

Friday, August 23, 2013

Kita the Wonder Dog of East 10th Street supports Bill De Blasio for Mayor

[EVG file photo]

The latest from the NYC mayoral race.

We’ve been anxiously awaiting the moment when Kita the Wonder Dog of East 10th Street is ready to divulge which Mayoral candidate she is throwing her considerable weight behind.

She’s been wooed by all the major candidates as she seems to have her paws on the pulse of the neighborhood. The last time she voted here it was just after Superstorm Sandy and the lines were incredibly long so she’s hoping for smoother sailing this time.

She carefully considered all the candidates; briefly thought of supporting the former Congressman because she thought Weiner was a breed of dog. Another leading candidate behaves a bit too much like an attack dog so that put her off needless to say. Finally she’s informed us she’s supporting Bill De Blasio. Apparently she’s become quite chummy with him and his entire family.

Kita won't confirm for sure but we have an inkling that De Blasio promised his first act as Mayor will be to ban 7-11s and Yorkies named Max so that’s what finally won her over.

Kita looks forward to seeing everyone at the polls on September 10.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Meet Kita

The further adventures of Kita the Wonder Dog of East 10th Street

The further (often truly) amazing adventures of Kita the Wonder Dog of East 10th Street