As another scandal-scarred year in state politics draws to an unseemly close, the fight for good government in New York City and Albany is more important than ever. Since 2002, New York Civic has tried to serve as a nonpartisan voice of reason and social responsibility.
Myth 1: The Berger Commission made no specific recommendations or findings regarding St. Vincent’s Hospital.
Fact 1: The Berger Commission’s job was not to make affirmative findings of hospitals to keep open, but to identify any hospitals that could be closed. Not only was St. Vincent’s allowed to continue its operations but the Berger Commission did make an affirmative finding that St. Vincent’s was “essential”.
"Even with her lack of qualifications, Cathie Black received the wavier to become the school's next chancellor. Apparently, the countless voices of parents, students, teachers, and local residents don't matter to Commissioner Steiner. The Commissioner's own advisory panel voted to deny Black the wavier and they were also ignored."
The Charter Revision Commission was intended when it was appointed to offer the public the opportunity to decide the matter by offering the choice of a two-term or three-term limit. The Commission did offer that choice, but added a poison pill provision that the two-term limit not take effect until 2021, ten years into the uncertain future.
NYU is dropping its application for landmarks approval for a 400 ft. tall tower on Bleeker Street in Silver Towers. As you know, there was overwhelming opposition to this plan at our recent rally and the Community Board hearing, including most recently from I.M. Pei, the architect of Silver Towers. That the university has decided to shelve this plan is incredible news, and a fantastic victory for all of our efforts.
When St. Vincent's closed after 160 years of serving Greenwich Village and most of downtown on the west side, no one really predicted the impact this loss would have on local business. As those of us who live in the West Village tried to adjust to frequent panic attacks and a general state of fear at the loss of the hospital and the sense of comfort we all felt knowing it was there, we had no idea that the businesses we had supported and frequented over the years would soon be gone too.
For rent-regulated New Yorkers, money and legal actions have become the weapons of choice used by slumlords -- using the courts to evict them as part of a systematic plan to eviscerate affordable housing in Manhattan. By retaining expensive landlord-tenant lawyers or through politically expedient campaign contributions, wealthy landlords (those with many properties) have deep pockets and are willing to invest large sums dedicated to systematic plans of evicting stabilized and rent-controlled tenants. It is unethical, often illegal, and it works.
The City Council has just voted to approve the Far West Village and East Village (3rd and 4th Avenue corridors) rezonings we have been fighting to enact for years, which means they take immediate effect. These two rezonings will go a long way towards stemming the tide of inappropriate development in these two historic residential neighborhoods, and are a tremendous victory for community efforts in the face of stiff initial resistance from the city!