Sunday, December 21, 2014

de Blasio heads a bi-racial household, yet, in wake of NYPD double homicide, he cannot unify a multi-cultural city

de Blasio set to end first year presiding over an ungovernable New York City

Two NYPD officers killed in Brooklyn ; suspect reportedly commits suicide ; de Blasio in hot seat

Rather than inspire from a place of equality, justice, due process, and the rule of law, Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner William Bratton are resorting to invoking fear to frighten New Yorkers, moving them in a direction of hatred and suspicion.

At Saturday night's press conference at Woodhull Hospital in Brooklyn, where the fallen officers were taken and later pronounced dead, in his brief remarks, Mayor de Blasio invoked a sense of fear to motivate New Yorkers into action, saying that, "every New Yorker should feel they, too, were attacked," that "our entire city was attacked," further requesting that New Yorkers should report any information about plans for attacks on police, a sense of fear that NYPD Commissioner William Bratton reaffirmed by saying that New Yorkers should consider this like the Homeland Security alert system, an alarum code that the Bush administration notoriously abused to keep Americans living in fear of terroristic attacks, so that the administration could keep pushing its political goals, as well as its agendas of war and surveillance.

The reply messages of violence were further fueled by Patrick Lynch, the president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, or PBA, who Saturday night laid blame for the officers' deaths before Mayor de Blasio and police reform activists.

The ratcheting up of inflammatory rhetoric and tensions comes at a time when the de Blasio administration had been trying to fluff its nominal accomplishments in its first year.

Activists, who are calling for an end to discrimination, violence, and state-sponsored forms of oppression, are reaching for understanding and unity. However, elected officials and police union leaders remain entrenched in language of fear and suspicion.


de Blasio set to end first year presiding over an ungovernable New York City (Progress Queens)

Two NYPD officers killed in Brooklyn ; suspect reportedly commits suicide ; de Blasio in hot seat (Progress Queens)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Sen. Schumer asked for help to appoint a new commission to investigate and prosecute NYPD, IAB corruption

Letter to Sen. Charles Schumer - Help us appoint a new commission to investigate NYPD, IAB

Activists ask for a new commission, modeled after Knapp and Mollen, to investigate NYPD and IAB, but this time with the power to prosecute cases of corruption, authority that both the Knapp and Mollen commissions lacked

Sen. Charles Schumer, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, was asked for his assistance and support for the creation of a new commission to investigate a pattern of corruption and the lack of accountability at the New York Police Department, including at its troubled Internal Affairs Bureau.

"The nation needs a substantive examination of the overreach, the corruption, the brutality and murder, the abuse of discretion, and the lack of accountability of police departments in the nation, beginning with the NYPD, the largest police force in the nation. As your office contemplates how best the U.S. Senate can take part in the national debate over the need for policing reforms, we hope that in the meantime you will call for either Manhattan District Attorney Vance, U.S. Attorney Bharara, or Assistant Director Venizelos to create a new, independent commission with subpoena power to investigate -- and prosecute -- corruption, brutality, and murder by the NYPD, including corruption at IAB, along with other violations of constitutional rights, civil liberties, and civil rights."

The letter to Sen. Schumer was sent after a prior e-mail to City Hall, dated 13 October 2014, went unanswered.


Written letter to Senator Charles Schumer asking for his assistance and support for the creation of a new commission to investigate and prosecute NYPD corruption, including at IAB (Scribd)

Exigen crear nueva comisión que investigue quejas contra NYPD (El Diario)

Written demand to Mayor de Blasio to appoint a new commission to investigate NYPD corruption, including at IAB (Scribd)

2014-12-01 Senator Charles Schumer Office Fax (NYPD Commission Follow-Up Letter) (FILE COPY) by NYPDFivePoints

Friday, November 21, 2014

To address mental health needs of Rikers inmates, NY should examine state shortage of psychiatric hospital beds

Mayor de Blasio announces mental health reforms at Rikers Island without acknowledging social impact of hospital closings

People with mental health needs end up in jails and prisons, overwhelming law enforcement

Amongst the Rikers Island reforms announced Thursday by Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-New York City) was the allocation of $32.5 million to fund mental health and anti-violence efforts. The mayor cited as a cause of challenges at Rikers Island the large number of severely, mentally-ill inmates, who created problems that needed to be "dealt with at their root."

However, public health advocates fault the state and city for allowing the closure of so many hospitals that used to treat people with mental health needs in a healthcare facility instead of allowing people with mental health needs get swept up in the city's dragnet of over-policing that then jails people with mental health needs at Rikers Island.

“We stand ready to take legal action to compel long-overdue reforms at Rikers, if that becomes necessary to get the job done.” — U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara

According to statistics reported in an investigation published last July by The New York Times, "Rikers now has about as many people with mental illnesses — roughly 4,000 of the 11,000 inmates — as all 24 psychiatric hospitals in New York State combined. They make up nearly 40 percent of the jail population, up from about 20 percent eight years ago."

There is a shortage of public hospital beds for people with mental health needs, according to a study by the Treatment Advocacy Center. The study recommended that New York state would need to add over 4,300 hospital beds dedicated to people with psychiatric needs in order to meet minimum standards of care.

In announcing reforms for Rikers Island, Mayor de Blasio never raised the issue of the lack of capacity to provide people with mental health needs minimum standards of care to prevent people with mental health needs from getting swept up in the city's dragnet of over-policing.


