BY THE TIME YOU READ THIS, the massive anti-
war protests of February 15 may already be
replaying themselves, with thousands of
demonstrarors taking to the streets of New
York to show-again-their objections to the
war in Iraq. And perhaps, newly enlightened,
the Bloomberg administration will proceed this
time with respect and good sense.
But let's not count on it. The Bloomberg
administration, which has distinguished itself by
embracing rational responses to hot-button
political problems, made a disastrous miscalcula-
tion on February 15. The city's actions showed a
stunning lack of sensitivity to civil liberties, at a
time when citizens are already under siege from
Washington. Closer to home, the NYPD's exe-
crable handling of the hordes who turned our to
peacefully demonstrate also suggests-and not
for the first time-how out of touch Bloomberg's
City Hall is with the people it governs.
At 2 o'clock on Second Avenue at 65th
Street, as police trucks pulled up with fresh
reinforcements of cops and barricades, it was
embarrassingly clear that the officials running
this circus were not at all prepared for the mas-
Cover art and design by Noah Scalin, ALR Design
Centej for an
sive turnout. That can only be blamed on will-
ful ignorance. Protest organizer Leslie Cagan
once got 700,000 anti-nuke demonstrators
into Central Park. This time, the NYPD gave
her a permit for just 100,000, then forced
demonstrators to make mile-plus detours
through chaotic streets to get east to First
Avenue. Did they really just expect everyone
else to go home? Or not show up in the first
place? Apparently so.
Of course, there were other things on the
mayor's and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly's
minds when the NYPD went to court to demand
this travesty-to-be. A terrot watch that soon bled
from Yellow to Orange. The Republican Nation-
al Commitree, which wants to see that New York
will keep its convention next summer safe (and
not just from terrorists) . A devotion to labor-
intensive Giuliani-era public safety tactics, cou-
pled with the new need to keep police overtime to
a minimum. And for this post-partisan mayor, a
seeming distaste for political agendas in general.
Bur the city's decisions, which made the
NYPD the greatest threat to peace that day,
reflect a staggering blind spot. Just a year and a
half ago, New York experienced war for the
first time in centuries. How could the mayor of
New York City not recognize that many of the
people he governs are united by a revulsion
toward mass violence, born from their own
pain on September II? His city now also lives
with a genuine fear that war in Iraq may not
only fail to guarantee global safety but in fact
could have an escalating effect on terrorism.
For most of America, 9/11 was a reality TV
show. For many New Yorkers, it was an experi-
ence of solidarity with parts of the world that
have experienced out-of-control war-and
now want to stop their leaders from using vio-
lence as a tool for political or economic gain.
Mayor Bloomberg wants to stay above poli-
tics, but he stepped right into it when he strode
into office over the shards of September 11.
Whether he likes it or not, New York played a
tragic role in an emerging global conflict-and
a lot of us want the world to know that there's
more than one way to respond.
-Alyssa Katz
The Center for -an Urban Future
the sister organization of City Limits
u ure
Combining City Limits' zest for investigative reporting with thorough policy
analysis, the Center for an Urban Future is regularly influencing New York's
decision makers with fact-driven studies about policy issues that are important to
all five boroughs and to New Yorkers of all socio-economic levels.
Go to our website or contact us to obtain any of our recent studies:
01 Labor Gains: How Union-Affiliated Training is Transforming New York's Workforce Landscape (March 2003)
01 Epidemic Neglect: How Weak Infrastructure and Lax Planning Hinder New York's Response to AIDS (February 2003)
01 The Creative Engine: How Arts and Culture are Fueling Growth in NYC's Neighborhoods (November 2002)
01 Bumpy Skies: JFK, laGuardia Fared Worse than most U.S. Airports after 9/11 and still Face Structural
Threats to Future Competitiveness (October 2002)
~ Uninvited Guests: Teens in New York City Foster Care (October 2002)
To obtain a report, get on our mailing list or sign up for our free e-mail policy updates,
contact Research Director Jonathan Bowles at or (212) 479-3347.
City Limits and the Center for an Urban Future rely on the generous support of their readers and advertisers, as well as the following funders: The Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, The Child
Welfare Fund, The Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock, Open Society Institute, The Joyce Mertz-Gilmore Foundation, The Scherman Foundaton, JPMorganChase, The Annie E. Casey
Foundation, The Booth Ferris Foundation, The New York Community Trust, The Taconic Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Ford Foundation, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, The Ira W. DeCamp
Foundation, LlSC, Deutsche Bank, M& T Bank, The Citigroup Foundation, New York Foundation.
Secret ventures, cooked books and bail money for gang
members-it's all part of the seamy saga of a city homeless shelter
nonprofit now under federal scrutiny.
By Geoffrey Gray
A Harlem entrepreneur proves that housing can be
high quality, environmentally friendly-and affordable.
By Alex Ulam
A California dreamer is determined to show New Yorkers that
reusing building materials will work.
By Hillary Rosner
What will Bloomberg's ambitious housing plan mean for New York's
poor? For community development groups? For your
neighborhood? The lowdown, in five parts.
By Matt Pacenza
Soon after investing millions in upgrading Red Hook's port,
the city contemplates shutting down a successful shipping operation.
By Alyssa Katz
High school activists are fighting military recruitment, even though an
armed services job could be their peers' best shot at success.
By Kai Wright
APRIL 2003
The Strike that Changed New York: Blacks, Whites and the Ocean
Hill-Brownsville Crisis, by Jerald E. Podair. Reviewed by Philip Kay.
Now that the West Village showed them the door, queer youth of
color are turning to drag houses for community.
By Kenyon Farrow
Job trainers and their government funders should take a careful look
at the most successful employment prep groups out there: unions.
By David Jason Fischer
Wendy Davis' puff piece on the Bronx
Defenders, "Keeping Close Counsel" Uanuary
2003]' buries the most salient fact about the
emergence of Giuliani's replacement attorneys
for striking Legal Aiders. Near the end Davis
finally writes, "When Legal Aid was the only
organized public defender, it used that power
to protect the rights of defendants." Here she
states the obvious: that Giuliani's splintering of
defense services was specifically designed to
weaken the voice of the indigent. Her mis-
placed adoration of the Bronx Defenders does
not change that essential reality.
The reality is that Bronx Defenders drains
precious resources by charging the taxpayers a
premium for defense services. Giuliani was will-
ing to pay that premium in his quest to break the
backs of strikers-and reduce the effectiveness of
public defense. When the current city adminis-
tration finally takes a close look at spending for
replacement attorneys, those dollars will be
removed from the indigent legal service budget.
What will remain is what Giuliani always
intended, a diminished public defense system
and a template for successful union busting.
The Association of Legal Aid Attorneys
(UAW 2325), a union Davis was once a mem-
ber of, carne into being to fight for basic due
process rights denied by New York City to any-
one unlucky enough to be arrested and poor.
The union struck and struck again, throughout
the 70s and 80s to preserve and enhance indi-
gent representation. Giuliani tried hard to
break our will and to prevent our existence. He
carne close to succeeding thanks to the over-
whelming good cheer and help he received
from the Bronx Defenders.
James A. Rogers
The Association of Legal Aid Attorneys
When I read stories so rife with insight and
multi-tiered factual detail, like "Why Minds
Matter," [March 2003] it's like the New Jour-
nalism is new again.
Greta Durr
National Conference of State Legislators
Education Program
Thanks so much for "Future Shock" [March
2003]' the excellent article about renewable
energy in New York. Like Alyssa Katz wrote in
her editorial, it's easy to feel hopeless when
faced with the problems of the city, particularly
these days, but there ARE some bright spots on
the horiwn!
Please keep us updated with any energy
Heather Floyd
"EI Barrio"
I greatly enjoyed "Future Shock," by Mary-
Powel Thomas.
One sizeable error though: on page 40 she
says: "At the current average price of $1 0 a watt,
however, 2,000 megawatts of photovoltaic
energy would cost $20 trillion to install."
The $20 trillion figure is one thousand
times too large. Just do the math: 2,000
megawatts = 2 billion watts. Multiply by $10
per watt. The total is $20 billion. Still a large
sum, but not a hopelessly far out figure.
Richard Perez
Research Professor
ASRC University at Albany
In our January 2003 review of Michael
Gecan's book Going Public, we should have
noted that the organization Gecan works for,
the Industrial Areas Foundation, and the group
reviewer Margaret Groarke is active in, the
Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy
Coalition, had a dispute in the mid-1980s over
areas of the Bronx in which both groups were
pursuing community organizing. City Limits
regrets the omission.
Volume XXVIII Number 4
City Limits is published ten times per year, monthly except bi-
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Tania Savayan
Neighborhood Defense
KARIM LOPEZ SEES the Bush administration's call for war as a double
threat: An invasion ofIraq, he says, would also be an attack on his Wash-
ington Heights neighborhood.
"[Military] recruitment is aimed at poor communities of color
around the cities," he says. "It's those young people who are going to
fight and die." To drive home the point that, as Tip O' Neill once said,
"all politics is local, " the 25-year-old helped found Uptown Youth
United for Peace and Justice in the weeks after September 11. The
group, which now claims about 200 members under the age of 25, is
part of a growing uend of New Yorkers who are fighting the prospect of
war by arguing that their neighborhoods will suffer.
On February 15, members oflocal groups like Lopez's were part of the
estimated 250,000 protesters who jammed the East Side of Manhattan to
rally against the Bush administration's plans to invade Iraq.
"Money for jobs, not for war! Money for schools, not for war!" Lopez
chanted as he marched through Harlem on his way to the rally. Passing
drivers honked their horns in sympathy and passengers whooped and
whistled from open windows.
Tough economic times already threaten neighborhood resources like sen-
ior centers, literacy programs and police, not to mention broader initiatives
like college tuition assistance, community activists like Lopez argue.
If there is war, "There won't be money for schools, there won't be
APRIL 2003
money for health," predicts Frank Farkas of Bronx Action for Justice and
Peace, a group of northwest Bronx residents who carne together after the
Trade Center attacks.
These fears have inspired a proliferation of small, community-based
anti-war groups. "They want a way to connect with their own community
or others beyond their regular interest groups," says Saulo Colon of
United for Peace and Justice, which helped organize the February rally.
The group claims nearly 150 local organizations participated in the event.
Even groups that existed long before September 11 have been uans-
formed by the fast pace of the Bush administration's drive toward war.
To express his own concerns, Donald Green, 56, of the South Bronx
recently joined Mothers on the Move, a local parent advocacy group that
added anti-war efforts to its roster of activities over the last year. "They're
ralking about weapons of mass destruction," he says, but with drug deal-
ing a regular occurrence in the hallways of his apartment building, he
adds, "We've got mass desuuction right here. "
Of course, the concerns of these local groups are about more than
just war's potential effects on New York neighborhoods.
"There are going to be children who will be orphans on both sides, "
says Silkia Martinez, an organizer for Mothers on the Move. "There are
ways to negotiate without having to go to war."
-Alex Ginsberg
City fines
threaten to
shipwreck a new
Bronx boathouse
By Abrahm Lustgarten
LAFAYETTE AVENUE ROLLS down off of the heights
of Hunts Point, ending abruptly at the shores of
the Bronx River. On a recent morning, the
cloudy waters lapped at sunken tires and a sub-
merged radiator. Once home to a fur-dyeing fac-
tory, these shores have been contaminated for
decades. There are some signs of hope here.
Newly planted saplings grow near the old fac-
tory, and a hand-painted mural on a nearby wall
depicts how the community really sees this prop-
erty: as a launching point rather than a dead end.
Until a few months ago, local residents were
well on their way to getting what they want.
Last September, The Point, a nonprofit com-
munity development group, bought the lot
Brownfield Blues
from the city for $525,000, with the help of a
grant from the National Oceanic and Atmos-
pheric Association. The plan: to build a 25,000
square-foot boathouse and center where visitors
can learn about the local ecosystem, rent kayaks
and research the area's waterways.
There was one catch to the purchase, how-
ever. For the city Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP) to approve it, The Point had
to assume sole responsibility for removing the
hundreds of barrels of hazardous waste that had
accumulated over roughly 70 years of industrial
use, and to complete the cleanup within one
month of the sale. Both JE Robert, the real
estate holding firm that manages tax liens for
the city and took over the property last summer
after some mysterious fires blazed through the
factory, and the former owner, Jacob Selechnik,
were excused from any responsibility.
While The Point's executive director, Paul
Lipson, knew he was buying into a tough situa-
tion, particularly since the group had no experi-
ence with brownfield cleanup, he says the group
had no choice-it was the only spot in the
neighborhood fit for a boathouse. And he fig-
ured DEP would be helpful with the cleanup,
since it seemed in the city's interest to decon-
taminate the area.
He never expected the city's environmental
agency would bring such a straightforward
cleanup project to a halt.
The trouble started just after October 25,
the cleanup deadline. Lipson says he was cer-
tain that EcoSystems Strategies, the company
hired to clean the site, had tested and removed
all dangerous materials from the lot. The com-
pany carted away more than 260 55-gallon
drums of hazardous salt solutions, oils and
chemical powders, as well as 30 drums of non-
hazardous materials, according to correspon-
dence between The Point and DEP.
But The Point overlooked one crucial
detail-its staff failed to file all the required
paperwork with the city on time. For each of
the five days the reports were overdue, DEP
fined the group $5,000.
Their problems did not stop there. Two weeks
later, inspectors from DEP uncovered two addi-
tional barrels of hazardous waste tucked away in a
closet in the old factory. Lipson says his people
removed them right away, but still, the city added
another $50,000 in fines to The Point's tab, for a
grand total of $75,000.
While Lipson says he has no problem with
the city enforcing the law, in this case, he says,
the DEP is selectively picking on The Point
rather than helping it fix up a decades-old
blight in the South Bronx. The city has never
come down hard on any of the previous own-
ers to get the property fixed up, he adds.
"The poor schmuck nonprofit, which is us,
is lefr to foot the bill for 50 years of pollution
on that property," he says. "Seventy-five thou-
sand dollars could spell our doom as an organ-
ization, but even $30,000 would knock out our
programming for the year."
DEP spokesperson Charles Sturken says he's
sympathetic to The Point's situation, but adds
that the city is simply enforcing the rules. "We
can't bend the law for somebody just because
they are a nonprofit," he says.
Still, the process has infuriated Lipson, who at
press time was scheduled to argue against the fines
in a March 6 hearing before the DEP's control
board in Queens. Of course The Point supports
environmental regulations and their enforcement,
he says, but this particular case is an instance of
bureaucratic abuse more than purposeful enforce-
ment. The dangerous materials were removed
according to a stringent schedule, and that, says
Lipson, should have been the DEP's primary con-
cern following the June fires. In fact, he says the
ciry should have pursued the removal before
The Point even bought the properry.
From at least one Ciry Council member's
perspective, the ciry is making a real effort to
do right by the neighborhood. "The ciry just
needs to work towards developing a more
effective brownfields policy," says Nicholas
Arture, a legislative analyst for Councilmember
Jose Serrano, who represents Hunts Point.
"There is a very steep learning curve, and some
things need to be hashed out to ensure that
things don't happen like this in the future."
That said, he adds, this is the beginning of a
new era for the DEP and the ciry's brownfield
cleanup programs. The DEP recendy assem-
bled a Brownfields Taskforce, and Mayor
Bloomberg has made brownfield cleanup a
high prioriry in his housing plan.
Still, while Ciry Hall, along with officials
from Albany, iron out a new strategy, The
Point's predicament has caught the anention of
other local nonprofit managers, who are bewil-
dered by the ciry's contradictory actions and
fear it could affect future cleanups. "They visit
you and encourage you to participate, then
they penalize you for being a participant, like
some sort of sadomasochist," says Carlos
Padilla, director of the South Bronx Clean Air
Coalition, which last year was talking with the
ciry about cleaning up another polluted prop-
erty in the South Bronx, near the TIffany Street
Pier in Hunts Point. "The DEP has sort of sep-
arated itself from the goodwill of the commu-
niry in favor of just gening their job done."
The net effect, say Lipson, Padilla, and
Omar Freilla of the group Sustainable South
Bronx, is that communiry development
organizations are ultimately dissuaded from
investing in environmental cleanup. "There
is no current policy that enables that land to
be cleaned up in any kind of effective man-
ner," says Freilla, whose organization is plan-
ning to develop a greenway public access
strip along the Hunts Point waterfront.
As for The Point, if it is able to get the fines
dismissed, it will continue with the cleanup,
which Lipson estimates will cost more than
$300,000. The group has to replace the con-
taminated topsoil , dispose of asbestos roofing
and raze the shell of the remaining building.
"We don't have a reserve fund. That's the
downside of nonprofits taking on projects
like this," Lipson says. "Maybe we shouldn't
be doing this in the first place. But who
knew, that, God, the DEP might not be a
partner on this?" •
Abrahm Lustgarten is a Manhattan-based free-
lance writer.
APRIL 2003
SEVEN YEARS AGO, Damaris Reyes
thought of nothing but making
enough money at her cory telecom m u-
nications job to get out of the public
housing project she'd lived in her
whole life.
She wanted to achieve the
American dream of "striking it
rich," she says.
But in 1996, when she heard that
members of Congress were drafting a
law to eliminate the cap on rents in
public housing, she dropped her plan,
dug in her roots at the Baruch Houses
and began speaking up for tenants'
"It's one thing if you wanna go,"
~ Reyes says. "But to know that some-
~ one could come and pull the rug
from underneath you .. . "
She volunteered with a coalition of tenants to battle the bill-and they won.
Now, as a coordinator at Public Housing Residents of the Lower East Side (PHROLES), a grassroots tenant
advocacy group, she is taking on the debate over how to redevelop lower Manhattan.
To figure out how she and her neighbors can playa significant part in the planning process, Reyes trav-
eled to Europe in November as part of a New York to Europe Study Tour organized by the Pratt Institute Cen-
ter for Community and Environmental Development. The excursion took 50 New Yorkers-from labor leaders
and manufacturers to small business owners and Trade Center family members-to Berlin, Munich, Bologna
and Morena to learn how low-income people engage in development projects in western Europe.
More typically, this third generation public housing resident spends most of her days focusing on the
tenants of the Lower East Side, and how they can land construction jobs in their housing projects or nav-
igate their way through housing court.
Organizing tenants, or as Reyes, 31, puts it, "giving them the tools to fix their own problems," became
her full-time job in 1998 when she got a job with City Councilmember Margarita Lopez. Reyes worked to
get tenants to learn about and testify on the New York City Housing Authority's annual plan, which she
says is "the one chance a year to have your voice heard and participate. "
Three years ago, she joined PHROLES. "She's so good at relating to people," says Legal Aid attorney
Adriene Holder, who, with Reyes' help, is offering workshops at PHROLES to teach hundreds of local public
housing residents how to negotiate Housing Court and to understand their disaster relief benefits.
At a workshop at Lillian Wald Houses, in a stuffy, cement-blocked room, Reyes teaches about 50 ten-
ants how to file a complaint against the city Housing Authority. "Listen," Reyes reasons, without mother-
ing, "we are in a serious housing shortage and we can't afford for one person to not know your rights."
Every day, Reyes sees residents who lose their homes, she says. Those evictions, she adds, are a loss that
"we absolutely cannot afford. " - Elizabeth Cline
Local groups
have a year to
prove reducing
garbage pays.
By Tess Taylor
JUST OFF OF HUNTS POINT Avenue in the Bronx,
in a warehouse the size of a football field, Mor-
gan Powell and Tom Morgan pore over bins
full of old motherboards, cracked monitors
and defunct graphic scanners. "That's sure an
antique," Morgan says, gently kicking one
gape-faced TV
Despite its appearance, this isn't a dump,
but a recycling center where Morgan and Pow-
ell are working on innovative programming
designed to reduce the amount of toxic elec-
tronic waste that passes out of the city each
year. Per Scholas, a nonprofit that has been
Fast Trash
collecting e-waste from businesses since 1999,
refurbishes salvageable computers and then
sells them for less than $300 to low-income
families in the tri-state area.
Electronic appliances that cannot be saved
are sent up a 50-foot-Iong conveyor belt, where
they are crushed and shredded for safe recy-
cling. ''This way, we keep some of the toxies,
like lead, from ending up in the ground some-
where, " says Powell, who works as a waste pre-
vention community coordinator with Sustain-
able South Bronx, an environmental group in
Hunts Point that is partnering with Per Scholas
on this project.
Morgan and Powell's project is part of a new
$1 million trash reduction program that the
City Council is funding over the next year.
The program had its genesis in 2000, when
Mayor Rudy Giuliani closed the Fresh Kills
landfill. While the move won the mayor big
applause from the residents of Staten Island,
home to one of the nation's largest dumps, it
created stinky polities for many other city
neighborhoods-the plan redirected city waste,
by truck, to waste transfer stations in Red
Hook, Williamsburg and the South Bronx.
"A lot of community groups got together
and said that simply moving the garbage prob-
lem to our back yards was unacceptable, and
that the city must make a concerted effort to
reduce waste," says Eve Martinez ofINFORM,
Inc., an environmental research group that is
helping administer this year's funding.
Members of the City Council agreed
and called for the city to invest about $6.5
million over [wo years in community trash
reduction. "We knew we needed to lessen the
impact on communities where there are trash
transfer stations," remembers Carmen
Cognetta, a lead staffer on the Council's sani-
. .
tanon comml[tee.
But the Department of Sanitation was slow
in awarding the contracts for the waste reduc-
tion program, and after September 11, New
York's downward economy pushed it even fur-
ther aside. By the time the program launched
this year, funding had shrunk to $1
million-$285,000 for the Council on the
Environment, which will focus on waste
reduction in the public schools, and $715,000
To make their funding go as far as possible,
INFORM chose seven community groups like
Per Scholas that already run trash reduction
programs. Now, these groups only have until
the end of the year to show that their innova-
tive recycling efforts could save the city money
while helping the environment. Breaking even
alone would be no small feat: To recoup the
$715,000 City Council grant, INFORM's
programs will have to divert a total of 11 ,171
rons of waste this year. (The city currently
pays its garbage haulers $65 a ton.)
Martinez, for one, is skeptical that one year
is enough time to do that. "It takes people time
to change their habits, and it takes time for the
effects of any outreach to show, " she says. That
said, she hopes this grant from the city can
serve as a catalyst for future support.
For now, in Manhattan, the Lower East
Side Ecology Center is zeroing in on food
scraps with a $90,000 grant from INFORM.
The group plans to expand its 15-year-old pro-
gram of collecting vegetable waste from neigh-
borhood residents, and transforming it to rich
potting soil and garden compost, which the
organization then resells at farmers' markets.
"We call it pay dirt," quips Christina Datz-
Romero, who leads the effort.
Compost education programs at the
botanic gardens in Brooklyn and Staten
Island-slashed in the latest city budget
cuts-will get a revival and new direction
from the INFORM funding. Their focus:
grass clippings. "Since lawn clippings are
mostly water, they are heavy and very expen-
sive for the Department of Sanitation to haul
away, " says Mark Vacarro of Staten Island.
"But if you just leave them be, they make great
lawn mulch. "
And in Queens, the community group
Astoria Residents Reclaiming Our World has
teamed up with entrepreneur Nicole Tai to
create a drop-off center and pick-up schedule
for the city's myriad construction and demoli-
tion wastes-everything from doors to door-
knobs to bricks. [See "Material World, "
page 22.]
Whatever happens with next year's budget,
leaders of the sponsored groups are deter-
mined to keep their operations going. "We see
it as crucial to begin modeling other ways that
the city might dispose of its goods, " says
Omar Freilla of Sustainable South Bronx.
Especially, he says, since a recent transporta-
tion study of the area found that his neighbor-
hood of 10,000 residents is visited by 11,000
diesel (rucks a day. •
Tess Taylor is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer.
APRIL 2003
Off the Map
Inwood are accustomed to tourists and other
fellow New Yorkers thinking that "uptown"
means the stretch between 96th and 125th
streets, as if anything further north is part of
upstate New York.
After years of watching their neighborhoods
get cut out of tourist maps of Manhattan, how-
ever, some local residents of what they call the
"real" uptown are taking city agencies to task.
In mid-January, members of Community
Board 12, which covers Manhattan above
155th Street, unanimously passed a resolution
calling on the Meuopolitan Transit Authority,
the Department of Cultural Affairs and New
York City & Co., the city's tourism agency, to
withhold pubLic funds from any company that
excludes Washington Heights and Inwood
from its maps of Manhattan.
These maps "undermine tourism in the neigh-
borhood," says Zead Ramadan, the community
board chair. "They undermine great institutions
such as the Cloisters, Fort Tryon Park and sites of
significant Revolutionary War battles."
On top of all that, he adds, "They send the
message that people don't want to go uptown. "
The problem is certainly real. An informal
survey of 10 New York City travel guides showed
that none include maps that extend above 145m
Street, and almost all are limited to attractions
south of 11 Oth. One online map,,
claims to show "a full view of the island of Man-
hattan," but the map ends at 113th Street.
The private firms say they will include
northern Manhattan when they see some
money from uptown venues. "No attractions
from up there advertise with us," explains The
New York City Travelguide's publisher Peter
Flower. "If they gave us money, I would put
them on the map."
City and state agencies say they would Like
to be as inclusive as possible, but, says Henry
Rissmeyer of the MTA, which sells maps to
travel guides that cut off at 150th Street, a map
of the whole city would be unreadable. "It
would be possible to produce a map of the
whole island, but the question is whether it
would be functional ," he adds.
Still, Ramadan is determined to send a mes-
sage. "These private companies are missing out
on some of the most important attractions in the
city," he says. By excluding northern Manhattan,
"they are undermining the tourism initiatives
and keeping vital information from people. "
-Penelope Ouda
Bush's Taxing Idea
"I ASK YOU TO END the unfair double taxation
of dividends," President Bush said to congres-
sional applause during his State of the Union
address in January. Under the president's pro-
posal, the Internal Revenue Service would
allow corporations to pay tax-free dividends to
their shareholders.
