The Lo-Down: MBP Brewer, CM Chin Ask City to Stop Rivington House Condo Conversion

From The Lo-Down

“The Department of Buildings DOB) last month gave Slate Property Group the go-ahead to proceed with its luxury condo conversion at Rivington House. But local activists (Neighbors to Save Rivington House) have not given up their campaign to block the transformation of the former Lower East Side nursing home.

Earlier this week, they got a boost from Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and City Councilmember Margaret Chin. The elected officials Monday sent a letter to Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, urging her to put a hold on any DOB permits at 45 Rivington St…”

Read more here.


Vigil at Rivington House on World AIDS Day

AssemblyMember Yuh-Line Niou’s Women’s History Month Town Hall!!

RSVP or call 212-312-1420

March 11, 12pm-3pm Downtown Alliance 150 Broadway

The 5th Precinct Introduction to Community Policing

Event is Tuesday April 17th 2018

Doors open at 6pm event begins at 7pm

RSVP by April 7th

Update from Neighbors to Save Rivington House

Council Member Margaret Chin and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer  have continued to advocate for the return of Rivington House and a meeting with the Mayor and the Buyers: Slate Property Group, Adam America and China Vanke.

From Neighbors to Save Rivington House (N2SaveRh):

Much gratitude and congratulations to Council Member Margaret Chin and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer who have continued to work diligently on the return of Rivington House.

In a letter to Alicia Glen Deputy Mayor for Housing & Economic Development on the future of Rivington House they noted::

1) the state of a continued lack of transparency re: Rivington House – even in the aftermath of a “flawed process that paved the way for the closure sale and now potential conversion”- and to “demand a clear and transparent process for the future of this site”.

2) on current zoning that makes it inappropriate for Rivington House to be converted to luxury condos.

3) a request to halt all construction, exploration etc until the buyers meet with the local elected officials and community to resolve all issues. 

Thank you to our electeds for fighting on behalf of those who cannot: our aging neighbors and those who need 24/7 skilled care whose partners, friends and children are waging a desperate battle to care for their beloveds against impossible odds.


Pre – K for All

Allen Street Mall’s Stalwart Caregiver Justen Ladda

Allen Street Mall – one of our Sister parks – a few blocks away:


From The History of the Allen Street Mall website (a great read):

“The history of this project goes back to at least 1997, when I was selected by the Department of Cultural Affairs to be the artist to work with Chris Crowley, an architect at the New York Department of Parks and Recreation, on a design for the Allen Street Mall segment between Delancey and Broome Streets. Over several years we developed 32 distinct designs and after many changes arrived at the final version which is reflected in the model. We had a great working relationship and I learned a lot about park design and the strange workings of city government from him.
In 2005 the project was given to the landscape architects Able Bainnson Butz to finish.They finalized the design to what it is now. I am especially grateful for their choice of plants which have stayed alive without being watered and survived under less than ideal conditions….” Read more here.

Justen continues to care for the Park as a volunteer tending to plantings and the rock design itself.

He imported the rocks here from China. They are beautifully and thoughtfully arranged. He writes:  “they were shaped by water, I only carved one side of one”

He designed their placement and the plantings around them and tends to them which he says he will “do forever.” 

In answer to questions about the benches (The SDR Coalition receives a number of them):

The original sturdy and comfortable benches (“world’s fair benches”) were replaced. They were removed (along with the old style light fixtures – pictured on Justen’s site under Allen Street Mall 2008) and replaced by new benches when some new re- design for the whole mall was implemented.

Unfortunately we think the slats will likely fail again as they were cut out of stock which weakens the integrity of the slats. Apparently in order to have curved slats the wood would have to be steamed and bent, which is much more expensive.

He has added about 90 new plants in the fall is not finished yet!

For more and beautiful photos and history: here is Justen Ladda’s site

He says the biggest need for the Allen Park is fertilizer which has not seen any since it opened in 2008!

