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Party time

hose endless arguments about whether to change the system from the inside or the out-
side are useless row. In New York in the 1990s, being an outsider is the best way to
become an insider.
Case in point: Party boss Ray Harding, who looks and acts like every character
actor in the Maltese Falcon rolled into aile. Harding used to be a lurking insignificance on
the political periphery of New York City. In 1993, self-conscious Democrats were looking
for a way to choose Giuliani without actually having to pull a GOP lever. That's when
Harding broke red his party's only asset-its capacity to put Rudy Giuliani's name on the
ballot under the word "Liberal "-into kingmaker status.
Now Ray can get even his dimmest children $100,000 jobs at
City Hall.
By owning one tiny column on the ballot, a third party can, in
deft hands, become an instant player. To get a piece of this action,
you need to turn out 50,000 votes in the statewide governor's race.
The Liberal Party, is, as the saying goes, neither a party nor lib-
eral. But what if an organization came along that was both?
Ellter the Families Party, a novel creation by a coalition of unions and
ACORN with a hardcore progressive agenda: fairness in workfare, increased economic
development in poor neighborhoods, better schools.
Its tactics are sofi,core Harding: Get your name on the ballot, get mainstream politi-
cians to knock on yovr door, get them to carry part of your agenda.
The party is backing City Council Speaker Peter Vallone for governor, a controversial
move that has alienated people who think Vallone's leadership in the council is too conser-
They Ileed to chill.
From a purely tactical perspective, the Vallone endorsement isn't such a bad idea.
The speaker has shown sufficient flexibility on the issues and, from their point of view,
he's a lot better than Betsy Ross, who made her national fame by calling for an end to
workfare as she knew it.
Lots of lefties have created PACs over the years, thinking that they are taking a big,
bold step into the world of politics. Dozens of potato-chip fundraisers have been thrown
and scores of $]0 checks have bounced, and there are a lot of very thin PAC folders
moldering in state filing cabinets.
A political party is, at the very least, a living thing. For the sake of local democracy,
let 's hope the Working Families Party doesn't soon become a dying thing. We've already
got one of those: They call it the New York State Democratic Party.
Early Fall

Glenn Thrush
What ever happened to August? We don't mean that in the summer-went-by-so-fast way,
but literally, what happened to an August/September issue of City Limits? In order to straight-
en out our distribution system, we've switched to a September/October issue during the sum-
mer. But don't worry: We haven't skipped an issue, the magazine will come out the same time
each month and every subscriber will receive all the issues they paid for. We promise.
Cover photo by Gregory P. Mango
City Limits relies on the generous support of its readers and advertisers, as well as the following funders: The Robert Sterling Clark
Foundation, The Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock, The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, The Joyce Mertz
Gilmore Foundation, The Schenman Founda/ion, The North Star Fund, J.P. Morgan & Co. Incorporated, The Booth Ferris Foundation,
The Annie E. Casey Foundation, The New York Foundation, The Taconic Foundation, M& T Bank, Citibank, and Chase Manhattan Bank.

(ity Limits
Volume XXIII Number 7
City Limits is published ten times per year, monthly except
bi-monthly issues in June/July and September/October, by
the City Limits Community Information Service, Inc., a non-
profit organization devoted to disseminating information
concerning neighborhood revitalization.
Publisher: Kim Nauer
Editors: Glenn Thrush, Carl Vogel
Senior Editor: Robin Epstein
Associate Editors: Kemba Johnson, Kathleen McGowan
Contributing Editors: James Bradley, Michael Hirsch,
Andrew White
Interns: Heather Bryant, Kezia Parsons, Idra Rosenberg
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Pete Williams, National Urban League
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Landmarks Omission
African-Americans have been making history in New York for centuries,
but you'd never know it from the roster of city landmarks and historic districts.
A beauty-biased landmarks commission is to blame, but so are some community
leaders. By Kemba Johnson
Yonkers Race Trap
After years of haggling, housing desegregation is finally a done deal in New
York City's unofficial sixth borough. Five years after 200 poor families moved
out of the projects and into white neighborhoods, the fight is over. Real integration,
though, hasn't even begun. By Kathleen McGowan
Gunning for Gus
By representing pro-democracy union dissidents, lawyer Arthur Schwartz is doing
well while doing good. Can he finally unseat untouchable maintenance union boss
Gus Bevona? By Michael Hirsch
Force Out
Since state Republicans defunded the City-Wide Task Force this spring, the hand
maidens of Housing Court have been fighting just to stay alive.
By Idra Rosenberg
Stuck in Lodi
The teenagers of Lodi, New Jersey thought they had heard enough about the
fatal factory explosion that killed five people in their town. Then they interviewed Jim
By Robin Epstein
No Power of Attorney
Bedford-Stuyvesant's Legal Services chapter has high-paid managers and a
$1.4 million budget, but until recently it had zero staff attorneys. How one of New
York's poorest communities is struggling with substandard legal representation .
. By Glenn Thrush
Loco 3369
The leaders of the Social Security workers union are so busy plotting against
each other, it's a wonder anyone gets their retirement checks. By Idra Rosenberg
130 Review
Yanqui Doodle By Edgardo Vega Yunque
Cityview 132
Eyewitness to a Merger By Mark Winston Griffith
Editorial 2 Ammo 33
Letters 4
Job Ads 35
Briefs 5
Directory 36

Coin' M.ntal
City Limits received more letters and
e-mails about Kevin Heldman's undercover
investigation of life inside a city mental
ward, ("7 1/2 Days;' June/July 1998) than
for any recent story we have run. While the
correspondence we received after publica-
tion was overwhelmingly positive, two let-
ters sent to us before the story ran left a far
chillier impression.
While Heldman was reporting the
piece, the city's Health and Hospitals
Corporation press office declined to
answer detailed questions. Then, on June
3, just before the piece was due to go to
press, HHC's legal department wrote us a
letter demanding a pre-publication copy,
labeling the story "potentially libelous"
before reading it. The following are HHC's
letters and a letter City Limits publisher
Kim Nauer wrote back offering to reserve
our letters page--the space you are read-
ing now---for their response. We have not
heard from HHC since the story appeared.
The following includes our entire
exchange with HHC.
Dear Ms. Nauer:
I have been informed by the
Corporation's Office of Communications
that your publication intends to write an
article in connection with one of the hospi-
tals managed by Health and Hospitals
Corporation (HHC), Woodhull Medical
and Mental Health center. The article
apparently deals with the alleged experi-
ences of the author, Kevin Heldman, who
spent seven and a half days as an in-patient
in Woodhull's psychiatric unit.
Mr. Heldman has had numerous con-
versations with Dr. Jane Zimmerman,
HHC's Vice President for
For 20Years
We've Been There
R&F OF NEW YORK., INC. has a special
department obtaining and servicing insurance for
tenants, low-income co-ops and not-for-profit
community groups. We have developed competitive
insurance programs based on a careful evaluation
of the special needs of our customers. We have
been a leader from the start and are dedicated to
the people of New York City.
For In/ormation call:
Ingrid Kaminski, Executive Vice President
R&F of New York
One Wall Street Court
New York, NY 10005-3302
212 269-8080 800 635-6002 212 269-8112 (fax)
Communications, in which he has made
serious allegations about his treatment.
However, a review of Mr. Heldman's alle-
gations has been conducted and we con-
clude that none of them are supported by
the medical record. Mr. Heldman has
received a copy of his records and we
strongly suggest that you review them in
assessing the accuracy of his article. In
addition, we request an advance copy of
the article prior to publication, so that we
may be afforded the opportunity to
respond in a timely fashion.
I would also like to bring to your atten-
tion the fact that Mr. Heldman misrepre-
sented himself to Dr. Zimmerman by ini-
tially claiming that the information he had
obtained concerning Woodhull Hospital
was from an anonymous source. It was
only after Dr. Zimmerman made numerous
requests for the patient's name, so that we
could investigate the serious charges
which were being made, that he finally
revealed that he was the source of all the
information and that the "anonymous
source" never existed.
We believe Mr. Heldman's conduct is
not only unprofessional, but also reprehen-
sible given your statement to Dr.
Zimmerman that Mr. Heldman feigned
mental illness to gain admission into the
psychiatric unit for the sole purpose of
writing an article. For seven-and-a-half
days, Mr. Heldman diverted scarce and
important resources from patients who
truly required medical care.
We assume that City Limits is a respon-
sible publication and will not allow false
and potentially libelous statements to tar-
nish the excellent reputation of Woodhull
Barbara R. Keller
HHC Office of Legal Affairs
Deputy Counsel
KlmNau.rr p o n d ~ :
We will not be able to furnish you with
a pre-publication copy of the article. No
one has been accorded that privilege.
I believe that we did give Dr. Jane
Zimmerman and officials at the Health and
(Continued on page 33)
Juvenile Justice
ITrial SiD!
nly II teenage trouble makers have
been referred to the South Bronx
Community Justice Center Youth Court
since it opened in early April, City
Limits has learned.
The much-publicized alternative court has
averaged fewer than one defendant every week,
according to staff members--even though it could
handle five times as many young lawbreakers.
Instead, the largely teenage staff, who act as
prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, jurors and
note-takers, spend court hours hanging out in a
cozy living-room space at the South Bronx
Community Justice Center.
''The administration is scared to try something
new, people are skeptical of programs run by
youth," says Jose Rosado, a gang outreach worker
with Youth Force, the Mott Haven-based nonprof-
it that runs the court. The team also does street out-
reach, community action projects and legal educa-
tion classes.
Family Court judges, at the recommendation of
probation officials, are supposed to refer low-level
juvenile offenders to the court. The alternative
court then "sentences" defendants to perform com-
munity service jobs with Youth Force. If a defen-
dant does not comply, he or she is returned to
Family Court for conventional sentencing.
So far, the teenagers brought to the court have
included kids accused of drug possession and
petty larceny. According to Youth Force director
Kim McGillicuddy, the court has assigned them to
gang prevention projects, voter registration drives
and a mural painting program and has used the
troubled teens to organize basketball leagues. At a
trial attended by City Limits, one 10th grader
caught with marijuana was sentenced to serve on
two juries at the Youth Court, complete five hours
of work on a community action project and spend
four hours at a legal education and gang preven-
tion workshop.
Mary Ellen Flynn, assistant commissioner with
the city's Department of Probation, explains that
few offenders were initially available for referral
because the court's catchment area was too small.
"More recently, we have broadened out the area,"
she says.
But youth advocates say the program is under-
used because the probation department and Family
Court judges may be reluctant to refer juveniles to
alternative-to-incarceration and alternative-to-
court programs-including the youth court.
"Nobody but [the Department of] Probation
knows why they aren't getting the referrals," says
Darlene Jorif, director of the Juvenile Justice program
at the Correctional Association of New York, which
advocates for criminal justice reform. "My guess is
that, given the changes in the Department of
Probation-their a1temative-to-court program lost
almost $200,000 in this year's budget, and they're just
now starting up a new diversion program-these
things are taking attention away from the need to refer
to youth court." -Kezia Parsons

harging that the city is failing in its
obligation to house homeless AIDS
clients, Housing Works filed suit
against the city on June 22 in an
attempt to force it to comply with a
municipal law that requires medically adequate
housing for AIDS patients.
The goal of the suit, says a Housing Works
lawyer, is to obtain an injunction that would
require the city to provide same-day emergency
housing for homeless people living with AIOS.
Named in the suit are Gregory Caldwell, deputy
commissioner of the Oivision of AIDS Services
and Income Support [OASIS) and Jason Turner,
commissioner of the Human Resources
Administration, OASIS' parent agency.
"OASIS has been literally turning people out
on the street," says Armen Merjian, a Housing
Works lawyer. "This is a gross violation of human
rights and a violation of the OASIS law. It is also
a violation of OASIS protocol."
Local Law 49, passed by the City Council in
July 1997, mandates "medically appropriate" hous-
ing for OASIS clients, including in-room refrigera-
tors and bathrooms that lock. The OASIS manual
stipulates that the agency's Emergency Placement
Unit on West 13th Street must provide same-day
housing in emergency situations.
But according to the complaint, a caseworker
at the EPU said that "on any given day, 20 [clients)
show up at the OASIS offices seeking housing,
and maybe four or five get housed." Housing
Works ftied the case on behalf of two homeless
people with AIDS who have been requesting
housing from OASIS for the past four months.
This housing shortage is linked to the seven-
month-old boycott of new OASIS referrals by 33
commercial single-room occupancy hotels. As
reported by City Limits in May, the hotel owners
are refusing new referrals because the city owes
them some $3 million in back rent. The number
of OASIS clients in commercial SROs has
dropped from 1,539 in February to 1,137 in
"We are seeking nothing radical," says
Merjian. "We just want the city to comply with its
own protocol and the law: same-day placement in
'medically appropriate' transitional or permanent
housing for people with AIDS."

"HRA is committed to providing housing sup-
port for people with AIDS," says agency spokes-
woman Oebra Sproles. "We are pursuing multiple
strategies to ensure that people who need housing
get housing." -Dylan Foley
Mental Health
From the
few years ago, Robin Simon wasn't
sure she'd ever work again. She
dreamt of doing advocacy work for
people with mental illness, but
thought her own psychiatric history
would keep her in treatment-and out of the work-
place. But thanks to a "peer specialist" training
program, Simon is an advocate at Club Access, a
Lower East Side resource center for people with
psychiatric disabilities. Simon helps her peers deal
with benefits, roommates and other problems.
"I've had experiences with side effects of meds,
and I can say 'Yeah, I've been there,'" she says.
"Providers can't."
Simon got her training through a unique intern-
ship program for people with mental illnesses at
the Howie the Harp Advocacy Center on Stanton
Street in Manhattan. Howie-his real name was
Howard Geld-was a mean harmonica player with
an eighth grade education who became a patient
advocate in the 1970s. With his own history of
mental illness, Geld believed that people who have
been through the psychiatric system make ideal
advocates and social workers. Geld, who was also
the director of Club Access, founded the center
that bears his name shortly before his death in
The Howie the Harp center prepares students
for outreach, counseling, advocacy, and case man-
agement jobs. It offers more than 100 hours of
classroom training on everything from legal enti-
tlements and cultural sensitivity to stress manage-
ment, followed by hands-on internship work. And
it provides job search assistance and support
Simon has begun educating hospital workers
on how to treat patients more considerately. "I
don't want anyone to experience what I went
through," she says. "It was devastating."
-Heather Bryant
...... ----------.... ---------------Briem
Bnmo's Boom
hen it comes to handing out hous-
ing money, Governor George
Pataki serves the bacon upstate and
leaves Gotham the gristle. New
York City may be home to 60 per-
cent of the state's poor-and 80 percent of its
homeless-but you wouldn' t know that from
July's announcement of state funding for low- to
moderate-income housing projects.
Pataki, who chooses how to spend tax credit
and Housing Trust Fund cash, gave the city bare-
ly one quarter of the $117 million total. But he
was very generous to the man who tried to kill
rent regulations last summer, Republican State
Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno.
According to a City Limits analysis, the state is
pumping at least $8.7 million in affordable hous-
ing cash into Bruno's solidly middle-class upstate
district, which includes Rensselaer and Saratoga
counties. New York City, with nearly half the
state's population, got a total of $29.4 million.
"It's atrocious," says Brad Lander, director of
Brooklyn's Fifth Avenue Comminee, which was
among the few city organizations to receive
money. "[The city 1 should be getting at least 50
percent, when you consider the poverty rate and
our level of need."

HAVE ff!l
Bruno has taken a big piece of the newly cre-
ated $9 million Senior Housing Initiative: Projects
in Rensselaer and Saratoga ate up $4.2 million,
while New York City only got $960,000.
Even though it has the flfth-Iowest poverty rate
of New York's 62 counties and a racetrack that has
long attracted the state's Knickerbocker elite,
Saratoga will soon receive a dose of government
housing support. The sleepy 6,687-person Village
of Hoosick Falls has a poverty rate two points
lower than the county's modest 5.9 percent, but it
received $340,000 in low-income HOME funds.
Nearby Malta will soon get 82 new units of senior
housing; $1.6 million will go to towns in Bruno's
district that were hit hard by last winter's ice

m @WCAN'T t

''The Senator is very much concerned about
affordable housing upstate as well as in the rest of
the state," says a Bruno spokesperson.
If any New York City politician did well under
the Pataki plan, it was Brooklyn Democrat Vito
Lopez, chairman of the state Assembly's housing
committee. Lopez, whose bid to hike the state's
housing budget was vetoed by Pataki in the
spring, still managed to deliver $2.5 million to his
longtime favorite, the Ridgewood-Bushwick
Senior Citizen Center.
In all, the city will see only $6.1 million of the
$24 million Low-Income Housing Trust Fund,
used to rehab dilapidated buildings. City nonprof-
its will receive $5.3 million of the $16.6 million
slated for the state's low-income tax credit pro-
gram. -Glenn Thrush
Want a $493 apartment in the
Lower East Side? So do a lot of
other people, as city Housing Preservation & Development commissioner
Richard Roberts found out in late June.
Pranksters placed an ad in the Village Voice advertising one-bedroom apart-
ments for $493 and two-bedroom apartments for $564, listing the commish's
phone number, to dramatize the city's lack of affordable housing. His lines
were flooded. -Kathleen McGowan

