- New York City Council Speaker
- New York City Council Speaker
NY CITY COUNCIL & MAYOR: BAN HORSE-DRAWN CARRIAGES NOW!
NYC needs to shut down the inhumane and unsafe carriage trade. It is one of the largest in the world, with 68 horses out at any given time. It is an anachronism and does not belong in one of the most congest cities in the world But the NYC Council and Mayor continue to turn their back on the beleaguered carriage horse. They are all afraid to rock the boat - to go against the unions and the media. They are hoping we will go away. UNSAFE AND INHUMANE: The horse-drawn carriage business is unsafe and inhumane and it is only a matter of time before someone is killed in NYC. It has happened elsewhere. Horses are prey animals and considering their size, could injure or kill themselves or passersby. They can spook and bolt at the slightest provocation. There should be no compromise allowing them to work only in the park because spooking accidents have occurred there also. The southern part of Central Park is very congested. REGULATIONS: Most street regulations are not enforced. There are simply not enough agents to oversee this business. Carriage drivers overload their carriages; work out of accepted work areas; leave their carriages unattended and untethered, which is an invitation for a horse to bolt; use their cell phones while driving instead of paying attention to the road; consistently do illegal U-turns. And the authorities do not care. It is the Wild Wild West! COMING TO AN END: The four stables are located within the Hell's Kitchen area where extensive redevelopment is occurring. Many new office towers and apartment buildings are being constructed. When businesses and apartment dwellers begin to move here and create more congestion, they are not going to welcome the dangerous and unhygienic carriage trade. Two of the stables on W. 37th and W. 38th St. are essentially stand-alones now with high rises going on around them. CITY COUNCIL NEEDS TO STEP UP: The City Council should have taken the lead on this issue several years ago to help create jobs for the drivers, instead of propping up a dying union and newspaper business and siding with the carriage medallion owners. There is still time for the Council to act and create jobs in other fields for the drivers who will be unemployed when the stables eventually close down. Or they can substitute the carriages for battery operated ones without the horses. But turning their back and pretending all is well is not the answer. CURRENT CAMPAIGNS: There are currently ban campaigns in Chicago, Philadelphia, Charleston, Savannah, Atlanta, Memphis, Nashville, St. Louis, Niagara on the Lake, Victoria, BC, Rome, Florence, Berlin, Vienna, and Dublin. Barcelona just banned the industry this year. Montreal will ban their business by the end of 2019. YOUTUBE: This excellent Youtube compilation of carriage horse accidents was compiled by the Anti-Caleche Defense Coalition in Montreal. Many cities are included. Both tourist guides Frommer’s and Fodor’s recommend not taking these exploitative and cruel rides.For more information, please see our web site at www.banhdc.org and our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BanHDC
Paid Personal Time should be guaranteed
No state or city in America guarantees paid personal time for workers, including nearly a million New Yorkers. It pains me to think about all the birthdays, first days of school, graduations and other special moments I’ve missed because I couldn’t afford to lose my job – or even a single paycheck – by taking a day off work. My name is Yanelia and I’m a mother of five from the Bronx. To make ends meet and put food on the table, I’m employed at a nail salon where I haven’t had a single work day off to rest or spend with my children in 10 years. Stand with me in urging the New York City Council to pass legislation RIGHT NOW that would guarantee the right to 10 days of Paid Personal Time. New York would be the first city to make this change, inspiring a wave of change across the country. No job should cause anyone to miss all the important moments that make life special for everyone. And what we really can’t afford is to keep working so hard that life just passes us by. Nail salon workers, cooks, cleaners, servers, childcare providers, and domestic workers, and all other working New Yorkers and Americans should be treated with dignity and respect. We deserve a break to take care of ourselves and those we love. We don’t deserve to be treated like batteries that are thrown away and replaced once drained. SIGN NOW to make a life-changing difference for working families like mine. Tell the New York City Council: Pass Paid Personal Time legislation today!