Mayor de Blasio promised to get to the root of unsafe conditions at Rikers Island, but he overlooks high social cost of hospital closings (Progress Queens)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

On day of Eric Garner march, de Blasio defends Bratton and Broken Windows policing

Politicians down-play calls for NYPD reform

NYPD Commish Bratton is responsible for the heavy-handed Broken Windows policing that harasses low-income and minority communities, claiming the life of Eric Garner

As thousands of New Yorkers were collecting in Staten Island for a massive civil rights march seeking justice for Eric Garner, the Staten Island man choked to death by NYPD, Mayor Bill de Blasio was in a Brooklyn church, desperately spinning support for his controversial NYPD Commissioner William Bratton and the police department's Broken Windows approach to policing.

"We have to make a lasting bond between our communities and our police," Mayor de Blasio said at the Kingsboro Temple of Seventh-day Adventist in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

As the city and the nation reflect on police brutality, Mayor de Blasio reaffirmed his support for NYPD Commissioner William Bratton and the administration's contentious Broken Windows approach to policing, which many police reform advocates blame as the cause of Mr. Garner's murder while in police custody. Mayor de Blasio and other elected officials are deliberately down-playing the harsh police tactics that target people of color and low income communities. In New York, this state-sponsored race- and class-based approach to policing is known as Broken Windows.

At the Eric Garner march in Staten Island, two elected officials, who some said attended in Mayor de Blasio's stead, former Gov. David Paterson and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, both lowered the benchmarks for justice to the same political operative talking point : a successful prosecution of officers responsible for Mr. Garner's murder. To his credit, Rep. Jeffries did mention the role of Broken Windows policing, but there was no political pressure overtly exerted on Mayor de Blasio to end the policing approach, nor was there a call for the mayor to fire Commissioner Bratton in favor of a culturally competent replacement.


Protesters call for Bratton’s resignation in wake of Eric Garner death (PIX 11)

Thousands turn out for Eric Garner march against the NYPD (The New York Post)

The Neoconservative Roots of the Broken Windows Theory (The Gotham Gazette)

The mayor asks the city to place faith in due process, but the NYPD has routinely violated due process, and prosecutors do their own part to keep watering down due process

Mayor de Blasio did his own part to downsize community expectations, telling congregants at the Brooklyn Adventist church, "We all believe in due process, fairness, a full investigation, a full legal process. We believe everyone should be treated equally in that process."

Mr. Garner was choked to death by police on July 17. Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan has promised to schedule a grand jury to investigate possible charges against NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo, who had placed Mr. Garner in an illegal chokehold that killed Mr. Garner. However, the date of the grand jury's empaneling has yet to be announced.

Mr. Garner's death has escalated public scrutiny on race- and class-based police brutality after Michael Brown was shot to death by Ferguson P.D. officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9. In contrast to the prosecutorial investigation of Mr. Garner's death, the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch initiated on August 29 a grand jury investigation of Mr. Brown death, but that was due to immense public pressure and a violent police crackdown on civil unrest following Mr. Brown's murder.

In both cases, civil rights activists have criticised the role of local prosecutors to investigate brutality and murder by police officers. Police departments are notoriously politicised by mayors, and local prosecutors are publicly-elected officials, meaning that local prosecutors are encumbered by political consultants and local lobbyist insiders, who are often shared by other local officials, especially mayors, other prosecutors, and even some locally-elected judges. What is more, local prosecutors' rates of conviction depend on nonaggression relationships with police officers in order to successfully prosecute cases at trial. If local prosecutors go up against police departments, that conflict may potentially upset local prosecutors' other criminal cases. Consequently, critics of the local prosecutors have, in turn, requested that federal prosecutors lead the charge to investigate the murders of Mr. Garner and Mr. Brown. The political conflicts facing local prosecutors are known to federal prosecutors, who are regularly forced to intervene in controversial prosecution cases when cases consist of violations that involve significant political or government individuals, which pose problems for the local prosecutor, as high-profile prosecutions of police officers can be deemed.

Under "Broken Windows" policing, plainclothes police officers are ordered to treat very low-level crimes as major concerns.

Since policing tactics have focused on minor infractions and low-level crimes, like selling loose, untaxed cigarettes for 50 cents, like has been charged that Mr. Garner engaged in on the day he was murdered, and for walking on the street, as was the reason Mr. Brown was stopped by police on the day he was murdered, the judicial system has become over-run by complex cases that may have escalated from what are generally regarded as underlying nuisance charges. Public defenders, local prosecutors, and the court system rush through these cases, giving people of color and low-income defendants short shrift in the justice system, resulting in an inherent state-sponsored structure that criminalizes people based on race and income. It is this broken system in which Mayor de Blasio wants the community to place their faith.

de Blasio gives lip service to NYPD's role of 'protect and respect,' but the mayor keeps expressing support for his culturally incompetent police commissioner and race- and class-based policing

