Category Archives: Latest Client News

Client News: ERFA’s New Zoning Plan to Stop Supertowers

East River Fifties Alliance Files New Zoning Plan, Promotes Affordable Housing; Manhattan Borough President Brewer, City Council Members Kallos and Garodnick, and State Senator Krueger Co-Sign

After months of intense preparation, our clients, the East River Fifties Alliance (ERFA), just filed a new zoning plan for Manhattan’s Far East 50s (the area between 52nd Street and 59th Street, east of 1st Avenue) with the Department of City Planning. The new zoning plan would restrict supertowers and out-of-scale development in that neighborhood, while providing for affordable housing. Not only that, but they had an elite list of co-filers: Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, City Council Members Ben Kallos and Dan Garodnick, and State Senator Liz Krueger.

This proposal, created via a partnership between the community (through ERFA) and city planners, is one of the most sweeping community residential re-zoning plans in City history, and the first plan of its kind to include affordable housing as a component.

Currently, the Far East Fifties is vulnerable to gigantic megatower development because its zoning is left over from the 1960s and sets no specific height limits on apartment buildings. It’s the last residential-only segment of the city that remains without such protections. (The same zoning is generally limited to busy commercial or mixed use avenues in Manhattan.)  In fact, one developer has already proposed a wildly oversized 1,000 foot megatower on East 58th Street between First Avenue and Sutton Place that would dwarf the entire neighborhood. ERFA is working to prevent not only that project but all others like it.

Affordable Housing

As Mayor de Blasio has voiced repeatedly, NYC needs affordable housing badly. ERFA not only agrees, but the neighborhood is welcoming such opportunities with open arms. This new zone would urge developers to devote at least 25% of new units to affordable housing in the neighborhood.

As it stands, the East River Fifties’ R10 zone and equivalent zones throughout the city only create about 4-5% affordable units with each new development. If fully implemented, the ERFA plan would nearly quadruple the amount of affordable housing in new developments in our neighborhood. The details of how that goal could be best met – whether by making the affordable housing component mandatory, voluntary, or by some other formulation – will be determined in ERFA’s negotiations with City Planning. it will enter a review process that moves through the various levels of New York City’s government for approval. You can learn more about ERFA and its new zoning plan at www.erfa.nyc

The media is already excited and we’ve received a slew of stories. Here are a few: City Land (New York Law School), Crain’s New York Business, Curbed, DNA Info, Manhattan Express, New York Daily News, Our Town Press, Realty Today, and The Real Deal.

Latest Client News: Welcome Save Gansevoort! Landmarks Preservation Commission Hearing on Fate of Gansevoort Street Development Draws Huge Crowd; Community Members, Elected Officials Testify Against Massive Project

Well it’s been a while, but we’ve sure been busy. Not only are we incredibly excited to belatedly welcome Save Gansevoort as a new client to the LCG family (we’ve only been working with them for about 6 weeks), we’re happy to boast that around 150 people showed up for last Tuesday night’s Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) hearing regarding the contentious Gansevoort Street development that the group is determined to prevent from happening.


Save Gansevoort, which is composed of community members, preservationists, and proponents of appropriately-scaled construction, has circulated a petition calling on LPC to reject the project, saying that the development plan threatens the unique character of Gansevoort Street, its historic streetscape, and low buildings. The block in question is the only remaining intact block of one- and two-story market buildings in the Historic District, a distinctly New York gem that the developers’ plans would obliterate.

In a blistering editorial entitled, “Save Gansevoort St.; Iconic block under threat,” The Villager newspaper called the plan “nothing short of an assault on the city’s Landmarks Law.”

At the hearing, their numbers spilling out of the packed room, its foyer, and into the hallway, a flood of people took to the podium to testify against the plan. The project falls within the landmarked Gansevoort Market Historic District – a designation that LPC made 12 years ago after a long push from the community. The developer aims to build two massive structures that would dwarf the historically low buildings and market-style architecture that characterize this iconic Meatpacking District street. Quite simply, the proposed development would obliterate that character and history, negating the powerful protection of landmarking.

Last month, Community Board 2 held a Landmarks Committee hearing and full CB2 session, which produced a unanimous resolution opposing the plan. Local elected officials from all levels of government stood firmly behind the sentiments of their constituencies when they wrote a collective letter to LPC imploring it to reject the plan. The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and Landmark West! have strongly opposed the project, and The New York Landmarks Conservancy, one of New York’s foremost city-wide preservation organizations, also joined in on the cause, writing its own letter to the LPC Chair, urging the institution to reject the project.

To date, over 2,000 people have signed the petition!

The LPC meeting did not yield a decision on the matter; the group will hold another meeting during which the LPC will question the applicant and discuss the plan further. That meeting, which has not yet been scheduled, will be open to the public but will not allow for more testimony.

The youngest person to testify, a girl of about 12 years old, made a brief but eloquent statement where she firmly underlined that, “Owning a building or even a whole street does not mean you have a right to that street’s history; history belongs to all New Yorkers.”

Some of the press coverage: The New York Times, DNAinfo (here, here, live tweeting of the LPC meeting, The Villager (here, here, and here), New York YIMBY, and NY1.

