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EXCLUSIVE: Roof repairs at Harlem NYCHA building made leaks worse, say tenants

Publication Date: 
Wednesday, August 12, 2015

When it rains, it pours — right through her ceiling. But the 70-year-old woman, who lives in the King Towers in Harlem, is prepared. The public housing resident has created an elaborate network of aluminum foil aqueducts, taped to the ceiling to channel the deluge into buckets placed strategically on the floor. The jury-rigged funnel system keeps the rainfall off her television, her stove and her 2-year-old son, Josito.

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Housing group opposes de Blasio's Vatican speech because of NYCHA mold problems

Publication Date: 
Monday, July 20, 2015

Housing advocates want the Vatican to freeze out Mayor de Blasio at a climate change conference in Rome Tuesday. They say Hizzoner’s invitation to deliver the keynote address should be pulled because of his environmental record at home. De Blasio is set to fly to Italy Monday night and give a speech, titled “Modern Slavery and Climate Change,” at the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences Tuesday.

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Here’s a Way to Control Guns

Publication Date: 
Friday, July 17, 2015

NEARLY three years ago, in the days after the mass killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, President Obama went to Newtown, Conn., to speak at a vigil for the victims. He spoke movingly, and seemed to embody the nation’s outrage and its determination to reduce the number of people killed with guns in America. “Do not lose heart,” he told the families of the victims. He said he would use “whatever power this office holds.”

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Congregations Call on De Blasio to Shake Up NYCHA

Publication Date: 
Friday, July 10, 2015

Konrad Aderer joins Brownsville pastor Father Ed Mason and hundreds of city housing residents and faith leaders from Metro IAF as they take to the steps of City Hall to call on Mayor de Blasio to take charge of NYCHA, the dysfunctional New York City agency in charge of public housing.

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Coalition Says Housing Authority's Problems Worse Under de Blasio Administration

Publication Date: 
Friday, June 26, 2015

A coalition of churches and New York City Housing Authority residents is going public with its criticism of the mayor. The Metro Industrial Areas Foundation held a rally at City Hall, saying the Housing Authority's problems have gotten worse under the de Blasio administration. The foundation is calling for a shakeup.

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Tenants, advocates call for NYCHA's Shola Olatoye to quit

Publication Date: 
Friday, June 26, 2015

Frustrated tenants and advocates rallied outside City Hall Thursday, calling for NYCHA Chairwoman Shola Olatoye to step down.

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Calls for NYCHA Head’s Ouster Say de Blasio is to Blame

Publication Date: 
Thursday, June 25, 2015

Angry residents and faith leaders joined forces Thursday to call for the resignation of Shola Olatoye, chairwoman of New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). On the steps of City Hall under a bright sun, hundreds of members of Metro Industrial Areas Foundation called for a "shake up" at NYCHA, demanding that Mayor de Blasio keep his promises to New York City’s most vulnerable population

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Need for major renovations keeps NYCHA units vacant for years: audit

Publication Date: 
Thursday, June 25, 2015

Almost 300,000 New Yorkers are on the waiting list for a spot inside a New York City Housing Authority Building yet hundreds of apartments remain vacant, some for more than 10 years. But NYCHA says vacancy rates are the lowest in a decade and that it can’t make the necessary repairs without the necessary funding.

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Mr. Mayor, step up & fix NYCHA: In dilapidated buildings, residents wait and wait for repairs

Publication Date: 
Thursday, June 25, 2015

Mayor de Blasio professes to care about public housing far more than his predecessor did. It is time for him to take ownership over the conditions that plague thousands upon thousands of souls trapped in NYCHA buildings — leaky roofs, moldy bathrooms, unsafe lobbies and filthy elevators. These problems are long-term, sometimes life-threatening, and in many cases getting worse under his watch.

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Tenants, churches want NYCHA boss to resign over lack of repairs

Publication Date: 
Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A coalition of churches and public housing tenants frustrated by perceived inaction by NYCHA plans to call for the agency’s chairwoman to step down

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A chancellor’s challenge: In Daily News forums, Carmen Fariña displays experience and knowledge galore, but her plans may not be bold enough to answer parents' urgent need for better schools

Publication Date: 
Sunday, May 31, 2015

Jessica Franco Ramos of Bushwick has a daughter who’s excelling at a public charter school — and a younger brother struggling at a traditional district school. Derrick Calder, of the South Bronx, pulled his daughter Jodie out of a public school, IS 318, where fights filled the halls and bullying was rampant. In a Catholic school, she found refuge at a cost of $4,000 a year. Celia Velasquez, a Bronx grandmother, was thrilled to discover that her grandson aced the gifted and talented test — earning admission, at least in theory, to a local program that would challenge him. But District 7, the city’s lowest-performing district, has none. She sends the young boy to a school 40 minutes away.