Critics of Mayor de Blasio have been asking for the resignation of NYPD Commissioner Bratton, an end to the Broken Windows approach to policing, and for a federal investigation into corruption at the NYPD and its Internal Affairs Bureau. However, the mayor and his teams of political operatives have thus far succeeded in limiting the community's conversation of Mr. Garner's murder in terms of improving police-community relations, a tactic that eventually failed former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani after Abner Louima was brutalized by police officers in a bathroom at a Brooklyn police station. Advocates for campaign finance reform believe that Mayor de Blasio is continuing the Giuliani-Bloomberg crackdown on the poor and people of color as political payback to real estate developers, which are amongst the mayor's biggest campaign contributors and which desire the mass displacement caused by Broken Windows to support further, uncontrolled upward spiraling of real estate prices. Indeed, during the mayor's successful campaign, he very publicly aligned himself with corrupt real estate lobbyists. One real estate lobbyist, James Capalino, served as an organizer last year for a problematic $1 million fundraiser at the Waldorf-Astoria for Mayor de Blasio's campaign committee. Once elected, Mayor de Blasio has established a close working relationship with William Rudin, the corrupt boss of Rudin Management Company, the developer of the $1 billion luxury condo conversion of St. Vincent's Hospital. More and more, the minority community and activists are coming to terms with how Mayor de Blasio exploited race implications of policing controversies just to get elected, leading one political blogger, Suzannah B. Troy, to predict that Mayor de Blasio may only be a one-term mayor. Adding to the urgency for NYPD reform is the work of the activist group, New Yorkers Against Bratton and other activists, who will not give up until there is an overhaul of the NYPD and many of the root and systemic causes of discrimination and brutality are fully addressed.

As a result of delays and other problems with the broken judicial system, police become jaded and corrupt after serving in the force for a year or two, some political bloggers assert. Pressures to achieve justice outside of the dysfunctional court system and political manipulation of crime statistics converge to act to influence police officers to self-appoint themselves as judge and executioner each time police confront citizens, some critics of police claim. The militarization of police departments adds to the perverse concentration of resources to make arrests of minor infractions and very low-level crimes, but these resources do nothing to improve the socio-economic conditions of the communities being targeted for these "broken windows" crimes. As all of this injustice plays out for minority and low-income communities, large-scale political and corporate corruption go unprosecuted, and federal agencies, such as the National Security Agency and the Department of Justice, continue to erode civil liberties and other Constitutional protections, further reaffirming the impression that each of the justice system is stacked against both people of color and the poor and due process no longer means anything. The politicisation of the Department of Justice by President Barack Obama further erodes some activists' faith in federal prosecutors' ability to investigate police departments that have been weaponized by the Department of Defense and the N.S.A.

Against these stark realities, the only failed solution Mayor de Blasio is offering is to cosmetically improve "police-community relations."


Mayor Bill de Blasio visits Brooklyn church during Garner march (Capital New York)

Fatal Confrontation Heightens Tensions in Staten Island Police Precinct (The New York Times)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

OTB : One Term Bill

In Far Rockaway, Mayor de Blasio takes a beating

The Outerborough Mayor Neglects the Outerboroughs

In Far Rockaway, the citizens are waking up to a de Blasio administration that uses the recovery efforts from Super Storm Sandy as cheap photo-ops.

"City Hall wants congratulations when Build It Back hands out a few reimbursement checks or breaks ground on building a new home. We say, it’s about time."

Mayor Bill de Blasio has denied long over-due infrastructure improvements to Far Rockaway -- everything from improved transportation, including a ferry, reconstruction aid after Sandy, economic development planning, and improvements to parks.

The citizens are getting restless, and if the mayor fails to deliver on reforms and improvements, then the citizens are already talking about Mayor de Blasio being a one-term mayor.


EDITORIAL: Rockaway Might Need an OTB -- A One Term Bill de Blasio (The Rockaway Times)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sign the Petition : Cuomo and de Blasio : Give Back Extell Campaign Donations

Petitioning Gov. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio : Give back Extell campaign donations photo cuomo-de-blasio-change-dot-org-petition600_zps4068cb38.jpg

Gov. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio profited from huge campaign contributions from a wealthy real estate developer now being engulfed in scandals.

Following controversies that Extell Development Company had been subpoenaed by the Moreland Commission and that Extell won approval from City Hall to legally segregate low-income residents to use a separate "poor door" building entrance, why are Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo keeping campaign contributions from Extell ?

Sign the Petition : Cuomo and de Blasio : Give Back Extell Campaign Donations (

By some estimates, Mayor de Blasio accepted over $18,000 in campaign contributions from Extell, related entities, or related individuals. For his part, Gov. Cuomo accepted over $300,000 in campaign contributions from Extell-related donors, according to some press reports.

If not for the reason that Extell was the target of investigation by the Moreland Commission before the panel was disbanded, then for the reason that Extell is forcing low-income residents to use a segregated entrance -- Mayor de Blasio and Gov. Cuomo need to disgorge Extell's campaign contributions.


Petitioning Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio : Give Back Extell Campaign Donations (

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Bill de Blasio voted for "poor door" before he was against it

Extell Development Company, the developer behind the building that won permit to operate segregated entrances based on tenant income, was the target of a subpoena of the now-defunct Moreland Commission.

Now that the U.S. Attorney's Office possesses the Moreland Commission's investigation files, will it expand inquiry into how Extell won approval for de jure segregation at its building at 40 Riverside Blvd. ?

One of the wealthy real estate developers that was the target of a subpoena issued by the now-defunct Moreland Commission was Extell Development Company, a developer with notoriously close ties to the administration of Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY). Extell is also the developer of the controversial building in the Upper West Side of Manhattan that now segregates tenants to use different entrances, based on income.

The use of the "poor door" was approved by the Democratic Party-controlled City Council in a 2009 vote. In a report in The New York Post, it was said that Mayor Bill de Blasio voted for the provision that allowed Extell to force low-income tenants to use the "poor door."

During last year's mayoral race, Mayor Bill de Blasio reportedly accepted over $18,000 in campaign contributions from Extell, according to calculations prepared by Mayor de Blasio's rival, Sal Albanese. Mr. Albanese's calculations were published last year by Crain's New York Business.