Latest Client News: Rally Against the Corporate University

We were thrilled with the immense show of support earlier this month, when 300 people came out to Washington Square Park to protest NYU’s financial practices, as well as those at Cooper Union and the New School. This remarkable event included an unprecedented coalition of students, faculty, staff, and labor unions at all three schools, as well as many neighbors resolute against the Sexton Plan, and other mammoth real estate developments throughout the city.

STOMP performs at the rally, showing their support for the cause. Photo by Tequila Minsky.

Members of STOMP performed for the crowd and were met with roaring approval. The rally’s heartbreaking climax came when an anonymous NYU student, “Mandy,” told her story of having to resort to sex work to fund her exorbitantly priced education.

NYU student, “Mandy,” recounts her desperate turn to sex work to afford tuition. Photo by Tequila Minsky

The rally delved into the soaring price of higher education, and its consequence of student debt that has reached crisis levels coast to coast. The two main causes of that nationwide disaster are clear: mammoth building booms on campus after campus, and vast bureaucracies whose top executives make six- and seven-figure salaries; NYU is legendary for its contributions to both.

If you were unable to attend, you may get some sense of the event from this short video, produced by NYU students.

Some of the press coverage: Buzzfeed, Observer, The Villager, Washington Square News, Metro, Business Insider, Bedford + Bowery, and NYU Local.

Latest Client News: Tournesol Treats Trauma, as Highlighted in TV Features

We couldn’t be happier for Tournesol Wellness, which was recently featured on NBC4 New York’s “The Good Fight with Pat Battle” and as part of a NY1 piece about how yoga and mind-body techniques can help veterans. Tournesol, an integrative and holistic health center, is the only place on the east coast to offer vibroacoustics on a liquid sound table, a customizable technology that has proven helpful for a plethora of problems, from knee pain to PTSD.

Tournesol’s Veteran’s Program, which both TV spots highlighted, includes:

  • Free 30-minute Holistic Health Review
  • Free 30-minute Vibroacoustic Sound Therapy Session
  • 30% off Vibroacoustic Sound Therapy
  • 50% off Yoga Classes
  • Two Class Guest Passes per Month

 

Latest Client News: Great New Law Firm

We’re very excited to announce the launch of a new law firm: Walden Macht & Haran LLP. We’re happy to be working with them. We’ve worked with Jim Walden in the past, most recently including the NYU expansion case, where he has played a major role in advocating on behalf of NYUFASP and others who oppose the ridiculous plan. The new firm, which features some real heavy hitters, will be covering an ambitious array of practice areas, including Good Government and Civil Rights Litigation. We wish them all the best.

Former Federal Prosecutors Launch New Litigation Firm with Focus on Government Investigations, White Collar Criminal Defense, and Complex Civil Litigation

(New York, NY) February 23, 2015 – Three former federal prosecutors, Jim Walden, Timothy Macht, and Sean Haran, have joined forces to form a new law firm specializing in government investigations, White Collar criminal defense, and complex civil litigation. Based in lower Manhattan, Walden Macht & Haran LLP marshals the founders’ diverse and extensive trial and other litigation experience, both as federal prosecutors and in private practice at major national and international law firms.

All three partners served as Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the Eastern District of New York. Walden, a nine year veteran of the office, served as Chief of the Computer Crimes & Intellectual Property Section and Deputy Chief of the Organized Crime & Racketeering Section. Walden’s work prosecuting members of the Bonanno crime family and other organized-crime figures is featured in the National Geographic series “Inside the American Mob.” Macht served in the Public Integrity Section, where he brought a series of successful public corruption and health care fraud cases, and worked as a Special Assistant and Counsel in the U.S. Justice Department’s policy development office. Haran spent eight years with the office and served as Deputy Chief of the Business & Securities Fraud Unit, where he oversaw a series of prominent fraud cases.

“This is my dream team,” said Walden. “Throughout our careers, we have tried the tough cases, handled investigations around the world, and helped boards and management navigate dangerous shoals with stunning results. Together we will challenge the notion that corporations must employ the largest firms to handle bet-the-company matters.”

Each partner brings extensive private practice experience in criminal and civil arenas. Walden has conducted dozens of internal investigations for public and private companies, including many cross-border investigations, and defended corporate executives and other individuals. Walden also represented companies and individuals in a range of civil cases, including in disputes with city agencies. Prior to founding the firm, Walden was a partner with Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, where he served as Co-Chair of the White Collar Defense & Investigations practice for seven years.

“In my experience, Jim approaches every problem creatively, gives thoughtful guidance, and keeps a clear-eyed focus on his client’s goals,” said Dan Cahill, former president, Viking Global Investors LLP. “There has been no problem too knotty for him to unwind. Even in a crisis, Jim solves problems.”

Macht is an accomplished trial lawyer, whose primary practice areas include media and entertainment  litigation,  general  commercial  litigation,  White  Collar  criminal  defense, and strategic legal advising. He has represented major media and entertainment companies in high- stakes litigation involving copyright issues, contract claims, and assorted business torts.

