Open Phones: Occupy Your Street

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Today we are asking listeners, what local causes did you take on in your neighborhood this year? 

Call 212-433-WNYC, 212-433-9692 at 10:40 and let us know.

Comments [18]

I have been working on bringing this working class co-op act in accordance with the by-laws and proprietary lease. Not a dictatorship and totally non transparent organization. IMO we stand a good chance of embezzlement, the way the BOD handles matters and refuses to follow the proprietary lease. We need a Cooperative Apartment Ombudsmen or similar, to ensure that the co-op by-laws and proprietary lease that the AG signed off on are enforced, without cost to the shareholder. Currently the attorney general office usually refuses to do anything, Some boards have contacted the AG office concerning embezzlement of co-op monies by their treasurer and the AG office still will not follow through, putting the co-op them in a position to spend the money on a lawyer to prosecute it or drop it and at least know they will not lose more of the building monies in attorney fee's with no chance of repayment. Why keep this AG office of co-op real estate in operation, it is a waste of our monies.
The board of directors and managing company of this co-op give fraudulent information to the new tenants and what the proprietary lease states, By- laws or Garage parking rules specify ( self-dealing BOD Pot of Gold)
Someone also provided the falsified true owner/occupied ratio. It is really around 50%. The Last two buyers were told 90%. One was a foreclosure, so the O/O ratio had to come from the managing company. i doubt banks will finance an apartment building when the owner-occupancy ratio is anywhere near that, nor will banks mortgage an individual co-op with that low an O/O ratio. I am dealing with self dealing by the president, a board that will not do anything to correct the violations by the president and managing company of the the BCL, proprietary lease, and by-laws. A board that doesn't know who has check signing powers or the name of the bank the maintenance account has moved to, just an account # and PO Box was given. The BOD member's i spoke to see no problem with that. The Refusal to provide the list of shareholders as provided for in the BCL, and the right to view the financial records as provided for in the proprietary lease.

Dec. 29 2011 02:31 PM
Cynthia from LES

We worked during 2011 to raise neighborhood awareness and to appeal to the NYC EDC to reconsider its plan to raze the historic, unique Essex Street Market and replace it with a new market as part of the larger SPURA development. The original market has been in operation for over 70 years and it is presently a thriving, unique, eclectic, multi-faceted market that meets the needs of our diverse neighborhood. We cannot lose anymore of our Lower East Side heritage, and we do not want the possibility of multi-generational vendors displaced.

There are proposed solutions to preserve the current market -- which the vendors themselves want as well -- that will not prevent the development of the parking lots on Delancey. We seek that the the NYC EDC protect its historic and functioning assets. Once we lose our living history, it's gone.

Dec. 29 2011 11:27 AM
patrick from West Orange, NJ

Like many communities we are dealing with less revenue to pay for the services some of us have taken for granted for many years. While these difficulties have to be dealt with we decided that, rather than focus on the negative we would create a video pointing out everything that is amazing about our community. Judging by the comments the video has received on YouTube it seems to have had a positive effect. While there are very real issues that need to be wrestled with we believe that building on the strengths of a community can help the community overall.

Dec. 29 2011 11:11 AM

Hello Brian, wake up your staff. Anyone one of these topics below would make a great segment in 2012. Let's do them all! oh, and Happy New Year, Becky. ;)

Dec. 29 2011 11:09 AM
Stella from Greenpoint Brooklyn

In September I took the lead from to organize an effort to develop a piece of vacant public land near waterfront Greenpoint into a public garden and living laboratory of sorts for various urban green projects. There are approximately 596 acres of vacant public land laying in waste in Brooklyn.

We are currently awaiting a hearing with the city to be granted access and feel confident we will be given it.

Pls visit to learn more and/or to donate to our first fundraising campaign hosted by You will find a link for that on our blog's Dec 24 post.

Dec. 29 2011 11:08 AM
The Truth from Becky

Occupy the Boardwalk!

Dec. 29 2011 11:02 AM
Julie Sloane from Jersey City, NJ

I live in Jersey City Heights. My neighbors and I are beginning to trap the feral cats on our block and take them to be neutered. The process is known as TNR, which stands for Trap-Neuter-Release, and it is a far more humane and effective method of controlling the feral cat population than just trapping the animals and taking them to a shelter, where they are likely to be euthanized. With TNT, the neutered cats are returned to the neighborhood to live out their lives. Because cats are very territorial, they will keep new feral cats from coming in -- and of course there will be much less fighting and no new kittens will be born.

We were trained in this process by a charitable organization called Companion Animal Trust, but the organization has run out of funds so we are just going ahead on our own, and are planning to continue as long as we can afford to do it.