Last year, Extell became the subject of interest for Moreland Commissioners investigating the pay-to-play corruption in Albany. It was reported that Extell made over $300,000 in related campaign contributions to the campaign committee of Gov. Cuomo in the time leading up to when Gov. Cuomo signed into law tax breaks reportedly worth $35 million over a ten-year span for another of Extell's developments, the $2 billion super luxury condominium tower on West 57th Street known as One57.

If the corruption-fighting investigators of the Moreland Commission were interested in the corrupt pattern of pay-to-play in politics that invited large campaign contributions to fix legislative outcomes, then will the way Extell won its de jure segregating "poor door" provision approved by the City Council merit the same kind of scrutiny as did the $35 million tax breaks signed into law by Gov. Cuomo ?


Bill de Blasio voted for luxury building ‘poor door’ (The New York Post)

Sal Albanese Blasts Rivals For Accepting Corrupt Real Estate Donations (Crain's New York Business)

In Mayoral Race, Attacking Real Estate Industry but Taking Its Cash (The New York Times)

Extell, Silverstein, Thor hit with subpeonas over tax breaks (The Real Deal)

Extell upped Cuomo donations during tax bill talks : State law granting One57 an abatement could shave $35M in costs (The Real Deal)

Bill de Blasio, Gale Brewer, and Tish James all voted for the "Poor Door" : The New York Post

POOR DOOR FLIP FLOP : Mayor voted for a measure that segregates low-income people to use a separate entrance at 40 Riverside Boulevard before he publicly opposed it.

Bill de Blasio, center, with Bill Rudin, right, at the Association for a Bitter New York photo BilldeBlasio-BillRudin-ABNY_zps12c27827.jpg

From The New York Post :

De Blasio voted for luxury building ‘poor door’ as councilman

By Yoav Gonen | July 28, 2014 | 10:40pm

Mayor de Blasio and other officials denouncing “poor door” entrances for subsidized tenants in luxury buildings actually voted in favor of a measure that made such separation possible, a Post review found.

When the lengthy text of a zoning resolution was amended by the City Council in July 2009, then-Councilman Bill de Blasio — who arrived late to the meeting — was among the majority who voted “aye.”

One provision said developers of market-rate condos could include affordable units on site, instead of off-site, while allowing for the separation of a number of services that included the entrances.

But de Blasio’s vote didn’t stop City Hall officials last week from putting the blame for the controversial Extell Development project at 40 Riverside Blvd. — which will have separate entrance for subsidized tenants — solely on former Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s team.

“The previous administration changed the law to enable this kind of development,” City Hall spokesman Wiley Norvell said last week.

Asked about the role of de Blasio and the council in approving the 2009 measure, administration officials said it was a single provision in a 104-page zoning change, which was otherwise beneficial.

“The resolution at issue was focused on helping more low-income New Yorkers buy their own homes and expanding affordable housing,” said Norvell.

He added that the administration is working on amending the zoning language to prevent future developments with similarly split entrances.

“Now that we are in a position to bring those rules fully into line with our priorities and values, we will make the necessary changes to ensure families in affordable housing are treated equitably,” he said.

Among the other elected officials who voted in favor of the 2009 zoning changes are current Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Public Advocate Letitia James.

The two were among those who took part in a press conference on the steps of City Hall this past Friday condemning the prior administration for signing off on the project.

Asked about her vote, Brewer also said the two-doors effect emerged from a “small” provision in a “long” resolution.

“I doubt any of us on the Council were aware of that provision; I certainly wasn’t,” she said. “A separate door on a building that benefits one specific project evades the spirit of our city — and we are working to close this loophole.”

Like the administration, James’ spokeswoman Aja Davis pointed to the overall benefits of the zoning changes approved within the 2009 measure, calling Extell’s separation of units an by income as an “exploitation” of the amendment.


Bill de Blasio voted for luxury building ‘poor door’ as councilman (The New York Post)

In Mayoral Race, Attacking Real Estate Industry but Taking Its Cash (The New York Times)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

SHAME : de Blasio mailer praises LICH closure

From the Demand A Hospital listserv

Dear All :

A deceptive astroturf mailer is being sent to Brooklyn residents formerly treated by Long Island College Hospital. The mailer praises the condo conversion deal that closed the hospital with plans to replace it with another "urgent care center on steroids."

LINK : De Blasio-allied group defends LICH deal to brownstone Brooklyn (Capital New York) :

Shades of when Bll Rudin used an astroturf group called "Westside Healthcare Coalition" to send his own deceptive mailers about the inferior urgent care center to be operated by North Shore-LIJ/Lenox Hill at the old O'Toole Building that the community was being duped into accepting as a sub-par replacement for the full-service and Trauma Level I hospital that was St. Vincent's.

LINK : Westside Healthcare Coalition is a Lie (Scribd) :

The really shocking part of the deceptive LICH mailers being sent to Brooklyn residents is that the mailers are coming from the lobbying firm Berlin Rosen, which is Mayor Bill de Blasio's political arm in public relations.

Mayor de Blasio didn't save LICH, betraying his campaign promise to support "hospitals, not condos." Now, the mayor and his people want to spin a story about how the luxury condo conversion of another hospital is good for still yet another big name real estate developer, this time the Fortis Property Group.

Shame !!!!!

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

Tell Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to stop closing our hospitals. Call 311 for the mayor and 1 (518) 474-8390 for the governor.

