August/September 1992 New York's Community Affairs News Magazine $2.

T H E R E A L L . A . S T O R Y D W O R K E R - O W N E D J O B T R A I N I N G
L essons From
W ashington H eights
New Life For Grassroots
Youth Organizing
City Limits
Volume XVII Number 7
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Copyright © 1992. All Rights Reserved. No
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Summer of Surprises
all it the summer of surprises. Forget about Ross Perot: Who would
have believed a year ago that Mayor David Dinkins would be rising
in the polls, that the Democratic National Convention would turn
into a New York City lovefest and that youthful peacemakers
would help quell riots in Washington Heights?
Don't get dizzy from the shine on the Big Apple. The success of the
convention seems due to tight orchestration, a little bit of luck and lot of
expensive public relations polishing. While the party's leaders were
orating about the greater good, corporate lobbyists were glad-handing at
lavish parties paid for by the taxpayers: pretty much business as usual.
But as for the mayor and Washington Heights-it's worth taking a brief
respite from the conventional wisdom of cynicism.
After a sluggish, disappointing two years, Mayor Dinkins is starting to
hit his stride. Despite the monstrous budget problems of the recent past,
which have helped push the city into crisis-driven, short-term policy
making, the Dinkins administration has begun a bit of a turnaround.
Recycling is back on the agenda, the city is finally reducing the size of
some of the armory shelters for the homeless, and the public hospitals
have won some fiscal independence, which should prod them into
greater efficiency and more preventive healthcare. All this comes with a
qualifier: all too often the Dinkins administration had to be dragged,
kicking and screaming, to do the right thing. Too many times it took the
harsh words of a judge and the promise of tough penalties to make these
changes happen.
But there's one area where the administration deserves some unquali-
fied praise. Besides the massive expenditure on police, the "Safe Streets,
Safe City" program has funnelled more than $10 million into innovative
programs for youth centers and youth organizing in the city's neediest
neighborhoods. It's a relatively small amount of money, but effective
Two elements of the new programs inspire optimism. Young people
themselves are involved in some of the decision-making at the Depart-
ment of Youth Services, which is overseeing the programs. And many of
the new efforts are operating out of community-based organizations,
which helps develop the strength of neighborhood institutions.
As Senior Editor Andrew White writes this month in "Stop the
Violence," it was a neighborhood-based group, Alianza Dominicana, and
new youth leadership programs that helped stop the rioting in Washing-
ton Heights in July. For sure, other elements were also important: the
sense that the community has a voice in City Hall through new Council
Member Guillermo Linares, and the mayor's growing expertise at han-
dling urban crises after the Korean grocery boycott in Flatbush and the
riots a year ago in Crown Heights.
But the work of young peacemakers was essential, according to
community leaders. The city's new youth programs are only a start, but
they show what can happen when rhetoric about "caring for children"
and "the future of New York" is translated into reality. Perhaps some of
this small optimism is also warranted on a national level-but we won't
find that out until November.
* * *
Correction: City Limits misstated the extent ofCarmelo Saez's connec-
tions to the United Nautical Cadets in "Failure of Democracy," in the
June-July 1992 issue. The director of the organization with family ties to
Saez resigned last October. 0
Cover photograph by Bill Biggart/ lmpact Visuals.
Stop the Violence
There's new energy-and funding-for community-
based youth programs in New York. 12
Los Angeles: The Community View
A ground-level view of what was was ignored in the
aftermath of the Los Angeles riots. 14
The Road to Ruin
Rebuilding the Gowanus expressway could destroy a
string of Brooklyn neighborhoods. 16
Summer of Surprises ....... ............. .......... .. .. ............. 2
Budget Office Battle ....................... .... ....... ...... ........ .4
Harlem Organizing ................................................... 4
Women's Health Agency Cut .......... ... ..... ...... .......... 5
Margaret McNeill ................. .. ............. ............ .. ....... 5
Bimbo Rivas ............................................................. 5
Careful Training ............ ... ... ............ ... ...... ..... ........... 6
Rough Travelling ....... .................... ..... ..... .... .... ...... 20
A Place I've Been .......... .......... ........ ....... ........ ........ 23
City View
When Organizing Is Corrupted .............................. 24
Letters ......... ...... ........... .. ......... .......... ..... ...... .......... .... 26
Resources Clearinghouse ............. .... ........ .... ..... .. .. .... 29
Job Ads .... ......... .......... ..... ... ............ ........ .... ............ .... 31
Stop the Violence/Page 12
Los Angeles/Page 14
Road to Ruin/Page 16
Attempts br advocates to
force City Hal to create and
fund an Independent Budget
Office (lBO) continue to face
tough resistance from Mayor
David Dinkins and City Council
Speaker Peter two
recent victories for promoters of
the budget office are creating
some signs of hope.
In May, a state Supreme
Court judge ruled that the 1989
revisions to the city charter
clearly require the creation of
the lBO, which would enable
citizens and dissident City
Council members to anaryze the
city's budget without having to
depend on data carefully
packaged and released by City
Hall or the City Council
And last month, an effort by
Vallone to get the state legisla-
ture to override the city charter
and eliminate the budget office
provision failed to get past the
Assembly leadership. "The
Democratic majority does not
want to disrupt what the peaple
voted for/' says Jim Yates,
counsel to Assembly Speaker
Saul Weprin of Queens.
''We headed off that attempt
by publicizing it," says Erwin
Rose, an aide to State Senator
Franz Leichter, who is working
with Alterbudget, the New York
Anti-EYiction Demo: Activists occupied the city's housing department's
Harlem office on July 9 to demand that the city halt attempts to evict
900 families in City-owned buildings who don't have leases.
Public Interest Research Group,
New York Lawyers for the p'ublic
Interest and others to see that
the office is created and funded.
Currently, Vallone and
Dinkins are appealing the
judge' s ruling. But the coolition
of civic groups and 15 members
of the City Council calling for
the creation of the IBO are still
wary. The greatest danger, says
Sam Sue of New York Lawyers
for the Publ ic Interest, is that
City Hall will place the el imina-
tion of the IBO on the ballot this
fall. If the debate isn' t publi-
cized, voters could approve the
referendum without understand-
ing the issue, Sue says. The
mayor's spokesperson didn't
return calls requesting comment
on the passibility of a ballot
Vallone argues that the IBO
would duplicate the work of his
finance division and the mayor' s
Office of Management and
Budget (OMB). But the group of
15 City Council members,
rallied by Joon Griffin McCabe
of Brooklyn, say that the
independent office would
enable them to inject alterna-
tives and new ideas into the
budget process.
"If I have to rely on OMB

and the council finance division
for my work I will always be
inhibited. It won't be my
numbers, it will be their
numbers and they will always
be biased," says McCabe. 0
Andrew White
After a three-year incubation
period, a brood-based commu-
nity action group has hatched in
Harlem. Harlem Initiatives
Together [HIT], having worked
since 1989 to gather members,
money, and momentum, held its
"founding assembly" on June 7
at Canaan Baptist Church on
West 116th Street before a
crowd of abaut 2,000 commu-
nity residents.
HIT now claims a grassroots
membership of over 25 commu-
nity groups-including churches
of various denominations,
mosques, a Korean merchant
group, and a paddleball club-
committed to taking direct
action on Harlem issues, includ-
ing housing, health care,
sanitation and parks.
The group is taking its lead
from other organizations in the
city that use the tactics of the
Industrial Areas Foundation,
including East Brooklyn Congre-
gations, South Bronx Churches,
and the Queens Citizens Orga-
Like those organizations, HIT
draws its agenda from meetings
designed to elicit the concerns
of the people who comprise its
membership. The organization
has a delegate assembly that
approves actions of the leader-
ship. At the assembly, partici-
pants unanimously approved
the election of a 15-person
strategy team.
''We don't have anyone
charismatic leader. We are a
collective," says Step'hen
Roberson, HIT's lead organizer
and a veteran of East Brooklyn
Congregations. "This model is
based on people not being
afraid to assert their own
agenda. They don't have to be
ministers; they can be regular
folk. If these people don' t act,
then nobody acts on their
In March, 1991, HIT hired
Roberson, a veteran of East
Brooklyn Congregations to run
the new organization. Last
December HIT embarked on a
campaign to improve conditions
and service at 17 Central
Harlem supermarkets, a move
similar to one of the early
actions of East Brooklyn Con-
To develop the organization
during the last three years, the
founding members obtained
pledges of $850,000, a large
portion coming from the Trinity
Church Grant Program. From
June 7th forward, though,
operating costs are expected to
be covered by membership
dues. At the assembly, member
organizations paid the first
installment on their dues of $9
per family. .
Roberson says that the
conditions of disrepair in
Harlem's parks are the most
likely focus for action this
summer. If enough Harlem
Initiatives Together members
agree on this strategy, the parks
department may soon' begin to
feel the heat. 0 Brian Hanson-
Community activists in
Harlem and across the city are
mourning the death of Margaret
McNeill, a founder of the West
Harlem Community Organiza-
tion. She died of cancer on June
6 at the age of 62.
Born in Greensboro, North
Carolina, McNeill moved to
New York in the 1950s. She
became involved in Harlem
community politics in in the
1960s, when thousands of
neighborhood residents pro-
tested against an urban renewal
scheme that called for the
demolition of three-quarters of
the residential buildings be-
tween West 11 Oth and 123rd
streets to make way for Colum-
bia University housing.
Community action helped
stop the scheme, and afterwards
McNeill and a handful of other
area residents formed the West
Harlem Community Organiza-
tion {WHCOI . McNeill estab-
lished WHCO's first Headstart
The Brooklyn chapter of the
National Black Women's Health
Project, an outreach agency that
serves thousands of Brooklyn
women, has lost federal funding
to staff its free counseling and
referral services on topics like
gynecology, AIDS, stress
management, pregnancy and
sexuality. When the money runs
out, the agency plans to have
only one staffer in its office at
the YWCA on and
Third avenues-just to answer
phone calls.
The organization's three-
year, Centers for Disease
Control grant-which paid for
seven full and part-time staffers,
including bookkeepers, health
consultants and outreach
workers who managed self-help
groups--ends in August, and
will not be renewed.
Now, the group finds itself in
the precarious position of not
having alternative funding to
replace the grant. In fact, they
say, there may not be enough
money to keep the chapter open
even at a bore bones level.
program, which served 112
children in 1965. Five years
later, she became the
organization's director, a
position she held until her
Under McNeill's leadership,
WHCO grew
Today the organization man-
ages 190 units of city owned
housing and has developed 190
units of federally-subsidized
affordable housing. It has
rehabilitated nine building,
eight of which are owned by
WHCO. The ninth is a tenant
owned cooperative managed by
WHCO. The organization is
currently developing low-income
condominiums and housing for
the homeless.
McNeill and the West
Harlem Community Organiza-
tion also provided the site far a
soup kitchen run by the Commu-
nity Food Resource Center and
helped establish Harlem's first
community-based AIDS Center.
"Margaret was a
visionary ... she was ahead of
her time in thinking about what
Gimme Shetter: The Coalition for the Homeless set up a soup kitchen
outside Madison Square Garden to heighten awareness of the
homeJess during the Democratic National Convention.
Currently, the health project's
outreach program sends people
into the neignborhoods to
educate black women cut off
from the health information they
need. With the grant from the
CDC, which was ostensibly for
AIDS work, the group not only
discussed AIDS with its clients
but also much brooder issues.
With only one person at the
office, there won't be enough
people to organize the meet-
the community needed," says
Suki Ports, a close friend ot
McNeill was also an early
boord member of the city-wide
Association of Neighborhood
Housing and Development, one
of the organizations that helped
found City Limits. 0 Adriana
The Lower East Side lost a
passionate community activist
when Bittman John "Bimbo"
Rivas died of a heart attack at
the age of 51.
Rivas-housing activist, poet,
actor, director and producer of
community theatre-was closely
linked to the politics and culture
of the Loisoida section of the
Lower East Side. He died on
May 21.
Rivas worked to preserve the
neighborhood in the 1970s and
to prevent gentrification in the
1980s. "He started out fighting
the planned shrinkage policies
ings, or supply answers or
referrals to callers, says acting
director Eve Ammons Johnson.
She hopes volunteers will help
fill the void, at least in the
evenings and wekends.
In tne meantime, though, the
project staff is trying to econo-
mize, and gearing up its search
for new funders . 'We're starting
from scratch again, trying to get
it right," says Ammons Johnson.
o Dwight o.strlcher
of Roger Starr," a former city
housing commissioner, recalls
Valerio Orselli, the director of
the Cooper Square Committee.
Rivas was also an early member
of Interfaith Adopt-A-Building, a
self-help housing group in the
Lower East Side.
Rivas was an accomplished
poet whose work is included in
the 1975 "Nuyorican Poets
Anthology." He is credited with
coining the affectidnate term for
the Latino Lower East Side in his
1974 poem, "Loisaida."
