Mayor Signs the Brewer – Mendez Tenant Notification Bill into Law
On June 2nd, Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer and Rosie celebrated Mayor Bill de Blasio affixing his signature to Int. 222, legislation requiring landlords provide tenants with advance notice for non-emergency repair work that will result in disruptions to building services. The new law establishes a general baseline of 24 hours’ advance notice for most work. For work affecting elevators, the bill requires 10 business days’ notice for major alteration work and 24 hours’ notice for any other work that will suspend all elevator service for more than two hours. Many landlords and management companies already provide advance notice of planned repairs to tenants – but many others do not. The reasonable notice requirements established by Int. 222 would help tenants plan ahead to minimize the impacts of these service disruptions on their lives, and also help tenants distinguish between disruptions for planned work on the one hand, and emergent service failures or landlord harassment tactics on the other. The Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the Department of Buildings will be responsible for enforcement and rulemaking in relation to the new law. The law will take effect in the fall of 2015.
Rosie Gets Mailboxes Repaired at 1115 FDR Drive
In April 2015, a constituent contacted Rosie informing her that mailboxes at 1115 FDR Drive were broken since November 2014. Tenants have had to travel from the East 12th Street building and walk to the post office on East 14th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues. Rosie addressed this problem with the New York City Housing Authority back in April when it was brought to her attention. The communication went on until June 2015 with the reasoning that the contractor was waiting for parts to be delivered in order to do repairs. On June 4th, the New York Daily News published an article highlighting the issues with the mailboxes and what tenants have had to go through. On June 5th, NYCHA sent someone to the building to make the repairs. If you are experiencing issues with the maintenance at your building please call our office at 212-677-1077.
Rosie Helps Cut the Ribbon for the New Lower East Side Mini-Pitch
On June 3rd 2015, Rosie joined the Community Board 3, New York Red Bulls, U.S. Soccer Foundation, East Side Community HS, University Settlement and NYC Parks to cut the ribbon on a new state-of-the-art mini pitch at the East Side Community High School. The mini-soccer pitch will provide the community with a safe place to play and learn the game of soccer. The U.S Soccer Foundation and the Department of Youth and Community Development will provide the Foundation’s Soccer for Success afterschool programming to area youth. In March, the U.S. Soccer Foundation announced a partnership with the New York Red Bulls to invest in safe places to play and innovative sports-based development programs for youth in the New York City area with support from NYC Parks. The East Side Community High School mini-pitch is the first tangible result of that partnership.
Rosie Stands with Tenants of 444 East 13th Street
On May 28th, Rosie joined GOLES, Urban Justice Center, MFY Legal Services, and the tenants of 444 East 13th Street to bring attention to harassment that the tenants have been encountering with the owner / landlord of the building. The tenants have been without gas, heat, and hot water since April 17th, according to the tenants. The Housing Preservation and Development agency has cited the building for 84 code violations. Rosie is currently discussing with GOLES, Urban Justice Center and the tenants what the next steps are in order to make sure the tenants are being supported and not facing harassment from the landlord.
Tenants of 128 Second Avenue Hold Press Conference in Front of Housing Court
The tenants of 128 Second Avenue in the East Village held a press conference outside of New York City Housing Court after a court appearance in a lawsuit against their landlord, Icon Realty. A few days after the March 26th explosion that claimed two lives, Con Ed shut down all gas for 128 Second Ave, which is directly across from the site, when it was discovered that the landlord was doing illegal work to the building. Icon Realty has yet to take the necessary procedures with Con Ed to restore the gas, leaving tenants without it for the past three months. Rosie said the following about the matter:
“The tenants in 128 Second Avenue have endured enough. Icon Realty has hired armed “Fire Marshalls” to patrol the building as a form of intimidation when all that they are required to do is ensure that tenants do not use the detached fire escape. The principals of Icon Realty are bad actors that are in contempt of court because they have not restored court ordered necessary services such as gas and hot water. The Judge should set an example by throwing the principals of Icon Realty in jail until all 67 life threatening and immediately hazardous violations out of 114 outstanding violations are cured.”
Marie Christopher Honored with a Street Co-Naming Ceremony
On June 21st at 2pm, Rosie joined Councilwoman Margaret Chin, GOLES, and community members in co-naming the Northeast corner of Stanton and Pitt Street after Marie Christopher. Marie was well-known in the community, was a staunch social justice and housing advocate and worked closely with residents and elected officials. In addition to her work advocating for tenant rights movement, Marie was very active spreading awareness of and advocating for people with disabilities. Marie was tireless in her pursuit of justice for those who were harassed by landlords, those who were disenfranchised, for those who needed help. She was no stranger to offices of many politicians working with them to advance the fight for the many causes she dedicated her life to. Marie’s birthday was June 21st.