That might have sounded good to some at
the time. But if put into effect, the Bush plan
could end up gravely wounding the decades-
old federal program that generates corporate
investment in affordable housing.
Congress and President Reagan created the
Low Income Housing Tax Credit program in
1986. Under this law, the feds award each state
$1.75 in tax credits per capita annually-
$33.2 million for New York in 2001. Local
housing agencies, the state Division of Hous-
ing and Community Renewal and the city
department of Housing Preservation and
Development then award those credits to
nonprofit housing developers building new
affordable apartments. Those developers, in
turn, raise money by selling those credits, typ-
ically through an intermediary, to corpora-
tions, which then cash in those tax credits
with the IRS to lower their tax bills.
These tax credits help support the consuuc-
tion of roughly 3,000 housing units per year in
New York City and about 115,000 nationally.
But if this new incentive is offered, afford-
able housing developers and advocates fear,
corporations' interest in buying tax credits
will diminish as well. "The low income hous-
ing credit would be virtually worthless, "
Harlem Congressman Charles Rangel recently
wrote in a letter to federal housing secretary
Mel Martinez.
Housing is not the only industry that could
be hurt by Bush's proposal. There are similar
tax credit programs for investments in inner
city retail development, renewable energy, and
even in oil and gas exploration. Some invest-
ment professionals speculate that the proposal
could also hurt corporate charitable giving,
which reduces tax burdens, as well as the mar-
ket in tax-free municipal bonds.
Congress is expected to consider Bush's full
tax plan within the next few months. In the
meantime, to determine if their fears are war-
ranted, some national housing groups have
hired the accounting firm Ernst & Young to
analyze the situation.
Housing professionals are hopefUl that the
Bush administration will reconsider the dividend
tax cut---or that Congress will modifY the pro-
posal to allow corporations to count money spent
on the housing tax credit as taxable income. They
are somewhat optimistic, not least because the
Bush administration lobbied Congress last year
to create a new housing tax credit that would
support single-family homeownership.
"I find it hard to believe that the policy peo-
ple in the White House are aware that [the div-
idend tax cutl undercuts their own policies and
proposals, " says David Casson, a vice-president
at Boston Capital, a tax credit syndicator. "It
just doesn't make sense. "
- Matt Pacenza
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Off the Waterfront
A thriving seaport may get downsized-and take New York's
shipping industry with it. By Alyssa Katz
Kevin Catucci's American Stevedoring has transformed the Red Hook Marine Terminal into a bustling port-
which may not be what the city wants.
"THIS IS MY WATERFRONT! You mess with it, I
break your legs!" This is the public statement of
a cheerful black-and-white dog, wearing sun-
glasses and clamping an unlit cigarette in his
mouth. The man moving the dog's jaw and
speaking on his behalf is Kevin Catucci, Exec-
utive Vice President of American Stevedoring.
Since the family-run shipping company took
over a lease from the Port Authoricy of New
York and New Jersey in 1994, the marine ter-
minal in Red Hook, Brooklyn, has been trans-
formed from a moribund outpost to a thriving
port, right near the belly of lower Manhattan.
On any given day, it employs upwards of 200
APRIL 2003
people, depending on the volume of boat traf-
fic, and Catucci claims an annual payroll of$37
million. Piles of lumber bound for Home
Depot, sacks of cocoa from Indonesia heading
to Nestle, truck-size containers of the power
beverage Red Bull-this is how they all come
into New York. "We've made a success out of
Red Hook," boasts Sal Carucci, Kevin's father
and CEO of the company.
But the Catuccis and their business may not
be in Red Hook for much longer. Their lease
expires a year from now, and the Port Authoricy,
which leases the site from the cicy's Economic
Development Corporation (EDC) and spends
several million dollars a year to keep it going,
has sent strong signals that it does not intend to
renew it.
This winter,. the Port Authoricy and EDC
hired the consulting firm Hamilton, Rabi-
novitz & Alschuler (HR&A) to study the eco-
nomic viabilicy of other possible uses for the
80-acre Red Hook Marine Terrrlinal site, which
encompasses Brooklyn piers 6 through 12-
including housing, retail · and recreation. The
two agencies' request for proposals (or a "Pre-
ferred Alternatives Development Plan" stresses
"strategic advantages" that could attract devel-
opers, including "idyllic vistas of the Manhat-
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Need a Lawyer Who Understands
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For more information, call us at 212-219-1800 ext. 223.
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Building a Better New York
Lawyers Alliance congratulates City Limits and the Center
for an Urban Future on 26 years of making a difference!
tan skyline ... proximity to major business dis-
tricts .. . and a number of economically and cul-
turally vibrant neighborhoods, such as Carroll
Gardens, Cobble Hill and Park Slope."
Even in the current weak economy, the Red
Hook waterfront could attract big private devel-
opment dollars. At the eastern border of the
marine terminal, a Boston developer is looking to
turn a former dock warehouse into lofts. Directly
ro the north is the site of the soon-to-be Brook-
lyn Bridge Park, which the Port Authority has
committed $85 million to help build on its old
piers 1 through 5. And just to the west is the hot
property of Governor's Island.
One of HR&A's tasks will be to identify
developers and commercial tenants who are
interested in the Marine Terminal site; another is
to assess the real estate market and land use
trends just inland from the waterfront. The con-
sultant will ultimately come up with three or
more development schemes that maximize eco-
nomic benefits for the neighborhood, city, state
and Port Authority.
But even if HR&A discovers that new com-
mercial development could bring in more public
revenue than a port, some urban planners argue
that shutting down shipping would be disastrously
shortsighted. "A diverse economy that includes a
balance of industry and commerce and services is
a key to urban stability," points out Laura Wolf-
Powers, a planner with the Pratt Institute Center
for Communiry and Environmental Develop-
ment. "The Port Authority is driving this, and
EDC is going along. Someone should hit them
upside the head and say, 'What are you doing?'"
Wolf-Powers is talking with the Municipal Art
Society and the South Brooklyn Local Develop-
ment Corporation about putting together an alter-
native plan for the site that would focus on retain-
ing industrial and maritime operations.
Congressman Jerrold Nadler, who has been
on a decades-long crusade to unclog freight com-
merce in the New York region, is outraged that
the Port Authority may effectively end all ship-
ping in New York outside of Staten Island. "They
have managed to concentrate everything in
Newark Bay instead of New York Harbor," says
Nadler. As the congressman asks his colleagues
on the House Transportation Committee to pro-
vide billions of dollars to help move freight in
New York, he believes shutting down Red Hook
would send the message that New York City isn't
even interested in maintaining its existing ship-
ping operations. "When has the Port Authority
ever closed an existing port?" demands Nadler.
JUST A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO, it would have been
hard to imagine City Hall letting the Port
Authority back out of Red Hook. In 2000, EDC
spent $12 million to add two new cranes to Red
Hook's waterfront, helping bring the marine ter-
minal.s shipping volume to an all-time high of
about 80,000 containers a year. It was part of an
ambitious plan from EDC to expand the city's
ports, including building an entirely new opera-
tion in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
This was the rare Giuliani economic devel-
opment scheme that promised to payoff for
New Yorkers. In 1999, Giuliani's EDC pre-
dicted that cargo demand in the New York area
was going to triple by 2020, and that every inch
of port space in the region needed to be used
both to keep port jobs from fleeing elsewhere on
the east coast and to keep local roads and air
from strangling on truck traffic.
All in all, the port plan called for an invest-
ment of $1.5 billion over 20 years to develop
1,200 new acres of port space in the city, bring-
ing 30,000 jobs and $300 million in annual tax
revenue. Red Hook would triple its container
volume by 2010, at which point the entire oper-
ation would move further down the Brooklyn
waterfront to the new and bigger port in Sunset
Park, which would have access to rail lines. From
then on, Red Hook would specialize in "break
bulk" cargo like cocoa and bananas, shipped in
piles and sacks instead of containers, hundreds of
thousands of tons of it a year. The city's plans also
called for doubling the size of Howland Hook, in
Staten Island, which the Giuliani administration
reopened as a container port in 1996.
But a full-fledged port running the length of
Sunset Park will cost hundreds of millions of dol-
lars. Building out Howland Hook to its full
capacity will cost the city another half-billion.
Facing record budget deficits, the city is now
assessing whether it will move forward with port
development. The Bloomberg administration
will not comment on the status of the previous
administration's port plans. "It's premature to dis-
cuss," says EDC spokesperson Janel Patterson.
"That's the purpose of the study, to give us an
idea of the best use of the [Red Hook] site."
The future of a Sunset Park port also depends
on dollars and decisions from Washington. This
September, Congress is set to reauthorize major
transit legislation known as TEA-21, and Rep.
Nadler is determined to use the new appropria-
tion ("TEA-3") to fund a cross-harbor freight
tunnel. This is the very project, as Nadler relishes
pointing out, that the Port Authority was created
to build in the first place. The tunnel would per-
mit freight trains to cross the harbor from Bay-
onne to Bay Ridge, just south of Sunset Park,
then roll onto currently unused train tracks
crossing Brooklyn and Queens.
The immediate effect would be to take mil-
lions of truck-miles off the roads. But a tunnel
would also make Brooklyn ports viable: Sunset
Park, with wide-open ocean access, naturally
deep waterways, unused rail lines and now a
way to get freight across the harbor to the
APRIL 2003
New York Lawyers For The Public Interest 15 1 W 30 St, New York, NY 10001 212·244·4664
Community Planning and Development Mini-Courses
Following up on the Planning into Practice conference, Hunter College Department of Urban
Affairs and Planning and the Municipal Art Society Planning Center invite members of
community based organizations, Community boards, citizen and advocacy groups, graduate
students, city agency managers, professionals and employees to continue the dialogue.
Street and Lexington A venue)
Registration and Information:
Call William Beaufort 212-772-5517
Email :
Fees: $25 for each session
For CUNY Credit (entire series)
Graduate $562.85 Undergraduate $526.95
~ T ~ ---------------------------------------------------
Feb. 6 Opening session: Eddie Bautista, NY Lawyers for the Public Interest; Tony Avella,
NYC Council member, Christopher Kui, Executive Director, Asian Americans for Equality
Feb. 13 Engaging the budget process: TBA
Feb. 20 Developing and Implementing 197-a plans: Jocelyn Chait, Planning Consultant
Feb. 27 Developing affordable housing in changing neighborhoods: Brad Lander, Fifth
Avenue Committee
Mar. 13 Safe streets and traffic calming: Lisa Schreibman. Hunter College
Mar. 20 Historic districts as community preservation: Vicki Weiner, Municipal Arts Society
Mar. 27 Planning and zoning for mixed use: Eva Hanhardt, Municipal Art Society Planning
Apr. 3 Green buildings and sustainable communities: TBA
Apr. 10 From waste transfer stations to comprehensive waste management: Timothy Logan,
NYC Environmental Justice Alliance
Apr. 24 Brownfields development: Mathy Stanislaus, Environmental Consultant
May 1 Inclusionary Zoning Laura Wolf-Powers. Pratt Institute
Specializing in
HDFCs and
Low-Cost Insurance
and Quality Service.
Over 20 Years
of Experience.
270 North Avenue,
New Rochelle, NY
mainland, has the potential to be a valuable
star in the harbor's constellation of ports.
At Nadler's prodding, the Bloomberg
administration made one small step in Febru-
ary, when it agreed to put a freight tunnel on
its list of priority TEA-3 funding requests to
Congress. And EDC is currently in negotia-
tions with a Georgia company to run a new
auto terminal at 29th Street in Sunset Park, the
first phase of the full port plan.
But without firm commitments from EDC
on the future of the Sunset Park port, even
would-be supporters of new housing develop-
ment in Red Hook say the city can't afford to
lose the Marine Terminal and its high-paying
jobs. "If they have a port at Sunset Park, I have
less trepidation about losing the Red Hook
container port," says City Councilmember
David Yassky, who
lease"-until April 2004.
"We're looking to find out if there is a bet-
ter use for that property," says Port Authority
spokesperson Steve Coleman. "We're really
concerned about the subsidy the POrt Author-
ity has to continue to pay for Red Hook."
Larabee also alluded to "a variety of new eco-
nomic realities confronting New York City and
the region." Though he didn't identifY it, one
reality is the vow of the Danish shipping giant
Maersk Sealand to abandon its operations in
New York Harbor if the Port Authority fails to
dredge its New Jersey shipping terminals and
waterways to a depth of 50 feet by 2009. The
agency has committed to spend billions of dol-
lars to bore its way through toxic sludge and
rock in Newark Bay. The Red Hook port,
which accounts for just 2.4 percent of all the
goods shipped into
chairs the Select
Committee on
Waterfronts. "With-
out knowing more
clearly what's hap-
pening in Sunset
Park, I'm very leery
about losing the last
container port in
Brooklyn, Queens
and Manhattan."
city proceeds, the
future looks bleak for
American Stevedor-
ing. The Catuccis
"I'm very leery
about losing the
last container port
in Brooklyn," says
Council member
David Yassky.
New York Harbor,
costs the Port Author-
ity money but does
nothing to help retain
Phoenix, however,
wouldn't need a costly
cross-harbor barge,
and neither do other
operations like it-
companies that are
simply trying to get
bulk goods from the
mainland into Brook-
lyn, Queens and
Long Island via water
have been talking to Phoenix Beverage, a New
Jersey company that distributes Heineken and
other beers, and currently delivers the goods
from Elizabeth to New York City via truck.
Phoenix has expressed a willingness to move its
east-of-the-Hudson operations from Long Island
City to Pier 12, bringing perhaps 650 more
jobs-but only if the move comes with a long:-
term lease commitment from the Port Authority.
Under the current terms, a new lease is the
last thing the Port Authority wants. The agency
spends $267,000 a month for a barge to shut-
tle containers back and forth berween Red
Hook and transportation connections on the
mainland in New Jersey, so that goods coming
through Red Hook can travel west of the Hud-
son River. (The Catuccis say they pay another
$76,000 to keep it going.) Last October, Port
Commerce Director Richard Larabee told the
City Council Select Committee on Water-
fronts that "the Port Authority will continue to
fund this service through the end of the new
instead of truck. In
an effort to convince the Port Authority to
keep the Red Hook Marine Terminal going,
some local officials are now floating the idea of
an alternative to the international container
port American Stevedoring wants to keep run-
ning: a local niche operation that doesn't cost
the Port Authority anything to keep afloat.
Tenants like Phoenix could be rounded out by
Carnival Cruise Lines, which has expressed
interest in building a berth at Piers 6 and 7.
Supporters of the alternative say that turn-
ing the Marine Terminal into a local delivery
depot would be the best of all worlds: a way to
keep port jobs in New York and Red Hook,
and to keep trucks off the roads. At that site,
"a container port probably isn't going to be a
profit-making industry," says one government
aide. Rethinking the Red Hook port is fine,
says the aide, as long as the neighborhood
retains a working waterfront: "That's not a bad
thing--especially from the point of view of
the Port Authority." •
4th Annual
National Workforce Conference:
Helping People Overcome Barriers and Build Careers
March 19-21, 2003
Baltimore Marriott Waterfront I Baltimore, Maryland
APRIL 2003
the nation as we work to help
people overcome barriers and
build careers!
One-day pre-conference allowing
attendees to focus in-depth on
six key workforce topics:
• Working with ex-offenders
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your participants
· Managing for outcomes
Two-day main conference featuring
30 workshops spread across the
following five tracks:
• Workforce Keys
· Housing and Employment
• Innovative Workforce Models
• Serving Special Populations
· Working with the System
Hear keynote speakers Mark Greenberg
from the Center for Law and Social
Policy and nationally acclaimed author,
trainer and speaker Jim Smith, Jr.
The winners of the J.P. Morgan Chase
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Development will be announced during a
special plenary session. Each of the three
winners will receive an unrestricted
grant of $15,000. Find out what made
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They take millions in
government housing dollars.
Transfer loads to their
private ventures.
They were down in Texas on business, walking
through historic San Antonio, when the call about King Tone came on
the priest's cellular phone. Tone, born to the world Antonio Fernandez,
was then leader--or "Supreme Inca"--of the Almighty Latin King and
Queen Nation street gang, and he'd been busted, again. He'd punched
his old girlfriend in the face, giving her a black eye in front of her 11-
year-old daughter, and violated his parole, according to the 1997 charge.
He was locked up and needed $5,000 bail.
The priest, Reverend Gordon H. Duggins, had come to know Tone and
many other Latin Kings gang members. He'd hired them too--some off the
books, some on- to work security and operations for the homeless shelters
and single-room occupancy (SRO) hotels that he and G. Sterling Zinsmeyer
run through Praxis Housing Initiatives, one of the city's largest nonprofit
providers of housing and social services for homeless people with AIDS.
Tone was never on the Praxis payroll, though occasionally he'd sign
petty cash slips at Praxis for $150, or Duggins would borrow money from
employees ro buy him suits for his court dates. At the time, Tone had pub-
licly promised to transform the Kings from a band of drug dealers, with a
reputation for violence, into a respected and charitable organization. Dug-
gins believed that promise, and was willing to foster the gang's altruistic
transition- at any price, it would seem.
Rather than reach into their own pockets to spring the gang leader,
Duggins and Zinsmeyer-who each made $120,000 in salary that
year--dipped into the coffers of their nonprofit, at the expense of their
clients and the public.
To help Tone out of his latest legal jam, Duggins, Zinsmeyer and
Praxis' then-comptroller, Hugo Puya, ducked into the historic Merger
Hotel, only yards away from the old Alamo battlegrounds, and penned a
fax. "Funds need to be transferred directly out of Praxis Chase bank
account and directly transferred into Mr. Ronald L. Kuby Chase
account," read the note, signed by both directors. A letter dated that same
House the homeless?
For the executives at Praxis,
that's the mission-
not the bottom line.
day from Kuby, Tone's pro bono attorney, confirmed receipt of the trans-
fer and money used for Tone's bail.
As documents obtained by City Limits reveal, Tone's bail is just one
item in a lengthy list of questionable expenditures the Praxis executives
have made since they founded the group eight years ago. In mid-Febru-
ary, following a report in City Limits Weekly, these spending practices
caught the attention of the city Department of Investigation, the state
Attorney General and the Inspector General at the federal Department
of Housing and Urban Development, all of whom are now examining
the organization's financial records. Nearly all of Praxis' $7.4 million
budget comes from city, state and federal funding streams, and investi-
gators are trying to figure out where taxpayer dollars are going.
"We're looking at how the money was spent, and we're taking this
very seriously," says HUD spokesperson Adam Glantz.
Among the more curious enterprises is a string of stealthy for-profit
homeless hotels that Duggins and Zinsmeyer have set up under the Praxis
umbrella. Tax returns and internal company memos show that the directors
arranged for hundreds of thousands of dollars to be siphoned from the
nonprofit to start up and support their private housing enterprises-unbe-
knownst to the Praxis board of directors, or to the Internal Revenue Service.
"It's a huge scandal," says founding Praxis board chair Cyril Brosnan,
who resigned last summer after years of "disgust" and "frustration" with
the executives' financial decisions and their failure to disclose informa-
tion. "We were never told about a for-profit. We were never really told
about anything," says Brosnan, who has sat on the boards of a number
of nonprofit health service groups. "They should be hung by their toes."
In an interview, Zinsmeyer, 55, admitted that blowing nonprofit
dough on the bail, for one thing, was a mistake. "It should have never
happened," he says. He claims that all money borrowed from Praxis for
both the bail and the for-profit shelters has been paid back. (He offered
to provide documentation, but failed to return repeated phone calls to
APRIL 2003
follow up.) "By now I think we've made all the mistakes you can make
in this business. But that's how you learn. "
Duggins declined to comment for this story. But his patronage of Tone
didn't end that day at the Alamo. Five months after Tone's assault charge,
which was later dismissed, police and FBI agents arrested Tone in a citywide
drug raid and charged him with conspiring to deal heroin and cocaine. Dug-
gins came to his rescue again, dropping another $5,000 in bail-this time
in cash. It's unclear where that money came from. Caught selling drugs on
videotape, Tone was forced to plead guilty. He's now serving a 12-year sen-
tence in a maximum-security federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.
"I made a fool of myself," Duggins said in a New York Times profile
in 2001 , about putting his faith in Tone. "But I would rather have stood
for him as a fool than failed him as a friend."
As a nonprofit organization with tax-exempt privi-
leges, Praxis is bound by fiduciary duty to pursue reasonable and fair-mar-
ket spending practices that support the group's mission. However, since their
first year in operation, both Zinsmeyer and Duggins have broken the Praxis
The nonprofit's spending power has also gone to support family
members. The health and worker's compensation insurance Praxis offers
its employees are both purchased through AMCORP, a San
Antonio-based fmancial services company owned by Zinsmeyer's
brother William, and his nephews, Vincent and Craig. The Internal
Revenue Service requires nonprofits to disclose any business with family
members on their tax rerurns, which Praxis has neglected to do.
"It was hardly a fair-market deal," says former Praxis comprroller
Hugo Puya. "It would have been at least 25 percent cheaper to go
straight through the insurance providers. But when it comes to family,
'cost-benefit' becomes a different type of analysis."
There's also Duggins' own personal business interests. Some of the
furniture in Praxis' shelter rooms was purchased from Woods Edge
Resources, a consulting company that he owns and runs out of his home
in Bethlehem, Connecticut. To make the dressers and bureaus, he set up
a wood shop in his garage and hired a carpenter.
"That was just an experiment," says Zinsmeyer, adding that it was
quickly aborted.
Since their first year in operation,
both Zinsmeyer and Duggins have broken
the Praxis piggy bank for other causes,
including personal items and gifts,
for-profit housing ventures,
and the businesses of
family members.
piggy bank for other causes, including personal items and gifrs, their for-
profit housing ventures, and the businesses offamily members, records show.
Before the Christmas of 1997, for instance, Duggins took the Praxis
credit card on a shopping spree, dropping $968.85 at Toys"R"Us, the major-
ity going toward PlayStation video games. That same day at Macy's, he also
charged nearly $1,000 on men's designer clothes-Nautica, Tommy Hil-
figer, Polo-including jeans and slacks ($500), and more than $175 in men's
underwear. Receipts also show he bought $625 worth of home heating fuel
and spent $347 at a Gulf gas station near his home in Connecticut.
"Gordon couldn't stop spending on the Latin Kings," says former
Praxis bookkeeper George Serrano. While it's unclear where the toys
went, Serrano claims that Duggins and some of the Kings rerurned to the
office that day carrying Macy's shopping bags and sporting new clothes
with the Macy's tags still on. "He'd take all the petty cash he could, ask if
he could borrow money personally, anything we had in our wallets. He
promised to pay us back and he never did. It wasn't like we weren't pay-
ing him-we gave him $120,000 in salary. " Last year, in addition to their
for-profit ventures, the execs also took a salary raise, Duggins pulling
down $135,231, and Zinsmeyer making $149,539.
Other businesses continue today, though, including
their most lucrative: a cluster of for-profit homeless shelters and single-
room occupancy hotels that the execs have set up through separate hold-
ing companies.
For $90 or more a night, the city Department of Homeless Services
(DHS) sends single adults and families to the Dawn Hotel and Heights
Residence in Harlem, the Bronx's Park Overlook, and Pacific Place and
Pacific Dean Residences in Brooklyn.
While Praxis manages these facilities-and some have been mislead-
ingly advertised on Praxis newsletters as part of the organization-they
are actually controlled by Duggins and Zinsmeyer, who split the com-
pany shares evenly, according to state and tax records.
It's by no means unusual or illegal for nonprofit groups to set up for-
profit subsidiaries. It gets dangerous, however, when their funding
streams mingle to benefit company executives and those executives do
not disclose that information, say lawyers and accountants.
That's what's happened at the Dawn Hotel. According to an internal
audit of the Dawn from 1997, at least $173,000 was drained directly
from Praxis-in the form of "non-interest-bearing" funds- to get the
for-profit hotel renovated and running.
"That's a pretty risky venture," says Marc Owens, former head of the
IRS's tax-exempt organization division. He says that type of loan might
violate certain fair-market laws. "Who borrows money with no interest?
That's a diversion of assets, an excess benefit transaction."
Accounting records from the Dawn also show that at least some of
the money being diverted to the for-profit hotel came from federal
funding intended for renovations and social services at nonprofit Praxis
shelters. Between 1996 and 2002, HUD awarded Praxis $4.7 million to
run Riverside Place, a single-room occupancy residence on the Upper
West Side. According to the Dawn's 1997 general ledger, the execs
transferred $137,000 from the bank account of the Riverside to the
Dawn in just 48 days.
That same year, at least another $300,000 of Praxis' money was put
into the for-profit Latham Hotel, according to confidential letters writ-
ten by Zinsmeyer to Praxis' primary counsel, Dwight Kinsey (who also
serves as counsel to the Dawn, and last year was named chair of Praxis'
board). The Latham eventually tanked.
"It's like a shell game in the park," says Puya, who as comptroller had
regular access to the organization's books and records. "The money went
from the pockets of taxpayers, through the nonprofit, and finally into
the pockets of for-profit bank accounts controlled by both directors. "
Apparently, the directors never told the IRS that these side businesses
even existed. According to Praxis tax returns filed from 1996 through
2002, when asked if the nonprofit "ever engaged in the lending or leas-
ing or transfer of assets with for-profit companies that may have the
same directors, key officers or officials as the non-profit," accountants
routinely checked "No."
'That's huge," says Fred Rothman, former chair of the Tax-Exempt
Organization at the American Institute for Certified Public Accountants.
"It's absolutely verboten to take money from the public to furnish a pri-
vate interest. And to not disclose is troubling-lit) begs the question,
'Why hide?'"
Praxis' accountants at the time, from the firm of Urbach, Kahn and
Werlin (who also handled the books and audits for the Dawn), say they
no longer do business with the organization and would not comment
on their audits.