Besides his writing and his
community work, Rivas was
committed to the
neighborhood' s theatre move-
ment. "Bimbo could have had a
professional acting career,"
says Miguel Algarin, founder of
the Nuyorican Poets Cafe,
where Rivas regularly read his
poetry. "He chose to be a cultural
worker and stay in the commu-
nity." Before he died, Rivas was
acting in the Living Theatre's
production of "Echoes of Justice:
The Larry Davis Story." 0
Barbara Fedders
By Mary Keefe
Careful Training
A unique learning program for home health care.
ulma Ruiz seems energetic,
smart and honest-exactly the
kind of person you would want
looking after a sick relative. At
35 she's training to be a home health
aide after 20 years at home with a son
born severely disabled. Now that he's
more independent, she wants to leave
welfare behind. But when she signed
up for a training program in the South
Bronx, she didn't expect much. After
all, many of her friends trained to
become home health care aides and
she had heard their complaints: poor
training, hard work, little pay.
But at the Home
Care Associates
Training Institute she
found out otherwise.
"I thought this train-
ing would be similar
to what my friends
have been through,
but it is really differ-
ent. There are three
weeks of classroom
training, and a lot of
material is covered ...
and it is the right
material, what you
really need to work
in your field."
training each year are African
American and Latina welfare recipi-
ents from the surrounding neighbor-
hoods who are used to living with the
indignities of welfare and who have
often been labeled by others as lazy,
unmotivated and uneducated. But
here, according to one staff member,
there's a commitment to recognizing
the "courage, motivation, talent and
experience" these women bring to the
The training institute is an arm of
Cooperative Home Care Associates
(CHCA), a worker-owned home care
and underpaid work in the city,
monitoring medication and providing
personal care for people released from
hospitals or permanently disabled.
They must be prepared to work with
patients requiring complex care like
those who have colostomies or
Alzheimer's disease or AIDS. And as
Medicare costs skyrocket, sicker
people are released earlier from
hospitals into the hands of home
health care workers.
"The job requires a great deal of
independent judgment and ability to
assess the home situation and be able
to figure out the right intervention,"
says Powell. Yet home health care
workers are isolated day after day,
without anyon-site supervision, even
as they have to work with difficult
clients and upset family members.
The difficulties of the job make
It's not surprising
that Ruiz and other
women have low ex-
pectations when they
decide to work car-
ing for sick and dis-
abled people in their
homes. The city's
75,000 home health
care workers do jobs
Hands-On: Students at the training institute of Cooperative Home Care Associates
practice in the classroom to become home health aides.
first-rate training es-
sential, which led
CHCA to set up their
own training institute
four years ago. At first,
the company con-
tracted with commu-
nity colleges to
provide training. But
before long they found
the existing training
programs did not meet
their needs. "We real-
ized both the quality
and the way people
were treated there was
not adequate for what
we wanted," says Rick
Surpin, the president
of CHCA. The train-
ing institute remains
small because it only
trains as many work-
ers as CHCA needs;
only three out of four
that tend to be dismissed as little more
than housekeeping-women's work.
The wages are barely more than a
welfare check and the training is often
a negative experience where grown
women are treated like schoolchil-
dren. But those who come to the Home
Care Associates Training Institute a
block from 149th Street and Third
Avenue find a very different situa-
Finding Respect
Most importantly, they find re-
spect. Almost 90 percent of the several
dozen women who participate in the
agency that employs 275 home health
aides paid by Medicare and Medic-
aid. Established seven years ago with
sponsorship from the Community
Service Society, a research and
advocacy group, CHCA now has 180
worker-owners who invest in the
company for a few dollars a week,
elect a worker board of directors and
share in the organization's profits.
"Most people don't have a clue as
to the real difficulties in this kind of
job," says Peggy Powell, the director
of the training institute. She notes
that home health care aides do some
of the most difficult, yet undervalued
women who apply
make it through the
screening interviews and there's al-
ways a waiting list.
Florinda DeLeon, a CHCA home
health aide for the past four years,
underlies the value of the worker-
owned institute by describing her
training at a different Bronx training
center in October, 1987. "One day we
were in one room, the next day in
another." She adds that the teacher
"spent the whole training talking. The
part we need the most, he taught the
least. Out of 14 days, we had only one
afternoon from 2:30 to 5 p.m. in the
lab .... It was an awful feeling. You just
had a very vague idea of what to do."
Difficult Situation
But at the CHCA training institute,
about three-quarters of the three-
week training is hands-on-and it's
soon expanding to four weeks, double
the time than the state requires for
home health aides. Role-plays prepare
students for difficult interpersonal
situations with clients and family
members, and students practice basic
medical procedures on each other as
well as a medical dummy. Those who
pass the classroom training (about 80
percent) must pass 10 supervised in-
home sessions with a nurse before
they can be hired by CHCA at $5.90 an
While CHCA emphasizes quality
care for patients, what sets them apart
is their equal concern for their work-
ers-and the central role that the work-
ers have in the running of the
company. "You can't expect a person
to care about the quality of the job
they are providing if they don't get
cared for," says Powell.
On the first day of a recent training
session in a large classroom, 23
women sit at new tables and soft blue
chairs. There are bright blue bulletin
boards on the walls in front of them
and medical posters dot the other
walls. On the perimeters of the room
are three hospital beds, one inhabited
by Annie, the medical dummy. Powell
and Kathleen Perez, the assistant
director of the training institute, ask
each woman how she feels. Almost
everyone uses the words "nervous,"
"afraid" and "worried. "
Two weeks later, towards the end
of the training session, the women
have gained considerable confidence.
As a physical therapist teaches the
"ABC's" of helping frail people move,
they take notes in already several-
inches-thick notebooks. Soon they are
working in pairs, practicing where to
stand and how to move to give a client
using a cane, walker or wheelchair
the most stability.
Perez is passionate about the
women who are students in the train-
ing program. "They come in with a lot
of strengths-unacknowledged
strengths-to handle what is always
getting worse in their lives. They have
to deal with all the problems that
come with poverty, and usually all at
once and usually right in the middle
of the training, and they still manage
to get through the training.
"When I started this, I thought it
was important to give these women a
different kind of educational experi-
ence. Now I'm obsessed by it, " she
continues. Half of the women in the
training program don't even have a
high school degree, so for many of
them classrooms have meant failure.
"They know
we are women
already, married
and with children.
They treat us
like adults."
At many vocational schools and job
training programs, Perez says, this
sense offailure is reinforced by teach-
ers whose attitude toward the stu-
dents is: "You listen, I talk, you don't
have anything to contribute." Perez
says she works from the assumption
that the students have plenty to offer,
and it's up to her to draw out that
ability and build on it.
The women in the training insti-
tute seem to get this message-and
like it. Patricia Paz, a short, round-
faced woman, says, "They know we
are women already, married and with
children. They treat us like adults."
It's training that works. Of those
who finish, about 70 percent still work
for the company a year later-a major
accomplishment in an industry known
for constant turnover. And CHCA
aides are in demand. "There is no
question that they are one of the best
agencies we deal with. IfCHCA could
be larger we would love it ," says
Brenda Mandel from the Visiting
Nurse Service (VNS) of New York.
First Step on Career Ladder
Although home health care has
been considered a dead end job, CHCA
wants to help change that. Workers
get health insurance and paid vaca-
tions, and CHCA is working on a plan
to promote experienced women to a
senior aide position responsible for
assisting newer workers. There's also
talk of a new program to help workers
get their high school degrees so they
can use their experience to start mov-
ing up the career ladder, ideally to the
better-paid and respected nursing
All this is possible with a new
attitude towards women who are often
dismissed by society, Perez says. "The
notion out there is that people on
long-term welfare ... know nothing and
can do nothing and don't want to do
anything. What we find is the complete
opposite." D
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Youth organizing and youth centers are moving from rhetoric to reality.
Both helped calm the stonn in Washington Heights.
s crowds whirled apart and converged again on the av-
enues of Washington Heights during last month's riots, a
few dozen young men and women in their late teens and
early 20s stepped around the vitriol and the fires in the streets
to dispel rumors and encourage non-violent protest among their
"We were in the crowd when the confrontations happened,"
says Raul Ratcliffe, a 22-year-old staffer from the city's Depart-
ment of Youth Services who was with a half dozen organizers
from Alianza Dominicana, a community group that operates a
massive youth center run by young people on West 182nd
Street. "We told everyone to stop running, to stand up against
the walls, not to provoke the police. The community exercised
a tremelldous amount of patience and control. They just wanted
the police the hell out of the neighborhood."
The young organizers spoke with the youths in the streets,
worked to calm explosive confrontations with the police and
acted as an open line of communication between the neighbor-
hood and city officials at the Department of Youth Services and
the Commission on Human Rights. In the wake of the storm,
community leaders in the Heights say that the anti-police riot
might have careened totally out of control without the persistent
work of local peacemakers.
Youth Action: After the riots in Washington Heights, local youth organizers worked to transform anger into community change.
s the police occupation tapered off in the over-
heated days of mid-July, the fury of the streets
became a catalyst for positive change. Many of the
young people who had been working the crowds
joined with community leaders to capture the anger and
divert it into projects like cleaning up the neighborhood,
organizing a Dominican festival and parade, taking parks
back from drug addicts and organizing a three-day mini-
Olympics for all the other kids of Northern Manhattan.
The foundation for the street work during the riots and
the organizing that followed came, surprisingly enough,
from the city itself, which is working with community-
based organizations to create a new agenda for youth. In
the past two years, its impact has spread amoeba-like
across the five boroughs, reaching into neighborhoods one
by one. Even before the riots, Washington Heights and
Alianza Dominicana were at the fore of the new programs.
In early July, they became its focal point.
What's happening in Washington Heights and else-
where is the result of attempts by the city, youth advocates
and young people themselves to direct new money and
energy towards programs that provide opportunities; youth
centers open late into the night, training classes, counsel-
ing services, sports tournaments, rap sessions and on-the-
street organizing projects. It's a big change. Outside the
world of juvenile prisons, government funding for youth
programs has been miniscule during the last 10 years.
What little there was followed a well traveled path to
programs for youths in crisis-pregnant teens, 15-year-
old drug dealers, chronic truants and gang members.
Among the programs that have been born of the new
vision are more than $5 million spent on 10 multi-service
youth centers, or "Beacons", in public schools open 16
hours a day, with 10 more scheduled to open this year;
nearly $2 million for the Neighborhood Youth Alliance in
grants to 45 community groups to establish youth-run
community organizing projects; more than $2.5 million to
16 community groups to run, youth-staffed outreach teams
for making connections with hard-core street youths and
steering them into productive work, and a spate of other
innovative projects. Most of the money comes from the
two-year-old "Safe Streets, Safe Cities" plan that also
funded the hiring of thousands of new police officers and
the reintroduction of beat cops on the streets.
All of the programs integrate youth involvement in
planning and developing ideas and projects. "If you want
young people to be responsible, you have to give them
responsibility," says John Bess of the Manhattan Valley
Youth Program, which pioneered youth leadership train-
ing along with groups like the Youth Action Program,
Youth Force, the Crown Heights Youth Collective and the
Rheedlen Centers for Children and Families, where the
current youth commissioner, Richard Murphy, worked
for 17 years.
"It's the first time I've seen real direct support for
community organizing from government," says Kim
McGillicuddy, director of Youth Force. Amazing but true-
the city is paying youths to work the streets.
ashington Heights and Inwood are among the
first testing grounds of this new arsenal of di ver-
sion and inclusion. The neighborhoods com-
prise the most overcrowded district in the city,
with more than 65,000 children under the age of19, nearly
two-thirds of them living below the poverty level. School
annexes stand on former playgrounds. Some parks have
fallen to the control of drug addicts. Thousands of ex-
tended immigrant families live in small apartments, four
and five people to a room.
One of the biggest complaints of community leaders is
that there just isn't enough space to run decent youth
programs. The major exception is at I.S. 143 on West
182nd Street east of st. Nicholas Avenue, where Alianza
Dominicana runs a thriving panoply of youth services
under a $400,000 city contract, one of 10 so-called "Bea-
cons" citywide. The center opened last fall, keeping the
school doors open, ball games and classes busy and rap
sessions continuing well into the night.
In the days following the riots, especially in the evening,
the school building was packed with children and teen-
design the costumes for the parade and festival planned
for August. And others are out on the streets, handing out
flyers, spreading the word that the basketball courts and
game rooms are open, along with classes in martial arts,
theater, high school graduate equivalency preparation,
even journalism. Twelve of them are paid to participate in
an environmental project, canvassing the district to find
illegal dump sites, plant flowers, learn about pollution
and encourage neighbors of drug infested parks to help
take them back.
In the evening the counselors hold rap sessions in the
basement. They talk about dating, drug prevention, or
where to go for a cheap trip inside the city. "We want to
expand people's understanding of New York City so
they're not locked into Washington Heights," says Ramirez.
"You know how it goes: Iwas born in Washington Heights,
I will bury my bones in Washington Heights. It's not good.