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Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña takes questions from parents, educators at packed Bronx forum

Publication Date: 
Friday, May 29, 2015

From a mother's worries over failing schools to a teacher’s push for mental health services, the city schools boss opened her inbox to more than 500 concerned parents and educators at a packed town hall forum Thursday in the Bronx.

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Q&A with Carmen Fariña from the town hall forum on city schools

Publication Date: 
Friday, May 29, 2015

Carmen Fariña answered questions from parents and educators at a town hall forum Thursday night. Here are a few of the topics covered: Q: “Can we get more counselors to help troubled students in our schools?” — Leton Hall, Bronx, teacher at Mott Hall Science and Technology Academy

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Fariña: System overhaul will improve special-ed issues

Publication Date: 
Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The coming school-system overhaul will improve special education services for students, Chancellor Carmen Fariña promised Monday night.

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Carmen Fariña answers tough questions about NYC schools at ‘Fight for Their Future’ forum

Publication Date: 
Monday, May 18, 2015

Parents, teachers and concerned education advocates packed the room Monday night at a “Fight for Their Future” forum attended by city Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. About a half-dozen parents selected by the co-hosts, the Daily News and Metro IAF, a community group, questioned the boss of the nation’s largest school system about the real-life issues families face in the public schools.

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Parents, education workers express concerns about NYC schools at 'Fight for Their Future' forum

Publication Date: 
Monday, May 18, 2015

The mother of a 5-year-old boy with special needs, Patterson quit her job to devote herself to getting her child the best education possible. She started a business called “Decoding Special Needs” and carries binders of information with her to meetings with Education Department officials to discuss her son’s Individualized Education Program, or IEP. She complains veteran DOE decision makers for IEP fail to show up to meetings and that, when they do, they are often unaware of what services are available.

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Edward Chambers, Community Organizing’s Unforgiving Hero

Publication Date: 
Wednesday, May 6, 2015

On a June night in 1978, a community organizer named Edward Chambers drove through the shattered bricks and waist-high weeds of the Brooklyn neighborhood of Brownsville, finding his way along streets that no longer had signs. He was expected at a nearby Lutheran church by a group of local clergy. Its members had reached out to Chambers, a disciple of Saul Alinsky, in the hope that he could help them rescue a section of New York so devastated that Boston’s mayor, on a visit, had declared it “the beginning of the end of our civilization.”



 

Edward Chambers, Early Leader in Community Organizing, Dies at 85

Publication Date: 
Friday, May 1, 2015

Edward T. Chambers, a lapsed seminarian who succeeded Saul Alinsky as leader of Mr. Alinsky’s social justice foundation, advancing his radical agenda of community organizing and grounding its progressive objectives in the Gospels, died on April 26 at a nursing home near his home in Drimoleague, Ireland. He was 85.



 

Tenants want judge to force NYCHA to clean up mold at public housing

Publication Date: 
Thursday, April 23, 2015

Public housing tenants asked a judge Wednesday to step in and make the Housing Authority comply with a year-old vow to clean up nasty mold from apartments.

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NYC Public Housing: Fixing a Leak with a Bucket

Publication Date: 
Friday, April 3, 2015

At Maria Santana’s public housing apartment on New York’s Upper West Side, dirty, black water has periodically poured in from the walls, from the pipes, from the radiator. She says the problems started two years ago. “It’s so much water, it looks like it’s raining in here. I am scared,” Santana said. She has placed buckets throughout her apartment. Her couch is covered in plastic to keep it from getting wet.

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Tenants: De Blasio Needs Bigger NYCHA Role

Publication Date: 
Wednesday, March 18, 2015

When the head of the New York City Housing Authority met with residents at a chapel in Brownsville on Tuesday night, there were questions about failing radiators, missing kitchen sinks, moldy walls, broken doors, pigeon excrement and more. These were all part of a more general question: A year into his administration, to what extent is Mayor de Blasio accountable for the continuing maintenance woes at NYCHA, which has been shortchanged by all levels of government for at least a decade?