Asked why restricted public funds were transferred into Zinsmeyer and
Duggins' private businesses, Amy Millard, an attorney for Praxis, would
only say in a written statement, "We've been cooperative with all investi-
gators and continue to do so. We're confident that it will be proven that
Mr. Zinsmeyer and Mr. Duggins have provided an important service to
the community and are dedicated towards the community they serve." She
did not return nwnerous phone calls for further comment.
It's a New York story from the beginning. Born in old-
line Texas, Glenn Sterling Zinsmeyer was outed for being gay at an early
age, he says, and lefr home as soon as possible. According to his reswne,
he graduated from the University of Texas, worked as a staffer in the
Kenyan parliament, and was later ordained as a minister at the Church
of Spiritual Science. (Asked if Zinsmeyer had ever graduated from the
University of Texas, the registrar there said he had not.)
When he moved to New York, he scarted working low-level jobs in
Chelsea bars and restaurants. As the AIDS epidemic grew in the gay
community, Zinsmeyer found new passion in activism and local politics.
In 1996, he became president of the Stonewall Democrats, a gay and les-
bian political club.
APRIL 2003
While Zinsmeyer was in college, Gordon Duggins was finishing up
at Duke University, and went on to earn two Master's degrees from Har-
vard Divinity School. He, too, grew up in the South, raised in Winston-
Salem, North Carolina.
Duggins trekked to Liberia, where he received his clergy papers. He
later settled in Bethlehem, Connecticut, where he continues to live in a
home complete with a private chapel, a $50,000 church organ and an
office for Woods Edge Resources, his consulting firm.
In the early 1990s, Duggins was hired as a fundraiser by Episcopal Social
Services (ESS), a 170-year-old social services group. It was there that he met
Zinsmeyer, who was running the organization's AIDS housing ptogram.
In the summer of 1995, with complementary skills for running and
raising money for AIDS housing, the pair decided to start their own
nonprofit, Praxis, Greek for "turning ideas into action."
ESS sponsored the idea, offering a $150,000 loan and free office
space to jumpstart operations. That relationship didn't last long, how-
ever. Only months into the operation, ESS' director, Father Steve Chin-
lund, resigned from the Praxis board. According to board minutes from
that time, he felt that the board had too many paid employees, which he
saw as a conflict. He severed ESS' official ties with the group. Chinlund
could not be reached for comment.
While still calling Praxis the "housing arm" ofESS in their newsletters,
Zinsmeyer, Duggins and a third director, Robert Peters, looked to raise
money, acquire shelters and get contracts from the city to house clients.
They occasionally resorted to desperate measures. In pulling together a
board of directors, they failed in some cases to get the permission of peo-
ple they claimed on paper as members. For example, Praxis' first city con-
tract lists Kenneth Lowry, director of Conflict Information and Dispute
Resolution, as a board member, a position he denies ever holding. "I'm
not on the board now and I never was," says Lowty.
Knowingly filing fulse informacion on city forms is a serious issue with
possible criminal repercussions, say city officials.
Meanwhile, Praxis struggled to get contracts. "We couldn't get anywhere
in City Hall," Peters recalls. "We needed to get our foot in the door."
They hired one of the city's premier lobbyists at the time, Ray Hard-
ing. By the end of his first meeting with the Liberal Party chief at his offices
at the law firm Fischbein, Badillo, Wagner and Harding, Zinsmeyer had
written Harding a $15,000 legal retainer from his Praxis checkbook. Min-
utes later, with Zinsmeyer looking on, Harding picked up the phone and
dialed then-Deputy Mayor Fran Reiter to request a meeting. Over the
next few weeks, Zinsmeyer met three cimes with Reiter and Deputy Com-
missioner Steve Cymbrowitz from the city Department of Housing Preser-
vation and Development, according to Reiter's daily schedule book.
"We had instant access to City Hall," Peters says. "Harding con-
firmed his reputation. He didn't guarantee anything-but soon afrer, we
had clients in the Saint Nicholas Hotel."
Zinsmeyer's political connections didn't stop with Harding. While
serving as president of the Stonewall Democrats-which under his reign
made a controversial endorsement of Rudy Giuliani for mayor-he also
befriended Gregory Caldwell, Giuliani's appointee to head the city
HNIAIDS Services Administration.
During that time, Praxis was blessed with a number of housing place-
ments from HASA. Afrer only its first year, the group was running four
hotels with city funding: the Riverside, the Greenpoint, the Saint
Nicholas and the Dawn. The Barbour opened months later, and the Park
Overlook and Lincoln Place in subsequent years.
continued on page 44
Can green

make it in New York?
Three ways
to say yes.
Green and Lean
A Harlem developer makes
housing affordable.
By Alex Ulam
ehind a cluttered desk in his central
Harlem office, Carlton Brown is rapping
his knuckles against a piece of material
that has characteristics similar to those of high-
end oak flooring, but it's even harder and
smoother, and only about one-third the price.
It's also much more environmentally friendly
than wood, because the plant that produces it
grows four inches a day.
"You cannot stick a pin in it and you cannot
dent it. I wouldn't mind having that on the floor
in my townhouse," Brown says, sitting back
with a satisfied chuckle. The material is bamboo,
and it is an example of the atypical building
materials and mechanical systems that Brown is
using in his revolutionary condominium devel-
opment under construction in Harlem.
When it opens this fall at 116th Street and
Fifth Avenue, the 12S-unit project, which also
includes 30,000 square feet of retail space, will
be New York City's first "high-fXJrformance"
green affordable housing development. Brown's
company, Full Spectrum, will sell one-third of
the condos at market rate, but the rest will be
restricted to buyers with household incomes
between $50,000 and $101,000, and sell for
between $150,000 and $225,000.
Residents also stand to save dramatically on
their utility bills. The building, "1400 on
Fifth," will be 35 percent more energy efficient
than New York State energy codes require and
about 70 percent more energy efficient than a
typical New York City apartment building.
But the most striking aspect of Brown's new
development is that he is building an energy-
efficient building with luxury amenities-
including a video conferencing center, com-
puter room and broadband access-for
approximately $200 per square foot, about the
same cost as the run-of-the-mill affordable
housing that is being built throughout the city.
"This will be a historic building," says
Gelvin Stevenson, executive director of the
Center for Economic and Environmental Part-
nership (CEEP), a nonprofit group of acade-
mics and building industry experts seeking to
encourage more ecologically sensitive develop-
ment. "It's a dramatic demonstration of the fact
that affordability and environmental efficiency
can coexist in quality housing."
Brown's building is one of two demonstra-
tion projects in the High Performance Building
Program, a joint initiative of the New York
City Housing Partnership and the Department
of Housing Preservation and Development
(HPD), funded by a $300,000 grant from
Deutsche Bank. The Parmership is paying
close attention to Brown's project, with an eye
to replicating his innovations. "We are plan-
ning on incorporating green building tech-
nologies where possible in our future housing
projects," says Party Noonan, vice president for
research and planning at the Partnership.
"Education is a part of what we've been
doing-sharing with other builders what Carl-
ton is doing."
Brown "is definitely a leader in this field,"
adds Noonan. "As we started doing research,
we saw that Carlton was already well down
the road."
n the development business, there are still a lot
of misconceptions about the affordability of
high-performance building technologies.
"When I talk to other builders," says Brown, "the
first notion is that to build green costs more."
There is no textbook for building high-per-
formance affordable housing. Brown says that
he put his project together by doing a vast
amount of research, making him a self-taught
expert on green technologies. It costs money to
be a groundbreaker; Brown says his company
spent about $700,000 on research.
Brown also has a good background for devel-
oping futuristic ideas into affordable and life-
enhancing applications. Before becoming a
developer, Brown, a Princeton graduate, worked
for 10 years at Bell Labs, where he focused on
bringing new ideas and technologies out of the
laboratory and into the marketplace.
But even though there was interest from the
Parmership, Brown had difficulty convincing
financial institutions to put their money
behind his project. "It was difficult for him,
because he was a small developer with less
assets and less experience," says Sandra Acosta,
vice president of the Housing Partnership.
Brown and his Full Spectrum partners put
in approximately $3 million of their own
money. They got subsidies from HPD and the
federal Department of Housing and Urban
Development, plus about $11 million in loans
from those government agencies and the Part-
nership. Private-sector loans arranged through
Fannie Mae and Fleet Bank totaled approxi-
mately $25 million. And this winter, Brown's
building was awarded a New York State Green
Building tax credit, worth $1.7 million.
While Brown was still struggling to line up
the financing for his own project, Full Spec-
trum was hired as the environmental technol-
ogy coordinator for a luxury green high-rise
being built by the Albanese Development Cor-
poration in Battery Park City. "They had heard
about what we were trying to do in Harlem,
APRIL 2003
and they asked us to work with them in Battery
Park City," says Brown. ''At the time, they
didn't really have a grasp of what was involved
in high-performance building. "
Meanwhile, it took six years for Brown to
finally see his own affordable project realized.
"The real estate industty tends to do what
other people do, and not do their own analysis.
I think that if you have a few successful projects
that work, the financial institutions will start to
lean that way," Brown says. "When we started
with Fleet Bank on this, they had some skepti-
cism, but they sat with our architects and engi-
neers and looked at calculations and said,
'Yeah, I guess you're right-this does work.'"
rown is able to install high-end features in
affordable housing through "value engi-
neering"-finding ways to economize and
then reinvesting the savings into relatively expen-
sive special features. One place Brown saves a lot
of money is in wall construction. A typical con-
temporary New York City apartment building is
built out of cement block and brick, and those
walls must provide structural support and pre-
vent energy leakage. Brown builds his out of
steel, which is just as structurally sound but
about 20 percent cheaper. That allows Brown to
put the money that he saves into making his
walls about 50 percent more energy efficient.
The savings from the building's superstruc-
ture also allow Brown to put more money into
environmentally friendly mechanical systems
and furnishings like cabinets and building mate-
rials, which he says cost about 20 percent more
than in a typical apartment building. The energy
savings are accomplished through features such
as low-heat glazed windows, which help keep
rooms temperate. Groundwater pumps use geo-
thermal energy to heat and cool the building.
The pumps, which run on electricity, circulate
water in the ground. They extract heat for winter
use. In the summer, they use the earth like a cool-
ing tower-discharging the building's heat into
the ground. Another system will recover heat
from the building's wastewater.
Brown's building might sound futuristic
and experimental, but most of the technologies
he's using have been around for decades. Many
are used outside New York City; others, exten-
sively in Europe.
A major reason that New York City is so far
behind, says Brown, is that it's the most expen-
sive place in the country in which to build, and
that makes developers particularly loath to take
risks with new technologies. "It's like, Pop did
it that way and Uncle Bob did it this way-tra-
dition mitigates against high-performance
technologies," he says, "Given the risk, devel-
opers ask, why should they change?"
Brown says he also faced resistance from city
officials. "One of their things was, 'If this is such
a good idea, how come everyone else isn't doing
it?'" Like geothermal heating and cooling: "The
city said, 'Oh no, we've never heard of that. Why
aren't you purring a boiler in the building?'"
It takes perseverance for New York City
developers to build with high performance
technologies, says Alan Zerkin, project direc-
tor for CEEP's own High Performance Build-
ing Initiative. There is a lot of uncertainty
about both getting approvals for and using
nonstandard technologies, he notes-develop-
ers don't know what they are going to
encounter at the Buildings Department, nor at
the trade unions, which tend to be very par-
ticular about which jobs are in which of their
jurisdictions. "There could be a squabble-a
delay, " Zerkin says, "All of these things add to
the uncertainty. And if a job gets delayed, it
costs money."
But Brown sees the research that his com-
pany has done as an investment that will pay
off in future projects. He is also concerned
about a lot more than just turning a profit. "It's
hard to give a good reason to change when you
think about the risks for people who aren't con-
cerned about the broader environmental ques-
tions or the broader social justice questions, "
Brown says. "But once you say, ' I do have some
concerns about those questions,' you say,
'Well, let me look at the ways of doing that. '"
Behind all of his building's fancy features,
Brown has an ambitious agenda for changing
inner-city communities. He points to the high
rates of illnesses in poor and minority neigh-
borhoods and notes there is increasing evi-
dence that the public health problems in those
neighborhoods are related to poor environ-
mental conditions.
"When we say environmentally friendly-it's
a broader notion than what I call the 'tree-hug-
ging sentiments,'" says Brown. "It's something
that in addition to providing shelter should
enable human activities to be more easily accom-
plished-it empowers people. For instance, if you
are building in a poor community, you want to
do things that first of all have a good environ-
mental impact-you want to have better air qual-
ity. At the same time, you would want to do
things to better connect people to the rest of the
world. One of the things about poor communi-
ties is that they are isolated-there is this huge
digital divide. So one of the things we focus on is
smart buildings that can leap the digital divide. "
Brown also sees his buildings as a means of
economic empowerment through homeowner-
ship. While most new Partnership buildings in
Harlem consist of limited equity cooperatives,
Brown insisted on building condominiums, giv-
ing their owners an opportunity to later sell at an
unrestricted profit.
Generally, subsidized housing is of limited
risk for developers. It is full of subsidies and
grants, and, because of relatively inexpensive
prices and limited supply, developers don't
have much trouble convincing buyers to com-
mit. In the most dramatic example of "value
engineering," however, Brown is pouring all of
his subsidies into only two-thirds of his units
to make them affordable. That means he will
have to sell the other third at market rate to pay
back his loans and make a profit. In effect, the
market-priced condos will help subsidize the
affordable units. That means that Brown has to
build a first-rate building, or his investment
won't payoff.
"He is taking a risk," says Acosta. "Not
every developer wants to do it." •
Alex Ularn is a Manhattan-based freelance
Material World
A West Coast recycler hauls
New York into the housing
deconstruction movement.
By Hillary Rosner
hen Nicole Tai was growing up in
San Francisco, she tried repeatedly
and to no avail to convince her
grandfather's construction company to go green.
By the time Tai had earned her master's degree in
community development at University of Cali-
fornia-Davis, her mother was running the fam-
ily business, and Tai saw her chance. She talked
her mother into letting her put the construction
company to work on a project ofT ai's own.
"The company basically did rehab jobs,
meaning they would go in when a tenant lefr a
rental space and take out all the great stuff and
toss it, " Tai recalls. "And so they let me borrow
the dump truck for several months, and I
would drive it around to all the sites they were
working on and have the guys fill it up with
whatever they had that day, like sinks or car-
pets." Tai sold the materials to resale yards, and
returned the revenue to the company. Her ven-
ture broke even, but Mom needed to turn a
profit, and that was the end of that.
That was in 1998. She was just a few years
too early. Today, used building materials are
becoming a profitable business, as public aware-
ness grows both of their existence and of the
need to stem the tide of garbage. So Tai is try-
ing again, this time on the opposite side of the
transaction-and the other side of the country.
Now a New Yorker, Tai is opening New
York City's first trading post for used construc-
tion materials. The store, scheduled to open in
March, will stock everything from doors and
windows to bathtubs, sinks, lighting and other
fIXtures and cabinets-all secondhand, per-
fectly usable, and salvaged from demolition
and renovation projects, for sale at 20 to 50
percent of retail prices.
Tai, who says she realized in college that
recycling was her destiny, has spent the last two
years working to bring the city into step with
the grassroots movement that's been slowly
making its way to the mainstream, one resur-
rected two-by-four at a time: building with
materials that would otherwise have nowhere
to go but the landfill.
Known as "deconstruction," it is not high-
brow literary criticism but the systematic dis-
mantling of buildings, by hand, with the aim
of reusing their parts. Up to 80 percent of the
typical residential house can be directly reused,
and much of the remaining materials recycled.
In 2000, New Yorkers threw away 45,882 tons
of waste a day, according to a report by the
city's Independent Budget Office. While the
New York City Department of Sanitation
could not provide local figures, the waste man-
agement company HDR estimates that up to
40 percent of all landfill content nationwide is
construction-related debris.
Working with the nonprofit New York
Waste Match and a grant from the Environ-
mental Protection Agency, Tai initially
explored the feasibility of starting up a decon-
struction outfit in the city. But she kept run-
ning into the same problem: what to do with
the salvaged materials. Resale yards in Westch-
ester and other nearby locales-such as two
run by Habitat for Humanity-were already
overloaded with supplies. "We were receiving
tons and tons of calls from contractors who
really want to recycle their stuff," says Tai.
"They don't want to throw it away. They would
like to make some money off of it. But there
APRIL 2003
just was no end use-there wasn't an outlet."
So Tai set out to create one. Partnering with
the nonprofit ARROW (Astoria Residents
Reclaiming Our World), she secured a Depart-
ment of Sanitation grant, administered via the
environmental research group INFORM [see
"Fast Trash," page 7], for $90,000. Founded in
1989, ARROW began as a curbside recycling
group before the city instituted its own program.
"When I say curbside," laughs Chris Tokar,
ARROW's treasurer, "I mean, we hung out on
the curb and people came to us with their trash."
The ARROW store will accept donated
materials and provide a tax deduction. (Down
the line, it may begin paying for materials, but
Tai says that model is at least a year away.) The
store, staffed largely by volunteers, will accept
drop-offs Tuesdays through Saturdays, and will
access to water, and therefore no way to clean
them. "Toilets I just cringe at," says Tai.
Nationally, used materials yards are thriv-
ing in progressive towns like Berkeley, Boulder
and Madison, but also in less obvious areas
such as Minneapolis, Baltimore and Houston.
"One of the great things about being involved
in this is that you can visualize a backhoe
going to a landfill and digging up a trunk with
cash in it," says Jim Primdahl, deconstruction
manager for the nonprofit Institute for Local
Self-Reliance, a national organization. "That
cash goes right back into the community. This
is cash from trash."
Julee Herdt, a Boulder-based architect and
professor at the University of Colorado,
believes trash is the key to the future of archi-
tecture. "We've used up our resources and lefr
"You can visualize a backhoe going
to a landfill and digging up a trunk
with cash in it," says Jim Primdahl
of the Insti tute for Local Self-Reliance.
"That cash goes right back into the
community. This is cash from trash."
offer pick-ups, too. The income generated
from sales will go toward operating costs. Her
goal is to make the emporium self-sufficient
within three years; in the meantime, Tai is cur-
rently seeking additional grant funding.
Tai plans to pay close attention to the vol-
ume of materials that pass through the store, so
she can measure just how much waste she's
returning to good use. Size and other con-
straints will prevent the store, located at 21st
Street and 51st Avenue, from accepting some
materials. Wood, for example, can be no larger
than two-by-fours and must be free of nails.
(Tai may yet invest in a denailing gun, which
quickly cleans lumber.) And while they will
accept bathtubs and sinks, they will not accept
toilets, mainly because the site has no outdoor
them in piles of waste," Herdt says. "So that's
our new resource."
Tai faces obstacles in bringing the move-
ment to New York City, with its high costs of
labor, real estate and transportation. But
friends in the recycling community believe she
is up to the challenge. "Nicole is a true cham-
pion," says Primdahl. "I tell every group I work
with that these enterprises are never accom-
plished through committee. It always takes a
community champion." Primdahl thinks Tai's
project will succeed despite the hurdles because
Tai's roots in the construction business give her
firsthand knowledge of what's involved.
"Nicole fully understands that our industry is a
convergence of the construction industry and
the recycling industry," he says. "And she
understands the mechanics of both."
For her part, Tai says the biggest challenge
she's encountered so far is real estate. The cur-
rent space, a private warehouse she just found
this February with the assistance of the Long
Island Ciry Business Development Corpora-
tion, is less than 3,500 square feet. "We had to
compromise by taking our current site just to
get going," she says, "due to lack of sufficient
funding or a large enough space donated by the
ciry." But she is confident that the ciry will
come through with a bigger space within a year.
By Tai's calculations, the ARROW project
could eventually use over 70,000 square feet in
every borough. She has her sights set on a
5,000-square foot building in Williamsburg, a
former architectural salvage warehouse that was
run by the Landmarks Preservation Commis-
sion. Architectural salvage has until now been
the main form of used building material sales
in the ciry, with shops such as Urban Archaeol-
ogy selling columns, mantles, and other deco-
rative artifacts at upmarket prices. (There's one
other deconstruction outfit already in business:
Brooklyn-based M Fine Lumber, which deals
exclusively in used timber.)
Despite New York's inhospitable climate for
such a project, there are also factors that seem
almost guaranteed to make the ARROW store a
success. For one thing, there are thousands of
small contractors in the ciry, and Tai hopes these
will be a source of both materials and sales.
Tokar says she expects the ciry's artistic and
theater communities to become good cus-
tomers. And she also believes the store will
draw small landlords. "When you look at the
ciry as a whole, there's a very large number of
people not only who own their own home or
who own an apartment but who own the
building they live in with three other units,"
says Tokar. "The other units support them, and
they do a lot of the work there themselves."
Tai and others believe New York is a big
enough market for other players to get into the
salvage business, too. "If you're looking at an
individual renovation project, a substantial
portion of the material may actually be recov-
erable in some form by someone," says Steve
Hammer, president of Hammer Environmen-
tal Consulting, which has worked with busi-
nesses, nonprofits and ciry agencies on a wide
range of recycling-related projects. "That
doesn't mean it's all going to go through
Nicole's shop, but it's part of a system that can
be made to exist in New York Ciry." Hammer
hopes that several companies will set up decon-
struction operations in the New York area, fun-
neling their materials through the ARROW
store. "We're talking New York Ciry. It's a huge
market out there, but other than the ultra-rich
it hasn't been tapped."
Tai says she wouldn't mind some competi-
tion. ''At least we'll be the catalysts," she says.
''And if not, we'll be the ones who are running
everything, just reclaiming the whole world." •
Hillary Rosner is a freelance writer in Boulder,
Energizing Money
or low-income tenants and co-op owners, affordable housing can quickly become
unaffordable when the utiliry bills come in. In the five years following Governor
George Pataki's push to deregulate the state's eleccriciry industry in 1996, power bills
across the state have jumped by about 40 percent.
To boost the state's energy conservation efforts, the state Public Service Commission
agreed to commit $150 million a year over five years for the New York State Energy
Development Authoriry (NYSERDA) to upgrade power-guzzling appliances and electric-
iry systems in low-income homes and apartment buildings across the state.
In New York Ciry, the New York Energy Smart program is focusing in large part on
multifamily buildings, for which NYSERDA received $68.3 million to spend by 2006.
So far, the Assisted Multi-Family Program has helped owners of 82,000 apartments and
condos-about half of them in the five boroughs-move toward making changes like
converting from electric to gas heating and replacing old refrigerators. These energy con-
servation efforts save a household about $520 a year, according to NYSERDA estimates.
But the work is far from over. Another 1 million homes that qualifY for the state pro-
gram still need some kind of overhaul, estimates Sean Neill of Hamilton, Rabinovirz &
A1schuler, Inc., the firm that's administering the program with NYSERDA.
The strategy for upgrading these properties is twofold: Get the word out, and then
convince properry owners that, while they need to make a financial investment in con-
servation upfront, the upgrades could give them more money in the bank later on.
To qualifY for assistance from NYSERDA, an apartment building must have at least
four apartments, and each household must earn less than 80 percent of the area's median
income ($47,808 for a family of four). The buildings also must already receive some form
of public subsidy, like tax credits or federal Section 8 vouchers, and be a customer of one
of the state's six investor-owned utilities, like Con Edison.
Then it is up to the properry owner to make the initial investment. To be sure owners
are committed, NYSERDA requires a deposit of up to $3,000 before engineers are sent
in to audit a building's heating system, appliances and light fixtures. Based on this review,
HR&A makes a cost estimate and suggests a package of funding sources that the land-
lords can look to for financial assistance.
Upgrade costs can reach as much as $4,000 per apartment, bue funding help is available.
Landlords can pue some of the state and federal subsidies they already receive toward the cost.
NYSERDA also helps connect properry owners to financial lenders who offer low interest
rates for energy upgrades. Under this program, participating lenders-like the New York
Energy Smart Loan Fund and the Multifamily Low Income Housing Fund-have agreed to
reduce interest rates on loans of up to $500,000 by 4.5 percent. NYSERDA pays the bank
or credit union the difference. Last year, NYSERDA helped arrange $10 million in loans.
And in extreme situations, if owners are still coming up short, NYSERDA will provide grants.
Co-Op Ciry, the 35-building complex in the Bronx, hopes it can make NYSERDA's
proposed conservation package work. The upgrade-which would include a more
energy-efficient elevator system and indoor lighting fixtures that dim after 20 minutes-
could save the development an estimated $3 million a year.
"Hopefully, aesthetically it will be an improvement, as well as save money," says Crissa
Skarimbas of Marion Scott Real Estate Inc., managing company for Co-op Ciry.
-William Wichert
Mayor BLoomberg has big pLans
for how we'LL Live tomorrow.
He's counting on the reaL estate
market to make it happen.
CouLd this be the end of
affordabLe housing as we know it?
By Matt Pacenza
APRIL 2003 2S
1 .
New Waterfront
Vistas: How's
View? the
ut on a pair of old shoes and go find
derelict waterfront land. It won't be too
tough-there are plenty of rotting
piers and abandoned junkyards to choose from.
Check out the East River in Greenpoint, or the
Bronx Kill in Port Morris.
Close your eyes. Imagine housing can be
built here. Suppose there's plenty of money.
What vision do you have?
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has
a vision. In a closely watched
December 10 address, he
announced a $3 billion plan to
build and preserve housing. His
wide-ranging proposal, met with
great admiration by supporters and
skeptics alike, reached a visionary
peak when the mayor suggested
that the city's housing future would
be found at the water's edge.
From Morrisania to Long Island
City to Williamsburg, the
Bloomberg administration plans
political and legal reforms that, com-
bined with a modest contribution of
city money, will prompt private
housing developers to step in, clean
up the blighted waterfront and build
tens of thousands of new apartments.