There's more out there."
The energy in some of the rooms is focused and electric,
even on a hot summer afternoon. In others, down the long
school corridors, kids sit in groups and talk quietly,
passing the time. It's
the slow time of day,
they say, and they're
waiting for the
evening, when the
teenage ball players
and study mavens
come through the door.
Between three and
four hundred youths
use the center every
day, says Moises Perez,
Alianza's executive
director. His perma-
nent staff is mostly in
their early 20s, in-
cluding the co-direc-
tors of the center. Yet
with all the success of
the center, even their
energy and commit-
ment is not enough to
serve a neighborhood
with more than 60,000
young people.
Other youth pro-
o grams in the commu-
12 nity are sparse. The
6 only swimming pool
i in Washington Heights
i!5 and Inwood wasn't
open until July 2,afew
days before the riots
In Control: Cynthia Torres, 19, and Scott Ramirez, 24, help run Alianza Dominicana's Beacon youth center in
Washington Heights.
began. There is only
One other large recreation center, and a handful of day
camps and day care centers, say local leaders. The main
outdoor recreational spaces in the Heights are the play
streets closed off to cars by the Police Athletic League on
summer days.
agers. In addition to the regular staff, two shifts of 75
youths apiece work at the center during the summer
months, paid $4.25 an hour by the federal Summer Youth
Employment Program. Some of them work with the younger
children in a day camp. Others guard the hallways and the
front entrance, where everyone who enters must check
their cap at the door. "It shows you're in a respectable
place," says Scott Ramirez, a 24-year-old counselor at the
Still others are paid to choreograph the dances and
"We just want places to be. This is good. This is real
good," says Aurelia Rodriguez, 15, sitting in front of the
center. Yet Alianza doesn't have the money to keep their
center open on Sundays, or past 10 p.m. on weekdays and
5 p.m. on Saturdays.
he fundamental
theories behind
the Dinkins ad-
youth agenda are hardly
new. In fact, 30 years ago,
President John F.
Kennedy embraced the
idea that youths seek out
crime and gangs for lack
of any better opportuni-
ties, and funded some of
the nascent anti-poverty
programs like Mobiliza-
tion For Youth on the
Lower East Side. The
agency was the brain-
child of a Columbia
University sociologist,
Richard Cloward, and his
colleague, Lloyd Ohlin,
who had worked in the
Illinois justice system.
They created job train-
ing and educational
projects for the neigh-
Stntet ..... : Basketball courts in Washington Heights have been crowded out by school annexes. Among the
only places to play are streets closed off to cars.
borhood's young people based on the theory that youths
will stay away from crime and gangs if society provides
them with opportunities to express themselves, learn and
develop skills, be creative, and acquire jobs.
For a time the federal government followed the philoso-
phy of opportunity in its logical direction, building job
programs for youth that peaked in the late 1970s with the
expansion of the Comprehensive Employment Training
Act (CETA). But Ronald Reagan eviscerated CETA, and
the current job program for youth, the Job Training Part-
nership Act, serves a tiny fraction of the number of youths
that participated in the earlier program. One striking
symbol of the changes in the last three decades is that
Mobilization For Youth no longer does youth work. The
organization now goes by the moniker "MFY" and offers
legal services for poor people in crisis.
Even as federal involvement in youth programs has
waned, aggressive and well-armed youths have become
one of the most fearsome parts of life on New York's
streets. In 1990, after a summer of particularly gruesome
gunshot deaths, the Dinkins administration and the City
Council decided to act and conceived of "Safe Streets, Safe
City," a plan that mainly boosted the police department.
But a few million dollars were included for investment in
youth programs like the Beacons, street outreach by young
people and youth organizing, all in an effort to discover
how to cut off the violence at its source.
The "Safe Streets, Safe City" programs were slow in
coming. Governor Mario Cuomo proposed a massive 61
percent cut in state funding for youth programs in the
fiscal year 1992 budget, even as he increased funding for
juvenile detention centers. In the end, the state cut was
reduced to 38 percent, leaving the city $7.5 million short
in its youth budget. Almost a year behind schedule,
Commissioner Murphy moved forward with the plan.
At the time, critics blamed the youth department for
disorganization. It was a charge with some history behind
it; for years, advocates had battled with hostile youth
commissioners, and in 1989 the state comptroller uncov-
ered scathing evidence of no-show jobs and unfulfilled
contracts under Murphy's predecessors.
Murphy's defenders say the agency is trying to put
together new programs while its staff has shrunk by 30
percent in five years and its budget has grown by 40
percent-mostly in new contracts to community organi-
zations. John Bess and others add that the department is
far more responsive and supportive of community groups
than it ever was in the past, and is relying on the skills and
expertise of the community organizations. "This is a very
different world for youth services now," says Julie Glover,
a founder of The Door, a 20-year-old multi-service youth
Underlying the new efforts of the Dinkins administra-
tion is the work of youth advocates that have been trying
for years to get funding for community centers and youth
outreach instead of prisons.
Established last year, the Youth Development Institute
(YDI) has been working to articulate the need for positive
youth programs. Their basic argument is simple, and it
echoes the views from the 1960s: young people need real
alternatives to their lives on battered streets and in over-
crowded apartments in order to steer clear of crime, drugs,
guns and violence.
"The focus has to be that youths are resources for
themselves, for their peers, for their communities," says
Michele Cahill ofYDI. "They need supports to build their
strengths, supports for taking care ofthemselves." Other-
wise, she says, they'll find that support somewhere else:
in posses that steal cars, sell drugs, or commit petty
Cahill and many others say the real problem is the
deeply ingrained government priorities that promote prison
and punishment at the expense of prevention. The state,
for instance, spends about $175 per youth imprisoned
every day, advocates estimate, and just a few pennies for
every youth participating in government-funded youth
development programs. As Cahill says, "It's like spending
for disease rather than health promotion."
s the rain fell on Washington Heights late in the
week of July 5th, tempers cooled. The thriving
commercial backbeat of the avenues had clearly
recovered by Thursday morning. That day, Com-
missioner Murphy told local leaders that he had the
authority to channel new funding into the community. He
said he wanted to keep the Alianza's Beacon center open
as late as 2 a.m. on weekends, speed funding to other
organizations and create brightly lit spaces for nighttime
recreation. Since then, the city has directed thousands of
extra Summer Youth Employment jobs into the district.
"But it's not just this neighborhood," Murphy says.
"Programs all over the city are just hanging on by their
fingernails." He passes the blame for inadequate funding
to the desk of Governor Cuomo.
"He did shit after Crown Heights," Murphy says of
Cuomo and his staff. "They come down, they psyche
things out for two days, work out some kind of statement
and then pay for a mural."
In the back of a hallway at
P.S. 28, where Dinkins' com-
have grown under Mayor Dinkins, but they are still less
than $50 million a year. A number of neighborhoods have
yet to feel the impact of Beacon centers. Yet city-funded
community organizing projects are beginning to take shape
all over the five boroughs. One of them, the Neighborhood
Youth Alliance, funds 45 community groups.
In Manhattan Valley, out of the basement of the Cathedral
of St. John the Divine, Kelly Vilar is helping 10 young
women between the ages of 15 and 20 organize a citywide
young women's conference to develop new leadership for
the women's movement. Others are planning community
meetings and walking the streets of Central Harlem
educating young women about issues like health and
prenatal care in an attempt to counter infant mortality in
the neighborhood.
In Brooklyn, two cousins from Bedford Stuyvesant are
reaching out to street youths who used to be their partners
in crime. Twenty-two-year-old Jacob Smith and 19-year-
old Donovan McCoy have
started an organization called
People Ending and Correct-
missioners and community
leaders set up a command post
during the riots, two Cuomo
staffers defend their boss. Ron
Law of the Crisis Prevention
Unit says that critics of cuts in
youth services miss the big
picture; he says the state is
supporting education and jobs
programs more than ever.
Law says the conflagration
in the Heights wouldn't en-
courage the state to funnel
"I have to go in and chat,
talk with them, catch a little
note of something positive
and leave them with some-
thing to think about."
ing Errors, or PEACE.
"I lived on the streets,"
says Smith. "My daily rou-
tine was to con and steal. I
had a loving famil y to go home
to but I landed in jail a num-
ber of times. I slept on steps,
on trains. I didn't listen."
One goal ofthe Neighbor-
hood Youth Alliance is to
reach youths who aren't in-
terested in youth centers or
indoor programs and are on
more money into youth pro-
grams. "We should make more
programs available with the
monies available now," he
says. "We need volunteer-
based programs."
On the street outside the
command post, in the heat of
-Jacob Smith, 22,
The PEACE Project
in Bedford-Stuyvesant
the verge of trouble, and get
them interested in com-
munity work, or school, or
jobs, or any way to exercise
their creativity and leader-
ship potential. This is exactly
what PEACE aims to do,
bringing together a core of 15
Wednesday afternoon and
following a night of tense
confrontations and trash fires, Moises Perez of Alianza
Dominicana laughs at the idea of volunteer programs
solving the problems of his neighborhood, where nearly
half the children live in single-parent homes. "You can't
get a volunteer to put in eight hours a day and do consistent
work, day in and day out," he says. "That's apaidjob. Who
pays for the paper clips and the rent and the basketballs?
It's ludicrous to make a statement like that."
n an early summer morning, a visitors' waiting
room at Rikers' Island is a quiet place with views of
green grass and the East River. A Latino police
officer speaks quietly with a few women, bemoan-
ing the appeal of prison to many impoverished youths.
"They have everything inside. Basketball, video machines,
three meals, color TV. It's all backwards."
In the face of desperate straits and rising poverty, the
annual state budget for incarceration has skyrocketed to
$1.4 billion. The city youth department's own resources
youths to work the streets and
plan retreats and workshops.
Smith says the work takes a lot of patience. "I just can't
go into Bed Stuy and say 'I have the PEACE Project, I'm
here to help.' I have to go in and chat, talk with them, catch
a little note of something positive and leave them with
something to think about. Then I come back another day,
catch another positive statement. Then down the line I tell
them about the project." He says his past makes the most
hard-core street youths pay attention to him. "I play a
little mind game. I say, brothers, just think about how I
This kind of work is just the first of many steps that have
to be taken before the small notes of something positive
grow stronger. The programs are often difficult to oversee,
and hard to evaluate within a standard cost-benefit analysis.
But they offer new hope for change-and the alternatives
are bleak, advocates say.
"Look at Los Angeles," says McGillicuddy of Youth
Force. "There's nothing there. I grew up there. They have
no youth programs. You want what happened there?
That's how to get it. That's why New York City didn't
blow." 0

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - / ~ ~ ~ -
Decent housing. Small business development. Worth
fighting for. That's why Brooklyn Union Gas started the Area
Development Fund three years ago. We committed $5 million to
create a revolving fund and to attract others to the cause.
In this good fight, we use equity investments; below-market
loans for site acquisition, pre-development costs, construction
and business expansion; bridge financing; letters of credit and
venture capital.
Th date the Fund has contributed $8 million for housing,
small business development, and capital projects for cultural
institutions. We've gained dedicated allies among several
private and public organizations. Their help has enabled the
Fund to leverage $8 million to $267 million.
Come, join us in fighting the good fight ... shining armor
supplied. Thlk to Jan Childress at (718) 403-2583. You'll find him
working for you at Brooklyn Union Gas, naturally.
~ Brooklyn Union Gas
Los Angeles:
The Community View
Beside the images of a community in flames is an unrecognized network
of grassroots organizations. It's time people paid attention.
ay 2, three days after the jury returned a not
guilty verdict against the Los Angeles police-
men who beat Rodney King, my direct flight to
Los Angeles was canceled. Los Angeles Inter-
national Airport had only one runway open,
diverting planes from flying over areas where the smoke of
still-smoldering fires was visible. Arriving after the seven
o'clock curfew, I drove past the Cesar Pelli-designed Fox
Hills Mall and saw the National Guard. Memories flooded
in of the Newark civil rights project where I worked 27
years earlier. The National Guard had cordoned off my
neighborhood during that rebellion. But Los Angeles was
not the same, before or after this latest civil unrest.
This struck me even more forcefully two weeks later
when, traveling again, I attended the global forum on the
environment in Rio de Janeiro and someone from the U.s.
off-handedly asked, "Are things in Los Angeles back to
Multi-Layered Realities
I couldn't help but wonder: what kind of "normal" did
he have in mind? Did he mean normal, middle-class
neighborhood life in Los Angeles for people like himself
who never spend time in poor neighborhoods and shield
themselves from seeing burned-out buildings, who don't
have to buy inferior meats or vegetables, or travel miles
just to find a bank? Or did he mean people like me, an
urban planner who works directly with poor communities
but whose skin color and education confer privileges that
leave me as an outsider? Maybe he was thinking about the
people who live in South Central Los Angeles: the gangs
whose community-oriented demands have catapulted
them into spokespeople on national talk shows, the people
no one hears about who stretch their small budgets and go
about their lives, the leaders who work in community-
based groups that are trying to make a difference at the
local level.