“Tim is a smart, creative, and thorough attorney – he has been enormously helpful in some of Cablevision’s most complex matters,” said David Ellen, executive vice president and general counsel, Cablevision Systems Corporation.

Haran has tried numerous White Collar cases in federal and state courts, and in federal administrative proceedings. He has represented some of the world’s leading companies and their executives, as well as prominent individuals, in high-stakes and sensitive matters involving the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the New York State Attorney General’s Office, and other federal and state agencies. Prior to joining the firm, he was a partner with Nixon Peabody in New York.

“Sean cuts to the chase…he pays attention to the important details, yet always keeps perspective on the big picture,” said Jacob Schatz, senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary, Electronic Arts, Inc. (EA). “He is steadfast and reliable and I trust him implicitly.”

In addition to the firm’s more traditional engagements, the firm will continue Walden’s work holding government agencies accountable for fraud, waste, and abuse. Over a ten-year period, Walden has brought successful suits against federal, state, and local government agencies for illegal or arbitrary actions or policies. The cases have covered a broad range of subjects, including land use, government procurement, public parkland, voting rights, public benefits, health care, and tax. Most recently, Walden waged a year-long fight against the illegal closure of Brooklyn’s Long Island College Hospital. After intense litigation, Walden negotiated a settlement that helped maintain emergency medical services at the site. In a 2014 press conference at City Hall, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio praised Walden’s work on this case:

“If there is magic in the law, Jim Walden has found it,” Mayor de Blasio said. “We sometimes seemed out of options and Jim Walden would typically burst into the room and come up with a new option. And…his options had the extraordinary tendency to work.”

The founding partners are joined by three other lawyers: Brian Mogck, Yeeta Yeger, and Devon Little. Mogck, a Senior Associate who clerked for a federal judge and spent over seven years in the White Collar practice at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, brings substantial litigation experience in both civil and criminal cases. Yeger, a Senior Associate, brings first-chair trial experience gained during her three-year position with the Kings County District Attorney’s office, where she served after a four-year stint with Gibson Dunn’s White Collar practice. Little, an associate who joins from Nixon Peabody, is a white collar, regulatory defense, and civil litigation specialist. Adam Minchew, a graduate of Hamilton College, is the firm’s paralegal.

Photos are available upon request or can be downloaded here. This release is also available in a downloadable pdf format.

It’s on to the NYS Court of Appeals for Lawsuit to Stop NYU’s Destructive Expansion Plan

A ruling that would have saved three Greenwich Village parks from being destroyed by New York University’s overblown and unnecessary expansion plan was overturned on October 14th by the Appellate Division’s First Department.

Petitioners in the case, including NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan and the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation expressed their dismay, but vowed to take the case to the State’s highest court, the Court of Appeals:

“We believe the First Department panel made the wrong decision today in overturning Supreme Court Justice Donna Mills’ decision preserving and protecting New York City parkland, and allowing the City to give this land away to NYU for its deeply unpopular and bloated expansion plan,” said GVSHP Executive Director Andrew Berman.

“We will be working with our co-plaintiffs and our lawyers to appeal this wrong-headed decision as soon as possible. Supreme Court Justice Donna Mills was correct in identifying this much-needed public green space as parkland which cannot be alienated by the City or NYU. We continue to believe that the sanctity of this principle should be upheld, and we are confident that it will be upon appeal. Since the City Council, City Planning Commission, and Borough President first gave away public park space to NYU, and overturned long-standing deed restrictions, zoning protections, and open space preservation requirements to allow NYU to move ahead with its massive plan, we knew we were up against a lot. But I believe that in the end the best interests of the City, the Village, and even the university, as articulated by its faculty, workers, and students who oppose this plan, will prevail, and the courts will halt NYU 2031,” added Berman.

Local elected officials and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer all expressed disappointment about the ruling, but pledged to continue their support for Village parks and their opposition to NYU’s expansion plan.

Read more here.

NYU Expansion Update: September 30, 2014

Park Advocates, Villagers, Elected Officials Join @ Rally/Press Conference to Keep the Village Green/Save the Village Featuring a Performance by the World Famous STOMP; NYU, City Try to Overturn Decision That Would Save Parks from Destruction by NYU Expansion

The #SavetheVillage #KeeptheVillagegreen rally

On Wednesday, September 24th, parks, gardens and open space supporters from across the City held a rally at Greenwich Village’s LaGuardia Park, decrying NYU’s and the City’s appeal of the court decision that saved that park and two other Village parks from being destroyed.  The appeal was heard after the rally, at the Appellate Division’s First Department.

Members of the internationally acclaimed East Village-based group STOMP joined the crowd and did a short performance.

The three parks in question – Mercer Playground, LaGuardia Park and LaGuardia Corner Gardens- were at risk of destruction for the sake of NYU’s outsized and unwanted 2031 expansion plan.  On January 7th, Judge Donna Mills vindicated the position of parks advocates and community members by officially declaring those parks as City parkland, effectively halting redevelopment efforts by NYU that would have stripped the community of that precious open space. NYU’s rejection of that decision and its subsequent appeal (through the City) have left a bitter taste in the mouths of many Village residents, NYU faculty, parks and open space advocates and elected officials.