Mayor Bloomberg's housing
plan comes at a key moment for the
forces devoted to building and
maintaining housing for New York's
neighborhoods. The past 30 years
have seen the birth and maruration
of a professional housing movement. It started
when daring activists went from building to
building, begging and borrowing what they
needed to reclaim entire streets abandoned by
their inhabitants, by banks and by the city itselE
Those pioneers succeeded more than they
failed, and soon, powerful forces jumped on
board. Beginning in 1987, under Mayor Ed
Koch's 10-Year Plan, the city invested $5 bil-
lion to support the neighborhood organiza-
tions that were proving that even the toughest
parts of town were worth living in. For-profit
companjes and banks saw a business model
that worked, and soon joined the fight to make
the city's neighborhoods once again a place
people wanted to be.
The neighborhood housing movement suc-
ceeded partly because the critical resources for
success-buildings and land-were cheap or
even free, given away by the city Department of
Housing Preservation and Development for
rebuilding. "In our community, one of the only
reasons we've been able to make housing afford-
able is we got land for $1," admits Sheena
Wright, President and CEO of the Abyssinian
Development Corporation, which has built or
rehabilitated more than 1,000 apartments in
Harlem since 1989.
But today, with 87,000 formerly city-owned
apartments fixed up and rerurned to private
ownership and 16,800 new apartments and
homes built on land the city used to own, the
roots of triumph have become a potential source
of tremendous change-and failure. The city
government's own stock of vacant land and
repossessed apartment buildings is nearly
depleted. At the same time, the price of vacant
land and property that can be rehabilitated for
housing is at an all-time high.
"We're victims of our own success," says Joe
Weisbord, staff director of Housing First!, a coali-
tion of financial institutions and community
organizations, labor unions and other groups
seeking to promote investment in creating
affordable housing in New York. "Today there
are surging housing markets in neighborhoods
that were left for dead even just 10 years ago."
Enter the mayor's housing plan-and its
focus on rewning neglected neighborhoods to
spur waterfront housing. The mayor's plan is
still mostly just a proposal on paper, but essen-
tially, the administration hopes that if it opens
up new land, makes it easier to get permits and
approvals, and supplies $500 million in modest
loan subsidies in exchange for some apartments
that will rent or sell for less than market rate,
private developers will build new housing.
The administration's most ambitious pro-
posal is a call for rewning waterfront neighbor-
hoods previously designated as sites for indus-
try and manufacturing, making them fit for
housing and retail.
Waterfront land is certainly attractive to hous-
ing developers, but nowhere in the mayor's plan is
it clear what kind of housing he wants built
there--and in that vacuum looms a problem. If
the mayor's plan relies on the incentives currendy
in place, say advocates for affordable housing,
then New York's waterfront housing development
will likely end up as a giant missed opportunity.
While developers will have access to
sources of subsidy like the low-income
housing tax credit (for households
making below $37,680 a year), there
are no guarantees in the mayor's plan
that apartments affordable to farnilies
of modest means will get built. It's
those families who most desperately
need new affordable spaces to live--
not just the record 38,400 homeless
who clogged the city's homeless shelter
system in January, but also the esti-
mated half million families who spend
more than half their incomes on rent
and utilities.
Mayor Bloomberg's vision doesn't
have much room for poor families,
period. Eighty-one percent of the
new rental and co-op apartments to
be financed with city assistance are
slated to be built for households earn-
ing more than $50,240 a year, equiv-
alent to 80 percent of the New York
area's median income, according to
the city's Independent Budget Office
(IBO). That's in striking contrast to
the Koch plan, under which nearly 90 percent
of units ultimately went to families earning
below 80 percent of median income. (It's worth
noting that it took a coalition of groups, led by
then-Manhattan Borough President David
Dinkins, to pressure Koch to focus his housing
dollars on the poor.)
When it comes to the waterfront plan, the
city's new commitments to the poor are even
softer. So far, the administration has rejected a
series of policy suggestions from City Council
members and affordable housing advocates
that could provide aggressive incentives for
developers to build affordable housing in the
rezoned neighborhoods.
Instead, city officials who have testified at
recent public hearings say that the incentives
currently in place are enough. They point to
programs like the city's 421-a tax break, which
has helped build 87,000 apartments in the city
since 1971, according to the IBO. Under 421-a,
builders of new multifamily housing in the
outer boroughs automatically receive property
tax exemptions for up to 25 years.
Apartments subsidized by the 421-a tax
breaks outside of Manhattan do not have to be
affordable, but developers are required to set
rents that match the local market. An IBO
analysis suggests this requirement has hardly
resulted in affordability: In Brooklyn, for exam-
ple, that translates into an average one-bedroom
rent of $2,077 in the new buildings.
City officials also point to several recent
housing developments, both on former Brook-
lyn breweries-the Rheingold site in
Bushwick and the Schaefer site on
the Williamsburg waterfront-as
examples of new development at or
near the waterfront that includes
affordable apartments. But in both of
those cases, HPD gave the land for
free to nonprofit developers.
Land giveaways won't be possible
under the mayor's new waterfront
housing push. Virtually all the prop-
erty to be rezoned for housing is pri-
vately owned, and selling these days,
in neighborhoods like Williamsburg
and Gowanus, for top dollar.
So a coalition has begun forming
recently to call for new programs
that try and make waterfront hous-
ing more affordable. Its most vocal
champion is City Councilmember
David Yassky, who told a State
Assembly housing hearing in Febru-
ary that while he welcomes the
mayor's plan, "it would be terrible if
the people who live in Greenpoint
and Williamsburg today can't live in
the housing to be built on the waterfront."
Yassky and others are floating a range of pol-
icy prQPosals that could make waterfront hous-
ing more affordable. One possibility is called
"inclusionary wning." If the builders of a new
development include low-income units in the
deal, they would have the right to increase the
legally permitted height and bulk of the build-
ing. Basically, inclusionary wning rewards devel-
opers who agree to mix in some affordable hous-
ing by letting them construct bigger buildings
than they could otherwise build. It's not a new
idea: Across the country, from California to
Maryland to New Jersey, such incentives have
resulted in thousands of new affordable units.
Alternatively, developers along the water-
front could be required to conrribute to a fund
APRIL 2003
that will help fmance another developer build-
ing affordable housing elsewhere. That concept
is called "linkage," and it's in place in Boston,
among other cities.
Sources close to the council say that inclu-
sionary wning has the stronger chance. But
supporters of the concept haven't yet resolved a
politically loaded question: Should developers
who use the incentive have to build affordable
housing on site, or would elsewhere suffice?
The arguments for integrating low-income
housing on site are strong, observes Michael
Schill, director of the Center for Real Estate
and Urban Policy at New York University, but
it might not be the most productive use of
resources: If waterfront market-rate housing
ends up subsidizing affordable housing in a
part of the city where property is less expensive,
more housing could be built overall. "Then the
question is: How much do you value mixed-
income communities, as opposed to as much
housing as possible for low-income people?"
wonders Schill.
Ultimately, the possibilities for affordable
housing in waterfront areas rest with the City
Council, which has the power to approve or
reject the ambitious rezoning proposals
advanced by Mayor Bloomberg. The council has
demonsrrated some willingness to take on the
mayor over high-impact issues, such as when it
overrode the mayor's veto of its bill prohibiting
the city from doing business with predatory
home lenders. Now we'll find out if building
affordable housing is politically important
enough to sway Speaker Gifford Miller and the
constiruencies with big pull in the council, like
unions and Democratic Party donors.
Asks one housing advocate who requested
not to be named, "Will individual council
members be willing to invest political capital to
hold these rewning proposals hostage until
they exrract those kinds of policy?"
The End of the
the Opening
a Market
uring Mayor Bloomberg's
December housing speech,
he never once mentioned
community development corpora-
tions or nonprofit housing groups.
However, he referred to "private
investment" no fewer than 10 times.
That rhetoric, plus the acrual details
of the mayor's plan, is leading hous-
ing professionals to quietly (and
largely anonymously) suggest that
the mayor's plan hangs nonprofit
housing groups out to dry.
Even the title of the plan, "The
New Marketplace, " suggests to
many that Bloomberg and Deputy
Mayor Dan Doctoroff hope that by
making it easier-and cheaper-for
developers to build in the city, new
housing will sprout up without the
carefully packaged government-run
programs that enabled nonprofits to
build so much housing in the past few decades.
It's a noticeable shifr away from Mayor Koch's
approach. During the 10-Year Plan, HPD pro-
grams gave nonptofits the money, buildings and
land that they needed for rehab and new con-
struction. The Local Initiatives Support Corpora-
tion and Enterprise Foundation created the New
York Equity Fund, which helped nonprofit devel-
opers access federal tax credit dollars designated
for the construction of affordable housing.
But in the new paradigm, the city is looking
to stretch its dollars as far as it can, and com-
munity development corporations, or CDCs,
will have to compete directly with for-profit
developers for public and private financing.
"The place we've been is one where the city
basically gives you land and the tools," says
Brad Lander, executive director of the Fifth
Avenue Committee, which builds and manages
supportive and affordable housing in Park
Slope and Red Hook. Now, he says, "develop-
ers need to go out, acquire property and assem-
ble financing on their own. "
HPD agrees. "We're expecting people to be
nimble and entrepreneurial and be able to
negotiate things instead of having pre-pack-
aged deals," says First Deputy Commissioner
of Housing Operations John Warren, who
supervises all of the agency's programs.
Many nonprofits have jumped headfirst
into this new housing environment, creatively
assembling complex financing deals. Some of
the tools they use are by now familiar: tax
breaks from the city, low-income housing tax
credits from the feds and state, and bond
financing from agencies like the city Housing
Development Corporation and the state Hous-
ing Finance Agency.
That's not the end of it. The savviest devel-
opers then leverage several of those pieces to
raise more cash. For example, a nonprofit
developer can actually sell its property tax
breaks to developers of luxury housing to raise
additional money. The layering of financing
can seem absurd: One recent project in Denver
used 23 different funding sources.
One group that's juggling complex deals is
Hope Community, in East Harlem. Hope's
president, Mark Alexander, has done the kind
of projects that most other nonprofits are still
getting used to-partnering with for-profit
developers to build middle-income housing.
Now, Alexander thinks he may have hit on a
brand-new funding source: unused reserve
funds that were built into the tax credit projects
that Hope, and many other CDCs, have been
doing for years. Those projects are required to
maintain large operating reserve funds in case
large new maintenance expenses arise.
But for groups that have managed to pay for
upkeep without dipping into backup funds,
those dollars are a tantalizing source of potential
capital. "Some portion of those funds could be
redirected to develop affordable housing pro-
jects," predicts Alexander. "There's no reason
from a policy point of view why they shouldn't."
There will certainly be more partnerships
with for-profit developers too. "It will become
the PC thing to do, " says Denise Scott, man-
aging director of New York Local Initiative
Support Corporation (LISC) , which provides
CDCs with loans, grants and investments for
neighborhood redevelopment.
For-profit developers also have something to
gain from these parmerships. In their applica-
tions for housing tax credits from the state Divi-
sion of Housing and Community Renewal,
builders get extra points for working with non-
profits, and those points can make all the differ-
ence between whether they get the deal or not.
Will all the groups currently developing
housing remain relevant in an increasingly
complex financing environment? Most
observers don't think so. "There will be some
nonptofits that won't make it," says Naomi
Bayer, the director of the New York office of
the housing finance institution Fannie Mae.
"There will be a natural evolution, " adds
Alexander. "The strongest will survive, and
thrive, and the groups that are doing very
poorly, doing bad work, will be closed down. "
Some CDC executives anticipate a sort of
merger and acquisition flurry. If a nonprofit not
only can't handle new deals, but has trouble
running its current properties, there are likely to
be coordinated efforts to transfer badly man-
aged properties to non profits with solid records
of running low-income housing-much like
what happened when Banana Kelly fell apart in
the Bronx. But it's worth noting that even the
worst-run nonprofits have their champions-in
their neighborhoods, and more importantly,
among elected officials, whose dollars help keep
the groups' services and jobs going.
Consolidation also raises the specter of
supergroups: large CDCs that operate in entire
boroughs, or even more than one borough. But
when a CDC loses its neighborhood base, it
also loses an important piece of what makes it
different from any other real estate developer.
For years, CDCs were the only entities willing
to invest in preserving and building in poor
neighborhoods. Now the ones intent on sur-
viving in the housing business must answer a
tough question: Since for-profit developers are
prepared to build affordable housing at rock-
bottom cost, why should precious government
subsidy dollars still go to nonprofit groups?
While no one knows for sure that nonprofit
construction costs more, affordable housing
developers generally suspect that's true. For one
thing, non profits have to pay a middleman-a
contractor. Most for-profit developers act as
their own contractor. Nonprofits probably don't
want to hear it, but they're also not always the
easiest entities to work with. Some private con-
tractors say they try to avoid CDCs, because
they are very slow to make key decisions, which
adds not just time but money to projects. "Many
have become their own bureaucracies," says one
developer who asked not to be named.
Advocates for CDCs argue that the housing
they build and preserve is best for their neigh-
borhoods, even if it does cost a little bit more.
Academic research, however, hasn't really been
able to prove that. "The question of the roles
and outcomes of for-profit and nonprofit
developers in housing is one no one has
answered, " observes Schill. "It's also not clear
that anyone wants to know the answer. "
If CDCs are going to convince the
Bloomberg administration that they matter,
here are a few talking points they could use. It's
easier for nonprofits to befriend institutions
like community boards when projects require
community approval, and to avoid costly court
challenges from angry neighborhood interests,
who can-and do-sue to stop virtually any
new development.
CDCs can guarantee long-term affordabil-
ity in a way that for-profit developers can't.
Many of the subsidies that pay for affordable
housing typically run out afrer is, 20 or 25
years, and private developers are more likely
than mission-driven nonprofits to take advan-
tage of future opportunities to raise rents.
Nonprofits also say they're preferable
because of their neighborhood roots-they
have a better sense of what kinds of housing
community residents want. CDCs are also
more likely to integrate needed services into
housing, like community centers that offer
tutoring, or referrals to organizations that can
help with welfare and health benefits.
"It's hard to quantify, " says Bayer. "But I
think CDCs are looking at the whole-the
health of their community. It's not just housing
as buildings, but how it impacts the whole
health of the organism."
Vacant Lots,
and Other
ven if non profits are able to put
together money to develop affordable
housing, one key question remains:
Where will they build it? Between 1986 and
today, HPD gave away land that produced
16,800 new homes. Projects like the Nehemiah
homes in east Brooklyn and the South Bronx,
and the New York City Housing Parmership's
New Homes scattered throughout the city, were
possible only because HPD gave developers
large tracts of foreclosed vacant land.
That land is almost gone. As the pipeline runs
dry, developers are eyeing two tantalizing, but
problematic, possibilities: small vacant lots, of
which there are roughly 35,000 currently wned
for housing in the city, and polluted lands for-
merly used for industry, known as "brownfields."
In terms of vacant land, what's left is scat-
tered lots, most of them blocks apart from one
another. Constructing a single building
between preexisting structures-what's called
"infill"-is just too expensive to result in
affordable housing.
But where just a few lots are joined, or where
there are several scatrered within a block or two,
developers have recently been finding ways to
make infill work. "You just can't do one 25-foot
wide lot," says Jerry Salama, a former HPD
deputy commissioner who now does new con-
struction as a private developer. "But if there are
three or four others nearby, yes, it's still more
expensive, but you can throw them all in and
average it out and make the numbers come out."
That's exactly what the city is
doing with its New Foundations
homeownership program, through
which HPD is offering to give away
geographically clustered plots of city-
owned land to developers interested
in building infill. The homes sell at
market rates. "To ask for a lower
income target is not really feasible,"
says Deputy Commissioner Warren.
A market approach will work for
nonprofits, like Abyssinian and Hope
Community, that are interested in
bringing in wealthier homeowners.
Both groups contend that Harlem
already has plenty of low-income
renters, and that as CDCs, part of
their mission is to promote varied-
income neighborhoods by building
homes for professional families.
But can infill work for anything
but market rate housing? Some devel-
opers are eyeing modular construc-
tion as one solution-buildings that
are largely assembled in factories off
site, and then trucked in. But until
less expensive technologies come on the market,
modular construction is only about 10 percent
cheaper than normal construction, says one
developer who asked not to be named-not
enough of a savings to make infill affordable.
The laws of the market are not the only forces
keeping new affordable housing from rising on
vacant land. For several years running, the New
York State legislature has failed to agree on a law
that would spur the cleanup and development of
brownfields-sites that were previously used for
possibly toxic industrial purposes.
Current state law holds property owners
responsible for pollution, even if the contami-
nation happened decades before they bought
the property. It's a huge barrier to any devel-
oper: To invest in a piece of land that might
someday generate costly lawsuits is a risk few
APRIL 2003
will take. Also, there are no clear guidelines
about how pristine a cleaned-up brownfield
actually has to be--currently a developer has to
negotiate individually with state environmental
officials before cleanup begins, an extremely
time-consuming process.
The lack ofbrownfields legislation routinely
prevents developers from moving forward,
including, recently, one of the city's biggest
builders of housing for the homeless. HELP
USA President Richard Motta says that he was
eyeing a large plot of land in East New York,
near other HELP projects, for a day care center.
But then he found out there used to be a gas sta-
tion on the site, and Motta decided that with-
out being able to guarantee what his cleanup
costs would be, the risk was too great: "I can't
bid on it, because I don't know if I'm going to
spend $100,000 ro clean it up--or $1 million."
If a brownfields bill did pass, it would also cre-
ate a fund to help developers pay for precisely
those costs--assessment and cleanup. With no
legislation on the horiwn, New York is way
behind other states: at least 40 others have laws
and funding programs on the books. In New Jer-
sey; a 1993 law is spurring projects like a proposed
$1 billion, 1,200-acre redevelopment in Ruther-
ford, just across the Hudson River. There, old city
dumps are slated for four golf courses, two hotels,
six office buildings and 1,500 units of housing.
Given the impossibility of predicting when
Albany will act on anything, the affordable
housing community is starting on its own. "In
the best of all worlds, they will, and if they won't,
we'll move fotward anyway," says Denise Scott
of LISe. With its banking and foundation part-
ners, LISC is discussing creating its own site
assessment fund of at least $50 to $100 million.
"It may be the philanthropic community will
bring dollars to deal with risk assessment and
site assessment," Scotr says.
The New York City Housing Partnership is
also moving fotward on a brownfields initiative:
It's working with a Denver company called
Brownfields Capital, an investment fund that
helps pay for assessment and cleanup in exchange
for a portion of the profits that arise from devel-
opment. "They essentially absorb some of the
costs," says Kathryn Wylde, CEO of the Partner-
ship, which runs the housing program.
The mayor's plan could also help ease the land
crunch. HPD is charged with spending $200
million on "predevelopment" costs,
from land purchase to clean-up, to
help builders get projects underway.
Each of these proposals is mired
in uncertainty. Will there ever be
enough subsidies to build afford-
able housing on small lots? Will
Albany ever pass a brownfields law?
Will the mayor's paper plans ever
bear fruit? In the meantime, CDCs
are looking to the funders with the
deepest pockets, like LISe, Enter-
prise, the Partnership, Fannie Mae
and the foundations, to help them
buy land. The good news is that
those entities, although reluctant
to tell City Limits exactly what their
role will be, all say they're poised to
do JUSt that.
"We've been working with our
various partners to create a specific
program to help CDCs," says the
Enterprise Foundation's Rafael
Cestero. Adds Wylde: "Putting
together complicated predevelop-
ment packages-that's the future. "
n his inimitable way, President George
W Bush, in a speech last October at
George Washington University,
launched his administration's drive to add 5.5
million minority American homeowners. ''All
of us here in America should believe, and I
think we do, that we should be, as I mentioned,
a nation of owners," Bush told the Conference
Power Builders
Who holds the keys to keeping the mayor's
new housing affordable.
New York State Association for
Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH)
In its five-year history, this group of for-profit apartment devel-
opers has become an industry powerhouse, built on hundreds of mil-
lions of dollars from New York's market in federal low-income hous-
ing tax credits, as well as the New York City Housing Development
Corporation (HDC) and New York City Housing Partnership.
NYSAFAH has been lobbying the Bloomberg administration on the
implementation of the city housing plan. Prolific members include
L&M Equities, BFC Construction Corp. and the Arker Companies.
New York City Housing Partnership
In 1982, Kathryn Wylde helped launch an ambitious effort to
build affordable homes in blighted neighborhoods. In 2003, with
Wylde at the helm of the New York City Partnership, its subsidiary
Housing Partnership has just two to three thousand new homes
slated for construction, over the next two to three years. Now, says
Wylde, the Partnership must figure out a new way to once again
bridge the private sector's resources and the public's housing needs.
Among the ideas the Partnership is exploring: new strategies for
assembling development sites and finding innovative financing
strategies to clean up brownfields.
Local Initiatives Support
Corporation/The Enterprise Foundation
These two "intermediaries" jointly administer the New York Equity
Fund, which helps nonprofit development groups access affordable
housing tax credit dollars and assistance turning that money into hous-
ing. In 2001, Enterprise took over (from the Partnership) the Neigh-
borhood Entrepreneurs Program, which helps community-based land-
lords fix blighted buildings. The local LISC office, headed by former
HUD official Denise Scott, is working to help community develop-
ment groups obtain jobs for local residents on construction projects.
LISC and Enterprise, like the Partnership, plan to help groups acquire
sites for new housing.
Chuck Brass, New York City Housing
Development Corporation
Last April, Brass took over the scandal-tainted city housing
finance agency. HDC, which issues bonds and uses the proceeds to
fund low interest loans and some grants for housing developers, will
now grow in stature, having won a pledge from Mayor Bloomberg to
commit $500 million in new HDC financing for mostly middle-
income housing. Previously with the city Department of Housing
Preservation and Development (HPD) and the Housing Partnership,
Brass has a rep as honest and likeable, but one source close to the
agency says he makes decisions on his own: "The staffhas no input."
Brass says that HDC's funding decisions are sound. "I can't guaran-
tee that we'll fund everyone," he says. "But I encourage people to
come forward with their projects."
Since 1985, the national labor giant's Housing Investment Trust
has put $369 million into 14 apartment-financing deals in New York
City. In 2002-after city employee unions pushed the city to put
$135 million of their pension fund money into the housing trust-
the AFL-CIO promised to invest another $500 million into housing
here. The trust's financing is market-rate, which is generally only use-
ful for high-priced new housing construction, so it has financed
mostly "80-20" deals where city tax breaks keep just one in five units
affordable. But by investing in FHA mortgages, the union trust has
been able to help preserve several Mitchell-Lama developments as
middle-income housing. There is, of course, one catch: Jobs getting
AFL-CIO cash must be done union.
Housing First!
Founded during the 2001 mayoral race, this coalition of commu-
nity and labor groups, banks and advocacy organizations initially
called for the city to commit $10 billion to create 100,000 new hous-
ing units and preserve at least 85,000 more. Housing First! takes
pains to work with elected officials; while it held a demonstration at
City Hall just before the mayor released his housing plan, it bears lit-
tle resemblance to the rabble-rousing coalition that in the 1980s
pushed Mayor Koch to devote most of his housing program to the
poor. The group is now urging the Bloomberg administration and
City Council to minimize cuts to the city housing budget.
Bill Traylor, Department of Housing
Preservation and Development/Housing
Development Corporation
Traylor was appointed this February to help make the mayor's
housing plan bloom. Bearing two titles-HPD deputy commis-
sioner for development and HDC senior vice president for public
finance-he will be in a pivotal place to help developers put together
financing deals. Traylor, who's on leave from the Richman Group,
where he syndicated tax credits for affordable housing development,
formerly ran the New York Equity Fund and LISC's New York office.
Community development groups that thrived under Traylor's leader-
ship of those organizations will now look to him to see whether he
can now make the new affordable housing dollars, and development
opportunities, accessible to them too.
Alan Wiener, American Property Financing, Inc.
Wiener served on the Bloomberg transition team that decided to
retain HPD Commissioner Jerilyn Perine-a gig that reunited him
with transition chief Nat Leventhal. Back in the late 1970s, Wiener
was manager of HUD's New York office, and Leventhal was Mayor
Koch's housing commissioner. Together, Wiener and Leventhal fig-
ured out how to use federal Community Development Block Grant
dollars to fix up the city's growing stock of abandoned buildings-and
thus sparked an entire generation of urban redevelopment. Today,
Wiener's New York-based company is a leading lender and under-
writer of development loans and helps Manhattan developers put
together "80-20" deals.
Felice Michetti, Grenadier Realty Corp.
Michetti headed HPD under Mayor Dinkins, where she played a
pivotal role in putting the Koch housing plan into action. Some say
she never really left. The commissioner now heads Grenadier Realty
Corporation, which owns or manages tens of thousands of apart-
ments, many subsidized under government affordable housing pro-
grams. Micheni has been willing to find new financing to keep build-
ings from going market-rate. But just as importantly, the heavily net-
worked Micheni maintains her connections with key decisionmakers
in affordable housing business-and is willing to put them to work
for other developers.
-Annia Ciezadlo, Alyssa Katz and Matt Pacenza
on Minority Homeownership. "Owning some-
thing is freedom, as far as I'm concerned. It's
part of a free society. And ownership of a home
helps bring stability to neighborhoods."
The President is putting his money where his
mouth is. His administration is proposing a $2.4
billion tax credit for lower-income first-time buy-
ers, and a $200 million fund to help pay down
payments for prospective poor homeowners.
And Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the federally
chartered home financing corporations, have
committed to loan another $440 billion to
minority families over the next nine years.
President Bush is not alone in promoting
homeownership as a panacea for ills like poverty
and crime. Support for homeowner-
ship has virtually become a religion in
modern American politics, with
Democrats and Republicans in lock-
step, even in New York City, where 67
percent of households are renters.
Homeownership is central to
Bloomberg's housing plan, which
envisions at least 4,000 new condos
and creates a $25 million fund to help
moderate-income families cover down
payments and closing costs. There's
also a $12 million pilot program to
help formerly homeless families buy
homes. Finally, the administration will
pay up to $10,000 toward down pay-
ments and closing costs for prospec-
tive homeowners, as long as their
employers chip in an equal amount.