For the people living in the areas most affected by the
civil unrest, "normal" is an overlapping, intersecting,
multi -layered set of realities. After the Simi Valley verdict,
the media found some parts of this reality mOre news-
worthy than others. Soundbites failed to convey the com-
plexity of this country's first multi -cultural, multi -spatial
uprising to the man I spoke with in Rio, or to anyone else
who forms opinions based on the nightly news.
Notoriously absent from the coverage then-and now-
is the vibrancy of the work in about 50 community-based
groups that have flowered in the past decade in Los
Angeles. Clearly, their work did not stop the civil unrest,
nor will it prevent a recurrence of what happened in May.
But the very presence of these groups provides a certain
measure of optimism that counters the cynicism about the
possibilities for change in poor communities.
Beyond the Wasteland Image
As a native New Yorker, I know that most people see
Los Angeles as a sprawling wasteland of insulated people
locked in their cars and shut up in single family homes.
But after living in Los Angeles in the early 1970s, I found
out first hand that real neighborhoods exist around the
freeways and behind major streets, and that activism in
these neighborhoods is alive and well. This activism may
not be as old as the community-based groups in New York,
but it is equally important, and with a mixed reality.
After the 1965 Watts rebellion, the Watts Labor Council
Action Committee (WLCAC) and The East Los Angeles
Community Union (TELECU) were set up. Over the years,
their housing and economic development efforts expanded
and became institutionalized, and they remained the
city's only community development corporations. In the
recent unrest, WLCAC's commercial center, which in-
cluded a coin laundry, a chili parlor, a furniture shop and
a building supply store, and whose earnings helped pay
for some of its housing projects, was burned. As one
activist explained to me, the activities after the Watts
rebellion and the established community leaders that
emerged from that era are almost irrelevant to younger
people. "This was an entirely new generation," he said.
But there is also an entirely new generation of commu-
nity groups, and their existence is astonishing considering
the environment they are in. The Watts rebellion didn't
lead to the infusion of massive amounts of money that is
essential to change a devastated landscape. Unlike New
York, the city of Los Angeles has been notoriously lax
about pursuing the scarce federal community develop-
ment funds that exist-or in allocating money from its
own budgets to revive neighborhoods.
Nonetheless, over the past decade, about 50 different
groups have formed. These community-based efforts vary.
In Vernon-Central, an area of South Central, 22 block
groups formed Concerned Citizens of South Central a few
years ago to stop an incinerator from polluting the neigh-
borhood. This network of residents, homeowners, mer-
chants and civic, educational, cultural and religious insti-
tutions recently cut the ribbon for 40 units of housing at
Roberta Stephens Villas, which were named after a retired
local high school teacher who was instrumental in the
incinerator fight. Concerned Citizens recently received a
grant from the federal government and now they're work-
ing with residents at a nearby public housing develop-

Beyond Burning: Soundbites failed to convey the complexity of the Los Angeles uprising.
ment, Pueblo del Rio.
Another example is the Dunbar Economic Develop-
ment Corporation (EDC), located a couple of blocks away
from Concerned Citizens. The Dunbar EDC works out of
the historic Dunbar Hotel, once the only place where
African-American entertainers could stay in Los Angeles.
The hotel is now used as housing for the elderly, and the
Dunbar EDC's mission is tied to the area's cultural history
around Central Avenue, historically the "little Harlem"
and "Black Downtown" of South Central. The Dunbar
EDC office swirls with activity, its young staff putting
together planning workshops and developing working
relationships with Latino organizations like the Central
American Refugee Center, learning about each other's
cultures and working together to reach out to their
Growing Community Coalitions
These examples of activism are not isolated. There is
also a growing coalition of groups that is slowly gaining
strength, and there is reason to believe it will also gain
clout. The city's Housing Planning and Production Depart-
ment (HPPD), only a few years old, was created partly in
response to pressure from a loose collaboration of tenant
activists, grassroots groups, housing, homelessness, and
health activists, and city-wide nonprofit technical assis-
tance groups. Coming together as "Housing L.A." in the
1980s, they organized against one ofthe city's most pow-
erful agencies, the Community Redevelopment Agency
When CRA tried to raise its spending authority to sink
more money into creating a glitzier downtown-and si-
multaneously tried to buy the support of grassroots groups
by promising some funding for housing-the coalition
faced a decisive moment. The grassroots groups took
control from the professionals and set the agenda, suggest-
ing more money be allocated for low income households.
The groups then proposed that the entire distribution of
any available money go to human needs for L.A.'s poor
communities. They organized a "people's hearing" where
person after person spoke about the full range of commu-
nity needs, not just housing. Although that battle was
submerged amid other issues, including fighting for rent-
ers' protections, the loose coalition has maintained itself,
networking at the also newly-formed Southern California
Association of Nonprofits.
The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) has
also played a role, supporting older and new grassroots
groups. In the wake of the rebellion, LISC's ongoing work
with the Coalition ofN eighborhood Developers has hel ped
bring together a wide array of community-based groups
from 10 areas of the city. The meetings are lessons in
multicultural planning where the agenda is being set by
people of color who are passionate about making their
community's voices heard. In each of the 10 areas groups
are moving from community development into neighbor-
hood planning. Funders are providing $50,000 for each of
the 10 teams, half for the initial planning, and half for
leadership development to take the plans beyond paper.
This activism is only one part of the larger picture in Los
Angeles, but it is the part that counters the dominant
message the media relays. In the face of what is usually
portrayed as only desperation and hopelessness, the com-
munity-based efforts here are especially important. Be-
side the pictures of a city in flames is this other reality that
must be recognized and supported by the media, founda-
tions, government and other community-based groups
around the country. This is the real Rebuild L.A., the view
from the base. 0
Jacqueline Leavitt is an associate professor at the UCLA
Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning.

The state's Department of
Transportation expects to spend
a decade repairing the Gowanus
Expressway. They may destroy a
string of Brooklyn neighborhoods
in the process.
'''The whole area died with the road,' a [Sunset Park]
resident would marvel. 'And it died so quick. '" From
Robert Caro's The Power Broker.
alking down Third Avenue in Sunset Park
underneath the fast-corroding steel girders of
the Gowanus Expressway, a newcomer would
never guess that this crumbling highway was
once heralded as the Leonardo da Vinci of
roadways or that this three-mile length of avenue lined
with industrial businesses-scrap metal yards, auto grave-
yards, a triple-X porno warehouse-was once this Brooklyn
community's lively commercial heart. Long-time residents
still bitterly remember the construction of the Gowanus
and the destruction of their old neighborhood: When the
expressway was built on top of the old Third Avenue El
and opened to traffic in 1941, 1,300 families and 100 stores
were displaced, and the thriving waterfront on the other
side of the highway was cut off from the community like
an aneurysm. In the end, the Gowanus was built so close
to the brownstones and brickfronts left standing that, on
rainy days, passing cars splashed water into the open
windows of people's homes.
Fifty years later, Sunset Park has revived, and it is again
a hard-working, low income community of immigrants.
Puerto Ricans, Central Americans, and Asians have largely
taken the place of the Irish, Italian and Scandinavians, and
the neighborhood boasts a new and bustling commercial
strip on Fifth Avenue-once virtually the countryside-
with street vendors in front of its discount stores hawking
everything from soccer balls to tropical ices to one-dollar
brassieres. Now, almost as if a punishment for the
community's long-term resilience, Sunset Park is once
again threatened by the Gowanus-this time by a $500
million highway reconstruction project that will close
down a large section of the highway and dump tens of
thousands of cars onto the area's residential and commer-
cial streets.
"We're looking at air and noise pollution, congestion
like you've never seen," says Tony Giordano, executive
director of the Sunset Park Restoration Committee. "The
state views us as a path of convenience-they're going to
roll right over us."
And this time Sunset Park will not be alone.
With the reconstruction slated to cover every inch of
aging concrete on the four-mile-Iong viaduct starting in
1994, every community on either side of the Gowanus will
be inundated with commuter and truck traffic. Of the
160,000 vehicles that travel the Gowanus daily, 50,000 are
expected to take to the local streets of Bay Ridge, Sunset
Park, Park Slope, Red Hook, Carroll Gardens and Brooklyn
Heights-with the potential to severely damage the quality
of life in what are already fragile communities.
"The city views our neighborhoods as a corridor between
Staten Island and Manhattan," says Ben Meskin, a Third
A venue resident, member of Community Board Six and
president of the newly-formed Gowanus Expressway
Community Coalition. "They want to move traffic, and
they want to move it over us-through my neighborhood
where there's already poor air quality, through Carroll
Gardens where there's twisty, windy streets."
One of the city's most prominent traffic engineering
consultants, Brian Ketcham, is estimating that the recon-
struction will cost Brooklyn communities a whopping
$1.7 billion because oflost business and other costs-and
lead to scores of extra traffic deaths. "I don't see how these
communities can survive all this construction and
continued disruption," he says. "It's going to be one hell
of a mess."
The Gowanus Coalition was formed in recent months-
banding together members from more than a dozen com-
munity groups-after numerous public meetings with
state officials left community memberswondering whether
any of their concerns were going to be addressed. "When
the state comes around and talks, they just say, 'Don't
worry. We'H make the traffic move,'" says Meskin. "Now
the people who live here are starting to fight."
This community is up against a 50-year legacy of poor
transportation planning, worse maintenance and an
abysmal lack of coordination between agencies. This
legacy continues today. The state Department of Trans-
portation (DOT), which is overseeing the reconstruction,
has a more "sensitive" face than it did in the 1940s-they
hold community meetings, conduct environmental studies,
offer to fill in potholes on local streets. But their ability to
Short-Tenn Tranquility?: Quiet Brooklyn streets
could soon become throughways for truck
traffiC diverted from the Gowanus.
truly address the community's concerns remains doubtful.
And even though the highway rebuilding effort heightens
the need for mass transit in Brooklyn, the Transit Authority
(T A) has no special plans to promote subway use during
the Gowanus reconstruction. In fact, the TA recently
approved a cutback in the hours for a part-time token
booth at one of Sunset Park's busiest subway stations, the
59th Street stop.
Crumbling Infrastructure
Like much of the city's infrastructure, the Gowanus is
falling apart. Carrying commuters and trucks through
Brooklyn from the Verrazano Bridge to the BQE and the
Battery Park Tunnel, the Gowanus has been a victim of
poor ongoing maintenance for years, leaving the state no
choice but to close off portions of the highway for major
The most likely plan for reconstruction-nothing will
be finalized until the end of the year-will take place in
two phases over 10 years starting in 1994, closing all lanes
in the northbound direction for five years, followed by the
same strategy in the southbound direction starting in
1999. During the repairs, no new lanes will be constructed,
and, after a decade of commuter hell and community
disruption, the Gowanus-though featuring a somewhat
smoother ride-will, in the year 2004, carry only as many
cars and trucks as it does today.
"This is the biggest project we're working on now," says
Phyllis Hirschberg, assistant to the regional director at the
state DOT. "We recognize that there is no way we are going
to be able to do this necessary work and not have an impact
on the communities in the pathway of the Gowanus.
That's why we've set up an extraordinary community
outreach program to get community input."
To the state DOT's credit, they have been holding
meetings for the lasttwo years with members ofCommunity
Boards Two, Six, Seven and 10, ostensibly to help mitigate
the reconstruction's impact on the neighborhoods. Yet
many community members are not satisfied with DOT's
current efforts.
In the communities that expect to be affected by the
Gowanus reconstruction, merchants in particular are
concerned that traffic problems will become so severe that
it will be impossible for them to receive deliveries and
prevent shoppers from getting to their stores.
Although there are a variety of alternative routes that
commuters may take through various neighborhoods,
much concern has focused on Fifth Avenue, which slices
through the residential communities of Sunset Park and
Park Slope all the way from the Verrazano bridge to
Flatbush Avenue. Merchants here believe that traffic
diverted from the Gowanus, which itself is a viaduct over
Third Avenue, will squeeze down their street, creating
monumental pile-ups.
"There's going to be 18-wheelers coming through here
and through little residential streets on their way to the
avenue," says Peter Morisi, the owner of The Macaroni
Store at Fifth Avenue and 18th Street where his family has
been making and selling pasta for 50 years. "I could think
positively and think, look at all the people who'll see my
store because they'll be stuck in it. But I don't think they're
going to get out and shop. And deliveries? Forget it. "
Morisi, a member and past president of the Park Slope
Fifth A venue Merchants Association, which is itself now
a member of the Gowanus Coalition, says DOT has only
given lip service to the communities.
"They seem to think that if they don' t fix the problems,
they'll fix themselves," says Morisi. "We want to know
what's going to happen to the residential areas and the
commercial strips-we've had no answers. All we're asking
is, where's the common sense?"