You can also tweet your concerns to : @BilldeBlasio -and- @NYGovCuomo

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

7 million $lush fund reasons why VOCAL-NY, CPR community groups no longer pressing for NYPD reforms

VOCAL-NY amongst CPR community groups receiving over $7 million in FY15 City Council slush funds

Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) Logo photo CommunitiesUnitedforPoliceReformCPRLogo_zpsf0892575.png

Despite cheap "progressive" talk from mayor and new Council speaker, New York City Council is still disbursing speaker slush funds, even as one sitting Councilmember's funding had to be supervised due to pending corruption charges.


New York City Council Divvies Up $50 Million in Speaker Slush Funds (The Wall Street Journal)

Queens Councilman Ruben Wills arrested by Attorney General’s office in corruption probe (UPDATE) (Metro New York)

MMV Slush Funds Report For Fiscal Year 2015 Adopted Expense : Budget Adjustment Summary / Schedule C (New York

Slush funds allocated to VOCAL-NY include $25,000 for anti-Stop-and-Frisk workshops, even though Mayor Bill de Blasio campaigned to end the "Stop-and-Frisk" era in NYPD policing.

Following the Veal Pen Workshop for police reform at the Left Forum 2014, some of the member groups belonging to a coalition known as Communities United for Police Reform, or CPR, were shown to have influence over the stalled social movement to press the New York City government to deliver police reforms. When one of the stalling member groups in the CPR coalition, VOCAL-NY, was pressed about their role in deliberately deescalating public pressure for police reforms, a VOCAL-NY director, Jennifer Flynn Walker, had a meltdown on Twitter after activists pressed whether City Council slush funds played a role in CPR easing off pressure on the de Blasio-Mark-Viverito administration.

"Professional" activists like Ms. Walker get a "seat at the table" next to powerholders, precisely because these "professional" activists accept government funding from the very politicians, who grassroots activists are targeting for legal reforms. Those government funding allocations come with implicit strings attached to not embarrass the politicians publicly, to not create any "scandals," and to settle for the low-bar "politics of the possible" that politicians, like Mayor Bill de Blasio, can deliver without upsetting his big money campaign donors.

Some police reform activists believe that the mayor announced his controversial pick for NYPD commissioner to placate nervous billionaire real estate developers, who want to keep seeing escalating New York City real estate prices. The only way real estate prices can keep spiraling up out of control is by keeping all the youths and people of color either locked up in school or locked up in jail.

Making do by accepting Mayor de Blasio's appointment of William Bratton as the new commissioner of the New York Police Department means that the City Council has to keep funding community programs to deal with police brutality and the violation of innocent people's rights.

Indeed, the slush funds allocated to VOCAL-NY include $25,000 that are intended to "provide Know Your Rights workshops to inform people of their legal rights during police encounters (including stop, question and frisk) and role play de-escalation strategies in order to stay safe and calm." (Emphasis Added)

VOCAL-NY FY15 MMV City Council Slush Funds - Including for anti-Stop-and-Frisk Work photo VOCAL-NYFY15MMVCityCouncilSlushFunds-Includingforanti-Stop-and-FriskWork_zpsb820b109.png

CPR member groups receiving FY15 slush funds are :

  -  Bronx Defenders : $1,636,000

  -  Legal Aid Society : $5,865,750

  -  New York City Anti-Violence Project : $186,755

  -  Streetwise & Safe : $10,000

  -  VOCAL-NY : $62,000

  -  Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice : $24,000

The controversial City Council practise of doling out slush funds was a hallmark issue in last year's mayoral campaign, and the slush fund allocations were used as an accusation of corruption against former Council Speaker Christine Quinn. According to her campaign promises, the new Council speaker, Councilmember Melissa Mark-Viverito, promised to bring reforms to the City Council never made possible under former Speaker Quinn's leadership. Alas, Speaker Mark-Viverito is using the shady distribution of slush funds to control strategic community groups for political reasons, which is no different from the motivations of her her predecessor.

It's not known why VOCAL-NY still needs $25,000 for workshops that will train people how to deal with police use of "Stop-and-Frisk," if Mayor de Blasio campaigned to end the "Stop-and-Frisk" era at the NYPD. The right thing for VOCAL-NY to do is to come forward to press the mayor to deliver the full range of reforms at the NYPD that he supposedly gave lip service to in last year's mayoral election.

Unless, of course, some of the CPR community groups are afraid to pressure the de Blasio-Mark-Viverito administration for the full range of legal reforms needed to end police brutality, violations of the Handschu Agreement, and other infringements of civil liberties and civil rights of innocent New Yorkers. For years, activist have wondered how could the City Council fund, on the one hand, police procedures that violate the Civil Rights Act protections of it citizens, at the same time when, on the other hand, the City Council is funding community groups for protection from police brutality ? What kind of duplicitous City Council budget are elected officials adopting ?

2014-05-31 Veal Pen (Left Forum) Contact Sheet (Twitter Handles) (FINAL)(2014-06-25 FY15 Schedule C Slush F... by Connaissable

Monday, June 16, 2014

Healthcare workers plan protest against healthcare and jobs cuts Wednesday on Staten Island

Nurses and caregivers will picket at Staten Island hospitals on Wednesday


Nurses and caregivers will picket at Staten Island hospitals on Wednesday (Staten Island Live)

NY WFP, on the brink of doing the right thing, apparently folds to Cuomo (Daily Kos)

On Wednesday, healthcare workers are promising to protest healthcare and job cuts being imposed by the chief executive officers of various New York City-area healthcare corporations, according to a report in Staten Isalnd Live.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Thousands of nurses and caregivers -- including many at Staten Island University Hospital and Richmond University Medical Center -- will be holding protests for quality care and good jobs at over 100 facilities throughout the New York City area.