Cunning For Cus
Lawyer Arthur Schwartz is making a mint,
a reputation and a hell of a case against lush-life
_P.R.O_FI ... L E ~ : union boss Gus Bevona. By Michael Hirsch
Arthur Schwartz has
made a mainstream
career out of repre-
senting union dissi-
n the 11th floor of the federal
court building last winter, high
above Foley Square, a middle-
aged attorney was methodically
yanking at the underpinnings of one of
New York's oldest-style labor machines.
With a mat of tousled hair and a tufty mus-
tache making him look like a Wheaten
Terrier in a drip-dry suit, Arthur Z.
Schwartz was making labor history. The
45-year-old labor lawyer was representing
Carlos Guzman, an Ecuadorian porter
employed at the World Trade Center.
Guzman, with Schwartz's help and guid-
ance, has spent much of the 1990s trying
to unseat the city's most notorious labor
chieftain, Gus Bevona, boss of the 52,000-
member Service Employees International
Union Local 32B-32J.
It isn't just the $500,000 in multiple
salaries feeding the portly Bevona's all-
you-can-eat lifestyle that miffs Guzman
and the other reformers. Nor is it the huge
penthouse office or even the spectacle of
Bevona's sumptuous 5,541-square-foot
Babylon, Long Island home, recently
appraised at $860,000 and sporting three
full baths, a boat house, a pool and two
power boats moored to his private pier.
The thing that galvanizes his opponents
is how bad the union's rank-and-ftle does
by comparison-and how little Bevona
has done to improve their lot. Residential
doormen and janitors, regardless of time
on the job, earn less than $30,245 annual-
ly, and that is only if they stay with the
same employer for 30 months. New hires
earn 20 percent less.
The insurgents-members who chal-
lenge the entrenched structure of the
union-say Bevona stood idle as commer-
cial building managers severely under-
mined the union's strength by hiring non-
union cleaning firms. In response, union
firms have had to lower their wages and
standards to compete. In the last seven
years, 500 employers have pulled out of
the union's master contract with building
owners. As a result, the union has lost
13,500 members since 1991, and has been
forced to jack up dues to pay for the loss
and Bevona's lush lifestyle.
Still, the union boss has been able to
maintain a powerful local network of
1,000 allied shop stewards, who have
helped him beat back reformers in low-
turnout union elections. During the last
three years, Bevona has also turned back
two bylaws challenges that would have
curbed his power and his salary.
But now, Schwartz, hardly a household
name outside of labor circles, may accom-
plish what prosecutors, insurgents, and
even Andrew Stern, president of the inter-
national union, have never been able to do:
get Bevona out.
..... al Musel.
New York City may be home to a lot of
union legal muscle, but little of it gets
flexed for dissidents. Schwartz is one of
the few litigators in the city specializing in
"union democracy," the movement to
make internal union elections and proce-
dures more responsive to members.
In Guzman's case, pressing for democ-
racy is also a way of attacking Bevona,
who he believes has been unresponsive to
the demands of 32B-32J's growing immi-
grant rank-and-file.
Schwartz, more than any other lawyer,
has taken on the mantle of defending
rebels like Guzman. Clarence Darrow's
portrait hangs in his University Place
office, and it is no exaggeration to say that
Schwartz-despite his six-figure income-
hungers to be his generation's "attorney
for the damned."
He grew up "just the north side of
Pelham Parkway," and in 1972 faced
expUlsion from Columbia University after
leading demonstrations against the
Vietnam war. Facing a university trial ,
Schwartz was able to convince iconoclas-
tic civil liberties lawyer William Kunstler
to represent him. When they heard that
Kunstler, master of the trial as spectacle,
was involved, Columbia dropped the
charges. Schwartz eventually decided to
go to Hofstra Law School and Kunstler
gained another acolyte.
"I thought he was the coolest guy in the
world and I wanted to be just like him,"
Schwartz says.
But he is not. Schwartz is no "radical"
lawyer like Kunstler's longtime associate
Ron Kuby, whose high profile race cases,
including the initial defense of Long Island
Railroad gunman Colin Ferguson, are
splashy if not always effective. And
Schwartz has embraced mainstream politics
in a way that few revolutionary lawyers ever
have. While Kunstler and Kuby eschewed
party politics, Schwartz is a Democratic dis-
trict leader in the West Village and an enthu-
siastic supporter of moderate Brooklynite
Charles Schumer's Senate run.
"Over the years, I've come to believe
that having a revolution and turning
American society on its head is not just
impossible but undesirable," he says. "My
experience with those who would lead this
'revolution' is that they might want to
impose a model that is even less democra-
tic than the one we have now. But that part
about supporting dissidents is a theme that
continues to run through me."
If Schwartz resembles anyone, it would
be his late partner, labor lawyer Burton
Hall, who often represented troublemakers
in corrupt or mobbed-up painters', labor-
ers' and carpenters' locals. It was during
his apprenticeship with Hall that Schwartz
adopted his penchant for taking on lost-
cause cases. It was there too that he culti-
vated the goal of creating legal precedent
to make it easier for his union clients to
make their cases in the future.
In the early 1980s, after representing a
laborers' union official whose testimony
helped bring down Reagan labor secretary
Ray Donovan, Schwartz struck out on his
From there he set up his own firm with
then-partners Dan Clifden and Louis
Nikolaides, taking on big money clients
like UNITE's Local 169 and the Transport
Workers Union Local 101, which repre-
sents Brooklyn Union Gas employees.
At the same time he began represent-
ing, pro bono, union insurgents who were
being cheated out of the chance to chal-
lenge their leaders.
Over the years his client roster has grown
to include nearly every union insurgent in
New York. In addition to the 32B-32J dissi-
dents, he represents the New Caucus, an
insurgent group in the 6,OOO-member City
University's Professional Staff Congress.
Another client is New Directions, the
activists running to take over the 33,000-
member Transport Workers LocaJ 100. Last
winter, he represented 36 rent strikers at 10
Sheridan Square, supporting a three-month
job action by the building's doormen and
maintenance staff, who were fighting a 60
percent pay cut and other take-backs.
As it turns out, these pro bono clients
have become almost as lucrative as his butter-
and-egg work. When he wins cases, defen-
dants are often forced to pay his expenses,
and Schwartz bills at $300 an hour. 'That's
WaIl Street rates," says Leon Friedman, his
former Hofstra law professor and a weU-
known employment discrimination attorney.
Schwartz often crosses that thin line
between doing good and doing weU, and it
makes his opponents howl. Take transit
union president Willie James, who lost to
Schwartz in a 1995 case that overturned the
local's expulsion of James's New Directions
opponents. "[Schwartz and his clients] are
not real unionists," James says. "Real union-
ists don't sue their own union. The only one
who benefited was their lawyer."
And benefit Schwartz did-to the tune
of $100,000 in court fees, even though his
clients only received $1 in punitive dam-
ages from James.
Bevona'. Flr.t Defeat
His pro bono crusade against Bevona is
shaping up to be his most important case
yet. Last December, Schwartz and
Guzman dealt the union leader a serious
Working Tiffs
It's hard to find II iltarnallIIIon scrap In New York that doesn't Involve
lawyer ArUIur Schwartz. Hera 11'8 four II his hottest _ion fights:
.1IIIrIIt c..Ill, .... 1Ioy CaInna' lithe 8, .......... 1M
ServIce Taclllllcal GIld hid to .. twice In tine ..... to beat .,...
Lou Albano. The first tID, 1 praia"", vote COIIIt IIIowing
r.omn. .... was voided aftar baIoIs were lost. ConIner's DC 37 ___
gent ....., the CommittIe for Real Change, named Schwartz Its C8IIISII
in nid-JuIy. r.omn. lid Ills .radaratas want to InItituta direct ..... -
benhIp iIIt8Id lillie waIgIIbId __ .... cumntIy In place.
TrE 1,Ift ..... II1II, lIIII_ WIlle James .... 1 fractioa
32,----" local II SIIbwQ and bus ...... that Is divided betw_
his suppartan and tIIose II the mlUtant New Directions caucua. .....
aITOWIy won re-election In IIQ, but his opponents, Schwartz clients,
lOW hold 22 II the local's 35 ...uve board positions.
CrttIca .., James too auIIy ICCOIIIIOdatad the citr TransIt
AuthorIty's _ flwwkfare ...... -1 move tile union boa SQI he has
no problem wtth.
."a'IIIIr ...... 0 ..... AIIlrlll. FdE ... .rTIIIIlIn.ln this
CUNY faculty and profassIonaI staff local, tile dlllnncas between 1 ... -
beRt president Irwin PoIIshook and his New Caucus critics are largely
Though the orncan and their antapIsta .... 011 the .. side In
the .... fight to save ..... adIIIIuIons and ........ programs at the
cIQ IIIIMnItJ system, the New caucus ICCI_ PaIIshook of being
IIIIimagiaativa and too sort 011 CUNY cuttars.
.......... .... .r ... a litE ,111111 Earllertllis
year, ...., clerical staff and caf8tarIa workan aIect8d Schwartz-ally
8rigit Scott as their new prasIdent. Scott, who chaired the local's
_'I ...uttae, IUI'VIved aa arrort to have her candidacy disqualI-
fied. She also IMI'CIIII8 int8rnaI union charges flied against her by tile
incumbent. -MH

blow. Schwartz and Guzman convinced
federal judge Richard Owen to take the
administration of a union vote out of
Bevona's hands. Guzman, in addition to
running against Bevona, has long pressed
for basic member rights like electing union
representatives and ratifying contracts.
In their argument before the judge, dissi-
dents cited intimidation and vote-tampering
at the February 1997 bylaws balloting held
at a Midtown hotel and handily won by
Bevona. Verondo Wilkerson, a Park Avenue
doorman, said he saw "people voting four
and five ballots at a time." Boxes were left
unattended as union suits sauntered over,
casually dropping in paper ballots. Members
had to vote in full view of business agents
wearing "Vote No" stickers.
Many members left without voting
because the polling place selected was
inside one of the hotel's smallest confer-
ence rooms, causing long waits for work-
ers who had to take time off to cast their
In addition, the local used English-only
Schwartz will
argue that
Bevona is
engaged in
11m isfeasan ce"
and must repay
the union some
$2.4 million.
ballots for the predominantly foreign-born
and Spanish-speaking membership. The
leadership's "Vote No" recommendations
were prominently displayed on the ballots
The judge cited "an enormous risk of
abuse of power by the incumbent leader-
ship," following an array of irregularities
at an earlier vote.
When Guzman managed to force a sec-
ond bylaws race, Bevona won that one,
too. Then the judge weighed in heavily:
He ordered virtually all of Schwartz's
clean-elections suggestions. From now on,
32B-321's elections will be held all day at
multiple sites, with new restrictions placed
on electioneering at the polls and by staff
at work sites. Most importantly, Owen
ruled that the union would have to pay for
court-appointed, union-paid election offi-
cers to run the new voting.
This federal intervention in internal
union business was so profound it drew the
ire of the politically powerful Central
Labor Council and its leader, Queens
Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin.
McLaughlin, along with the executive
council of the union umbrella group, went
so far as to support an amicus brief chal-
lenging Guzman's victory. (See City
Limits, February 1998.)
"You may be one hundred percent cor-
rect that your rights were abridged,"
CLC's attorney Douglas Menagh told
Guzman. "But the broad judicial issue is
whether the federal judiciary should inter-
fere in the internal affairs of a local
Colng for th. Kill
But if Schwartz bloodied Bevona's
nose in the Owen ruling, he is aiming for
Bevona's throat in another legal case.
In 1990, Bevona proposed hiking
dues-and his own salary-by 25 percent.
After Guzman vocally opposed him,
Bevona paid a gumshoe to find dirt on
Guzman. When Guzman found out about
it, he sued and was awarded $100,000.
Had the case ended there, the wounded
Bevona could have counted himself lucky.
But in 1996, Guzman and Schwartz
discovered that the 32B-321 boss had used
union money to pay the juogment, along
with $400,000 in fees to Guzman's attor-
ney and more than $1 million for his own
On October 19, Schwartz will argue in
federal court that Bevona, because he and
his other officers engaged in "misfea-
sance," must repay the union some $2.4
Bevona looks cornered. Federal judge
Robert Patterson has already ruled that the
union's attorneys cannot represent
Bevona, and few think the labor boss'
pockets are deep enough to survive the
fmancial hit, should he lose.
The case would be a real vindication of
Schwartz' activist principles. "There are
people who say, 'Don't sue for union
democracy or get the government involved
in determining what our rights are. We
should fight for our rights. We the workers
can do it alone. Otherwise the workers will
never learn to do it by themselves,'" says
Schwartz. "Well, it's not true."
Specializing in
HDFCs and
Non .. Profits.
Low .. Cost
Insurance and
Quality Service.
Over 20 Years
of Experience.
270 North
Avenue, New
Rochelle, NY
914 .. 654 .. 8667

Force Out
Each year, the City-Wide Task Force on Housing Court helps
60,000 tenants who are too poor to afford lawyers. Thanks to
the GOP, it is about to go out of business. By Idra Rosenberg
long the back wall of the
Brooklyn Housing Court, ner-
vous tenants huddle along the
counters attempting to decipher
the confusing forms. Some team up while
others go solo, but nobody seems exactly
sure how best to navigate the jungle of
stipulations and eviction notices.
"Does anybody over here need help?"
shouts Derrick Johnson, a counselor from
the City-Wide Task Force on Housing
Court. Six people immediately grab their
papers and rush over to accept his offer.
In a court where more than 85 percent
of the tenants can't afford legal representa-
tion, the task force provides an invaluable
source of information and guidance. In
operation since 1981 , the organization
helps an average of 60,000 people a year,
mostly poor tenants looking to stave off
eviction or gain access to state housing
subsidies like Jiggetts relief.
"Without the table, I wouldn't know
what to do," says tenant Margie Adams, in
court to fight an eviction order.
The only one who doesn't seem to rec-
ognize the task force's worth is the man
who funds them. In May, Governor
George Pataki cut City-Wide's $263,000
annual appropriation from this year's bud-
get, eliminating 82 percent of the organi-
zation's funding.
Soon after, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani
vetoed the City Council 's attempt to
restore millions in council pet projects,
including the money needed to keep the
task force's tables and tenant hotline
going. The council's subsequent veto
override probably won't restore the
money: Giuliani has vowed to invoke a lit-
tle-used legal loophole that allows him to
reject council initiatives he deems to be
financially risky. Calls to the Giuliani and
Pataki press offices were not returned.
The day after Giuliani 's veto, City-
Wide's Executive Director Angelita
Anderson reluctantly sent out two-week
notices to the counselors. On June 15, she
was forced to cut the four-day-a-week
table service down to one day a week. To
make sure tenants weren't completely left
in the lurch, Anderson solicited the help of
volunteers-including some of her board
members-to help run the tables and hand
out flyers.
It wasn't enough. For two weeks, the
tables were almost always empty and ten-
ants were left to fend for themselves.
Some help has arrived. Anderson
recently cashed the $40,000 check City-
Wide gets every two years from its largest
private donor, the Scherman Foundation.
The Scherman grant allowed Anderson
to temporarily rescind the pink slips,
although she had to cut salaries 20 percent.
BINk Futur.
By July, Anderson was able to field
three full-time and two part-time employ-
ees plus a handful of rotating volunteer
law students. Borough counselors resumed
the four-morning-a-week schedule, except
for Staten Island, which is only open for
two. "For now, we're out of crisis mode,"
says Anderson. "Who knows what will
happen in September."
Without someone to replace City-
Wide's lost state grant, the future looks
bleak. Politically, the organization's gov-
erment funding options have been closed.
If City-Wide can survive until next year
though, the Democratic state assembly will
almost certainly restore funding. Task force
staff are aggressively seeking help from
other foundations and nonprofit organiza-
tions, but nothing is definite yet.
Without a savior, the task force will
shut down for good in September.
Advlc. and a Plan
And that will be bad news for the
frightened tenants that clutch wads of
court papers outside the courtrooms. Back
in April, Patricia Nelson came to Housing
Court after her East F1atbush landlord
gave her an eviction notice. She couldn't
afford an attorney, so she sat in the long
row of metal chairs silently until the court
official bellowed her name and told her it
was time to stand before the judge.
'They rushed me through and pushed me Bronx tenants
to sign, I didn't know what was going on," could soon lose
she says. She agreed to be out of her apart- the advice of
ment by July 20 without realizing that she counselors like
had the option to request more time. Gina Hernandez.
Unable to find a new home, Nelson
came back to the courthouse two days
before her eviction, in hopes of buying
more time. Upon the advice of a friend in
a similar predicament, she came straight
over to the table and left with a plan and
form to fill out to modify her agreement.
"1 wish I had known my rights in the first _ ~
place," she says. <i'
"If there is no one at the table, whatev- ~
. , , ~
er the tenant gets, the tenant signs,
Anderson says. "People come to the hous-
ing court and they just freeze. They don't
know they have choices."