Preliminary work on the Gowanus has already begun
on the innermost lanes north of the Prospect Expressway-
replacing original concrete from the early 1940s. And
local residents say they are already feeling the burden
from this relatively minor one-lane diversion on both
Third and Fourth avenues. Further, they say, even the
smallest snafu on the expressway creates traffic headaches
in adjacent communities, and major blockages on the
Gowanus have proved paralyzing to local streets.
"Not long ago a trailer truck overturned on the approach
to the Gowanus," says George Perla, the owner of the HP
Meat Market on Fifth Avenue, a member of the Fifth
Avenue Merchants Association of Sunset Park, and a
former member of Community Board Seven. "Because of
that, Fifth, Fourth and Third avenues were wall to wall
with vehicular traffic. You could barely cross the street.
Trucks are already all over the place when there's a
breakdown, so the anticipation is that when they close the
Gowanus, it's going to be horrendous."
Failure To Act
Perla, like many other community members, says that
DOT has listened to community concerns-but failed to
act upon them. "These people are not New Yorkers and
they don't know New York streets," he says. "One gets the
feeling that their philo-
sophical approach is que
sera, sera, whatever hap-
pens, happens."
Hirschberg from DOT
strongly disagrees. "We
will provide information
to anyone who asks and
meet with any group that
requires it," she says.
Hirschberg also acknowl-
edges the severity of the
problem: "Out of 160,000
vehicles, 12 to 15 percent
are trucks. That's a very
high percentage-the
Gowanus is a major truck
route to other parts of the
country and region," she
says. "Wewanttoencour-
age trucks to stay on the
viaduct. "
from traveling on local streets and no plans have been
The mitigation proposals that Hirschberg says the DOT
is considering are more accommadating to drivers than
the community: encouraging car-pooling by creating a
high-occupancy vehicle lane during rush hours and turning
this lane over to trucks in off hours; improving local
streets, particularly Third and Fourth avenues so they can
withstand the extra traffic volume; developing park-and-
ride locations in both Brooklyn and Staten Island so
commuters can either car pool or switch to public transit;
improving bus access to the Staten Island ferry terminal.
But many Brooklynites say these suggestions are too
little, too late and don't go far enough to discourage car and
truck users to slow down, drive somewhere besides
Brooklyn, or get out of their vehicles and into public
transit. The Gowanus coalition is now trying to get funding
for an alternative traffic study that would consider much
tougher measures.
These driver-unfriendly steps include protecting local
streets by blocking them off to traffic, putting in speed
bumps, and timing traffic signals to slow traffic; reducing
through-traffic in west Brooklyn by readjusting bridge toll
structures; restricting truck traffic on local streets; and
even narrowing streets to create bike lanes.
While the money for the alternative traffic study is not
yet in place, an independent consulting firm has already
produced a study on the cost of reconstruction to local
communities. The estimates are not pretty. Brian Ketcham
estimates that 10 years of traffic disruption and diversion
will cost Brooklyn communities $1.7 billion-half straight
out of their pocketbooks and half in" suffering" in the form
of decreased air quality, increased noise pollution, and
lost productivity.
Included in the figure is a death toll-the result of
putting 50,000 more cars onto local streets. "We kill one
Yet Hirschberg cannot
offer a definitive guaran-
tee that this traffic will be
mitigated: DOT staff-
members are still evalu-
ating a variety of ways to
try and discourage trucks
The Other Fifth Avenue: Merchants on Brooklyn's Fifth Avenue fear they won't be able to receive deliveries or
do business ... ·
pedestrian a day in New
York City," he says. "And
there's four times the
chance of getting killed in
street traffic than on the
highway." The cold sta-
tistics lead him to con-
clude that the Gowanus
reconstruction will cause
50 to 60 more traffic
deaths duringreconstruc-
tion in the affected Brook-
1yn communities. This
doesn't even include the
hundreds of extra acci-
dents that Ketcham pre-
dicts will take place.
Local activists say that
another concern is the
limited planning and
coordination occurring
between city and state
transportation agencies.
As examples, they cite the
Transit Authority's April
attempt to cut service on
the F line, which serves
the area. That proposal
was eventually taken off
the table, but the TA re-
... George Perla of HP Meat Market says, "The anticipation is that when they close the Gowanus, it's going to
be horrendous."
cently cut back the hours for a part-time token booth at the
Sunset Park's busy 59th Street station.
"If we're trying to improve mass transit, the T A will
have to do a lot more than think about whether or not this
or that route is profitable," says Jerry Armer, a member of
the transportation committee of Community Board Six
and the DOT's community task force on the Gowanus
reconstruction. He says the T A should be increasing and
improving service, not cutting it back. Other coalition
members echo his sentiment. "We need true inter-agency
cooperation here," says Tony Giordano.
Caren Gardner, a TA spokesperson, counters that the
cut in token booth hours is a safety measure, and no
special measures like extra service are necessary. "The
capacity that exists on trains now is sufficient to handle
addi tional riders," she says. "If we see a significant change
in ridership in the area, then we'll change our service.
We're flexible."
Gardner continues, "We've always had a good relation-
ship with the city and state ?,ansportation
We're always part of the planmng process and wlll continue
to be." Nonetheless, critics say, the TA's approach seems
reactive rather than proactive. As Gardner puts it: "We'll
make changes and adjustments as necessary."
A Potential Compromise?
Despite the community's uproar, advocates acknowl-
edge that some kind of reconstruction does have to happen
on the Gowanus. The question is how to rebuild the road
and wreak the least havoc on the surrounding communi-
ties. Reports from the state DOT offer a variety of options
that span between five and 12 years. The most likely
option seems to be the 10-year, two-phase approach.
Interestingl y, Ketcham has estimated that if the recon-
struction were done in five years, closing off all but one
lane in both directions in the same time, the burden on
Brooklyn communities would be cut in half, costing them
an estimated $800 million instead of $1.7 billion.
"They say they've got to close one side and then the
other side. We say, let's suffer five years, not 10 years,"
says Ben Meskin.
But on this key issue-whether the reconstruction
should be completed over one or a number of phases-the
DOT has shown little flexibility to seriously consider
anything less than 10 years. And local community board
members are not convinced this is the best method, either.
"We are diametrically opposed to single-phase
construction," says Nick Sciarra, the district manager of
Community Board Seven, who sits on the Gowanus
community task force at the state DOT. "Closing the
Gowanus would be suicide for this community. How can
we possibly absorb all the traffic?"
Despite this dissension, community members say they
are crystal clear and united in their realization that the
Gowanus reconstruction will cause serious disruption-
more traffic, more noise, more pollution. This is especially
harmful in neighborhoods like Sunset Park, where the rate
of hospitalization for acute asthma is twice as high as the
city's average.
The community coalition knows that even if transpor-
tation officials are holding hearings and meetings, it will
take an organized coalition political clout to get any
real concessions. That's why they've started gathering
support from their local representatives: City Council
members Ken Fisher, Joan Griffin McCabe and Stephen
DiBrienza, as well as Assembly members James Brennan
and Joni Yoswein.
The coalition's ability to build new support and political
clout will be decisive in the months ahead. Whether the
mistakes of the past will be repeated remains to be seen. 0
_ a' a" 'a
Rough Travelling
New federal transportation money is sparking a David
vs. Goliath battle between mass transit advocates and
the highway lobby.
ach morning, nearly one million
vehicles relentlessly lurch and
cough their way into Manhattan,
the center of a city sinking into
perpetual gridlock.
The daily assault helps to make
cars and trucks the primary source of
air pollution in the city.
It also makes New York
an unpleasant place to
breathe, a nearly impos-
sible place to get around
by car, and a city still
struggling to comply with
the 22-year-old federal
Clean Air Act. But at-
tempts to reduce pollu-
tion and traffic conges-
tion by overhauling the
subway system and at-
tracting new riders have
been set back by the re-
cession and revenue
shortfalls of recent years.
been stymied for lack of funds. The
catch is that the state must decide
where to spend the flexible funds,
effecti vel y setting up a contest between
New York's past and future. Forging a
new direction for transportation that
looks beyond the next big-bucks high-
portation should be called the state
Department of Highways," says Gene
Russianoff, staff attorney for the
Straphanger's Campaign, a subway
riders' advocacy and lobbying group.
He fears that the new money will
simply follow well-worn and influen-
tial channels through the state DOT
bureaucracy, and end up in the hands
of the highway builders.
One of the problems is that mass
transit advocates are taking on the
well-established highway lobby, fierce
defenders of the old ways of spending
money. Large and muscular, the
highway lobby is a collection of
highly organized, well-connected and
multi-layered interests
that include contractors,
construction companies,
the engineering establish-
ment and trade unions.
In this modern parable,
the highway lobby is the
Goliath and advocates for
alternative transportation
are playing David. "The
highway lobby is tremen-
dously powerful and they
have assembled a huge
operation," says Upper
West Side Assemblyman
Jerrold Nadler , a vocal
mass transit proponent.
"To beat it, we have to
assemble our own power-
g Building a Campaign
f'!: So far, the goal of the
mass transit advocates is
notto overpower the high-
g way lobby, but merely to
pry some of the gold coins
from its fist. Strategies
include organizing a cam-
paign to marshall the same
forces that have always
helped highway interests
get their way-in particu-
!3 lar contractors who will
benefit from large-scale
mass transit programs and
C3 unions whose workers
Now, a new federal law
promises $12 billion in
transportation funds for
New York state, and it
offers an opportunity for
a departure from a long-
dominant vision of
"transportation" that
only includes concrete
roads and automobiles.
The law, primarily
written by New York
Senator Daniel Patrick
Moynihan, includes a
hefty $3.5 to $4 billion in
flexible funding for New
York. The money can be
spent either on mass tran-
sit or on highways and
bridges, or some combi-
nation of the two. The
law is called the
Intermodal Surface
Transportation Effi-
Policy Gridlock?: A spokesperson for the governor says the new money may
end up travelling to the state's general revenue fund.
will secure long-lasting
jobs maintaining transit
ciency Act (ISTEA). Policy junkies
have taken to calling the new law "Ice
Those funds are more attractive
than ever to transit advocates, espe-
cially since the Transit Authority's
five-year, $10 billion capital plan has
way project will depend on support
from the governor's office, state law-
makers and the state Department of
Transportation (DOT). And that
support is proving difficult to grab
hold of.
"The state Department of Trans-
"There are a number
of vendors over the past 10 years who
have done millions of dollars in busi-
ness with the Metropolitan Transit
Authority," the government body that
oversees the city's Transit Authority
and the commuter railroads, says
Russianoff. "When you look at it, we
have the same exact labor and busi-
ness support as highway interests."
To help build an organization
downstate, and meet with lawmakers
and administrators upstate, mass tran-
sit advocates are forming a coalition
centered in Nadler's office. Nadler
has hired an intern to help kick off the
organizing effort needed to bring to-
gether a wide variety of people and
groups, including everyone from the
Chamber of Commerce to bicycle
advocates. The city should be fertile
ground for support: a new poll by the
Empire Foundation and the Lehrman
Institute found that city residents
supported spending government
money on mass transit instead of roads
by a margin of two to one.
Part of the campaigners' task will
be revising an outdated mindset in
Albany,Nadlersays. "Most lawmakers
are used to doling out peanuts for
mass transit and gi ving away elephants
for highway projects," bemoans the
assemblyman, who spent the waning
days of the last legislative session
fighting a proposed project to build a
$61 million interchange in Orange
County upstate to accommodate traffic
to Stewart Airport, which handles
some 22 flights a day. The interchange
project remains on the table, but
Nadler says it is likely to be approved.
"For$61 million they can cut maybe
20 seconds off what is only a three
minute trip," Nadler says. "By contrast
the MT A had a proposal to dig a tunnel
between the F line and the IRT for $18
million that would save 20,000 people
10 minutes each day on their way to
work." Naturally, Nadler says, the
MTA proposal was dead on delivery.
It's Cuomo's Decision
The decision on how to spend the
federal money rests with the New
York Metropolitan Transportation
Council (NYMTC), a regional council
with representatives from the state
and city transportation departments,
the Metropolitan Transportation
Authority (MT A), and suburban
county officials. But as the politicking
at the transportation council proved
in late June, the real decision-making
power rests with the state government
and Governor Mario Cuomo. His trans-
portation department provides the
operating staff for NYMTC and ap-
proves the final spending plan. And
he would have to face off against the
upstate and suburban highway inter-
ests if the flexible funds are to go to
mass transit-a move he has steered
clear of in the past.
On June 25, the MTA's representa-
tives tried to throw a monkey wrench
into the transportation council's usu-
ally smooth proceedings. They ve-
toed a Cuomo-backed spending plan
that transferred none of the flexible
highway money into mass transit. A
few days later, the MTA was back at
the table and gave its approval to a
revised plan that gave lip service to
transferring some of the highway
money, but included no specifics.
"The MTA showed some backbone,"
says Russianoff. "But it didn't resolve
Still, he and other advocates say
the door remains open for a serious
lobbying effort directed at Cuomo and
his transportation department. It won't
be an easy task, they say. "The DOT
has traditionally shown no leader-
ship in providing for mass transit any-
where in the state, " says Jim Tripp of
the Environmental Defense Fund.
