Immediately after Obama's Inaugural Address most political commentators here said they were disappointed: no memorable, ringing phrases to remember, they claimed. But in our shrunken world in which the communications revolution brought Obama into millions of homes on every continent, the speech by our first black president—best-selling author, superior orator, part rock star, part teacher, part preacher—was heard around the world like no other Inaugural Address before it.
2) Presentation on Strengthening the Safety, Oversight and Coordination of Construction, Demolition and Abatement Operations, by Cass Holloway, Chief of Staff and Jerry Russo, Office of the Deputy Mayor for Operations.
Lower East Side Activist Rob Hollander is fuming over changes made to the procedure for challenging new developments, implemented by Mayor Micheal Bloomberg and Department of Buildings Commissioner Robert Limandri. This is in response to Monday's announcement that, among other major reforms that included making diagrams of proposed buildings available online, limited the time period citizens have to challenge new buildings to 30 days.
No less reprehensible a character than Ken Starr has weighed in on the marriage equality debate, working with the Prop 8 Legal Defense Fund in defending the constitutionality of the "defense of marriage" act and proposing that the 18,000+ same sex couples recently wed in California be forcibly divorced.
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.