Lodi High School
students Bryan
Nordt (left) and
Kevin Tryanowski
(center) interview
Jim Gannon about
the explosion that
nearly killed him.
Stuck in Lodi
Documentary filmmakers are teaching students to find the
truth behind one of their hometown's worst workplace
disasters. By Robin Epstein
nder the gaze of Xena, the
Warrior Princess, who pro-
claims from a poster the power
of reading, about 35 students sit
around in the Lodi High School library,
waiting for the school year to end. They
talk., ignoring the crew of New York City
ft!mmakers testing microphones and tap-
ing extension cords to the floor.
It is just days before the prom, and the
juniors and seniors are not psyched about
having to rehash the story of the chemical
plant explosion not far from their school
that killed five workers three years ago.
"It doesn't really faze me that it hap-
pened," says football player Kevin
Tryanowski, who grew up in this blue-col-
lar New Jersey town, a 15-minute drive
from New York over the George
Washington Bridge. "It's history. It's gone.
Can't do nothing about it."
The filmmakers, led by award-winning
documentary director Judith Helfand, are
preparing to film the students as they inter-
view union leaders, the local fire chief and
a worker who survived the blast. Lodi
High is the pilot site for a new oral history
project, called Link the Classroom to the
Community, that introduces teenagers to
the labor movement. The footage will
become part of the permanent collection at
the Lodi Public Library. It will also shape
a guide for other teachers and organizers
looking to conduct their own investiga-
tions of working people in their towns'
In Lodi the project's purpose isn't so
much to uncover hidden history as it is to
prevent it from becoming hidden in the
first place. "It's a very important moment,"
Helfand says of the students' opportunity
to do the interviews. "This could have
been lost."
Toxic Explosion
On Thursday, April 20, 1995, at about 5
a.m., employees at Napp Technologies,
Inc. began loading thousands of pounds of
reactive chemicals, including sodium
hydrosulfite and powdered aluminum, into
a two-story-high blender.
The process should have taken all of an
hour, according to a subsequent federal
investigation. But more than 24 hours
later, after workers had complained of a
rotten egg smell and a supervisor noticed
the chemicals smoking and bubbling,
employees were still trying to complete the
It wasn't until six the next morning that
Napp's management finally evacuated the
plant, and then only by word of mouth.
The plant's alarm was never sounded. It
would have made emergency management
officials and nearby residents aware that
there was a problem.
After consulting with Napp higher-ups
by phone, supervisors and a small crew of
workers went back inside to unload the
blender. They didn't know it, but they were
making a bad situation far worse. At
7:45 a.m., the potion exploded, hurling the
23-ton vat 50 feet. The roof blew off, and
a black toxic cloud quickly swept over
northern New Jersey, forcing the evacua-
tion of 400 people. It took 700 fire fighters
from 34 surrounding towns more than a
day to get the fire under control. Chemical
runoff from the plant turned the nearby
Saddle River kelly green and sent its fish
floating belly up.
The Napp accident was Lodi 's third fatal
chemical plant explosion in three
decades. This town of 27,000 owes its exis-
tence to the American Piece Dye Works and
the Italian immigrants who came to work
there. Although the factories that replaced
the dye works have been slowly shutting
down, Lodi still has seven chemical plants
within its densely populated two square
Jim Gannon, a 47-year-old Napp veter-
an who's lived in Lodi most of his life, was
one of seven workers sent in to unload the
Only Two Cam. Out Ally.
'The noise itself lasted a fraction of a
second, then everything got quiet,"
Gannon tells a circle of students who are
interviewing him in front of Helfand's
cameras. "I was getting blown back in one
direction and both my arms and legs were
getting sucked out in front of me. But I
couldn't do anything, so I just relaxed and
said, 'I'm gonna die.' Then I bounced off
the cinder block walls. I started rolling
because my uniform was on fire, then I felt
the ceiling caving in."
With his crinkle-eyed smile and nonde-
script dress shirt, Gannon isn' t the kind of
guy who would attract much attention, at
least until he starts to talk.
"I started thinking about the five guys
who I'd been there with," he continues. "I
tried working my way back inside to see if
I could help them, but the smoke was so
thick I could feel it touching my face."
He also began to think about his wife
and two kids, and about the possibility of
more explosions. Figuring that if the oth-
ers weren't out yet they must already be
dead, he gave up his search. "It was one of
the hardest things I've ever done."
One of the teenagers asks him what
happened next.
"It was funny," says Gannon. "When I
was inside I didn't feel any pain. When I
got out front on the sidewalk it was like
someone turned up the burner on my
hands. I noticed that I could see the bone.
It was like I had no hand. There were all
kinds of fire trucks there. I got put on a
stretcher and went to the hospital."
When he is asked how long it took him
to recover, Gannon replies: "It's not over
yet. I still get nightmares. I have no short-
term memory. Loud noises, my heart beat
goes faster.
"I'll probably spend the rest of my life
trying to see that what I'm going through,
what happened to my friends, doesn't hap-
pen to anybody else," he says. "I need to
try to carry the message. Maybe that 's why
I didn't die in the explosion."
Because Helfand told him that the stu-
dents think the explosion doesn't have
much to do with them, Gannon tries to
recount more than just the horror of that
"There are some facts that you may not
be aware of," he tells the kids. "Six thou-
sand working people a year die on the job.
The reason for it is that the ultra-rich that
own these companies put money and prof-
it margin over human life."
Gannon is especially angry at the pain-
less $1 DO,OOO settlement Napp officials
had to pay for 13 violations of health and
safety rules. "If they put working people at
risk," he says, "they should be put in
Last year, with the help of his union,
UNITE, Gannon gave a similar speech to
1 DO residents of Coventry, Rhode Island,
where Napp plans to relocate the obliterat-
ed plant. When company executives
unveiled their proposal, he says, they
referred to a fire, but "never mentioned
anything about an explosion or anybody
dying. I mean these people were totally
shocked when I told them."
There are no current laws that would
stop Napp from opening, but thanks to
Gannon's efforts, Coventry residents will
be watching the plant carefully if it does.
And Rhode Island's legislature is consid-
ering a law that would give local fire mar-
shals more authority over chemical plants.
The Lodi incident also helped Gannon
and unionists nationwide successfully
lobby Washingto1! to fund an independent
board that investigates chemical explo-
sions in the same way that the National
Transportation Safety Board investigates
airline crashes.
When the filmmakers call the students
and the visitors together to sum up, the
mood has shifted perceptibly from the
boredom of the beginning of the day.
Bryan Nordt is riled up about being inter-
rupted in the middle of his interview with
Gannon. "I had another question, but we
III used to break
into them
factories when I
was little.
I never thought
I'd be inside
when they were
blowing up."
got cut off!" says the tall, goateed senior.
Speaking to the assembled students,
Gannon punctuates his final comments by
taking out his silver Marlboro lighter, with
the signature Stetsoned smoker on horse-
back glued on.
The day before the explosion, Gannon
says, he dropped it and the cowboy fell off.
"I said, 'Gee, I wonder what that means.'
The next day the plant exploded. This was
in my pocket when I got blown backwards."
As the kids pass around the repaired
lighter, feeling its heft and looking at the
cowboy, Gannon says: "I know how you
can feel how this has nothing to do with
you. I grew up in Lodi. I used to play on
the roof of Napp Chemical. I used to break
into them factories when I was little. I
never thought I'd be inside when they
were blowing up."
The lighter lingers for a while in
Nordl's hands.
"I lived in the town and it exploded yet
it didn't bother me," Nordt says. "I never
felt anything, but now that I actually inter-
viewed Jim, it touched, and it hurts. He
was in pain for a while. He can't work any-
more. It's great what he does-all he does
is go around and tell people about chemi-
cal fires and what happened. That affects a
lot of people. It affected me a lot."
A few minutes later Nordt gives
Gannon his telephone number, telling him
that he'd like to help out.
"I'll definitely get you involved,"
Gannon says, as the two walk out of the
library .

No Power of Attorney
Bed-Stuy's Legal Services office is a tough place if you're a
lawyer. But it's even less hospitable to potential clients.
.. By Glenn Thrush
Edna Simpson
couldn't get a
lawyer to help her
fight for repairs in
her Bed-Stuy
ne quiet evening last year, Edna
Simpson's apartment tried to
kill her.
Simpson was sitting on the
edge of her bed when she heard the sound
of screws splintering out of old wood.
Before she realized what was happening,
the 30-pound closet door had fallen from
its jamb and struck her square on the fore-
head, knocking her out cold.
Her headaches have abated, but the
door still stands in the middle of her living
room, like a war memorial.
Accidents happen, especially in 100-
year-old buildings in neighborhoods like
Bedford-Stuyvesant. But Simpson had
been complaining about her landlord and
the building's condition for months--even
to the point of helping organize her fellow
To help her in that effort, she contacted
the Bedford-Stuyvesant Community Legal
Services, a government-funded nonprofit
that provides free legal help to the poor.
"They gave me some advice, but they
wouldn't represent me in court," Simpson
says. "I needed a lawyer. I didn't get one."
Simpson didn' t know that the group
was trying to run a legal office with practi-
cally no lawyers.
For much of the last two years, Cherie
Gaines, Bed-Stuy Legal Services '
$95,000-a-year boss, has tried to make do
with exactly one staff attorney. For a time
earlier this year, the organization actually
employed no staff attorneys, the foot sol-
diers who generally handle Housing Court
and benefit cases. During this same period,
Gaines, a combative former city housing
official and lawyer, fed a fat management
payroll of five supervising attorneys. On
average, managers make $69,000 a year to
oversee Bed-Stuy paralegals and support
staff-and to handle a small caseload on
the side.
Because Bed-Stuy has so few lawyers
whose sole job is to represent clients, the
office has had to turn away a large number
of applicants. For most of the people they
do take on, legal services means hand-
holding or legal coaching-but no actual
representation in court.
"They're just not serving the neighbor-
hood," says Stephanie Coleman-Harris,
until recently the director of the Brooklyn
Neighborhood Improvement Association
(BNIA), one of a half-dozen groups orga-
nizing to force Gaines to mend her ways.
"There's a lot of poor people here, we need
the help. But I would never refer people to
Bed-Stuy. They are always turning people
away. There's no one over there to take
anybody's cases."
Gaines has recently hired two new staff
attorneys and a pair of management
lawyers have left, but Bed-Stuy is still, by
far, the most top-heavy of the 10 Legal
Services offices in the city. Arguably, it is
also the most ineffective of the federally-
funded, locally managed neighborhood
law centers.
"That place is an absolute disgrace,"
says a Legal Services executive, one of a
half-dozen who expressed a similar opin-
ion and requested anonymity. "Everybody
knows what's going on over there and
nobody's done anything about it."
Union War
The crisis at Bed-Stuy dates back to
1991 , when more than a 100 Legal
Services lawyers citywide staged a bitter,
four-month strike over wages and benefits.
The strike caused hard feelings throughout
the city, but Gaines was especially
enraged. "We had a responsibility to the
cornmunity, and they were preventing us
from fulfilling it," she says.
The strike left a permanent rift between
the union staff and Gaines. "It was a war,
and she loved it," says Jeff Busch, a gov-
ernment benefits attorney and union repre-
sentative who left Bed-Stuy in early 1997.
"She would have people she fired escorted
out by security as a fonn of humiliation."
Over the next few years, Gaines pro-
moted two staff lawyers to management
positions. As tensions persisted, other
lawyers began leaving-some of their own
accord, some fued. "In 1994-95, we lost a
lot of attorneys who were clearly not going
to be replaced," says Busch, who is now
working for a private law firm. "When
people would leave--either they were
fued or resigned-they would never be
replaced. This is how she would get rid of
the union members."
After Busch left, the one remaining
lawyer, housing attorney Serge Joseph,
found himself saddled with a massive 130-
client caseload. "At the end, there were
four managing attorneys. And there was
me. All alone," he says.
And then there were none. In February
1998, Joseph quit after the director
accused him of failing to do proper follow-
up on some of his cases.
No other neighborhood office has ever
had more managers than attorneys in the
field-much less no staff lawyers at all.
According to Legal Services officials, the
average staff-to-management ratio is about
four to one. Harlem Legal Services, which
has roughly the same budget as Bed-Stuy,
has 13 staff lawyers and four managers.
Gaines maintains that her staffing lev-
els are adequate and that any lawyers she
fued or forced out suffered from "case-
handling problems." And she argues that
finding new lawyers is difficult. "People
cannot be replaced overnight. We have a
[hiring] process that must be followed,"
she says.
She also refuses to apologize for the
number of management-level attorneys
who, she says, handle significant case-
loads. "We had staff attorneys leave us, so
what were supposed to do? Get rid of the
only experienced people we had left?" she
asks. "When you buy a staff attorney you
have to bring them up to speed. When you
have a supervising attorney, you have
somebody who has been around the block
a few times.
"Our policy was to maintain experi-
enced casehandlers. We' re supposed to lay
off managers so that it looks good in some
Mo Hard Ca
Bed-Stuy, like all other Legal Services
chapters, has had to weather a decade of
steep budget cuts. Gaines says the cuts-
and the Giuliani administration's refusal to
reimburse the agency for services-creat-
ed a $250,000 deficit that has dogged the
organization for several years. As a result,
she says Bed-Stuy was forced to layoff
seven support personnel last year and,
until recently, had to forego the hiring of
new staff attorneys. The deficit is impossi-
ble to confum, however, because Bed-
Stuy has failed to ftle its last two income
tax returns with the state, which are
required by law.
But Bed-Stuy's critics say the money
woes mask an even more fundamental
tlaw-Gaines' legal philosophy.
To deal with the cuts, her office discon-
tinued in-person intake appointments in
January 1997 and now screens potential
clients over the phone. Many Legal
Services offices use phone screening, but
according to its fonner lawyers, Bed-Stuy
advises a disproportionately high percent-
age of clients over the phone.
When clients are invited into the office,
they are given step-by-step advice on how to
represent themselves in court, but because
of the lawyer shortage are rarely given actu-
al representation. "When we can't be there
personally, we prepare them to represent
themselves in court. It's a very valuable
function," Gaines explains. The technique
has allowed her office to process 400 clients
a month, a number she says is rising.
But that statistic may be misleading. "I
like being in court," Joseph says, "but
instead of doing real , live cases, we'd be
on the phone. That's a case, that's a num-
ber in a column. To Cherie, that's helping
the community." Typically, he adds, the
office would only choose to represent "one
or two" new applicants a week.
"Her whole thing was that it was very
important to 'touch bodies' to ring up the
number of clients served," says Deanna
Arden, a fonner Bed-Stuy management
attorney who resigned in 1994. "Sure, we
saw a lot of people, but we were prohibit-
ed from doing hard cases."
Hard cases, the lawyers say, involve
clients who need more help than a few
phone calls, one or two court appearances,
or some fonns to be filled out. Clients
whose lives don't fit into a neat case catago-
ry are often left listening to a dial tone.
Mary Robinson, who was waiting for
the marshal to evict her when she spoke to
City Limits in mid-July, needed more help
than Bed-Stuy was willing to give. In late
1997, Robinson, with Serge Joseph's help,
applied to state welfare to help her pay
$7,000 in back rent. When she called back
to talk to Joseph, she was told three things:
I) he had quit, 2) her welfare application
had been rejected and 3) that she was no
longer a client at Bed-Stuy.
Robinson, who lives with her four
grandchildren, got tlustered and hung up
the phone. The lawyer who now represents
her, however, says a recent change in her
household's welfare status might have
forced the state to reconsider its decision.
"They told me there was nothing they
could do to help," Robinson says. "That
was it. I'll never go back there, never."
Bed-Stuy also takes a pass on most
cases involving more than one client, espe-
cially tenant associations fighting land-
lords for repairs. BNIA currently repre-
sents several buildings that wanted to
bring actions against their landlord but
were turned down by Bed-Stuy.
Hearing a series of similar reports,
the City-Wide Task Force on Housing
Court has stopped referring clients to
Bed-Stuy. "They just weren't getting
represented," says task force director
Angelita Anderson.
(Continued on page 34)

