Open letter from the United Nation’s Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation


rights sanitation and water

Music in the Garden, CSA, wedding, more with the Tenement Museum’s Forsyth Garden Conservancy and “SkyWatch” tower to be moved out

After Aotearoa native son Tama Waipara  performed at Rockwood Music Hall, he stopped by M’Finda Kalunga Garden (Auntie is Co-Chair of the Garden Jane Barrer).  He and musician friends – including the beloved Maori singer/songwriter Maisey Rika – played and sang informally while Jane organized a potluck and birthday party – They are quite an awesome family! 

Other goings on in the Park: The weekly CSA from Farmer Ted held on Thursday evenings in the  M’Finda Kalunga Garden, The Tenement Museum continues to re-plot the plots of GreenThumb’s Forysth Garden Conservancy (with Partnerships for Parks Kirsti Bambridge) and a wedding in the Garden…and the SkyWatch tower to be moved out (says the Commissioner of Manhattan Parks)…thank you!

People’s Global Climate Movement


From: The People’s Climate Movement National Day of Action for October 14

“We’ve built momentum for …. a dynamic day of action just six weeks before the Paris Climate talks. More than 120 national organizations and local groups are already committed to this effort, and more are joining every day. Our goal is to show leaders the diverse  support for bold action on climate that our movement demands.

From Seattle to Miami, communities are organizing to bring the reality of the climate crisis to the forefront in their cities. On October 14, organizations like yours — from climate justice to labor to faith-based to environmental groups and more — are coming together to demand urgent action on climate justice in a national day of actions.

On, your group can now easily post your own Oct. 14 event, or sign up to attend an event in your city. Together, we will create another national moment to call for immediate action on the urgent issue of climate change.

Last year, we showed the world that people from all walks of life are united for action on climate change in a big way. We also changed the nature of our movement by highlighting the voices of frontline communities exercising leadership on climate justice every day. This year, we’re showing our strength in neighborhoods, communities and cities throughout the country. Here are some of the ways you can get involved:

There is no action too small or too big—and the more creative the better! Join us and be part of the growing People’s Climate Movement. Together, we’ll make a difference.

See you on October 14, 


Lion’s Gate Soccer Field Completed! Repairs to Rivington Playground finished

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Our deepest appreciation to our NYC Parks Department!

From Helen Yanolatos (Deputy Chief of Staff to Manhattan Borough Commissioner Castro):

“We are happy to announce the latest improvement at Sara D Roosevelt Park – the installation of new artificial turf at the Lion’s Gate soccer field.

 ….The field will be reopened to the public on Monday. By using [Parks Department’s] own staff, we were able to complete this work much quicker (it took only eight days) and at considerable savings.

 As you know, this is the second soccer field in the park that has been renovated in recent months.”

Parks staff also completed repairs to the Rivington Playground’s jungle gym equipment.

(more repairs on the way for the swing set area).


Bob Humber is famous in Korea too!

Bob was interviewed for this Korean publication in his role as Head Gardener for M’Finda Kalunga Community Garden.

Bob also is the Coordinator for the Elizabeth Hubbard Memorial Garden in front of the BRC in Sara Roosevelt Park.


LUNGS interns helping out in Community Gardens visit with M’Finda Kalunga Garden

LUNGS (Loisaida United Neighborhood Gardens) interns with Wendy Brawer of Green Map System and K of Sara Roosevelt Park Community Coalition (Debra Jeffreys – Glass Co-Chair of M’Finda Kalunga Garden and Bob Humber Coordinator of Elizabeth Hubbard Garden were on hand too).

Thank you for the visit! photo

Women in Islam

Launches their Women in Islam Story Lab

Application process Open: “We are looking for dynamic, passionate Muslim women who want to build community and make change within the Muslim community using creative arts and storytelling tools.”

“The Muslim Women’s Story Lab is a structured series of art-making and storytelling workshops to engage Muslim women as creators and keepers of their own stories. The Lab builds participants’ capacity to lead creative, culturally resonant community engagement projects within the Muslim community using strategies that harness and reclaim Islam’s empowerment of women….”

