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Volume IX Number 7
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Connie PierceCover Photo
HAVEbeen getting a level
neighborhood and housing problemswhich
this city. TheSpanish-language, Gannett-owned daily hasnot only given free rein to reporters seeking to cover how local activists are dealingwith the problems of Hispanic communities,
has backed up those activists
editorialcolumns as well. And on September
iteven went so
as to challenge its regularcolumnist, Mayor Ed Koch, who had comeout swinging for gentrification the weekbefore."Gentrification,"wrote Koch, should be
administration, he wrote proudly, had encouraged reinvestment (read"gentrification')
the private sector. Moreover, hehad evaluated carefully the effect of reinvestment (gentrification) and found that it hada positive effect for all groups in
hat's true, responded
the following Monday,
havebenefitted are not thesamepeople
businesses that were there before, but"minority people with much
incomes."What's needed,saidthe paper,
"jobupgrading tied toasolidand equitable housing program"-not
articles which prompted Koch'scolumns(he wrote a two-part response)camefrom a series
reporterRaul Molina who started at the beginning
the summer with a series which took anin-depth look at the costs
housing, landlord harassment, real estatespeculationandthe manipulation
city-owned property in
Barrio. Molina's articles were a welcomerelieffrom the kind
hit and run reportingwhich characterizes virtually the entire NewYork City media's method
covering thisvital issue.Interestingly, while Archbishop John
O'Connor was making headlines throughout the media with his attacks on proabortioncandidates,his thoughts on gentrification and the threat
represents to hisparishioners were shared with Molina andmerited a front-page banner headline
times as I go
the Lower EastSide
Lower West Side I think
birds roosting in a tree which sometimes
shakes so that they will take to their wings,"said O'Connor. "The birds look for otherbranches but there will come a day whenthey will have no place to land."
QUESTION:HOW SHOULD A
official whohas long promoted himself as a stalwarttenant advocate respond to an unfavorablearticle in the tenant-community press?
Fire off a detailed and indignant letterin rebuttal to the publication.2. Call up and chew out the editor and/orauthor
you can intimidate the publication through its funders and sponsors.
chose any answer other than the lastone
the primary concernshould be getting your side
he story a better hearing.But then,you're definitely not
Goodman, RepublicanLiberal from Manhattan's East Side.After reading author Jim Sleeper's detailing
Goodman's role in unravelling rentprotections for 42la tenants in our last issue("Taking a Dive in Albany;' Aug./Sept.1984), the eight-term Senator placed a callto the President
Pratt Institute, whoseCenter for Community and EnvironmentalDevelopment
sponsor, to ask"whether the article represented Pratt's official position."
get to Pratt, Goodmanhad
not only bypass the editor and our othertwosponsors,but also the disclaimer in ourmasthead which separates those organizations from the opinions
our pages.Asked why the Senator hadn't called
directly, Goodman press aideSteveAltschuler responded,"Whatdifferencedoes
had the same effect [i.e. anoffer to run a response]
Hardly. One thing we've never skimpedon
giving room for replies, particularlyfrom public officials. Goodman's real agenda in calling Pratt is transparent: to throwa scare into funders and supporters and stifle an independent and
voice.Despite Altschuler's claim that Goodmanmerely sought assurances he could get a letter published, a week after Goodman'sPrattcallnoone had bothered
ask when thedeadline was. And when Altschuler was informed
the date, no letter had been written.
promised for theNovember issue. Stay tuned