Speakers included Congressman Jerry Nadler; Assembly Member Deborah Glick; State Senators Brad Hoylman and Daniel Squadron; Public Advocate Tish James; David Gruber, Chair of Community Board #2; Former Parks Commissioner Henry Stern; Actress Kathleen Chalfant; NYUFASP’s President Mark Crispin Miller; and GVSHP’s Executive Director Andrew Berman.

Public Advocate Tish James

Mark Crispin Miller, president of NYUFASP

Award winning actress Kathleen Chalfant

Former NYC Parks Commissioner, Henry Stern

Andrew Berman, Executive Director of GVSHP


You can read coverage of the event here:

Bedford + Bowery

Capital New York (here and here)

DNAinfo

The New York Post

The Real Deal

The Villager

Washington Square News (here, here, and here).

NYU in the News

It’s been a while but, NYUFASP is still around and making waves. On September 24th, there will be a hearing of oral arguments for the City’s appeal (in conjunction with NYU) to Justice Donna Mills’ January ruling that the city acted illegally when it gave three out of four parcels of parkland to NYU for its 2031 expansion plan in July of 2012.

The hearing will take place at 2pm on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 at

The New York State Supreme Court: Appellate Division – First Department
27 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10010
Tel. (212) 340-0400

We hope you join us to support the Village community and NYUFASP’s efforts to #SavetheVillage.

Meanwhile, here’s the latest news about the administration at one of NYC’s largest universities:

The New York Times Dealbook: Wall Street Hand Stays the Stormy Course at N.Y.U.

NYU Local: Future Head Of NYU Board Of Trustees Made Millions Off Student Loans

Affordable Housing at Atlantic Yards in the News!

The issue of affordable housing has been popping up everywhere in the news lately. We couldn’t be more delighted to announce that our clients, members of BrooklynSpeaks, were just featured in two great TV interviews about the recent deal struck at Atlantic Yards that guarantees completion of all affordable units by 2025.

Michelle de la Uz, Executive Director of Fifth Avenue Committee (FAC), joined Marjona Jones, who has worked on behalf of Brown Community Development Corporation (BCDC), on ABC7’s “Here and Now” show to talk about the new agreement, how it affects the community, and what it will mean for future developments.

Michelle de la Uz, Marjona Jones and host Sandra Bookman on ABC7’s “Here and Now.”

 

Nick Powell, City Hall Bureau Chief for City & State, sat down with Michelle de la Uz for an in depth discussion about the ramifications of delaying promised delivery of affordable housing, the implications of the project’s name change from Atlantic Yards to Pacific Park, and the details involved in qualifying for an affordable housing lottery.

Latest Client News July 24, 2014: Great News on Affordable Housing

Here’s our latest news of victory: culminating an 11 year struggle, and following weeks of intense negotiations, our clients — BrooklynSpeaks sponsor organizations and local residents recently announced they have reached a landmark settlement about affordable housing with Forest City Ratner Corporation (FCRC), the developer of the contentious Atlantic Yards Project in Brooklyn, and the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC), with the support of the City of New York. The agreement at Atlantic Yards has been a long time coming, and we’re very pleased to have helped work towards this resolution. Now that a consensus has finally been reached, it provides a great starting point for discussion of affordable housing within New York City.

Mayor de Blasio has been very clear about his emphasis on affordable housing during his term, and this new accord, which promises timely delivery of affordable housing and real developer accountability, potentially presents a good template for such projects moving forward.

The new agreement at Atlantic Yards fueled a storm of press coverage, including a piece in the New York Times!

Victor J. Blue for The New York Times

A brief summary of the settlement: Under the terms of the agreement, construction on the first of the affordable units will begin by the end of the year, and a full total of 2,250 affordable apartments must be completed by May 2025 – ten years earlier than previously agreed.

It also establishes an Atlantic Yards Tenant Protection Fund and penalties for failure to meet affordable housing milestones. The newly-created Fund, which is expected to be administered by the Brooklyn Community Foundation, will provide grants to local nonprofit organizations offering eviction prevention and anti-displacement services to low and moderate income residents of Brooklyn community districts 2, 3, 6 and 8. (Read more about the Tenant Protection Fund here.) Many lower and working class families – especially African Americans – are getting priced out of their neighborhoods due to escalating rents and costs of living exacerbated, ironically, by the construction of Atlantic Yards’ Barclay Center. Gentrification around Atlantic Yards is rapidly changing the face of nearby communities; African Americans comprised 52% of the population of the combined area of the districts surrounding Atlantic Yards (Community Boards 2, 3, 6 and 8) in 2000, but represented only 40% in 2010. A study of current demographic trends has found that African Americans will represent only 15% of the population by 2035, the outside date by which the housing was originally required to be finished.

Importantly, the settlement will also result in the creation of the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation, a subsidiary of the ESDC charged with overseeing compliance with all project commitments; it will enforce real penalties for failure to meet construction deadlines.

To view the full agreement with ESDC, click here. For a complete explanation of the settlement and copies of all its components, click here.