Compelling economic arguments
back these policy pushes. Mortgages
are often cheaper than rent because of
tax breaks. A household's costs over
time are predictable, so a family can
make more secure decisions about job
and income choices. Most notably,
since most homes increase in value, homeowners
build wealth that they can access by selling their
homes and borrowing against equity, as well as
pass on to their children.
But each of these benefits is much less likely
to help poor or even moderate-income home-
owners-and the potential negative conse-
quences of homeownership are highest for
them too, according ro a 2001 review of the
homeownership literature by the Research
Institute for Housing America, a think tank
funded by the Mortgage Bankers Association
of America. Such research raises questions
about the unified push for homeownership
that government and financial institutions are
barely grappling with, even as they race ro add
millions of new homeowners.
"The United States has created a housing
finance system that makes the direct benefits of
APRIL 2003
owning a home most favorable for high income
families and least favorable for low-income fam-
ilies," writes the Research Institute's director,
Steven Hornburg. The homes purchased by the
poor tend to have the highest maintenance
costs. Housing values in poor neighborhoods
are the most volatile, meaning that
appreciation and wealth-building are no guar-
antee. Transactional costs-like closing fees and
interest rates-are highest for poor borrowers.
Lastly, poor families don't tend to make enough
money to reap the considerable benefits of the
mortgage tax deduction.
The Institute's study doesn't even account for
what could be the biggest risk of homeowner-
ship for poor families: predatory loans and
mortgage foreclosures. It's not just an academic
worry in New York, where 13 percent of all
homeowners with federally insured mortgages
were late on their payments at the end of last
year, according to the Mortgage Bankers Associ-
ation. In neighborhoods like Bedford-
Stuyvesant, where foreclosures are rampant, 336
homeowners lost their homes in 2000.
"Predatory lending is a huge issue in Bed-
Stuy," says Colvin Grannum, president of the
Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corp., which
develops homes for sale. "We have to also focus
on the preservation of homeownership, to
make sure that their equity is not stripped out
by unscrupulous practices. "
When a homeowner does lose his or her
home, it's a big economic blow. One Min-
nesota study found that the instant dollar loss
for a family averaged $7,200. The longer-term
impact of having a terrible credit rating after
foreclosure adds thousands more.
Maybe not every homeowning family will
build wealth, but at least they make better neigh-
bors and citizens, right? Proponents of home-
ownership often argue that there are a range of
social benefits that go beyond dollars and cents.
They point to studies showing that homeowners
are more likely than tenants to belong to civic
and political organizations, to know the name of
their member of Congress and to go to church.
And, most importantly, the children of home-
owners do berter in school.
However, those same studies conclude that
such positive impacts are largely tied
to the fact that homeowners live in
one place longer than most renters.
It's not that homeowners are better
citizens because they have an invest-
ment to protect. Rather, when that
family can count on staying in one
place, and isn't at the whim of a land-
lord, it can invest time and energy in
building civic life. "A lot of it boils
down to residential stability," says
Ingrid Gould Ellen, a professor of
public policy and urban planning at
NYU's Robert E Wagner Graduate
School of Public Service. "In that
regard, rent control can be just as
good for families." More than a mil-
lion New York City households ben-
efit ftom rent regulation. But these
people aren't the stuff of presidential
conferences; no politician talks of
promoting rent regulation to
strengthen neighborhoods.
Of course, any given family can
gain greatly from owning a home, if
it's fortunate to take out a fair loan
and keep up on mortgage payments. But, as the
Research Institute report dryly concludes,
"Those involved in promoting homeownership
should be careful not to oversell homeowner-
ship, particularly among those who are less likely
to be successful homeowners."
And Hold On
Ti ght
uilding new housing is critical, but so is
hanging on to homes that are already
here. Multiple threats to preserving
affordable apartments lurk not-so-stealthily on
the horizon. Already, thousands of apartments
leave the rolls each year. Thousands more, built
in the 1960s and 1970s with government sub-
sidies, are now in danger of having their rents
suddenly shoot up.
Two big affordable housing programs are
currently under threat. The first and best
known is Mitchell-Lama, 105,000 units built
for middle income families. The private devel-
opers of those publicly subsidized projects
have the right to charge market-rate rents after
20 years if they prepay their mortgages. Not
surprisingly, some now are: As of last year,
9,643 units had either left the program or were
about to leave. In most situations, low-income
and elderly residents get federal housing
vouchers so that they aren't forced out; the
remaining tenants have generally
been reaching agreements with
their landlords so that their rents
rise slowly. However, in most
buildings, when an apartment
becomes vacant, the landlords can
charge whatever they like.
Similarly, several key federally
subsidized housing programs are
expiring. In the 1970s, HUD
signed 25-year contracts with devel-
opers building new affordable
units, primarily under its Section 8
program. In New York City, 7,680
apartments had left or are leaving
HUD's programs, according to an
estimate from the Community Ser-
vice Society.
For the rest of the city's private
apartments, it's up to HPD to make
sure that they remain in habitable
condition, and if they're not, the
agency tries to help landlords fix up
their buildings. If necessary, HPD
also has programs designed to take
the buildings away. It's critical work,
and despite the budget crisis, HPD says Its
poised to maintain funding, which has grown
in recent years. According to a February IBO
analysis, HPD preservation spending has
increased by 16 percent a year since 1999, even
as the agency's overall spending has only grown
2.5 percent. , ~ a y s Warren, "Preservation is job
number one.
However, the city's last-resort preservation
program-third party uansfer-seems to be
suffering. Under the program, HPD takes
dilapidated buildings whose landlords have
failed to pay taxes, and hands them over to
handpicked private landlords or community-
based nonprofits, along with substantial subsi-
dies, to fix up and maintain at affordable rents.
The program has been very well received by
developers, and has become the source,
through the Urban Homesteading Assistance
Board, for about 600 new cooperative units.
Flash back just two years: In January 2001,
Mayor Rudy Giuliani announced his first
major housing initiative-seven years into his
eight as mayor-and proposed spending $278
million over four years to rehabilitate
5,900 dilapidated apartments through third
party uansfer.
Since then, third party transfer has moved
very slowly. HPD originally said it would do
two or three rounds of the program each year.
But in the past four years, there have been just
three. And third party transfer's funding has so
far depended on the HPD's capital spending-
which was cut by 19 percent this year because
of the city budget crisis.
HPD denies that third party transfer is
being cut. The agency says that the program
has moved more slowly than anticipated
because of unforeseen court delays in the fore-
closure process, and because more landlords
than anticipated have stepped up and paid
their taxes at the . last moment. "Third party
uansfer has worked out well, " says Deputy
Commissioner Warren. "We are assuming a
steady state going forward in terms of starting
new [foreclosure) actions. "
A final threat to preserving decent afford-
able apartments in the city's neighborhoods is
the hardest nut of all to crack--displacement
and gentrification. In neighborhoods from
Greenpoint to Astoria, there are long-term res-
idents who are forced to leave when their land-
lords raise rents, legally and illegally. Commu-
nity groups across the city have tried everything
from public humiliation of landlords to law-
suits to try and retain long-term local residents,
with mixed success.
Now one group, the Fifth Avenue Com-
mittee, is turning to the state legislature for a
new tool to fight displacement-a tax credit.
In January, bills were inuoduced in both the
Assembly and Senate to create the Commu-
nity Stability Small Homeowners Tax Credit,
which would lower property taxes for home-
owners who rent to low-income tenants for
below-market rate rents. The credit might
make its way through Albany's tortuous leg-
islative process because it's "an apple pie pro-
posal," says Brad Lander. "It's volun-
tary. Low income people work hard
to stay in nice neighborhoods, and
here's a way to reward homeowners
for encouraging that. "
lose your eyes again. This time,
guess what kind of New York
you'll live in a few decades
from now. Will there be plenty of
apartments? Will families of different
means live near each other? Will the
city be fUrther segregated? Will the
stock of tenement houses remain
suong, or will it slowly crumble?
No one knows. Public policy not
even on the table today will play a
big role. Some predict Congress will
establish time limits for public hous-
ing residents, much like those for
welfare recipients. Reformers could
finally overhaul the city's building
code, making it cheaper to develop apartment
buildings. Or not. State and federal govern-
ment could actually join the city and invest
real money in affordable housing.
Try to be an optimist. Denise Scott is. She
says that when Mayor Bloomberg gave his
housing address, she flashed back to 1987,
when an even funnier looking mayor with an
even drier wit changed history. We've been here
before, she thought. "Decades ago, we asked
these same questions: Could we really rebuild
these neighborhoods? Could we use nonprofit
neighborhood groups to do it?" Scott remem-
bers. "Then a mayor generated excitement, and
we made it happen. I think we're sort of at the
same place now." _
Up in Arms
Why today's antiwar
activists should be willing
to fight for the military
instead of against it
By Kai Wright
IT WAS A LANDMARK moment in the history of
American liberal politics: As the White House.
frothed up public support for war, one of black
America's most radical activists dared to chal-
lenge the president's call for national unity,
issuing an eloquent call of his own. "We are
loyal patriotic Americans, all," the statement
declared. "But if American democracy will not
insure equality of opportunity, freedom and
justice to its citizens, black and white, it is a
hollow mockery and belies the principles for
which it stands."
This savvy evocation of economic and racial
injustice, timed to exploit warmongering aims
abroad, sounds an awful lot like the rhetoric at
this winter's peace rallies. h actually came on
the eve of America's entry into World War II, as
labor organizer A. Philip Randolph threatened
the White House with a 10,000-person march
on Washington, D.C. Bue Randolph sought
neither to stop the war nor thwart recruitment.
APRIL 2003
To the contrary, he was demanding more
opportunities for African-Americans in an
expanding military.
Randolph was no hawk; his anti-recruit-
ment activism landed him in jail during the
first World War. But he saw one thing above
all else in the nation's latest military ramp-up:
"Jobs, thousands of jobs." And his campaign
proved wildly successful, prompting a presi-
dential order banning racial bias in the
defense industry and setting the stage for a
subsequent order kicking Jim Crow out of the
ranks themselves.
But Randolph's approach would be laughed
out of progressive politics today. Where he saw
opportunity, today's liberals see a deceitful
effort to use youth from low-income families,
particularly blacks and Latinos, as cannon fod-
der. A breathless Mother Jones feature last win-
ter warned that proliferating Junior ROTC
programs have "militarized" urban schools
around the country and are "lining up sol-
diers. " And as the anti-war movement builds
steam, one of its central concerns is the mili-
tary's "manipulation of poor and working-class
kids, " as the Village voices A1isa Solomon put it,
into fighting a rich white man's war.
Certainly there are reasons to be critical of
military recruiting tactics. Much of the recent
anti-recruitment furor stems from a section of
the 2001 education reform law that forces
schools to hand over students' contact infor-
mation to recruiters. By that winter, high
school students all over the country were com-
plaining about phone calls at home and harass-
ment on school grounds.
But lost in all the resulting outrage is an
important fact: For years now, African-Ameri-
can students have been the ones running to the
recruiters, not the other way around. And once
enlisted, they've been staying.
University of Maryland researcher David
Segal, a military sociologist, studies youth atti-
tudes and demographics inside the Armed
Forces. Among 18- to 24-year-old enlistees,
he's found 17 percent of the men and 30 per-
cent of the women are black. For 18- to 40-
year-olds-which include those who reenlisted
after their initial term ran out-23 percent are
African-American, compared with 12 percent
of the general population. "They're voting with
their feet and staying in," says Segal.
At a recent anti-recruitment meeting, facili-
tators asked the gathered youth to step forward
if they could answer yes to a series of questions.
Everyone, regardless of race, stepped up when
asked if they opposed the schools' new open-
ness to recruiters. But when asked if they'd ever
approached one on their own, almost every
black student moved again into the circle's cen-
ter. The white kids from north Jersey looked
baffied; the black kids from Queens and the
Bronx chuckled knowingly.
"I really felt like there was nothing else to
do," says 23-year-old Bilal Karriem in explain-
ing why he went to a recruiter in his Jamaica,
Queens, neighborhood at age 17. "You just
want to see something different. And I was just
like, this is a way out. " He ultimately decided
not to join. ·But while working as a youeh orga-
nizer, he regularly suggested enlistment to kids
he saw sliding into dangerous hustles. "You get
killed in the street," he reasoned, "so you might
as well get paid for getting killed."
RECRUITERS WOULD, of course, prefer a differ-
ent tack. The basic offer of today's All Volun-
teer Force is this: In exchange for a four-year
commitment, high school graduates who can
pass the entrance exam will earn a base pay that
tops oue at around $1,500 a month, along with
health insurance. You either live on a military
base or get a tax-free housing allowance that's
meant to pay 85 percent of your cost (for a sin-
gle person in the lowest rank, stationed in the
New York area, that's currently $1,331 a
month). And if you choose to pay $1,200 into
an education fund over your first year (taken
oue of your monthly check), you'll get around
Unintended consequences suck, don't they?
When Congress reauthorized the feds' main
homeless funding bill in 2001, they wanted to
help homeless children, who change schools
repeatedly, stay in class. So they ordered
schools to keep homeless youth enrolled, even if
they moved across town. Seeking to find the
law's outcome, the ICP surveyed students living
at the Saratoga Family Inn in Jamaica,
Queens-and found they were now traveling an
hour or more to attend schools, resulting in
reduced sleep, chronic tardiness and lowered
attendance at extracurricular activities.
Miles to Go: The Flip Side of the
McKinney-Vento Homeless Assist;Jflce Act
The InstitIJte for Children and Poverty
www.homesforthehomeless.comor 212-529-5252
The Supreme Court's 2002 Hoffman decision
made it easier for employers to take advantage
of undocumented staff, according to this brief.
The decision prohibited the NLRB from award-
ing undocumented workers back pay, and insu-
lated employers from the threat of big fines.
Since Hoffman, this review of subsequent lower
court decisions argues, employers are openly
arguing that the undocumented have no labor
rights, and fewer workers are denouncing dan-
gerous conditions or wage violations.
The Treatment of Undocumented Victims of Labor Law
Violations Since Hoffman
www.maldef.orgor 213-629-2512
Just 2 percent of immigrants say they're dis-
appointed with life in the United States. That's
one of the striking findings in this poll, based
on interviews with randomly selected newcom-
ers to the U.S. Nearly all say that America
offers more religious freedom, political oppor-
tunity and a freer press than their home coun-
tries, but they also say that Americans gener-
ally are less nice than their former country-
men. And here's an interesting nugget: Most
say that the biggest problem with the INS isn't
its staff, but its procedures.
What America's Immigrants Have
to Say about life in the US Today
PubHc Agenda
www.publicagenda.orgor 212-686-6610
$20,000 for college tuition from the Mont-
gomery GI Bill.
The Reserves, meanwhile, bill themselves
essentially as a part-time job, offering scaled-
back versions of active duty benefits. "What we
offer cannot be matched by any part-time job
out there," gushes Sgt. Jose "Tony" Rivera, an
Air Force Reserves recruiter in The Hub sec-
tion of the Bronx.
The debate raging over recruitment turns
on whether or not Sgt. Rivera is full of it. The
recruitment push to which activists are now
reacting grew out of a dramatic enlistment
drop in the late 1990s. As the numbers flat-
lined, the usuaJ fleet of Washington study pan-
els and CongressionaJ commissions mobilized.
Two findings recurred:
Lots of service members
don't cash in their educa-
had anyone come up to them and say, 'You are
worth something,'" he says in explaining why
he wanted the job. "Some of these kids have
fantastic educationaJ backgrounds. But because
no one ever bothered to mentor them, they let
that die, and they settled."
Words like "teamwork," "sense of belong-
ing" and "leadership skills" come up a lot in
Rivera's recruitment pitch. And he says the
majority of people who approach him are actu-
ally more interested in variations on these
themes than in college. In fact, college-bound
youth aren't the military's prime recruiting audi-
ence: A recent RAND anaJysis concluded there
is actuaJly a clear inverse relationship berween a
young person's desire to attend a four-year col-
lege and his or her inter-
est in enlistment.
When they do enlist,
tion benefits, and many
have serious personaJ
fmanciaJ troubles.
"The big surprise is
that large numbers of
people who sign up for
the Montgomery GI Bill
don't use it, " explains
SegaJ. Critics charge that's
because the benefit is too
smaJl and too cumber-
some to access; recruiters
like Sgt. Rivera argue it's
just about the choices
people make.
Either way, the Wash-
ington studies prompted a
handful of lawmakers to
try to improve the benefit.
In 1999, rwo House bills
sought to do away with
When they enlist,
young blacks
and Latinos find
one of the
most racially
progressive large
organizations in
the country_
young blacks and Latinos
find one of the most
racially progressive large
organizations in the
country. Roughly 11 per-
cent of the Army's officer
corps, for instance, is
black, compared to 6 per-
cent of the nation's man-
agers and professionaJs,
according to the Joint
Center for Political and
Economic Studies.
Northwestern University
military sociology scholar
Charles Moskos once put
it this way: "It's the only
institution in American
society where white peo-
ple are routinely bossed
the $1,200 up-front pay-
in, which is non-refund-
able, and to boost the payout. Senate versions
offered similar but more moderate changes.
None of the bills made it out of committee-
and activists concerned about kids being duped
made hardly a peep.
But uJtimately, questions about the eco-
nomic calcuJus of enlistment miss something
Sgt. Rivera gets. He grew up in the same neigh-
borhood he now recruits from. He enlisted
right out of high school and has been either on
active duty or in the Reserves for 23 years now.
Rivera specifically sought out his post in the
Bronx, based on his near-evangelical belief that
the Air Force can give today's young Latinos
the sense of self-worth it gave him.
"You see, a lot of these kids out here never
around by blacks."
Problems clearly
remain, mirroring those
in the civilian world: Advancement into the
uppermost ranks often depends on personaJ
relationships with the elite command, still
largely white maJes, and on graduation from
the still largely white military academies. But
while the Bush administration has filed a brief
supporting the Supreme Court challenge to
the University of Michigan's affirmative
action program, the military academies have
ftled a brief backing both Michigan's policy
specifically and the concept of affirmative
action broadly.
THE MILITARY'S ADVANCES in race thus far have
come precisely because activists like Randolph
rejected the age-old debate of progressive poli-
tics--do we tear down the system or work
within it?- in order to advocate for change,
even though it meant engaging an institution
they didn't support. They took advantage of
unique political openings, when the nation
could ill afford discord surrounding its armed
forces, to extract civil rights victories.
But from radical to mainstream, today's rab-
ble-rousers are now unwilling to do the same.
Nor has the anti-war movement, which
stormed through the winter invoking economic
justice themes, managed to get better pay and
benefits for the military's roughly two million
employees onto its agenda. Why aren't more of
today's activists willing to engage the military
on its internal policies?
"If we want to create a society where people
have job training options and education
options, then that's what you work for, " says
Amy Wagner, who coordinates the youth
activists' group Ya-Ya Network and is a long-
time anti-recruitment organizer. "Young peo-
ple should be having access to quality career
training, quality education, quality job oppor-
tunities-and it not be connected in any way
to the military. "
Fair enough. But when's the last time a bill
proposing such universal access came before
Congress? Bills broadening the GI Bill, raising
enlistees' salaries and shortening enlistment
periods have all been up in the last four
years-and all have been met with a giant
shrug by the left.
All of this leaves folks like Richmond Hill
High School senior Yanique Jodieann Karlesa
Lingo a little confused. After fending off
recruiters all school year, she decided to hear
them out as graduation got closer. The talk
about college aid sold her, and she signed up
for the deferred enlistment program. But then
she started hearing about the GI Bill's inade-
quacy from friends already in the Army. Kar-
riem- who's stopped pushing enlistment and
joined Ya Yas campaign to make sure people
know all their options before signing up-took
Lingo to a meeting to hear more. They've made
a deal: With his help, if she can get into college
with a scholarship, she'll pull out. If not, she's
staying in.
At the Ya-Ya meeting, when Yanique men-
tioned her deferred enlistment, one organizer
began eagerly explaining that she's not yet
committed. "You can still get out, you know?
They lie and say you're in but. . . " Yanique,
grinning, cut her off: "I know, I know. " She's
too smart to close any doors. 'Tm still contem-
plating," she later explained. "I don't know all
my options yet. " •
APRIL 2003
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Striking Differences
What really happened at Ocean Hill-Brownsville?
By Philip Kay
The Strike That Changed New York: Blacks, Whites and
The Ocean Hill-Brownsville Crisis
By Jerald E. Podair
Yale University Press, 276 pages, $35
mayor full control of rhe ciry's 1,100 public
schools last summer, rhey killed off a complex
system of semi-autonomous local school dis-
tricts rhat had been floundering for decades. In
rhe monrhs since, New Yorkers have been
treated to stories at once heralding a "new era"
in public education and reflecting back on rhe
watershed strike of 1968 rhat ushered rhe mori-
bund system into being.
Yet people are apt to forget rhat rhose 32
districts replaced a centralized system rhat was
irreparably broken, failing the majority of its
charges in ways every bit as appalling as what
we've wimessed in recent years. In his new
book, The Strike That Changed New York:
Blacks, Whites and the Ocean Hill-Browmville
Crisis, Jerald Podair places rhe events of 1968
into a larger historical context, providing a
powerful antidote to the narrow, revisionist his-
tory we've been subjected to of late.
In rhe current, stripped-down media ver-
sion, angty blacks, in a kind of spontaneous
eruption, provoke teachers (who rarely seem to
have passions or racial characteristics of rheir
own) and ultimately accomplish rheir goal of
hijacking rhe public schools for generations to
come. The local districts, wrote Abby Good-
nough in rhe Times, "came about in rhe strug-
gles of rhe late '60s, when black and Hispanic
residents, angry at rhe quality of rheir children's
education, successfully agitated for neighbor-
hood control of rhe schools in a dispute rhat
provoked a bitter strike by teachers." Writing
in rhe New York Times Magazine last October,
James Traub described beret- and bandolier-
wearing black militants "terrorizing" teachers
and "pitched battles" between police and
demonstrators on rhe streets of Brooklyn's
Ocean Hill-Brownsville. Traub concluded that
wirh urban riots looming, officials caved in to
rhe demonstrators' demands and surrendered
control of rhe entire school system.
But however fancifully one
chooses to characterize the con-
frontation itsel£ there's no getting
around one simple fact: The par-
ents and activists of Ocean Hill-
Brownsville were soundly
defeated. The decentralization
law rhat reigned for rhree decades
aftetwards was really rhe brain-
child of rheir adversaries in rhe
United Federation of Teachers
(UFT). Designed to preserve rhe
union's power, the law ensured
rhat community leaders in places like Ocean
Hill would never get a free hand to control
rheir own schools. Thanks to rhe 1969 legisla-
tion, every member of rhe Ocean Hill school
board was out of a job wirhin two years of rhe
strike. By running slates of candidates in local
school board elections, rhe teachers' union,
even now, continues to enjoy unprecedented
power to hire and fire supervisors, effectively
co-managing rhe public schools. Decentraliza-
tion was a far cry from community control.
Podair, a history professor at Lawrence Uni-
versity, argues persuasively rhat rhe strike was a
battle over more rhan just who would control a
particular set of insti tutions. It was, he contends,
a fUndamental clash of values-and more rhan
any orher single event of rhe period, was respon-
sible for transforming rhe entire political and
cultural landscape of New York City.
SIXTY OR 70 YEARS AGO, students who dropped
out of high school could still lift rhemselves up
into rhe middle class wirh jobs in factories and
shipyards. But by rhe late 1950s, the city was
hemorrhaging blue-collar jobs. Facing a mas-
sive influx of poor blacks and Puerto Ricans,
middle-class whites began to eirher flee alto-
gerher (and take their tax dollars wirh rhem) or
to retreat deeper into ethnic enclaves. Neigh-
borhoods like Ocean Hill-Brownsville became
increasingly isolated and impoverished.
The public schools in such neighborhoods
consistently got the worst of everything. By
the mid-1960s, blacks earned only 2.5 per-
cent of the diplomas required for admission to
college, while making up nearly one-third of
the student population. Eighty-five percent of
Harlem sixth graders were two years behind
grade level, and Harlem's elementary school-
children's IQs actually declined between rhe
third and sixrh grades. "The more time black
pupils spent in the city's public education sys-
tem," writes Podair, "rhe more they appeared
to regress."
Meanwhile, union senioriry rules virrually
guaranteed that rhe srudents who were farrhest
behind would get rhe least experienced teachers.
In this atmosphere of abject, systemic failure, less
rhan one teacher in 5,000 was dismissed between
1963 and 1968. More often, a principal would
call rhe central Board of Education and, wirh rhe
cooperation of rhe teachers union, quietly have a
poorly performing teacher transferred to some
hapless ghetto school.
In neighborhoods across the city, desperate
black parents began applying pressure to create
school integration programs. Their pleas were
met with official delays, massive protest from
their white counterparts, meager consolation
prizes and a slew of broken promises. The idea
of community control-which had first been
used by whites to resist busing-now seemed
like a possible way out for politicians and peo-
ple of color alike.
Both blacks and a broad spectrum of whites
embraced the idea of granting local parents
greater autonomy over their children's educa-
tion. In her sweeping history of the New York
public schools, The Great School wan, Diane
Ravitch observes that even conservatives "recog-
nized that black control of black schools implied
white control of white schools, which they could
comfortably support, for it guaranteed that
black problems, black dissidence, and black
pupils would be safely contained in the ghetto."
Ocean Hill-Brownsville was one of three
small "demonstration districts" funded by the
Ford Foundation and empowered by the Board
of Education to show how citywide decentral-
ization was to work. Echoing what many in the
black community had
made the scapegoats for a failed system, wrote
striking teacher Patrick Harnett in the Village
Voice at the height of the strike, pointing out
that the 55,000 striking teachers "have been
given the responsibility for the public education
of the children of a city with the most extensive
blight and most entrenched social malaise of any
city in the Northern Hemisphere."