The "informational picket lines" at hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and other facilities mark the launch of an effort to educate patients and the public about healthcare CEOs "who are severely threatening the quality of healthcare services and jobs for New Yorkers," said 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, which represents over 250,000 healthcare workers in New York State, and more than 400,000 total members throughout the East Coast, in a written statement.

It's unknown what impact the protests and pickets will accomplish. Even as 1199 protests the job losses and healthcare cuts by healthcare CEO's, note that 1199 helped to strong-arm the Working Families Party to endorse the re-election campaign of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose very own Medicaid Redesign Team implimented large-scale healthcare cuts, including the outsourcing to Stephen Berger the effort to keep closing city hospitals that have resulted in still yet further healthcare union job losses, not including the negative impact to public health.

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Sunday, June 8, 2014

Demand A Hospital : NYTimes LICH Report Back

From Demand A Hospital :

Dear All :

Two articles of interest to many :

(i) For de Blasio, Deals, Drama and (Maybe) Progress (The New York Times)

On Tuesday, activists gathered in Borough Hall to grieve over the fate of Long Island College Hospital, which is to be converted into a condominium site with some sort of health care facility, though it is uncertain how much of one. The hospital effectively closed last month, leaving residents in surrounding areas worried about curtailed services, in particular the prospect of waiting a dangerously long time for an ambulance. On May 31, a man in Red Hook did die after what was reported to be a long wait, and though it was unclear whether a direct connection existed, the episode served as a dramatic confirmation of the community’s apprehension.

That a certain amount of anger over the hospital is now directed at Bill de Blasio is hardly surprising, given how much theater he mined from his efforts to save it during the mayoral race last summer, at one point even getting arrested during a protest. Although the mayor’s office has been working to bring the state university system, which owns the hospital, developers and community members to an accord and thus preserve health care, the sense that Mr. de Blasio exploited the issue, declared victory in the face of a loss and then moved on has clearly taken hold.


(ii) New York City Street Homelessness Rises 6% (The Wall Street Journal)

At a City Council hearing on Friday, several council members urged Mr. de Blasio’s budget director, Dean Fuleihan, to increase city resources to prevent homelessness. Mr. de Blasio pledged during the campaign and since he has taken office to make reducing homelessness a top priority, but some advocates and elected officials have said they don’t believe the administration is doing enough.


As Jay Kallio commented on The New York Times column, "Government only works when we remain vigilant, and continue the fight long after the election results are in. Start calling and demonstrating today. The job of civic engagement never ends."

Thank you for all that you do.

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

Tell Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to stop closing our hospitals. Call 311 for the mayor and 1 (518) 474-8390 for the governor.

You can also tweet your concerns to : @BilldeBlasio -and- @NYGovCuomo

Friday, June 6, 2014

Did BdB use LICH just to get elected ?

From Demand A Hospital :

Dear All :

Two hospital-related stories in the news this week :

By : Liza Featherstone, amNewYork

There are signs de Blasio is willing to fight for ordinary New Yorkers. Additional paid sick leave and universal pre-K are nothing to dismiss. But when the interests of ordinary New Yorkers conflict with those of the real estate industry, which donated heavily to de Blasio's campaign, is Mayor 99 Percent setting aside his protest placards? Many in Cobble Hill think so.


By : Tara Palmeri, The New York Post

Lenox Hill Hospital — which boasts a luxury maternity wing that has catered to celebrities such as Beyoncé — was among the stingiest of the group, according to the records. While it took in revenue totaling $744.8 million in 2012, it administered just $4.12 million — or 0.57 percent — in free care, according to the data.

Michael Dowling, the president of North Shore-LIJ Health System, which oversees Lenox Hill and 15 other area hospitals, earned well over half of what was paid out in free aid that year ($2.83 million).


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Tell Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to stop closing our hospitals. Call 311 for the mayor and 1 (518) 474-8390 for the governor.

You can also tweet your concerns to : @BilldeBlasio -and- @NYGovCuomo

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Bill de Blasio Hospital Closings Flyer

The wave of hospital closings continue into the de Blasio-Mark-Viverito administration from the Bloomberg-Quinn administration, because lying, cheating politicians, first promise to meet community demands to save our hospitals, but then turn out to fail to live up to their campaign promises.

2014-05-22 Bill de Blasio Hospital Closings Flyer by Connaissable

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Bill de Blasio and Bill Rudin Community Betrayal ?

Has Mayor de Blasio turned his back on the community demand for a full-service hospital to replace St. Vincent's ?

Bill Bratton, Bill de Blasio, and Bill Rudin photo Bill-Bratton-Bill-de-Blasio-and-Bill-Rudin_zps8187f9c9.jpg

Bill Rudin is one of the most corrupt real estate developers in New York City. He is the one, who basically foreclosed on St. Vincent's Hospital. He and his family paid off former Council Speaker Christine Quinn with $30,000 in campaign donations to look the other way. Has Bill Rudin found a way to pay off Mayor Bill de Blasio, too ?

Bill de Blasio, center, with Bill Rudin, right, at the Association for a Bitter New York photo BilldeBlasio-BillRudin-ABNY_zps12c27827.jpg

From the Demand A Hospital listserv :

Dear All :

Last year, Bill de Blasio demonstrated outside the construction site for the $1 billion Rudin luxury condo complex in order to burnish his appeal amongst the communities impacted by hospital closings. The theme of that protest was "Hospitals, Not Condos."