Former staff
attorney Jeff Busch
says Cherie Gaines
fired his fellow
lawyers because
they were in a
Loco 3369
Forged travel vouchers, charges of gay-baiting, shoving and
shouting, a secret slander trial. Welcome to the Social Security
workers' union. By Idra Rosenberg
ohn Riordan, union leader, doesn't
want another job.
And the current bosses of the local
he once led don't have a problem
with that.
They just want him to find some other
In pursuit of that goal, the newly elect-
ed leaders of Local 3369 of the American
Federation of Government Employees are
waging a legally questionable war to purge
Riordan from their ranks.
The result has been a nasty split
between Riordan supporters and Riordan
avengers that makes a WWF match seem
decorous. The local, which represents city
Social Security employees, has been
almost completely consumed by the fight.
It has involved, at various times, shoving
matches, a firestorm over a handful of
fishy travel vouchers, allegations of gay-
baiting against the anti-Riordan local lead-
ership and, most importantly, a secretive
slander trial that may violate Riordan's
constitutional rights.
"It's a madhouse in there right now,"
says 3369 member Pamela Allen, a Riordan
backer. "Who wants to be part of a union
that attacks its members like that? It's sick."
Punlshm.nt and R.v.ng.
According to Riordan, the trouble
began in January 1995 when, he says, he
discovered that two of his top union offi-
cers, Andy Poulos and Charlie Fahlikman,
were neglecting their duties. Riordan
couldn't touch their paychecks, but he
tried to punish them with part-time duty
completing tasks for management, instead
of their standard full-time union work.
"I had to do something," Riordan says.
"I never knew where Andy was and
Charlie would come to the office, but he
wouldn't do anything."
Poulos and Fahlikman say the punish-
ment was unjustified-but they didn't
have to wait long for their revenge. In the
December 1996 leadership election,
Fahlikman trounced Riordan, who had
ruled the local for 16 years, by a two-to-
one margin. Poulos became his vice-presi-
dent. Soon after, Riordan filed a complaint
with the AFGE National
Council alleging that the
election was run improperly.
The investigation has yet to
be concluded.
The probe was the second
that year. Earlier in 1996,
Riordan had aided federal
Former boss John
investigators in examining
Poulos' alleged misuse of
union travel funds. Riordan is in the
middle of a union
civil war.
In their November 1996
letter to Poulos, investigators
explained how they snared
him: "You had submitted a
travel voucher showing a
visit to Touro [an orthodox
Jewish college] on October
4th, 1995, which was Yom
Kippur, a Jewish holiday on
which the library was
closed." The Social Security
Administration suspended
Poulos for 60 days without
pay from his full-time job at
the union office.
Even though he served
his time, Poulos isn't letting the matter
rest, charging that the former president
slandered him five times in a letter he sent
to federal investigators. He is especially
piqued by Riordan's charge that he played
racquetball on union time. Investigators
conducted an interview with a racquetball
club manager, much to Poulos' embarrass-
"He meant to harm me," Poulos tells
City Limits. "He maliciously and willfully
lied and misled the investigators."
Fahlikman refused comment except to
say "this is internal union business."
Siand.r Suit
Poulos formally charged Riordan with
slander in June. If convicted by a three-
member union tribunal, he could be
expelled from the union.
When the trial began behind closed
doors in the first week in June, it quickly
degenerated into a screaming match. At
the request of the trial committee, Riordan
was ejected from the building by a federal
security officer. A City Limits reporter was
also tossed.
AFGE council observer Dave
Glassford, who was flown in from
Colorado by the national union leadership
to observe the proceedings, thought
Riordan was out of line, but had harsher
things to say about the proceedings. "They
have completely violated his due process
rights," he says. "We need to have actual
justice instead of this sham."
Ironically, the outcome may not matter
much, according to Carl Biers of the
Association for Union Democracy. In
1963, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that
internal union slander trials are inherently
unconstitutional. "I've seen dozens of
them go to federal court and not a single
slander charge has ever been held legal,"
Biers says.
Civil War
Even if Riordan gets off the hook,
there's no end in sight to the nasty civil war
that has drained union energy and funds.
Riordan, who is gay, attributes some of
the animosity to homophobia. ''The rumors
were spread during the election to besmirch
my reputation," he says. ''They said I was
downloading pornography from the Internet,
but our office isn't even connected."
Union member Nelson David says he
has witnessed a PouloslFahlikman ally
make homophobic comments. "I've heard
[the official] say that gay people shouldn't
hold a union office."
For his part, Poulos denies any anti-gay
sentiment, personally or among his sup-
porters, but admits, "I couldn't work under
his tutelage any longer. We have lifestyle
Instead, he claims that the hostility
stems from Riordan's inactivity in his last
years as president. "This woe-is-me is
absolutely insane. [He's] been called on
the carpet by the democratic process,"
Poulos says.
But Riordan says that the problem is
the opposite: that Poulos and company
think he was too tough on management.
Riordan gives the following example:
In 1988, he filed the first of four national
health and safety grievances requesting
new ergonomic chairs and desks for the
workers, many of whom suffered from
repetitive motion disorders. Six years
later, an arbitrator ordered the federal gov-
ernment to spend $200 million on proper
furniture for the 1,200 offices in the
The union's strife is in part due to fed-
IIThey said I was
pornography from
the Internet, but
our office isn't
even conneded."
eral law, which prohibits government
employees from striking. Although public
employees can stage a sick-out, workplace
actions are rare, meaning that leaders have
no recourse other than to file time-con-
suming grievances.
"It's a problem," says union democracy
expert Biers of the no-strike law. "At times
it is used as an excuse by union officials
for ineffectiveness."
Efficacy seems to be the one issue not
addressed by the current fracas, which has
started to take its toll on the union's bank
account. The trial board has already allo-
cated $10,000 for the trial, which could
cost much more if Riordan is convicted
and drags the case into the courts.
Riordan has begun circulating a
newsletter, the Labor Center News, paid for
out of his own pocket. To the undiscerning
eye, the paper could be mistaken for the
official union newsletter, and last
September, after receiving his copy,
AFGE's national president John Sturdivant
told Riordan to stop printing a "publication
which purports to be an official publica-
For now, the two sides cannot even agree
on a date to continue the internal hearing.
Riordan and his lawyer say they will not be
available until October, but the trial commit-
tee sent a letter back asking to resolve the
matter sooner. The committee tentatively
scheduled the next hearing for August 17,
but Riordan says he will be in Denver for an
executive board meeting. Poulos says he's
ready to go whenever Riordan is.
If Riordan gets bounced from the
union, he'll lose his chance to trump
Fahlikman in the next election, a year and
a half away. But Riordan says he's deter-
mined to stick around .
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Landmarks Omission
Historic preservation in the city's black neighborhoods is a struggle
against snobbery-and local leaders bent on development. By Kemba Johnson
ichael Henry Adams is an interloper
among the gods and goddesses of
New York City's landmarks world.
One of his favorite stories is about
a tour he gave to Laurie Beckelman,
the former head of the city's
Landmarks Preservation Commission
under Mayor David Dinkins.
Beckelman had been publicly pro-
claiming the need to landmark more buildings in poor and minor-
ity neighborhoods, so then-Councilmember C. Virginia Fields
decided to take her out on a scouting expedition in Harlem.
Adams, uptown landmarks gadfly and author, was chosen as her
local guide.
Adams gamely took Beckelman to a building he thought would
be a sure contender: the l29th Street site that labor leader A.
Philip Randolph created to be the center of the black union move-
ment. Back in late 1920s, Randolph commissioned the state's first
black licensed architect, Vertner Tandy, to design a headquarters
for the new Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, comprised
mostly of black railroad workers. Eventually, the Brotherhood
would become the first black union allowed into the American
Federation of Labor. Randolph would become vice president of
the united AFL-CIO and a major figure in the black civil rights
Although the building isn't a tower of architectural achieve-
ment, it is pleasant enough to look at. Decorative double concrete
columns hold up urns on each side of the arched doorway, but it
is essentially a hall built for a union with limited funds. And that
is all Beckelman saw, Adams says, as she turned to a colleague to
ask: "They want us to landmark that?"
"It was not the New York Public Library in terms of design,"
Adams admits. "But it 's like comparing Shakespeare and
Langston Hughes. The art of the one does not diminish the art of
the other. If you are bothered just because Langston Hughes may
Harlem's Sugar Hill,
once home to the
city's black luminar-
ies, is now caught in
a battle for recogni-
tion with the city
landmarks commis-
Gadfly Michael Adams has sug-
gested dozens of African-American
landmarks. The rejection letters
haven't deterred him yet.
use 'ain't,' then of course you will never see the accomplishment
of what his work represents."
The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission has
always been a haven for the city's aristocracy, and its architectur-
al honor roll has been a catalogue of what rich people have built
or bought over four centuries.
But that's not all landmarking is supposed to do. City law
directs the commission to landmark property on the basis of five
categories: "cultural, social, economic, political and architectural."
Despite this mandate, the landmarks commission has chosen
nearly all of the city's landmarks-94 percent, according to a for-
mer commissioner-based on architectural value alone.
That means buildings like the ones Adams includes on his
Harlem tours, buildings that reflect the history of non-white New
York, are often denied the recognition they deserve. Of the almost
1,000 landmarked buildings in the city, about 100 are in commu-
nities of color. Only 16 earned their laurels based on their non-
white historical or cultural value; the rest were landmarked
because they had significance to white people who used to live
there. And of the 750 blocks now protected by historic districts,
only 135 are in black or Latino neighborhoods.
But snobbishness is not the only reason there are so few land-
marks in minority neighborhoods. As the movement to landmark
neighborhoods like Harlem has grown, so has unexpected opposi-
tion among community leaders.
It's not that the ministers, politicians and businessmen who are
reshaping low-income neighborhoods reject the respect and
tourism income that landmarking can bring a community. They
just don't want some landmarked building getting in the way of
their housing and economic development plans.
"If landmarking is seen as a way of recording and telling history,
then there's no question that the way it's been done up to now is not
telling the whole story," says Ned Kaufman, the Municipal Art
Society's resident landmark expert. "It is the story of well-to-do pe0-
ple and their nice houses, not working people and their lives and their
struggle for equity. Or minorities and their struggle for recognition."
he Landmarks Preservation Commission was born as a
result of the most notorious architectural crime in New
York history: the 1963 razing of the grandly Romanesque
Pennsylvania Station to make way for the concrete cup-
cake that is today's Madison Square Garden. Two years after the
station's destruction, the city established the commission to safe-
guard New York's architectural, cultural and historical icons.
Penn Station set the standard for the preservationist move-
ment's focus on municipal grandiosities, handsome homes, sky-
scrapers and commercial palaces. Then in recent years, under the
leadership of Beckelman and current chair Jennifer Raab, the
commission began to move beyond its elitist foundations. "In the
beginning we were really eager to save the city's great architec-
tural treasures," says commission spokesperson Katy McNabb.
"But lately we have been looking to do more cultural landmark-
Even these modest efforts have been criticized by long-time
preservationists. In the 1998 edition of "The Landmarks of New
York III," former commissioner Barbaralee Diamonstein-
Spielvogel argues that diversity in landmarking is undesirable.
"Structures and districts of sometimes questionable or dubious
architectural significance outside of Manhattan and in non-white
areas are designated, while fme architectural examples may be
ignored," she writes. "Although many of these items deserve
some sort of protection, it is not readily apparent that they merit
landmark status."
Such attitudes are not surprising given the racial make-up of the
II-member commission. There seems to be a quota allowing just
one minority member at a time. Beginning under the Koch admin-
istration, that member was architect Gene Norman, the chair, who
was followed by Bill Davis. Three years ago, Chris Moore, a Fort
Greene resident who works at the Schomburg Center for Research
in Black Culture, was appointed by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani .
"I may be the only black person," Moore jokes, "but I'm tena-
The panel's shortage of black representation has made it a
lightning rod for community criticism, especially in Harlem,
which has been the site of several high-proftle landmarks battles
in the last decade.
The conflict between the board and the city's most prominent
black community reached its height when Harlemite David
Dinkins satin City Hall. A group of activists sought to preserve
the Audubon Ballroom, the l66th Street site where Malcolm X
was assassinated in 1965, but the commission refused even to
hold a public hearing. Instead of landmarking the Audubon, the
commission-with the blessing of Dinkins, who was captivated
by the site's economic development potential-allowed Columbia
University to build a new business incubator for biotechnology
firms there. Ruth Messinger, then the Manhattan borough presi-
dent, managed to save the facade and part of the lobby.
In the early 19905, during the start of this fracas, newly
appointed Beckelman developed what came to be known as the
"Harlem 25"-25 buildings that would be seriously considered
for landmark designation.
But when the final list was released, the emphasis was on pret-
ty buildings over important ones. Honorees included Mount
Morris Bank, a brewery, a couple of firehouses and a handful of
schools-most of which have since been landmarked. But other
famous sites like Minton's Playhouse, the birthplace of bebop,
were passed over. "This was an opportunity to say to the commu-
nity, 'We're looking to landmark here,' so people could come for-
ward with ideas," recalls Carolyn Kent, who oversees the land-
marking committee of Harlem's Community Board 9. "But it was
almost like a drive-by: Collect the name of some churches and
some large buildings. This was just a political way of proceeding."
Others say there was nothing wrong with the Harlem 25-
except that it wasn't the Harlem 50 or the Harlem 100. Thomas
Bess, former executive director of Landmarks Harlem, a nonprof-
it founded to be a liaison between the commission and the com-
munity, thinks the commission needs to do more work uptown.
Large sections of white Manhattan, including the Upper West
Side, the Upper East Side, the Village and Tribeca have been
declared landmark districts while places like Central Harlem-
home to a famous black cultural renaissance-have not.
"To have a place like the West Side landmarked from 62nd
Street to 96th Street and not include areas like Harlem is crimi-
nal:' Bess observes. "There are entire blocks in Harlem that are so
significant in the creation of jazz and the development of Harlem
as the black cultural center of the world."
uiet, leafy St. Albans, Queens doesn't look like a jazz
Mecca, but to those in the know, it's not far below
Harlem in stature.
The neighborhood's resident historian is Milt "Judge"
Hinton, an 88-year-old bassist who spent his youth playing for
Cab Calloway. Hinton is now dedicating himself to celebrating his
fellow musical St. Albans luminaries: Thomas "Fats" Waller, Lena
Home, Ella Fitzgerald and his friend Count Basie. A ballplayer by
the name of Jackie Robinson lived there too.
"They didn't think a Negro could afford a house like this," says
Hinton, who has lived in his two-story house for the last 40 years.
"We didn't know how nice it was when we came here, how near
it was to heaven."
Hinton sits in his basement, not far from Basie's piano, which
is hidden under a blanket and a few scotch bottles. "1' m here
drinking and he would hop onto the piano and start playing," he
recalls of Basie's frequent visits. "When we get together it's like
corned beef and cabbage."
On a plush green sofa, Hinton has temporarily stored brass
plaques he intends to put up on Waller and Basie's homes. The
markers, which describe the cultural importance of the jazz
pianists, are just the first in a series that he plans to install. Hinton
hopes that by celebrating the homes of successful black musi-
cians, local youth will develop the desire to succeed as well.
To Hinton and other black landmark proponents, that's the
importance of preservation. It's the simple recognition that the
value of a building isn' t necessarily found in the arrangement of
bricks and wood, but in the lives that unfolded there, and the
lessons passersby can take away. "The only way to go ahead is to
build on those who've gone before," Hinton says.
Established Districts
South Street
ven the commission's harshest critics concede that the
job of landmarking worthy sites would be aided by the
kind of passion that comes naturally to Hinton. But com-
munities of color haven't exactly been obsessed with get-
ting their neighborhoods landmarked.
"You have people who don't do anything about getting land-
marks," says Gina Stahlnecker, chief of staff to state Senator
David Paterson, who helped landmark part of the African Burial
Ground, a plot of land in lower Manhattan that was the cemetery
for much of the city's black population in the 1700s. "If there were
huge grassroots groups organized to find landmarkable buildings,
there might be more."
The problem isn't simply apathy. Communities like Harlem
need economic development, which means they need the regulato-
ry flexibility to develop sites without government interference.
Developers on the Upper East Side despise landmarked buildings;
community-based builders in Harlem, Fort Greene and Jamaica feel
the same way. Landmarking, which seeks to freeze and preserve,
can raise the price of development projects or stall them altogether.
Nowhere is that conflict more apparent than at the Renaissance
Ballroom and Casino on 138th Street--one of the Harlem 25
structures yet to be landmarked.
While white hipsters made their way to Harlem's Cotton Oub,
blacks from across the city flocked to the ballroom during the 1920s and
1930s to meet, entertain and be seen. And when the music from touring
Only 100 of the city's 1,000 official
landmarks are located in black or
Latino neighborhoods. Only 16 are
of true significance to communi-
ties of color.
bands wasn't playing, the local black professional basketball team, the
Harlem Rens, used the black-owned building to practice and compete.
Bought by Rev. Calvin Butts' Abyssinian Development
Corporation in 1992, the would-be landmark sits just one thin
building away from the Abyssinian Baptist Church. Abyssinian's
development chief Karen Phillips says that her organization
worked with the building's owner during the early 1990s in an
attempt to help him fix it up, but the costs were too high and he
sold it to speculators. They, in turn, lost it to foreclosure.
Abyssinian is now developing the boarded-up brick building into
a ballroom for weddings, proms and parties.
Phillips plans to turn it into a for-profit catering hall and argues
that a landmark designation could have sunk the project complete-
ly. Abyssinian, she says, would have had to negotiate with the com-
mission to get approval for necessary renovations, which would
have tacked months-and additional costs--onto the project.
According to a landmarks commission source, Abyssinian's
opposition has all but killed what might have been a promising
landmarks application. Phillips defends the church's position.
"I'm a preservationist, and this is preservation. We want the ball-
room to be an active building for the community," she says. "This
is already a landmark. Whether it's designated as one by the city
is irrelevant."
Howard Dodson, executive director at Harlem's Schomburg
Center, understands Phillips' frustration. The Schomburg library,
located in a limestone building where Sidney Poitier and Harry
Belafonte made their debuts in the basement theater, was in the
middle of a multi-year expansion plan until in 1981, as Dodson
says, "someone had the bright idea to have it landmarked."
Dodson believes there may also be more personal reasons for
the fact that black residents in Harlem and elsewhere are not more
vocal about landmark issues. Many major sites where black cul-
ture became American history, such as the Apollo Theater and the
Cotton Club, weren't owned by blacks during the height of their
fame, he points out. "Ownership was usually somewhere else," he
says. "The history is, frankly, contradictory to our own. Our claim
to it is as squatters rights more than anything else."
he Landmarks Preservation Commission has made some
progress in recent years. Eighteen of the buildings in the
Harlem 25 were conferred landmark status. In Bedford-
Stuyvesant four landmarked 19th century houses mark
the location of the former free black community of Weeksville.
And the Flushing, Queens home of Lewis H. Latimer, who invent-
ed the filament that transformed Thomas Edison's expensive light
bulb prototype into a mass-market necessity, has also been so hon-
More recently, the commission agreed to extend the boundaries of
the Hamilton Heights historic district in Harlem. And nearby Sugar
Hill-former neighborhood of the city's black political and cultural
elite in the 1930s and 1940s, including Supreme Court Justice
Thurgood Marshall and author Ralph Ellison-is on the table this year.
But even this relatively modest designation has been marked
by controversy. The local community board wants to include parts
of the neighborhood that contain apartment buildings; commis-
sion officials only want to include a section featuring the neigh-
borhood's attractive townhouses.
Including all of Sugar Hill-some 450 buildings-in the his-
toric district doesn't seem like such a tall order. Last year, 600
homes in Douglaston, Queens-a well-off community of English
cottages and Colonial, Tudor and Mediterranean Revival hous-
es-was designated. The Upper West Side has more than 2,000
buildings in its district and the Village, the city's largest district,
has 2,300.
But Sugar Hill's landmarking may ultimately come down to
the community's will and its capacity to prove its case through
careful research. Given that the commission's staff has been whit-
tled down from 80 people in Beckelrnan's era to about 50 today,
the advocates know that they have to do what preservation advo-
cates in richer communities routinely do-find locals to help out.
West Harlem Community Preservation Organization is reaching
out to building owners and looking for money to hire a consultant.
Showing this kind of community commitment is the best way
to compel the city to recognize the importance of overlooked
buildings, Commissioner Moore says. "It's a matter getting these
black sites, of locating them."
And that's just what Adams plans to do as he roams the city sug-
gesting site after site for the commission to consider-undeterred
by the stream of form-letter rejections he receives in return.
"What landmarking is about is who was here before and
who was important," he says. "If black people acknowledge
their history and take pride in it, then it can only brighten the
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ver since a federal judge convicted Yonkers of deliberate segre-
gation in 1985, its citizens have been polled, interviewed, judged
and analyzed. Locals, small businessmen and minor politicians
have earned quotations in The New York Times. Public housing
tenants wound up on the Joan Rivers show.
By now, most people in Yonkers are sick of talking about
race. But the rest of America isn't done with them yet.
If desegregation has seemed like a dead issue since Boston's
busing ordeal of the mid-1970s, it is very much alive in this
industrial city perched on the edge of metropolitan New York.
Yonkers, known for its signature racetrack, is also home to one
of the most important race-mixing experiments of the 1990s.
More than ten years ago, the federal courts ordered the city
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ing tenants were moved from large projects into smaller, scattered
low-rises. The idea was to sprinkle-not dump-minorities into
suburban neigbborhoods and, hopefully, avoid the backlash that
crippled integration plans in other cities.
But Yonkers wanted nothing to do with it. White residents
fought the plan with all they had in a struggle that fascinated the
nation and exposed the city's racial divides.
Five years have passed since the first 200 low-income units
were finished, and now a team of sociologists has begun to take
stock of the program. What they have found is that the Yonkers
plan is at once a stunning success and a depressing testament to
the persistence of segregation in the Northeast.
Families who moved from the projects have better, safer
lives-while hou ing prices have remained relatively stable.
But house prices and green lawns do not make for racial har-
mony. The public housing tenants are still alien, cordoned off into
tidy new micro-ghettoes. And the middle-income phase of the
project is only just beginning. For all the trouble, less than one
percent of Yonkers has been officially desegregated so far.
"It's resentment more than anything that's kept people apart,
on both parts," says Elenor Bourque, a white homeowner who
lives near one of the developments. "We put rules on them, and
they resent us. And homeowners, at least in the beginning, resent-
ed that they took something away from us."
Bourque and her neighbors talk about the new public housing
with muted bitterness and resignation. They are not openly bigot-
ed. But it's just as clear that they are still not comfortable with the
tenants down the street.
"We're living with it," she says. "They're a separate entity,
though, they are not part of our neighborhood. There is no inter-
change. There's no coming to my house for tea, or me going to
your little abode for a cup of coffee. They're on their own."