Protect Poet Walt Whitman's New York City Home
Walt Whitman, America's most famous poet, lived at 99 Ryerson Street in Brooklyn, New York when his world famous book Leaves of Grass was first published in 1855. While Whitman lived in over 30 places in what is today New York City during this lifetime, the house at 99 Ryerson Street is the ONLY ONE still standing. Accordingly, 99 Ryerson Street is of great cultural and historical significance. It tells not only the story of a key moment in American poetry and literature, but also the story of a towering figure in global culture. We are seeking official city landmark designation from New York City to protect the building from demolition, especially because development is encroaching on the neighborhood. While the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission initially rejected our request, the Commission is currently reviewing additional information and research that we provided on the significance of the site and Walt Whitman's association with the site. We need your help convincing the Commission to landmark this critically important building. The house at 99 Ryerson Street is one of only two buildings directly associated with Walt Whitman that are still standing in New York City. It would be an unforgivable tragedy to lose this crucially important building to history. Join us in protecting this important cultural resource for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations. Quotes from supporters: "To protect a house like this one, it seems to me, is a form of cultural stewardship.For this house to disappear would be something like an extinction: such a place cannot be got back, not ever, once it is lost." - George Saunders, author of Lincoln in the Bardo and winner of the 2017 Man Booker Prize “During my time as Poet Laureate of the United States, my travels in our country and abroad gave me a renewed sense of Walt Whitman’s ongoing, central importance. Poets writing in other languages, on every continent have looked to Whitman’s work for an epitome of what is most liberating in the culture of the United States. Please let me add my voice to those hoping that you will recognize his house in Brooklyn as a true landmark.” - Robert Pinsky, former U.S. Poet Laureate "I feel a particular relationship to Whitman and, maybe more to the point, a strong sense of just how much impact not only his work but his physical presence had on the New York City of his day. I do hope you’ll revisit the question of the house on Ryerson as a historic landmark." - Michael Cunningham, award winning author “2019 marks the bicentennial of Walt Whitman’s birth. We hope to celebrate Whitman’s groundbreaking contributions to literature by landmarking the site most associated with his seminal work by the time that key milestone arrives. I hope the Commission understands this is not about the architectural merit of 99 Ryerson Street but rather its incredibly significant cultural value.” - Professor Karen Karbiener, founder of the Walt Whitman Initiative “The city needs more landmarks like this one to help narrate the histories of LGBT Americans – and it needs to consider cultural landmarks seriously rather than aesthetic landmarks alone.” - Jay Shockley, co-founder of the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project “If Whitman’s Leaves of Grass gave birth to American poetry, then Brooklyn is thebirthplace of our art, and 99 Ryerson Street is the last remaining cradle. The Commission needs to reconsider its initial rejection.” - Jason Koo, executive director and founder of Brooklyn Poets
Grant retired military and police K-9's the same exemptions as service animals
The Retired Police Canine Foundation is supporting this petition and this is the goal: Give retired law enforcement, Military and off-duty k9s the same exemptions as service animals – let them live anywhere with their owners and accompany their owners on public transportation. In most places an off-duty police or military k9 is considered a pet when not on duty but a service animal can accompany their civilian owner in public and on public transportation. An off-duty police or military k9 can be denied housing but a civilian service animal can not. These rules are doing a disservice to these American heroes and their handlers. Police and military k9s are highly trained and certified by state, local and in some cases national organizations. Police and military k9s off duty or retired are a deterrent to crime and terrorism. K9s are one of the most effective crime fighting tools. They are in most cases trained to search for lost children and the elderly. They faithfully serve our country and community. Having an off duty or retired k9 living in your building or riding on a train or airplane with you offers you and your community an extra layer of protection and safety. Military personal are returning from serving our country suffering from PTSD and are unable to adopt there k9s because they cannot find housing that will accept the type of dog that they have. Police officers are experiencing the same resistance.These heroes and their retired and off duty k9s protect your community and our nation from all kinds of threats. Military working dogs fearlessly serve our nation saving thousands of lives each year. These animals deserve to remain with their handlers and need to be exempt from outdated housing rules and public transportation ordinances. These heroes deserve the same exemptions as civilian service animals when they are with their respective handler. www.policek9help.com
The Park Savoy Hotel Homeless Shelter - Bad for the Homeless, Bad for West 58th Street
