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Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer: Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board

-The Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board is active and all meetings are open to the public. See their excellent website for updates. 


Let us know if you want to support recycling and/or organics efforts on your block. or 212-669-8300.

Note (from Hack:Trash:NYC):

  • About 33% of NYC’s wastes are organics
  • NYC’s waste diversion rate (recyclables and organics) is about 20.5%
  • DSNY (Sanitation Dept) collects 3.5 million tons of wastes and recyclables each year
  • DSNY’s FY18 budget for recycling and organics education is $4.5 million out of a total agency budget of $1.6 billion
  • It costs $380 million per year to transport just wastes out of NYC to landfills
  • The average New Yorker throws out 14 lbs. of garbage per person per week

On Tuesday, August 7, 2018 at 3333 Broadway two interns, Maria Ordonez and Luis Ordonez, organized a Recycling Day, 1-6pm with the support of  Manhattan Borough President’s Office, Urban American, 3333 Broadway Tenant Association, NYC Dept of Sanitation, NYC Dept of Health, WE ACT, GrowNYC, Citizens Committee for New York and DJ Marlon Bizzy as well as residents. Great credit to Maria Ordonez and Luis Ordonez who organized this event and who are spearheading recycling at 3333 Broadway with the Tenant Association and management. The good news: Management has set Tuesday every week as Recycling Day in this 1,022 unit building! Another intern organized recycling education at PS 125 and other public schools!


From the Personal Account of Gale Brewer – (Also The Manhattan Borough President)

“Charter Revision Commission: vote NO on #2 and #3. 

-Tuesday, November 6, 2018, Election Day. In NYC, turn over the ballot and be sure to vote on the 3 referendum questions, and vote NO on #2 and #3. Tell your friends.

I know you’re used to hearing from me about what’s going on in the office and events listings, but I’m writing today—from my personal account!— with an important message about the NYC Charter Revision Proposals on the November 6, 2018 ballot.

I’m writing to let you know that I am opposing Charter Revision Proposals 2 & 3—and I hope you’ll join me.

Proposal 3 would term-limit the unpaid members of the City’s 59 Community Boards (yes, all 2,950 of them) and Proposal 2 would shift who provides services to those boards (among other things).

These proposals would be a real—and in some cases dangerous—disruption to the way Community Boards protect our communities.

Community Boards are truly the grass roots of city government; these citizens volunteer their time to help decide everything from liquor licenses to city services to land use, zoning and real estate development in their districts (and almost everything in between). I served on CB 7 in the 1990s.

Land use and zoning regulations are hard to learn; it takes time. And city agencies take time—sometimes a LOT of time—to complete projects. Yet Proposal 3 rigidly terminates all members after eight years. It would have the effect of allowing developers and their lawyers—who are never term limited!—to dominate development negotiations, because those long-time members will be gone. And on long-term city projects like street redesign or sustainability, newly-appointed community board members would have little influence over long-term projects. Every Board’s institutional memory would be wiped out.

Term limits are not just dangerous, they’re redundant—since Borough Presidents and City Council members are already term-limited!

Proposal 3’s language ends by referencing Proposal 2’s “Civic Engagement Commission” as a supplier of “resources, assistance and training” to the Boards—tasks that Borough Presidents do now. Proposal 3 also says this commission will be controlled by the Mayor—every Mayor going forward—and charges it with a host of other tasks as well (many of which are laudable, but could be done now, without a Charter change!).

Proposals 2 and 3 may sound appealing to voters, though, in a wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing kind of way. “Civic Engagement” hardly sounds like a bad thing, and “term limits” have been approved by New York City voters three different times over the last 25 years, most recently in 2010.

I am supporting a “Vote No on 2 & 3” committee, and we are getting the word out about the impact of these proposals. But time is short—November 6 is looming!  I’d appreciate your help in a few ways…

— Please join our committee—and in so doing give us permission to use your name publicly—by signing up for our committee and their email blasts at this link:  Or paste this url into your browser:


— Like and share our Facebook page at

(We also have an ActBlue online contribution account at this link or paste this url into your browser:—3-1

We’re also accepting we’re accepting checks made payable to the “No On 2 and 3 Committee” at 555 W. 23rd St., South 6L, NY, NY 10011.)

— Please let your friends and neighbors know the true impact of Charter Proposals 2 & 3. Remind them it’s important to turn out on Election Day, November 6, and that these proposals are on the BACK of the ballot. Use any of the language in this email if it would help. If you’d like to download and reprint our flyer and distribute it to your building or block, visit here:

I hope you’ll help, and soon. We have less than a month to get the word out. If you have any questions, please email our campaign account at so your responses don’t get lost in my inbox—and so our volunteers can get back to you quickly.