Questions please contact:

Story Lab Facilitators:
GAIL A. BURTON has trained practitioners of theater of the oppressed nationally through the TOPLAB training program and 100s of community organizers, artists, educators and lay people through workshops and community based initiatives. Additionally, she supports the development of practitioners of the Federation of Senegalese Theater of the Oppressed groups. She is on faculty at Emerson College and Roxbury Community College.

KAYHAN IRANI is an Emmy award winning writer, a popular educator and a Theater of the Oppressed trainer. She designs and directs socially engaged arts projects for community based organizations, government agencies and international NGOs. Her work creatively addresses real-world issues and builds spaces for interaction, dialogue and deeper engagement in democracy and radical social change.


Why Is the Police Tower Here?

We see that the Sara Roosevelt Park has suddenly been graced by a police watch tower.

We aren’t sure why. There have been no violent incidents that have been reported in this area. Only Nike running some games and programming.

We are concerned that the effect will be to intimidate the homeless people who have traditionally come to our area in hopes of help. A small number of the homeless men here help out in the Park and there are organizations nearby that serve anyone in need. Parks are the only democratic spaces left in the City where everyone mingles.

This flurry of activity seems a political move in response to the SBA President Ed Mullins encouragement to his membership to post pictures of homeless people on a website. Clearest response:

DeLacy Davis, the head of the National Coalition of Law Enforcement Officers for Justice, Reform and Accountability a …20-year veteran of the Orange County, New Jersey, police force, said the SBA was wrong to politicize policing of the homeless…”While the union has a responsibility to advocate for its members’ safety and pay, they shouldn’t “do it on the backs of the homeless or groups in the community that can’t defend themselves,” he said. “It’s just the wrong fight.”To help the homeless, he said, officers need to get to know the people who are on their beat and respond with the reflex of helping, not punishing. This is especially true for the homeless who are mentally ill, he said.”  – From Aljazeera America

We are not okay with pushing people to other Boroughs, out of sight. If we have a problem – then our community needs to deal with it.

We need long-term solutions to homelessness for our neighbors and neighborhood- we do not have the right to criminalize poverty or people – for being poor.

We need officers on foot, park staff and outreach workers who can insist that anyone who uses the park be required to treat people and the park with respect.

We need bathrooms open to the public that are staffed and maintained.

We need community policing – foot patrol officers are far more effective – they know the park, the people. They know who is ‘trouble’ and who is just ‘in trouble’. We have officers who know the area and are among the best in the city.

We need more funding for the outreach workers who painstakingly build relationships that might draw people off the streets and into shelters.

We need safe shelters with a well resourced staff to help people find a way back.

We need homes for people to live in.

We need jobs.

Other thoughts?

100 GATES Project – The Lower East Side Business Improvement District (LES BID)

The LES BID announced the 100 Gates project

100 GATES connects artists & businesses: Beautifying security roll down gates in the LES

“The 100 GATES Project is a neighborhood-wide public art initiative that is transforming the Lower East Side into an outdoor public art gallery. The initiative, which is managed by Natalie Raben of the Lower East Side Business Improvement District, is funded by a Neighborhood Challenge grant and works by connecting artists with opportunities to create original murals on the roll down security gates belonging to businesses in the LES. Each collaboration tells a different story. Artists such as Shantell Martin, FAUST, and Buff Monster are just a small snapshot of the noteworthy talent included in the 100 GATES Project’s Artist Roster.”

Roni Sue’s gate…


Tenement Museum Staff takes on another plot in the Forsyth Garden Conservancy

The intrepid Tenement Museum staff returned to clear, rake, prune, weed and remove trash in the Forsyth Garden Conservancy. Dead pigeons, poison ivy and large dead branches did not deter them.

Sara Roosevelt Park Coalition VP Jin Xiu Chen stopped by for a look…