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Climbers and Pruners Win Jobs

May 24, 2016 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Four provisional Climbers and Pruners who were denied appointment to permanent status by the Dept. of Citywide Administrative Services are now civil servants in the Parks Dept. thanks to DC 37’s successful appeal on their behalf. “They had been doing the job for about two years so there was no reason their bump up to permanent status should not have gone through,” said DC 37 Blue Collar Division Council Rep Bob Gervasi. “So I did some digging.” Gervasi contacted DCAS, which referred him to the Dept. of Parks and Recreation. He said, “It was a tangle of bureaucracy trying to find the person who would have the answers.” Gervasi found out that DCAS rejected the Local 1506 members’ job applications, but that decision gave them the opportunity to appeal. Local 1506 worked with DC 37 Legal Dept. lawyer Ana Papadhimitri, who appealed the cases before the [More...]

Juan Gonzalez: Iron Man of the News Room

May 4, 2016 // 1 Comment

By TOM ROBBINS (Editor’s Note: After 29 years as a columnist for the New York Daily News, Juan Gonzalez retired from the paper in April to teach at Rutgers University. He will continue to write an occasional column. We asked his colleague and kindred spirit Tom Robbins, a recent Pulitzer Prize finalist for his coverage of violence in New York’s prisons, to reflect on Gonzalez’s contributions to our city and to the craft of journalism.) In the fall of 1987, Juan Gonzalez came up to New York from Philadelphia where he had been working as a reporter for a few years. He came at the invitation of an old editor, F. Gillman Spencer III. The son of one of Philadelphia’s wealthy Main Line families, Spencer was a true traitor to his class. As editor at the Philadelphia Daily News, he had loved the way Gonzalez, a former street organizer from East Harlem and East New York by way of Ponce, [More...]

Mayor’s Plan Offers More Affordable Housing in East New York

April 7, 2016 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES and MIKE LEE DC 37 released an analysis of the Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan for East New York’s housing showing that proposed rent levels for new affordable housing to be significantly less expensive than apartments currently renting in that neighborhood. “The status quo is just not working — it’s leaving East New York without the tools or investments needed to protect against rising rents,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido on April 7. “We looked hard at the facts. And the facts are that under the city’s plan, East New York will become more affordable for working men and women such as our members.” The DC 37 report shows union members and other working families who live in the Brooklyn neighborhood are struggling with rising rents. Rents in the neighborhood rose 26 percent between 2000 and 2013. About 40 percent of residents in [More...]

City Council Approves Union-Backed de Blasio Housing Plan

March 26, 2016 // 0 Comments

BY MIKE LEE After certain modifications, the New York City Council voted in support of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ambitious and innovative housing plan, which he presented in late 2015. The City Council overwhelmingly approved the housing package — the Mandatory Inclusionary Zoning and Zoning for Quality and Affordability — on March 22. The proposals follow on the heels of other de Blasio policy changes, including a first-ever rent freeze for a million rent-regulated tenants. Also, the mayor intervened to ensure tenant protections in the recent sale of Manhattan’s Peter Cooper Village/Stuyvesant Town apartment complex. The initiative is a clear break from the retrograde policies of previous mayors, and it requires private developers receiving tax breaks and state and federal subsidies to make a quarter of new housing units affordable for working families. The plan will [More...]