To read more of the press coverage about this deal, please click on the following links:

Capital New York – here, here, and here
Crain’s – here and here
Curbed
DNAinfo
Gothamist
Law 360
Newsday

*NY1
*NY Daily News

Observer
The Real Deal
WCBS
*WNYC
WSJ

*Denotes an article or segment that we especially liked.

 

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Latest Client News – Week of June 16, 2014

Last Friday, June 13th, in a follow up to the ongoing NYU expansion struggle in Greenwich Village, a coalition of over 20 community members and groups filed a legal brief in the state appellate court in Manhattan.

A trial court in January held that the City violated state law by allowing NYU to take over three public parks for construction-related purposes during the twenty-year expansion project. The City and NYU have appealed this part of the lower court’s ruling.

The community coalition asks the appeals court to uphold the trial court, and to require the City and NYU to halt the project, reexamine the building plans and City approvals that were based on the illegal alienation of public parkland, and conduct a proper environmental review that takes the protected status of these parks into account. The parks defenders have also asked the appellate court to hold that the Mercer-Houston Dog Run, like the other three parcels, is public parkland.

The lawsuit, originally filed in September 2012, challenges decisions by the City and the State to approve the massive Sexton Plan, a $6 billion, almost two million square foot construction plan in the heart of historic Greenwich Village, for the convenience of NYU.

Meanwhile, Prof. Micha Tomkiewicz, author of the Climate Change Fork blog is currently attending the Sixth International Conference on Climate Change in Reykjavik, Iceland. Stay tuned for his update when he returns.

Barbara Winslow had a book party on May 19th at the Mott House in Washington D.C., where both Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton and House Minority Leader Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi gave remarks.

Upcoming Events – April – May 2014

On April 23, Barbara Winslow will be doing a book reading/ signing of her new biography, Shirley Chisholm: Catalyst for Change.

The reading will be from 6-8pm and will take place at

Sister’s Uptown Bookstore and Cultural Center.
1942 Amsterdam Ave. New York, NY 10032
Tel: 212 862 3680

Sister’s Flyer Final

On May 19th, Barbara will be doing another book event at Bluestockings at 7pm.

Bluestockings
172 Allen Street, New York, NY 10002
(212) 777-6028

Latest Client News – Week of April 14, 2014

New! Barbara Winslow’s new biography of Shirley Chisholm was just mentioned and quoted in Newsweek’s obituary of the Harlem politician Basil Paterson.

The New York Times just published an article about NYU’s Chairman of the Board, Marty Lipton, calling him The Power Broker of N.Y.U.. In addition to discussing NYU’s corporate structure, and the scandalous bonus packages for an elite few administrators, the article quotes NYUFASP’s Mark Crispin Miller, who confirms that for all its talk of faculty input, NYU officials did not consult either them or the community while planning the 2031 Expansion Plan.

Barbara Winslow just got back from Atlanta, GA, where she gave a talk at Spelman College about Archiving. She also attended the Organization of American Historians’ annual meeting, where she took part in a panel about social and political biography. Her talk focused on “Writing About a First: Shirley Chisholm, Feminism, the Black Freedom Struggle and the Democratic Party.”

In CUNY Radio’s Podcast, “Book Beat” interview with Barbara, she gives some highlights of her research about Shirley Chisholm. Barbara will be doing readings/signings of her book, Shirley Chisholm: Catalyst for Change, at Sister’s Uptown Bookstore and Cultural Center on April 23rd, and at Bluestockings on May 19th. See our Upcoming Events page for more details. You can also download the book digitally on Amazon.com.

Prof. Micha Tomkiewicz was featured in an article in the Poughkeepsie Journal. The article, a response to his National Climate Seminar talk, was written by students from Bard College’s Center for Environmental Policy (CEP).

Latest Client News – Week of February 24, 2014

Prof. Micha Tomkiewicz will be giving a seminar about adaptation to climate change this Wednesday, March 5th! In other news, we’re coming to the end of Black History Month, and transitioning into Women’s History Month. While we don’t agree with relegating the celebration of these two important populations to mere months, they do give us more chances to talk about Barbara Winslow’s wonderful new biography of Shirley Chisholm. She’s been in the news quite a lot recently, and we’re quite proud.

Prof. Tomkiewicz’s talk is part of the National Climate Seminar, which is hosted biweekly by Bard College’s Center for Environmental Policy (CEP). The talk will be in a dial-in format, and will run from noon until 1pm. To listen, Call in to: 1-712-432-3100. Code: 253385. His talk, “Desalination as Adaptation,” will also be available on the CEP archives website after Thursday. You can read Prof. Tomkiewicz’s weekly blog at Climate Change Fork.

Meanwhile, Barbara was featured on Errol Louis’ Inside City Hall show on NY1 along with Shola Lynch, director of the documentary Shirley Chisholm: Unbought and Unbossed. The three of them discussed Ms. Chisholm’s legacy, her importance in today’s world, and how her current acclaim differs from how she was received by her contemporaries.

Barbara also appeared on ABC-TV’s Here and Now show to talk with host Sandra Bookman about the book, why parts of it prompt such anger and frustration among many readers, and what it means to bring Ms. Chisholm’s story out of the dry world of trivia facts, into the light of present-day notice.

