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LOOK

W HO'S LEFT
AL O'AMATO
Hopelessly Devoted
to Liberals

Something to Remember
h
e was a politician with populist tendencies, a strong interest in caring for the
poor, and, now and then, the ability to entirely change the landscape of whole
city neighborhoods.
We didn't think much of him at the time. What did we know? After all, his adminis-
tration was busy battling City Limits and other news organizations at every turn.
EDITORIAL
Worse yet, he never seemed to recognize he should take
credit for his accomplishments. Because he was such a lousy
communicatOl; and in no way a visionary, his successor was
able to step in and shut his whole operation down.
The politician was David Dinkins. The thought of his years
in power still angers me today. Not because he sold out on
many issues dear to progressives-which he did--but because
of the good stuff: His people rebuilt dying communities, mount-
ed the first counterattacks in the big war on crime, sent activists
out to teach teenagers how to organize. Yet he and his Koch-holdover advisors were
utterly incapable of protecting--and projecting--their administration's good works.
The South Bronx-swaths of bulldozed wasteland and scattered, lonesome tene-
ments in 199O-became the primary focal point of city redevelopment in the Dinkins
era. From 1991 through 1994, the years of the Dinkins housing pipeline, 6,910 units
of housing were either built or gut-rehabbed in the area, according to a new report by
the Citizens Housing and Planning Council. By the time the mayor left office, the
boulevards and side streets of Hunts Point, Longwood, Crotona Park and the rest
were virtually unrecognizable.
1 n the first three years of Giuliani housing development, there have been a total
of only 1,640 new units built or gut-rehabbed in the South Bronx. The need hasn't
vanished. The mayor has.
How did Dinkins play success? His commissioners acted like hunted foxes when
reporters called. The housing department's press office might as well have been based
in Langley for all its willingness to communicate. Apparently no one at City Hall under-
stood how to project a vision, or thought it made sense to pitch a populist message.
This exercise in the use of hindsight is relevant because 1'm leaving City Limits
after this issue goes to the printer-and because nothing in my seven years of report-
ing here sticks out in my mind as such a thorough, lingering disaster as the Dinkins
self-destruction. We suffer its consequences today.
Fortunately, many who watched it happen, and who now witness the astonishing
political effectiveness of the current mayor's immodest decrees and obsessive, single-
minded personal vision, now understand what it takes to truly play the power game.
Years will pass before we get another shot at making big changes. But if progressives
learn anything from the last decade, let it be these lessons about how to hold on to--
and project-power when we get it.
***
After seven years here--two as senior editor, five as editor-/' m leaving City
Limits to start a slightly more rational way of life as a freelancer. It was a tough deci-
sion, but an exciting group of people is taking over. Kim Nauer will be publisher and
boss-in-chief,while Glenn Thrush and Carl Vogel co-edit the magazine. Stick around.
They' ll put on a hell of a show.
Cover photo by Bill Biggart/lmpact Visuals
Andrew White
Editor
City Limits relies on the generous support 01 its readers and advertisers, as well as the following lunders: The Robert Sterling Clark
Foundation, The Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock, The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, The Joyce Mertz-
Gilmore Foundation, The Scherman Foundation, The North Star Fund, J.P. Morgan & Co. Incorporated, The Booth Ferris Foundation,
The Annie E. Casey Foundation, The New York Foundation, The Taconic Foundation, M& T Bank, Citibank, and Chase Manhattan Bank.
-
7
City Limits
Volume XXIII Number 3
City Limits is published ten times per year, monthly except
bi-monthly issues in June/July and AugusVSeptember, by
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profit organization devoted to disseminating information
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Editor: Andrew White
Senior Editors: Kim Nauer, Glenn Thrush
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CITY LIMITS
t.
"A'I 1"0
170
'VeR'I
SIX
'!.

MARCH 1998
FEATURES
Natural Light
For most photojournalists, it's enough to stand back and show what's wrong.
But after 30 years focusing his lens on poor kids, Stephen Shames wants us
to see how to make things work. By Jake Miller
The Adventures of liberAL
Faster than a speeding bullet, AI D' Amato is joining forces with
liberals. It's no secret identity crisis: It's re-election time. By Glenn Thrush
NEED TO KNOW
Workfare vs. Work: School's Out
City Hall has all but scrapped job training and education as acceptable
options for welfare parents. Other cities and states aren't nearly so obsessed
with the ideology of workfare-and leave room for real opportunity.
By Carl Vogel
Vital Stats: Rudy's Welfare Undercount
The smallest welfare rolls since 1968? Nope. Someone's cooking the books.
By Andrew White
PROFILE
Out of COJO's Shadow
One of the most innovative small-business assistance organizations in the city
is rooted in the rubble of an infamous community organization.
By Holly Rosenkrantz
PIPELINE
No Shore Thing
The city and state have agreed to spend $200 million to open the planned
Hudson River Park. It's keeping it open they want nothing to do with.
By Kemba Johnson
COMMENTARY
131 Review
In Bed with Ed By Tho11UlS Kamber
Cityview 132
Bad Diploma-cy By Sandi Cooper
Spare Change 138
Oy, Canada
By Carl Vogel
DEPARTMENTS
Editorial 2 Job Ads 35
letters 4
Briefs 5 Professional 36
Ammo 33
Directory
s
LETTERS
Stili Testing, 1,2,3
Your news brief, "Housing Off-Line"
(November 1997), reporting the progress of
HPD's Early Warning System, short-
changed the agency's effort to tag troubled
buildings and prevent abandonment. HPD's
Early Warning System was intended to be a
resource with specific data about New York
City buildings, and to assign every building
an anti-abandonment predictor number.
This function would help the city target
buildings with a high risk of abandonment
at an earlier stage than it can now. However,
before this information can be disseminated
to the public or community groups that we
work with, the reliability of the model must
be tested. The first in-rem action pilot began
in the Bronx this past summer, but has not
yet been completed-owners still have the
opportunity to enter into installment agree-
ments for outstanding taxes before the in-
rem judgments are finalized. Until this pilot
is completed, it is difficult to determine if
the model is working and if the information
being disseminated is correct.
In the meantime, the agency has been
developing internally a list of buildings
citywide that meet certain parameters of a
"problem" building. The buildings on this
list may be in tax arrears, have code viola-
tions, emergency repair liens, or a combi-
nation of the three. This list is helping the
agency to focus on priority neighborhoods.
Not-for-profits providing services for
HPD's Anti-Abandonment Program meet
with HPD staff, and data about buildings
in the groups' catchment areas are provid-
ed whenever possible. Also, if code viola-
tion information is what is required, I am
sure that [Legal Services attorney Andrew]
Goldberg is aware that code violations are
public information, and are available
through the city's computer kiosks and the
Department of Buildings' borough offices,
and can be obtained by any interested
party.
It is the city's goal to preserve housing
in the five boroughs without having to
resort to taking buildings into city owner-
ship, and therefore it is in our best interest
to get as much information as possible to
community groups and others involved in
these efforts. This is why we will continue
to perfect the system's design and its abil-
ity to disseminate accurate and timely
information.
Richard T. Roberts,
Commissioner
New York City Department of Housing
Preservation and Development
Specializing in
Community Development Groups,
HDFCs and Non,Profits
Low .. Cost Insurance and Quality Service.
NANCY HARDY
Insurance Broker
Over 20 Years of Experience.
270 North Avenue, New Rochelle, NY 10801
914;654;8667
Unfinished EHort
We are disappointed that your article
about Baltimore's Sandtown-Winchester
neighborhood ("Left Behind in
Sandtown," January 1998) overlooked
several important issues.
The opening of the article implies that
residents of this neighborhood are disen-
franchised. Yet the first paragraph states
that more than 400 people crowded into a
school auditorium on a sweltering summer
evening to spend several hours in conver-
sation with Mayor Kurt Schmoke and oth-
ers about their hopes and frustrations. That
level of community participation and may-
oral attention is uncommon in most cites,
and thus a major accomplishment in
Sandtown-Willchester.
Over the last seven years, hundreds of
residents have been involved in the
rebuilding process as advocates, organiz-
ers and project directors. More than 3,000
adults and children have benefited from
Community Building in Partnership pro-
grams such as Youthbuild, Family Support
and Development, and Youth Services.
Crime and unemployment have dropped
19 percent and 29 percent respectively and
100 percent of children attending the
neighborhood's three elementary schools
have been immunized.
Neighborhood transformation is not a
finished effort. The job of rebuilding this
west Baltimore neighborhood, where
decades of poverty and neglect have taken
their toll, is a dynamic, ongoing and often
difficult process. The expectations
inspired by this effort were lofty. And
while those expectations still drive the col-
lective vision for change, they are also
being tempered by important lessons
learned, including the need to build rela-
tions with people and organizations and
make decisions collectively. This is a
process that continues to evolve and we
remain very committed to the vision.
From the beginning, residents and other
partners had a keen interest in improving
the physical condition of the neighborhood
while simultaneously transforming the
social systems in the community. Nearly
600 homes have been built or renovated,
with an equal number in planning stages.
Bricks, mortar and infrastructure cost far
more than human services. The $60 million
spent on construction are capital costs-
money invested and loaned by banks and
other entities over 15 years or more.
Spending $8 million in direct assistance
over seven years to improve school curric-
ula, bring in health services and support job
training is quite significant for one neigh-
borhood. (continued on page 34)
CITY LIMITS
SRO Housing
Suite Surrender
T
he hallways of the California
Suites are more a dare than a pas-
sageway. To get to their rooms, the
dozen or so tenants with AIDS who
still live there must dodge piles of
garbage and shattered sheetrock. The floors
themselves have been ripped up to reveal
squeaky and unstable sub-flooring.
Up until about a year ago, there were 100
tenants in this gutted SRO hotel on West III th
Street. Most were moved to new placements
by the city, others drifted off and some died of
their illness. The remaining handful say
they're being given the bum's rush by notori-
ous SRO slumlord Jay Podolsky, who has been
linked to the hotel through a layer of holding
corporations. He is apparently converting the
building into a tourist hotel.
"They are harassing the remaining ten-
ants," complains David Frank, a three-year
resident of the hotel. "The fire exits have
MARCH 1998
been locked and the regular garbage hasn't
been picked up for weeks." Frank, who has
AIDS, adds that a hotel employee even told
the cable company to shut off his service,
claiming he had died. Others say the dust,
noise and physical danger of living in a care-
lessly run construction site is undermining
their health.
The managers of the building deny they
harass tenants-but they do harass the press,
kicking a City Limits reporter off the premis-
es during an interview with a tenant.
During the 1990s, California Suites housed
clients from the Division of AIDS Services
and Income Support (DASIS). But those refer-
rals ended in 1996, after the Westside SRO
Law Project convinced the city that Podolsky
couldn't be trusted with AIDS clients. The city
also cited Podolsky for illegally subdividing
the building's 84 rooms into 99 units. Last
November, the hotel received 52 more viola-
tions for illegal construction.
Yet, somehow, the day after Christmas in
1996, the city Department of Housing,
Preservation and Development (HPD) deemed
the work tenant-friendly enough to grant
Podolsky a Certificate of No Harassment,
allowing workers to proceed with construc-
tion. HPD officials are currently investigating
the new harassment charges.
In the meantime, the hotel's two managers
tell conflicting stories about the SRO's future.
Manager Ali Mohammed says Columbia
University will lease it as a dorm. "Our real
estate manager has heard this before,"
responds Anne Canty, a Columbia spokes-
woman. "But this not something that
Columbia is doing."
"Come back in three months and there will
be one hundred residents-the same ones who
lived here before," says Amir Mohammed,
another manager.
That account doesn' t pan out either. In
fact , the few remaining tenants have been
offered other placements, but they are too ~
sick, tired or angry to move. "At this time in I
my life," Frank says, "I don't want to start !l!
over." -Dylan Foley ~
w
Briem .......... ------.......... -------------=
Leadership
Good ICOP,
BadICOP
T
he city housing authority has system-
atically weakened its officially sanc-
tioned tenant advisory council to the
point where the group has become
useless, tenant leaders tell City Limits.
A growing number of tenant leaders are orga-
nizing to criticize the New York City Housing
Authority's treatment of the nine-member Interim
Council of Presidents (lCOP). Since its creation
five years ago, ICOP has served as the authority's
advisory group on tenant issues.
Advocates say NYCHA has long tried to
manipulate ICOP chairmen. And according to ten-
ant leaders, that pressure reached a head last
spring during the authority's failed attempt to gain
resident approval for a plan to set aside a handful
of housing projects and apartments for middle-
income tenants.
"The Housing Authority wants us to be passive
and to go along with the program," says Ron Ward,
Brooklyn East's lCOP chairman. Ward claims the
authority has denied ICOP any means of communi-
cating directly with tenants, including a column in
the Housing Journal, a newsletter which is distrib-
uted to all tenants. "They have a way of jerking
people around."
Ward and others also claim NYCHA denies
council members space to meet at its lower
Broadway headquarters-unless NYCHA offi-
cials sanction the meeting.
Tenant leaders-and some rcop chairmen-
have been meeting regularly with advocates from
Legal Aid, the Community Service Society and
the New York State Tenants and Neighbors
Coalition to figure out a way to reform ICOP.
"The leaders are beginning to see they' re being
used," says Claude Rolo, organizer and policy
analyst for NYSTNC. "Any [tenant leader] who
has tried to do stuff has had problems."
Hilly Gross, NYCHA's spokesman, denies that
the authority has put pressure on members. "[ICOP]
is selected by the tenants, run by the tenants and
chosen by the tenants," he says. "We have no say in
its constitution. rcop represents the tenants to us. It
is not an ideological love-slave. It is definitely not
part of the Housing Authority." - Laura Claxton
Set to open this spring, the 124-bed Judge Felipe N. Torres Juvenile Center in Mott Haven and
another 124-bed juvenile lock-up in Brownsville will replace the notorious 289-bed Spofford
Juvenile Center. The city made a bid to keep Spofford open late last year, saying the two new facil-
ities might not provide enough bed space. But advocates rallied and convinced the city to shut the
old facility down.