But the way the union handled the situation
was shamelessly opportunistic and divisive. In
order to demonize the opposition, Shanker took
some anonymous anti-Semitic flyers that had
been found in the mailboxes of teachers at one of
the Ocean Hill schools and ran off over 50,000
copies for his members. (No one has ever con-
nected this literature to the Ocean Hill governing
board or any person or organization connected
to it.) The parents and community leaders did
not behave admirably either: In the heat of bat-
tle they often verbally harassed and intimidated
teachers, tolerating, if
been saying for some
time, Rhody McCoy, the
new superintendent, said
that for him, the "rock
bottom, minimum" mea-
sure of teacher compe-
tence wasn't knowledge
of your subject or the
ability to structure a les-
son. "If you go into your
classroom with a string of
Ph.D.'s and all sons of
other 'qualifications'," he
insisted, "and still you're
convinced that this kid is
doomed by nature or by
something else to lead a
To this day, people
believe that the
not encouraging, Jew-
baiting in their midst.
The news media
played along, focusing
their coverage of strike-
breaking replacement
teachers on the few
blacks among their
ranks. To this day, the
two greatest misconcep-
tions about Ocean Hill-
Brownsville are that the
community prevailed in
its struggle against the
union and that the
"scabs" were all large
"scabs" were
all large angry
black men
wearing Dashikis.
shrunken and curtailed life, then you're basically
incompetent to teach that child." For McCoy
the bortom line had to be "respect for the kid,"
and he and his colleagues were now in a position
to act on that belie£
On May 9, 1968, McCoy sent a letter to 19
of the district's 350-odd teachers, ordering
them to report to the central Board of Educa-
tion for reassignment. The union promptly
cried foul, and its teachers walked out of the
district's schools for the remainder of the
school year. With the dispute still not settled
the following September, UFT President
Albert Shanker called a series of citywide
strikes that would keep nearly a million stu-
dents out of school for months and last nearly
until Thanksgiving.
Defenders of the UFT felt that teachers were
shouldering an unfair portion of the blame for
sweeping societal wrongs. Teachers were being
APRIL 2003
angry black men wear-
ing Dashikis. In fact, between 70 and 80 per-
cent of these teachers were white-half of them
idealistic Jews.
When the dust settled, both sides were
rewarded with legislation that, while not doing
away with the concept of community control
altogether, sought to punish the Ocean Hill-
Brownsville board and send a reassuring mes-
sage to traumatized white voters. The new law
preserved the central Board of Examiners that
had kept the teaching force more than 90 per-
cent white, far whiter than any major city in
America. It kept in place the lists of people-
again, overwhelmingly white-who were eligi-
ble for principalships, and prohibited local
boards from transferring teachers out of the
districr without their consent. The 32 new
local school boards were given barely enough
autonomy to appoint their own superinten-
dents, but enough to foster the illusion of
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reform-and to permit new forms of bureau-
cratic bungling and outright corruption.
betrayals and misunderstandings that precipi-
tated the crisis in Ocean Hill-Brownsville
more comprehensively than any other book to
date. But he also takes things a step farther,
examining the middle-class values embodied
by the teachers union, their stubborn notions
of meritocracy and the fabled "culture of
poverty" that many contended was most
responsible for holding students back. He
devotes an entire chapter to the Mrican-Amer-
ican Teachers Association, as well, and their
key differences with white educators over
issues Like disruptive children and affective
versus cognitive learning.
For Podair, these differences represent a
growing rift in the larger society. They signaled
a rupture in a liberal alliance that had endured
for decades and ensured that New York City
politics was about more than just black and
white: "New York's outer-borough Jews, after
decades of ambivalence, now viewed them-
selves as 'white,'" he writes, "with more in
common with Irish and Italian Catholics than
with blacks."
With the liberal coalition that had stood up
for New York's poor people for generations
shattered, there was no one left to protect
minorities from the budget ax in the looming
fiscal crisis of the mid-70s. In the final chapters
of his book, Podair assesses the heartbreaking
legacy of Ocean Hill-Brownsville in the politi-
cal and social life of New York City. He charts
the way middle-class whites in neighborhoods
like Canarsie and Forest Hills "applied the
lessons of Ocean Hill-Brownsville to capture
the community control impulse from blacks
and shape it to their own ends."
Journalists like events more than processes,
stories with good guys and bad guys, clear out-
comes. But there were no real winners at Ocean
Hill-Brownsville, and the failures of the convo-
luted system that emerged cannot be attributed
to any single source. It is comforting to many to
think that Mayor Bloomberg has finally "wrested
control" of something that was never within any-
one's control to begin with, that order has some-
how been restored. That is a familiar kind of
stoty. "We tried giving them a little power, and
look how chaos reigned" is another familiar
stoty. It won't suffice, however, if we are ever to
solve the problems of urban education. •
Philip Kay is a doctoral candidate at the Colum-
bia University Graduate School of Journalism.
A House of Our
Drag balls spark a
movement to create safe
spaces for queer youth
of c%r.
By Kenyon Farrow
I REMEMBER SITTING on the Christopher Sueet
piers one Friday evening in 1999, the last sum-
mer they were open. A Latino youth-about
15 years old, his straight black hair cut into a
bob and tucked just under his ears-darted
through the West Side Highway traffic to make
APRIL 2003
his enuance at the pier. He was still toting a
book bag from school, from which he pulled a
new pair of black chunky-heel pumps, gleefully
showing them off to his companion. Trying
them on, he got up and worked the concrete
strip of land as if it were a runway during Fash-
ion Week in Paris.
A crowd of a dozen or so youth formed a
circle and egged him on. Someone brought our
a boom box, and a "battle" ensued as young
dancers-male and female, butch and
femme-jumped into the circle to challenge
each other's "vogue" and "stunt" skills.
("Vogueing" is a dance involving highly styl-
ized movements and poses, the name suggest-
ing models on a fashion runway. "Stunts" are
more advanced forms of vogueing, which
showcase a dancer's strength and flexibility.)
Afrer 10 minutes or so, the battle ended
and everyone went their separate ways--off to
Uptown, Bed-Stuy, and the other black and
Latino neighborhoods that most of the queer
youth hanging out at the piers called home.
In a city where cultures are defined as much
by the place they claim as the identities they
represent, the young people I watched that
night were essentially refugees-pushed from
the gay community by racism and edged out
of black and Latino communities by homo-
phobia and transphobia. Queer people of
color throughout New York City share their
landless status. Revealing episodes like the
scene at Chelsea's View Bar last September-
when dozens of people of color successfully
shut down a blackface drag performance of
"Shirley Q. Liquor," which was to open to a
sold-out house that night-drive us from
largely white, mainstream gay spaces. But if we
retreat to black and Latino neighborhoods, we
are greeted with what is at best indifference.
Last January, when a black gay man was shot
in Harlem in an apparent bias crime, most of
Harlem's black organizations responded
with silence.
Community-building activists have typi-
cally addressed this problem by carving out
space for queer people of color within largely
white gay worlds. But the organizers of a circuit
of drag balls, popular among the young people
who once staked a claim at the Christopher
Street piers, have begun showing us a new way.
Once primarily heads of social clubs, these
event planners are becoming full-fledged com-
munity organizers who are creating new safe
spaces for their members in the neighborhoods
they call home.
THE BALLROOM COMMUNITY revolves around col-
lectives called "houses," which have familial
structures headed by "mothers" and "fathers"-
a designation that is not based on biology. The
houses offer members a network of friends and,
when needed, a place to turn for informal sup-
port services. But their most prominent role is
to organize balls, at which the houses compete
for cash prizes in performance art battles like
those staged on the Christopher Street piers.
"I worked on Wall Street for over 15 years,"
says Kevin Omni, "Legendary Father" of the
House ofOmni, in describing his house's eclec-
tic mix-and challenging what he sees as a
popular misconception that the ball scene's
members are "depressed, starved and every-
thing else."
"The current Father of the House is a
schoolteacher and a minister," he adds. "All of
our members are educated, articulate and cre-
ative people. The Balls were and are our cre-
ative outlet."
Drag balls were born in Harlem, and date
back to the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s.
But when the Depression hit, and Harlem was
no longer in vogue, many of the neighbor-
hood's progressive artists and intellectuals
moved downtown and helped establish a heav-
ily queer and multiracial community in the
West Village. By the 1980s, the strip of
Christopher Street west of Seventh Avenue and
down to the piers was the main social space for
the black and Latino queer community, includ-
ing the ball scene.
The piers were attractive to youth in partic-
ular because they were free public spaces where
people could meet dates, dish the dirt, nerwork
and practice new stunts. They were also far
removed from the sometimes homophobic eyes
of parents and, not insignificantly, a relatively
safe place to sleep if you were homeless. Identi-
fiably queer homeless youth, particularly trans-
gender ones, were often more comfortable
there than in city shelters, some activists say.
Nobody knows this better than Mariah
Lopez, a transgender youth activist from People
of Color in Crisis who is involved in the ball
scene. Lopez recently won a discrimination law-
suit against the Administration for Children's
Services, which had forbidden her from dressing
in clothing to match her gender identity while
she lived in a Brooklyn foster home. "I was told
that I was sick by a supervisor," she says. "There
was a point where they would intentionally use
wrong pronouns or call me by my wrong name. "
But by 1999, things in the West Village had
changed. That year, in order to make room for
the Hudson River Park's development, the
waterfront that once held hundreds of people
was reduced to a bicycle path with a heavily
enforced 1 a.m. curfew. With the piers closed,
hundreds of youth found themselves able to
socialize only on the street corners of a five-
block area of the West Village, which led to
overcrowding of the streets and additional
noise. A campaign spearheaded by "block
associations" (most notably Residents In Dis-
tress, or RID, an acronym that many of the
youth took as an allusion to a brand of lice
remover), prompted heightened policing of
the area. With little community beyond a few
local bars to stick up for them, the neighbor-
hood quickly became extremely hostile to
black and Latino queer youth.
"I blame the city because they closed the
pier," complains Harmonica Sunbeam, one of
the city's most popular drag personas. "Now
they're tlJ'!ng to remove us from Christopher
Street too.
AS A RESULT of all this turmoil, there is no
longer a clearly defined place where young
people new to "The Life" can find solace. And
for those of us who have been working as orga-
nizers for those youth, it begs an uncomfort-
ably self-critical question: Why aren't we doing
more to create safe spaces for LGBT young
people of color in the communities where
they live?
Gay Men of African Descent, an advocacy
"With the
Street piers closed,"
says the House of
Latex, "we have
to go where the
people are."
and social service group, began to change
things when it relocated its office from Chelsea
to the heart of Harlem in 2001. But the move
came after years of criticism charging that the
organization, which doubles as a community
center, was not accessible to the communities it
aimed to serve.
A more complete uptown movement is
building through the houses. A decade ago,
Chelsea's Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC)
created the House of Latex, an HIV education
outreach program modeled after the houses. In
recent years, Latex has had to spread its wings
to continue filling its mission. "The piers were
a great place to do outreach, because so many
people went there," explains Arbert Santana of
GMHC. "But with the piers closed, we have to
go where the people are."
Latex now works with ballroom legends like
Omni to put on events such as the Harlem ball
during Black Pride NYC--one of a couple
dozen black-specific gay pride festivals around
the country. Omni was among the MCs at the
2001 event, where he and other house leaders
drove home the event's overt community-
building theme. Giving off attitude, or "throw-
ing shade, " is part of the fun at any ball, but the
MCs at the Pride event cut the competitions
off whenever they became too negative,
reminding performers of their common bond
and constantly slipping in messages about pos-
itive self-images and HIV prevention.
Omni hopes a documentary he and fUm-
maker Wolfgang Busch have produced, called
How Do I Look?, can similarly offer positive
reinforcement for the ballroom scene. I remem-
ber seeing Madonna's 1991 film, Truth or Dare,
for the first time when I was about 16 years old.
She referred to her black and Latino gay dancers
(who inspired her hit song "Vogue") as being
"emotionally crippled." Later that year, I saw
Paris Is Burning, which introduced mainstream
America to drag balls, and it nearly convinced
me of Madonna's truth. Omni wants his fUm to
set the record straight. "Paris is Burning created
a lot of misconceptions about the ball commu-
nity," he complains.
The film has generated a lot of buzz, having
been screened several times this fall both in
New York and at Cleveland, Ohio's Black Gay
& Lesbian Film Festival.
He and Busch also want to use the fUm as the
cornerstone of a larger community-building
project. "This is more than just a documentary,"
says Busch. "It is a tool to showcase our talents,
bring the ballroom community together, gain
artistic-and human-respect, and provide
hands-on training to people in the ball commu-
nity." Proceeds ftom the film will go into com-
munity organizing campaigns and, not insignif-
icantly, to pay the artists for their contributions.
"We are setting up a college tour around the
country to have panel discussions, exhibitions,
talk about HIV/AIDS awareness, transgender
and sex education and how we can empower the
artists in the ballroom subculture," says Omni.
The houses' ability to subtly reach their
members is one of their greatest organizing
assets. The stakes are high: One 1999 study
found that nearly a fifth of 15- to 22-year-old
black gay and bisexual men in New York City
are HIV positive, and that nine out of ten of
them are unaware of their status. Stats like
these keep outreach workers who found an
audience at the Christopher Street piers up at
night, wondering what has happened to youth
like the young man I watched perform that
night in 1999. Maybe they will all someday be
ball legends. But unless we find them some-
place to truly call home, we may never know . •
Kenyon Farrow is a freelance writer in Harlem
and an advisory board member of FIERCE!, a
queer youth advocacy organization.
From Labor
Both providers and pols
should study unions'
job-training successes.
By David Jason Fischer
FOR YEARS CRITICS have sniped that the only
employment job-training providers guarantee
is their own. But in New York, at least one
group of providers has been offering high-qual-
ity training and successfully moving workers
up career ladders for decades. You probably
don't think of them this way, but when it
comes to training workers, nobody in New
York does it better than labor unions.
Labor unions are so good at training, in fact,
that policymakers should learn from them-
and those nonunion providers who can't beat
them should look for ways to work with them.
What do unions have that the others don't?
To start with, union-based training has an
explicit connection to real jobs and is geared
directly to the needs of employers. Labor's pro-
grams have parlayed these strengths (among
others), into solid success in helping people
prepare for better careers.
The city's health care workforce offers per-
haps the best example of both the reach and
effectiveness of union-led training. Last year,
Local 1199/SEIU provided training and educa-
tion to nearly 20,000 health care workers in the
city through direct instruction or financial sup-
port for workers taking classes. Some workers
pursued high-school equivalency diplomas or
ESL credentials; others sought skills training in
an effort to find higher pay and more challeng-
ing work-thereby creating openings for new
employees with fewer skills and less experience.
Other unions offer similar training opportuni-
ties in fields ranging from building mainte-
nance to baking, expending roughly a half-bil-
lion dollars per year to train tens of thousands
of workers in public- and private-sector jobs.
Local 1199 has approximately 200,000 mem-
bers in New York State, and the union offers the
majority of them the opportunity to gain skills
and advance to better compensation. It's not
uncommon for workers in entry-level jobs to first
sign up for foundational training such as GED
APRIL 2003
'ail i i
A project of the Center for an Urban Future
or computer classes, and then move on to spe-
cialized health care training such as X-ray
machine operation or pharmacology.
"We train anybody and everybody who's a
member of the 'family' of 1199," says Francine
Boren Gilkenson, direcror of strategic planning
and grants at the Employment, Training & Job
Security Program, a joint project of Local 1199
and the League of Voluntary Hospitals. She
estimates that the program serves up to 20,000
New York City health care workers per year.
The program pays almost all costs, and the
training leads to well-paying jobs for many
immigrants and low-income New Yorkers.
The link to high-quality jobs is one of labor's
greatest strengrhs. Where other training providers
often design and operate programs with only spo-
radic input from employers in the field, and have
no guarantee of placing trainees, unions com-
monly develop their training programs in explicit
partnership with the same employers who pay
members' wages. Such parmerships work because
they serve all parties, explains Boren Gilkenson.
"It's beneficial to the worker, to management and
to the union," she says.
In addition to offering a broad range of
learning opportunities and a pipeline to
employers, labor unions also provide high-qual-
ity instruction. It has been said that those who
can't do, teach, but in union-affiliated training,
the instructors are usually union members with
years of on-the-job experience. "We have seven
teachers whom I've hired as tradespeople to be
instructors for Construction Skills 2000. Six are
union and they do this after work, still in their
work clothes," explains Rebecca Lurie, who
helps run the pre-apprenticeship program.
"The students are sitting with someone who
can act as mentor as much as teacher," she adds.
To retain top instructors, unions pay top dol-
lar. "We're paying instructors union wages, not
$15 an hour-which is all some of these smaller
groups can afford because their grants are small,"
says Elly Spicer, a field representative for the
NYC and Vicinity Carpenters Labor-Manage-
ment Cooperation Trust Fund. ''I'm a trainer,
not just a carpenter; I know how to teach."
She cites a program for minority youth
funded by the National Institute of Environ-
mental Health Sciences through a federal
grant: "The students who go into the training
program get trade-related experience through
shop classes and on-site work ... [plus) math
instruction and GED preparation, career guid-
ance instruction and presentations given by
people from the different trades."
Eighty percent of participants complete the
training successfully, according to Spicer's esti-
mates; of these graduates, about 80 percent are
placed into apprenticeships that offer starting
pay between $13 and $25 per hour. Median
income for the class of 2002 was $16.77 per
hour, not including benefits. But these out-
comes are a direct result of an up-front invest-
ment that one staffer estimates at nearly
$25,000 per participant- more than five times
what city-funded programs typically spend.
"The program that we run with NIEHS isn't
cheap," Spicer says. "Welfare-to-work isn't
going to pay for that kind of program."
Indeed, money-specifically the fact that
unions have more of it-is the first of many good
reasons why government and nonprofits can't
simply analyze and replicate labor's success. The
second is that the employer partnerships and
hands-on expertise so vital to the success of
union-backed training have evolved organically,
through many years of ofren-contentious labor-
management relations, trial and error in work-
force-development practices, and changing polit-
ical climates. It would be impossible for other
training providers to synthesize these characteris-
tics-and absurd and wasteful for them to try.
In addition, union training is mostly geared
toward helping employed workers bolster their
skills. That's a far cry from the mostly
unskilled, unemployed individuals-many of
them trying to overcome personal barriers like
a lack of education or ill health-typically
served by non-labor training providers.
But if the answer isn't to replicate, it may be
to collaborate.
The Consortium for Worker Education
(CWE) offers some insight into how collabora-
tion between unions and nonunion training
providers might work. A nonprofit closely affili-
ated with a number of city unions and the New
York City Centra! Labor Council, CWE works
both with unions, by helping them to design
training programs, and with the general popula-
tion served by non-labor providers. In its
nonunion work, CWE artempts to design pro-
grams that help participants secure good jobs,
benefits and, in fields with a strong labor pres-
ence, artachment to a union. "We try to focus on
training where people get union jobs or equiva-
lent pay and benefits," one staff member explains.
CWE has worked with non-labor providers
as parmers and subcontractors for years, effec-
tively sharing its resources in exchange for the
neighborhood credibility and targeted expertise
of smaller providers. CWE's work with both
larger nonprofit parmers such as Seedco and
smaller organizations like Nontraditional
Employment for Women is showing that
labor-backed and community-based workforce
providers can define common goals and help
each other to reach them.
CWE has enjoyed sustained growth since its
creation in 1985, and now ranks among the
largest providers of training and employment
services in the state of New York. With 500
employees and a yearly budget between $80
million and $110 million, the consortium
Commitment is
offers a wider range of services to a more
diverse set of clients than any other player in
the city. Its work is supported by union
monies, city contracts and funding from the
state and federal governments.
CWE's big budget, high profile, wide reach
and friends in high places have led smaller
counterparts to accuse the organization of
everything from bullying to mismanagement.
"1 have been at forums where some of our crit-
ics, even some of our subcontractors, looking
directly at me, have said that CWE is all that
stands between peace in the Middle East,
national health insurance and a Red Sox World
Series ring," says CWE associate executive
director Saul Rosen. The exact ratio of jealousy
to valid critique is tough to determine, but the
irony is that in these times of budgetary belt-
tightening, non-labor providers should see
CWE's political clout as perhaps the strongest
argument for forging closer ties with unions
and union-backed training groups.
For labor, greater collaboration with com-
munity-based organizations offers an opportu-
nity to answer long-standing criticisms and fur-
ther diversify the unionized workforce. Pro-
gressive labor leaders have tried for years to
integrate industries that traditionally have been
all but lily-white. In fields such as construction,
they've made great strides, but the goal of sus-
taining a foothold in communities of color has
remained elusive. With the workforce aging in
several of these industries, organized labor will
have to redouble its outreach efforts to main-
tain its numbers.
The city can play a major role in fostering
collaboration among union and nonunion
trainers. Power in New York's workforce system
lies statutorily with the Workforce Investment
Board (WIB) and the mayor; real authority rests
with the city's Department of Employment
(DOE). Concerned primarily with playing
catch-up from the malign neglect of Mayor Giu-
liani's tenure, DOE has yet to reach out to labor
in any significant way. The WIB does include
two members with labor affiliations, CWE exec-
utive director Joseph McDermort and Central
Labor Council administrator Howard Van
Jones. But growth sectors such as health care,
construction and education-all fields in which
labor has a strong presence and established train-
ing expertise-remain unrepresented on the
WIB, and the city has done little to target
resources for training to any of those fields.
Through either the WIB or the Department
of Employment, policymakers should challenge
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unions, nonprofits and foundations to fund
pilot partnerships between labor and commu-
nity-based organizations that offer both training
and support services to suitable candidates-
and match their investment dollar for dollar.
Additionally, stakeholders in labor and philan-
thropy should convene a permanent working
group of city agency officials, WIB members
and/or staff, and nonprofit and union training
providers to facilitate cooperation and commu-
nication among the parties. One possible project
could be to generate labor-market analyses,
building upon such efforts as those of the Cen-
tral Labor Council with WIB employer input.
For their part, community-based organiza-
tions should take a hard look at their job-train-
ing programs and determine if they're playing
to their own strengths. Providers working with
the lowest-skilled jobseekers, where success is
measured by placements in any open position,
are unlikely to find partnerships with unions
worthwhile. But for groups that seek to place
participants in career-track jobs at good wages,
hooking up with willing unions might make
more sense than trying to do it on their own.
Critics might argue that this approach could·
flood unionized fields with workers, raising com-
petition for those jobs and increasing unemploy-
ment among those skilled workers. Indeed, the
current economic climate-with construction in
a slump and layoffs among the city hospitals that
Some organizations
would be better
off working with
unions than trying
to train jobseekers
employ 1199 members--lends itself to such
concerns. Bur the warning misses a larger point:
The skills taught by programs like these enhance
participants' employability not just in the specific
fields of srudy, but in the labor market in general.
Even if a particular course of training doesn't lead
directly to employment, far more often than not
it improves the worker's overall readiness for a liv-
ing-wage job in the city's workforce-which is
the point of job training after all, isn't it?
Sometimes great progress is born of painful
circumstances, and the combination of a stag-
nant economy and a waterlogged workforce
system seems right to incubate a new era of col-
laboration on workforce issues. Community-
based providers, struggling with both the slow
economy and performance-based contracting,
are desperate to connect with employers and
form partnerships that will lead to job place-
ments. Unions need opportunities to grow
membership, particularly in low-income and
minority communities-the very neighbor-
hoods that should most welcome labor's
promise of solidarity and common endeavor
on the road to a bener life. And employers still
need properly skilled workers, even in times of
high unemployment. The conditions are right
for everyone to win; now all they have to do is
figure our how to play. •
David Jason Fischer is project director at the Cen-
ter for an Urban Future and author of "Labor
Gaim," a new report on labor-affiliated job
training in New York City. The report is available
online at
APRIL 2003
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Shelter Games
continued from page 19
"Nobody else was getting fed like Sterling- nobody else was even
getting in the door then," says Rick De Ariaz, a veteran HASA social
worker. "Greg needed a political rabbi and that was Sterling. He's
extremely well-connected. He's the 800-pound gorilla in this business
and he wants you to know it."
Caldwell, who left his post soon after Mayor Bloomberg took office,
could not be reached for comment.
Many of Praxis' clients-the group claims to have 900 at
any time-are debilitated with mental illness and drug addiction, and
suffer from AIDS. In most cases, they need at least some of the counsel-
ing and intensive assistance for which government agencies pay Praxis
$4.2 million a year in contracts.
The Mental Health and Research Association, a local nonprofit that
administers public grants, gives Praxis about $760,000 a year for "harm
reduction" services, which aim to decrease substance abuse, prevent
relapse and offer clients individual care. The state Department of Health
gives the group another $89,941 annually to fight drug addiction and
help clients find permanent homes.
But Praxis financial records, as well as personal accounts, indicate that
those funds have not always served their designated goals. Company balance
sheets show that funding from HUD, MHRA and DOH was funneled into
a number of Praxis' operations. In 1999, for example, Praxis transferred
$5,000 in Ryan White money into the account of a laundromat, owned by
the organization, next door to their Greenpoint Hotel in Brooklyn. "The
money was commingling everywhere," says Puya. "Who was to stop them?
Externally, there was very little oversight. Internally, there was less."
A spokesperson for DHS would say only that his agency plans to
cooperate with any investigation. The feds, for their part, thought their
own audits were being handled properly. "Our working relationship
with Praxis thus far has been satisfactory," says HUD spokesperson
Glantz, noting that the group's required progress reports and audits on
the Riverside have been good. Because of his agency's workload, howev-
er, he admits that "a lot of oversight is based on trust." Now, as an appli-
cation from Praxis for another $1 million sits before HUD, Glantz says,
"The matter is in the hands of our Inspector General. We'll just have to
wait and see. "
One former Praxis employee-a hotel manager---claims Duggins was
able to convince the city and feds to continue their contracts by pres-
suring his workers to forge documents. "We would be told that in order
for people to keep their jobs, these rooms have to be occupied and the
rent has to be gotten, " the former manager says. Even if a client checked
out, the manager claims, hotel employees would note on their records
that the room was occupied, and that the client was attending social
group meetings.