Latest Client News – Week of February 10, 2014

Black History Month continues, and we are happy to note that Barbara Winslow’s new biography of Shirley Chisholm is quickly gaining recognition.

The book, Shirley Chisholm: Catalyst for Change, is the first in over 40 years, and the only one to cover the later part of Ms. Chisholm’s life. Ms. Chisholm, who was the nation’s first African American woman elected to Congress and the first to run for President, fought for equal pay, access to education, universal child care and many other issues that still resonate today. In fact, the US Post Office just came out with a stamp in her honor!

And it appears that news about the new book is spreading fast, and journalists, scholars and the general public are taking notice.

Tonight, Friday, February 14th, Barbara will join Shola Lynch, director of the documentary Shirley Chisholm: Unbought and Unbossed on Errol LouisInside City Hall show on NY1. They will discuss Ms. Chisholm’s legacy, her importance in today’s world, and how her current acclaim differs from how she was received by her contemporaries. Tune in tonight, Friday at 7pm or 10pm, or watch for the online link after the show airs.

Barbara will also appear this Sunday, February 16th @ noon on ABC-TV’s Here and Now show to talk with host Sandra Bookman about the book, why parts of it prompt such anger and frustration among many readers, and what it means to bring Ms. Chisholm’s story out of the dry world of trivia facts, into the light of present-day notice.

The book has been getting noticed in print and online too.  The New York Times’  Sam Roberts highlighted the biography in his latest book selection column on February 6th. The Park Slope Patch interviewed Barbara about the Chisholm Project at Brooklyn College, and her inspiration to write the book.  The Brooklyn Paper also interviewed Barbara about her quest to keep Ms. Chisholm’s name and significance fresh in current history, and the role she sees the detailed and enlightening book playing in remedying the gap in our collective memory.  The site Truthout also offered their own, very positive review of the book.

We hope you’ll check out these stories, and tune in for Barbara’s television appearances! The book is available on all the main online stores, like Amazon, as well as in kindle ebook format.

Latest Client News – Week of February 3, 2014

It’s Black History Month, and we are happy to note that Barbara Winslow’s new biography of Shirley Chisholm is gaining recognition.

The book, Shirley Chisholm: Catalyst for Change, is the first in over 40 years, and the only one to cover the later part of Ms. Chisholm’s life. Ms. Chisholm, who was the nation’s first African American woman elected to Congress and the first to run for President, fought for equal pay, access to education, universal child care and many other issues that still resonate today.

We are thrilled to announce that Sam Roberts just wrote about the book in his column in the New York Times. Meanwhile, the Park Slope Patch published a short interview with Barbara Winslow, and the Brooklyn Paper recently wrote an article about the biography, emphasizing the importance of keeping Ms. Chisholm’s memory fresh in today’s world. Meanwhile, in recognition of her immense contributions, the U.S. Postal Service has just come out with a stamp commemorating Ms. Chisholm.

The author, Barbara Winslow, is a professor of Women’s Studies at Brooklyn College, and is responsible for starting and running the Shirley Chisholm Project/Brooklyn Women’s Activism at Brooklyn College. The Project has catalogued many of Ms. Chisholm’s original materials, and there are amazing oral histories/accounts from people who actually knew/worked with Ms. Chisholm, or were influenced by her legacy, like Anita Hill, Gloria Steinem, Donna Brazile, Joyce Bolden, Patricia Schroeder, and former NYC Mayor David Dinkins. The book includes insights from all of these contributors, as well as information from Ms. Chisholm’s own FBI file. You can see the Project’s website here.

On a sadder note, we would like to express our deep regret for the loss of one of our era’s most talented actors, Mr. Philip Seymour Hoffman. We join with so many around the country to express our sadness and sympathy for his family and friends. We knew him as a Village denizen and a supporter of all things Greenwich Village. He will be missed.

Latest Client News – Week of January 27, 2014

In our latest news, NYUFASP joined local officials, community groups and John Leguizamo to discuss the next steps in the NYU expansion.

On Friday, January 24th – two weeks after Manhattan State Supreme Court Justice Donna Mills put a halt to NYU’s needlessly colossal expansion plan by ruling that the City illegally gave parkland to NYU for its development, elected officials, NYU faculty, Village area community organizations and other supporters – including actor John Leguizamo – held a press conference encouraging NYU to step back from its planned appeal and to “do the right thing” by going back to the drawing board and exploring alternatives.

Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) and the Historic Districts Council generously hosted the press conference in its offices. A slew of elected officials, including a representative from Congressmember Jerrold Nadler’s office; Assemblymember Deborah Glick; State Senators Brad Hoylman, and Dan Squadron; Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Councilmember Corey Johnson, spoke. Each of them expressed the opinion that the judge’s ruling was beneficial to the Village community and provided a perfect opportunity for NYU to restart the planning phase from scratch. The well-know actor and Village resident John Leguizamo added his voice to the cause, emphasizing that NYU could make an expansion that respected the culture of the community while still gaining the educational space it needs.