FYI: 4 Borough Presidents signed a letter to oppose 2 and 3. Much thanks, Gale A Brewer

P.S. I explained more in an op-ed for the Manhattan CNG weeklies here:  Please share it with your friends!

-Mayor’s Charter Revision Commission on ballot Nov 6, 2018. These are the dates of hearings when the Mayor/Administration is trying to convince us that these are good proposals. Please attend and explain why you think they are not. The dates of these hearings are hard to find.

Mon, October 15 | 6:30 PM


Jewish Center of Jackson Heights

37-06 77th Street

Jackson Heights, NY 11372

Tue, October 16 | 6:30 PM


Michael J. Petrides School

715 Ocean Terrace

Staten Island, NY 10301

Wed, October 17 | 6:30 PM


Metropolitan College

463 East 149 Street

Bronx, NY 10455

Thu, October 18 | 6:30 PM


Gregorio Luperon High School for Science and Mathematics

501 West 165 Street?New York, NY 10032

Mon, October 22 | 6:30 PM


Brooklyn College

2900 Bedford Ave

Ingersoll Hall IH-1127

Brooklyn, NY 11210


————————————————————————————- The Manhattan hearing for the CHARTER REVISION COMMISSION 2019 took place on September 27, 2018 from 6pm-1:30am because so many people testified! This is the Charter Revision Commission that will have referendums on the ballot in November 2019. It is comprised of members appointed by many officials, not just the Mayor. It is reviewing the entire charter. ALL ideas are welcome. City Council/Public Advocate/Borough residents/Comptroller/Mayor are on this Charter Revision Commission that is reviewing the ENTIRE Charter for the November 2019 ballot. There will be many more hearings. Contact: and put Charter Revision Commission in subject line or call 212-669-8300. We are glad to come to your organization and brief you on the charter if you wish.”


Yet More Violence in the Stanton Area of Sara Roosevelt Park

From Daily News:

“Man slashed in the face in ‘random’ clash”

From BoweryBoogie:

“Man slashed Across the Face in Sara D. Roosevelt Park in ‘Random’ Attack”

In this area of the Stanton ParkHouse:

Stabbing 12/2017

Woman brutally beaten 5/2017

Murder 8/2018

Random Face Slashing 10/2018

Yesterday, disabled homeless man was punched in the face on Rivington in front of M’Finda Garden.

When will Parks Dept return the derelict looking Stanton Building to this community?


Meanwhile, this is Parks answer to the problem of people defecating in this area: a fence.

Those in need of a toilet have already begun to ‘work around it’.

How about we open the bathrooms with security and maintenance 24/7 to actually deal with the problem?



Our answer to this park’s problems goes more like this.

Invite activities that invite positive use of a park area. Doesn’t solve everything but keeps “eyes on” the park and provides a bit of safe haven for this neighborhood.

This was happening outside the M’Finda Garden at the same time that person was being slashed:

de Blasio’s Commission (appointed solely by him) Would Weaken NYC’s Checks and Balances

Mayor de Blasio’s Commission (appointed solely by him) answer to a strong checks and balances is to have Borough President, City Council and the Community boards they appoint weakened.

The City Council’s commission included the Mayor’s reps, City Council reps, Tish James and the City Council – it offers a more in-depth look at the Charter and all revisions.

Due to the fact that the mayor put it on the ballot for November – NO Community Board can weigh in as a body. Their job is to look with some expertise at all things coming at neighborhoods and yes boards are varied in their abilities but they also can have real institutional knowledge. AND they are the only bulwark against any mayor’s authority.

Ecofeminism: Fueling the Journey to Energy Democracy

From TNI (Trans National Institute) an event with 200 women in Bilbao, Basque Country February 2-7, 2018 on the need for any energy transition to be ecofeminist:


“The growing call for the feminisation of politics – and energy politics for that matter – is about much more than merely increasing the representation of women in decision-making positions. We need to question the ways energy politics are shaped. We need to ask, energy for whom and energy for what?”


The alternative energy model needs to be life-sustaining – protecting collective survival – and needs to take into account the disproportionate impacts the lives of women everywhere.

Any new model needs to acknowledge the diverse roles a multitude of women play in their day-to-day realities and in the global political economy.