Organizing
MOlUlt
Bope-ful
L
uisa Garcia says she uses an umbrella
in her apartment when it rains and
brushes off the cockroaches from her
children's faces when they sleep.
Garcia lives at 2244 Morris Ave. , a
55-unit building in the Mount Hope section of the
South Bronx. Her landlord is Robert Heimann,
owner of four buildings in the Mount
HopelFordham area whose tenants have united in
a campaign to win long-sought repairs by careful-
ly documenting problems and keeping the pres-
sure on.
The tenants complain of unreliable hot water
and heat, leaking roofs, clogged pipes, frayed
wires sticking out from heating units, and
unlocked doors open to anyone-drug dealers
included. "How am I gonna be able to run out the
door with my kids when someone breaks in?"
Garcia asked during a meeting of the four build-
ings' tenants in mid-February. City Limits was
able to enter two of the buildings with ease-
without having to knock.
After vowing to appear at the meeti ng,
Heimann failed to show up. But he has signed a
contract with each of the four tenant groups, argu-
ing that he had made many repairs and has pro-
vided adequate heat-and assuring that tenants'
demands would be met.
Four months ago, tenants from Heimann's
building at 2342 Ryer Ave. approached the
Association from Fordham to Burnside, which
helped them join together with the three other
properties to mount the campaign. Tenants say the
strategy has generated results and conditions are
improving.
"Maybe this contract will make a difference,
but r don't know," says Bernard Gill, a resident of
2400 Valentine Ave. "We' re going to have to
watch him every step of the way." A face-to-face
meeti ng with Heimann, the first step in the con-
tract, is not yet scheduled. City Limits' calls to
Heimann were not returned. -Brad Tuttle
WEEKLY UPDATES NEW YORK
For a first gtimpse at 01U' briefs, try aty
Limiu Weekly, a free fax and e-mail publica-
tion for anyone who needs to keep on top of
what's happening in New York-from job
opportunities to late-breaking news. To be
added to OlD' list, just call 212-4'19-3348, fax
212-344-6457 or e-mail c1@citylimit&org
CITY LIMITS
.F ...... ...... ---------------Briem
CITY HALL BIG BROTHER PROGRAM &I:
MAYOR GIULIANI GETS INVOLVED IN THE LIVES OF ALL OF NEWYORKS POTENTIAL DELINQUE.NTS P:
City Contracts
Roberts'
Rules
T
enants take a hike. Landlords will
once again be the major beneficiaries
of the city's updated neighborhood
housing services program.
Housing groups-many of which
have traditionally focused on tenant organizing-
will be doing more landlord assistance if they
want to keep their city Neighborhood
Preservation Consultant Program (NPCP) money.
Moreover, some neighborhoods may be shut out
of the city's two-and-a-half-year-old program
altogether, according to a new plan released by the
city's housing commissioner, Richard Roberts.
"The danger is this is currently the only offi-
cial city program that funds nonprofits to do any
sort of housing preservation work and tenant
organizing," says Celia Irvine at the Association
for Neighborhood & Housing Development.
If tapped by the city, groups will get double the
money-about $80,000 per year-than they
received under the first phase of the program.
MARCH 1998
" e-t-
The catch is that far fewer groups will be
funded, down from 53 to 30. And organizations in
neighborhoods like the Lower East Side and
Sunset Park may fmd themselves out altogether.
Officials at the Department of Housing
Preservation and Development (HPD) say this
money will be reserved for groups who work in
the city's "most distressed" neighborhoods, which
have historically been in areas like northern
Manhattan and Central Brooklyn. "You are going
to have entire neighborhoods where the commu-
nity groups are gone," Irvine adds.
An analysis of the first two years of the program,
published in February by the Community Service
Society, praised HPD's emphasis on helping land-
lords where small buildings and less experienced
owners are prevalent. But in neighborhoods domi-

=
nated by professional owners, tenant organizing is
likely to produce better results.
Another concern is the real estate speculators.
Concentrating on neighborhoods like Harlem may
leave other low-income communities vulnerable
to a wave of landlords who over-leverage them-
selves to buy distressed buildings, says Lisa Grist,
executive director of Neighbors Helping
Neighbors. That's a recipe for abandonment. "We
now have a combination of factors that, in worse
times, could lead to some real problems," she
warns.
But a senior HPD official tells City Limits that
the best strategy is to focus on where the problems
are now and make changes as they are needed. "A
lot of things are being refined/' the source says.
"It's a work in progress." -Kim Nauer
FROZEN MARGARITA
Side's new councilwoman, has 20 years
experience as a tenant organizer and low-income housing advocate. But those credentials
weren't good enough to earn her a seat on the council's Housing and Buildings Committee.
Council Speaker Peter Vallone, who parceled out committee assignments in early January,
M\iected Lopez's request to sit on the housing panel-even though her Lower East Side pre-
decessor Antonio Pagan el\iOyed the honor.
"We try to accommodate people as best we can," explains Vallone spokeswoman Rica
Rinzler. "And any council member is certainly free to attend any committee hearing they
want." -Andres Gleich

PROFILE
Jacy Chen (left)
started a graphic
design business
with the help of
the Chinatown
Business Outreach
Center.
7
Out of COJO's Shadow
The Business Outreach Center Network- a pearl plucked from the broken shell of a corrupt
Brooklyn nonprofit-is helping small immigrant businesses thrive. By Holly Rosenkrantz
, A fter Viral Patel moved to
Staten Island from his native
lnctia 16 years ago, he opened
the Castleton Smoke and
Trading shop with dreams-
admittedly faint-of getting rich. But over
the years, his aspirations began to fade as
he came to understand how hard it was to
stay in business-much less expand.
A few years ago, an organization called
the Business Outreach Center Network
opened across the street, and suddenly he
found he had a neighbor who knew exactly
how to help him get the loans he needed to
add a food market to his shop. The center's
~ staff guided him through the basic steps he
i needed to grow-starting with simple but
~ crucial things like helping to keep graffiti
15
z
off his storefront and protect the store from
crime at night.
Once he overcame those smaller hur-
dles, they helped him outline a plan that
made sense.
Certainly he's not rich-nowhere near
it. But at least he's met his goal of making
his business grow. "That's what I wanted,"
Patel says. "I needed help to
make the shop expand."
The Business Outreach
Center Network-known as
BOC-has helped start
more than a thousand busi-
nesses in New York since
1990 through a strategy so
basic that economic devel-
opment academics call it
"hand-holding." With cen-
ters located in several ethni-
cally ctiverse and economi-
cally troubled communities
in New York City, the net-
work is one of the few
development organizations
that works exclusively on
nurturing new entrepreneurs
and very small businesses.
And in doing so BOC has
become an integral part of
the job creation and busi-
ness development infra-
structure in New York
neighborhoods as varied as
Harlem and Brooklyn's
Borough Park.
"BOC works on a very
basic level with the risky
start-ups, and it works with
the ethnic groups that are
ignored," says David
Sweeny, executive director
of the Greenpoint
Manufacturing and Design
Center in Brooklyn and a
member of BOC's board. "It's all very time
consuming, and most other local develop-
ment groups deal with more stable business
prospects. "
BOC understands instability all to well.
Its own track record is nearly impecca-
ble-but the network's troubled roots are
causing its leaders grief as they work to
maintain what they' ve created and build
for the future.
Crown From Ruins
The network has grown from the ruins
left behind by one of the ugliest nonprofit
corruption scandals of the decade: the hard
fall of the Council of Jewish Organizations
of Borough Park (C010).
The leaders of COJO---a multirnillion-
dollar social service organization that had
close ties to top conservative state politi-
cians-were incticted last year along with
state Assemblyman Dov Hikind of
Brooklyn for misusing federal grant
money. Prosecutors said the group spent
more than $40,000 in charitable funds on
Hikind's personal expenses, including a
trip to Israel and day camp tuition for his
children. And two top C010 employees
were charged with stealing hundreds of
thousands of dollars from the organization.
Yet C010's former executive director,
Rabbi Morris Schmidman, is responsible
for creating the first BOC, serving Borough
Park's Yiddish-speaking Russian immi-
grants-a community that had little access
to business assistance programs.
Over the years, BOC has expanded into
other neighborhoods, creating new eco-
nomic development programs and working
with 1,000 new clients each year. With
some luck and a great deal of foresight, the
BOC network spun off independently of
C010 two years ago-before the scandal
erupted-and is now thriving. Its founding
organization, however, has since evaporat-
ed.
"COlO is defunct and does not exist
anymore," says William Rapfogel, execu-
tive director of the Metropolitan Council
on Jewish Poverty, a respected
Manhattan-based organization that is try-
ing to pick up some of COlO's work in
Borough Park. But, he adds, "BOC is suc-
cessful-the kind of program that the city
needs now more than ever. And the people
running it have no taint whatsoever, they
have a totally independent board with no
holdovers. They carry no connection to
the old C010."
Still, COlO' s demise left some mem-
bers of the economic development com-
munity-and people who had a hand in
funding BOC-worried that the old rela-
tionship might hurt. "We're all trying to be
supportive," Rapfogel says. "The past year
or so has been very difficult for them."
CITVLlMITS
Nancy Carin, BOC's citywide execu-
tive director, is looking to push the contro-
versy into the past. ''We hope by now
everyone knows we're completely, com-
pletely separate," she stresses.
Industry SPKlaltlH
From the single center in Borough
Park, BOC has grown to a network of
offices in Chinatown, Harlem, Hunts
Point, Jackson Heights, Far Rockaway and
Staten Island. Each office is based in a
local community organization-including
the Masjid Malcolm Shabazz mosque in
Harlem-and a computerized database
links the individual centers into a citywide
network. This link is important because
each center has its own industry specialty.
For example, the focus of the Chinatown
BOC is importing and exporting, and the
focus of the Hunts Point BOC is manufac-
turing and the food industry. The citywide
database allows the manufacturing experts
in Hunts Point to help a client living in Far
Rockaway with an idea for a manufactur-
ing business.
BOC's emphasis on networking
extends beyond its own centers. The board
of advisors includes leaders of other com-
munity economic development groups,
bankers and corporate executives, who
often help the network [rod assistance for
BOC clients. The structure also helps build
alliances between community groups, by
and large avoiding the duplication of ser-
vices that some other community organiza-
tions feared would occur as new BOC
offices opened up around the city.
"They have an incredible ability to pull
what [their clients] need from banks, com-
munity colleges, all kinds of organiza-
tions," says Adam Friedman, executive
director of the New York Industrial
Retention Network.
Perhaps more significantly, each BOC
is staffed with counselors who speak the
same languages as local clients-and they
understand the neighborhood's distinct cul-
tural foibles.
"I find that many immigrants don't
trust the government. They feel more
comfortable coming to us," says Carol
Cheng, a program manager and counselor
at the Chinatown BOC. "In Chinatown, a
lot of people don't trust non-Chinese
banks. They get frustrated sharing their
ideas with people who don't speak their
language. We act as the go-between, we
connect them to different corporate part-
ners that can help them. There's definitely
a lot of hand-holding."
Jacy Chen heard about the Chinatown
BOC through an ad in a Chinese-language
MARCH 1998
newspaper. "I had ideas for a business, but
I didn't know how to start it," she says.
"Seeing an ad in my own language, I felt I
could find the basics." She attended class-
es for budding entrepreneurs and started a
graphic design business-Sixty Six
Communications, Inc. She has since begun
making CD-ROMs for teaching Chinese,
called "Learning Chinese is Fun."
BOC's business counselors walk their
clients through meetings with loan officers
and accountants and sit with them to devel-
op business plans and balance sheets. The
counselors also continue visiting clients'
businesses after they get off the ground.
Carin points out that many banks have loan
programs dedicated to immigrant entrepre-
neurs, but they don't often have the access
to potential clients that the outreach centers
can provide.
"I think BOC is one of the best models
for delivering economic services, and other
groups are trying to mirror this," Friedman
says. "They make the diversity of New
York and the New York marketplace work
for each company."
Unc.rtaln Funding
Yet despite their current strength, the
BOC network remains on the list of New
York's endangered community organiza-
tions.
"It's a difficult situation," Carin
explains. Most of the centers have budgets
of between $150,000 and $200,000 and a
staff of about four, but no government pro-
gram specifically funds BOC services
directly. Instead, grants from the city's
Department of Business Services and the
state's Entrepreneurial Assistance Program
are made to the community groups that
house each center, who in turn work with
the BOC Network.
"It's a great challenge to maintain stable
operations with this type of funding," Carin
says. And she admitts the future is not
entirely clear.
''We're in a time when government is
flush with money. Today, it's a good
moment," says William Rapfogel. "But if
there's any downturn in the economy, the
BOCs could be the first casualty, which
would be a shame. We need economic
development in these communities. We
need jobs."
Holly Rosenkrantz is a business writer
based in Manhattan.
Community Resource Exchange
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s
w
s
PIPEliNE i
,
Mainstream envi-
ronmentalists.
including Tom Fox.
have come 10 see
commercial devel-
opment as the
fastest way 10 pay
for the Hudson
River Park-
despite shaky
precedents.
I..
No Shore Thing
The "pragmatic" plan to commercialize Hudson River
Park may be impractical. By Kemba Johnson
O
ver the last two decades,
Tom Fox has undergone a lot
of changes, even if his
beloved West Side water-
front hasn't.
Back in the late 1970s, a long-haired,
earring-wearing Fox helped squash
Westway, the plan to landfill and pave a
swath of the Hudson River with a high-
way and commercial development. Then
came the '80s and Fox-a green avenger
who wore T-shirts with slogans like
"Gardeners Do it in Parks"-founded the
Neighborhood Open Space Coalition,
promoting parks through advocacy and
research.
But toward the end of the decade and
following an environmental fellowship at
Harvard, Fox moderated his parks-or-die
stance. By the time he became president of
the freshly-minted Hudson River Park
Conservancy (HRPC) in 1992, Fox had a
perfect sales pitch for an era when govern-
ment was bowing out of the park mainte-
nance business. Parks can earn enough to
pay for themselves, he proclaimed. "Great
open space may make your heart sing, but
you still have to justify them to bankers,"
he says today. ''I'm much more pragmatic."