The Stonewall Inn Becomes the First LGBT New York City Landmark Site
The Landmarks Preservation Commission unanimously approved the Stonewall Inn as the first NYC LGBT landmark site. A public hearing took place on Tuesday, June 23rd, 10am, at the LPC hearing room on the 9th floor, Municipal Building. Rosie joined community members and colleagues to give testimony in support of this designation. The following is some of what Rosie submitted as written testimony to the LPC:
“The Stonewall Inn is where our community stood up and fought back against police oppression and discrimination that so many were subjected to on a daily basis. It is the place that we continue to gather at and in front of during significant moments in our history. It is where I joined friends to celebrate Judge Doris Ling Cohan’s court decision in Hernandez v. Robles that granted LGBT New Yorkers the right to marry in 2005. It was where we all gathered, irritated and upset, when the Judge’s decision was overturned by a higher court. It was where hundreds and thousands of people gathered when the New York State legislature passed Marriage Equality.”
Rosie Addresses Issues at the New School on 5th Ave
Rosie has continued to receive complaints regarding the New School location on 5th Avenue between 14th and 13th Streets. Over the past year Rosie’s office has received complaints regarding the lighting at the building, garbage bins blocking the sidewalk, cleanliness of the street, and deliveries being made causing loud noise as early as 5 or 6am. Rosie’s office has been in communication with the New School’s representative and will be calling a meeting with the President of the school as well as her colleagues, Assemblymember Debrorah Glick and State Senator Brad Hoylman to resolve issues before the semester begins in the fall.
Rosie Moves to Address Issues from Residents Regarding 30th Street Men’s Shelter
Rosie has been working with Councilperson Dan Garodnick and residents within the Community Board 6 area to address concerns of violence from the 30th Street Men’s Shelter. Rosie along with her colleagues have written a letter to the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) to urge them to take action on addressing various issues that have arisen concerning the safety of residents and the quality of life of the neighborhood. Rosie is awaiting a response from DHS and in the meantime hosted with her colleague and friend Dan Garodnick a community stakeholder meeting to create proposals for relevant agencies. Rosie will continue to work with her elected colleagues to advance proposals that address the concerns of the residents.
Micro-Units Soon to be Developed in Kips Bay – Update
In May 2015, Rosie announced that micro-units were coming soon to District 2, specifically to Kips Bay. Rosie’s office has received many phone calls regarding this announcement and our office is currently in contact with HPD to get answers to various questions that individuals have. The application for the micro-units will not be available until after July 2015. In order to receive announcements regarding affordable housing units available, you must create an account at http://www.nyc.gov/housingconnect. Once you create an account you will begin to receive emails regarding available units. If you do not have access to the internet, please contact Rosie’s office at 212-677-1077 and a Community Aide will take your contact information down. When the application becomes available our office will be able to provide constituents with a hotline number in order to receive information from the contractor.
Brookdale Campus Update
Following this month’s Land Use Committee Meeting Council Member Mendez has followed up on the request by committee members to assist in obtaining copies of comments made by this board on the 2013 proposal. In addition, the Council Member has requested and EDC is working to show how and where those comments have been incorporated into the current proposal. We hope to be able to provide that information next week. The hearing on the Draft Scope of Work will be June 22nd at the Hospital of Joint Diseases Loeb Auditorium, 301 East 17th Street.
Rosie Joins a Municipal ID Enrollment Event at the LGBT Center
On June 9th the LGBT Caucus co-sponsored a Municipal-ID event for the LGBT Community to encourage LGBT New Yorkers to sign up to receive a muni-ID. Rosie and Carlos Menchaca joined the LGBT Center, the Speaker’s office and Corey Johnson’s office to host this great event. A Municipal ID offers a photo identification card for residents of New York City who are at least 14 years old. This municipal ID card connects New Yorkers to services, programs, and benefits, regardless of immigration status, homeless status, or gender identity. You must apply for the card in person at an Enrollment Center. Appointments are required. You will need to bring documents to prove your identity and that you live in New York City. You can book an appointment for a Muni-ID by following this link: http://www1.nyc.gov/site/idnyc/card/make-an-appointment.page. Rosie encourages all residents of CB2 to visit the LGBT Center and sign up for a municipal ID before the pop up enrollment site closes on June 26th.
NYC Council Passes Resolution to call on President Obama to Grant Clemency to Oscar López Rivera
On June 10th, the NYC Council passed a resolution introduced by Rosie, Speaker Mark-Viverito, and Councilmember Rodriguez to call on President Obama to grant clemency to Oscar López Rivera. Just a week ago thousands of people marched the street of East Harlem calling for the same thing. The march and rally took place in New York City, as well as Puerto Rico. The march began in Central Harlem on 125th Street and concluded in El Barrio at 106th Street and Lexington Avenue with a rally. Oscar has been in U.S. federal prison for the past 34 years, in which he spent 13 years in solitary confinement. Oscar was not charged with harming anyone, but with “seditious conspiracy,” similar to the charges that Nelson Mandela faced. Many City, Stated, and Federal officials have called on the President to release Oscar by granting him clemency. The officials include Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, and even the Governor of Puerto Rico, Alejandro Javier García Padilla.