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NYCHA Tenants Pack Brownsville Church to Demand Repairs

Publication Date: 
Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Standing at the pulpit, Nancy Baptiste led her congregation in reciting not amens or hymns, but the number most public housing tenants have committed to memory: 7-1-8-7-0-7-7-7-7-1 That’s the phone number New York City Housing Authority, or NYCHA, tenants call when something needs to be fixed. Too often, Baptiste said, no one shows up, the wrong work gets done, or the maintenance crew makes the problem worse.

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NYCHA not obeying order to fix mold in hundreds of units, tenants' lawyers say

Publication Date: 
Saturday, March 14, 2015

The housing authority is in “systemic noncompliance” with a court-ordered agreement to clean up the toxic mold that infests so many aging apartments, attorneys for tenants say. A year ago NYCHA entered into a federal consent decree, promising to abate mold in hundreds of apartments where tenants with asthma live to avoid a lawsuit under the Americans with Disabilities Ac

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Mr. Mayor, here’s how it’s done: Lessons from the affordable housing frontlines

Publication Date: 
Monday, February 23, 2015

Mayor de Blasio has made the creation of higher density apartments in East New York the centerpiece of his housing agenda. Oddly, his administration never bothered to ask us for our thoughts on its plans to build on the work we’ve been succesfully doing there for 30 years.

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1 in 3 city Housing Authority tenants say mold returns after NYCHA claims it's fixed

Publication Date: 
Sunday, December 21, 2014

One in three city Housing Authority tenants say mold in their apartments returns even after NYCHA claims the problem is fixed, according to a city investigation. The ineffectiveness of dozens of these court-ordered “repairs” emerges in an internal report by the city Department of Investigation obtained under the Freedom of Information law by the Daily News. (click link for more)

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Mold still a growing problem for hundreds of NYCHA tenants a year after promise of fixes

Publication Date: 
Sunday, December 14, 2014

Ten-year-old James Ford, who suffers from asthma, has been in and out of the hospital this school year — missing nearly 30 days at Public School 138 in the Bronx. And instead of doing the things boys generally do on the weekends, the public housing resident is taking classes on Saturdays just to finish fifth grade on time. (click link for more)

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End the domestic arms race now

Publication Date: 
Monday, December 8, 2014

In the wake of prosecutors’ failures to win indictments in Staten Island and Ferguson, and the killings by police of young people of color in East New York and Cleveland, we propose a new deal between our communities and the men and women of urban police departments: (click link for more)

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Why Living-Wage Laws Are Not Enough—and Minimum-Wage Laws Aren’t Either

Publication Date: 
Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I am a lifelong organizer—in labor and community settings—and am proud to say that I helped spearhead the living-wage campaign in Baltimore twenty years ago this fall. Our campaign was led by the religious leaders of BUILD—Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development, an affiliate of the Industrial Areas Foundation—along with a team of determined low-wage service workers. While we received support from the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), this effort was conceived, planned, implemented and owned by local civic and clergy leaders alongside local workers. We won in Baltimore. Then, two years later, with almost no support from organized labor, we won in New York City. And we found that we had sparked a wave of living wage battles in cities and counties across the country that continues to this day. (click link for more)



 

Religious leaders push for changes in gun industry

Publication Date: 
Monday, November 10, 2014

Urging more dialogue from gun manufacturers, a group of religious leaders backed by more than 60 municipalities – including some in North Jersey – brought their message directly to the Manhattan doorstep of one of the gun industry's biggest financial supporters on Monday, but left disappointed. The group, Do Not Stand Idly By, tried to deliver a letter to the chief executive of Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity firm with investments in two major gun manufacturers. In six states, teams from the group delivered “requests for information” to seven major gun manufacturers, hoping to learn more about the companies’ distribution practices and efforts to improve gun safety technology. (click link for more)

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Build senior housing with surplus billions

Publication Date: 
Sunday, October 26, 2014

With Albany preoccupied with an election that inspires no one outside of the capitol bubble and with City Hall distracted by an inability to deal with a staffing crisis of its own making, it might seem foolhardy to expect the city and state’s top political leaders to look 20 years ahead. But that’s what the distracted mayor and preoccupied governor must do if a deepening crisis in senior housing and senior services is to be averted. (click link for more)

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