The idea Fox and other park supporters
signed onto was this: The city and state
would shell out $200 million of the need-
ed $300 million to build the Hudson River
Park, while also creating enough commer-
cial development in the park to cover the
rest of the construction costs and a $10
million annual maintenance bill.
Most of the city's largest environmen-
tal groups embraced the self-funding plan
as the quickest, most practical route to a
park. "I don't think it's realistic for a park
to be idyllic, which it probably hasn't been
for years," says Richard Kassel, senior
attorney at the Natural Resources Defense
Council. "The debate really comes down
to whether you want a park with some
commercial amenities or no park at aiL"
But this brand of pragmatism has
encountered some reality problems.
After the Pataki administration ousted
Fox from the HRPC in 1995, his waterfront
market theories took a soaking with the
failure of his latest venture-a water taxi
service whose motors were barely power-
ful enough to overcome the Hudson's cur-
rent. And, just as Fox had overlooked the
strength of the river in his business plan,
the Hudson park plan is now imperiled by
the fmancial failures of existing waterfront
ventures-most notably the Chelsea Piers
sports and entertainment complex. If these
businesses can't raise enough money-and
there is growing indication that they
can't-the park may not survive.
"It's a false pronouncement here, the
idea that you can fund this park through
economic development and lease agree-
ments," says Glenn Pasanen, associate
director of the City Project, a budget
watchdog group. "There's a promise here
that's unlikely to be met."
Even though $100 million in construc-
tion funds are still uncommitted (see side-
bar, "Late Bloomers"), construction is slat-
ed to begin this fall on the five-mile-long
park, which will include a bike path, pub-
lic-access piers and a narrow esplanade
extending from the northern tip of Battery
Park City to 59th Street.
But will New Yorkers want to dodge the
CITY LIMITS

kamikaze traffic of West Street to stroll
along a waterfront park littered with devel-
opment? West Siders are beginning to voice
support for a free park maintained by-
gasp-public funds. Says Assemblywoman
Deborah Glick, who represents the lower
West Side: "A park is not a profit center; it's
the responsibility of government."
Ayoldlng a Fight
When the city and state-who each
own half of the 150 acres of land and
piers-adopted the current plan for the
Hudson River Park in 1992, they were try-
ing to avoid exactly this kind of fight.
There was supposed to be enough park
to overcome any claims of a sell-out. Under
the HRPC plan, about 13 piers would be
open for sport activities, people taking a
stroll and concession stands, such as boat
rentals and food carts. Another 24 piers
would be used for municipal operations and
commercial ventures, some that pay for
maintenace and others that aren't officially
part of the park. Lease agreements on three
already-commercialized areas would
anchor the plan: Pier 40 in the Village, the
23rd Street Chelsea Piers and the piers in
the vicinity of 42nd Street, which are home
to the Circle Line, World Yacht and the
intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. Add
to these a sprinkling of concession stands,
and the plan's architects believe the conser-
vancy could reap the needed funds for park
upkeep.
But making $10 million a year may not
be that easy. HRPC board member Ross
Graham, a retired legislative aide to for-
mer state Senator Manfred Ohrenstein,
estimates the conservancy may see only
about $7 million from the main develop-
ment areas. Still, she says HRPC just does-
n't view this funding shortage as a prob-
lem. "In the end someone will figure out
how to pull in the other $3 million,"
Graham reasons. "If you get seven out of
ten, you're going to find the other three."
Financial Infrastructur.
Yet the Conservancy may end up strug-
gling to collect even the $7 million.
From West Street, Chelsea Piers blazes
into view with a giant outdoor video
screen that assaults passersby in unrelent-
ing color to partake of phone, banking and
soft drink proferrings from its official
sponsors. From the river, the complex is an
aluminum colossus that spans from 17th to
23rd streets with piers resembling four
felled 90-story skyscrapers thrown into the
Hudson.
Yet beaneath the glitter, the complex's
financial infrastructure is crumbling. The
MARCH 1998
sheer immensity of the 30-acre complex
and the rundown state of its piers caused
construction costs to balloon from a pro-
jected $25 million to $75 million, saddling
its inexperienced owners with high-inter-
est debt. Moreover, attendance at the com-
plex-which is a long trek from subways
across West Street's busy traffic-hasn't
been large enough to make up the differ-
ence.
In 1996, one year after opening,
Chelsea Piers executives were so strapped
for cash that they renegotiated the original
20-year lease, which started out at $2.4
million in annual payments for the park
conservancy and was scheduled to climb
to $4 million. Under the new agreement,
Chelsea Piers gets a rent break in exchange
for staying on the piers for an additional 29
years.
Despite this financial lifeline, Chelsea
Piers is still sinking. During the first six
months of 1997, the latest figures avail-
able, the complex made $15.2 million. But
$22.8 million in expenses, including rent
and fmancing debt have steeped Chelsea
Piers in $7.6 million worth of red ink. And
once additional expenses are factored in,
the six-month loss plunges to $10.8 mil-
lion. "The company's auditors have raised
concern ... regarding the ability of the com-
pany to continue as a going concern in
light of recurring losses from operations
suffered by the company," according to
financial records.
The dowdy Pier 40 in the West Village,
by contrast, is the waterfront's steadiest
earner, generating almost $4.5 million a
year in lease payments for the conservan-
cy as a parking garage for city trucks and
buses and 2,000 neighborhood cars. But
when the pier becomes part of the park,
revenues will probably drop, since up to
half of the space will be converted into
much-needed ball fields, walkways and
sports courts. HRPC had hoped that a revi-
talized waterfront would lure new busi-
nesses to the 1.2 million-square-foot build-
ing in and around which all of those
amenities would be placed, but so far there
have been few takers-not even the flower
market the conservancy expects to bloom
on Pier 40.
Meanwhile, the city's agreements with
the midtown waterfront tourist companies
bring in only about $1 million total.
All of this is ugly math for park boost-
ers. The money will have to be made
somewhere, and some groups fear it will
be from cultivating even more commercial
development in the park. "[HRPC] may
come back and say, 'It turns out there's
pressure to privatize in the name of cover-
ing costs. It turns out we're going to have
to take more of the piers, ", worries Jim
Lane, senior attorney at the New York
Sierra Club.
Specks of Par kland
Tucked behind Chelsea Piers and fur-
ther obscured by its parking lot is the lone
fee-free pier in the sports complex, Pier
62. Lucky for Elizabeth Thompson and
her grandson, she found it. It's precious
free space. Only the razor-thin Chelsea
Park five blocks away and three other
specks of parkland dot the Chelsea land-
scape.
"It's about time they fixed up the
waterfront," she says. 'They should have
built this park a long time ago."
To understand the fervor with which
The city and state
hope the lure of a
continuous esp-
Lande, pedestrian
paths and bikeways
wiLL bring more
peopLe--and busi-
nesses-to the
waterfrom.
-,

IIIf the park becomes a drain on city
and state funding year after year, they're
not going to build it."
locals talk about parks, examine the statis-
tics: The city's Department of Planning rec-
ommends that New Yorkers have at least
1.5 acres per 1,000 people to enjoy as park.
But instead of relaxing in that football-
field-and-a-half of open space, every 1,000
residents in Chelsea, Clinton and the
Village have to share park space that is, on
average, just a little larger than two end-
zones.
And those endzones are getting shaggi-
er and flIthier. Both the city and state have
eliminated millions from their parks bud-
gets in recent years. The city sliced one-
third of the Parks and Recreation
Department's budget from 1987 to 1996,
according to the Independent Budget
Office. And spending on maintenance in
city parks has dropped 24 percent during
that time. To make up the difference, some
individual parks have essentially merged
operations with strong private fundraising
organizations, such as the Central Park
Conservancy, which last month was hand-
ed day-to-day control of Olmsted's mas-
terpiece by the city.
It's a long shot that the Hudson River
Park will ever draw similar big-ticket
benefactors. If it is to survive, it will need
revenue from one of two sources: govern-
ment or increased commercial develop-
ment. Yet the 1992 Memorandum of
Understanding between the city and state
that created the HRPC and established the
principles that guide the park firmly wrote
the city and state out of park funding.
"The city and state are committed to
build a park as a self-sustaining [entity],"
says Bill Zwart, legislative aide to state
Senator Franz Leichter, a Hudson River
Park advocate who supports the current
funding plan. "If it becomes a drain on city
and state funding year after year, they're
not going to build it."
Late Bloomers
W
ith the city and state ducking out on the Hudson River Park's $10 million annual
maintenance bill, you might think the least they could do is nail down the budget
for its construction.
Even though all sides are trumpeting this fall's construction ground breaking, the city
and state have kicked in only two-thirds of the $300 million cost. And much of that money
is in the form of a shaky 1.0.0.
How will the remaining money be found? The Hudson River Park Conservancy is in the
process of starting up its own nonprofit to help fundraise the extra $100 million. In addi-
tion, HRPC is knocking out $14 million worth of details from the Greenwich Village section of
the park to get it back within the budget before construction begins this fall.
Even if the Conservancy can raise this money, the city plans to allocate only $60 million
of its $100 million pledge while the park is actually being built. According to the city's capi-
tal commitment plan, the last $40 million will be doled out in 2007- four years after the
last sapling is set into the ground. Albany's budgeting is even less reassuring: only $30 mil-
lion of its $100 million is slated to be spent before 2004. "We expect that as the park gets
built and people become interested, the city and the state will contribute more money,"
explains HRPC board member Ross Graham.
By not providing the money on time, critics charge, the state and city are imperiling the
park's very creation-and future tax revenues it could generate.
"[The Hudson River Park] will create a ripple effect with increased property values,"
says Alan Gerson, vice-chair of the HRPC Advisory Committee, comprised of representa-
tives from communities that line the future park. "It will generate commercial ventures
across the street from the park. You have to consider this in your planning." -KJ
fW
F
Although Pataki has been unwilling to
shell out park maintenance money, he has
made a concession to environmental
groups. Last spring, he proposed a bill that
would limit the amount and placement of
commercial enterprises in the park-and
make the conservancy independent.
Oddly, such legislation would have wrest-
ed the park from the control of the gover-
nor's former chief campaign fundraiser,
Charles Gargano, who runs the Empire
State Development Corporation, which
currently controls HRPc.
Pataki's attempt to squeak the bill
through at the last minute was thwarted by
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who
bowed to pressure from local groups that
worried that an independent HRPC would
not be accountable to the public. But the
governor wants to float the bill again this
year.
Writ. Cov.rnm.nt Out
After years of frustration, the loudest
proponents of the current Hudson River
Park funding plan include some of the most
powerful environmental groups in the city,
such as the Environmental Defense Fund,
the League of Conservation Voters and the
Natural Resources Defense Council, that
have formed the Hudson River Park
Alliance. "Many people want to see a park
on the waterfront, and plans to move for-
ward have been stalled for a very long
time," says Andrew Darrell, executive
director of the alliance. "Shouldn't the rev-
enues be kept locally for park use, instead
going to the city and state?"
But other groups, like the Sierra Club,
New York Public Interest Research Group
and City Project, are not ready to write
government out of park maintenance.
They continue to challenge the city and
state's unwillingness to take responsibility
for the waterfront.
Whether the current plan ultimately
succeeds or not, one thing's for certain: It
has momentum- the rarest of commodities
after 25 years of stalemate on the water-
front. In an election year with $200 million
already committed, the plan is likely to go
forward under the terms of the 1992 mem-
orandum--even without a solid funding
system to keep it from falling apart in the
years after the ribbon-cutting.
Such risks don't bother the shapers of
New York's new waterfront. They want
action. This spring, Tom Fox will be back
with another small fleet of water taxis that
will be faster and, he hopes, more suc-
cessful. "I'm an environmental entrepre-
neur," he says. "I look for an opportunity
and 1 exploit it."
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Natural light
Af TER 30 YEARS fOCUSING ON POOR
KIDS, STEPHEN SHAMES REMOVES
THE flASH fROM HIS PHOTOGRAPHY.
By Jake Miller
I
magine a small town on the
banks of a river, says photo-
journalist Stephen Shames in
his Prospect Heights apartment
on a recent, windy, wintry
afternoon. Every day hundreds of
babies float down the river and
the people of the town swim out
into the raging current to save as
many as they can.
But they never stop to won-
der where the babies come from.
And they never head upriver to
try to find out.
"Maybe the solution is to
build a fence upstream" to keep
the children out of the river alto-
gether, he suggests.
During more than 30 years as
a photographer documenting
child prostitution, teen gangs,
drug dealing, homeless ness and
family violence for publications
like Time, Newsweek and The
New York Times, Shames has seen a lot of babies swept downstream.
If capturing images from this metaphorical river of poor kids has defined
his career, his frustration with simply watching from the banks has shaped his
most recent work. Photojournalists are often perceived as predators who
exploit their subjects, shoot their pictures and move on to the next assign-
ment. The question of responsibility to the people they study is the central
moral dilemma of this genre, agues Harvard psychology professor and
Doubletake founder Robert Coles writes in his landmark study, "Doing
Documentary Work." With Shames' latest project, a book proffering solutions
for the problems of children living in poverty, he isn't just taking pictures of
poor families: He's offering a glimpse of a possible path to a better future for
lost families-while also showing the rest of America that our society's hope-
lessness about solving poverty is misplaced.
S
hames, 51, was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where his father
attended Harvard Law School-he claims to have been the first GI Bill
baby born in Boston. After a childhood spent in Chicago and California,
he began his journalism career in 1967 at the Berkeley Barb, a radical
weekly and one of the country's most notorious underground papers. He
covered University of California students protesting the Vietnam War and
shot photos of Black Panther Party members providing breakfast for poor
kids and (literally) fighting police brutality in Oakland. At the same time,
MARCH 1998
Shames worked as an activist and political organizer.
"I was first exposed to poor people in a real way in
Berkeley," Shames says. ''Then, photographing the
Panthers, I got exposed to urban poverty in a very rad-
ical way. This wasn't an intellectual thing for them.
They really wanted to do something."
Shames has never drawn the line between art and
activism. He has always viewed his photography as a
way to contribute to the movements he believed in.