he northeastern part of Yonkers may look like a more mid-
dle-class version of Scarsdale, but most of the rest of the city
feels like the white outer edges of Brooklyn or the Bronx.
It's got industrial decay, an abandoned waterfront and a
stagnant population. It has immigrants and a relatively large go
nonwhite population-24 percent of Yonkers' 188,000 residents. ~
And unlike the rest of Westchester County, downtown Yonkers i
has lots of housing projects-brick high-rises that loom above the '"
The Yonkers plan
two- and three-story houses of the southwest
part of the city. That sector has 97 percent of the
city's 6,800 units of subsidized housing, much
"S ::It once ::I stunnl"ng of it concentrated in 12-story towers that over
U U the years have been as dangerous as any in the
success and a
depressing testament
to the perSistence of
For much of this century, Yonkers was not
only a refuge from the five boroughs but a thriv-
ing riverfront city in its own right, employing
thousands of European immigrants in its eleva-
tor works and carpet factories.
But by mid-century, the factories were clos-
ing down and the city's northeastern regions
were being developed into enclaves of tract
segregation in
the Northeast"
In the 1990 census, the suburban north was
only 3 percent black; the southeast less than 1
percent black. By contrast, southwest Yonkers,
near the industrial downtown, was 76 percent
Crestwood, Bourque's neighborhood, is a
bedroom community built in 1958 as a tract development, laid out
on narrow curving streets and cul-de-sacs. The houses, one- and
two-story buildings on quarter-acre lots, sell for between
$175,000 to $225,000.
Housing prices are why Crestwood resisted public housing, says
Bourque, who organized her neighbors in a lawsuit to fight one
housing development several blocks away. Housing prices did
decline-and Bourque thinks the prices have never recovered (see
"Property Values"). "We had to go out and earn the money to buy
our houses," she explains. "They [the public housing tenants] were
given these houses. All they had to do is pay rent."
Still, Bourque has little daily reminder of their presence.
Crestwood's scattered-site public housing, 44 two-story brick
apartment buildings, isn't easy to find. It's tucked behind a 1,082-
unit apartment complex with no direct access to Bourque's neigh-
borhood. At the Crestwood residents' request, there's a big wood-
en fence blocking the way.
n 1975, only a year after forced busing began in Boston,
Westchester County legislator Herman Keith started leaning
on Yonkers to desegregate the city school system. But the
Board of Education resisted, and in 1980 Keith, the NAACP
and the U.S. Justice Department sued Yonkers and the federal
Department of Housing and Urban Development in a class action
desegregation suit. It took U.S. District Court Judge Leonard Sand
until 1985 to concur, in a landmark 400-page decision that explic-
itly Linked school segregation to segregated housing.
The next year, the Yonkers Board of Ed agreed to a desegrega-
tion plan that would close six schools, build two new ones and bus
half the city's 18,000 kids. But coming up with a housing integra-
tion plan was a far more controversial matter, and the city gov-
ernment stalled for two years. So in the spring of 1987, Sand
assigned the job to architect Oscar Newman, the nationally
renowned guru of low-income, low-density housing.
When it comes to housing poor people, Newman believes that
bigger is badder. "I found that the single factor that most predict-
ed crime, vandalism and vacancy rates was the number of resi-
dents that shared a common entry," says Newman. "The second
physical factor was the size of the development."
Newman's fust solution for public housing construction in
Yonkers was to disperse a dozen developments of small town-
houses across the city. But HUD and Yonkers resisted, and the
ultimate proposal instead featured seven larger developments-
five in the Italian and Irish southeast.
The first 200 families were to be chosen by 10ttery-l00 from
existing projects and 100 from the public housing waiting list. The
poorest of Yonkers' poor were given preference.
Once those were done, the city was supposed to build 800 mid-
dle-income apartments. But the current mayor, John Spencer,
struck a deal with the judge: The city would only build 140 new
units and would subsidize 600 loans, 100 per year, for middle-class
people to buy existing private homes.
But even if the scale of the low-income housing was very mod-
est, selling the plan proved to be nearly impossible.
The governor at that time was Mario Cuomo, who began his
career brokering a compromise to place low-income residents in
white, affluent Forest Hills in the 1960s. "In trying to persuade a
community that they should entertain low-income housing when
all their prejudices, biases and even some of their intelligent con-
clusions argue against proximity to the poor, you can't do it any-
more by simply appealing to their sense of morality, fairness or
compassion," he says. "People don't think that way now. You have
to argue from self interest."
Newman knew his plan would never be popular, but he thought
he had a built-in political advantage. Placing small clusters of low-
income blacks and Latinos in seven white neighborhood was a lot
more palatable than trying to sell a scared community on one or
two huge towers dropped in their midst.
he fall of 1987 wasn't a great time for racial harmony in the
lower Hudson valley. In November, Tawana Brawley was
found in a plastic bag in Wappingers Falls, claiming she had
been kidnapped and raped by a gang of whites. That month,
forty miles to the south, Yonkers' voters booted out three
councilrnembers who had voted for the desegregation plan and
replaced them with three politicians who vowed they would fight
the order all the way to the Supreme Court.
"[1]f the bulldozers come, there's probably going to be vio-
lence," Councilman Nicholas Longo warned Newsday. If the
housing went up, he added, "[Y]ou can just take out an eraser and
cross out the line between Yonkers and the Bronx."
As the Brawley case devolved into chaos, Yonkers followed a
parallel track.
That year, the mayor got bullets in the mail because he refused
to oppose the plan completely. Witnesses who testified in favor of
the proposal before the City Council were jeered down.
When the City Council approved the first part of the plan in
January 1988, the vote drew hundreds of people, screaming
insults and threats. And although a lot of residents looked down
on the few aggressive bigots who dominated press coverage, a poll
that year found that two-thirds of the city's residents opposed the
desegregation plan.
On August 2, 1988, the council rejected the second part of the
plan. Councilrnembers emerged from their vote to a crowd chant-
ing AI Sharpton's refrain, "No justice! No peace!"
Judge Sand retaliated the next day, fining the city at a rate that
began at $100 and doubled each day-a schedule that would
bankrupt the city within 22 days. Moody's suspended the city's
bond rating, and the city's emergency financial control board took
over the books. Sand filled the defiant city councilmen $500 a day
and threatened to toss them in jail.
By the fall, the councilmembers had backed down, but they did-
n't capitulate willingly: Newman says his work was constantly
stymied by the city, who refused to give him detailed maps or issue
the zoning variances he needed. ''The federal judge has very little
power, until the city or state refuses to implement the remedy," says
Newman. ''But when it does, the judge's power increases propor-
Once, a group of Japanese investors interested in starting a facto-
ry in Yonkers invited the mayor and City Council to Tokyo "for a
week of high living, without their mates," remembers Newman.
''The city had simply refused to pass something I needed passed. So
I went to the judge and we put them under house arrest: they could-
n't leave town until they passed it. They passed it the next day."
By 1993, the houses were done, and by 1994 the families were in.
ust across the highway from Yonkers' famous old harness
horse racing track, between Lorring and Clark streets, stand
24 two-story houses in lines of twelve. The houses are
Identikit: brick, with cream-colored wooden facades on the
second floor.
The Fiorillo scattered-site public housing development, one of
the smaller Newman creations, hardly looks like Longo's vision of
Bronx doom. Each of the small apartments built has its own minia-
ture lawn and stoop; many have rosebushes and flower gardens.
Since 1992, when the houses went up, Yvonne Dixon, a day-
care worker, has lived here with her husband and three children.
"I'd been living in School Street [projects] for three years," Dixon
says. "You couldn' t send the kids out. Round here, everything is
fenced in."
The researchers, based at Columbia University, found that
most tenants agree with the Dixons. In their study, they visited
each of the tenants within a year of moving into
the new projects, asking them questions about
neighborhood drug use and gang problems,
mental health and stress, family dynamics and
"tll thell ;Ire not p;lrt social circles. Researchers compared those
'I. 'I U U responses to those from a group of 160 tenants
of our neighborhood"
that stayed in the old public housing.
The tenants in the new housing weren' t dif-
ferent from the project dwellers-they had sim-
ilar work experience, history with welfare and
"IS no "Interch;lnge education. But they were better off.
U " Another tenant, a wheelchair-restricted 32-
There's no coming to
mq house for tea""
year-old named Martha Buxo, says that in the
projects she lived in southeast Yonkers "there
was a lot of vandalism, fires every week. The
kids were indoors all the time."
Now, instead of living three flights up,
Buxo's family lives on the ground floor. In the
garden is a large tent for the children, and a
resident Elenor
Fisher Price basketball net. "Here, they go outside," says Buxo.
"They're happier. They fight less."
The research team found that only a fifth of the scattered-site
tenants still worry about safety, compared with 75 percent of the
public housing tenants. There were other benefits: Women in the
new housing were twice as likely to find employment, and fewer
families had problems with abuse or violence. Compared to the
projects, nearly twice as many adolescents in the scattered sites
, I
onkers is just a footnote compared to the Chicago
case that was the beginning of large-scale housing
desegregation-and the end of the projects.
In 1966, the ACLU filed a major lawsuit on behalf of a
Chicago public housing tenant named Dorothy Gautreaux.
The lawsuit held that high-density projects were intrinsi-
cally racist, because they confined poor, mostly black
tenants to one corner of the city.
The courts agreed in 1969, and the decision forced
Chicago's housing authority to embark on an ambitious
vouchering and scattered-site program. Gautreaux would
eventually shift more than 9,000 public housing families
into predominantly white regions of Cook County.
Opponents managed to stall the plan for 20 years, but
since 1987, about 1,500 scattered-site apartments have
been built, and there are another 500 in the works. A
separate decision established housing vouchers for 7,100
poor families to move into suburban areas; the last of
these families moved last year.
But despite the protests-some staged as recently as
a few years ago-the sociologists who studied Gautreaux
said the plan has been a success.
"The suburban [public housing] children were more
likely to graduate high school and go on to college, and
they tended to go to better, four year colleges," says
James Rosenbaum, a Northwestern University sociologist
who studied the voucher families. "They got more and
better jobs. The mothers were also more likely to get
jobs, particularly people who'd never had jobs in their
"[I]t is not something inside of them that keeps them
from working," he adds. "Changing their environment
does work."
could name adults that they could lean on for advice and help.
''The old-fashioned traditional public housing is gone," says
Joe Darden, dean of urban affairs at Michigan State and one of the
Yonkers researchers. Darden, who also testified as an expert wit-
ness in Chicago's landmark Gautreaux case (see ''The Chicago
Way"), says that "scattered-site is the model for the future at this
point. It's the best remedy that we know of."
Ut that future may not look anything like the ''beloved com-
munity" that Martin Luther King hoped for when he spoke of
an integrated America. When the Dixons first moved in, says
Yvonne, it was like there was a line down the street separat-
ing their development from the rest of the neighborhood. "It
was a racial thing," she says. "We were black, and they had the old
ways. They weren' t hostile, but they weren' t used to the idea of a
housing project."
In fact, her husband Erwin ended up on the Joan Rivers show,
talking about Yonkers race relations with his recalcitrant white
neighbors. On camera, Rivers, a Scarsdale native, offered to pay
for an expensive dinner for the two families. They went, says
Yvonne, but never really became friends, and eventually, that fam-
ily moved away. "Everybody's fine now;' she says. ''They just had 0
to get used to the idea." 0.;
Buxo, who moved into her two-bedroom apartment in south- ~
east Yonkers less than a year ago, says she's had no problems with '"
her neighbors. "I mind my business, you
don't step in my way, I don't step in yours,
and if you do step in my way, I don't argue
with you," she says. But she agrees that
there isn't much of a community in this
suburban neighborhood. "I feel like, where
I live, a lot of people are prejudiced. You
sit in the park, there could be blacks and
whites, and the white people, they don't
even laugh with you. In the beginning, I
felt uncomfortable with that situation. But
even with that, I'm still happy. I got my
own backyard, and I can send my kids to
the park, or watch them in the backyard. I
can keep an eye on them."
And many Crestwood residents still
resent the development, cursing Judge
Sand and describing the public housing
tenants with suspicion and distrust. Kids
from the development used to come up and
rake leaves or shovel snow for a few
bucks, but Crestwood homeowners say
they don't do it anymore.
Elon Ebanks has lived in Crestwood for 26 years. Neither
Ebanks nor any of his neighbors could think of a single serious
incident-burglary, fight or confrontation-caused by the pub-
lic housing tenants. But that doesn't mean that Ebanks, a
Honduran of Scottish ancestry who worked as a super in the
Bronx for 13 years, is happy about the development in his
He says race is not the issue: "It's not the people, it's the wel-
fare." Standing on his driveway, Ebanks points up and down the
street: among his neighbors, he says, are Dominicans, Puerto
Ricans, Trinidadians and Indians. He likes them, he says-they
are homeowners, and they work.
"We didn't want welfare going into the neighborhood," he
says. "It was going to run the damn neighborhood down. If they
buy [a home] for $225,000, they'll take care of it, but if it's given
to them they won't take care of it. I've seen what was done in the
Bronx. I lived on Sheridan Avenue [in Morrisania]. I saw the
neighborhood just go blam. They refurbished the buildings, and
gutted them, but within five years it was back to the way it was to
begin with. If somebody had bought the building, they'd take care
of it."
he sociologists say that full integration-the kind that makes
communities-isn't the purpose of scattered-site housing in
any case.
"That is something that we think, if it should occur, it
would take longer," says Darden. "We don't know whether
or not it will happen. It is quite uncommon for this kind of social
interaction to take place across racial lines, especially when you
add class on top of it."
The problem with any desegregation plan is that racial justice
also relies on economics. Phase two of desegregation, open to
families making up to $74,000 a year, won't do much for people
who are both poor and minorities.
"The judge's original decision may have been question-
able," admits Newman, who worked with Sand in Yonkers for
eight years. "It wasn't a race issue, but an income issue, and a
welfare issue."
"The people of Yonkers are not racist," he adds. "But they lived
in the Bronx, and in Brooklyn, when public housing high rises
began to be built. They saw what happened to their neighbor-
hoods. Some of them had escaped that kind of environment two or
three times in their life, from Brooklyn to Queens, and from
Queens to Yonkers, where they finally bought a house. They
weren't going to see it happen again."
Mary Dorman, herself a Bronx refugee, was one of those neigh-
borhood guardians. She went to rallies, she pressured politicians,
and even traveled to Washington, D.C. to protest desegregation.
"What I was opposed to was the judge corning in and telling
people that they had to have low-income housing on their side of
town," says Dorman, a secretary at St. Joseph's Seminary who
owns a house in Eastern Yonkers. "I don't think the judge had a
right to do that."
But she also made sure to get to know her new neighbors.
Dorman was part of the screening committee that interviewed the
new tenants. At first, she also acted like the neighborhood diplo-
mat, helping the new tenants with day-to-day problems. "I felt
sorry for the people who were moving in," she says now. "I never
felt hostility toward them. They were like pawns, they were like
hockey pucks in the game."
Even though south Yonkers had some of the fiercest public
housing opponents, Dorman says nobody in her Lincoln Park
neighborhood minds the development or the new tenants any-
more. "The terrible things that were supposed to happen didn't
happen," she explains.
Still, after the first six months or so, Dorman stopped visiting
the newcomers, and she says she doesn't know any of them well.
But Dorman says that's normal.
And that problem, in the long run, may not be racism, but sub-
"It's just not that kind of community, it's not the kind of place
where people are hanging out, having coffee," Dorman says.
"People don't connect in this neighborhood."
Martful Buxo
(center) atftrst
felt like a
stranger in this
white neighbor-
Yanqui Doodle
mother's conservationist zeal stemmed
from having to fetch water several times a
day as a girl in PR, a five-gallon can bal-
anced on her head, from a com-
mon faucet 500 yards away
from her mother's house. She
was 5'2". I suspect that she
could have been an elegant
5' 8" had not this duty been
imposed on her. Sharff's curi-
ous Puerto Rican Nereidal
decanting of water during
cleaning is a bit strange.
By Edgardo Vega Yunque
"King Kong on 4th Street:
Families and the Violence of
Poverty on the Lower East
Side;' by Jagna Wojcicka
Sharf!, Westview Press, 1998,
258 pages, $18.
n 1992, I was asked to judge the Cintas
Prizes for Literature, awarded to Cuban
Americans. Part of the supporting materi-
al was "Translated Woman," MacArthur
Fellow Dr. Ruth Behar's anthropological
study of a woman in Mexico with whom she had
established a relationship of comadrazgo, or god-
Her text broke ground and broke rules regarding the behav-
ior of anthropologist and subject. Behar was able to draw on her
personal relationship with the woman to create an extremely
well-crafted ethnographic study bolstered by brilliant scholar-
ship, writing and intimacy. She had the advantage of speaking
Spanish fluently, and was thoroughly aware of the subtleties of
Latin American culture.
I wish the same could be said for "King Kong on 4th Street,"
Jagna Sharff's well-meaning anecdotal study of the Lower East
Side. In contrast to Behar's book, Sharff's work reads like the
chatty diary of a foreign exchange student mesmerized by an
exotic experience. We are witness to a IS-year romanticized
stroll through the Lower East Side that demeans the Puerto
Rican experience and adds little to the documentation of the
culture of poverty.
The best of the book-and there is too little of it-takes
place when Sharff interviews her subjects or writes from her
own notes. There are parts that speak to the truth of poverty and
how it damages children, as well as adults.
But the narrative falls flat when the "anthropologist" takes
over; the academic nature of the work is without verve and
extremely condescending. One also wishes, reading this book,
that more attention had been paid to common sense scholarship.
As a test of what we leamed and still recall about general-
izations, let's try this one on for size: During a visit to a
woman's house, Sharff informs us that Clara "was re-mopping
the floor, cold water pouring out of the kitchen faucet, as usual
when Puerto Rican women are cleaning house full blast."
Amazing! My South Bronx/El Barrio Puerto Rican mother
certainly did not fit into this haphazard statistical model. Leave
water running and the probability was more than 85 percent that
you would be left out of the rice and beans list that evening. My
I've spoken to at least a
dozen women in the Lower
East Side, believing that
perhaps the practice was
regional-which does not
constitute a true or signifi-
cant sampling-and I've
gotten reactions that run
from "are you crazy?" to
"maybe she forgot to tum
off the water because she
was thinking about sex."
The ethos of the
neighborhood Sharff pre-
sents is that of the 1970s filtered through the flawed memory of
25 years of social upheaval in the United States. Sharff's argu-
ments sound like what many of us heard at boring cocktail par-
ties on the Upper West Side when it was obvious that the revo-
lution had fizzled out. The book is what a sanitized Tompkins
Square Park is today, compared to what it was in the late 1960s
when people scored the drug of their choice, drank wine,
smoked pot and made love indiscriminately al fresco.
There is a lack of adequate understanding of Puerto Rican
culture and a number of misspellings in English ("Pentacostal"
rather than "Pentecostal," as if the former were some sort of
divine five-step program, rather than a religion based on the
descent of the Holy Ghost to the disciples). This is Lower East
Side 101, folks.
On the PR side, Sharff's notion that "bobo" means "sissy"
is hilarious. The word means dopey, lacking in smarts or unso-
phisticated. I've known bobos who were totally without brains
but courageous in the extreme and therefore dangerous.
Sharff claims that El Teatro Ambulante mainly presented
plays in Spanish. The plays were in English. I know. I played the
lead in Bimbo Rivas' "El Piragiiero de Loisaida," 50 perfor-
mances in the storefront theater on 6th Street between 1st Avenue
and Avenue A, and then about 100 more in the Orpheum.
In "King Kong" we're asked, as in fiction, to suspend dis-
belief and be carried into what is uncharted waters for most
people who don't know the Puerto Rican community. What was
needed in this book was some academic distance and more cor-
roborative facts about this much misunderstood urban experi-
ence. Had there been more care in the scholarship, we could
have had an enormously valuable study .
Edgardo Vega Yunque is a published author and president of
Clemente Soto velez Cultural Center on the Lower East Side.
The ABCs of CCls
I11III r n the early 1990s, several major foundations ,
including Annie E. Casey, Rockefeller and Ford,
embraced an approach to solving urban poverty
known as "community building." These efforts
focus on a particular neighborhood and are
designed to relieve economic, physical and social
J problems simultaneously. Typically they are foun-
.... ~ dation-led and enlist participants across racial
and class lines, creating a governing body composed of people
who live in the neighborhood, staff from local nonprofits and
government, and downtown businesses.
Now, with a few dozen "comprehensive community initia-
tives" (CCls) up and running nationally, the people who fund
and staff this work have begun referring to it as a "field"--and
occasionally even a "movement." The CCIs have spawned
books, reports and web sites.
Since CCls attract millions of dollars, it's a good idea for
organizers, service providers, housing developers, job trainers,
teachers and health care workers--people who may not be
involved in community building per se but are nonetheless com-
munity builders--to keep up with them. Be prepared for jargon;
many of the materials talk of "planning across program areas;'
"product versus process" and the like. But the issues CCls wran-
gle with echo those faced by anyone who is serious about revital-
izing urban neighborhoods. Here are some studies to take a look
A. eood Introduction
"Stories of Renewal: Community Building and the Future of
Urban America," commissioned by the Rockefeller
Foundation, is an introduction to CCIs. It lays out the field's
underlying principles, including a commitment to unite "bricks
and mortar" efforts with those that help individuals and fami-
lies, foster broad community participation, focus on local
strengths rather than weaknesses, and require racial equity.
In case studies of CCIs, the report tempers its appreciative
bent with some gentle criticism-or at least acknowledgment
that everything hasn't always gone as planned. In a brief section
on community organizing and CCIs, it acknowledges that ten-
sions arise between traditional organizers and CCI-types who
make collaboration paramount. The report doesn't go so far as
to point out that traditional organizers-striving to build grass-
roots groups that don't fear targeting the powerful--can in fact
pit CCI partners against one another.
The report also discusses the way race gets played out in
CCIs. It shows how the working relationship between a white
male (a vice president at United Parcel Service) and a black
female (a Head Start veteran) made an Atlanta CCI successful,
and includes a dialogue about race by two CCl directors, one
black and one white.
By Joan Walsh, 40 pp., 212-869-8500.
Evaluating CCls
"New Approaches to Evaluating Community Initiatives," a
book published by the Aspen Institute's Roundtable on
Comprehensive Community Initiatives for Children
and Families, explores the difficulty of evaluating
CCIs. It highlights the mismatch between traditional methods
of evaluation-which favor quantifiable outcomes-and the
reality on the ground. Grounded in the social sciences, the
authors wrestle with evaluating CCI objectives that are vague
but complex, and measuring the cooperative energy CCls aim
to foment. Ultimately, they call for CCI designers to be clearer
about their goals.
Nonprofit executives who write status reports to funders
will relate to questions that stump CCI evaluators. Above all ,
this book can give anti-poverty agencies facing their own eval-
uations intelligence about the options and pressures evaluators
face-information that could help them get evaluations that are
as useful as possible.
Edited by James P. Connell, Anne C. Kubisch, Lisbeth B.
Schorr and Carol H. Weiss, 225 pp., 212-677-5510.
Polley Implications
According to "Community Building Coming of Age,"
published by the Development Training Institute and The
Urban Institute, the central theme of community building
should be "to obliterate feelings of dependency and to
replace them with attitudes of self-reliance, self-confi-
dence and responsibility." Asserting that CCIs are effec-
tive and that widespread community building wouldn't
require new public funds, the authors make a series of rec-
ommendations: Local governments' social welfare pro-
grams should employ a community building approach; all
metropolitan areas should have nonprofit intermediaries to
support community building; and federal and state govern-