We are compassionate New Yorkers with deep concerns regarding the plans to convert the Park Savoy Hotel at 158 West 58th Street into an all-men's transitional homeless shelter. The Threat: An enormous impact on our densely populated, narrow, high pedestrian-traffic street: We are a primarily residential neighborhood of both renters and homeowners. We are also a central destination for New York City tourism. The plan brings 140 single, homeless men including recently released parolees to the West 50’s area. According to the Coalition for the Homeless, homeless men have much higher rates of serious mental illness, addiction disorders, and other severe health problems. In addition, the city admits that some of these men will have criminal records. Public Safety: It has been well documented in published reports that areas that border on homeless shelters for men have many problems with loitering, drug use, and other criminal activities. WAIT! Don’t we want to help the homeless?? Yes! Of course, we do – BUT! - The fact that this plan was never shared with anyone in our neighborhood, and our input not solicited, before work started is a story we're hearing in many other New York City neighborhoods. While we understand the need to shelter the city's homeless, we believe that the Mayor’s Turning the Tide plan is deeply flawed. We believe that the mayor’s shelter plan is an expensive band-aid, that doesn’t come close to addressing the shortage of affordable housing. The billions that this administration is planning to spend in the next 5 years should be focused on real housing for the homeless, not shelters, like the proposed Park Savoy, that are housing 2-3 to a room. Putting large groups of men together in shelter situations creates opportunities for conflict and crime, as opposed to an opportunity for men to have a place of their own with privacy and dignity. What kind of scale are we talking about? How Many: It is proposed that 140 homeless men will become new residents of the Park Savoy’s 70 rooms. The Cost: $63 Million over 9 years, $50,000 per person, per year Is that more expensive than usual? Answer: Yes. 38% more than usual (annual average per person is $36,300 according to the MMR) for a total spend of $18 Million over the city average for homeless shelters. For the $50,000 per person, per year contract at the Park Savoy, a homeless man could have his own apartment, living in the neighborhood where he came from, supported by family and his community. This shelter is being placed at the Park Savoy, at exorbitant cost, so that the mayor can make a political statement, while not doing what is best for the potential inhabitants. What kind of notice of this project was given to you by the City of New York or Department of Homeless Services? Answer: None. We found out because the information was leaked to a resident of the neighborhood. Our elected officials and local police precinct were also kept in the dark. Further, major construction work has been done on the Park Savoy without permits. There were 33 reports to 311 of this work being done, and finally, when Marcia Kramer of CBS news covered the story, the NYCDOB issued a stop work order. The order is still in place. Has the city done their due diligence, through environmental studies, to understand the impact to the neighborhood? Answer: Every major housing and commercial project in New York City undergoes a series of environmental and other impact studies (ULURP). This city project, and other shelters like it, where the city does not directly own or lease the space, are exceptions. As residents of this neighborhood, our West 58th Street Coalition is forced to conduct a study on our own. Residents of NYC should demand that this ULURP policy change, and that the city conducts environmental studies prior to any shelter location being approved. In Conclusion: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to shelter New York city's 65,000 homeless. But so far, he's done nothing more than create confusion, underserve the city's homeless population, explode the city budget and make hotel property owners rich. All this while leaving New York City residents and the city council with more questions than answers. While temporary hotel shelters continue to spring up around the city with little prior notice to the people who live in these neighborhoods, the Mayor and the Department of Homeless services is burning through money with little to show for it. The Mayor’s plan to open 90 homeless shelters in the next 5 years does not address the root cause of the problem, shortage of affordable housing. The Mayor’s plan does not do nearly enough to address this issue and instead plans to drop shelters in neighborhoods all over the city, with zero partnership on the part of the communities impacted and worse prospects for the homeless ever breaking out of the cycle of homelessness. As citizens of New York City, we demand to know: 1. What exactly is the plan? What is the next step for New York's homeless after they have been placed in one of these transitional shelters? 2. What is the cost? Is the cost reasonable? is it practical? What is the cost-to-result ratio? Why is funding not focused on permanent, affordable housing? 3. Where is the oversight? What is the role of city council members expected to represent their neighborhoods? What about the safety of the residents of the neighborhood? 4. Why isn't the Mayor being more open about how this plan is run? Where is the discussion with the neighborhoods expected to host these shelters? Where are the hearings? Why aren't more homeless advocates being consulted? By signing this petition, you are helping us raise the above concerns with the Mayor and the New York City Council. You are also helping to further scrutinize, study and perfect New York City’s homeless policy. As compassionate New Yorkers, we strive to help create an innovative, effective approach to caring for our most vulnerable citizens. But first, we need to stop this potentially catastrophic error in judgment. Every city is better for its citizen involvement. Thank you for getting involved as we work to protect this great neighborhood and improve the lives of our city’s homeless. VISIT OUR WEBSITE LIKE US ON FACEBOOK FOLLOW US ON TWITTER
NYC Mayor DeBlasio Locks East Harlem kids out of Park... Gives land to private developers!