Home Health Care
Worker, The Bronx,
1996, Above
Prayer Before
Dinner, Detroit,
1995, Opposite
In 1992, soon after he ended a five-year stint at the Philadelphia Inquirer,
Shames won the Kodak Crystal Eagle Award for Impact in Photojournalism
for his 1991 book, "Outside the Dream: Child Poverty in America," published
by Aperture and the Children's Defense Fund. But instead of reveling in this
triumph, Shames found himself tormented by the feelings of resignation peo-
ple expressed to him upon seeing the book.
We know poor children are suffering, his admirers told him, but what can
we do about it? Shames' work prompted them to give money and support to
antipoverty causes. But he also began to understand that most people had no
real sense that anything could be done to permanently address the problems
he had documented.
To answer the questions posed by his earlier work, Shames set out to dis-
cover what people were doing to help themselves and others, searching the
-
lilt isn't just about Mother Teresa and Saddam Hussein.
country for programs that help poor children and their families live better
lives. The result of this quest is "Pursuing the Dream: What Helps Children
and Their Families Succeed," published last fall by Aperture and the Family
Resource Coalition.
The book documents the lives of participants in family support programs
in more than a dozen states that try to provide parents and children with the
skills and resources they need to meet a variety of goals from financial sta-
bility to parenting. They include emergency day care centers for sick children
whose parents work, mentoring programs for troubled kids, economic devel-
opment initiatives and parenting classes.
In the book, Shames' pictures are accompanied by texts and captions,
often in the voices of the people in the pictures.
"I used to get mad and scream ... spank them without even thinking about it,"
says Luz, a young father from San Antonio. Above his words is a four-picture
sequence of him calmly, carefully, trying to discipline his preschool-age son.
f
rom September 1994 to October 1996, Shames followed the lives of the
children and families in the book, becoming a friend and taking intimate
pictures of the milestones in their lives. A young father gets out of prison
and takes on the responsibilities of raising a family. An ex-biker marries the
mother of his kids and is named Father of the Year.
Compared to the wrenching drama of his work in "Outside the Dream"-
with its signature photograph of a lO-year-old shooting up on a Bronx
rooftop-the pictures in the new book seem almost prosaic.
But the story here isn't spot news or gripping glimpses of degradation. It's
about the slow, stubborn struggle of poor families fighting to live decent lives.
Shames photographs deceptively simple moments, such as a father's tattooed
arms cradling a baby-a moment that evokes the power of parenthood chis-
eled into Michelangelo's Pieta.
With grants from the Ford Foundation and the Charles Stewart Mott
Foundation and the guidance of the Family Resource Coalition (a nonprofit
advocacy and technical assistance umbrella group for family support pro-
grams nationwide), Shames researched more than a
hundred programs before finally visiting and pho-
tographing those covered in the book.
"I made an attempt to get out there and fmd out
what works," Shames says. The programs that made a
lasting impression on him, he says, helped parents
find "a better way to love their children."
Using Canon and Leica cameras with fast lenses
for shooting dark scenes without flash, Shames makes
Mayita "."
-
A Gentle Touch,
San Antonio,
1995, Right
Stephen Shames
at Home, Brooklyn,
1998, Below
what he calls "casual" pictures.
"I don't want a lot of technique in the picture," he says. "I want
people to see what's happening in the picture. I try to be very mod-
est, not stylized. I don't want my pictures to look super hip."
In one picture, a young father stretches out his hand to "touch"
his child through the glass of the county jail vi siting room. The
pictures in one multiframe sequence capture the changing light in
a young man's eyes as he talks through a problem with a mentor.
Shames' enthusiasm for these photos and hi s respect for his
subjects is obvious as he discusses them, gesturing emphatically
with his craftsman's hands.
"It isn't just about Mother Teresa and Saddam Hussein. It isn' t
about angels and devils. Ordinary people can do great good and
great evil," Shames says. "I've seen so much evil that it's hard for
me to believe that there's a good force in this world. I've seen it
CITY LIMITS
beaten so many times. If there is a good force in this universe, it's working
through these people."
O
n the walls of his apartment, Shames has hung pictures by Mexican pho-
tographer Manuel Alvarez Bravo and Brazilian Mario Cravo Neto. Both
photographers are steeped in the spiritual and mythical blood of their
cultures, a motif that suffuses Shames' best work.
But if their work verges on the surreal, there's nothing mystical about
the work done by the people in Shames' book.
There's very Little that's mystical about Shames' own work, either. The
Ford Foundation didn't fund Shames' project to simply produce a coffee-table
testament to sensationalize poverty. ''They made it very clear that they need-
ed to communicate with the American public and policy makers about how
important these programs are. The things they do really couldn't make a dent
if people don't think it's important.
MARCH 1998
"You don't just want to do a photography book and have five people see
it," he adds.
Shames is now working with the FamiJy Resource Coalition to develop a
public education program based on the book. Part of the plan involves a light-
weight, easy-to-assemble geodesic exhibit system that will make it possible
to carry or ship the show to museums, churches and conferences without the
expense or expertise required to mount a standard photographic exhibit.
The goal is to encourage the public, and especially policymakers, to
rethink the entire system of family and child care services, and, ultimately, do
even more.
"We can eradicate the negative effects of poverty," he says. "I really
believe."
Manhattan-basedfreelancer lake Miller's work has included articles for the
New York Times Book Review.
-
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A
I D' Amato, the man who won his last Senate race by tattooing
"hopelessly liberal" onto poor Bob Abrams' blank-slate pate,
found himself surrounded in a dangerously enclosed space last
spring. Actually, it was D' Arnato who had summoned the small
platoon of hardened liberal tenant leaders to his D.C. inner sanc-
tum. The Junior Senator was furious.
--
In an attempt to pull him into the rent wars raging in Albany, the state
Democratic party and the tenant groups had been broadcasting a TV ad por-
traying the three-term senator from Long Island and his protege, Governor
George Pataki, as radical conservatives intent on kicking a million New
York City tenants out of their apartments.
D'Amato started off with the DeNiro-as-Capone routine. "Are you try-
CITY LIMITS
't.
1'0
Po

SIX

ing to fuck meT' And then he waited for the reaction.
There was none.
"He was trying to intimidate us. He was being a real
prick," recalls a former tenant lobbyist who attended the meet-
ing. "But we didn't mind. That's what he does. He was trying
to feel us out, see how far he could get with us. With D' Amato
you know what you're getting-it's a totally political agenda."
In the weeks following the meeting, D'Amato proceeded to do
much of what they had asked. The senator boosted his profile in the
rent control battle and, to the chagrin of his conservative supporters,
opened his own back-door negotiations with state Democratic lead-
ers. D' Amato deftly cut the ground out from underneath conserv-
ative state Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno's feet and helped
convince Pataki to accept a compromise.
D' Amato's behavior was based on a single political objec-
tive: to convince people who despise him to hate him just a lit-
tle bit less. As far as he's concerned, it's OK if most New York
City Democrats regard him as an asp in Florsheims. But he
won't allow their disdain to grow to the point where Dems unite
in an all-out effort to beat him. And he certainly doesn't mind if
they suspect that somewhere beneath that Right-To-Life lapel
pin beats a secret liberal 's heart.
"I believe he played a major role in the final deal ," says
Billy Easton, lobbyist for the New York State Tenants and
Neighbors Coalition, a top tenant group. Easton's organiza-
tion, which had been behind some of the anti-D' Amato
commercials, shifted gears following the victory and
featured D' Amato on the cover of its newsletter.
"By continuing to do the right thing on housing,
he's effectively neutralized his tenant opposition,"
MARCH 1998
"DONlf WORR '/
HoUSINCi/
SAVE you!
-
Easton admits now. "You saw those TV ads last year. You won't "AI's got to get his numbers up in the city," says Democratic
see them again this year. We have nothing to gain and lots to lose." consultant Norman Adler. "He's in as weak a position as he has
Easton is nothing if not brave. Progressive policymakers, ever been going into an election year."
activists and lobbyists demanded anonymity when they told City To any other pol, such low numbers would be devastating. After
Limits they felt the same way about the senator after he fixed all, D'Amato's been aggressive in his effort to reach out to new vot-
their pet potholes. D' Amato may profess to disdain liberals in ers. In what was widely perceived to be a masterstroke, he ran a series
campaign ads, they say, but he helps them mightily in private. of TV ads with female family members to help push for the state's
And that bodes ill for the senator's Democratic environmental bond act. He has also picked up on the breast cancer
opponents. There are no spontaneous uprisings in issue on Long Island. "He needs to do this stuff. He's so weak among
politics. So his challenger will need liberal women," says Republican political consultant Joseph Mercurio.
opinion leaders to organize .. .-_----... _ ~ D' Amato has been even more successful shoring
their constituen- - up other weaknesses. He has practically worn a
groove in his scalp from slamming a
yarmulke on and off, courting the
... 11 '11'''111. I.
".pe'e " /llIe,,,I.
state's historically left-leaning Jews
to an extent no self-avowed con-
servative has ever done before.
He netted 41 percent of the
Jewish vote statewide six years
ago; that number might be higher
cies-tenants, union members,
activists, freelance liberals-into an
army to vanquish D' Amato, who will
probably amass a three-to-one cash
advantage against them.
"I would never say this to anybody-so
God, don't put my name on this-but I have a lot
of affection for AI D'Amato," says a lefty Washington-
based housing lobbyist who worked closely with the senator
and his staff for years-and watched as D' Amato maneuvered the
defeat of right-wing public housing legislation proposed by fellow
congressional Republicans. "I hope no one figures out I said this."
,
fter he anointed George Pataki as his party's guberna-
torial candidate in 1994, Al D'Amato could make his
claim as King Bee in a state of political gnats. But as
he approaches his own race this November, D'Amato
has the misfortune of being a powerful populist with-
out a permanent plurality. To endure, therefore, D' Amato must
endear. "When push comes to shove, 45 percent of the voters hate
him, 45 percent like him and 10 percent are open to persuasion,"
says a top aide to one of D'Amato's would-be Democratic chal-
lengers. "No matter what he does, those numbers stay basically
the same. That's why he needs to be so aggressive in wooing peo-
ple who don't like him."
Mostly, those people are New York City Democrats. Bob
Abrams, the former attorney general who came out of the 1992
Democratic primary bruised and broke, only missed upending
D'Amato by 81,000 votes-which translates into one thin per-
centage point. And in the city, Abrams walloped the senator by a
half million votes.
This basic calculus hasn't changed. According to a recent
Quinnipiac College poll, former Veep candidate Geraldine Ferraro
would wipe out D'Amato 52 to 38 percent and Public Advocate
Mark Green would win by six points. The senator barely edges out
Brooklyn Congressman Chuck Schumer.
~ For the D' Amato camp, the good news is his approval rating
~ is as high as it has been since 1994. The bad news is it's still only
Jg 43 percent.
this time around after his well-publi-
cized efforts to recover Swiss-held gold
Nazis stole from Jews during World War II.
"It was a brave political stand, risking all those
Swiss votes like that," says pollster John Zogby, a friend of
D'Amato's. "In Jewish houses, right next to Elijah's cup, they're
going to put Ai's cup," adds a Democratic strategist.
But that won't be enough. To assure he won't lose, D'Amato
needs to avoid making new enemies. In the rent control battle,
D'Amato made sure his staff kept the lines of communication
open with tenant leaders--even after they picketed his girlfriend's
Upper East Side apartment building.
D'Amato watchers say the fust real inkling they had that he
was targeting the Left came in 1993, when he unexpectedly
backed Bill Clinton's effort to allow gays in the military-a move
that earned him brickbats from GOP allies. "[D'Amato) is to the
left of Clinton on this issue," John Kassar, chairman of the
Brooklyn Conservative Party said at the time. "We feel betrayed."
But his most significant entreaties to liberals have been of the
backroom variety.
When the GOP grabbed both houses of Congress four years
ago, D'Amato took maximum advantage-not to punish his ene-
mies, but to deal them into his newly-won largesse. He is a mas-
ter of the fundamental , political task of wielding power to deliver
for the folks back home, whoever they might be. "No matter what
he espouses philosophically, he is the liberal of all liberals when
it comes to the big government thing," adds Zogby.
S
ince 1997, D'Amato has used his pull to dampen the
opposition of one of his most dangerous natural ene-
mies, hospital union boss Dennis Rivera, the ener-
getic Puerto Rican leader who controls one of the
city's most powerful get-out-the-vote operations.
Hint of a D'Amato-Rivera entente emerged last summer when
D'Amato helped secure $1.25 billion in federal money to help
hospitals-and workers at Rivera's Local 1199--deal with the
potentially jarring move into Medicaid managed care.
This year, D' Amato and Rivera have worked on an issue even
closer to home for the union. For years, 1199 has been battling
management at Bed-Stuy's crumbling, debt-ridden Interfaith
Medical Center. At Rivera's prodding, the senator strong-armed
Pataki to release $150 million in State Dormitory authority bonds
to rebuild the hospital and add three primary care centers-a deal
Pataki was reportedly loathe to pursue. But D'Amato's personal
CITY LIMITS
appeals prevailed. The senator helped preserve 1,500 jobs and
shored up a hospital in a Democratic stronghold where, not inci-
dently, roughly one-third of 1l99's members live. D'Amato told
The New York Times upon closing the deal, "What is the sense of
[having] the best if it only goes to a privileged few?"
Publicly, Rivera will probably endorse and, to some extent,
bankroll the political operations of D' Amato's Democratic oppo-
nents. But neither he, nor the members whose jobs D' Amato
helped save, are much inclined to launch an anti-A! crusade-
even if the senator's support of welfare reform has harmed a lot of
people in Central Brooklyn. "D'Amato will never get our
endorsement, but he's achieved a significant victory if he gets
Dennis not to work too hard to defeat him," says a source close to
Rivera. And that, the source says, is a likely bet: "D' Amato has
done everything the hospitals and the union have asked him to
do .... A! and Dennis have a purely business relationship. It's a
matter of Dennis saying to himself: Do I support someone whose
goals I agree with, or do I support a guy whose busting his ass for
me even if I know he's a pig?"
National Journal, has actually gotten a little more conservative
over the last few years.