The charge that the DOT has no
significant support for mass transit
makes David Murray, departmental
spokesperson, bristle. "We don't get
nosebleeds when we get south of the
Westchester line," he says. "We have
one hell of a lot of people here who
know the subway system." He says
the agency's mass transit division
Community Development Group
A resource for the non ... profit
development community
Gary Hattem, Vice President
280 Park Avenue, 19 West New York, New York 10017
Tel: 212,454,3487 FAX 454,2380
employs about 100 engineers. That
compares to about 2,000 profession-
als agency-wide.
Murray says the department's plan-
ners refuse to consider mass transit
and highways as competing forces.
He cites bridges that carry subways
and buses as an example of highway
and bridge work that benefits mass
transit. .
City-based transit activists aren't
optimistic about the state agency's
intentions, though. And officials aren't
doing anything to erase their doubts.
When asked about Governor Cuomo's
views on shifting flexible funds from
highways to mass transit, a spokes-
person spells out the likelihood that
the ISTEA money might be travelling
elsewhere-to the general fund for
state government.
A Level Playing Field
The MT A recently acknowledged
that it had to chart a bolder course and
detail its needs and new projects if it
was ever going to get hold of any of the
transportation money. Two months
ago, the authority unveiled an
ambitious plan calling for a fare freeze
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Environmental Development (PICCED)
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379 DeKalb Avenue. 2nd Floor
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until 1994 and an automated fare
system that would allow the use of
monthly passes, along with discounts
for customers who transfer from buses
or ferries to subways. The announce-
ment was a pleasant surprise to many
transit advocates who fought for years
for such a plan. "It's a watershed for
the MT A," says Jon Orcutt, director of
Transportation Alternatives, an
advocacy group promoting bicycle use
and mass transit. Unfortunately, says
Orcutt , the MT A tied the improve-
ments to a 20 percent fare increase in
But the MT A is also besieged by
political forces outside Albany. Jerry
Litt, who serves on NYMTC as a
representative for MTA Chairman
Peter Stangl, says that Westchester
County' s representatives on the trans-
portation council refuse to allow the
MT A to identify flexible funds for
mass transit projects , effectively
keeping the funds out of mass transit's
"We're just looking for a level play-
ing field, which is what the new law is
all about," Litt says.
Janette Sadik-Khan of Mayor David
Dinkins' transportation office sees one
possible detour around the suburban
political battleground. She calls ISTEA
"the daughter of the Clean Air Act,"
and points out that clean air laws can
be a strong tool to pry more of the
highway dollars into mass transit. She
says deadlines for the city and state to
submit plans to the federal govern-
ment on improving air quality will
probably be linked directly to emerg-
ing transportation plans. "This should
ultimately workfor the city," she says.
After all, asks Russianoff, "What
do highway people have? They have a
vision of a choked Long Island
Expressway coming into the city and
people sitting in traffic with carbon
monoxide spewing around them. We
have a vision of a city with clean air,
where people can get around cheaply
and quickly." 0
Samme Chittum is a former reporter
at the Daily News. She currently
teaches journalism at Columbia and
. New York universities.
"New York Cares Day"
Do you need a volunteer for a day? For
ihformation on this fundraising
marathon on Saturday, October 24,
1992, call Cornelia Ryan at 753-6670.
By Dorothy Jasper
A Place I've Been
"No Place To Be: Voices of Homeless
Children, " by Judith Berek, Houghton
Mifflin, 1992, 147 pages, $15.
s I began reading this book, it
brought back painful memo-
ries of the time, one year ago,
when my two children and I
were homeless. It was hard to see my
own life in a book filled with stories of
such pain and humiliation.
"No Place To Be," is a book about
homeless families written for teen-
agers and adults. It begins with com-
ments from teenagers about their lives,
about what it's like being poor and
living in the shelters. It reveals the
inside story on how the system deals
with homeless people.
In a simple way that children and
teenagers can understand, Berck de-
scribes how homeless ness became
common in the 1980s, how welfare
payments were cut, how families with
children were thrown off of food
stamps, and how poor people had to
choose between buying food and pay-
ing the rent. Then she lets children
tell their stories.
One child tells how her mother
hurt her back, lost her job and couldn't
pay the rent. Others explain that they
left home because of overcrowding or
terrible conditions like drug dealers
and gunfights. I became homeless with
my son and daughter after a dispute
with my mother in family court. We
were ordered by a judge to leave the
household. I had nowhere to go and
no money, just the clothes on our
backs and a cold wind in our faces. At
the time my son was 10, my daughter
was four and I was 34.
Mandatory Reading
Berck's book should be mandatory
reading for teenagers because it shows
that there's no glamour in the shelter
system. There are children using drugs
and getting pregnant and they some-
times think the shelters are a decent
way to live. They have to see that this
is no way to go, that a shelter is only a
temporary place to stay on the way to
permanent housing.
As I read the chapter in Berck's
book about barracks style shelters, it
took me back there. It was hell. My
two children and I stayed in a bar-
racks-style shelter in the South Bronx
called "151" before we were sent to a
better shelter in Brooklyn. In 151 my
children were exposed to a lifestyle
which changed both of them dramati-
cally. During our 77-day stay, my
daughter came down with pneumo-
nia and almost died. The staff at the
shelter didn't give a damn about the
people, or more importantly, the chil-
dren. The shelter was just a horror
show with a bunch of crazy rules and
it's still there. They haven't closed it
Thank goodness Berck talked to
children. Adults in the shelters are
scared, they are institutionalized, they
It was hard
to see my own
life in stories
of such pain
and humiliation.
don't want to make waves. So you
have to talk to the children to get the
The book shows how homeless-
ness takes a toll on children. Teens
and pre-teens suffer the humiliation
of being homeless. They don't want
friends to know their real address.
They get teased by schoolchildren who
find out they're homeless. Kids can be
cruel. My son James is 12. All he does
is fight; every day in school it's a
battlefield. He feels like he's an out-
cast because I don't have the money to
dress him like the other kids in his
school. He's miserable-and he's not
even in the shelter anymore.
Hard Core Brutality
Still, Berck's book only seems to
tell part of the truth.
She talks to the hopeful kids, not
the kids that fight with their parents
and punch them out. She doesn't talk
about girls losing their virginity,
getting molested in the bathrooms
because their parents aren't around.
She doesn't show the real hard core
brutality of the shelter system.
Instead, she looks at the positive
side of things and at the possibilities
for hope. The book should have
showed some more of the negative
side. It's a fact: there are a lot of kids
who need to be somewhere else, any-
where but the shelters. The kids I'm
talking about are the ones who can't
be controlled by their parents.
I think Berck wrote about children
in the shelters in such a positive way
because there's such a stigma on the
homeless in society. It's as though she
wanted to show that not all kids in the
shelters are bad, that they're not all
out on the street mugging people or
going crazy.
Or maybe the book is directed at
middle and upper class kids, kids that
live in nice homes, have their own
bedrooms and don't grow up too fast.
It must be amazing for them to see
children their own age living like this.
Maybe Berck thought it would be too
much for them to read about what
really goes on.
My son and daughter had dreams
of a nice room with a desk and a chair
where they could do their homework.
They also wanted a TV, video games,
bunkbeds, decent housing, good
schools nearby and a real family life.
My son wants to go into the military,
my daughter wants to be a lawyer and
I want to go back to school and get off
welfare. But we had to go through the
horrors of the shelter system-and
people should know exactly what
happens there.
So thank you, Judith Berck, on be-
half of all homeless families. You went
straight to the source and got most of
the facts of what it is to be homeless.
The book doesn't go into all the harsh-
ness and cruelty, but it is still an
important document. Your book is
my story-and all the other stories
that continue today. 0
Dorothy Jasper is a founder of the
Residents Council at the Help One
shelter in Brooklyn. She now lives in
an apartment in East New York,
Subscribe to
(212) 925-9820
By Lois Harr
When Organizing
Is Corrupted
n 1974, I began working as an intern
for the Northwest Bronx Commu-
nity and Clergy Coalition. Eigh-
teen years later-after a seven-year
stint as a professional organizer, two
and a half years working as editor of
the coalition's newsletter, and many
years raising a
family and
studying, I now
represent my
Bedford Park
on the organ-
ization's board
of directors.
After all these
years , there's
one point that
strikes me re-
peatedly: com-
munity organ-
izing is now a
rare commod-
ity. What is rare is often precious, and
this is especially true for community
organizing. Community organizing is
fun, it is hard work, and it is the most
basic, pure form of promoting social
change. It requires listening, looking,
knocking on doors and a lot of
"translating." Not translating differ-
ent native tongues but translating
legalese, jargon and veiled data into
useful, meaningful language for people
where they are in their building, on
their block, in their neighborhood or
It Feels Good to Win
Someone once asked me what I
thought of the film, Norma Rae. I
know it's not an all-time classic about
organizing like Harlan County or
Matewan, but I liked it a lot, and I said
it reminded me of how good it feels
when we win. Organizing touches
people where they truly are; it
transforms lives.
Here's an example: a tenant I knew
a decade ago recently brought me up-
to-date on her life and the status of her
City View is a forum for opinion
and does not necessarily reflect
the views of City Limits.
building, which used to be owned by
the city and was in terrible condition.
After years being run by a court-ap-
pointed administrator, then going into
the city's Tenant Interim Lease pro-
gram, the building is now owned by
the tenants and is a low income co-op.
My friend-who was not very in-
volved in the community or the build-
ing when I first met her-now manages
her building and several others for a
local nonprofit housing company. The
organizing process in her building
helped change her life.
So why is community organizing
becoming so rare? More and more
community groups are becoming
service providers, housing manage-
ment companies and community
development corporations (CDCs). In
and of itself, this is not a bad thing. In
fact, creating housing and increasing
social services like child care, skills
training and educational programs is
vital. Our neighborhoods need this.
Leaving Communities Behind
But as community-based organiza-
tions turn into community develop-
ment corporations-as they become
more professional and adept at pro-
viding services-they face the danger
of leaving their communities behind.
(See "Beyond Bricks and Mortar," City
Limits, May 1991.) A community de-
velopment corporation has a business
or programs to maintain, and main-
taining this business side corrupts
organizing. It requires energy and
attention-which doesn't go into
organizing campaigns. And on another
level, some groups trying to maintain
funding from foundations and the
government are less likely to raise
hell on issues. All too often, organiz-
ing at community development
corporations degenerates into out-
reach and serving "clients".
F or these very reasons, funders and
intermediary groups like the Enter-
prise Foundation and the Local
Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)
instinctually understand community
development corporations better than
community organizations. They have
come to think of a community devel-
opment corporation as a more fully
developed form of a community group,
as opposed to a different creature
altogether. That's probably because
they're more comfortable with
community-based technocrats in suits
and ties than scruffy grassroots
community activists. (See "The Go-
Betweens," City Limits, June-July
In fact, funders generally have never
really understood organizing: the art
of shaping, framing and strategizing
on issues with the people affected.
Organizing requires identifying targets
Funders must
not recreate
groups into
corporate bodies.
for change, demanding solutions,
transferring power from the haves to
the have-nots. This takes time and the
results seem intangible compared to
the amount of time it takes to
rehabilitiate a building or help set up
a row of new stores. As a result of this,
community organizing is increasingly
being left off the funding agenda.
Issue of Subsidiarity
There is a profound philosophical
issue to be dealt with here, an issue
that goes beyond the pragmatic
question of how funding can be found
for community organizing. That is the
issue of subsidiarity. Philosophers,
theologians, political and social
scientists have all offered definitions
of subsidiarity. In "The Good Society,"
edited by Robert Beulah, subsidiarity
is described as a call for power to
devolve "to the lowest, most local
level at which decisions can reason-
ably be made, with the function of the
larger unit being to support and assist
the local body in carrying out its task."
Another definition comes from
Pope John Paul II: "A community of a
higher order should not interfere in
the internal life of a lower order,
depriving the latter of its functions,
but rather should support it .... Needs
are best understood and satisfied by
the people who are closest to them."
The concept of subsidiarity is being
used by some political scientists to
help define the relationship that the
new European Community should
have with individual nations, in an
effort to avoid subsuming the character
of individual nations into a homo-
genous union. Subsidiarity should
also be used to define how the govern-
ment and funders relate to commu-
nity groups right here at home.
Community organizations should
not blindly become community
development corporations and
funders must not, Svengali -like, tempt
groups away from their primary
Community groups must keep
knocking on doors, researching and
framing issues, and mobilizing as
broad a spectrum of people as possible.
When these efforts, as they often do,
create results that require the work of
a community development corpora-
tion (building new housing, for
example) then new entities should be
created and then spun off, incor-
porated with their own boards and
staff. This way the community organi-
zation can stay true to its original
This approach has met with success
in the Northwest Bronx, where local
community groups affiliated through
the Northwest Bronx Community and
Clergy Coalition have created and
spun off management and develop-
ment companies.
