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City Limits Magazine, November 1999 Issue

City Limits Magazine, November 1999 Issue

Ratings: (0)|Views: 61|Likes:
Cover Story: The Harlem Shuffle by Kemba Johnson.

Other stories include Robin Shulman on the struggling storeowners of Pitkin Avenue; Kathleen McGowan on Senator Phil Gramm's getting ready to attack the Community Reinvestment Act; Deirdre Hussey on organizers fighting eviction in the face of skyrocketing rents; Annia Ciezadlo on community policing and how close citizens can get to crime without risking injury; Peggy J. Farber's book review of "Solomon's Sword: Two Families and the Children the State Took Away" by Michael Shapiro; and more.
Cover Story: The Harlem Shuffle by Kemba Johnson.

Other stories include Robin Shulman on the struggling storeowners of Pitkin Avenue; Kathleen McGowan on Senator Phil Gramm's getting ready to attack the Community Reinvestment Act; Deirdre Hussey on organizers fighting eviction in the face of skyrocketing rents; Annia Ciezadlo on community policing and how close citizens can get to crime without risking injury; Peggy J. Farber's book review of "Solomon's Sword: Two Families and the Children the State Took Away" by Michael Shapiro; and more.

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Published by: City Limits (New York) on Jan 30, 2012
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United
We
Fall
t
his
summer,
the
FiscaL
PoLicy
Institute issued
a
report
that documented
how
New
Yorkseconomic
boom
is
Leaving
a
ew
peopLe
behind.Like
a
ew
million.
According
to
"The
State
of
Working
New
York,
"
the
nu
mber
of
New
Yorkers
in
poverty
has
increased
by
a
third
statewide
in
the
Last
decade-750,
000
peopLe
feLL
beLow
the
poverty
line.
OnLy
the top
fifth
of
he
state
s
population experienced
income growth; mean
while,
the
average
family
income
for
the
poorest
fifth
of
he
citys
residents
is
$7,116.
Across
the
board
,
the
median hourly
wage
declined
more
than
6
percent.
"Prosperity
,"
the
report
concludes,"is
an
iLLusion
for
most
New
Yorkers."Granted,
a
report from
a
group
of
ALbany
number-coLLectors
isn't
about
to
derail
thegov
ernor from making
tax breaks
aimed
at
the
weaLthy
or
stop
any
other
evils-including
muLti
nationaL
employers thatpay
Lousy
wages
or
big kids
who
beat
up
littLe
kids
for
Lunch
money.
But nonetheless,
the
institute
s
indings
represent
an
alarming diagnosis
for
New
York
City.
To
carry
the
medical metaphor
a
little
further,
reading
prosperity
into the
rapidgains
of
the
few
is
Like
concluding
that
a
patient
is
doing
alright because
her
digestivesystem
is
stiLL
taking
in
food
and,
you know
,
sending
it
out.
Her
bodys
transactions
withthe
outside
worLd
appear
healthy,
but
theysay
aLmost
nothing about
howthe
rest
of
her
is
doing.
As
itstands, New
York
has
a
heaLthy
digestive
system-check
out
aLL
those
restaurants!
The
busy
waste
transfer stations!
The
buys
and sells
on the
trading
floors!
But
internaL
processes
are
another
story.
The
citys
heart
is
beating
hard,
as
aLL
but
the
best-off
New
Yorkers
must
scrambLe
for
such
basics
asaffordabLe
housing and
heaLth
care,
decent
schooLs,livabLe
paychecks.
Andforget
about
the
citysfingers
and
toes-they're
long
Lost
to
gangrene.Drop by Far
Rockaway
if
you're
wonderingwhatthat
Looks
like.
New
York
embraces
the
myth
of
prosperity
at
its
own
peril.
What
was once one
of
he
citys
economic
strengths-its
Large
popuLation
of
skilled
and
unskiLLed
laborers
in
a
diversespectrum
of specialties-has
decisiveLy
turned
intothe
liability
of
high
unemployment and
underempLoyment. Thereare
simply
too many New
Yorkerswith
too
few
reaL-wage
jobs,
aLL
trying
to
contend
with
a
high
cost
of
Living
.
New
Yorks failure
to
keep
residents
weLL
empLoyed
has
tobe
taken
seriousLy
before
we
can
stake
a
claim
to
prosperity.
The probLems
of
povertycannot
be
policed
forever,
nor
canthey
be
willed
away
to
the
marketplace.
If
ust
a
smidgen
of
New
Yorks
economic might
is
put
behind
depLoying
creative
strategies
to
givemore
of
its
peopLe
a
air
shake
,
the
city
canshare
its prosperity
with
more
than the
carpetbaggers
of
he
globaL
economy
.
Somethingincredible
can happen:
New Yorkers
can take
care
of
hemseLves.
****
WeLcome
backfrom
summer;
and
weLcometo
the
newest member
of
he
City Limits
staff.
Associate Editor Jarrett
Murphy is
back
in
New
York
after
a
year
in
central Connecticut
as
astaff
writer
for
the
Hartford
Advocate.
At
the
Advocate,
J
arrettcovered
the
statehouse,
then
city
haLL;
along
the way he also
kept
vigilant
watch
on
miscreantsfromcorporate criminals
to
sLum
kings.
Keep it coming, Jarrett.
Cover
photo
by
Gregory
P.
Mango
;a
Harlembrownstone
in
transition
Alyssa
Katz
Editor
City
Limits
relies
on
the
generous
support of
its
readers
and
advertisers
.
as
well
as
the
following
funders
:
The
Adco
Foundation.
The
Robert
Sterling
ClarkFoundation.
The
Unitarian
Universalist
Veatch Program
at Shelter
Rock. The Edna
McConnell
Clark
Foundation.
The
Joyce
Mertz-Gilmore
Foundation.
The
Scherman
Foundation.
The
North
Star
Fund.
J.P.
Morgan
&
Co.
Incorporated.
The
Annie
E.
Casey
Foundation.
The
New
York
Community
Trust.
The
New
York
Foundation.
The
Taconic
Foundation.
Deutsche
Bank.
M&
T
Bank.
Citibank.
and Chase
Manhattan
Bank
.
(ity
Limits
Volume XXIV
Number
9
City Limits
is
published ten times
per
year.
monthly exceptbi-monthly
issues
in
July/August
and
September/October.
by
theCity
Limits
Community
Information
Service.
Inc
a
non·
profit
organization
devoted
todisseminating
information
concerningneighborhood
revitalization
.
Publisher
:
Kim
Nauer
Editor
:
Alyssa
Katz
Senior
Editors
:
Kemba
Johnson
.
Kathleen McGowan
Associa
te
Editor
:
Jarrett
Murphy
Contributing
Editors
:
James
Bradley.
Michael
Hirsch.
AndrewWhite
Intern:
Amanda
Bell. Elizabeth
Corona
Des
i
gn
Di
rect
i
on
:
Hope Forstenzer
Publ
i
she
r'
s
Ass
i
stant:
Anita
Gutierrez
Proof
r
eade
r:
Sandy
Socolar
Photographers
:
Mireya Acierto.
Gregory
P.
Mango
Center
for
an
Ur
ban Future
:
Director
:
Neil
Kleiman
Research
Di
r
ectors
:
ShaliniAhuja.Jonathan Bowles
Board of
Di
rectors
·:
Beverly Cheuvront.
Girl
Scout
Council
of
Greater
NY
Francine
Justa
.
Neighborhood
HousingServices
Andrew
Reicher.
UHAB
Tom
Robbins
.
Journalist
Celia
Irvine
.
Manhattan
Borough
Pres
ident
's
Office
Pete
Williams
.
National
Urban League
"Affiliations
for
identification
only.
Sponsors
:
Pratt
Institute
Center
for
Community
and
EnvironmentalDevelopment
Urban
Homesteading Assistance
Board
Subscriptionrates
are:
for
individuals
and
community
groups.$25
/
0ne
Year.
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Years;
forbusinesses.foundations.
banks.
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and
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.
$35/0ne
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Years.
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City
Limits
welcomes
comments
and
article
contributions.
Please
include
a
stamped. self-addressed envelope
for retum
manuscripts.
Material
in
CityLimits
does
not necessarily
reflect
theopinion of
the sponsoring
organizations
.
Send
correspondence
to
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City
Limits.
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WallStreet.
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York.
NY
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Send
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City
Limits.
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WallStreet.
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Periodicalpostagepaid
New
York.NY10001
City
Limits
IISSN0199·03301
1212)
479-3344
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344·6457e-mail
:
CL@citylimits.org
On
the
Web
:
www.citylimits.org
Copyright
©
1999
.
All
Rights
Reserved
.
No
portion
or
portions ofthisjournal
may
be
reprinted
with
out the
expresspermiSSion
of
the publishers.
CityLimits
is
indexed in
the
Alternative
Press
Index
and
the
Avery Indexto
Architectural
Periodicals
and
is
available
on
microfilm
from
University
Microfilms
International.
Ann
Arbor
.
MI 48106.
 