Trying to reconcile his official record with his backroom
friendship with the left is a little jarring. It might also be a civics
lesson. "Are we trying to imply he's being responsible to an intel-
ligent electorate?" asks Republican consultant Mercurio. "Oh
God, that would be an awful thing to admit."
The strategy may succeed come election day if the two
D'Amatos are never forced to face each other-in, say, a mirror.
"Quite frankly, I know he hasn't been with us on every issue,"
says Mile Long, a Brooklyn wine store owner who runs the New
York State Conservative Party. "He's not the most conservative
member of the U.S. Senate, but I can live with it."
Democratic opponents put it another way:
"Who the hell knows what he really
believes?" says Washington-based pollster
Donna Victoria, who frequently works
New York races. "Who the hell cares?
The question is, how are his
/)
~ ~ : ~ ~ o e ~ ~ e a r ~ ~ o
himself to the
hardest of all
hardcore low-
income Democratic con-
stituencies: public housing resi-
dents and their advocates.
Wlltlll. III ", ,
IItWllI, III. " ,111, ."Iy
, I. tI pl',.II.tI,.tll.w'
In addition to lobbying against
the elimination of HUD and further cuts to
the Section 8 rent subsidy program, he has quiet-
1y played a pivotal role blocking a young Long Island Republican
Congressman's attempt to hanuner through a conservative public
housing bill that would hike rents for the poor and raise the income
levels permitted in the projects. Congressional staff and advocates
tell City Limits that D' Amato, again at the behest of liberal lobbyists,
effectively blocked Congressman Rick Lazio's bill, even though it
had the enthusiastic support of Mayor Giuliani-and the backing of
D' Amato's potential Democratic opponent Charles Schumer.
D'Amato has his own more moderate proposal which is still
being mulled by a Senate-House conference committee. But
behind the scenes, D' Amato reportedly has been skeptical about
passing anything at all.
"The main thing he told his staff was that he didn't want any-
thing crazy coming out of his committee when it came to public
housing," says a prominent housing lobbyist, who like so many
others requested anonymity for fear of being labeled pro-
D'Amato. "Only bad things could come out of the process for
him. If it passes, some people back home will be pissed off."
As the housing stalemate grinds into its third year, the rela-
tionship between Lazio and D'Amato has reportedly deteriorated
from cool to barely-speaking terms.
Still, there's no denying that by the numbers, D'Amato really
does live up to his conservative self-billing. He is anti-abortion.
He was one of the lustiest proponents of welfare reform. His love
for government pork is exceeded only by his hatred for taxes. His
environmental record has improved with his support of the
Environmental Bond Act-simply because it couldn't get much
lower than the "0" ranking the League of Conservation Voters
gave him two years ago. And don't forget that his campaign's
brain is lodged in the right-wing skull of consultant Arthur
Finkelstein, the man who coined "liberal" as a slur and whose
highest profile client is Bibi Netanyahu.
D'Amato's overall voting record, according to the centrist
MARCH 1998
opponents going to
go after him when he's tak-
ing away most of their issues?"
And how do you go after him
when he's so good at going after every
single vote he can get his hands on?
l
ate one night about five years ago,
pollster John Zogby was just dozing off when he was
jolted awake by a call from a friend. The man, a
Palestinian-American businessman who hated D' Amato
for his hard pro-Israel line, was nearly hysterical.
His young son, a photographer with a French news agency,
had been arrested by Israeli security forces for taking pictures of
West Bank riots. The kid, Zogby's friend explained, was being
held incommunicado. His camera had been smashed.
''I'll call D'Amato," Zogby offered.
There was a silence, then an eruption on the other end of the line.
"Are you out of your mind? D' Amato loves Israel. He hates
Arabs."
Undeterred, Zogby called D'Amato. Twelve hours later, the
boy was on a plane back to the states.
The businessman, who still resents D' Amato's pro-Israel
stance, now votes for him, recruits his friends to do the same and
even doles out the occasional campaign offering.
Four-and-a-half years have passed. One recent day, the busi-
nessman came home from work to fmd an envelope in the mail-
box from D'Amato's office. He tore it open and discovered it con-
tained a $500 check issued by the Israeli consulate. Puzzled, he
read the enclosed letter explaining that it was meant to cover the
cost of the smashed camera.
It was signed "A! D' Amato, U.S. Senator."
-
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of Lemor Realty surveying
construction at W. 140th St.
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The Morrisons are part of New York City's Neighborhood
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It all bOils down to desire and commitment. The Morrisons' desire to
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Through innQvative flnallcing programs and relationships with people
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CHASE. The right relationship is everything.
sM
Q 1997 The Chase Manhattan Bank. Member FDIC. Equal Opportunity Lender r=:r
--
CITY LIMITS
r.-------------------------------,
D i
to
W i
L _______________________________ ~
,
00 S
by Carl Vogel
College and training are
Workfare
vs.Work
ut
the keys to moving welfare
recipients off the rolls and
into long-term jobs. But to
City Hall it's sweep first
and send 'em to school
later. New York's winning
the workfare enrollment
race but is back-of-the-pack
when it comes to creativity.
Art by David Chelsea
MARCH 1998 Wi
I
HEED TO KHOW :
I
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ~
-
A
s the leaves changed color in the
fall of 1996, Evelyn Davila sat
in a city welfare office and
feared opportunity was slipping
away. She had enrolled in a
seven-month health care trammg class at
SUNY's Bronx Educational Opportunity
Center and was slated to begin classes in two
days. But the city's policy was clear-if she
wanted to keep receiving her welfare check,
she had to sign up for a Work Experience
Program assignment, i.e., workfare. And that
meant dropping the full-time training program.
One and a half years later, Davila is the
model of the modem mother who has moved
from welfare to work. She has a decent job,
earning $11.95 an hour taking blood samples at
Mercy Hospital in the Bronx. For politicians-
including Mayor Rudolph Giuliani-who per-
sistently spout mantras of personal responsibil-
ity and economic independence, Davila ought
"When
the city is
forced to
do what's
required
under the
law, the
system
k
"
assessment, they argue, only makes sense if
officials act on the results, making allowances
for education and training if that's what will
best prepare the parent for a lifetime of
employment.
"The city has made a mockery of this. They
fill out forms, and people get put in workfare
regardless," charges Richard Blum, a staff attor-
ney at the Legal Aid Society.
Judge Jane Solomon agreed with this analy-
sis, and forced the city to allow Davila and the
other 11 named plaintiffs in the class action
lawsuit to delay their workfare assignment until
they had completed their training programs.
Davila took the health care training course,
graduated and got a job. The class action suit
bearing her name is still pending.
"When the city is forced to do what's required
under the law, it works," says Chris Lamb, senior
attorney at the Welfare Law Center.
wor s.
to be a star.
She's not. In fact, she got where she is today in spite of-
rather than because of-the city's strict WEP requirements. And
she did it with the help of the very people Mayor Gi uliani and his
allies excoriate as enemies of effective governance: a state
Supreme Court judge and welfare rights attorneys from the Legal
Aid Society and the Welfare Law Center.
More than a year ago, the lawyers took the city to court over
Davila's case. They charged that state law requires caseworkers
to assess welfare parents' skills, educational needs--even their
personal goals-before they are placed in workfare. Such an
D
avila, Blum and their allies are like plodding
pedestrians, heads bowed against the crowd of
tens of thousands of welfare recipients being
guided by the Giuliani administration away
from vocational training and education and into
dead-end workfare assignments, cleaning streets and filing
papers in exchange for their welfare check. Two years ago, near-
ly 60,000 women on the rolls of the old family welfare program,
AFDC, were in some type of job training. Today, according to
the Mayor's Management Report, only a few thousand are
allowed to count vocational training toward their workfare
PIRST C
C
ity Hall has made a philosophi-
cal choice: For people on wel-
fare, the mayor argues, work is
the solution. Sounds obvious enough.
After all, experts agree that to tum
many people into lifelong workers, sim-
ply getting a first job can be the best
bet. For others, learning "soft skills,"
such as getting to work on time and
dressing appropriately, is necessary.
Yet for a large percentage of the
welfare population, experts say the key
element to long-term, permanent inde-
pendence is education and training-
boosting skills and preparing people
for available jobs in large or growing
sectors of the economy.
The numbers prove the point:
Graduates of Riverside's Greater
Avenues for Independence (GAIN) pro-
~ of six pilot welfare-to-work
sites in California -had an average
income that was 49 percent higher than a
control group of other welfare recipients,
and were employed on average 46 per-
cent more hours over a three-year peri-
od, according to a 1994 study by the
Manpower Demonstration Research
Corporation, a leading welfare think
tank. GAIN emphasizes rmding a job
and starting work, even when wages are
low-but nearly 60 percent of the partic-
ipants also took part in education or
training programs.
In a nationwide study in 1995, the
Institute for Women's Policy Research, a
Washington D.C.-based research and advo-
SS
cacy nonprofit, found that job training
increased the likelihood of a welfare recip-
ient finding a job by nearly 28 percent.
The poverty rate for families headed by
African-American women drops from 51
percent to 21 percent when the head of
the household has had at least one year
of post-secondary education, according
to a 1990 survey by the Center for Law
and Social Policy.
A 1996 study by Marilyn Gittell, direc-
tor of CUNY's Howard Samuels State
Management and Policy Center, noted
that 87 percent of women on welfare in
New York State who went to college
had been employed since graduation .
-CV
CITY LIMITS
r---- --- --------------------------------------------- - ------ -------- -----------------------------
1 WORKPA.RE VS. WORK
I
I
requirements, and the number of welfare recipients enrolled in
CUNY courses has dropped by nearly half.
Yet research study upon research study indicates that more
often than not, undergraduate education and skills training
courses lead to long-term, reasonably well-paid employ-
ment (see sidebar, "Education Elevation"). For example,
~ .....
y
POWEIR MAP
a 1996 study by Marilyn Gittell, director of CUNY's
Howard Samuels State Management and Policy
Center, noted that 87 percent of women on wel-
fare in New York State who went to college had
been employed since graduation.
Rudolph Giuliani
Nobody doubts that the order to slash the welfare rolls comes directly
from Gracie Mansion-albeit with a little help from the conservative think-
tankers at the Manhattan Institute. Rumor is, Rudy axed fonner welfare chief
Across the country, policy makers are
trying to find the right place for educa-
tion in the welfare equation. A few
states have decided that, for some peo-
ple on public assistance, schooling
and vocational training should take
precedence over make-work jobs.
But in New York, where govern-
ment officials often say their wel-
fare reform policies are simply
following the tough rules set
down by Congress, the city and
state could in fact be promoting a
Ulliam Banios-PaoIi because she was insufficiently gung-
ho on his all-work-and-no-school workfare scheme.
.TasoD TarDer
The burly architect of Wisconsin's "W-2" workfare
program is the city's new welfare boss-and the
mystery man of the hour. He has lots of confidence.
But w"lSCOnsin's welfare rolls are one-eighth the size
of New York CiQ's, and that state eqioys near full-
employment these days. Experts are waiting to see if
Turner turns out to be the visionary he touts himself
to be, or just another Cheesehead who will melt in
Gotham's glare.
lot more education and training
while still falling within federal
guidelines. As Evelyn Davila dis-
covered, not only is New York
unwilling to help welfare recipi-
ents find training, it often blocks
the way.
W
hile the mayor's
contempt for CUNY
Seth Diamond
Spartly name for a low-key career bureaucrat whose
name is at the top of most workfare decrees. As the head of HRA's Office of
Employment Services, Diamond'sjob is to pass along his boss's orders. He does
just that with a minimum of rancor or rebelliousness.
is front-page news,
workfare's impact on
the public universi ty
system is less well known: The number of
welfare recipients enrolled at CUNY dropped
LIz Kraeger
The outspoken lefty from the Community Food Resource Center might as well be
Freddie Kruger as far as the mayor's welfare brain trust is conceMied.
by more than 12,600 from the spring of 1995 to
the fall of 1997, according to senior CUNY offi-
cials-from 26,969 to 14,318.
She gets more ink lambasting Giuliani's workfare plans than the
mayor gets announcing them-because she's more free with a quote and
pointed statistics than anyone in the administration.
And training programs in New York for everything
from nurses' aides to truck drivers have lost participants,
as well. The causes include a big change in city contracting
priorities away from training and toward immediate job place-
ment, and the direct impact of strict workfare requirements-
which can make it difficult, if not impossible, for many welfare
parents to attend classes.
In contrast to the supposedly reformist spirit of these changes,
the network of creative training programs that have moved thou-
sands of welfare recipients into jobs is struggling to cope with
old-time bureaucratic headaches.
"The pool of participants is smaller and smaller," says Martha
Baker, executive director of Nontraditional Employment for
Women (NEW), which prepares women on welfare for jobs in
the building trades and the transportation, cable television and
other industries, while giving them the support services they
need to make the transition to permanent employment. "The
MARCH 1998
!)emua Shalala
WhoP A ukulele wooId have made more noise on the implementation
of the federal welfare law than this Secretary of the
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
money to
an agency that has bowed out of this debate.
train is less. 10
order to train the peo-
ple I think I should be training, I
have to go elsewhere for funding and elsewhere for the popula-
tion. "
She says that on a case-by-case basis, it's often possible to
convince an HRA caseworker to grant a workfare exemption for
an individual welfare recipient to enroll in a training program-
or at least to convince him or her to adjust a workfare assignment
hours to allow for training. But in other cases, women have had to
-
I
NBBD TO KNOW:
I
_________________________________________________________________________________________________ J
-
delay starting Baker's program for six months
and do WEP instead.
"In any large bureaucracy, there's a random
chance to find people of conscience who'll work
things out," Blum says. "But that's absolutely
not the city's policy."
Many training program directors haven't yet
figured out how this informal system works.
One high-ranking nonprofit executive who is
familiar with dozens of training programs
explains: "Some programs don't have the time
or staff to deal with the case-by-case process.
Some don't understand the process yet. There
are no clear rules. A lot of programs just weren't
aware they could save people. "
The changes have even caused a few
agencies to nearly grind to a halt. "As of this
moment, we are unable to enroll anyone,"
says Cheryl Graham, New York operations
coordinator for the Center for Employment
Training, which prepares participants for
specific occupations, such as medical assis-
tant and office computer specialist, and
includes basic math and reading skills in its
course work. "Most of our students are on
public assistance. They've been devastated.