"We had clients that went missing for 90 days and more, and the city
still paid for their rooms," the manager says. "We even rented them out
to transients during that time," or used them for office space.
Meanwhile, says the manager, services were lost. "They had the money
for these things. It just went other places. The clients suffered terribly."
Despite promises, on-site nurses were never hired, says the former man-
ager, and suicides and drug overdoses were not uncommon. Masks and
gloves for handling the hotel's garbage, which often contained virus-infected
body fluids and needles, also were not provided, the manager adds. A doc-
tor hired to treat residents was assaulted by a Praxis worker and left the job
soon after.
At least once, an outside organization offered to provide Praxis with free
services at the Greenpoint, but Duggins refused. "They were callous brutes,"
says Chris Norwood, executive director of Health Force, a health services
and advocacy program in the Bronx. "Nobody has ever turned down free
service before. They acrually forbid us to hold group meetings." The reason?
"Duggins told us the building was getting repaired," she says.
In the meantime, clients fear not only for their health, but also for
their safety. At the Saint Nick, "Ratliff," who is HIV-positive and has
been living in the Harlem shelter for about a year, claims the building's
security guards have been selling crack in the room next to his. He can
hear them through the holes in his wall, he says. He adds that he's been
robbed three times, and says there's no heat during the night, though the
city has no record of heat violations there. Once he artempted to adjust
the nozzle on his radiator, and the backed-up pressure shot the valve
straight to the ceiling. "It almost took my head off, " he says.
Detective Walter Burnes of the New York Police Department confirms
that there have been some disputes, burglaries and drug arrests at the Sainr
Nicholas, but adds that the number of complaints is not overwhelming.
Ratliff sees it differently. 'Tve been to dangerous places," he says, "but the
p ~ o p l e running , ~ s organization have no idea what the hell they're doing.
Its a madhouse.
A number of former employees, like the hotel manager, spoke to City
Limits on condition of anonymity out of fear for their physical safety. A
few claim they lost their jobs or were pushed out for raising concerns to
Duggins about finances or hotel conditions.
Praxis did have at least one New York City police officer on the pay-
roll . Moonlighting for the nonprofit, Officer Will Thomas of the 32nd
Precinct in Harlem made at least $42,000 in salary at Praxis in 1999,
according to the organization's payroll records. Thomas was not available
for comment. "Will was hired to keep a lookout at the shelters, " says
Puya. "That way, if we had a problem with the clients, or the staff, we
could call him first."
It's no secret that the bulk of Praxis' hotel staff is made up of ex-con-
victs, many of whom at one time belonged to a gang. Soon after founding
Praxis, Duggins created Make It Happen Workforce, a work-rehab pro-
gram that hires rwo-time offenders to clean and guard the shelters. "They
make the best staff," Duggins explained in his New York Times profile rwo
years ago. "They can give empathy professionals cannot give."
Some ex-employees say there were problems, thQugh. In an internal 1999
memo, then-Praxis CFO Chuck Scanlon wrote to Duggins and Zinsmeyer
that cash deposits from the Greenpoint Hotel and the laundromat in Brook-
lyn were rarely made, and in the case of the laundry, "it appears more and
more that someone is skimming cash from that operation."
Puya says he confronred Duggins about these issues, and expressed con-
cern that a few members of the Latin Kings had complete access-includ-
ing keys-to the laundry's cash register. "When it came to the laundry, both
Gordon and Sterling told me that because the Kings had gorten a bad rap
all this time, the least we could do was let them run the Greenpoint and the
laundry," says Puya. "Gordon did everything to help them, and it quickly
got out of control. Money was always missing, and the missing money
belonged to Praxis." Praxis did not return calls for comment on this.
Now, even the president has had enough. This year,
Zinsmeyer has dropped his salary to $70,000, he says, and is splitting his
time berween his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and his condo at the
Parc Van Dome near Lincoln Center. He says he plans to leave Praxis only
once the investigations are finished, to quell any appearance of flight.
"Eight years in this business has been enough," he says. "Was every-
thing perfect? No. Did we make some mistakes? Yes. But the organiza-
tion deserves to continue." •
Geoffrey Gray is a freelance writer who lives in Manhattan.
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JAMAICA, QUEENS - 1200 SQ. ft of Profes-
sional Office Space Avail for Lease. Near LlRR,
Subways and Buses. Non-profits and Gov't
Agencies Welcomed. Call 718-781-3653.
SPACE AVAILABLE - Non-profit agency seeks
partner to sublet excellent office space, Wall
Street area. 3,000 SQ. ft. available, 2417 build-
ing with lobby attendant, close to all major
subways and rent very reasonable. Call:
2121349-6009, ext. 240,243 or Email:
SPACE AVAILABLE - Beautiful Eco-Office
Available Near Penn Station, beautiful office
available in Chelsea, within walking distance
to Penn Station. Over 750 square feet with 1
large enclosed office plus 5-7 spacious work-
stations. Some work stations comfortably fit 2
people. Share a large conference room/library,
kitchen, closets, copy machine, and computer
network/internet access with neighboring
environmental non-profit. Enjoy French win-
dows; charming, non-toxic environmental
design; a rock and plant sculpture fountain;
and plenty of natural light. Take over lease
through 2009. $3,500-4,500 per month.
Please contact Ruth 212-645-9880 ext. 15.
SPACE AVAILABLE - Non-Profit Developer
Offering New Space - Brooklyn, Crown Heights
2 Modern Buildings - 18,000+ SQ Ft available,
can be subdivided or expanded to 60K, will
build to Tenant's specs. Discounted Rent-Per-
fect for OfficelSchoollDay Care. Large Parking
Area. Public Transportation on corner. South
Bronx, HUB 2 Modern Office Buildings -
26,000+ SQ Feet Available - Elevators - ADA
Compliant - Will Build to Suit - Owner Anxious
to Lease 718-624-0391 or email to
ACCOUNTANT - The Citizens Advice Bureau
(CAB) is a large, multi-service non-profit
serving the Bronx for more than 30 years. The
agency provides a broad range of individual
and family services, including walk-in assis-
tance and counseling, services to special-
need populations, such as immigrants, chil-
dren, adolescents, seniors, homeless families
and singles, indivi duals and families affect-
ed by HIV/AIDS. CAB provides excellent ben-
efits and offers opportunities for advance-
ment. Resumes and cover letters indicating
position may be mailed to 2054 Morris Ave.
Bronx, NY 10453, or faxed as directed. CAB
seeks an Accountant to work in the fiscal
department. The position requires a BAIBS
degree, computer literacy, the ability to work
well under pressure, and good verbal and
writing skills. Responsibilities include han-
dling contracts and working with various
government agencies. Fax credentials to T.
Samuel at 718-590-4771 or e-mai l to CAB is an equal oppor-
tunity /affirmative action employer.
seeks competent Admin. Asst. reporting to
Director of Program Operations. Responsibil-
ities: Assists with daily requests including let-
ters, memos, forms, reports, minutes, com-
puter searches. Excell ent communication,
admin and computer skills: office reception;
develop and mai ntain fili ng system; create
follow-up system and calendar of reports and
other time sensitive correspondence; pur-
chase office suppl ies; proficiency in MS Offi ce
and Excel. Use and maintain office equip-
ment: mail machine, photocopier, fax, printer.
Maintain confidentiality in all office informa-
tion. Qual : at least high school diploma, col-
lege preferred; 3-year experience in office
environment. Ability to work in diverse, fast
paced setting and take verbal and written
direction. Flexibility. Fax resume and cover
letter to: 212-398-3071. Good salary and ben-
efits. EOE
Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute, a
national nonprofit health care employment
and public policy organization based in the
South Bronx, seeks an AdministrativelLibrary
Assistant to provide administrative support to
the National Clearinghouse and back up sup-
port to the Admin. Staff Associate. Energetic,
well organized self starter with attention to
detail , excell ent oral and written communica-
tion skills, PC li terate and proficient in
Microsoft Office programs (Word, Excel and
Outlook) with an ability to manage mailing
lists, HTML coding, not required but a plus,
patience and a good sense of humor. Please
send resume and cover letter to: PHI , Inc. ,
AdministrativelLibrary Assistant, 349 E. 149th
Street, 10th Floor, Bronx, NY 10451, E-mail:, Fax: 718-585-
6852. EOE
News for the people who make New York a better place to live.
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APRIL 2003
DEVELOPMENT - The Associate for Program
Planning and Development position works with
the Director of Development and the Deputy
Executive Director to create new and support
existing services at CASES. The Associate will
also help oversee the Unit Assistant for Devel-
opment and will assist other planners at
CASES with program development and
fundraising activities. Planning: Conduct
research and analysis of existing criminal jus-
tice services and populations to identify ser-
vice gaps; Conduct intemal reviewslinvestiga-
tions with CASES' staff to identify participant
service needs; Gather and analyze data rele-
vant to program planning; Review and analyze
programs wi thin the criminal justice and
social service arenas to identify best practices;
Develop new program models; Write concept
papers and grants to obtain funding for new
program models; Assist in the implementation
of new program models; Work collaboratively
with management and program staff to ana-
lyze the outcomes and effectiveness of CASES'
services. Development: Identify prospective
government, foundation and corporate fun-
ders; Act as a clearinghouse for fundraising
activities across the agency; Write proposals,
reports, thank you letters and other correspon-
dence with funders; Support staff and trustee
efforts to cultivate individual donors; Develop a
donor/grants tracking mechanisms. Qualifica-
tions: BA degree, excellent writing, communi-
cation, analytical and organizational skills.
Compensation: Salary $30,000-$35,000 with
excellent benefits. Send resume and cover let-
ter to Gladis Gibbs, Attn: Planning Associate,
CASES, 346 Broadway, 3rd floor west, New York,
NY 100l3. No phone calls please. Only appli-
cants selected for interviews will be contacted.
ATTORNEY - Attorney with 3 plus years expe-
rience and expertise in residential cooperatives
and landlord and tenant litigation. Back-
ground in community activism, community or
tenant organizing is preferred. fluency in
Spanish is an asset. Great growth potential in
a small firm. fax resume and writing sample
to 212-233-4085.
ATTORNEY - Legal Aid Society, Volunteer Div.,
seeks attorney on representation of small busi -
ness owners and nonprofit organizations,
affected by WTC devastation in NYC. Will
include advice and counsel , re-negotiation of
commercial leases, loans, commercial litiga-
tion in Housing Court, Sup, and federal Bank-
ruptcy Court. Strong analytical, writing, litiga-
tion and negotiation skills. Commitment to
community service required. Women, people of
color, gays and lesbians, and people with dis-
abilities are especially encouraged to apply.
Send resume and writing sample to: Andrew
Lehrer, CLO, Legal Aid Society, Vol. Div. 230
East 106th Street, New York, NY 10029. fax
212-876-5365. Email
CAMPAI GN CONSULTANT - Creative consul-
tant needed to work with ED, PR people and
event consultants to coordinate a series of
anniversary events culminating in a benefit
partY. Create materials, manage deadlines,
and guide committee. 7 to 10 hours per week
for 6 months. $40 per hour. fax resume and
cover letter to 212-594-2380.
for a new supportive housing faci lity. The posi-
tion requires a CSW with significant current
supervisory experience in a housing and/or ser-
vice delivery environment with formerly home-
less persons living with HIV/AIDS co- present-
ing with substance abuse and/or mental
health issues. Strong leadership and oral and
written communication skills are required
along with demonstrable computer proficiency.
This is a growth-oriented position. Forward
resume and cover letter stating salary require-
ments to: Bob Raphael by fax: 718-602-9107
or by mail to Bob Raphael , Executive Director,
333 Kosciusko Street, Brooklyn, NY ll221.
izens Advice Bureau (CAB) is a large, multi-
service non-profit serving the Bronx for 30
years. CAB provides excellent benefits and
offers opportunities for advancement. The
Jackson Avenue Family Residence seeks a
Case Management Supervisor. The position
requires a MSW or a master's degree in a relat-
ed field. Responsibilities include welfare
advocacy, housing related issues, case man-
agement and conflict resolution. fax creden-
tials to W. Cruz at 718-993-1249 or e-mail to CAB is an equal opportuni-
ty/affirmative action employer.
Services and expo with seniors preferred.
Assess/plan and coordinate services to home-
bound elderly in community-based agency.
Challenging, rewarding work. Salary $30,000+.
Resume to: Betsy Tuft, Director, Project Life, 312
East 109th Street, New York, NY 10029.
CASE MANAGER - The Organizing/Housing
Program has the following position available:
Case Manager. To work with families at risk of
homeless ness on providing follow-up services
and connections to their community. Require-
ments: BSW or 2 years experience. Must have
excellent verbal and written communication
skills. Knowledge of entitlements and support
programs. Case management skills. Must be
willing to do home visits to families in a vari-
ety of communities. Bilingual-SpanishlEng-
lish. Responsibilities: Do home visits as neces-
sary. Provides counseling, advocacy and sup-
port to families. Make referrals to outside
agencies when needed. Maintain proper case
records. Hours: 211week flexible between 9am
and 6pm. Salary: $14lhour no medical bene-
fits. Submit resume: FHCH, 108-25 62nd Drive,
Forest Hills, NY 11375, Attn: Housing.
CASE MANAGER - Work on UWS in perma-
nent housing. Case management to mentally
ill formerly homeless. Coordinate psych and
medical , entitlements, tax planning. Related
experience, bil ingual Spanish preferred.
Salary $20s, excellent benefits. Send cover let-
ter and resume to: C. Ezratty, The
Senate/GRCC, 206 East 92nd Street, NY, NY
10025 or fax 212-72l-5406.
CLINICAL DIRECTOR - A not-for-profit orga-
nization that works with high-risk youth who
have involvement with the criminal justice sys-
tem is seeking a psychiatrist consultant. Duties
include providing counseling, medication eval-
uation and monitoring to high-risk youth, and
consultation to staff. Need to be available to
work 10 hours per week. Send resume and cover
letter to friends of Island Academy, 500 8th
Avenue, Ste. 1209, New York, NY 10018.
CLINICAL DIRECTOR - Director to supervise
clinical operations, oversee staff/client
care, develop systems, supervise program-
ming activities and guidelines adherence.
MSW, 2+ years supervisory experience and
knowledge of mental health, substance
abuse, and shelter issues preferred. Must be
on-call 2417 . $50k-$55k and benefits.
Resume to,
fax: 212-546-9094.
CoUECTIVE MEMBER - Media Jumpstart, a
nonprofit worker collective, seeks new member
with strong design skills to work with progres-
sive NYC nonprofit organizations on increasing
the impact of their work through technology.
$35,000lyear, health and dental, 4 day week.
More info:
Highly motivated person for challenging posi-
tion organizing low-income Bronx Coopera-
tives. Requirements: Good listening, verbal,
written skills, abi lity to bring together diverse
groups and agendas, good time management.
Two+ yrs social work, tenant organizing, build-
ing management or similar expo BA preferred.
Fluency in English & Spanish. Flex schedule
with some evenings & weekends. Training pro-
vided. Excellent benefit package. Salary
$25K+ Fax resume & salary requirements
Attention: 718-798-2398.
PROGRAM - To lead year-round, community-
based, recreational and educational program,
evenings & summer, for youth aged 12-18,
and supervise staff. Requirements: Full-time
(weekday aft. & eve. + 1 Saturday per month);
2 years' supervisory experience in similar set-
ting. B.A. or advanced degree preferred.
Spanish bilingual a +. Salary: 32-37K + excel-
lent benefits, incl. 401(K). New Settlement
Apartments & Community Services has a
strong track record in youth development,
community building & organizing. See web-
site of, under "new settlement" for
more info. Mail letter, resume and list of 3 pro-
fessional references to M. Nolan, New Settle-
ment Apts., 1512 Townsend Avenue, Bronx, NY
10452. Fax: 718-294-4085.
Social Investment Corporation, a leader in the
low-income housing tax credit industry, is cur-
rently searching for a Development Assistant
for our New York, NY office. Qual ified candidate
will assist with the requi sition processing,
reporting and tracking of tax credit projects.
Will also provide administrative support to
department. HS diploma and 3-5 + years
related experience and strong business and
computer skill s required. College degree,
knowledge of housing industry, and financial
background preferred. We offer a competitive
salary and excellent benefits. Send resume
with salary requirements to: The Enterprise
Social Investment Corporation, Attn: Human
Resources, 10227 Wincopin Ci rcle, Ste. 800,
Columbia, MD 21044; Fax: (410) 772-2676;
Email : Visit us at An Equal Opportunity Employer.
& Community Development Network of New
Jersey seeks Development Coordinator to
develop long-term fund raising strategy, write
grant proposals and reports. Qualifications
include: strong writing, communication skills,
experience developing successful fund raising
strategies. Submit resume, cover letter to:
Diane Sterner, Executive Director, HCDNNJ, 145
West Hanover Street, Trenton, NJ 08618.
Programs and Homes, an East Harlem youth
transformation and community development
non-profit, is seeking candidates with superb
writing, communication, and organizational
skills to effectively direct the development and
fundraising plan forthe organization. Full-time
w/benefits. Salary negotiable. Start ASAP.
Required: B.A.lB.S., minimum 3 years
fund raising experience, MS Office. fAX resume,
cover letter, and writing sample (max 3 pages)
to Sierra Stoneman-Bell at 212-860-8894. Or
send materials to her at Youth Action, l325
fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10029.
DIRECTOR - The Pratt Institute Center for
Community and Environmental Development
(PICCED), the oldest university-based advoca-
cy planning organization in the United States
seeks a visionary individual to serve the Direc-
tor. Established in 1963, its mission is to
employ the professional skills and efforts of
architects and planners as a vehicle for social ,
economic and environmental health, as well as
sustainable development and community
empowerment. The Director reports to the
Provost and is responsible for supervising the
administration of all aspects of PICCED's pro-
grams and has primary responsibility for fund
raising and program development. In addition
there is significant educational responsibility
and the opportunity to participate in teaching
activities within the Institute. Please visit our
website at to view a
detailed look at the position, qualifications and
application procedures. The closing date for
applications is March 17, 2003. Women and
minorities are encouraged to apply.
foundation for Women, a non-profit organiza-
tion dedicated to supporting the efforts of
women and girls to govern their own lives and
influence the world around them, is currently
seeking a Director of Communications to
develop and implement media, public relations
and public education strategies designed to
increase and enhance the visibility of the orga-
nization and its programs, including the Take
Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day program.
BA and at least 10+ years of progressive
media relations experience preferred. Send let-
ter with salary requirements, resume and writ-
ing sample to: MFW, HR, 120 Wall Street, 33rd
Floor, NYC 10005.
DEVELOPMENT - Habitat for Humanity-New
York City, one of the fastest growing urban
affiliates of Habitat for Humanity Internation-
al , is seeking a full-time director for its Con-
struction and Real Estate Development Dept.
The Director will lead a small but dedicated
field and office-based staff experienced in
construction and project management. The
Director will manage Habitat's housing pro-
gram from property acquisition through design
development, GC contract administration and
a volunteer and homeowner sweat equity
phase of finish work. Candidates shoul d have
strong leadership and management skills and
a proven ability to develop residential con-
struction projects in New York City. Salary
commensurate with experience. Please send
resume and cover letter to: Kevin Sullivan,
Director of Programs, Habitat for Humanity-
NYC, 334 Furman St., NY, NY 11201 (t) 718-
246-5656 x312 (f) 718-246-2787 email :
funding opportunities and develop, write, and
submit grant proposals to support program-
ming in criminal and juvenile justice advoca-
cy for both Syracuse and New York City
Offices. Successful experience in grant devel-
opment and procurement required. Master's
in public administration, human services, or
related field. Send resume to: W. Powers, CCA,
115 E. Jefferson St. Syracuse, NY 13202 or
CATIONS - Habitat for Humanity NYC, the
New York City affiliate of Habitat for Humanity
International , the worldwide builder of afford-
able housing seeks a Director of Development
and Communications to direct its Development
program. The Director will be responsible for:
Planning, coordinating and implementing
fund raising programs for Habitat for Humanity
- NYC, including managing direct mail sol icita-
tions; major donor programs; faith, corporate,
government and foundation grant programs.
Planning, coordinating and implementing spe-
cial events including Habitat for Humanity -
NYC's annual fundraising awards gala (fall),
annual Builder's Breakfast (late spring) and
other special events. Managing internal and
external communications and public relations
for the organization including creation and dis-
tribution of newsletters, liaising with the press,
and donor recognition. The Director will report
directly to the Executive Director, work closely
with the Board of Directors and other volunteers
and will supervise staff and consultants. Mini-
mum Qualifications: Bachelors Degree and a
minimum of 5 years development experience
and previous participation in a major capital
campaign. Familiarity with both annual and
major gift fund raising. Excellent oral, written
and organizational skills required. Preferred
Qualifications: Master's degree. Experience in
community development and affordable hous-
ing. Knowledge of Excel , Word and Data Base
(Donor Perfect Online) Software. Salary range
$50,000 to $55,000 depending on experience.
Good benefits. Send resume and cover letter to
Roland Lewis, Executive Director, Habitat for
Humanity - NYC, 334 Furman Street, Brooklyn,
NY. 718-246-5656 Fax 718-246-2787. Habi -
tat-NYC is an equal opportunity employer.
organization seeks Director of Finance to man-
age all fiscal operations in addition to con-
tracts, IT, reporting, staff supervision, and
audits. Related degree or CPA and approxi-
mately 5 years of progressive accounting expe-
rience. $55k-$58k and full benefits. Resume
to fax: 212-
Extraordinary Harlem-based affordable hous-
ing developer/owner seeking hard-working,
knowledgeable Property Manager to run best
maintained rentals. We are for-profit with
social conscience and commitment. Enjoy
complete responsibility for operations includ-
ing super and contractor oversight, building
systems, tenant relations, collections, and
administration procedures including rent sta-
bilization laws, rent registrations, tenant certi-
fications, Section 8, LlHTC. Bilingual in Span-
ish a plus. Car required. Cover, resume and
salary to:
Brooklyn: develop and implement program-
ming for children and adolescents in Down-
town Brooklyn. Work with YWCA youth mem-
bers to evaluate current programming, oversee
existing after school and summer camp,
implement new youth leadership programs for
girls. Qualifications: commitment to and expe-
rience with young people, sharing power while
developing leadership, BA preferred. Weekend,
evening hours. PIT through May, FIT starting
June. Forward resume to AED, YWCA of Brook-
lyn 30 Third Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217. Fax
718-858-5731. No
phone calls please.
ern New York Coordinator sought by Hudson
Valley based organization. Must be bilingual
Eng/Spanish with experience in social change.
Good Benefits. Reply with cover letter and
resume to Richard Witt, RMM, PO Box 4757,
Poughkeepsie, NY 12602 orfax 845-485-1963.
Fee for Service!Per Diem positions for Regis-
tered Nurses, Physician's Assistants and
CSW's. Hospital, Practice, and Social Service
jobs in all boroughs - Many are permanent. Call
Personnel ConSUltant Wendee Greene at 212-
687-5440 x317 or e-mail
There is never a fee to the applicant. A sample
of current jobs include: Peds Manager, NICU RN
Manager, Medical Social Worker, Manager Fos-
ter Care, Derm RN ... more.
on Housing Court, est.l981 with mi ssion to
provide pro-se litigants access to justice in
NYC's Housing Court; promote court reforms
that address the need for procedures that pre-
vent homelessness and evictions and increase
the enforcement of housing maintenance
codes. Responsibilities: work with Board to
develop and implement strategic plans for
programs; supervi se programs including the
Housi ng Court Information Table Project and
telephone hotline with assistant director, staff
of borough coordinators, support staff and vol-
unteers; maintaining contact with Government
and private funding sources and preparing
administrative, legal , and fiscal reports as
required; grant-writing. Qualifications: super-
visory and administrative experience; excellent
grant-writing and fund-raising skills; experi-
ence in board development and program plan-
ning; ability to organize around policy issues,
preferably housing, court reform, eviction pre-
vention or related areas. Salary: $50T+. Posi-
tion available 3/03. Resume with cover letter
J-51 Tax Abatement/Exemption 421A and 421B
Applications 501 (c) (3) Federal Tax Exemptions All forms
of government-assisted housing, including LISC/Enterprise,
Section 202, State Turnkey and NYC Partnership Homes
Attorneys at Law
Eastchester, N.Y.
Phone: (9141 3 9 ~ 7 1
Social Work Interns are available to help YOU!
Assistech Provides:
Approved supervision for New
York City MSW students
Assistance arranging student
placement at your agency
APRIL 2003
P.O. Box 57
NYC, NY 10276
(845) 566·1267
Expert Real Estate Services - once
available only to major corporations and
institutions -
Now offered to NYC's Non-Profits ...
at no out-of-pocket cost.
or at specially reduced rates.
Visit our web site:
Call ·for a free, no-obligation consultation.
to: Search Committee, CWTFHC, 29 John Street,
#1004, NY, NY 10038
FAMILY CASE MANAGER - Bailey House is a
nationally recognized leader providing innova-
tive housing and support services for formerly
homeless men, women and children living
with AIDS. The position of Family Case
Manager is currently available. If interested
send resume/cover in confidence to, by mail Bailey House, Inc.
275 Seventh Avenue, NY, NY 10001 Attention:
Human Resources, or Fax: 212-414-1431. Job
Description: Provide case management, includ-
ing benefits/entitlements counseling, advoca-
cy, linkage to services, life skills counseling to
the families in our East Harlem residence. Con-
duct bio-psychosocial assessments, develop
service plans and all other documents required
by grantors and the agency. Responsible for
weekly contact with clients and case notes.
