Rally at Court on Thursday, re: St. Louis Project

Dear Neighbors,

I’d like to now tell you the fight to save our neighborhood is over.
It’s Not!
This is merely a lull. Here’s what you can do to help right now:
The St. Louis, pet project of City Council Member Gale Brewer, is back in court thisTHURSDAY, 3 MARCH at 2 PM.  The Appellate Court is located at 27 Madison Avenue at East 25th St, opposite Madison Sq Park.  The subway stop is 23rd Street on the Broadway Local and R line (via Times Sq. 1-2-3 from the ‘hood). We might not be first on the calendar so might have to wait our turn, but our presence in numbers could make a difference.  Watching Our N90s Attorney Michael Hiller in action is worth it!!
We must now use our resolve as a neighborhood to end the building-by-building, whack-a-mole approach and finally ensure a safe and stable community.
The state law that created this crisis has not even taken effect yet.
May 1st is D-Day. 
Our housing stock is such that dozens of buildings in our lovely area, some of which you or your loved ones pass by every day could become a problem property.  Even The Alexander remains vulnerable.
Two properties on the 300 block of West 95th Street now serve as both homeless shelters and rooms of tourists.  Others may follow, if not as shelters, then subsidized facilities for very similar populations—like the proposed St. Louis, which we are fighting in court (since 2006!!).
If you are still in denial (and are not in Egypt), take notice of the “VACATE” notices that are on nearby hotels like the Days Inn, Jazz On The City, The Montroyale.  Look at the population of The Camden, 206 West 95th.
What will Mike Bloomberg and our complicit politicians do next?
Our best weapon is the community consensus that has been forged and articulated during this fight.
Until Assembly Member Rosenthal introduces or supports legislation that delays the implementation of the anti-hotel law, we will not have earned that peaceful night’s sleep.  Rosenthal co-sponsored and championed a law that required that short-stay hotels install an extra staircase.  After 100 years, the buildings are now unsafe, but only if they are non-union hotels.  But the union hotels like the Sherry-Netherland and the Hudson Hotel are safe.  The building is safe if it’s used by permanent SRO tenants and homeless shelters.  Backpacking Belgians do require that extra measure of protection.Not!
The Rosenthal law does not protect the neighborhood against the City using hotels for shelters–it created the current situation.  It does not provide in any way for the affordable housing that she promised.
Her latest gambit is a bill that would prevent the City from using hotels as shelters.  It is well-intended, but will the Mayor allow it? 
Linda Rosenthal must be called.
Please tell her that an extension on implementing the hotel law is needed.
We need a time out.  Her law is creating a big problem.  She must be part of the solution.  She serves us.  Some of her staff think it’s the other way around!
The neighborhood needs a comprehensive plan for “affordable housing” for working taxpayersnot more special needs populations.  Her stop-gap measure does not say what can be done with the buildings!
Let’s staff the phones. Call often.  Send emails.  
Nothing changes until we change the law!!
Keep up the pressure!  
–Aaron Biller
Tell Linda and her staff you want her to introduce a measure delaying implementation of the new state law closing neighborhood budget hotels.  There’s no plan for these buildings.  Ask for a “time-out” for a year or two to allow the owners, neighborhood leaders and elected officials to plan a safe future.
State Senator Adriano Espaillet (pronounced as-pill-et).
District Office: 5030 Broadway (cross street West 200 and something??)
He is Schneiderman’s replacement.  As an Assembly Member, he voted for this anti-hotel bill.  Tell him you want a measure (SAME AS ROSENTHAL) but in the State Senate, calling for a time-out.
And don’t forget to support the legal fight against theSt. Louis, 319 West 94th St. Send checks to N90s (new address):
Mary Jemail
Neighborhood In The Nineties Legal Fund
250 West 94th Street
New York, NY 10025
About Neighborhood In The Nineties, Inc: Founded by a group of neighbors in 1971, N90s and its predecessor organizations—the West Nineties Neighborhood Coalition and the West 94th Street Broadway-Riverside Association—has worked closely with SRO tenants, co-op and condo owners, retail merchants and property owners to promote a safe and beautiful West Side neighborhood.  For example, during the 1990s, our group sponsored a professional neighborhood patrol to greatly reduce drug dealing and street crime and restore public safety. We have also been an effective advocate for promoting Fair Share.  Our 2007 survey of supportive housing sites has been quoted in The New York Times and other media. Coverage area: Amsterdam to Riverside, West 90th to West 96th Street.

Leave a Reply