WB
"They
want
people
off the
rolls
quickly,
and
job
. .
traInIng
doesn't
fit
that. "
They had been looking forward to getting
career training, but instead of coming into
our program, they have to go to the Work
Experience Program. It's affected every pro-
gram we do here." Last September, HRA did-
n't renew CET's contract to provide training
to about 200 welfare recipients a year. "We
were taken by surprise-we were expecting
renewal ," says Andy Forbes, interim division
director for CET's New York program.
The city refuses to comment on the defund-
ing. HRA spokesperson Renelda Higgins says
her office has adopted a policy of "not
responding to City Limits" because of past
coverage. But Forbes suspects part of the issue is
time. The city wants people off the rolls immedi-
ately; training at CET can take as long as six
months. "They want people off the rolls quickly,
and job training doesn't fit that," he says.
F
ending off a workfare assignment
to pursue training is often a tough
proposition, as illustrated by a set
of HRA procedures outlined in an
internal November 1997 HRA
memo obtained by City Limits: Clients who
T WORES
II
ven the states that are more cre-
ative than New York in their
new welfare-to-work policies
are not letting welfare recipients avoid
work-related activities. But some state
bureaucracies are at least beginning to
combine the federal rules with common
sense and proven research to help guide
people on welfare to well-paying
employment.
cookie-cuner approach. And with at least
half the welfare population, just finding
that first job doesn't do the trick in any
kind of permanent way.
each year. For women who have had lit-
tle civic involvement, an lliinois pilot
program counts community service-
such as serving as a Cub Scouts den
mother-as work, so long as the time
spent is clearly documented.
How far can those rules be bent?
"lllinois and Wyoming defme post-sec-
ondary education as work. Whether the
feds will accept that or not, they don't
know," says Marilyn Ginell, director of
CUNY's Howard Samuels State
Management and Policy Center.
Programs with a successful track
record of moving people from welfare to
employment have a few things in com-
mon-they look at each recipient as an
individual and take into account the dif-
ficulty of getting someone off welfare
for good. There's no such thing as a
"People don't leave welfare with one
job. Generally they need several jobs,"
says Toby Herr, the director of Project
Match, a Chicago-based training and
research organization. "Education can fit
in anywhere or nowhere in the process.
It's not in rigid lockstep."
States that recognize this are looking
for ways to provide a menu of options
for getting off welfare. Wyoming is set-
ting aside 2.5 percent of its federal wel-
fare block grant to create a vocational
training center for welfare recipients in
conjunction with the state's community
college system. Georgia, which has a
work-first welfare policy, is also invest-
ing block grant funds into education,
spending $2 million to increase the
capacity of state technical schools to
handle another 3,000 students on welfare
Los Angeles County, which has
128,000 TANF households, also seeks
to place most welfare recipients in jobs
as quickly as possible. But the county
is investing more than $16 million in a
community college curriculum for six-
to-l2-month training courses serving
clients who fail to fmd a job quickly.
What's more, those who do find a job
can usually continue to receive welfare
checks for an extended time-while
also taking advantage of support ser-
vices to help make night school possi-
ble. And in California, a welfare recipi-
ent who is taking classes that lead to
employment can stay in school for up
to two years and still get a welfare
check. -CV
CITY LIMITS
r------------- ------------- ------------------------------------------ ----------------------------
! WORKP4RE VS. WORK
I
I
have enrolled in a training program-but have not yet started-
are required to join WEP. Clients who have had past vocational
training are required to do WEP. Clients who are in college but
C
ompromise hasn' t played a large role in Mayor
Giuliani's welfare policy. He once criticized the
federal welfare laws passed by Congress in 1996
as too stringent. However, his interpretation of
those Washington reforms is far more stiff than it
needs to be-and the city might be better off if City Hall was will-
ing to be less dogmatic and more flexible.
haven't yet obtained half the credits they need
for graduation must usually join WEP.
Last May, HRA started calling in
college students to start workfare
regardless of whether or not they
had enrolled in summer classes.
But a judge's restraining order in
a lawsuit-like the Davila case-
based on the State Social Services
law, stopped the practice. The law
has since been revised, allowing
the city to force students into
workfare. Still, HRA has become
slightly more flexible, allowing
students to replace workfare hours
with an internship or work-study
in their first year of school-and
concentrate on studies without
any limitations in their final year.
Meanwhile, the system is
slowly evolving to accommodate
a new hybrid of WEP and training
programs. The city is establishing
pilot programs that pay for train-
ing sessions and support services
for clients between their WEP
work hours. Other organizations
have simply agreed to oversee
workfare placements within their
own place of business.
Last month, HRA designated
the Women's Housi ng and
Economic Development Cor-
poration (WHEDCO), a Bronx
training and housing nonprofit, as
an enhanced WEP site, allowing
welfare recipients to fulfill their
workfare assignment at the
agency while learning skills by
working in fields such as child
care or the restaurant industry. But
WHEDCO has had to alter its pro-
gram to create more job-like tasks
before and after training sessions,
because time spent exclusively in
training does not qualify as work.
And the organization is receiving
no money from the city to admin-
ister its 50 new WEP slots.
Nevertheless, these changes are
taking hold, and advocates are
relieved that the situation is not
worse. "Do I think it's ideal? No,"
says Nancy Biberman, WHEOCO's
president. "Do I think it's better than
nothing? Yes. It's a compromise."
MARCH 1998
ROLODEX
WELrARE RIGHTS
INITIATIVE
Building power from the classroom, this CUNY-
based group teaches students about the
history of public assistance, arranges intern-
ships for members on welfare and lobbies for
improved regs in City Hall and Albany.
212-650-3368.
ACORN
A leading WEP worker advocate on unionization
and decent working conditions, ACORN is
polling its membership on how to tackle educa-
tion, with an eye to pressuring the city to
broaden its policies. Grassroots activists with
attitude, ACORN doesn't pull many punches.
718-246-7900.
WELrARE RErORM
NETWORK
This coalition of groups involved with welfare
handles a wide array of topics, including a
newly formed education and training commit-
tee. The first meeting was a mix of represen-
tatives from community colleges and training
and literacy programs. Should be a good place
to share stories and build connections.
212-7TI-4800.
WELrARE LAW CENTER
With four workfare-related cases currently in
court, the Welfare Law Center also lobbies for
changes in the city's policies and publishes
"Welfare News" and "Welfare Bulletin," for
activists and attorneys, respectively. A thorn in
HRA's side.
212-633-6967
LEGAL AID SOCIETY
Co-council to the Welfare Law Center on the
Davila case and another concerning prevailing
wages, Legal Aid is very involved in workfare
issues. For a clear, knowledgeable analysis of
federal, state and local rules, staff attorney
Richard Blum can't be beat.
212-5TI-3648.
True, Congress did take a hard
line, setting out specific no-non-
sense federal work requirements
for states that wanted to get their
full block grant for Temporary
Assistance to Needy Families
(TANF) , the new family welfare
program.
A certain percentage of TANF
recipients each year must be
involved in "work-related activi-
ties," which include work experi-
ence, job search, community ser-
vices, vocational education and
on-the-job training. After two
years on welfare, each individual
has to be in a work-related activi-
ty. However, no more than 30 per-
cent of those in work-related
activities can be participating in
vocational education. And training
programs can be counted as work
for only one year for each client.
But in fact, beneath the rigid
facade, a great deal of flexibility
is written into the law. Each state
has leeway in designing its own
guidelines-and that applies to
the definition of work (see side-
bar, "What Works"). Education,
training, and even volunteer com-
munity service can all fit. "For
vocational educational training,
we' re leaving it to the state to
define what that consists of," says
Michael Kharfen, spokesperson
for the U.S. Department ofHealth
and Human Services. "There's a
lot of opportunities for how a
state's program can be run."
The federal restrictions leave
acres of room for more education
and more innovation in New York.
According to the most recent state
Department of Labor report to the
federal government, New York
could double the number of public
assistance recipients in vocational
training and still be within the law.
"At the present it's an irrelevant
restriction," Chris Lamb says.
Furthermore, because of the
-
state's three-year purge of the welfare rolls, federal regulations
require New York to have only 13 percent of the heads of TANF
single-parent households in work-related activities this year-and
right now initial data reveals a statewide participation rate more
than twice that, according to Roger Gerby, the chief of research
and evaluation for the state's Department of Labor.
When it comes to New York, however, "focusing on the [fed-
eral guidelines] is probably missing the point," says Joe
Capobianco, chief of the labor department's Bureau of Program
Development. "For the last several years, the city has seen work
experience as the way out of welfare, so they're not interested in
vocational education as a stepping stone. It 's contrary to their phi-
losophy."
C
ity Hall's philosophy is likely to change, thanks to
the recent arrival of new HRA commissioner
Jason Turner. But no one is entirely sure where he
will take it. Turner's previous employer, the state
of Wisconsin, is well known for very strict work
requirements, and critics there charge this severity-coupled with
a strong economy-has been the primary catalyst for the dramat-
ic reduction in the state's welfare rolls over the last few years.
Yet some advocates admire the structure Wisconsin has built
into its pilot welfare program, Wisconsin Works (W-2), which
went statewide last September. Recipients are placed in one of
four tiers, starting with a transitional program-which includes
GED studies-for people who aren't prepared for the workforce.
The second tier places men and women in community service
positions. Next comes subsidized employment and, finally,
unsubsidized employment.
On paper, this strategy allows a caseworker more flexibility
than in New York for helping a recipient get targeted, relevant
assistance before being pushed off welfare. Wisconsin has also
hiked funding for child care, transportation and emergency grants
to support people in fmding and keeping jobs. Governor Tommy
Thompson increased spending for W-2 by $178 million last year,
despite the fact that the state's welfare roll has declined from
98,295 families in January 1987 to 31,476 last September.
The system's flaw, according to critics, is that it has stripped
the rolls without worrying about the consequences. A recent study
by the Employment and Training Institute at the University of
Wisconsin in Milwaukee followed all W-2 clients in Milwaukee
County from January 1996 to March 1997. The study found that
most welfare recipients could fmd jobs-but usually for only
short periods of time and for below-poverty-line wages. Seventy-
five percent of the single parents that joined the labor force in
early 1996 were no longer employed by the beginning of 1997.
The problem, says Anne Stratham of Wisconsin's Women and
Poverty Public Education Initiative, is that the state has ignored the
four-tier structure and moved as many people as possible into
unsubsidized employment. Once a recipient is in these two cate-
gories, obtaining education or vocational training to do better
becomes far more difficult. "You have to work 30 to 40 hours a
week and go to classes in the evenings. You're not given child care
[for time in school]. It's pretty much impossible to do," Stratham
says. "After a lot of lobbying, the legislature wrote in some provi-
sions for education, but the governor line-item vetoed those out."
"If Jason Turner is coming to New York, you're in for quite a
ride," she says .
I
NEED TO KNOW!
I
_ __ ___ _ __ .J
IN PRINT
"ORGANIZING" ..
"ORGANIZING BRIErS"
These two newsletters from the Center for
Community Change in Washington, D.C., cover wel-
fare reform and work issues in broad strokes. News
updates on court cases, state policies and organiz-
ing initiatives give info from around the country on
how welfare reform is and isn't working-all writ-
ten from an activist's perspective. 202-342-0594.
WWW.WELrAREINrO.ORG
A cyberwarehouse of information on every aspect
of welfare reform, this website by the Welfare
Information Network covers more than 40 sub-
jects, each with dozens of links, articles and
background pages. There may be web welfare
resources not referenced at this site, but it's
hard to imagine what they might be.
"AFTER. Al"DC: WELrAR.E-TQ-WORK
CHOICES AND CHAIIEHGES
rOR STATES"
The Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation
is a fairly centrist group that researches how well
welfare poliCies perform. This 132-page MDRC book
by Dan Bloom provides clear-headed-albeit slightly
wonkish-ideas on how welfare reform can be
implemented, backed up by a lot of evidence. If
you're looking for an angry screed, this will disap-
point. 212-532-3200.
"CREATING SOCIAL CAPITAL AT CUNY:
A COMPARISON or mGHER. EDUCATION
PB.OGR.A.MS roR Al"DC RECIPIENTS"
An in-depth look at several pre-TANF education pro-
grams for welfare recipients, with data galore on
what worked and why. Unabashedly pro-education,
this 1996 report from the Howard Samuels State
Management and Policy Center at CUNY still tells the
bad with the good. 212-642-2974.
"MAKING THE SHOE rlT:
CREATING A WORK-PREP SYSTEM
rOR A LARGE AND DIVERSE
WELrARE POPULATION"
Published by Project Match in Chicago, this study is
savvy enough to recognize that what works for some
welfare recipients won't for others. From providing
"lower rung" activities for the chronically out of
work to promoting workplace diversity, this 1996
booklet digs deeply into the real-world problems
that plague welfare-to-work initiatives.
312-755-2255.
CITY LIMITS
r- ---------------------------------------------------- ---------------------- ---------------- -----
: VITAL STATS
I
I
Rudy's Welfare Undercount
M
ayor Giuliani likes shiny new 1,200,000
welfare statistics almost as ...
much as he likes the city's Eot
gilded crime rates. A few :r:o 1,150,000
weeks ago he boasted to the ;
press that the number of public assistance recip- M 1,100,000
ients in New York City has dropped to its lowest
level since 1968. !il
But the mayor is telling only part of the story. r.t
If you include the federal Supplemental H
Security Income program (SSI), the overall :r:o
number of people on welfare in New York City =
is actually about the same today as it was in III
1992-and higher than in any year prior to that, m
400,000
380,000
c
r-
:r:o
360,000
Eot
:r:o
r.t
I
340,000
M
M
0
II:
:r:o
320,000
r.t
...
uj
1,050,000
1,000,000
950,000
900,000
going as far back as 1932, when the federal gov- fII
ernment established the modem safety net. The 2
Public Assistance Enrollment (left scale)
uj
300,000
850,000
SSI program provides income support for the ;1
elderly poor, as well as disabled and blind adults
S.S.I. Enrollment (right scale)
and children. Lately, the rate of growth in the 110
800,000
280,000
SSI program has been very high-more than 31 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997
percent since 1992, according to city data-
thanks primarily to a rapid increase in the num-
ber of disabled men and women joining the rolls
in recent years. The increase in seniors on the
program has been comparatively marginal. And
Public assistance enrollment-including both AFDC and Home Relief-peaked in 1994 and declined to
906,000 last yea,: Enrollment in the federal Supplemental Security Income program has continued rising
throughout the 1990s, reaching 378,000 last year.
while the number of children on SSI has also risen, it accounts for only a frac-
tion of the hike.