The community groups that filed the lawsuit, include our own NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan (NYUFASP), GVSHP and Lower Manhattan Neighbors Organization (LMNOP), as well as, Historic Districts Council, Washington Square Village Tenants’ Association, East Village Community Coalition, LaGuardia Corner Gardens, Inc., SoHo Alliance, Bowery Alliance of Neighbors, Friends of Petrosino Square, and NoHo Neighborhood Association.

LCG is proud to be working with these groups that are fighting to save the Village.

Latest Client News – Week of January 13, 2014

In our latest news, NYUFASP is celebrating a huge victory in its suit against the City, and author Barbara Winslow has finally released her long-awaited book about Shirley Chisholm.

After a long, tense wait, Justice Donna Mills released a verdict on January 7th, ruling that the city acted illegally when it gave three out of four parcels of parkland to NYU for its 2031 expansion plan in July of 2012. A coalition of Village residents, NYU faculty members (NYUFASP) and elected officials launched an Article 78 lawsuit against the city after the plan’s approval, arguing, among other things, that the City had violated the law when it wrongfully granted NYU the use of the land involved. The $6 billion expansion plan is scheduled to last for 20 years, calls for 1.9 million square feet of new buildings in the heart of the Village, is totally unnecessary, and will crush the Village.  The judge ruled that three out of the four parcels of green space were “impliedly” parks, and that the city had acted against the public trust doctrine by seizing these public lands and awarding them to a private entity without going through the proper process of parkland alienation. This is a huge victory, and a turning point in the battle to stop the plan.

On Friday, January 10th, Barbara Winslow had a book launch party for her new book, Shirley Chisholm: Catalyst for Change. The book is a new biography of one of the most important figures in American history – and, in particular, the history of women and women of color in this country – Shirley Chisholm.  She was the first African-American woman elected to Congress and the first to run for President.  Way ahead of her time, Ms. Chisholm’s concerns still resonate today – equal pay, access to education, universal child care – and on and on.

There has been no modern or definitive biography of Ms. Chisholm written to date; the last one was 40 years ago.  The new book is much more in depth, and contains many interesting new insights and interviews – in fact, it is the only book published that covers the later part of Ms. Chisholm’s life.

The author, Barbara Winslow, is a professor of Women’s Studies at Brooklyn College, and is responsible for starting and running the Shirley Chisholm Project/Brooklyn Women’s Activism at Brooklyn College.  The Project has catalogued many of Ms. Chisholm’s original materials, and there are amazing oral histories/accounts from people who actually knew/worked with Ms. Chisholm, or were influenced by her legacy, like Anita Hill, Gloria Steinem, Donna Brazile, Joyce Bolden, Patricia Schroeder, and former NYC Mayor David Dinkins.

Top Artists, Writers, Actors and Community Join Faculty to Save the Village from NYU’s Huge Expansion; Matthew Modine Blasts NYU as “Bullying, Land- Grabbing Scrooge”

This holiday season, how would you like to have dessert and drinks with Cynthia Nixon and her wife Christine Marinoni? Have lunch with Bill Moyers, Fran Lebowitz or Lewis Lapham?  “Hulk Out” with a signed mask and set of figurines from Mark Ruffalo? Go on a two-hour shopping expedition, to curate your pantry and spice collection, with Top Chef’s Padma Lakshmi?  Play basketball with John Leguizamo? Get a signed copy of Bianca Jagger’s ‘Arts for Human Rights’ event catalogue? Get a book signed by E.L. Doctorow, a manuscript page from Philip Glass, an uncorrected galley of Art Spiegelman’s Maus, Vol.1, an Alex Katz print, a photograph of William S. Burroughs by Gary Indiana, a painting by actor Joel Grey, signed copies of all Eric Bogosian’s published works, or a signed personal photo by Matthew Modine from the set of Full Metal Jacket?  Become the owner of the rare Omas fountain pen that former US Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Philip Levine used to write The Mercy? Snap up a poster signed by Edward Norton?

Hang a gorgeous Carol Friedman photograph of Iggy Pop on your living room wall, tour the best hamburger restaurants in the East Village, or have a private makeup application lesson with Hollywood makeup artist Nicki Ledermann (Boardwalk Empire, Side Effects)?

Right now, all those boldface names—and others—are taking part in an online auctionto help fund the struggle that NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan (NYUFASP) and Village residents and supporters are waging against NYU’s ruinous 2031 expansion plan—a project that will crush the Village. The auction lasts until December 18th.

“I can think of no worthier cause than saving the Village from overdevelopment. This neighborhood is one of the most iconic parts of the City and precisely what makes New York so special,” said Padma Lakshmi.

Actor Matthew Modine, 30 years a Villager, said, “NYU has moved from being a friendly neighbor to a power hungry, land grabbing, politician buying, bullying Scrooge. I encourage everyone that loves the Village to lend their support and voice to protecting this beloved oasis of Manhattan.”

 

Other auction items include:

Nearly 170 individuals and businesses have donated items to the auction, which range in value from $25. to $8,000. The silent online auction runs from December 9 until December 18.

Bidders will base their choices on a range of pictures and descriptions of each item, and will be notified by email when they are outbid.