By the same principle, intermediary
organizations like USC and Enterprise
and influential foundations like the
Ford Foundation and the Surdna
Foundation must remember that their
role is to support local efforts, not to
recreate community groups into
acceptable corporate bodies. Specifi-
cally, funders should include com-
munity residents on decision and
policy-making boards. While funding
community development corporation
activities is attractive and may have
"measurable" outcomes, it is abso-
lutely essential to fund community
groups to do what only they do-
organizing. 0
Writing 0 Reports 0 Proposals 0 Newsletters 0 Manuals 0 Program
Description and Justification 0 Procedures 0 Training Materials
Research and Evaluation 0 Needs Assessment 0 Project Monitoring and
Documentation 0 Census/Demographics 0 Project and Performance
Planning and Development 0 Projects and Organizations 0 Budgets
o Management 0 Procedures and Systems
Call or write Sue Fox
NEW YORK, N.Y. 10025
(212) 222-9946
Life inside a city-owned crack den ...
public agencies cutting deals for private
developers ... landlords who collect the
rent and let their buildings rot. Each
month, CITY LIMITS probes the mis-
guided public policies and inefficient
bureaucracies besetting New York. But
we don't think it's good enough just to
highlight the muck. CITY LIMITS looks
for answers. We uncover the stories of
activists and local organizers fighting
to save their neighborhoods. That's
why CITY LIMITS has won seven
journalism awards in recent years.
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CITY LIlIII'l'8, 40 Prince Street, !few York, !fY 10018
City Umits Junior?
To the Editor:
I am a current subscriber who
greatly enjoys your magazine. I was
not very familiar with housing issues,
but I feel that City Limits has taught
me a lot. Your stories cover the wide
variety of issues, players, organiza-
tions and people who deal with
housing on a daily basis.
I am writing to ask if there are
similar publications to your own
dealing with the particular issues of
youth of color, urban education and
youth development. I would tremen-
dously enjoy reading a publication
that addresses these issues with the
same energy, realism and com prehen-
siveness of City Limits.
Ken Shillingford
City Limits responds: See Andrew
White's article on page 8-it's a start!
You might also be interested in New
Youth Connections, which is written
by city high school students.
Democracy Can World
To the Editor:
I am responding to your article on
the forthcoming changes to the city's
Area Policy Boards. ("Failure of De-
mocracy," June-July 1992.)
In the 1980s, Area Policy Board
Three was dominated by primarily
two nonprofit organizations-the
United Jewish Council and the Puerto
Rican Council. Between these two
organizations they controlled three
quarters of the Area Policy Board.
They took it upon themselves to de-
fund eight nonprofit organizations that
were either sponsoring, developing
or advocating for decent, affordable
and integrated housing, and doled out
more than one-third of the area alloca-
tion to themselves.
As a result of this type of abuse, a
number of community advocates
established the Coalition for a Fair
Area Policy Board, and ran a full slate
of candidates for the 1987 election.
The coalition captured nine out of 12
Once the newly-constituted Area
Policy Board was convened, we began
to analyze funding. We found that
even though the Loisaida area had 50
percent of the area's poor, it received
only 15 percent of the Area Policy
Board's funding. On the other hand,
the East Village and Little Italy had 25
percent of the area's poor, but re-
ceived 40 percent of the Area Policy
Board's funding. And the Grand Street-
Chinatown area, which had only 25
percent of the area's poor, was receiv-
ing 45 percent of the funding.
will awake
As a result of this analysis, Area
Policy Board Three changed its
direction and based its distribution of
anti-poverty dollars on the percent-
age of the poor residing within a given
This is just one of a number of
changes we have instituted, including
ensuring that funding goes to a variety
of ethnic and racial groups and that
similar programs in similar-sized
organizations receive the same amount
of funding. Since our actions as a
newly constituted Area Policy Board,
we have acted responsibly, fairly and
In my opinion, the level of par tic i-
pation among our Area Policy Board
is no different than that of the
community board or the school board.
Participation increases when there is
a change in the status quo, and if the
commissioner of the Community
Development Agency (CDA) intends
to change the status quo, then maybe
everyone will awake from their
But you should also look at the
actions of the CDA itself. In 1987 Area
Policy Board Three was elected by the
community to make funding
decisions. The current Area Policy
Board recommended the defunding
oftwo organizations, the Puerto Rican
Council and the Chinese American
Planning Council. The leaders of both
these organizations are major politi-
cal players. The CDA implemented
our decisions, but in a political year
the CDA somehow found $100,000
and refunded both groups outside of
the area allocation of anti-poverty
funds for the Lower East Side.
If Commissioner Gladys Carrion
intends to change the Area Policy
Boards and convert them to advisory
boards, then she should ensure that
decisions at CDA are made on merit
and not political motivations, which
has been the norm at CDA since its
Roberto Cabellero
Area Policy Board Three
Incomplete Article
To the Editor:
I am reluctant to call your article on
Area Policy Boards ("Failure of De-
mocracy," June-July 1992) agood story
because it documents exactly what
the title stated: a failure in grassroots
democracy. It also leaves out certain
issues which make the article incom-
First, the author, Josh Kurtz, places
all the emphasis on the reforms being
instituted or contemplated by the
Community Development Agency
(CDA) and all the blame for corrup-
tion on the Area Policy Boards. I wish
to congratulate Commissioner Gladys
Carrion on her reform efforts, even if
that may ultimately translate in a fund-
ing cutback for Cooper Square and
other Lower East Side groups.
However, Kurtz absolutely failed to
address the role of CDA as a political
patronage agency in earlier years. City
Limits and the Village Voice have
written excellent articles on this in
the past.
Secondly, Kurtz fails to note that
some of the actions taken by the CDA
during the previous administration
were the result of grassroots reform
efforts. I cannot speak for the entire
city, but in regard to the Lower East
Side, I know that the investigation of
abuses was due to the efforts of a
community coalition that included
the Cooper Square Committee, It's
Time, Action for Progress, the Lower
East Side Catholic Area Conference
and Pueblo Nuevo.
No mention is made ofthe fact that
the old Area Policy Board Three, with
CDA's concurrence and support,
continued to fund ineligible organi-
zations until we filed a successful
lawsuit. Because of Cooper Square's
efforts to reform CDA, we have been
made the target of a long-term and to-
date unsuccessful campaign by
poverty baron Roberto Napoleon and
An investigation
of abuses in the
Lower East Side
was due to the
efforts of a
his allies in the Lower East Side to
take over our organization and defeat
our housing initiatives.
Third, Kurtz fails to note that while
the old Area Policy Board Three in the
Lower East Side was as corrupt and
conflict-ridden as the other Area
Policy Boards mentioned in the article,
the Coalition for a Fair Area Policy
Board fielded an entire slate ofreform
candidates that swept the corrupt
Napoleon-controlled Area Policy
Board out of office. While I might
disagree with some specific decisions
they made, funds were subsequently
allocated based on merit. Frankly, you
should have paid closer attention to
the work of Area Policy Board Three
to see how democracy can work.
Fourth, on first impression it would
seem that the simplest way to reform
the anti-poverty program would be to
take away the Area Policy Boards'
role in making funding recommenda-
tions and give it to the CDA. I have
seen the damage done by corrupt Area
Policy Boards and I find merit in the
argument. Nevertheless, let me point
out again our experience in the Lower
East Side. In 1982, the old Area Policy
Board Three had its powers tempo-
rarily suspended because of its corrupt
and conflict-ridden composition. The
CDA therefore made funding decisions
for our area that year. However,
because CDA itself was corrupt and
conflict-ridden it made equally bad
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Your community housing insurance professionals
decisions that were subsequently
overturned. (See "The Defunding of
Cooper Square," City Limits, October
1982.) Disempowering an Area Policy
Board was not a solution when CDA
itself was politicized. This is a major
issue that is not addressed in your
None of what I've said is to detract
from the efforts of Commissioner
Carrion to ensure that anti-poverty
funds are used to fight poverty and
not as political patronage. I wish her
much success. All I am suggesting is
that the issues are more complicated
than they were portrayed in your
article. There is a long history to the
Area Policy Board-CDA conflict and
it would have been good for your
writer to have done additional
research, and particularly, given City
Limits' focus on grassroots efforts.
Valerio Orselli
Executive Director
Cooper Square Committee
City Limits responds: These points
are well taken, especially about the
CDA's involvement in patronage. We
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didn't focus on the Lower East Side
experience because some of it had
already been written about in City
Limits and because it was unique-
the reform effort hasn't spread across
the city. However, on reflection, this
information still should have been in
the article.
Garbage Reporting
To the Editor:
City Limits' article on recycling
("The Green Alternative," April 1992.)
details a program for solid waste
management, but lacks persuasive-
ness, or even discussion, of its most
basic difficulties. Could the vast
volume of daily refuse, after com-
ponent separation, be substantially
recycled into materials that would be
viable for the marketplace? Could
government supervise such a task?
And, given these, wouldn't the time
requirement be infinitely longer than
the decade or so before the Fresh Kills
landfill tops out?
Your article posits that "the city
and state could use incentives to create
markets for recyclables" and offers
this as a solution. Yet city and state
incentives have been "creating" subsi-
dized housing for 50 years-and the
state estimates that the city's housing
shortage currently amounts to 500,000
The governmental record in envi-
ronmental matters is particularly
inept. An outstanding example is the
notorious $1.3 billion North River
sewage plant development. Recent
years of community outrage over the
debilitating odors at the plant follow
on 20 years of political debate, ending
with the construction of the eight-
block concrete roof that proved to be
the culprit.
What is most predictable among all
these controversies is the soon-to-be
defunct Fresh Kills landfill. Given the
timelessness of the debates little
likelihood exists for any sound
replacement to accommodate the
massive daily flow of refuse. Perhaps
the current confusion will force a new
system of landfills throughout the
city-perhaps placating the political
rituals by placing one in each of the 59
community districts?
Seymour B. Durst
The Durst Organization
City Limits is expanding the scope of the c1earinghouse-
as well as pamphlets, handbooks and guides, we're also listing
reports and publications.
Because of the volume of information available, we'll be
publishing listings by topic: Housing and Development,
Environment and Health, Economic Development and
Community Banking, and Community Organizing.
To list your resource with the clearinghouse, call 925-9820.
"Hazardous Neighbors? Living Next Door to Industry in Greenpoint
and Williamsburg" and "Right to Breathe, Right to Know: Industrial
Air Pollution in Greenpoint and Williamsburg." Reports on toxic
pollution and air pollution. Community Environmental Health Center.
Free for residents of Greenpoint and Williamsburg. $15 for others.
"Harlem Environmental Action." Brochure on how to advocate on
environmental issues in Harlem. West Harlem Environmental Action.
"Longwood Letter." A quarterly newsletter focusing on toxic waste
and other issues in Hunt's Point and Longwood in the Bronx. Sent out
to members of the Longwood Historic District Community Associa-
tion. Membership is $10.
"Threshold." Annual newsletter on home improvement, quality of life
and environmental issues. Neighborhood Housing Services of East
F1atbush. Free.
"City Cyclist" and "Auto Free Press." Bi-monthly magazine and
newsletter. Sent to members of Transportation Alternatives. Member-
ship is $20.
"The Environmental Cost of Electricity." Volume of studies about
environmental damage of generating electricity. Pace University Cen-
ter for Environmental Legal Studies. $38.50.
"The Newspoint." Quarterly newsletter on planning, development,
land use and community issues in Hunters Point, Queens. Hunters
Point Community Development Corporation. Free.
"Household Conservation Tips," a short English-Spanish guide to
conserving water in the home. Department of Environmental Protec-
tion. Free.
"Dripnet." Nine-minute videotape on water waste in and around the
home. Department of Environmental Protection. Free for two-week
loan. $10 for purchase.
"To Plant a Tree: A Citizens Guide to Urban Reforestation." Brochure.
New York State Releaf. Send stamped, self enclosed envelope. Free.
"Environmental Tips for Your Office." Environmental Action Coali-
tion. $3.
"Recycling Action Guide." A how-to guide on office paper recycling.
Environmental Action Coalition. $5.
"Recycled Paper Sources." Fact sheet on where small vendors can buy
small amounts of recycled paper. Environmental Action Coalition. $1.
"Be a Water Watcher: A Resource Guide for Water Conservation."
NYC Department of Environmental Protection. Free.
"Cycle," a quarterly about local environmental issues that is sent to
members of the Environmental Action Coalition. Membership is $20.
"Smart Moves." Quarterly newsletter about transportation innova-
tions underway by the city's transportation office. Department of
Transportation. Free.
"Uptown Eco Blues: Environmental Woes in Harlem." Special 24-
page report from the summer of 1991 . The City Sun. $3.
"Spring and Summer Guide." Lists programs on environmental sci-
ence, urban gardening, workshops on lead poisoning. Magnolia Tree
Earth Center of Bedford-Stuyvesant. Free.