Thanks -- great show!!

Dec. 29 2011 11:00 AM
Renee in Hell's Kitchen from Hell's Kitchen, NYC

My local cause is restoration the retired FDNY fireboat John J. Harvey; we are berthed at Pier 66 maritime, which is 26th st & the Hudson River. A terrific boat that has a great history. We have a website,, to learn more about her.
Happy New Year; love the show!

Dec. 29 2011 10:57 AM

Your first caller about the fireboat John Harvey reminded me of a similar charity based in/on the tanker Mary Whalen in Red Hook called PortSide dedicated to educating/informing people of New York's blue spaces.

Dec. 29 2011 10:54 AM
Vanessa Albury from Brooklyn

I started a curatorial project with a fellow artist called the December Store, which is an artists multiples and small works pop-up store. We sold works by about 60 mostly local artists who are for the most part not represented by commercial galleries. The December Store directly supports local artists and makes collecting art an option for people with lower incomes, with each work being priced under $100. We also raised funds to support our host gallery, .NO, which is an artists run non-profit. One artist who is represented commercially to us that he had the biggest sales of his work ever through our little community-based project.

Dec. 29 2011 10:53 AM

Occupy the Bowery! There is such a rich history of NYC on the Bowery. Buildings that have hung around for centuries. Places that represent the state of Manhattan before the Civil War are still around. Before its skid row days, it was the main thoroughfare in the City and the major home for Yiddish theater, tap dance and vaudeville origins, but greedy developers are tearing historic places down just to make money, money, money. I've been working with my local community group, Bowery Alliance of Neighbors, to preserve some of NYC's oldest structures, but our local council person, Margaret Chin, is in the pocket of the banks and developers. So, it's an uphill struggle, but this legendary boulevard deserves to be protected and cherished.

Dec. 29 2011 10:50 AM
Sue Williams from West Village


For the second year in a row, I ran a toy drive out of the Cowgirl Restaurant for the Christmas holiday, benefitting the Jennie Clark Women and Children's Shelter in Spanish Harlem. Cowgirl is very popular in the West Village and known for its community feel, and I was able to collect many toys because of their reputation. I am so proud to be a part of their family. Next year will be even bigger!!!!

Dec. 29 2011 10:50 AM
The Truth from Becky

Trying to listen patiently but why are people saying Happy New Year so soon, why can't you wait until next week?? Annoying...knock it off!

Dec. 29 2011 10:49 AM
Ed from Larchmont

I spent the year continuing to learn as much as I could about the Catholic Church and trying to evangelize when I could because many times people's ideas of the Catholic Church are inaccurate and wildly misguided. The New Evangelization.

Dec. 29 2011 10:49 AM
Jen from Prospect Heights

My neighborhood is about to be overrun by the Atlantic Yards stadium. I got involved with my local community board to try to manage the onslaught of new liquor license applications. There has to be a way to support local businesses without becoming the East Village.

Dec. 29 2011 10:47 AM
maw from ny, ny

Word Up Community Bookstore in Washington Heights - a 100% volunteer-powered bookstore & community arts space @ 176th St & B'way!

Dec. 29 2011 10:44 AM

Trying to protect rent control protections. I live in a community that has been gentrified within an in inch of it's life and has changed from a blue-collar, mixed income and ethnicity community to an overwhelmingly white, upscale bedroom community with a density of luxury housing. Now the developers and professional landlords (most of whom don't even live here) have come for rent control. Because of the demographic changes to the town, even among the newly arrived renters, there is a lack of support. While campaigning to raise awareness of the rent control issue, I got the feeling people are embarrassed to be seen as renters. The new code word here in town is "I'm a tax payer" meaning "I own". It a class issue. Our mayor is a millionaire as are many of our elected officials and that is the constituency they serve - other millionaires.

My town: Hoboken.

Dec. 29 2011 10:43 AM
gene from NYC

I wrote in, by email and letter, to protest the full-page RJR tobacco ads in my local newspaper, The Villager.

The letter was not printed. OK. But worse, the message board posting was also deleted--as were my follow-up protests about the deletions.

NOT what I expected from The Villager.

And in Greenwich Village, whose history has virtually been defined--from Thomas Paine to Mark Twain to Alan Ginsburg to Lenny Bruce to Bob Dylan--by its battles against censorship.

Particularly ugly is The Villager's censorship of a neighborhood resident on behalf of its advertiser--a tobacco company from North Carolina that has been convicted in a Federal Court of racketeering for its promulgation, often through advertising, of misleading information to the American public.

Occupy The Villager!

Dec. 29 2011 10:18 AM

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