ments should support community building efforts much
like they have supported CDCs-without wresting away
By G. Thomas Kingsley, Joseph B. McNeely, James O.
Gibson, 73 pp., 202-857-8585.
"Core Issues in Comprehensive Community-Building
Initiatives," Chapin Hall Center for Children, 312-753-5958.
"The Planning Phase of the Rebuilding Communities
Initiative," Annie E. Casey Foundation, 410-547-6600.
"Voices from the Field: Learning from the Early Work of
Comprehensive Community Initiatives," Roundtable on
Comprehensive Community Initiatives, 212-677-5510.
Shelte/force, NovemberlDecember 1997 and January/
February 1998, http://www.nhi.org.
The National Community Building Network,
minute speech, I got the impression that I was submitting to a
litmus test that measured only two things: my fidelity to the
financial institution in question or my radical, bank-hating cre-
CRA hearing participants tend to break into two camps:
organizations that have received bank grants or loans, and
advocacy groups who either don't depend on bank support or
are not accountable to any particular neighborhood.
I, on the other hand, represent a growing number of squea-
mish organizations who not only have close and mutually ben-
eficial relationships with certain banks, but also have an oblig-
ation to protect the consumer interests of our communities.
In a perfect world, these wouldn't be contradictory positions.
But, as director of a small non-
Eyewitness to a Merger
profit, I find myself caught
between responding to the
quickening pace of my fun-
ders' heartbeat-whether
By Mark Winston Griffith
Mark Winston
Griffith is
Director of the
Central Brooklyn
Partnership and
cof ounder of the
Central Brooklyn
Federal Credit
t was like deja vu. No sooner had I walked out of the audi-
torium when I was bombarded by people commenting on the
testimony that I had just delivered to the Federal Reserve
Board regarding the proposed Citicorp-Travelers merger.
Just three years earlier, as I was spirited out of the very
same hearing room upon submitting my views on the pro-
posed Chase-Chemical merger, I served as a lightning rod for
the same assortment of press, bank officials, Federal Reserve
staff and community activists. Now as then, I neither advo-
cated for, nor argued against the proposed merger. Like then,
I had tried to balance my appreciation for one of my organi-
zation's most faithful and supportive bank partners with
some very real concerns about financial service delivery
to my community. And just like then, despite my attempt
to walk a fine line with my conscience intact, I left the
hearing room with a creepy, unsettling feeling in the pit
of my gut that I had betrayed an ally-I just wasn't sure
which one.
There was one key difference: Three years ago, by
refusing to summarily condemn both of the banks in
question, I was accused, rather angrily, of being a "sell-
out" by a Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) advo-
cate, while the bankers in the house were waiting to
carry me out on their shoulders.
This time an insurance company, Travelers, is one
of the merger partners and the future of banking as we
know it is at stake. All the pressure of complying with
the CRA requirements is falling on Citicorp---and
bank officials need a show of community support as never
This time, when I did not give my unqualified endorsement
of the merger, the very same CRA advocate sang my praises.
And some of the bankers, though polite and genuinely gracious,
appeared wounded. Both times, as a result of a process that is
designed to empower community-based organizations, I felt like
I'd acted self-destructively, risking my organization's financial
stability and reputation.
Perhaps I'm overly sensitive. But when I gave my four-
foundation or a bank-and the
pulse of my community.
This is further complicated by the fact that many of the staff
people I work with in bank community reinvestment depart-
ments are actually beautiful souls who are truly committed to
community development, not to mention very good friends of
mine who, if they could, would give me more support than is
allowed by their bank. Most importantly, they happen to believe
in my organization's work and value our community develop-
ment partnership.
Yet I belong to alliances and networks of advocacy and
community organizing groups that represent the most consis-
tent and effective agents of social change in the city.
Viewed broadly, bank mergers represent a trend toward
the creation of a global financial industry that is increasing-
ly impersonal and unresponsive to the needs of low-income
people. Against this backdrop, any merger-regardless of
the banks involved and their specific community reinvest-
ment record-becomes suspect. Trying to make the separate
points that a particular bank helps your community, but that
its merger threatens your neighborhod, is tricky, but it has to
be made.
The perils are obvious. Advocates, who by definition are
trained to see the world as a fight between good and evil, may
judge you harshly for not safeguarding CRA. Banks, as in any
business relationship, may feel undermined by their communi-
ty "partner" who has challenged their reinvestment efforts with
statements placed on the public record. If this happens and the
banks withdraw support, you may suddenly find it more diffi-
cult to meet payroll.
The next time a merger hearing rolls into town, it might be
safer and arguably smarter to just stay home and out of the fray,
like many of my colleagues do. There is absolutely no shame in
survival. Like Bob Marley sang, "He who fights and runs away,
lives to fight another day."
But chances are you' ll see me there the next time, boldly,
recklessly ... straddling the fence. As long as low- and moderate-
income neighborhoods of color remain dependent on these
"community empowerment" investments, it may be the only
truly independent position left to take .
(Continued from page 4)
Hospitals Corporation plenty of time to
grant us an interview and address the alle-
gations in the article before we went to
press late last month.
Kevin Heldman first called Dr.
Zimmerman on March 4, 1998. His last
call to her was on May 12, 1998. Over
that period, Kevin made at least 14 logged
phone calls to Dr. Zimmerman;faxed over
specific questions for the story; faxed over
a follow-up letter emphasizing the impor-
tance of Woodhull's cooperation; and
hand delivered copies of the magazine
and a letter describing his story and cre-
dentials at Dr. Zimmerman's request. At
every juncture, Kevin assured Dr.
Zimmerman that he would do anything
possible to get Woodhull's input. In their
last conversation on May 12, Dr.
Zimmerman assured Kevin that she would
call back before press time with an inter-
view or response for the story. She never
On Friday, May 22, 1998--the morning
after we went to press--Dr. Zimmerman
called me to explain why she chose not to
arrange an interview for Kevin. It was
only after Dr. Zimmerman realized that
our source for the story was not mentally
ill--and was, in fact, Kevin--that she took
our request for comment seriously.
I relay all of this because Dr.
Zimmerman's behavior illustrates our core
reason for doing this story in the manner
that we did: It is all too easy to discount
the opinions and allegations of mentally ill
patients. Even trained health profession-
als--like Dr. Zimmerman--tend to dismiss
their observations.
I would like to extend an invitation to
the officials at Woodhull and the Health
and Hospitals Corporation to respond to
Kevin Heldman's article. I can offer you
one of two ways.
First, Woodhull or HHC officials
can agree to sit down for an interview
to address the issues in the article and
offer their response. We would do a fol-
low-up article in our next issue-due to
go to the printer in mid-July--detailing
and analyzing the response of these
Second, we would offer to print a
response written by officials at Woodhull
or HHC up to 1,600 words-two full pages
in the magazine. Assuming the word count
is respected, we will not edit the letter. You
should note, however, that we do reserve
the right to print a response by Kevin fol-
lowing your letter.
Finally, I would like to note that we
took great care in researching, writing,
fact-checking and legally vetting this
article. You will see when you read it that
it is a sober discussion of Kevin's experi-
ences and the challenge of improving
mental health services for low-income
people. We stand fully behind his superi-
or work.
Dear Ms. Nauer:
Thank you for your letter of June 8,
1998. I am disturbed that your letter fails
to address Mr. Heldman's adntission that
he falsely presented himself to Woodhull
Hospital for treatment and participated in
and caused the diversion of limited public
resources. You have also failed to justify
the ntisrepresentation Mr. Heldman made
to Dr. Zimmerman while seeking her par-
ticipation in his alleged research. We will
be interested in seeing how such patently
improper behavior may be justified by
your article.
We will address your offer of an opportu-
nity to respond to the article post-publication
once we have read the piece. At that time, it
will be possible to determine whether one of
your proposals is acceptable or whether our
follow up will be legal in nature.
Barbara R. Keller
H.ldman'. a H.ro
I'm tremendously impressed and
touched by your work. I do outpatient
work with HIV-infected persons in the
Bronx, and I'm now trying to figure out
how to serve persons with diagnoses such
as schizophrenia. Your article gives me
great pause and suggests I look and see
what is happening in inpatient wards here.
Society often treats persons with schiz-
ophrenia or bipolar disorder or substance
abuse as inhuman. But we revere-and
protect-the systems that dehumanize
Mark G. Winiarski , PhD.
Great Neck, NY
BOOnl - or bust?
Community economic development organizations are creating
jobs and revitalizing neighborhoods throughout New York City.
Since 1969, many of these organizations have turned to Lawyers
Alliance for New York for top quality business legal services.
From structuring local development corporations and merchant
associations to establishing credit unions and community loan
funds, the staff and volunteer attorneys at Lawyers Alliance
understand the legal issues that economic development organi-
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To find out if Lawyers Alliance's free or low-cost legal services
can help your organization succeed, call us at 212 219-1800.
99 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10013
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for New York
Building a Better New York
(Continued from page 15)
Ironically, Bed-Stuy's own staff sends
clients to other Legal Services or Legal
Aid offices for help. "We became sort of a
referral service," Arden recalls. "At some
point, I realized that if something needed
to really be handled, it would have to be
referred to another place."
lncreasingly, that other place has
become the Legal Aid Society's walk-in
clinic at Medgar Evers College. Staff
lawyers there say that at times half of the
90 people they see every month have been
turned away by Bed-Stuy.
"I accept that we are unable to meet the
enormous need," Gaines concedes. "We
even refer people to places where we
believe they'll be able to get help. There's
just not enough resources to deal with
everybody who comes here."
That's true, but Bed-Stuy pulls in $1.4
million a year. That's about the same bud-
get Gaines had in the early 1990s when she
employed eight staff lawyers-before the
union strife began.
Turning Up th. Pr ur.
Recently, a coalition of groups-
including staffers from the Pratt Area
Community Council, BNIA, the City-Wide
Task Force on Housing Court and the
lawyers union, as well as an assortment of
For much of the
last two years,
Bed-Stuy legal
Services has
employed exactly
one staff attorney.
For a time earlier
this year, they
had none.
Legal Services and Legal Aid attorneys-
has met to plan ways to force Gaines to hire
more lawyers and take more cases.
Several times, they have brought their
complaints before Bed-Stuy's board of
directors, which has the power to remove
Gaines. But chairman Hiram Bell ill and
other board members have closed ranks
behind the director. "We have only so
much money, and we represent only as
many people as we can," Bell says. "She
tries to use our limited staff as best as she can."
The lawyers union has been a little
more successful in pressuring Legal
Services for New York, the central orga-
nization empowered with the oversight
of Bed-Stuy. In 1997, LSNY's executive
director, Dale Johnson, blocked Gaines
from hiring an administrative manager
after the union objected to the employ-
ment of anyone other than a staff lawyer.
In contract negotiations late last year,
Johnson reportedly promised union repre-
sentatives he would try to raise the money to
investigate how Gaines runs Bed-Stuy. He
even went so far as to suggest that the direc-
tors of other Legal Services offices chip in
money for a Bed-Stuy investigation fund.
So far, however, nothing has come of the
plan, and Johnson did not return calls for com-
But all the pressure seems to have had
some impact. In April, Gaines hired a staff
attorney to replace Joseph, followed by
two new hires in June. At the same time,
two managers have quit, bringing the man-
agement to a healthier one-to-one ratio.
But it's too late to help Mary Robinson,
who's on the edge of eviction. "It's over
for me," she says. "The marshal's coming,
and when he gets here I'm just gonna walk
out and not look back."
Manufacturers & Traders Trust Company-New York City Division (M&T Bank) is now accepting
applications for grant awards under our Entrepreneurial Ingenuity Grant Program (EIP). EIP was
established to provide not-for-profit community development organizations with a one-time financial grant
in recognition of their income-generation, business creation and operational efforts.
M&T Bank's EIP Grant Program will provide financial grant awards of up to $15,000 to three competitively
selected community development corporations in support of a community and/or non-profit owned businesses.
For further information, please contact:
N aima Efuru Eastmond
Community Development Unit
350 Park Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 350-2584 e-mail: NEastmond@MandTBank.com
HOUSING SPECIALIST. Brooklyn-based community development organization seeks
motivated individual as housing specialist. Work with tenant associations and
boards on resident ownership, tenant and community issues. Assist with hous-
ing development projects. Organizing experience; knowledge of housing issues;
well-organized; good communication skills. Computer and Spanish a plus.
Salary: mid $20s to low $30s, based on experience. Resume and cover letter
to: Housing Specialist, Fifth Avenue Committee, 141 Fifth Ave., Brooklyn, NY
11217. Or fax to 718-857-4322.
Dynamic Youth Service Organization seeks YOUTH DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR, com-
munity based not-for-profit seeks energetic, detail oriented, dedicated and
dynamic individual to maintain, develop and build educational and enrichment
programs for children aged 7-18. Programs include: mentoring, after-school tuto-
rials, youth newsletter, SAT and college prep, and job internships. Position
offers the opportunity to develop, design and implement programming while
doing hands-on work with young people. Candidates will be selected with an
eye on their potential for advancement. Experience in education and/or non-
profit setting helpful. Salary to low $30s, depending on experience. Full bene-
fits. Send cover letter and resume to: Executive Director, Harlem RBI , P.O. Box
871, Hell Gate Station, NY, NY 10029. Fax to 212-722-1862. Women and
minorities strongly encouraged to apply.
VP FOR PROGRAMS. Major civic nonprofit seeks senior manager to oversee pro-
gram operations. Works with all departments to assure program planning devel-
opment and operations. Prepares, monitors and manages multiple budget:
develops grants, and coordinates program development and fundraising by pro-
gram staff and supervises, and evaluates program directors. Reports to
President. MA + 5yrs' experience in nonprofit management and program plan-
ning. Extensive knowledge of NYC neighborhoods. Detail oriented and excellent
communication skills required, knowledge of MS Office or PCs a+. Salary com-
mensurate with experience. F-T. Excellent benefits. Send resume, salary require-
ment and short writing sample ASAP to attn: Exec, CCNYC, 305 7th Ave, 15th
R., NYC 10001. Or e-mail: jobs@citizensnyc.org.
Queens Legal Services Corporation is seeking a COMMUNITY OUTREACH COORDI
NATOR to supervise The People's Law School, a new program to provide com-
munity education to CBOs and individuals through Queens. The candidate will
work closely with staff to develop and implement a comprehensive community
education plan, publish a quarterly newsletter, organize peer advocate training
and develop creative outreach methods. Applicant must have experience in com-
munity outreach and program development and knowledge of civil legal issues in
low-income communities. Bi - or multi-lingual ism is preferred. AJD is not
required. Please fax a cover letter, resume and writing sample to: Mr. Arnold S.
Cohen, Project Director. Fax: 718-526-5051.
Small , regional housing and community development nonprofit seeks STAFF
ASSOCIATE with excellent writing, organization and communication skills. Must
work independently to prepare proposals, provide technical assistance to com-
munity organizations, deliver workshops, handle closings and certify individuals
for housing programs. 2+ years' experience in housing or related field preferred.
Salary: mid $30s. Fax resume: 914-332-4147.
LARNING ALLIANCE COORDINATOR, Community Service. Citywide nonprofit seeks
skilled administrator to coordinate Alliance projects and fundraising.
Responsible for prospecting, building and maintaining communication with fun-
ders. Organize activities and meeting. College +3 years' experience in nonprofit
fundraising and program development. Attention to detail and excellent commu-
nication skills. MS Word and bilingual a+. Position currently funded one year.
Salary: mid-$30s. Resume and writing sample ASAP to: CCNYC, attn. MC, 305
7th Ave., 15 R., NYC 10001. Or e-mail: jobs@citizensnyc.org, include Alliance in
POUTICAL ORGANIZERS. NYPIRG seeks FT political organizers to coordinate cam-
paigns on college campuses across NYS developing students' advocacy, orga-
nizing and media skills. Work with campus and community on social justice,
environment, higher education and consumer issues. Excellent interpersonal
skills and bachelor's degree required; experience with student organizations,
campaigns and media helpful. People of all backgrounds urged to apply. Send
resume to: Rachel Tronzano, NYPIRG, 9 Murray St., NY, NY 10007. Or fax: 212-
The Tenants' and Workers' Support Committee, a community-based worker-orga-
nizing and community development organization, seeks an ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR.
Responsibilities: Develop political training and organizing programs; strengthen
linkages among programs in health, economic development, education, living
wages, women's leadership; supervise 3 to 5 staff; administration.
Qualifications: 3 years' organizing experience; excellent communication English-
Spanish; computer literate; commitment to progressive social change. Salary:
DOE, good benefits. Resume w/ refs: TWSC, P.O. Box 2327, Alexandria, VA,
UHF, a national NFP loan fund seeks a LOAN ADMINISTRATOR in NY to moni-
tor/service NY portfolio, close and service new loans, and implement a new pro-
gram to provide loan servicing and training for other intermediaries. Requires
previous experience, strong communication skills, organizational, financial and
computer aptitude. Mac experience preferred. Salary to $43,000. Cafeteria-
style benefits include medical, dental & 403(b) annUity. Include cover letter with
resume, mailed to: UHF, NY, 55 John St., 10th R., NY, NY 10038, attn: Program
Manager. Fax to 212-346-9793. Or e-mail to ny@ny.lihf.org.
CASE MANAGER. Salary: $25K, plus benefits. Immediate hire. Responsible for
individual, family and group crisiS intervention, advocacy and referral for large,
dynamic South Bronx CDC. Requirements: BSW or BA with 2-5 years related
experience. Strong problem-solving skills. Bilingual (Spanish) is required. Send
resume and cover letter to: Mary Barnett Lockman, Director of Social Services,
Mount Hope Housing Company, Inc., 2003-05 Walton Ave., Bronx, NY 10453.
Fax: 718-299-6646.
PROGRAM ASSISTANT. Habitat for Humanity-NYC, a faith-based, not-for-profit hous-
ing development corporation, seeks a Program Assistant to develop home own-
ership opportunities for low-income families in various NYC neighborhoods. The
Program Assistant is responsible for establishing and working with neighbor-
hood-based local Habitat chapters, community outreach to local congregations,
businesses and other institutions, site selection and acquisition, and local pro-
ject design review. In addition, s/he will work closely with other staff member-
ship to insure the timely start and completion of projects and further the work
of the organization. Requirements: BA; 2 years of experience in real estate man-
agement/ development, urban planning, community organizing or a related field;
strong computer skills (Microsoft Office); excellent written and oral communica-
tion abilities. Applicant should be self-motivated, able to work independently and
handle multiple tasks. Salary: $32K. Send resume and cover letter to: Roland
Lewis, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity-NYC, 334 Furman St. , Brooklyn,
NY 11201.
FAMILY COORDINATOR. Habitat for Humanity-NYC, a faith-based, not-for-profit
housing development corporation, seeks a Family Coordinator to select and then
assist Habitat sweat equity" Family Partners construct and purchase their own
homes. The Family Coordinator would work with Habitat neighborhood chapter
Family Selection Committees to market and select eligible families for Habitat
homes. The Family Coordinator would insure that Family Partners work the
required number of sweat equity homes and complete all requirements for
Habitat homeownership. The Family Coordinator would assist the Citywide Family
Selection Committee develop family selection policy regarding marketing proce-
dures and selection criteria. After selection, the Family Coordinator would work
with families to provide homeowner education and prepare them for the respon-
sibilities of homeownership. The Family Coordinator would also work with
Habitat's Family Nurture Committee to provide support and guidance to Family
Partners after they purchase and occupy their Habitat homes. Requirements:
BA, 4 years of experience in management and/ or marketing of affordable hous-
ing or related field; excellent written and oral communication abilities. Applicant
should be self-motivated and able to work independently. Salary: $35K. Send
resume and cover letter to: Roland Lewis, Executive Director, Habitat for
Humanity-NYC, 334 Furman St., Brooklyn, NY 11201.
Chief of staff to NYC Public Advocate seeks ASSISTANT for a wide variety of
administrative and research related tasks. Junior level, non-civil position, salary
commensurate with experience. Please fax cover letter to Laurel Blatchford at
COMMUNITY ORGANIZER. The Bronx Cluster of Settlement Houses seeks two CO's
for Community Building Project. A new initiative of the ten Bronx Settlement
Houses to help improve our communities; become involved around organizing
local issues with other organizations; carrying out our own projects.
Qualifications: BA with two years organizing experience; youth work a plus; com-
munication skills; work with diverse staff and community; handle multiple tasks;
creativity and energy. Salary high $20s with excellent benefits. Fax cover letter
with resume to: Community Building Project 718-293-9767.
CURRICULUM SPECIALIST. Develop, test and produce units on civic partiCipation,
global economics, social action and youth development for curriculum manual.
Candidates should possess an advanced degree, international experience,
strong writing skills, knowledge of conflict resolution, facilitation, and interac-
tive/ experimental learning. Salary low to mid $30s with benefits. Mail resume
and cover letter to: Global Kids, 561 Broadway. 6th Roor, NY, NY 10012.
GRANTWRlTtR. St. Joseph's College, with campuses in Brooklyn and Patchogue,
NY, seeks experienced grant writer. Excellent writing and research skills. Proven
track record of successfully raising funds from private and public sources. Room
for career growth within the organization. Please send resume, writing sample
and salary requirements to VP for Development, St. Josephs College, 245
Clinton Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11205.
PARA PROFESSIONAL Queens Legal Services Corp. seeks a full-time paraprofes-
sional for its Housing Law Unit. Responsibilities include client interviews, inde-
pendent caseload, administrative advocacy, close work with staff attorneys on
housing and related welfare case. Also, the pOSition includes work with commu-
nity-based organizations, tenant groups and associations, outreach and off-site
intake. Spanish preferred, not required. Salary according to Unpin Contract with
excellent benefits. Resume and writing sample to: Lewis G. Creekmore, Director
of Housing Law Unit, Queens Legal Services Corp., 89-00 Sutphin Blvd.,
Jamaica, New York, 11435. (No calls) (continued on page 36)
(continued from page 35)
JOB DEVELOPER, JTPA Building Maintenance and Weatherization. Develop jobs for
program graduates, work with program director, job developers, and. support
staff to ensure best match between participants and placement. Provide 90th
day follow-up and tracking. Meet with potential employers, arrange interviews
and evaluate employment readiness of participants. Salary: commensurate with
experience. Fax resumes to NMIC at 212-928-4180.
SCHOOl ADMINIS1IATlVE ASSISTANT. Expanding, innovative, nationally known
school in Harlem is seeking administrative assistant. Will involve extensive inter-
actions with students and parents. Excellent organizational , communication and
writing skills required. Salary: low-mid $20s. Experience not required. Includes
benefits and eight weeks vacation. Send letter and resume to: The Family
Academy, Attn: SM, 220 West 121 St., New York, NY 10027, Fax: 212-749-
CASE MANAGER. Assess needs of homebound older adults, develop care
plans, advocate, arrange services. Car necessary. BA/ MA/ MSW required.
Health and dental benefits. Four weeks' vacation. Salary: $25,000/ year.
Send resume and cover letter to: ROAC, 59-14 70th Avenue, Ridgewood, NY
11385, attn: Personnel.
EXECUTlVE DIRECTOR. Cooper Square Committee, a 4().year-old nonprofit anti-dis-
placement housing organization working to preserve and develop the area from
14th to Delancey Sts., First to Third Aves., seeks experienced ED with strong
leadership, managerial , financial and fundraising skills. Background in housing
and commitment to organizing in multi-ethnic community essential.
Responsibilities: Supervise staff, administer programs and work closely with
Steering Committee (Board) to do strategic planning, program development and
fundraising. Represent organization at meetings with govemmental agencies and
Proposals/Grant Writing
HUD Gntnu/Govt. RFP.
MI(UA(L 6. 8U((1
HousinglProgram Development
Real Estate Salet/Rentals
Technical Assiuance
Employment Programs
Capacity Building
Community Relations
NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10036-1298