"Lightwheels News." Bi-annual newsletter concerning solar, electric
and hand-powered vehicles. Lightwheels, Inc. Free.
"Tackling Toxics in Everyday Products." Directory of organizations
with information on toxics. INFORM. $19.95.
"Amicus Journal," a quarterly magazine covering national and inter-
national environmental issues. Natural Resources Defense Council.
"Worldwatch Magazine," bi-monthly publication dealing with envi-
ronmental issues. Worldwatch Institute. $15.
"Alternatives to the Automobile: Transporting Livable Cities." Report
by the World watch Institute. $5.
"Lower East Side Ecology Newsletter." Newsletter that comes with
membership to Outstanding Renewal Enterprises, a recycling group.
Membership is $25.
"Pregnancy Rights." Pamphlet covers health care and patient rights.
Medgar Evers Center for Law and Social Justice. Send self-addressed
envelope with stamp. Free.
Please include check(s} or money order(s) payable to the
publisher of the resource or resources you request. Remember,
if you are ordering multiple publications, you will probably
have to write a number of checks. Checks should not be made
out to City Limits.
Please circle the reports and guides you want and send this form
to City Limits, 40 Prince Street, New York, NY, 10012. Allow
3-4 weeks for delivery.
Name _____________________________________ __
Address _________________________________ ___
City, state, zip _______________________________ _
Telephone ________________________________ ___
The Resources Clearinghouse is supported by the Joyce Mertz,Gilmore Foundation.
Barry K. Mallin
Attorney At Law
A decade of service representing
community development organizations
and low income cooperatives.
72 Spring Street , Suite 1201
New York, N.Y. 10012
Telephone 212/334-9393
Concentrating in Real Estate & Non-Profit Law
Title and loan closings 0 All city housing programs
Mutual housing associations 0 Cooperative conversions
Advice to low income co-op boards of directors
100 Remsen Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201, (718) 624-6850
We print mailing lables for free by charging you
at most what we save you with postal discounts.
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Attorney at Law
Meeting the challenges of affordable housing for 20 years.
Providing legal services in the areas of General Real Estate,
Business, Trust & Estates, and Elder Law.
217 Broadway, Suite 610
New York, NY 10007
(212) 513-0981
Over 20 years experience. Specializing in nonprofit housing &
community development organizations.
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914-633-5095 FAX-914-633-5097
Building Management/Consultants
Specializing in management & development
services to low income housing cooperatives,
community organizations and co-op
boards of directors
329 Flatbush Avenue
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11217
Rebecca Reich
Community Development legal Assistance Center
a proiect of the lawyers Alliance for New York, a nonprofit organization
Real Estate. Corporate and Tax Legal Representation to Organizations
• Tax Syndications • Mutual Housing Associations
• Homeless Housing • Economic Development
• HDFCs • Not-for-profit corporations
• Community Development Credit Unions and loan Funds
99 Hudson Street, 14th Fir., NYC, 10013 (212) 219·1800
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The Lawyers Your Organization Needs!
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member, let me tolk to you about your rights
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your decision, the steps you should toke to
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295 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10017 • 212-986-7468
Got MAC Files but a PC Computer?
Got PC Files but a MAC Computer?
CITY LIMITS Can Solve Your Problems!
Just $10 to Convert a File
Many Programs Available - Quick Turnaround
Call CITY LIMITS: 212/925-9820
CHILD CARE DEVELOPMENT PLANNER. Tech assistance and public
policy analysis involving extensive travel to help cbos in low income
communities. Requirements: master's degree and 4 yrs relevant
experience. Competitive salary, exc benefits. Women, people of
color, disabled encouraged to apply. Respond ASAP to: James
Head, Executive Director, National Economic Development & law
Center, 1950 Addison Street, Suite 200, Berkeley, CA 94704. Fax
ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT. Small,lively, congenial nonprofit housing
and urban planning organization seeks well-organized individual
who likes detail , can work independently and enjoys varied
responsibilities. Strong word processing skills. Send resume to
CHPC, 218 West 40th Street, 12th fir, NYC 10018-1509.
a dedicated person to work in private & city buildings. Requirements:
Bilingual English-Spanish, organizing experience, computer literacy,
top communication skills. Salary: $20,750. Resume to: Executive
Director, GOlES, 525 East 6th Street, NYC 10009.
organized person for about 20 hours weekly for word processing
(Wordperfect 5.1), office work, community outreach. Experience
necessary, also top interpersonal skills, ability to work evenings.
Salary: Mid to high teens. Resume to: Linda Goodman, Flatbush
Development Corp, 1418 Cortelyou Road, Brooklyn, NY 11226.
based youth and housing organization with excellent track record
seeks creative, experienced community development director.
Work includes coordinating housing development, oversight for
construction and housing management activities, grant writing,
fiscal oversight, East Harlem community outreach and advocacy.
A key aspect of the program is the integration of youth into the
community development process, and the development of youth
leadership. Spanish language a plus. Salary: about $40K, depending
on qualifications. Send resume and cover letter to Sonia Bu,
Executive Director, Youth Action Program, 1280 Fifth Avenue,
NYC 10029.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR. Brooklyn-based housing development and
mgmt organization seeks professional to lead active developer/
manager of affordable rental and ownership housing. Strong board
and staff, backed by religious institutions. Experience with City and
State-funded development and with building management required.
Salary commensurate with experience. Reply to: Search Committee
BECNC, 541 Atlantic Avenue, Bklyn NY 11217.
ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVE. Sell ads for City Limits-a part-time
opportunity of about 20 hours per month for a well-organized,
motivated individual. Work from your home. Monthly stipend of
$200 plus commissions. Resume to: Lisa Glazer, Editor, City
Limits, 40 Prince Street, NYC 10012.
ATTORNEY. Eastside Improvement Society seeks experienced
housing attorney to work with families at risk of eviction. Minimum
3 years housing and extensive housing court experience. Familiarity
with public assistance programs, managerial skills. Sal $41 K
including fringe. Resume to Eastside Improvement Society, 150 E.
62nd Street, NYC 10021 (212) 308-2210.
PROJECT DIRECTOR. Initiate and implement housing development
and related projects for a Brooklyn community group. Requirements:
Community oriented, self-starter, exc organizational and writing
skills. Exp in housing development, urban planning a plus. Salary:
High 20s to low 30s, DOE. Resume and cover letter to: Executive
Director, Pratt Area Community Council, 201 DeKalbAve, Brooklyn,
NY 11205.
COMMUNITY ORGANIZING CONSULTANT to Metropolitan Training Institute
(MTI). Part-time 10-20 hrs/wk. Manhattan location. Strengthen
organizational capacity of MTI , a training network for staff/leaders
of community-based organizing projects in New York area. Develop
training programs and expand Brd of Dir of MTI. Some fundraising.
Sponsored by Catholic dioceses: Newark, NY, Paterson, Rockville
Centre, and NJ Synod/Evangelical lutheran Church. Salary
commensurate with experience. Resumes: Rev. Kevin Sullivan,
1011 First Ave, Rm. 1190, NYC 10022.
ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTOR. Responsible for the administration,
personnel management and fiscal oversight for a progressive non-
profit legal/educational organization. Send resume, salary
requirements, extensive cover letter to A.D. Search Committee,
Center for Constitutional Rights, 666 Broadway, NY, NY 10012.
Equal Opportunity Employer; women, people of color, lesbians/gay
men urged to apply.
COMMUNITY ORGANIZER. For Statewide AIDS coalition. Develop and
implement organizing strategies and coalition building among
community-based organizations. Requirements: Community
organizing experience; writing and public speaking skills; knowledge
of AIDS-related issues including housing helpful. Some travel
required. Resume to NYAC, 150 W. 26th Street, #603, NYC 10001 .
NYAC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
American Red Cross helping formerly homeless families make a
successful transition to permanent housing. Opportunities for
advocacy, group work, community networking and case
management. Requires BA and exp in housing, casework or
advocacy. Bilingual a plus. Salary $23,745 with BA. BSW/MSW
preferred. Resume and salary history to NM Employment
Coordinator Dept (CSS) ARC in GNY. 150 Amsterdam Avenue,
NYC 10023. EOE. M/F/v/D.
project involving numerous city-owned, tenant-run buildings in mid-
town Manhattan. Responsibilities include oversight of architects,
counseling tenants, serving as liaison between tenants, architects
and HPD. 171/2 hrs per week. Salary: $1 0-$13,000. DOE. Women/
minority applicants encouraged. Housing Conservation
Coordinators, 777 Tenth Avenue, New York, New York 1 0019. Attn:
Glenn Metsch-Ampel, Executive Director.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR. Community-based, nonprofit housing
advocacy group providing low income tenants legal representation,
advocacy, technical assistance in maintenance and development
of low income housing. Responsibilities: program, fiscal , organiza-
tional management, contract compliance, fundraising. Relevant
experience necessary. $35-$40,000 DOE. Female/minority
candidates encouraged. Housing Conservation Coordinators, 777
Tenth Avenue, NYC 10019. Attn: Glenn Metsch-Ampel.

The East New York Savings Bank is pleased to announce that the following
community organizations in our service area (Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and
Nassau) have been chosen to receive Community Action Assistance Grants from the
Bank for their neighborhood preservation and improvement endeavors:
We salute the achievements of these exemplary organizations and appreciate and
support their continuing commitment to making our communities better places in
which to live and conduct business.
Allen A.M.E. Neighhorhood Preservation
and Development Corporation
Alley Pond Environmental Center
Alliance of Queens Artists
Arts Connection, Inc.
Asian Americans for Equality
Association for Neighhorhood and
Housing Development, Inc.
Astella Development Corporation
Astoria Restoration Association
Atlantic Avenue Association Local
Development Corporation
BEC NewCommunities HDFC, Inc.
Bensonhurst Redevelopment Corporation
Brighton Neighborhood Association
Brooklyn Neighborhood Improvement
Brooklyn Arts and Cultural Association
Brooklyn Ecumenical Cooperatives
Canarsie Neighborhood Development
Carroll Gardens Association, Inc.
Central Astoria Local Development
Central Brooklyn Partnership
Central Harlem Local Development
City Limits
Consortium for Community Development
Cooper Square Committee
Creative Adaptations for Learning
Cypress Hills Local Development
East Brooklyn Congregations
East Harlem Interfaith
East Harlem Tutorial Program
East NewYork Development Corporation
East NewYork Urban Youth Corps Housing
Development Fund Company, Inc.
Elmhurst Economic Development
Fifth Avenue Committee
Flatbush Development Corporation
Flatbush Tenants Council
Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts
Greater Jamaica Development Corporation
Greater Ridgewood Restoration Association
Greater Sheepshead Bay Development
Greater Woodhaven Development
Habitat for Humanity
Harlem Restoration Project
Hempstead Hispanic Civic Association
Hope Community, Inc.
Interfaith Adopt-A-Building, Inc.
Jackson Heights Community Development
Jamaica Arts Center
Jewish Community Council of
Greater Coney Island
Local Development Corporation
Del Barrio, Inc.
Local Development Corporation
of East NewYork
Los Sures
Manhattan Borough Development
Manhattan Neighborhood Renaissance
Manhattan Valley Development Corporation
Marine Park Recyclers
Martin Luther King Concert Series, Inc.
Meltdown for the Performing Arts
Mid-Brooklyn Community Economic
Development Corporation
Middle Earth Crisis Counseling and Referral
Midwood Development Corporation
Minority Task Force on AIDS
National Federation of Community
Development Credit Unions
Neighborhood Housing Services
of East Flatbusb
Neighborhood Housing Services
of Jamaica, Inc.
Neighborhood Housing Services
of NewYork City, Inc.
NewLife Crisis For Men
NewLife on The Lower East Side, Inc.
NewYork Landmarks Conservancy
'North Brooklyn Development Corporation
Pratt Area Community Council
Progress of Peoples Development
Project Reach Youth
Prospect Park Alliance
Pueblo Nuevo Housing and Development
Queens Community Civic Association
Queens County Overall Economic
Development Corporation
Queens Teen Pregnancy Network
Queens Women's Network
Regional Economic Development Assistance
Ridgewood Local Development Corporation
Rockaway Development and
Revitalization Corporation
Roosevelt Assistance Corporation
Saint Nicholas Neighborhood
Preservation Corporation
South Brooklyn Local Development
Southeastern Greenpoint Crime
Prevention Program
The Hope Program
The Local Development Corporation of
Crown Heights
The Richmond Hill Development Corporation
The Wilson M. Morris Community Center,
T.O.P.S. For You
Tri-Pact, Inc.
Union Settlement Association
Urban Homesteading Assistance Board
Urban Renewal Committee of South Jamaica
Washington Heights and Inwood
Development Corporation
West End Neighbors
West Harlem Community Organization, Inc.
Westside Crime Prevention Program
Women Helping Women
Woodside on the Move
Youth Action Homes, Inc.
Youth Environmental Services

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