It's basically a trade-off with the city and state, says one federal official.
"One year the city's numbers will be up and the federal numbers will go
down. The next year the federal numbers go up and the city numbers go
down," explains Carmen Ross of the Social Security Administration. "It's all
paper. It just means they're getting the money from somewhere else."
Iy attributed to the decline in the city's own welfare caseload, Ross says.
People lose their public assistance check--or can't get one in the first place
because of the city's aggressive diversion efforts-and qualify for SSI instead.
Indeed, the city has been careful to make all welfare applicants ftle an appli-
cation for SSI if there's any chance they would qualify for that program.
In other words, a significant percentage of the growth in SSI can be direct-
Combining SSI into the public assistance numbers is a more accurate way
of counting the city's welfare population, some experts say. And while the
combined total has certainly dropped since the city's economy bottomed out
Combined enrollment in public assistance and S.S.I., New York City, 1969-1997
1,500,000 .....-----------------------,
1,400,000 ..-------------------.-I ...... t----l
1,300,000 1---------------------, ................ 1--:::1
1,200,000 1--___ .................. ..--------- - ___. ...... ...-;I-IIr.-..
1,100,000 ....... ............... ___ ., .... t_.r__- ___ .... ._tl_l ............. __
1,000,000 ................. --.t .............. --.t .............. +-t ............. +-t .............. ....-t ....... r--.-....-t ....... r--.-..
.... ............... ............. .... ............... .-tI-l ............. --
800,000 ...................................................................... I-1 ..... ...-;I-1 ...... ...-;I-IIr.-..
700,000 ............................................................. ...-; ...... ...... ...-;I-IIr.-...
600,000 ___ ___ --... ____ ____ ...... ...... l....a...&...I ................ __
(from 1,484,887 people on welfare in 1994 to
1,284,147 today), comparing the overall drop
these days to the booming 1960s heavily over-
estimates the role played by the administration.
What's more, the number of people applying
for welfare has been a consistent 18,000 or so per
month in recent years-regardless of who occu-
pies Gracie Mansion, according to city data.
Of course, no one should underestimate the
impact of the city's effort to move people off the
welfare rolls. Many who have lost their benefits do
not qualify for SSI, and currently receive no pub-
lic support. The number of Fair Hearings request-
ed by recipients whose benefits have been cut off
by the welfare department has risen to about 8,000
a month this year, up from about 6,500 in 1993
(when the welfare population was far larger).
Giuliani is correct about one important point:
The decline in the city-funded welfare rolls has
saved the city a mint. City revenues are covering
the cost of fewer welfare checks than at any time
since 1968. But the feds are picking up much of
the difference-which is ultimately covered by
1969 1973 1977 1981 1985 1989 1993 1997 taxpayers, anyway. -Andrew White
MARCH 1998
-
The NYS Homeless Housing and Assistance Corporation (HHAC) and
the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance
are seeking technical assistance (TA) expertise in a
variety of fields related to the development of supported housing.
TA providers are needed in the following areas:
appraisals, cost estimating, architectural services, construction management, expediting,
property management, support services, organizational development,
legal expertise in corporate law, real property and tax matters,
LIHTC, abstract companies (title searches), asset management, fmancial
services and computer science technology.
To obtain information regarding the RFQ and for a copy
of the RFQ, contact Ruth Triolo at (518) 432-0100.
RFQ submissions are due to JJAC by 5:00 PM 3/18/98.
Bureau of Supported Housing Development
488 Broadaway - Room 201
Albany, NY 12243
For copies of the RFP and further information, please call (518) 432-0 105.
Reach 20,000
readers in the
nonprofit sector,
government
and property
management.
ADVERTISE
IN
CITY
LIMITS
Call John Ullmann at
(212) 479-3321 or
(91 7) 598-1068
for pager.
BankersTrust Company
Community Development Group
-
A resource for the non-profit


Gary Hattem, Managing Director
Amy Brusiloff, Vice President
130 Liberty Street
10th Floor
New York, New York 10006
Tel: 212,250, 7118 Fax: 212,250,8552
CITY LIMITS
Greenberg, leader of the Interfaith Assembly for the
Homeless, the protesters eventually decide to stay in the
.. -.-... . . - ~ .. .' .".-
park until the end of the year.
Relying on interviews with the participants and
published accounts of the period, liter attempts to
reconstruct the speech and thoughts of the homeless
men, the activists who helped them, and the politicians
they targeted.
liler has combined some of the players into composite char-
acters, a technique which may aggravate readers who
REVIEW
I n Bed With Ed
remember these events fIrst-hand. In one of Jiler's
less restrained moments, Ed Koch, not a man known
for karmic transformations, hands Larry Locke a
quarter and blesses him in front of Zabar 's on
By Thomas Kamber
"Sleeping With the Mayor: A True
Story," by John Jiler, Hungry Mind
Press, 1997, 382 pages, $25.
F
or a few years in the late 1980s, the
homeless managed to push themselves
into the conscience of America. As indi-
viduals, they stood daily on street cor-
ners and made their case for help. As a
group, they found more political means of expres-
sion. Through organized encampments, squatting
campaigns, protests--even a march from New
Washington-they questioned whether the world's richest
country was willing to deal with its poorest people.
Ten years later, in thousands of municipal laws, budget allo-
cations and court decisions, America has delivered its answer.
Atlanta and Seattle have made it illegal to lie down on public
sidewalks. Jacksonville, Florida passed a law against sleeping
in public spaces and washing clothes in public fountains or
lakes. In Los Angeles, "sleep zones" have been created where
the homeless recline behind a line painted on the sidewalk until
they are rousted at dawn and their cardboard boxes are taken
away and trash-heaped.
While some cities- with New York at the forefront-have
allocated significant resources to shelters, services and transi-
tional housing, overall expenditures on low-income housing
have always been inadequate. Since the mid-1970s, housing
costs have risen for the poor faster than their incomes-and
have far, far outpaced federal housing subsidies. We seem to
have decided we can live with the homeless-as long as we
don't have to look at them.
John Jiler's remarkable new book, "Sleeping with the
Mayor," pushes us to place the homeless back at center stage.
J iler returns us to a six -month period in 1988 when the nation-
al response to homelessness was still being formed.
The book chronicles the events of "Kochville," a protest by
homeless people in the latter half of that year. Jiler follows the
trail of Larry Locke and Duke York, two homeless leaders who
come to City Hall Park for a one-night sleep-in to raise aware-
ness of homelessness during the annual budget hearings. At the
instigation of then-Councilwoman Ruth Messinger and Marc
MARCH 1998
Passover.
Yet even here Jiler is making an
important point. Despite the hos-
tility of many activists who
fought Ed Koch's "bed of nails"
shelter strategy, Jiler presents
Hizzoner as a complex, often com-
passionate man. The portrait may
seem like a whitewash to Koch crit-
ics, but the book would do well to
spark a reassessment of Koch's
record on this issue. After ail, it was
on his watch that the city embarked on
the nation's most signifIcant urban
housing initiatives.
In his sketches of the homeless, J iter
doesn't shy away from their drug abuse,
violence and pathologies. But he also
expresses respect for them as individuals
and praises their courage in daring to shape their own history.
At one point, Locke is asked to open for Jesse Jackson at the
Cathedral of St John the Divine. As his speech builds toward its
planned conclusion where Larry is to declare, "I am Larry Locke. I
exist," event organizers cut him off abruptly to yield the podium to
Jackson's anival. Locke's unspoken words resonate as powerfully
as anything Jackson or anyone else ever said about the homeless.
Yet for all the storytelling, Jiler never forgets that homeless-
ness was directly linked to the massive loss of affordable hous-
ing among the poor.
In New York, if only for a few years, homeless people were
accorded a measure of respect. For a time, real solutions were
sought to the crisis in low-income housing, and the results are
visible in the thousands of new and renovated apartments in
neighborhoods like the South Bronx.
As with any book built around historical events, we know
the outcome before we turn the fust page. "Sleeping With the
Mayor" makes us see the same events-and our present com-
fort level with homelessness-in a different light.
Kochville and Koch's housing initiatives are now history.
Once again we've grown accustomed to seeing the homeless
living ghostlike, sleeping in shadows, moving onto the streets
after everyone else has gone home.
To his credit, John Jiler has succeeded in bringing them back
into the light.
Thomas Kamber is a research associate at CUNY's Center for
Urban Research.
-
- - I I ! I I - " - ~ ' ."".-
CITYVIEW
Bad Diploma-cy
Professor Sandi
Cooper, an ex-
officio member
of the CUNY
Board of
Trustees, is
chair of the
University
Faculty Senate,
-
By Sandi Cooper
I
nvited to appear as a talking head on a local TV station's
discussion about the City University, I found myself up
against two opponents of remedial education-men with
degrees from elite private colleges and absolutely no
social contact with CUNY students, Well-dressed, well-
connected and pleased with their own success, they wanted to
"save" CUNY from low standards and "insure" that the
degrees we issued were worthwhile,
Feeling ambushed, I left the studio furious with myself for
agreeing to this set-up. Then an employee carrying TV equip-
ment shyly came up to me.
"You were great," he said. ''I'm a graduate of Manhattan
Community College, and you were absolutely on target."
It was yet another accidental encounter with a successful
CUNY graduate-one of the thousands my colleagues and I
run into wherever we go-in banks, in offices, in the state leg-
islature, in Mayor Rudy Giuliani's own city bureaucracies.
In his recent recommendation that CUNY's six community
colleges, which serve 65,000 students in New York's
five boroughs, cease offering remedial education and
leave that function to private contractors, Mayor
Giuliani disregards the hard-won accomplishments of
these young men and women from the era of open
admissions.
Whatever our shortcomings-and our shortages of
resources-the City University has helped the city
fashion a middle class made up of minorities and eth-
nic groups that otherwise would not have attended
college.
The mayor is basing his plan to remove remedial
education from the community colleges on one
apparently damning statistic: Only one percent of
students receive their degrees within two years.
Everyone familiar with community colleges
knows that graduation rates are the least important
measure of the system. The mission of the two-year colleges is
not to post impressive test scores or graduation rates. It is to
give people who are academically disadvantaged an opportu-
nity to fmd a niche in society and give them help in their career
ambitions.
Instead of citing stats, we need to look at what happens to
students as they pass through the system. Have their lives
improved? Has the life of the city benefited? Have the schools
provided services to students that have helped them get ahead
in their lives? By those standards, I think the colleges have
been a major success.
Graduation rates are kept low by a number of factors. Many
community college students transfer to four-year colleges,
both public and private, prior to getting their two-year associ-
ate's degree. Others get the job training they need and quit
school to join the workforce. And many of our students regis-
ter to take a few classes without ever intending to graduate.
After eight years, nearly 50 percent of CUNY community
college students do, in fact, graduate. Nationally, a 25 percent
community college graduation rate within four to five years is
standard.
Why is the average student's tenure so much longer in the
city? Because the typical CUNY student doesn't fit the stan-
dard profile of other college students around the nation. That's
what makes the system so valuable. They're immigrants;
they're often poor; they're late bloomers; they're people who
wake up to the realization that they are ready to do serious
work later in life than the typical middle-class freshman. Many
have GEDs or have not been in classes for years and need to
build skills for COllege-level work,
A full 70 percent of CUNY students at some point in their
college careers attend school part-time. Many of our stu-
dents-two-thirds- work one or two jobs to make ends meet
and simply don't have time to take classes full-time. Others go
part-time because they can't afford full-time tuition.
And as many as 40 percent of the students are adults with
family obligations who are forced to drop out of schools for
years before returning to get their degrees.
Needless to say, these are not the easiest students to deal
with because they often need remedial classes to be capable of
performing at the college level. But the effort is worth it when
you consider what is gained.
At CUNY's community colleges, 35 to 40 percent of stu-
dents requiring remedial classes move into regular courses
after only one semester. Most of the rest pass out of remedia-
tion after two semesters.
If the community colleges are not permitted to provide
remedial courses, they will have to turn away the mass of stu-
dents who need their help. The mayor's proposal would result
in plummeting enrollment-and possibly the end of some
schools as educational centers in their communities.
It's clear that Giuliani's attack fits perfectly with his long-
term, not-so-well-disguised objective: to downsize the univer-
sity and reduce the public sector, just like the Manhattan
Institute and Change New York suggest. Without remediation,
he could justify closing down some of the system's campuses,
replacing them with fly-by-night private contractors who
would deliver remediation services for, he says, a fraction of
the current cost.
As it stands now, New York City's contribution to its com-
munity colleges is already among the lowest of any munici -
pality in the country, despite the fact that CUNY tuition is
among the highest. And where do most of these remedial stu-
dents the mayor vilifies come from? The very same public
school system that Giuliani gutted during his first term.
In attempting to abolish remedial classes, the mayor is pun-
ishing others for his own failings and threatening one of the
best vehicles low-income New Yorkers have of escaping edu-
cational-and economic-poverty .
CITVLlMITS
Point and Click
Watchdog:
Tracking City Spending
L
ooking for budget information that Mayor Rudolph
Giuliani isn't writing press releases about? Seek out the
web site of the city's Independent Budget Office, the
newly minted budget watchdog that-surprise-has already
managed to get on the mayor's bad side.
The site is home to analysis and forecasts written for the
average voter. The mayor's priorities are made clear, highlight-
ing fun facts like 18 cents of every city tax dollar go to fIre,
police and social services, but only 3 cents end up being spent
on transportation and buildings combined, and a mere penny is
tossed to city parks. The rno recommends as bedtime reading
"New York City's Fiscal Outlook" and "Analysis of the
Mayor's Executive Budget" There is also interesting perspec-
tive on the implications of changes in the welfare law, school
funding trends and dozens of other city spending topics.