Become part of a team of professionals that
include a social work supervisor, a mental
health/substance abuse specialist, a health
service coordinator and several administrative
positions. MSW/CSW degree + several years
experience of case management or related
experience working with individuals living with
HIVIAIDS. Excellent interpersonal skills and be
able to work in a team setting. Knowledge of
benefits and entitlements available to PLWAs.
Must be computer literate. Bilingual (Eng-
lish/Spanish) a plus. Bailey House, Inc. is an
Equal Opportunity Employer. We offer competi-
tive salaries along with a comprehensive bene-
fits package that includes medical/dental
insurance, life/disability insurance, pension
plan and five weeks vacation.
FELLOWSHIP - Coordinate work of Blue Rib-
bon Panel of Experts, including editing works
for publication and working with other ACLU
staff to arrange for Panel 's results to be pub-
lished and publicized; advise ACLU staff and
lay leaders on scientific issues, including syn-
thesizing scientific research for use by non-
scientists. Postgraduate degree in one of the
hard sciences; PHD strongly preferred but will
accept applicants with Masters and 5 years of
relevant work experience. Reply to: Barry Stein-
hardt, ACLU, TLP, 125 Broad Street-18th FI, NY,
NY 10004 or
Bureau of Community Service is one of Brook-
lyn's oldest and largest non-sectarian social
services agencies. The Bureau has been a
leading provider of social services to families,
children, and adults with disabilities since
1866. The Bureau, which presently serves more
than 15,000 individuals annually, is commit-
ted to a broad and diverse range of services
including prevention of foster care placement;
crisis intervention; early childhood and after
school education; and vocational training, job
placement, and clinical services to adults with
physical and developmental disabilities, and
histories of mental illness. Today, the Bureau
operates from 20 sites in downtown Brooklyn,
Fort Greene, East New York, and Bedford-
Stuyvesant. It has an annual budget in excess
of $25 million, funded by various government
agencies, as well as with foundation grants
and private contributions. We are currently
seeking a grant writer / researcher to join our
planning department staff. The successful
candidate will assist with the development of
and record keeping related to proposals,
reports and correspondence to foundations,
corporations and other funding sources.
He/she will have the opportunity to research
funding sources and supporting material for
proposals; write and edit proposals, reports
and general correspondence; interface with
agency's professional staff regarding the
development of proposals, reports and other
documents; help develop and maintain records
in the foundation database and provide
reports as needed; and perform additional
duties as assigned. We require a B.A. with
three years minimum of grant writing experi-
ence. Experience writing grants for a variety of
social service programs a plus. Excellent,
clear, precise and persuasive writing ability.
Experience in researching, tracking, and man-
aging foundation proposals (or similar) and
related information. Experience with prospect
research a plus. Excellent communication and
organizational skills. Detail oriented and self-
starter. Works well independently. Social ser-
vice agency experience preferred. Computer
skills required (Microsoft Word, Excel , Access).
EOE. Please apply to: Ignacio Lopez, Coordina-
tor of Planning, E-mail Fax:
718-855-1517, 285 Schermerhorn Street,
Brooklyn, NY 11217.
Working Families Party is hiring full-time orga-
nizers to build local chapters by recruiting,
training and mobilizing volunteer members
and leaders to win campaigns; deepen
involvement of institutional allies; and orga-
nize political campaigns. Organizing experi-
ence/bilingual in Spanish preferred. Women
and people of color are strongly encouraged to
apply. Salary dependent on experience. Fax
cover letter, resume to 718-246-3718 or email
HEALTH EDUCATOR - The Citizens Advice
Bureau (CAB) is a large, multi-service non-
profit serving the Bronx for 30 years. CAB pro-
vides excellent benefits and offers opportuni-
ties for advancement. The Adolescent Devel-
opment Programs seeks a Health Educator.
The position requires a bachelor's degree and
experience teaching reproductive health to
adolescents. Responsibilities include provid-
ing family life and sex education workshops to
teens as well as individual counseling on
related topics. Fax credentials to J. Goldsmith
at 718-590-5866 or e-mail to CAB is an equal oppor-
tunity /affirmative action employer.
facility serving Homeless Families is seeking
fit Housing Specialist. Responsibil ities
include client records; interviews; interaction
with Brokers and various related tasks. Expe-
rience working with Homeless clients and
housing issues. Good interpersonal skills,
team work, Computer Literacy. Driver's
License a +. Send letter and resume to: Siena
House, 85 West 168th Street, Bronx, NY 10452
or Fax 718-293-2390 Attn. Director. EOElAA
Seeking creative, committed individual to join
social service team serving people living with
HIV/AIDS in new supportive housing facility in
Northern Manhattan. Responsibilities: carry
individual caseload, group work, service plan-
ning and coordination in collaboration with
tenants. Graduate degree and/or extensive
experience in one or more: HIVIAIDS, home-
less ness, substance abuse, mental health,
public health, harm reduction, rehab/vocation-
al counseling. Requires patience, energy,
superior listening and communication, excel-
lent writing skills, computer literacy. Good
salary and benefits. Fax cover letter and
resume to: HR 212-398-3071. EOE.
LEAD ORGANIZER - The New York Unemploy-
ment Project seeks an experienced organizer to
organize the expansion and maintenance of a
dues paying membership base in the subur-
ban metropolitan New York area (Westchester,
Nassau, Suffolk). NYUP seeks an intelligent,
hard-working, and highly motivated individual
who is strongly committed to building a move-
ment for the poor and unemployed byorganiz-
ing the unorganized. Responsibilities: Meet
and develop relationships with unemployed
and low-wage New York residents through can-
vassing at job training centers, job fairs, CBO's
and check cashing centers. Build and main-
tain cohesive local organizing committees of
dues-paying unemployed New York City resi-
dents through constant contact, education
and organizing. Build and maintain politically
conscious base of community-based dues-
paying mass membership body. Educate and
inspire unemployed and low-wage New Yorkers
to fight back for jobs and income to survive.
Plan actions that build power for unemployed
New Yorkers and build leadership among the
organizing committee's members. Qualifica-
tions: 1-3 years experience in bottom-up com-
munity or labor organizing. Valid New York dri-
ver's license. (Car preferred). Ability to commu-
nicate well , both verbally and in writing; Abili-
ty to establish close relationships with people
from different cultural and economic back-
grounds; Ability to pay thorough attention to
details; Willingness to work hard and put in
long hours; Interest and dedication to leader-
shi p development and member education as a
core organizing strategy. Preferably - ability to
speak another language (in addition to Eng-
lish), especially one of the following: Spanish,
Cantonese, Mandarin, Haitian Creole, Russian,
Bengali, or Polish. Salary: DOE This is a bar-
gai ning unit position. Excellent union health,
life and dental insurance. Send resume and
cover letter to: Lead Organizer Search New York
Unemployment Project 50 Broadway New York,
NY 10004 NYUP is an equal opportunity, affir-
mative action employer. Women, people of
color, the disabled, lesbians and gay men, and
people of transgendered experience are
encouraged to apply.
MSW CASE MANAGER - ACS funded Preven-
tive Services Program seeks MSW Case Worker
to manage children and families in neighbor-
hood based child abuse neglect prevention
program in Harlem. 2 years exp preferable.
37+k Please fax resumes to 212-690-4794 or
email to: or, Attention: Judith Butler-
McPhie, Senior Vice President.
MSW PROGRAM DIRECTOR - Preventive ser-
vice program seeks MSW to direct ACS funded
program in Harlem. Successful candidate must
be an effective administrator with 2-3 exp as
supervisor. $55K. Please fax resumes to: 212-
690-4794 or email to or, Attention: Judith Butler-
McPhie, Senior Vice President.
for the Homeless seeks MSW/Program Direc-
tor for 66-unit AIDS scattered site housing
program. Administrative and clinical super-
visor for 12 persons staff; primary contact
with public funding sources; will draft week-
ly, monthly, annual reports; will develop and
maintain Quality management and other
tools to enhance program; limited client case
management load. $45-50K per year.
MSW/CSW required. Two years supervisory
experience required. Experience with the
homeless, mentally ill , substance users, sup-
portive housing, and persons living with
HIVIAIDS strongly desired. Computer literate,
creative, a team player and able to multi-
task. Spanish a plus. Send resume with
cover letter to HR, Coalition for the Homeless,
via email to No tele-
phone inquiries please. Persons of color,
PLWAs, and formerly homeless are encour-
aged to apply. EOE.
Improving communicat ions between and
among affiliates and the National office; writ-
ing and editing materials for use by affiliates;
creating delivery vehicles and systems that
will inform, support and streamline communi-
cation of ideas and information. College
degree and at least three years of professional
experience; demonstrated competencies in
writing, editing and communications. Reply to
HRlASD-Liaison, ACLU, 125 Broad Street-18th
FI , NY, NY 10004.
ORGANIZER - Position available in February.
The Commission on the Public's Health Sys-
tem, a community- based, citywide health
advocacy organization is seeking a full-time
Outreach/Education Coordinator. The Coordi-
nator will provide information, training and
education sessions, and technical assistance
while organizing in support of funding and
community policies in healthcare services. The
person should have a strong writing and oral
communication skills; experience in organiz-
ing, with understanding of health care needs
in low-income, immigrant and communities of
color. Flexible working hours required. Bilingual
in Spanish a plus. Full benefits. Salary depen-
dent on experience. Fax cover letter and
resume to 212-749-1189.
OUTREACH TEAM LEADER - Train and super-
vise staff on UWS providing outreach/case
management to homeless mentally ill/MICA.
MSW, related MA required. Experience with
supervision, mental health, addiction pref. ,
able to drive. Salary upper $30s, excellent
benefits. New grads welcome. Please apply
with a cover letter and resume to: s. Lewit,
Project Reachout!GRCC, 593 Columbus Ave.,
NY, NY 10024 or fax 212-721-7389.
reach/case management to homeless people
with mental ilinessIMlCA. Able to drive, Bilin-
gual Spanish preferred. Salary mid $20s,
excellent benefits. Please apply with a cover
letter and resume to: S. Lewit, Project Rea-
chout!GRCC, 593 Columbus Ave., NY, NY
10024 or fax 212-721-7389.
PARALEGAL- Job Description: Assist in draft-
ing, managing and processing contracts with
government and private sector funders of CSS
programs. Provide contract tech. assistance to
organizations which subcontract with CSS to
provide consumer education workshops & indi-
vidual assistance on issues related to man-
aged care. Provide support to Program staff in
the selection of subcontractors, negotiation of
subcontracts and monitoring of contract com-
pliance. Perform other duties as required relat-
ing to the administration of the Department of
the Legal Counsel. Job Requirements: Bache-
lor'S Degree and a minimum of one year of
experience in contract!grant management in
public benefits, health, human services or an
equivalent combination of education and sim-
ilar experience. Excellent organizational skills.
Strong oral & written communication skills
required. Knowledge of word processing and
other basic software applications required,
familiarity with ACCESS and Excel a plus. Sub-
mit resume and cover letter to: Community Ser-
vice Society of New York, Human Resources
Department LC-03, 105 East 22nd Street, New
York, NY 10010 Fax 212-614-5336 or e-mail EOE
Neighborhood Dffice of Legal Aid Society Civil
Division. Responsibilities include interviewing
and assessing clients, both in office and at
outreach sites in Brooklyn; working with our
housing attorneys to resolve government ben-
efits issues, agency advocacy regarding gov-
ernment benefits; representation of clients at
administrative hearings; and outreach and
training to affected client communities. Expe-
rience and/or demonstrated commitment to
community service and/or serving the poor
required. Fluency in second language desir-
able. Requires 4-year college degree or parale-
gal certificate from accredited program.
Salary: $31,600 plus excellent benefits. Send
cover letter, resume and short writing sample
to: Les Helfman, Supervising Attorney, Brook-
lyn Neighborhood Dffice, Legal Aid Society, 166
Montague Street, Brooklyn, New York 11201.
Women, People of Color, Gays and Lesbians
and People with Disabilities Are Especially
Encouraged to Apply.
House, a NYC non-profit psychiatric communi-
ty svcs prog seeks to fill the following position:
Program Staff Workers. Successful candi-
dates must be self-motivated, have excellent
writing, organizational and computer skills.
Familiarity w/community based mental health
system. Must be willing to work with a diversi-
fied population in a hands-on environment.
APRIL 2003
Associate Degree pref'd. BA pref'd. We offer a
competitive salary & a generous benefits
package. EOE. SendlFax resume 212-265-
5482 resume to: Human Resources, Fountain
House, 425 West 47th Street, New York, NY
10036, NO PHONE CAllS.
sity School of Social Work seeks dedicated,
highly organized, project coordinator with out-
standing oral and written communication
skills, attention to detail, for growing pilot pro-
gram in child abuse prevention research. Prior
program development, grant writing and
research assistance experience required. Inter-
est, flexibility, and capacity to work closely as a
team player and to handle a steep learning
curve as the project expands to long-term pro-
gram of research necessary. MSWIMPH or
related degree plus 2 years minimum relevant
experience preferred. Competitive salary com-
mensurate with experience, plus excellent ben-
efits. Fax resume and cover letter: 212-854-
4072, or email Position
available immediately.
OPER - Seeking creative and committed
youth development oriented individuals for new
initiative serving youth recently discharged
from foster care and now living in permanent
supportive housing in Northern Manhattan.
Goal : independent living and self-sufficiency.
Focus: employment & education. Responsi bil i-
ties: refine program design, individual case-
load, group work, service planning & coordina-
tion in collaboration with tenants. Graduate
degree or extensive experience in one or more:
child welfare!youth work; group work; youth
substance abuse or other special needs; IL
skills; rehab/voc counseling; job development.
Requires: patience; energy; excellent listening,
communication & writing skills; computer liter-
acy. Good salary/benefits. Must fax cover letter
and resume to: HR 212-398-3071. EOE
PROJECT DIRECTOR - Responsible for man-
aging day-to-day operations of workforce
development program, ensuring coordination
and quality of services, staff supervision, data
management and data analysis, report writ-
ing, fundraising, and maintaining relation-
ships with partners. BA. (MA. preferred), min-
imum 5+ yrs experience in: workforce develop-
ment; project management; grantwriting,
data management and analysis, and super-
vising staff. Must also have excellent problem-
solving and communication (both written and
oral) , organizational and time management,
and computer skills, including Microsoft Excel
and Access. Competitive salary and benefits.
EOE. Submit resume, cover letter and writing
sample to: WomenRising, Inc., ATTN: JEB, 270
Fairmount Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07306 or fax:
201-333-9305. Only complete applications
considered. No phone calls.
organization that works with high-risk youth is
seeking a psychiatrist consultant to work 10
hours a week. Duties include medication eval -
uations and monitoring, counseling, and
assessments. Must have admitting privileges
for psychiatric emergencies. Must be knowl-
edgeable in adolescent medicine, able to work
in a face pace environment, and work as part
of an interdisciplinary team. Please fax
resume to 212-760-0766.
Small progressive and fun social issues PR
firm seeks forward thinking, motivated Publi-
cist! Senior Account Manager with 3-5 years
social issues experience. Must be a hardcore
pitcher and a strong multi-tasker. Salary com-
mensurate with experience. Send resume with
cover letter and salary requirements to Andrea
Trent by fax at 212-245-1889 or by email to
developer/builder headquartered in Trenton, NJ
seeking Associate to assist in acquisition and
development. Sites throughout New York and
New Jersey. Must be a self-starter with com-
puter skills. Fax cover letter, resume and salary
requirements to 718-983-7078.
Justice Center's Homelessness Outreach and
Prevention Project seeks a research and policy
analyst with extensive qualitative and quanti-
tative research skills to work in the area of
Food Stamps access. Strong research, analyt-
ical, and oral communication skills are essen-
tial. Applicants should hold a Masters degree
in an appropriate field. Spanish language flu-
ency (or at least aptitude) is very helpful. Sub-
mit cover letter detailing public interest expe-
rience!interest, resume, brief writing sample,
and references by 3/15/03 to HOPP Research
and Policy Analyst Search, 666 Broadway, 10th
Floor, New York, NY 10012. Salary commensu-
rate with experience; generous vacation, full
medical/dental benefits.
a NYC non-profit psychiatric community svcs
prog seeks to fill the following pOSition: Resi-
dence Counselors. Successful candidates
must be able to work overnight shifts, day
shift and weekend shifts. Associates Degree
preferred, 1-2 years expo Salary commensu-
rate with expo We offer a generous benefits
package. EOE. SendlFax resume (212) 265-
5482 resume to: Human Resources, Fountain
House, 425 West 47th Street, New York, NY
non-profit Program Planning and Analysis
Unit. Candidate will supervise one data entry
clerk, ensure quality of data in agency wide
database, write reports required by funding
agencies and other duties. Bachelors degree
required and at least 2 years experience con-
ducting research and writing reports to govern-
ment and foundation funders. Fax cover letter
(You must include job code YBCity36 on your
cover letter) and resume to 718-707-3315.
For more detailed information visit EOE
nonprofit management consulting firm, Non-
profit Connection, seeks an experienced Senior
Program Associate with a minimum of five
years' experience in nonprofit management.
Responsibilities: Provide consulting services
to nonprofit organizations in the areas of orga-
nizational development, including, but not
limited to: board development, program
development, human resources administra-
tion, strategic planning, fund raising, and
organizational design; develop curriculum for
and deliver group training sessions in various
areas of organizational development.
Requirements: A minimum of five years' expe-
rience in nonprofit management with senior
management responsibility, or experience in
technical assistance or management consult-
ing. Excellent training, writing and interper-
sonal skills; knowledge of organizational
structure and governance; familiarity with
funding resources and development strategy;
computer competency; ability to work in a
team-oriented, multicultural environment;
familiarity with New York City neighborhoods,
and sensitivity to the diverse ethnic and cul -
tural milieu of New York City. Send resume and
salary history to: K.w. Murnion and Associ-
ates, Inc., NC Senior Program Associate, 50
Park Avenue, NY, NY 10016. No phone calls.
Center's Homelessness Outreach and Preven-
tion Project seeks an attorney with three to
five years experience to work in the area of
Food Stamps access. Strong written, verbal ,
individual advocacy and affirmative litigation
skills are strongly desired. Admission to the
New York State Bar is mandatory. Spanish
language fluency (or at least aptitude) is very
helpful. Submit cover letter detailing public
interest experience/interest, resume, brief
writing sample, and references by 3/15/03 to
HOPP Attorney Search, 666 Broadway, 10th
Floor, New York, NY 10012. Salary commensu-
rate with experience; generous vacation, full
medical/dental benefits. .
based social service agency for youth with
emotional disabilities and their families seeks
a dynamic and committed individual to man-
age its aftercare program in Manhattan. MSW
with 5 years post-master's experience required.
Must possess demonstrated ability in adminis-
tering programs and in supervision. KnOWl -
edge of child welfare and foster care systems
strongly preferred. Please fax resumes and
cover letters to Kristin Boyle at 212-780-1972.
SOCIAL WORKER - The August Aichhorn Cen-
ter for Adolescent Residential Care is seeking a
full-time Social Worker (CSW) to act as team
coordinator for its Young Adult Supported liv-
ing (YASL) program on West 1l2th Street in
Manhattan. Involvement with the Aichhorn
Residential Treatment Facility (RTn on West
106th Street will also be possible. The YSAL
program is a 12-bed residence for young adults
(18-25) who have spent most of their teenage
years in congregate living facilities and are
making the transition to more independent liv-
ing. The team coordinator is responsible for
direct case management as well as for super-
vision of the case managers who staff the pro-
gram around the clock. The RTF provides very
intensive long-term care to teenagers who are
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unable to function in any other situation outside
a psychiatric hospital or juvenile justice facility.
The YASL program was designed as a discharge
resource for the RTF and the programs are care-
fully coordinated. The YASL team coordinator
may also act as a primary therapist for some
residents of the RTf, or be other wise involved in
the RFT therapy program. Salary is in the upper
$30,000 range with good benefits and leave.
Some weekend work will be involved. Back-
ground in supported housing, knowledge of
entitlement programs and community
resources for this population, and/or experience
in working with adolescents in care would be
desirable. Send resume to: Carmen Torres,
Administrative Director, August Aichhorn Cen-
ter, 23 West 106th Street, New York, NY 10025,
fax 212-662-2755.
AFFILIATE SUPPORT - Writing, editing and
proofreading documents; maintaining and
tracking budgets and expense reports;
responding to calls and correspondence,
including confidential communications, and
drafting responses. Minimum of three years
related administrative experience or the equiv-
alent in education and experience required;
self-starter with strong organizational skills
and the ability to prioritize with attention to
detail. Reply to HR-SA, ACLU, 125 Broad St
18th FI , NY, NY 10004.
STAFF ATTORNEY - The ACLU is dedicated to
protecting online free speech, fair use and pri-
vacy rights in the digital age. The staff attor-
ney is responsible for developing and executing
complex litigation, including legal research,
drafting and pleading briefs, discovery and
motion practice, trials and appeals. At least 4
years major litigation experience. Reply to Per-
sonnel, ACLU, 125 Broad Street, 18th FI, NY, NY
10004 or
Urban Community Services (, a
national leader in the development of effective
housing and service initiatives seeks to fill a
substance abuse specialist position in the his-
toric, landmark building, The limes Square. The
primary focus of this position is to provide case
management services to a mixed caseload
(approximately 32) including individuals with
mental illness, seniors and people living with
HIVIAIDS. All populations may have substance
abuse problems. Substance Abuse Specialist:
This position offers expert assistance and con-
sultation for other staff on the team around
issues of addiction, harm reduction and treat-
ment. This individual will also complete sub-
stance abuse assessments, provide substance
abuse counseling to tenants both individually
and in groups, and participate on the Sub-
stance Abuse Committee. Reqs: BA + 2 yrs
direct service experience with indicated popula-
tions; BSW + 1 yr (excluding fieldwork); or High
School Diploma (or GED) + 6 yrs direct service
experience. Note: For applicants without college
degrees, every 30 credits can be substituted for
1 year of experience. Demonstrated ability to
serve populations of clients with substance
abuse and mental health issues preferred.
Good verbal and written communication skills.
Computer literacy required. Bilingual Span-
ishlEnglish preferred. Salary: $30,773. Bene-
fits: compo bnfts incl $65/month in transit
checks. ' Send resumes and cover letters by
1/31/03 to: Lisa Hernandez, CUCSmmes
Square, 255 W. 43rd Street, New York, NY
10036., CUCS is com-
mitted to workforce diversity. EEO
ing, leading rehab of MICA cts on ACT Team.
Case management, advocacy, tax planning.
Salary mid-$30s, excellent benefits. Send
cover letter and resume to: A. Arthur, 593
Columbus Avenue, NY, NY 10025 or fax to
TEAM LEADER - HELP USA, a homeless hous-
ing provider seeks qualified candidate to lead
an interdisciplinary team. Must have the abili-
ty to coordinate 3 case managers with a case-
load of 63 clients. Provide individual supervi-
sion, crisis intervention and support to the team
and Case Managers; and ensure that protocols
and regulations are adhered to by the counsel-
ing staff. MSW (preferred) or related degree
and computer literacy required. Must have min.
2 years supervisory expo and clinical as well as
case management expo Salary starts mid $30s.
Forward resume to Tabitha Newkirk-Gaffney,
Director of Social Services at fax 718-485-5916
or email EOE. A drug
free workplace.
Income Investment Fund (LlIF), a dynamic non-
profit financial organization, seeks a Vice Pres-
ident for its national programs. This senior level
position reports to the President and will be
responsible for planning, coordinating and
managing LlIF's programs and funds that sup-
port these programs. This individual will also
provide visionary leadership by developing and
implementing new programs in response to
needs within the communities that LlIF serves.
HelShe will oversee all aspects of program cre-
ation, administration, budget management
and associated fund raising. The ideal candi-
date will have demonstrated skills, knowledge
and experience in strategic planning, commu-
nity development, real estate finance, financial
analysis and underwriting. Successful candi-
date will possess a master's degree or equiva-
lent experience in business administration,
finance, real estate, community or economic
development, or related field and at least ten
years of senior management experience in com-
munity development. Strong time management
skills, the ability to direct and motivate others,
a talent for coordinating work in a way that
respects deadlines, and a genuine personal
commitment to UIF's mission are also essen-
tial. Qualified candidates should send a cover
letter including salary requirements and
resume to: HR, Low Income Investment Fund,
1330 Broadway, Suite 600, Oakland, CA 94612
or via email to EOE. No calls
Partnership for the Homeless, a leading home-
less services organization working to address
the root causes of homelessness and empower
homeless people to leave the city's streets and
shelters for lives of independence and finan-
cial stability is looking for a Volunteer Rela-
tions Assistant to work on recruiting and train-
ing of new volunteers for its faith-based
Overnight Shelter program and its other direct
service and advocacy projects. Responsibilities
include co-facilitating on-site open houses;
recruiting volunteers from schools, organiza-
tions and the community; matching volunteers
to shelters or other opportunities; assisting in
the production of a monthly volunteer newslet-
ter, and other related duties. We are looking for
a dedicated, motivated, creative person with
excellent writing and communications skills
and computer and Internet literacy. BAIBS pre-
ferred. Qualified candidates should send a
resume with a writing sample, and salary
requirements to: The Partnership for the Home-
less Human Resources Representative 305
Seventh Ave, 13th floor New York, NY 10001 or,
e-mail to:
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Advertise in CITY LIMITS! · For more information, call Susan Harris at 212-479-3345.
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The fellowships program seeks community activists and dynamic individuals from
diverse backgrounds to establish progressive initiatives or public interest projects that
address social justice issues in New York City. The program supports advocacy, orga-
nizing, or direct service projects that promote equity for marginalized communities.
Past projects have focused on the arts, civic participation, economic justice, educa-
tion, health, and workers' rights.
Fellows receive an I8-month stipend and additional resources for each project.
The Open Society Institute, a private operating and grantmaking foundation created and funded by George Soros, works
to strengthen democracy and civil society in the United States and more than 50 countries around the world.