The feminist strike on March 8, 2018 saw one in five women take to the streets throughout Spain:

“We strike for a new renewable energy model, distributed, decentralized, democratic, participatory, decarbonized, equitable, fair and in the hands of people. A new ecofeminist energy model in which energy is a right and life is at the center.”

“Energy is currently produced and consumed based on sexist, racist and classist power relations that favour the pursuit of private profits. Groups that are already treated with disdain by many societies are further marginalised, in specific and concrete ways, by the current energy model.”

Gender inequality increases the likelihood of a family suffering from energy poverty

“Today’s political economy still expects – or even requires – women to take on a multiplicity of caring and household roles. Without this unpaid and mostly invisible labour, the political economy could not function. Public services that supply (warm) water, electricity and heating are essential to fulfill these roles. If these essential services were publicly owned and fundamentally democratic they would include women and be grounded in their daily realities – potentially offering a road to equitable redistribution of power and resources.”

How are women rendered invisible? Research by Enginyeria Sense Fronteres(ESF) shows how official data on poverty is not disaggregated by gender. Where data is disaggregated, it shows only a 0.1% difference between men and women…[but]…Data that takes into account individual income shows a very different reality, with 25.7% of men & fully 49.7% of women at risk of experiencing energy poverty.”

70% of energy aid recipients in Barcelona are women. Single-parent families are at a higher risk of experiencing energy poverty; 80% of these parents are women. In turn, lacking access to a sufficient amount of energy has a negative effect on the development of children. …inequality between genders increases the likelihood of a family suffering energy poverty. Furthermore… analyses of energy poverty and inequality treat women as a homogenous group, ignoring how materially vulnerable groups of women, such as single mothers, women over 65, migrant women, and domestic and service sector workers, are in specific material ways more heavily impacted by the structural injustices of the current energy model.

Undermining energy politics that are reproducing patriarchy as the basis for capitalism

Extractivist oligopolies and corporatised politics have imposed humiliating austerity measures, privatisations of public services, and excessive and growing socio-economic inequality, displacement and dispossession, and environmental destruction. These processes drive skyrocketing levels of energy poverty and a worsening ecological crisis.

Not surprisingly, most governments, corporate boards and international institutions that determine societies’ energy policies are dominated by men…We need to question the ways energy politics are shaped.

We need to ask, energy for whom and energy for what? As Alba del Campo puts it, how much and what type of energy do we need and what is it used for?

We need energy democracies and participatory politics in which a variety of ordinary women can influence tomorrow’s energy policies. Collective but diversified bottom-up power can ensure a new energy model is run by and services those who the current model exploits and discriminates against.”

A new energy model that is build on the needs and labour of the social majority of women

“…for a just transition towards energy democracy, the new energy laws and policies must reflect the needs and labour of the social and diverse majority of women.

The Alliance against Energy Poverty’s success in passing Law 24/2015 in the Catalan Parliament is an early sign that ecofeminist energy policies are workable. This law is unique in treating access to energy as a human right. An eclectic group of women affected by energy-poverty participated in its drafting, which, since 2015, and for the first time in the history of Spain, prohibits the cutting off of electricity supplies of vulnerable families in Catalonia.

From Bilbao and Cadiz to Catalonia, the fight for a just energy transition is already under way. With courage and endurance we can make it ever stronger and expose the material impacts of the current, profit-driven energy model on the “multiple many” in distinct yet coinciding ways.

This article was heavily inspired by the Summer Course about Ecofeminist Views, Empowerment and Energy Transitions at the University of Cadiz, July 5-7, 2018.  

All photos from It’s Our Park Day from FABnyc

Times Union: “Drinking Water Quality Council blows its deadline”


“Instead, Cuomo announces $200 million for water treatment systems”


From Times Union:

ALBANY — New York’s Drinking Water Quality Council will need more time to review new science before recommending limits on federally unregulated contaminants in New York’s water sources.

The 12-member council, created in September 2017 and overseen by the state Health Department, was tasked with creating recommendations for maximum contamination levels for chemicals including PFOA, PFOS and 1,4-dioxane in drinking water by the one-year anniversary of its first meeting.

In lieu of the report, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office instead announced $200 million in grant funding for filtration systems and infrastructure to help communities address the emerging chemicals that have wreaked havoc on Hoosick Falls, Newburgh and Long Island, among others.

A coalition of environmental activists, including residents of Hoosick Falls, gathered at the state Capitol last week to call on Cuomo to immediately establish more stringent state guidelines for the toxins.

