Once in a while—but not too often—grassroots activists, government agencies and elected officials join together to support the public interest, and wind up with a happy result.
That has been the 30-year history of the Archives building adventure, which culminated recently in protecting eight community non-profit organizations from a rent increase that would have been the death knell for most of them.
Ever since the economy has tanked, downtown activists have been especially fierce regarding housing issues. The ramifications of displacement are more dire then they’ve ever been and activists are doing everything they can to keep families in their homes. Recently, despite adverse efforts, the residents of 81 Bowery were evicted for unsafe conditions— a shallow reason, protestors believe, because it should fall on the landlord to institute repairs.
While much of America watched with pleasure as President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama swirled around the dance floor at one of the 10 parties they would attend that night, several hundred revelers at The Southampton Inn’s Inaugural Ball cheered with enthusiasm and rattled noisemakers. It could just as easily have been a New Year’s Eve party for all the joy this traditionally Republican town took in laying aside partisan politics and coming together in celebration of the dawning of a new era.
Council Member John C. Liu introduced three pieces of anti-idling legislation yesterday. Two of the pieces strengthened existing laws, while Intro. 631-A, for which Liu is the prime sponsor, will reduce the legal idle time in front of a school from three minutes to one minute.
Members of the Transport Workers Union manned subway stops in Brooklyn today, handing out flyers protesting service cuts in the MTA’s 2009 budget, warning that the lack of service will have dire effects on both riders and the economy.
The staggering attention to Barack Obama’s Presidential Inauguration has reached even the cobblestone streets of SoHo. In stores and shops, restaurants and bars, offices and residences nearly all televisions were tuned to the inauguration.