Urban Planning
KIIIhryn AbjIton
118 JIIo.pect PIIIce 1liiie 84
BrooIdyn. NY 11238
718.78U74holce& fa
Housing & Community Development
Economic Analysis Public Relations
Special Events
Marketing Plans
Media Relations
Design & Implementation
Capacity Building
-Low Down Payment! -No Closing Costs!
Renovated Houses Available
Nassan, Suffolk, Queens and Brooklyn
Live the dream and own your own home.
We work with poor credit.
Call Craig at (800) 613-1424 Port halty Group, LLC
at public or legislative hearings. Work with staff and Steering to involve commu-
nity groups, residents and businesses in the activities of the
Qualifications: Minimum BA Degree plus 5 yrs organizing and staff supervIsion.
Salary commensurate with experience. Fax resume to 212-473-2837.
INTERNlFACILlTATORS. The Center for Immigrant Families is looking for intems for
the fall to co-facilitate community workshops in ' Culture, Migration, and
Community Empowerment," and to assist in the development of our Resource
Center for Organizing and Advocacy. Training and stipends are provided for work-
shop co-facilitators. CIF is a community-based group dedicated to addressing
social, political, economic and psychological needs of immigrant communities in
New York City. Please call CIPs voice mail at 212-76().4827.
The department of Public Policy, Litigation & Law at the Planned Parenthood
Federation of America seeks a SENIOR PARALEGAL. Assist attorneys with litiga-
tion, organizational communication and corporate legal work, including research,
cite checking, copy-editing, production and service of filings, writing and editing
materials describing developments in the area of reproductive rights law, and
providing information and documentation to colleagues throughout the organiza-
tion. Supervise legal assistant in maintaining dockets of ongoing cases and
files. Oversee maintenance of law library. Salary mid $30s. Apply to: Roger
Evans, Senior Director, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc., 810
Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10019. Committed to diversity.
PROGRAM INTtRN, Pantry Sisters After-School Program. After-school program
serving girls 13-15 years old is in search of a program intern to work three days
a week from 3:30 to 6:30 (nine hours a week), in the fall and spring semester
(a total of 34 weeks). Interns help students with homework and assist in math,
science and English Labs. Must be familiar with junior high and high school math
and science. Prior experience as a student teacher a plus. $300()'3400 stipend
depending on experience and ability. Internship can also be for credit. Must be
J-51 Tax Abatement/ Exemption. 421A and 421B
Applications 501 (c) (3) Federal Tax Exemptions All
of government-assisted housing, including LISC/ Enterpnse,
Section 202, State Turnkey and NYC Partnership Homes
Attorneys at Law
Bronx, N.Y.
(718) 585-3187
New York, N.Y.
(212) 551-7809
Does your nonprofit need corporate. real estate.
tax or other business legal services?
Lawyers Alliance for New York has a staff of skilled lawyers
and a roster of 400 volunteer attorneys from leading NY firms.
We specialize in providing free or low-cost legal services to
nonprofit corporations. We also offer helpful publications and
workshops on many nonprofit legal issues.
To find out if we can help your nonprofit, call 212 219-1800
Lawyers Alliance
99 Hudson Street, New York. NY 10013 for New York
Committed to the development of affordable housing
15 Malden Lane, Suite 1800
New York, NY 10038
212-732-2700 FAX: 212-732-2773
Low-income housing tax credit syndication. Public alld private
fimmcillg. HDFCs and lIot-for-profit corporations. Condos and co-ops.
J-51 Tax abatement/exemptions. Lellding for Historic Properties.
junior or higher. Application deadline September 1. Fax resumes to 212-410-
3923 or call Kim at 212-410-2264.
PROGRAM ASSISTANT for After-School Program in East Harlem. Program serving
girls 13-15 years of age is in search of a Program Assistant to plan and imple-
ment math and science labs, assist girls with general homework, establish and
maintain contact with schools, parents/ counselors of girls, and help with gen-
eral programming ideas and implementation. Must have strong command of
junior high and high school math and science. Prior teaching experience a plus.
Must have BA (Math, Science, Education preferred). Pay: $17/hour, 25
hours/ week for 34 weeks. Contact Kim at 212-410-2264 or fax resume to 212-
Sustainable America' s national office needs energetic staff PT or FT for the fol-
lowing: BOOKKEEPING 25%; NEWSLTTERS, Website, member services 60%;
OFFICE MANAGER 75%; FUNDRAISING part time or full time. Fax resume and let-
ter with salary requirements and job duties you want. Fax: 212-239-3670. Visit
www.sanetwork.org for more information.
The Center for Urban Community Services, Inc., (CUCS), has two positions avail-
able for a dynamic and innovative permanent supportive housing residence in
Times Square for formerly homeless individuals including those with special
needs such as mental illness, substance abuse, and/or HIV/AIDS, and low-
income single adults. CUNICAL DIRECTOR. This position is primarily responsible
for management of daily program operations, staff supervision, contract c o m p l ~
ance, community relations, liaison with managed care organizations, and on-
gOing program evaluation and development. Requirements: CSW, five years of
direct service experience with indicated populations, three years' supervisory
and program management experience, excellent verbal communication skills and
computer literacy. Experience in community-based programs a plus. Bilingual
Spanish/English preferred. Salary: $48K plus complete benefits. SENIOR
SOCIAL WORK CUNICIAN. This position is primarily responsible for direct client
F & D Consult:ing
Specializing in Organizing Tenant Associations
eDoes your apartment or building need repairs?
eAre you beingovercharged rent?
e Are you paying unlawful fees?
For $4 per person, per meeting, we conduct informative monthly meetings,
produce newsletters, write correspondence, complete complaint forms and help
you improve the quality of your tenancy.
(Also, ask about our Eldercare Planning homevisits)
For Information: 212.591.1167
... Same high quality management support
for non-profit corporations.
Irwin Nesoff Associates has moved and changed our name to
NesotIAssociates management solutions for non-profits.
We are also happy to announce that Paula Nesoff
has become a business partner, bringing with her
expanded expertise in staff development and training.
NesoH Associates
management solutions for non-profits
75A Lake Road Box 130
Congers, NY 10920
tel/fax (914) 268-6315
care, group work and program development in a core services team. Also, to
provide clinical support to para-professionals and assist the clinical coordinator.
Requirements: CSW, three years of applicable post-masters direct service expe-
rience with related populations including one year with PWAs, good writing and
verbal communication skills, and computer literacy. Experience in community-
based programs a plus. Bilingual Spanish/ English preferred. Salary $38K plus
complete benefits. Resumes and cover letters to: Personnel , CUCSj1imes
Square, 255 West 43rd Street, NY, NY 10036. EOE. CUCS is committed to work-
force diversity.
Kingsbridge Heights Neighborhood Improvement Association is looking for
responsible, mature candidates to fill its COMMUNITY ORGANIZER and YOUTH
ORGANIZER positions. Work with 13-member board of directors to coordinate
community and youth participation in neighborhood issue campaigns. Must
have developed office skills, strong and flexible work habits, and a deep com-
mitment to progressive leadership development. Spanish/ English fluency and
previous organizing experience preferred. long hours, some weekends required.
Contact Mark at 718-796-7950.
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR. The Greater Will iamsburg Collaborative seeks as Assistant
Director to work with community-based organizations in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
to develop community computer centers. These centers will provide adult basic
education, computer literacy and office skills to area youth, and adults. The p o s ~
tion includes organizing residents to lobby the Board of Education to make avail-
able the computer labs in area schools for the community' s use; working with
technical assistance providers to set-up new centers; working with local centers
to design their programs/ curricula; and writing a newsletter. The Collaborative
seeks an individual with a BA degree, 2 years' experience in teaching (ABE,
GED, ESl or computers, office skills preferred), employment services or social
services. Excellent oral and written skills and computer literacy a must (com-
puter expertise not required) . Bilingual English/ Spanish a plus. Fax director,
718-599-7703. (continued OT! page 38)
Attorney at Law
Meeting the challenges of affordable housing for 20 years.
Providing legal services in the areas of General Real Estate,
Business, Trust & Estates, and Elder Law.
217 Broadway, Suite 610
New York, NY 10007
(212) 513-0981
Concentrating in Real Estate & Non-profit Law
Title and loan closings 0 All city housing programs
Mutual housing associations 0 Cooperative conversions
Advice to low income co-op boards of directors
313 Hicks Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201,
(718) 780-7994 (718) 624-6850
Hardware Sales:
IDM Compatible Computers
Okidata Printers
Lantastic Networks
Software Sales:
Services: NetworklHardware/Software Installation,
Training, Custom Software, Hand Holding
Morris Kornbluth 718-857-9157
(continued from page 37)
COMMUNITY OUTREACH COORDINATOR. Nonprofit organization conducting free
community health screenings seeks individual with at least one year experi -
ence in outreach work in an African-American community, or similar work expe-
rience. Must be organized and detail-oriented, possess excellent writing skills
and have knowledge of word processing. Ability to work effectively with med-
ical community and governmental groups necessary. BA or equivalent experi-
ence. Some travel. Competitive salary and excellent benefits. Women and peo-
ple of color encouraged to apply. Resume and short writing sample to Terri
Cohen, fax 212-504-1933.
SENIOR ASSOCIATE, RNANCIAL SERVICES to analyze, close, and monitor loans and
provide technical assistance to nonprofits on their facilities issues. Bachelor'S
(master's preferred) in business, public administration or related field; 2-4 years
in financial services (preferably lending); nonprofit/community development
experience. Good writing and presentation skills, Excel and MS Word. Salary
commensurate with experience. Letter/resume to: Norah McVeigh, Director,
Rnancial Services, Nonprofit Facilities Fund, 70 West 36th Street, 11th Floor,
New York, NY 10018.
Financial Services staff serving nonprofit borrowers. Duties include loan fund
administration, data tracking and reporting, general administrative support.
Requirements: College degree or equivalent work experience; Microsoft Excel,
Word and previous database experience. Salary commensurate with experi-
ence. Letter/resume to Norah McVeigh, Director, Financial Services, Nonprofit
Facilities Fund, 70 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018.
MARICE11NG SPECIALIST, Washington Heights. Provide leadership and expertise in
the development and use of bilingual (English/Spanish) marketing materials
strategies for a special project to outreach and engage youth and businesses in
Washington Heights. Minimum bachelor's with extensive marketing expertise,
adapting materials and working with food industry related businesses. Bilingual
(English/Spanish). Familiar with Washington Heights area. Ability to develop and
implement educational programs in a community setting targeted to diverse
audience. Proficient in writing, communication, presentation and electronic tech-
nology. Send/fax cover letter and resume ASAP to: Gloria Roman, Personnel
ASSistant, Cornell Cooperative Extension, 16 East 34th St., 8th Fl ., NY NY
10016. Fax: 212-340-2908.
JOB DEVB.OPER, Rental Assistance Program. Premier homeless service organi-
zation seeks experienced job developer to assist newly housed clients with
resume writing, interview preparation, networking and research for job opportu-
nities. Self starter. Experience with homeless population a plus. Strong writ-
ten/verbal and computer skills. Salary mid to high $20s. Send resume to:
D.James, Coalition for the Homeless, 89 Chambers Street, 3rd Fl., New York, NY
10007. Or fax: 212-964-1206.
SENIOR BOOKKEEPER with Property Management experience needed for a not-for-
profit real estate management company to oversee accounting staff. Experience
in general ledger, financial statements, A/P, A/R, Bank Reconciliation and bud-
gets. Computer literacy a must. Knowledge of Lotus, Windows and ADP payroll
systems preferred. Knowledge of Property Management or accounting software
a plus. Mail resume to: Hope Community Inc. 174 East 104th Street, New York,
NY 10029, Attn: Personnel.
NYC-based national nonprofit financial and technical assistance organization
seeks highly motivated ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT to both the General
Counsel and Director of Communication. Must have excellent word-process-
ing (Word for Windows 95), writing, administrative, communications and ana-
lytical skills, as well as the abi lity to manage details and multiple projects.
Paralegal and project-oriented administrative experience a plus. We offer
competitive salary and excellent benefits. (EOE M/F/D/V) Fax resume and
cover letter with salary requirements to Operations Administrator, CSH, 212-
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR. The Child Welfare Organizing Project's (CWOP) mission is
to improve the child welfare system through organized client involvement and col-
lective advocacy. CWOP is looking for a Director to continue its programmatic
agenda while building a financial and administrative infrastructure to support
growth. Must have knowledge of NYC's child welfare system; demonstrated abil-
ity in public speaking, written and oral communication; demonstrated experience
with fundraising; and ability to work with a diverse group. Salary $40,000-
$50,000 depending upon experience, with benefits. Women and people of color
strongly encouraged to apply. Send resume/writing sample to: CWOP Search
Committee, c/o Community Resource Exchange, 90 Washington Street, 27th
Floor, New York, NY 10006.
OFRCE MANAGER! MEMBERSHIP SERVICES. National progressive political organiza-
tion seeks fulHime staffer for office management and upkeep (office supplies
and eqUipment, shipping, opening mail, etc.), database management, donor cor-
respondence, volunteer recruitment/management, monthly fundraising and
other mailings. Detail oriented, strong writing, computer skills a must. Fax
resume/salary requirements to: New Party 718-246-3718.
RNANCIAL MANAGER, legal nonprofit women' s organization seeks PIT financial
manager to handle bookkeeping, financial reports, ins. accounts, and work with
auditors. 3+ years experience in financial mgmt. and strong computer systems
background with ability to troubleshoot network, software and hardware required.
Salary commensurate with experience and qualifications. Fax resume to Asst.
Dir. at 212-695-9519.
DEVElOPMENT COORDINATOR, Fundraising for citywide nonprofit. Maintain
donor database, research funders and assist directors. Draft correspon-
dence, reports, statistical tables and write profiles. Must be accurate and
detail oriented. College degree preferred. MS Access, Word and Excel
required, Donor Perfect helpful. Salary: mid $20s. Send resume: DVLP,
CCNYC, 305 7th Ave, NYC 10001 or jobs@citizensnyc.org. Include "dvlp
cord" in the subject line.
PROGRAM OFRCER, PROGRAM ASSISTANT. The Robin Hood Foundation focuses its
$10 million in grants on long-term, comprehensive services to poor children
and their families in New York City. The program officer will develop a funding
strategy and oversee grants in early childhood and family support. Requires sig-
nificant experience in and knowledge of subject areas and strong analytical
skills. The program assistant will support the administrative and programmatic
work of three program officers. To apply for either position, fax cover letter and
resume ASAP to Lisa Smith at 212-227-6698.
seeks motivated individual to oversee administrative, personnel, and finance
operations. Enable growing organization to combine efficient operations with
commitment to affordable housing, economic development and community
empowerment. Oversee finance & budgeting, organization development, admin-
istration, human resources, information technology. Requirements: Strong
experience in admin/ finance supervision, working knowledge of accounting,
computer literacy, excellent communications skills. Masters' in relevant field
preferred. AA/EOE. Cover letter, resume, and salary req's to Director of
Operations, Fifth Avenue Committee, 141 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217. Or
fax to 718-857-4322.
rienced manager to oversee the operations of five programs focusing on increas-
ing employment opportunities for low-income, hard-to-employ adults. Minimum
BA with management/supervision experience required. Able to work on multiple
tasks simultaneously, meet deadlines and work with minimum supervision. MS
Office computer knowledge required, and MS Access Database knowledge a
plus. Fax resume to Personnel 718-881-4137.
ASSOCIATE EDITOR for Foster Care Youth United, a professional nonprofit bi-
monthly magazine written by and for youth living in foster care (national circ.
11,000). Duties include: training and supervising a diverse teen staff, writing
instruction, story development, copy editing. Begin September 1998. $28-
$35K, depending on experience and skills. Send resume, cover letter and two
writing samples to: FCYU, 224 W. 29th St. , 2nd Fl ., New York, NY 10001. No
calls, please. Application deadline: ASAP.
Coro, a nonprofit that trains women and men from diverse backgrounds for lead-
ership in public affairs seeks a PROGRAM MANAGER for Leadership New York, a
program for mid-career executives from the public and nonprofit sectors. Must
be comfortable working in groups, have excellent writing skills, be extremely
organized and flexible. Start date ASAP. Reply to: Paula Pressley, Coro, 44 Wall
St., 21st Fl., New York, NY 10005.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR. Experienced administrator/ community organizer to manage
two affiliated 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(3) organizations. FUll-time position located in
New York City. Requirements: strategic planning, public speaking, writing,
fundraising, budget management, work with diverse growing membership, travel,
knowledge federal/state housing programs. Salary commensurate with e x p e r ~
ence. Apply ASAP to: Search Committee, Tenants & Neighbors, 505 Eighth
Avenue, 18th Fl ., New York, NY 10018-6505. Fax: 212-695-4314. No telephone
inqUires. EOE.
ASSISTANT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR for Strategic Visioning and Planning. Good
Shepherd Services is a network of community-based programs, and residential
and foster care services that provide a full range of social services to young peo-
ple and families within New York City. The Assistant Executive Director is respon-
sible for implementing a strategic plan for GSS, for monitoring agency-wide out-
comes and quality assurance, and for overseeing the development and imple-
mentation of an agency-wide training plan. Directors of MIS, Human Services
Workshop and Training report to this position. Candidates should have a
MA/ Ph.D. and a minimum of ten years' leadership experience in program devel-
opment and evaluation with service delivery agencies in the field of youth devel-
opment. Demonstrated strategic planning and organizational development skills
are highly desirable. Send cover letter and resume to: Mary Wheeler, Vice
President, Development Resource Group, 104 E. 40th St., Suite 304, NY, NY
10016. Fax: 212-983-1687.
SENIOR LOAN OFACER. Lower East Side People's Federal Credit Union, a federal-
ly chartered community development financial institution, seeks self-motivated
articulate individual to expand real estate lending program focused on co-op
loans. BS or MA in finance, business or urban affairs, or equivalent experience.
Rnancial institution and supervisory experience a plus. Bilingual (Spanish) pre-
ferred. Low to mid $30s + excellent benefits. Cover letter and resume to:
LESPFCU, 37 Avenue B, NYC 10009. EOE.
JOBS CAMPAIGN ORGANIZER. NYC grassroots, membership-run organization of
people on welfare is seeking an individual with grassroots organizing experi-
ence to develop and staff an organizing committee of low-income people on
welfare working to get NYC and NYS to create publicly funded jobs for people
on welfare. Job responsibilities include building CVH membership, leadership
development and training for CVH members, working with CVH members to
develop outreach plans and organizing community forums on jobs and coali-
tion work. Salary: $26-30,000 a year, including benefits. WORKFARE ORGA-
NIZER. CVH is seeking an individual with grassroots organizing experience to
develop and staff an organizing committee of low-income people who are
working in the NYC workfare program, WEP. The organizer is responsible for
organizing at workfare sites, working with members to develop community
and public education campaigns on workfare and WEP, and building CVH WEP
membership. They will also be responsible for supporting the staffing and
developing of CVH Workers Action Center programs such as the CVH/ NELP
Legal Clinic and possibly the CVH Women' s Organizing Committee. Salary
position is $22-26,000 per year, including benefits. Send resume and cover
letter to: Community Voices Heard, 173 E. 116th St., 2nd FI. , NYC 10029. Or
fax: 212-996-9481.
NYC Organizing Support Center, a newly established nonprofit supporting
grassroots organizing efforts seeks to fill 2 coordinator positions. Looking for
team players who believe in cooperative decision making. DEVELOPMENT AND
OPERATIONS COORDINATOR. Responsible for setting up and coordinating the
day-to-day operations of the office, including financial management; fundrais-
ing; outreach and building the capacity of the organization. Strong verbal and
written communication skills, knowledge of financial record-keeping skills and
computerized bookkeeping/ accounting program(s), and strong administrative
skills. ORGANIZING AND TRAINING COORDINATOR. Responsible for coordinating
the training and technical assistance services of the organization-including
developing and delivering training, directly assisting constituents and mem-
bers to become more effective organizers, and enabling the organization to
promote organizing culture throughout NYC. Bilingual English/ Spanish a +.
Salary: $30K-$40K, commensurate w/ experience. Deadline for response is
August 28th. Please mail a cover letter and resume to: OSC Selection
Committee (Song Park) , c/ o Youth Force, 320 Jackson Ave. , Bronx, NY
10454. Or fax: 718-665-4279. Or email to Jeanne Bergman at
jbergman@dti.net. Equal opportunity employer.
COMMUNITY SERVICE ALLIANCE COORDINATOR. Citywide nonprofit seeks skilled
administrator to coordinate Alliance of Youth Service opportunity. Prospect, build
and maintain community with funders. Work independently. College plus three
years of experience in fundraising and program development. Attention to detail
and excellent communication skills. MS Word a +. Bilingual a +. Position cur-
rently funded one year. Salary: $30s. Resume and writing sample ASAP to:
CCNYC, attn: UP, 305 7th Ave. , 15th FI. , NYC 10001. Or email: jobs@citizen-
snyc.org. Include CSAC in the subject.
The Hunter Library Partnership Program, a drop-out prevention program serving
youth from East Harlem, seeks a SITE COORDINATOR for our on-site operation
within the Rafael Cordero Bilingual School (JHS 45). Candidate will perform a
range of administrative and programming tasks; oversee academic and recre-
ational after school program; develop new programs; collaborate with school per-
sonnel to meet students' academic and social needs. MSW preferred. Bilingual
(English/ Spanish) a plus. Full-time with possible 10-month schedule.
Resume/ Cover letter to Elaine Walsh. fax:212-772-4880.
ASSISTANT MANAGER. The Lower East Side People's Federal Credit Union, a fed-
erally chartered community development financial institution, seeks
vated articulate individual to assist manager. BS or MA in marketing, business
or urban affairs, or equivalent experience. Rnancial institution and supervisory
experience a plus. Excellent written and verbal communication skills. Bilingual
(Spanish) preferred. Low $30s + excellent benefits. Cover letter and resume to:
LESPFCU, 37 Avenue B, NYC 10009. EOE.
Goddard Riverside Community Cepter, Project Reachout: Assertive Community
Treatment (ACT) Team. ACT provides continuous, comprehensive care to homeless
mentally ill , including psychiatric and addiction treatment, crisis intervention, hous-
ing assistance, daily living skills and vocational services. Positions available: PSY
license preferred. Competitive salary and comprehensive benefits. Send cover let-
ter and resume to: Alison Arthur, Project Reachout/GRCC, 593 Columbus Ave., NY,
NY 10024. Or fax: 212-721-7389.
AJNDRAlSER. Seeking experienced development person to join small settlement
staff and write proposals, raise new money and renew existing grants.
Experience in special events an asset. Lovely setting, sound financial base, job
requires high energy, self-starter, computer literate. Salary range $40,000 to
$50,000, depending on experience. Oxford health, dental, month's vacation.
Resume: mail or fax: Mary Follett, Hartley House, 413 West 46th Street, New
York, NY, 10036. Fax: 212-246-9855. No phone calls please.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR. National Low Income Housing Coalition seeks president to
lead growth and expansion. Established, nationally-recognized advocacy group
seeks an experienced coalition organizer committed to low income housing and
community development. Requires a blend of paSSion, issue understanding,
advocacy and organization building skills along with fund-raising. Washington,
DC-based. Send resume to:NLlHC, Attn: B. Faith, 1012 Fourteenth Street, NW,
Suite 610, Washington, DC 20005. Equal Opportunity Employer.
We have been providing low-cost insurance programs and
and other NONPROFIT organizations for over 15 years.
We Offer:
'Tailored Payment Plans"
146 West 29th Street, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10001
(212) 279-8300 FAX 714-2161 Ask for : Bola Ramanathan