While new filtration systems are helpful, they are no replacement for comprehensive screening requirements and lower limits on contamination levels, according to Liz Moran, water and natural resources director for Environmental Advocates of New York.

“This funding is a sidestep,” Moran said of the governor’s announcement. “Statewide guidance is, frankly, the first step to addressing this issue. And the fact that it’s taking this long is very curious.”

Moran noted that other states had surpassed New York in efforts to protect citizens from these chemicals. Vermont has already created limits on PFOA levels, and New Jersey has released recommendations for maximum contamination levels.

Of the grant funding awarded on Tuesday, $185 million will be available to communities across the state to upgrade drinking water treatment systems. The remaining $15 million has been awarded to communities already pursuing system upgrades and innovative pilot technologies to treat the emerging contaminants.

While advanced treatment systems require operational maintenance, carbon filtration like the systems that are currently in effect in Hoosick Falls can filter out these chemicals to undetectable levels, according to health officials.

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) have been used to make carpets, clothing, fabrics for furniture, paper packaging for food and other water-resistant materials. The solvent 1,4-dioxane is used in a variety of industrial and commercial applications, such as in the manufacture of other chemicals, and in adhesives and sealants.

All three have been linked to various maladies in humans, including several forms of cancer.

TODAY: LadyBug Release in M’Finda Kalunga Garden in SDR Park

Journey for Justice for Immigrant Rights

From us:

Our Sara Roosevelt Park was inaugurated by President FDR October 1936. He stood in this Park reminding the neighborhood and the public he commended the immigrants to America for their contributions to American civilization and culture.

From Hand In Hand -The Domestic Employers Network:

Inviting you to join these actions this coming week.


“1. Adhikaar for Human Justice and Social Rights[“rights” in Nepali] is working with a group of NYC organizations, unions and TPS [Temporary Protected Status] holders to hold a  press conference/rally at NY City Hall on Monday at 1pm.


The Journey for Justice, a caravan of TPS holders from different countries and their families, has been traveling since August 17 across the country, over 50+ cities, and will be making a stop in NYC on Monday. If you are in the area and can come out to support and welcome the caravan, that would be amazing!


Especially in light of the unprecedented legal victory on Wednesday night when a Federal Judge ruled to temporarily halt the termination of TPS for Sudan, Haiti, El Salvador & Nicaragua, this is definitely a moment you want to be a part of, especially if your organizations have members with TPS.


2. ICE Out of the Courts Speak Out:  Thursday, Oct 11, 5pm Foley Square.

Petition delivery: Thursday, Oct 11, 4pm, NYS Chief Judge Janet DiFiore’s office 25 Beaver Street.

Organized by DSA Immigration Justice Working Group

“In April WNYC reported that ICE had made 150 arrests in and around NYS courthouses since Trump took office, most of those New York City.  Arrests have continued unabated since then. The huge increase in courthouse arrests since 2016 is an attack immigrants’ lives, livelihoods, and access to equal justice. Courthouse arrests keep undocumented immigrants from reporting domestic abuse and landlord harassment, and deter them from appearing for minor charges. Even as public outcry has grown in response, city and state officials have done nothing to stop ICE from entering the courts, exposing the lie of our so-called “sanctuary city.”


Join us Thursday, Oct 11 at 4pm at 25 Beaver St to deliver thousands of petitions calling on Janet DiFiore to take action to end ICE’s courthouse arrest. Then come to Foley Square at 5pm for a Speak Out.”

GreenThumb Awards Last Night Bob Humber: Lifetime Achievement


Bob’s entourage


He got a standing ovation.


Bob’s entourage (some of us)

Great to see Garden supporters Gale Brewer Manhattan Borough President and Liam Kavanagh First Deputy Commissioner of NYC Parks Department and Mathew Washington Deputy Borough President.


Lots of awards, lots of gardeners who fight every day to help make our city beautiful and …ours…




Thanks to all. Especially Bill LoSasso, Director and Anthony Reuter, Outreach Coordinator.

GreenThumb Staff

Why You Don’t Want Term Limits for Community Boards

Term limits may sound like great ‘democracy’ but they leave communities vulnerable to predatory developers who have state-of-the-art, expert help. The best money can buy. Our community boards have, mostly, the expertise of decades of information that community members have learned on the ins and outs of Land Use and who have institutional memory in their communities. We always need new members, but damn, we better also keep people who know Land Use like the back of their hand.

Unless we want to trust the big money developers to guide us.