Trump’s EPA Concludes Environmental Racism Is Real

Poison is the wind that blows from the north and south and east – Marvin Gaye


“A new report from the Environmental Protection Agency finds that people of color are much more likely to live near polluters and breathe polluted air—even as the agency seeks to roll back regulations on pollution…”


From the Atlantic:

by Vann R. Newkirk II 

“..The study focuses on particulate matter, a group of both natural and manmade microscopic suspensions of solids and liquids in the air that serve as air pollutants. Anthropogenic particulates include automobile fumes, smog, soot, oil smoke, ash, and construction dust, all of which have been linked to serious health problems. Particulate matter was named a known definite carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, and it’s been named by the EPA as a contributor to several lung conditions, heart attacks, and possible premature deaths. The pollutant has been implicated in both asthma prevalence and severitylow birth weights, and high blood pressure….

…They find that black people are exposed to about 1.5 times more particulate matter than white people, and that Hispanics had about 1.2 times the exposure of non-Hispanic whites. The study found that people in poverty had about 1.3 times more exposure than people above poverty. Interestingly, it also finds that for black people, the proportion of exposure is only partly explained by the disproportionate geographic burden of polluting facilities, meaning the magnitude of emissions from individual factories appears to be higher in minority neighborhoods.

These findings join an ever-growing body of literature that has found that both polluters and pollution are often disproportionately located in communities of color. In some places, hydraulic-fracturing oil wells are more likely to be sited in those neighborhoods. Researchers have found the presence of benzene and other dangerous aromatic chemicals to be linked to race. Strong racial disparities are suspected in the prevalence of lead poisoning….”

Talking Democracy: Learn Facts About Our City, State, US Government Works @ Seward Park Library

We invite your members to join us for a series of talks to learn how the federal, state, and city government are structured and how you can make an impact. Classes will be taught by political scientists and/or elected officials, and people who have served in office.  Drop in on any talk in the series or come to them allNo RSVP is necessary.

Let’s Talk Democracy is a grass roots, non-partisan organization dedicated to educating people about our government, encouraging dialogue about the basic foundations of our democracy, and empowering citizens of NYC and beyond to make their voices heard.  They provide classes, seminars, and discussion forums in the belief that informed knowledgeable residents emerge energized to actively participate in the democratic process. 

Schedule of classes (see below):

  • Wednesday, March 14, 6:30- 8pm
    Federal Government: Separation of Powers among the Executive, Congressional and Judicial Branches
  • Wednesday, March 21, 6:30- 8pm
    State Government: Role of Governor, State Senate and State Assembly 
  • Wednesday, March 28, 6:30- 8pm
    The Electoral System and Roles of Citizens/Local Residents –Advocacy and Lobbying
  • Wednesday, April 4, 6-7:30pm
    City Government Part 1: Structure and Elected Officials, City Council
  • Wednesday, April 11, 6:30- 8pm
    City Government Part 2 – Community Boards, Advocacy and Lobbying
  • Wednesday, April 18, 6:30- 8pm
    Book Talk @ 53rd Street Library
  • Wednesday, April 25, 6:30- 8pm
    GOLES – Housing and Land Use
  • Wednesday, May 2, 6:30- 8pm
    Advocacy Fair


Lunar New Year Celebration Year of the Dog 4716!

Council Members Margaret Chin and Peter Koo invite you:

Wednesday, March 7, 2018 | 5:30 PM

Council Chambers, City Hall

Seats are limited RSVP by Monday, March 5 to

Research and Impacts of Environmental Violence on Indigenous Women and Girls

Saturday, April 14, 2018 10:00 AM – Sunday, April 15, 2018 5:00 PM
Jerome Greene Hall 435 W 116th Street. Room 103

The 3rd International Indigenous Women’s Symposium on Environment and Reproductive Health will be held in Columbia University

The broader goals of the symposium are

(1) to contribute to awareness about the multi-dimensional aspects and impacts of violence against Indigenous women and girls including environmental violence;

(2) build and strengthen networks and alliances for research and advocacy between Indigenous women from various regions and the scientific and academic communities;

(3) and to build awareness among diverse constituencies, including the broader movements addressing violence against Indigenous women and girls.


Click below to download the form to apply:



Organized and co-sponsored by the International Indigenous Women’s Forum (FIMI), the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) and the Institute for the Study of Human Rights (Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Program) at Columbia University

Co-sponsored by the Fondo Indígena, MADRE and Alaska Community Action on Toxics; and, on Columbia’s side, by the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, the Native American Law Students Association, and If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice, Columbia Law School; the Center for the Study of Social Difference and the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race