Please help us stop the proposed development of Private Luxury Housing on the site of a East Harlem communities Little League Ball Field that will impact everyone in our community from residents to small business owners, but most importantly will affect the health and well being of our children. The existence of this Ball Field has helped hundreds of kids in East Harlem fight Obesity, Asthma and Mental health disease rates that are among the highest in the country. It also kept kids off the streets and away from violence. Incarceration of NYC city Youth is amongst the highest rates in the country, if we lose this Ball Field our youth will be left without a place to play, grow and develop life skills. The field located on 112th st. between Madison and Park avenues was once home to the East Harlem Little League organization, East Harlem Titans Youth football and baseball organization along with locals for over 25 years. The Titans were first to leave the park then East Harlem Little League was forced out by NYC officials. Throughout the years many people in the community have utilized the field to stay active by jogging, exercising, playing touch football, softball and soccer. Local Student-Athletes used the field and batting cage to improve their skills and perfect their craft in their respective sports, allowing them to earn grants and scholarships and further their education. Due to a lack of funding the field was not always in the best condition, but the community always kept it clean,safe,and usable. Eventually the little league was able to get a few sponsors to help build a beautiful field. For the first time ever the Community's Ball field had an official home run fence, bright yellow foul poles, new dugouts, benches and a well manicured baseball field that made kids feel like they had their own Yankee stadium right here in East Harlem. Along with the new field came new positive attitudes, confidence, commitment and a sense of being an important part of society for many children. Most importantly it brought the community together, my children and their friends of all different backgrounds were all fortunate to participate in all the activities that took place in the park, keeping them healthy, focused, and out of trouble while getting them into great schools. It has also helped build courage, character and strength. With the removal of this field, hundreds of children will have their dreams reduced to rubble while the risk of being imprisoned sadly increases due to the loss of an important community resource. A couple of seasons were played after the installation of what many in the neighborhood knew as the "Diamond in the Rough" , but that has all come to an abrupt end without the community being properly informed and having any say in this situation. Deemed a "vacant lot" by H.P.D, NYC officials have intentionally turned the ball field into an eye sore by allowing the grass to grow and garbage to accumulate creating a rodent infestation and illegal dumping site which has become a health and safety hazard for the community. The Ball field is no longer accessible to the community and all request to use the field have been denied. The field currently sits chained and padlocked while NYC officials review development proposals. Hundreds of kids have seen their summer pass them by without a safe place in their neighborhood for them to play, stay healthy, interact with others and enjoy their summer vacation. Our Youth deserve a bright future and resources that give them all an equal chance to advance! PLEASE NOTE: There has been a significant increase in violent crimes, including murder amongst the youth in East Harlem since the closing of this park.
Bullet proof vests for all NYC School Safety Officers
We, the undersigned, are calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Council to allocate funding in the 2018-2019 City budget that makes the purchase of bullet proof vests for all NYPD School Safety Agents a priority. Now more than ever, we must dedicate resources to make our schools safer for all students, teachers, administration and staff.
NYC - STOP "ALLOWING" A Pesticide That Increases Cancer Risk By 41% In Our Parks!