M&T Bank\New York City Division is pleased to announce that the following community development
organizations in our service area (Brooklyn, Manhattan, Nassau and Queens) have been chosen to
receive Community Action Assistance Plan (CAAP) Grants from the bank for their neighborhood
preservation and improvement endeavors:
Abyssinian Development Corporation
Action for Community Empowerment
Allen A.M.E Neighborhood Preservation
Asian Americans for Equality
Association for Neighborhood & Housing
Astella Development Corporation
BEC New Communities HDFC,
Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration
Bridge Street Development Corporation
Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A
Brooklyn Neighborhood Improvement
Central Harlem Local Development
Church Avenue Merchants Block
City Limits Community Information
City-Wide Task Force on Housing Court
Community Access
Community Assisted Tenant Controlled
Community Directed Ownership
Community Association of Progressive
Community Training and Resource
Cooper Square Committee
Corporation for Supportive Housing
Cypress Hills Child Care Corporation
Cypress Hills Local Development
East Brooklyn Congregations
East Harlem Council for Community
East New York Urban Youth Corps
East Williamsburg Industrial
Development Corporation
Ecumenical Community Development
Erasmus Neighborhood Federation
Fifth Avenue Committee
Good Old Lower East Side
Greater Jamaica Development
Greater Ridgewood Restoration
Habitat for Humanity-New York City
Harlem Textile Works, Ltd.
Hope Community, Incorporated
Housing Conservation Coordinators
Jewish Community Council of Greater
Coney Island
La Fuerza Unida de Glen Cove
Lawyers Alliance for New York
Leap, Inc.
Long Island Housing Partnership, Inc.
Long Life Information and Referral
Network, Inc.
Los Sures (Southside United HDFC)
Manhattan Borough Development
Manhattan Valley Development
Midwood Development Corporation
National Federation of Community
Development Credit Unions
Neighborhood Coalition for Shelters
Neighborhood Housing Services of
New York ACORN Housing
Northern Manhattan Improvement
Oceanhill-Brownsvilie Tenants
Pace University Small Business
Development Center
People United for Local Leadership
Phipps Community Development
Planning Center of the Municipal Art
Pratt Area Community Council
Queens Citizens Organization
Queens County Overall Economic
Development Corporation
Rockaway Development and
Revitalization Corporation
Roosevelt Assistance Corporation
Saint Paul Community Baptist Church
Seaside Summer Concert Series, Inc.
Services for the Underserved
South Brooklyn Local Development .
SRO Providers Group
Trickle Up Foundation
Turning Point HDFC
Union Settlement Association
Urban Homesteading Assistance Board
Valley Restoration Corporation
Washington Heights-Inwood Coalition
We salute the achievements of these exemplary organizations and appreciate and support their continuing
commitment to making our communities better places in which to live and conduct business.
All the bank you'll ever need':
M&T Bank\New York City Division Community Action Assistance Plan Grants Program
350 Park Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, New York 10022