  • LINK : Bill de Blasio to lead ‘Hospitals Not Condos’ rally at former St. Vincent’s site, with Belafonte, Sarandon, Cynthia Nixon, others (East Villager)

Furthermore, one of the NYC Is Not For Sale commercials that helped to elect Mayor de Blasio focused on the corrupt role of Bill Rudin's campaign donations to former Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

  • LINK : New Super PAC ad blasts Christine Quinn for role in closing of St. Vincent’s Hospital (The New York Daily New)

But now that he's been elected, Mayor de Blasio is socializing with the very same corrupt real estate developer whose luxury condo conversion deal he once criticized.

  • LINK : Bill Bratton, Bill de Blasio and Bill Rudin at an April 3 gala. (Crains).

Does this mean that Mayor de Blasio has turned his back on the community's demand for a full service hospital to replace St. Vincent's ?

Thanks for all that you do.

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Tell Gov. Andrew Cuomo to stop closing our hospitals : 1 (518) 474-8390

You can also tweet your concerns to Gov. Cuomo at : @NYGovCuomo

Friday, April 4, 2014

Remembering St. Vincent's Hospital and Dr. Brickner ; Mayor de Blasio with Bill Rudin (twice)

From the Demand A Hospital listserv :

Dear All :

A news round-up, plus photographs of Mayor de Blasio kissing up to Bill Rudin and embracing Rudin lobbyist, James Capalino.

1. Remembering Dr. Brickner. Dr. Philip Brickner, who was chairman of St. Vincent's community medicine department, made house calls and set up a “free clinic” for people in need. He passed away on March 24 at his home in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. He was 85. (Remembering Dr. Philip Brickner, who made house calls to the vulnerable, dies at 85 * The New York Times)

2. Remembering St. Vincent's Hospital. Some say that Rudin Management, the builder of the new billion-dollar luxury condominium complex at St. Vincent’s footprint, was coincidentally former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s largest campaign contributor, and she didn’t do all she could do to save the hospital. Sadly, this article unfairly blames St. Vincent's for the economic consequences of making good on its own charity mission. Healthcare has taken a beating in Greenwich Village and Chelsea, and, citywide, the assault continues. (Remembering St. Vincent's Hospital * The Indypendent)

3. Bill Rudin breakfast. Mayor Bill de Blasio makes a "surprise" appearance last Wednesday morning at Bill Rudin's Association for a Better New York power breakfast. (Mayor de Blasio makes surprise stop at ABNY insider breakfast * The New York Observer)

4. Bill Rudin gala. Mayor de Blasio expresses support Thursday night for police crackdown as a way to jack up real estate values at Bill Rudin's Waldorf-Astoria charity benefit in this desperate Bloomberg public relations puff piece meant to help rehabilitate the Rudin family's tarnished image. See photo. (Mayor de Blasio kisses up to Bill Rudin at Waldorf-Astoria gala * Bloomberg)

NYPD Commissioner William Bratton with Mayor Bill de Blasio and Bill Rudin photo BillBratton-BilldeBlasio-BillRudin_zps2e98efb1.jpg

5. James Capalino connection. Reminder that last year, then mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio literally and figuratively embraced campaigning with Rudin's corrupt ULURP condo conversion lobbyist, James Capalino. See photo. (James Capalino, a former Rudin lobbyist volunteers for de Blasio * Capital New York)

Bill de Blasio with James Capalino photo james-capalino-bill-de-blasio_zps92ca225a.jpg

Thank you for all that you do.

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Tell Gov. Andrew Cuomo to stop closing our hospitals : 1 (518) 474-8390

You can also tweet your concerns to Gov. Cuomo at : @NYGovCuomo

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Is Bill de Blasio doing enough about St. Patrick's Day Parade's LGBT discrimination controversy ?

PUBLISHED : SAT, 08 MAR 2014, 10:10 PM
UPDATED : SAT, 08 MAR 2014, 03:09 PM

The large commercial beer brewer Heineken has withdrawn its support of the discriminatory St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City even after Mayor Bill de Blasio has said that he will allow city workers to march in uniform in the parade, which bans open gay participation.

"Bill de Blasio is the first New York mayor for 21 years to boycott the St. Patrick's Day parade over its ban on gay participants – but is he doing enough ?" asked Ed Pilkington in The Guardian.

LGBT New Yorkers, activists, allies, and several community groups have beseeched Mayor Bill de Blasio to ban city employees from wearing their city uniforms if they plan to participate in the discriminatory St. Patrick's Day Parade that runs on Fifth Avenue. Opponents of the discriminatory parade charge that by allowing city employees to wear their uniform to the parade, the municipal government is tacitly endorsing the parade organizers' discrimination against open LGBT participants.

The mayor has announced that he is not marching in the parade on March 17, but his police commissioner, William Bratton, will be marching, along with other city employees, who are being allowed by the mayor to participate in their city uniforms.

The mayor's Council speaker has announced that she will not allow a formal City Council contingent to participate, but she is allowing City Council employees to participate unofficially, if they so choose.

All of this allows the St. Patrick's Day Parade to continue its discrimination against open LGBT participation, notwithstanding the minuscule steps taken by the mayor and his Council speaker, and this leaves many LGBT activists upset that the mayor may actually be violating the city's human rights law that bans discrimination, as alluded to in a recent editorial in Gay City News. If city resources are used to support or endorse the discriminatory policies of the parade, LGBT activists may have a case to request a court-ordered injunction that would could bar city employees from wearing their city uniforms in the parade or the use of other city resources for the parade. It remains to be seen what course of action LGBT activists take between now and March 17, the date of the parade.