.,
THE
GRIDt
.
,
NOVEM
BE
R 1999
FEATURES
The
Harlem
Shuffle
For
some Long
Island
real
estateplayers,
a
federal
housing
loanprogramhas become
a
moneymachine.
Brokering pricey buildings
to
unwary
nonprofits,
they're
selling
New Yorkersshort.
By
Kemba
Johnson
Law
and
Borders
~
he
New
Community Policing
Turns
Neighbors
Into
Cops
When the NYPD
designated
Valentine Avenue
as
a"
model
block,
"
residents
hoped it would mean
saferstreets
.
Instead,
they found
themselves fightingcrime
on
their
own
.
By
Annia
Ciezadlo
In
Red Hook,
A
JusticeCenter
Courts
an
Entire
Community
This
fall
a
Brooklyn neighborhood
will not only welcome
a
new
courthouse-it
will
become
a
laboratory.
The experiment?Whether criminal
justice
can be
as
pervasive
as
crime
.
By Jarrett Mu
rp
hy
PROFILE
Gramm
's
Fairy
Tales
~
urmudgeonly commentary
,
an
enemieslist
and
Texas-sized
lies-Senator
PhilGramm
is
out
to
destroy
the
CommunityReinvestment
Act
,
and
even
the banks can
't
stophim
.
By
Kathleen
McGowan
PIPELINES
Losing
BID
Merchants
in
Brownsville
are
payingextrataxes
to
get
a
betterbusinessclimate.
So
far,
though,
all
they're
getting
is
promises
fromthe
Business Improvement District
they
fund
.
No-Buy
Zone
By Robin
Shul11Uln
Brooklyn tenant organizers
hope
that
where
rent
laws can
't
protecttenants
,
embarrassingtheir landlords
may
succeed.With
old-fashionedpressuretactics
,
they
'
re
fighting evictions
inthe
streets.
By
Deirdre Hussey
COMMENTARY
Review
1
28
SplitDefinitive
By
Peggy
J.
Farber
Spare
Change
1
38
SchoolsOut
DEPARTMENTS
Ed
i
toria
l
2
Ammo
29
Letters
4
Job
Ads
32
Briefs
5
Professional
Directory
36
w

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