We are asking our city leaders to make our health our children their priority over weed control. It should be a basic human right for our children to be protected from harmful pesticides where they play. Did you know that NYC’s City maintained property is frequently sprayed with carcinogenic and endocrine disrupting pesticides? Glyphosate(active ingredient in Roundup) and 2,4-D(active ingredient in Speedzone). It should be a basic human right for our children to be protected in the parks and playgrounds where they play. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a division of the World Health Organization (WHO), declared that glyphosate, may cause cancer in humans and recently upheld this evaluation in January of 2018. Despite this warning, the City of New York continues to spray glyphosate and other toxic pesticides and herbicides mostly for cosmetic landscaping purposes, i.e., to kill weeds and control pests. Not only does the World Health Organization's cancer agency state glyphosate is "possibly carcinogenic to humans.” Last April a public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), released the long-awaited Draft Toxicological Profile for Glyphosate. And, it supports and strengthens the 2015 cancer assessment of another health agency, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). "We’ve been studying the impact of toxins on children for the past 30 years and reached the inescapable conclusion: little things matter. We’ve discovered that extremely low levels of toxins can impact brain development. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that there is “no safe level of pesticide exposure for children.” - Non Toxic Neighborhood's advisor Dr. Bruce Lanphear Thankfully today there are cost effective and proven solutions! Harvard University successfully switched to a organic management in 2009. Today over 50 cities across the U.S. including Irvine, California have placed organically driven policies or bans in place to protect their residents and their cities from these harmful pesticides. Since 2016 the City of Irvine has successfully, and organically, maintained all pest pressure from weeds to rodents, on more than 570 acres of community and neighborhood parks, athletic fields; over 6,000 acres of open space, over 800 acres of public right-of-way, including street medians and parkways; 70,000 trees; and nearly 1.5 million square feet of facilities. The City of Irvine has demonstrated that you can have beautiful parks, athletic fields, and open space, that meet community expectations, without the use of harmful pesticides. , and we would like to see New York City join in this critical and responsible endeavor. PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION to demonstrate to our representatives in NYC that you want them to stop "allowing" and using harmful pesticides in our parks, and switch to an organically driven landscaping policy. For more information, please visit our partners website: www.nontoxicneighborhoods.org Watch this video, Little Things Matter, to learn how toxins damage the developing brain. Non Toxic Neighborhood's Advisors:Bruce Blumberg, Professor of Developmental and Cell Biology in UCI’s School of Biological Sciences and Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Biomedical Engineering.“The major challenge with showing that a chemical causes cancer in humans [as opposed to animals] is that the cancer typically develops many years after exposure.” Bruce Blumberg Bruce Lanphear, MD, MPH, Epidemiologist, Professor Simon Fraser University Director of Children’s Health and Environmental "Toxins can have a life-long impact on children. We’ve also discovered that even extremely low levels of toxins can impact brain development. By allowing children to be exposed to toxins or chemicals of unknown toxicity, we are unwittingly using our children in a massive experiment." Bruce Lanphear Philip J. Landrigan, MD, MSc, FAAP, Dean for Global Health. Professor of Preventive Medicine and PediatricsArnhold Institute for Global Health Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai“Pregnant women, infants and young children are especially vulnerable to toxic chemicals in their environments. Even extremely low-dose exposures during these vulnerable periods in early life can result in lasting damage. This is why it is so important to protect the most sensitive among us. By protecting them, we preserve the health of all.” Philip J. Landrigan, MD, MSc, FAAP Dean Baker, MD, MPH Director, Center for Occupational and Environmental Health Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, and Epidemiology University of California, Irvine Dr. Zach Bush, triple board certified in Internal Medicine, Endocrinology and Metabolism, and Hospice and Palliative Care Thank you! Bruce, Jenn, Phil, Dean, Stephanie, Kim, Lauren, Seamus, Zach, Andrea, Finian and the rest of us!
Preserve Access to NYC Parks for Softball and Baseball Players
Can you imagine New York City, the home of the Mets and the Yankees, without anywhere to play baseball or softball? It can and it is happening. Right now, as predicted, the Manhattan Parks Permits Office removed and replaced active softball and baseball leagues with other sports without the proper or sufficient notification.For the past 150 years, baseball and softball are the traditional games of New York City. Today, the elimination of softball impacts tens of thousands of New Yorkers who enjoy a good game after a hard day of work.Check out the video placed on this site of rectangular fields specially designed for multiple sports, sitting idle while oval fields for softball and baseball leagues are being destroyed. We need and demand a level playing field. Please join us by signing the petition below. You can also email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 914.302.6831. Thank you. español Imagínate una ciudad como Nueva York, la cuna de los Mets y los Yankees, sin un lugar adonde jugar béisbol y softbol. Es cierto. Hoy en dia, la oficina del Manhattan Parks Permits Office han eliminado y reemplazado ligas activas de softbol y béisbol con otros deportes sin la suficiente o apropiada notificación. Tradicionalmente, softbol y béisbol han sido los juegos de esta gran manzana por los últimos 150 años. Hoy en dia, la eliminación de softbol y béisbol impacta a decenas de miles de Nuyorquinos quien disfrutan de un buen juego después de un dia fuerte de trabajo.Pueden ver el video puesto en esta pagina adonde aparecen los campos rectangulares específicamente hechos para deportes múltiples, sentados inactivos mientras los campos ovales para softbol y béisbol se están destruyendo. Necesitamos y exigimos igualdad de condiciones. Por favor de unirse con nosotros firmando la petición colgada abajo. Nos puedes enviar un correo electrónico al email@example.com o llamarnos al 914.302.6831. Muchisimas gracias.