After Buildings Collapse, New York City Mayor Postpones Dealing With Crumbling Infrastructure

Aging Infrastructure Crumbles In New York, and Mayor Wants to Delay the Inevitable

"The city's infrastructure, including its aging gas mains, were again called into question on Wednesday, after an explosion caused two buildings to collapse in East Harlem," reported Dana Rubinstein last week in Capital New York.

But New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who dislikes being challenged into having difficult conversations by the media, refused to discuss the city's crumbling infrastructure.

“This is not the occasion to talk about the dynamics of our national government and the lack of support for infrastructure improvements," Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference last Thursday, according to Capital New York. "That’s a separate discussion, but for another day."

Thousands of miles of main gas lines in New York City are decades old, The Christian Science Monitor reported. WNYC reported that the gas main that runs near the buildings, which exploded and collapsed, is 127 years old. Last year, it was reported that a building was damaged by a partial collapse in Chinatown. The aging and collapse of city buildings comes on top of a report published today by Politicker, where the mayor was unapologetic for not having yet appointed a permanent head for a major city infrastructure agency.

Isn't it about time that the mayor got around to finally appointing a permanent commissioner to head the city's Department of Buildings ? After that, the de Blasio administration should complete an assessment of the city's crumbling infrastructure, map it against prior complaints, and prioritize the renewal of the city's basic physical and organizational structures, facilities, and utilities. And he should use this opportunity to make the city go green. Get rid of that dangerous Spectra natural gas pipeline running under the West Village.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Bill de Blasio was never been against charter schools, but he just wants to put Eva Moskowitz out of business

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio joins "Morning Joe" to say that he was never opposed to charter schools even as he continues his campaign to put Success Academy charter schools, run by Eva Moskowitz, out of business. Mayor de Blasio also discusses his plans for pre-kindergarten programs, his muddled opinions on charter schools, and the promise he made to campaign supporters to end horse-drawn carriages in Central Park.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to further eliminate political dissent by removing Rep. Charles Rangel from office

New York City Mayor Bill de Balsio is backing a challenger to Rep. Charles Rangel, Pastor Michael Walrond. Pastor Walrond is connected to the Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network.

Rep. Rangel made the unforgivable mistake of supported Billy Thompson's unsuccessful mayoral campaign. If the mayor succeeds in this latest effort, he will further his attack on dissent in the city.

If Rep. Rangel is removed from office, that will only leave Rev. Sharpton as the most visibly influential Black political leader in Harlem. The Rev. Sharpton's top aide is joining the mayor's wife as her chief of staff, and the Rev. Sharpton supported the controversial appointment of the new police commissioner, William Bratton. If successful, there'll be no political power broker left to challenge the mayor or his other Harlem-based political enablers. What the mayor is doing is setting up a new political landscape that will suffocate dissent, devoiding us of alternative leadership (no matter how imperfect), and clearing a path not just for 4 years of unchallenged City Hall rule, but for a period of time longer than 4 years, if you think about how much community organising needs to be done, to establish an effective anti-City Hall political challenger.

Friday, February 7, 2014

LGBT activists protest NYPD mishandling of the brutal death of a young woman

The LGBT community is back to having protests against the NYPD. It's like as if nothing changed from former Commish Ray Kelly and new Commish Bill Bratton. Maybe if we can elect a Democrat for mayor, things will change ?

In this video, Melissa Sklarz addresses a protest at One Police Plaza to demand that NYPD Commissioner William Bratton and the Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance investigate the brutal murder of Islan Nettles.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

de Blasio, like Hollande, Scurrying Off, In Secret, Away From The Press

Francois Hollande - Sneaks off to meet Mistress at Secret Apartment

Mayor Bill de Blasio has secret rendezvous with American-Israeli group behind closed doors ; French President has secret rendezvous with Julie Gayet behind closed doors

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was "forced to defend himself Friday after a Thursday speech to the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee was left off his public schedule," The New York Daily News reported, adding, "A reporter from the website Capital New York who found out about the event and tried to cover it was ejected by security, the outlet said."

Separately, Capital New York reported that Mayor de Blasio blamed AIPAC for refusing entry to the reporter, noting that, "The mayor insisted AIPAC wanted the dinner to be closed to the press, but agreed he should have informed reporters regardless."

This isn't the first time that Mayor de Blasio has locked out reporters from covering a controversial event. Last month, Capital New York reported that then the mayor-elect attended a fundraiser for New Yorkers for Clean Livable & Safe Streets (NY-CLASS), the backers of a controversial $1 million Super PAC that exceeded Campaign Finance Board restrictions to defeat the mayor's chief challenger, Christine Quinn. The NY-CLASS fundraiser was closed to reporters.

During the aftermath of the post-Christmas 2010 blizzard, then Public Advocate Bill de Blasio excoriated Mayor Michael Bloomberg for being absent while the city lay buried in unplowed snow.

"The City Council is calling for an investigation into why so many neighborhoods were still buried in snow, and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio sent a letter to Bloomberg demanding to know what happened," the local ABC News affiliate reported at the time.

So much for a real progressive reform agenda when it comes to government transparency and openness. Mayor de Blasio's secretive disappearing acts remind us of embattled French President François Hollande, who took to a motor scooter to travel to a secret rendezvous now and then with his mistress, the actress Julie Gayet.

Does the First Lady have anything to worry about ?

Bill de Blasio - Sneaks Into Pro-Israel Lobby AIPAC photo Bill-de-Blasio-TA132a1pp_w860_h617_zps03889c0d.jpg