 

Week of November 18, 2013

Our clients are always up to something, and we want to make sure they get the credit they deserve for their latest ventures. In recent news, Theater Three Collaborative has just launched an Indiegogo campaign to help fund a full production of its new eco-drama about climate change. Meanwhile, NYUFASP has published a series of emails taking stock of the administration’s overinflated salaries as compared to the financial struggle enforced upon the faculty and students. Theater Three Collaborative (TTC) has started an Indiegogo campaign to help with funding a full production of its new eco-drama, Extreme Whether. The play has received numerous accolades from renowned scientists, writers and environmental activists including world-famous climate scientist James Hansen, and prominent arctic ice scientist Jennifer Francis. TTC has presented several readings of the play so far, one of which featured Zach Grenier of TV’s The Good Wife. TTC plans for the play to run from March 20 – April 13, 2014 at Theater for the New City, with each show followed by a “Festival of Conscience” discussion with a major scientist or environmentalist. The Extreme Whether Indiegogo campaign includes premiums for each level of giving, ranging from tickets to the play to Sniffley the frog umbrellas (Sniffley is a character in the play), to a tour of Parsons-Meares Costumes, one of New York’s major costume shops.  Parson-Meares has designed costumes for all TTC productions since 1995, and builds costumes for Spider Man, Cinderella and other major Broadway shows. There is also an option for a home-cooked meal by the playwright. NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan (NYUFASP), which has been fighting against the NYU administration’s excesses and ill conceived projects has put out a list of the salaries given to the “essential” administrative staff. It is increasingly clear that the gap between their compensation and that of the professors is ever widening, even as the students bear the brunt of this increase. This only adds credence to the fact that the NYU 2031 expansion plan is part of a wider pattern of spending which seems determined to add to the debt owed by its students (who already carry one of the highest debt loads in the nation), to the detriment of its academic offerings. This is a disturbing trend for a so-called “institute of higher learning.” Meanwhile, LCG is happy to announce that we will be working with Professor Barbara Winslow, who runs the Shirley Chisholm Project at Brooklyn College. She has written a definitive biography of Shirley Chisholm – which will be out this month – and we are thrilled to be helping her publicize it.

Week of November 4, 2013

Our top stories this week involve NHS and its efforts to honor the past while paving the future for Superstorm Sandy survivors, and Professor Barbara Winslow’s upcoming book.

The anniversary of Superstorm Sandy was last week, and Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City (NHSNYC) was busy with supporting the communities that are still experiencing the aftereffects. NHS of East Flatbush joined the community at a candlelight vigil in Canarsie, Brooklyn to commemorate the losses and push for more recovery funding. The nonprofit also held a housing fair, in partnership with Councilman Jumaane Williams, which included a workshop on disaster preparedness, foreclosure intervention counseling aimed at educating and aiding homeowners and buyers in the wake of the destruction. The housing fair, which was free and open to the public also had experts on hand to answer questions about homeowner insurance, mortgages, water bill payments and other related issues to buying or maintaining a home.

In other news, LCG is happy to announce that we will be working with Professor Barbara Winslow, who runs the Shirley Chisholm Project at Brooklyn College. She has written a biography of Shirley Chisholm – which will be out this month – and we are thrilled to be helping her publicize it.

Week of October 14, 2013

Not only do we have a beautiful new website (we’re still excited about that), our clients are doing some pretty great things too! We don’t usually like to brag about ourselves, but we’re happy to do so, on their behalf. This week, our top stories include NYUFASP’s fundraiser and NHSNYC’s collaboration in helping a family purchase its “dream home.”

NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan (NYUFASP) held a fundraising cocktail party event in the penthouse of The Standard East Village hotel. The view of the sunset over the city was a spectacular backdrop while Professor Mark Crispin Miller, village resident and author Fran Lebowitz, representatives of NYU’s Student Labor Action Movement, Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, assemblywoman Deborah Glick, Public Advocate candidate Letitia James, former mayoral candidate Sal Albanese, and NYU CAS doctoral student and teaching assistant Alex Manowitz gave speeches.

Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City (NHSNYC) teamed up with Wells Fargo’s CityLIFTSM program, HPD’s (NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development) HomeFirst program, and Citibank’s Not for Profit and Faith Based Grant to create a package of grants and financial resources that allowed the Miya family to buy their “dream home,” a condo in Parkchester, Bronx. The multi-generational immigrant family of six has been saving for years, and was finally able to purchase the home thanks to this partnership between public, private and nonprofit groups. NHS held a ribbon cutting for the Family on Friday; in addition to several representatives from each of the participating entities, the Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., State Senator Gustavo Rivera, Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda and a representative from Congressman Serrano’s office attended to congratulate them.

NHSNYC, which has seven offices throughout New York City, recently opened an office in Canarsie, specifically to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy. This effort will be further supported now that the Brooklyn Community Foundation, with the help of the American Red Cross, has announced new grants totaling $1,167,000 to continue funding the efforts of the five Community Collaboratives it established in the wake of Superstorm Sandy (Red Hook, Coney Island, Gerritsen Beach, Sheepshead Bay and Canarsie). As part of the Canarsie Collaborative, NHS will use this opportunity to further extend our aid to the individuals, businesses and infrastructures that are still struggling in Sandy’s wake.