But the jewel of the site is the staff directory. It lists the issue
and city agency that is each rno staffer's specialty. Have an
arcane question that city bureaucrats have been loathe to
answer? Just call the rno at 212-442-0632, request the appro-
priate budget specialist and fIre away.
All this sharing of public information could be disconcert-
ing to a news-conscious mayor. Maybe that's why he failed to
include any money for this charter-mandated office in his pro-
posed 1998-99 budget.
Point your browser to: http://www. ibo.nyc.ny.us
WonkHNvttn:
The National Scene
W
ith all the issues to keep track of in New York City, it
can be difficult to keep up on the national scene as
well. That's where Carnegie Mellon's web site-
aptly called Policy.com--comes in handy.
The site offers a continuous scroll of news flashes on the lat-
est policy stories gripping Washington. Its "Issue of the Week"
section focuses on one subject, such as the budget surplus, and
offers published analysis from both the left and the right.
Policy.com is also a useful research tool. Searching by topic,
visitors to the site can read or listen to full texts of conferences
from around the country, browse through a virtual library of
analysis or link to important think tanks, associations, media
companies and other organizations.
Its newsstand page also offers a useful scan of 18 national
magazines, including Mother Jones, The Nation, The
Economist, The New Republic and American Spectator, giving
synopses of features and other articles of interest going back six
months.
For the hard core, there's a 24-hour policy chat room. Or
you can match wits against the national policy and budget
quizzes. While the perspective is almost exclusively national
and pro-establishment, it remains a good starting point for
keeping up on Beltway news and research.
Point your browser to: http://wwwpolicy.com
MARCH 1998
Banki ng:
Money Talks
I
f information is power, the Federal Financial Institutions
Examination Council's web site is a Mustang V-8, com-
plete with supercharger. The FFIEC, comprised of fIve
federal banking oversight agencies, has linked up a serious
collection of information on everything from compliance with
the original Community Reinvestment Act to analysis of the
more recent Riegle Community Development and Regulatory
Improvement Act. If you need to know anything about
banks-including specific details on institutional perfor-
mance-this site is the place to go.
On the Federal Reserve System's National Information
Center page, the top 100 banks in the country are listed by
assets (New York's own Chase Manhattan is number one, with
$291.5 billion). Hyperlinks bring up balance sheets, loans and
other fInancial information for the last two years.
The National Credit Union Administration's page contains
every report this decade from every credit union in the country,
including investments, loan portfolios, assets and liabilities.
The Office of Thrift Supervision homepage has institution data,
banking regs, public information, a list of who's applying to be
regulated and much more. It even includes popular Freedom of
Information requests.
The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act page features instant
demographic analysis. Type in any home address and you will
get a census snapshot of that neighborhood including median
income, percentage of minority households and the number of
owner-occupied buildings. And if you ever had a desire to learn
more about the FFIEC-like what does it do, exactly?-the
answer is here. There's an archive of every press release by the
agency since 1979.
Point your browser to: http://www.jJi.ec.govl
Netting the Dough,
On-line Training Wheels
. Broke? Check out Grants Web, sponsored by the Society of
Research Administrators. The site is an extended listing of
resources, including links to federal and private funders
and other large link homepages. Those who can properly
navigate this extremely dense site will also be rewarded
with many grantmakers' policies and forms. Point your browser
to: http://www.webfie.com/cws/sra/resource.htm
. For nonprofIts tentatively dipping into the web or just think-
ing about it, Tech News, a bimonthly on-line newsletter pub-
lished by the United Way of New York City, provides a begin-
ner's guide for making the most of web technology. Recent arti-
cles have explained how to plan simple, affordable sites and
buy software. The site also showcases useful services. One, for
example, reminds groups about grant deadlines. Point your
browser to: http://www.uwnyc.orgltech.htm
AMMO
-

LETTERS
-
(continued from page 4)
Protecting the viability of this neigh-
borhood has been important to all of us.
And it has not been done at the expense of
other neighborhoods. In addition to its
work in Sandtown-Winchester, The
Enterprise Foundation has worked with
community organizations across the city,
providing loans, equity investments and
technical assistance that has led to devel-
opment of 3,000 homes and apartments.
The Sandtown-Winchester transforma-
tion effort has also brought money into the
city by successfully competing for private
and federal dollars. Sandtown-Winchester
was key in winning Baltimore's federally
designed Empowerment Zone and the
neighborhood was also selected as a feder-
al home ownership zone with $5.2 million
to help fmance 322 new homes. Private
funding from national foundations and
others has created life skills training,
access to health care and computer leam-
ing centers for residents.
These are all hallmarks of a slow, but
steady effort of a community to reinvent
itself. The road has not been without its
ruts, but all of us are certain that the jour-
ney is worthwhile.
Bart Harvey,
Chairman and CEO
The Enterprise Foundation
Emmanuel Price,lnterim CEO
Community Building in Partnership
Smooch, Smooch, Vito
Although the article "Brooklyn Bias
Charge in AIDS Funding" (Briefs,
February 1998) is factually accurate, it
omits the real story behind Ryan White
Title 1 Emergency Funding for Brooklyn.
First, Brooklyn residents living with
HIV / AIDS and others concerned about
AIDS funding inequities brought their
concerns to the New York City Health and
Human Services HIY Planning Council in
a forceful and organized way. In response
the council asked the New York City
Department of Health to address funding
gaps in Brooklyn and other areas outside
of Lower Manhattan through the alloca-
tion of supplemental funding. While these
funds were not sufficient to fill all these
critical gaps in services, most Brooklyn
residents felt that this was a good start and
an indication that we are being heard.
Second, and equally important,
Brooklyn residents living with HIV and
AIDS activists discovered once again that
we have a strong and committed advo-
cate-Assemblyman Vito Lopez-on our
side. Assemblyman Lopez represents
Bushwick and Williamsburg, communities
in desperate need of HIY/AIDS services
and particularly client advocacy. His tire-
less efforts to ensure that our voices were
heard and that client advocacy and other
HIY services were funded in North
Brooklyn resulted in substantially more
Ryan White Title 1 client advocacy funds
being allocated to Brooklyn-based pro-
grams than ever before!
Carol Horwitz, Director
Comprehensive Rights Unit
(HIVIAlDS Advocacy)
Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A
No Strang.r to
N.lghborhoods
City Limits' celebration of the Regional
Plan Association's recent work with com-
munity organizations is appreciated
("Lone Ranger No More," November
1997), but the article described Regional
Plan Association as "once remote and
removed" from issues of concern to low-
income communities and out of touch with
community organizations. There is sub-
stantial evidence to the contrary.
Regional Plan could never influence
policy by whispering into an elite's ears. It
was not a mouthpiece for the rich and
powerful; most often, it was a vehicle for
explaining the needs of low-income com-
munities to the rich and powerful and try-
ing to get their support for remedies.
For example, in 1962, when the last
open oceanfront in New York City, Breezy
Point, was about to become a city of
60,000 middle-income residents, Regional
Plan mobilized more than 100 community
organizations, major national civil rights
leaders and a number of citywide civic
organizations to save it for a public park.
In 1963, Regional Plan organized a
televised town meeting, the fust use of TY
for public participation in planning. A
social worker in Harlem organized a view-
er group of East Harlem mothers meeting
in a public housing apartment. They con-
tinued to meet long after the five-week
program ended, attended Regional Plan
conferences and provided the basis for a
proposal-never funded-to reorganize
the welfare system on the basis of recipi-
ents planning their own lives.
Throughout the Regional Plan's exten-
sive public participation programs, the
association put most of its recruiting ener-
gy into seeking participation from low-
and moderate-income communities and
recruiting black and Hispanic participants.
In 1973, the mayor of Paterson, New
Jersey, asked Regional Plan to study the
potential of Paterson. The association
insisted on testing the findings on an array
of citizens before publicizing them. One
meeting participant observed, "I never
would have dared bring together a group as
diverse as this." The participants were
enthusiastic about the report and carried the
slide presentation into their communities.
In the 1988-90 "New Directions for
The Bronx" grassroots planning project
for Borough President Fernando Ferrer,
the 800 participants were recruited almost
entirely through several hundred commu-
nity organizations.
In the 1970s and '80s, as community
organizations became increasingly effec-
tive, Regional Plan publicized their
achievements in studies and in a slide pre-
sentation on the South Bronx for the Ford
Foundation.
As for policies, the fust purpose of the
1968 Second Regional Plan was to enlarge
opportunities and end the isolation of low-
income people. Regional Plan consulted
an elite lOO-person advisory committee in
preparing the 1968 Plan. It included lead-
ers of the NAACP and the Urban League
as well as anti-poverty advocates, but most
of the members were business and profes-
sionalleaders. Their waming to the staff-
that it would have to address problems of
poverty to create a healthy region-result-
ed in a separate RPA publication proposing
anti-poverty programs.
One specific point: Roger Starr [the
former city housing commissioner who
espoused the anti-neighborhood policy of
plarmed shrinkage] may have been a pan-
elist in the 1970s, but he was never a prin-
cipal speaker and was never "honored" by
the Association, as reported in City Limits.
In evaluating the Regional Plan's
implementation record over the last four
decades, remember that its staff almost
never exceeded 30 and usually was closer
to 20--trying to do research and carry out
more than a dozen campaigns in three
states at one time.
As long as Regional Plan's research is
widely respected, it can help persuade peo-
ple as to policies that community organi-
zations want to achieve. As Al Appleton
said in City Limits, "Twenty years ago, you
didn't have the community group structure
you have now." So Regional Plan's rela-
tionship to community groups wisely has
changed. But RPA was no stranger to com-
munity organizations and the needs of
low-income and minority neighborhoods
over the past 40 years.
William Shore, Senior Associate
Institute of Public Administration
(and Regional Plan Association staff
memberfor 35 years)
CITY LIMITS
The Central Brooklyn Partnership. a nonprofit. community-based organi-
zation. develops programs that build financial self-sufficiency and lead-
ership skills while advancing a community reinvestment agenda among
the shareholders of a financial cooperative in Central Brooklyn The
Partnership is seeking the following positions:
DIRECTOR OF YOUTlI PROGRAMS, CBP. The Youth Empowerment Program
(YEP) organizes and trains young people to become economically self-
empowered. cooperative-minded leaders using popular education tech-
niques and a financial literacy curriculum. The Partnership is seeking
someone to spearhead a dynamic. grassroots youth movement. The
Director' s responsibilities include: recruiting a broad youth participant
base and maintaining strong relationships with young people; building
an on-going youth organizing movement; designing YEP programs and
curriculum; building relationships with local organizations and resource
people; managing YEP staff. Candidates must have: a strong love of
young people and the ability to motivate them; an undergraduate
degree; strong writing and communication skills; at least two years'
experience managing youth programs. working directly with young peo-
ple and/ or designing curriculum. Experience in youth financial literacy.
entrepreneurship and/or school-based programming is also desired.
DIRECTOR OF SISTERS LENDING CIRCLE, CBP. The Sisters Lending Circle
program (SLC) is an on-going campaign to empower women. specifical-
ly those who receive public assistance. The program goals are for the
participating "Sisters to gain personal and financial self-sufficiency and
to build collective responses to community concerns. The Director' s
responsibilities include: recruiting participants; designing and updating
a curriculum with the Sisters themselves through a participatory
process; working closely with the Sisters and building support systems
where needed; identifying workshop trainers and facilitators; building a
network of organizations. services and individuals that can serve as
resources for the Sisters; managing SLC staff and volunteers; launch-
ing organizing campaigns around issues that affect the SLC constituen-
cy. Candidates must have: at least two years experience working with
women' s development. economic justice or self-employment programs;
an undergraduate degree or commensurate experience. Experience in
popular education and curriculum design is also desired.
ASCAL OFFICER, CBP. The Partnership is seeking a financial custodian
for an organization with a modest budget and full-time staff of four. This
is a part-time position requiring approximately 10 to 15 hours per week.
The Fiscal Officer administers the financial record-keeping of the
Partnership. The responsibilities include: full-charge bookkeeping and
fund accounting through general ledger; maintaining full compliance with
all city. state. and federal reporting requirements; servicing accounts
payable; accounts receivable invoicing; maintaining payroll journal and
ADP payroll reports; assisting Executive Director in the periodic of fiscal
reports; monitoring of financial statements; maintaining files and
records of organizational bank accounts; producing audit support
schedules as needed and support auditors in preparation of annual tax
returns. etc. Candidates must have: undergraduate or graduate degree
in accounting; at least four years experience in nonprofit accounting and
bookkeeping; ability to provide flexible work schedule.
Please mail. fax or e-mail cover letter and resume to: Central Brooklyn
Partnership (Indicate "YEp, ' "SLC. or "Rscal" Search on envelope)
1205 Fulton Street. Brooklyn. NY 11216. Fax: 718-398-8972. Tel: 718-
399-1763. ext. 309. E-mail: mwgriffith@aol.com.
DIRECTOR OF PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT. Flatbush-based non-profit commu-
nity development agency seeks experienced individual to manage proper-
ty development projects. both housing and commercial. BA/ BS required
(Master's preferred) and at least 4 years experience in project design &
development. coordinating development teams. financing and neighbor-
hood planning. Must have strong computer skills. Salary $40K plus ben-
efits. DIRECTOR OF HOUSING PROGRAMS. Seeking experienced individual to
MARCH 1998
manage the day-to-day operation of housing programs. including respon-
sibility for providing specific "Technical Assistance Services " under city
and state contracts. Duties include: counseling & organizing tenants.
conducting field surveys and research. preparing building profiles and
reports. setting up workshops and training sessions. negotiating with
banks and other lenders. analyzing building cash flow and other financial
structures. leading and attending community meetings. preparing
required reports to city and state agencies. etc. BA/ BS required and at
least 3 years experience in housing counseling. community organizing.
urban development or related field. Must have strong computer skills.
Housing development experience is a plus. Salary $30K plus benefits.
Cover letter and resume to Steven Schubert at Flatbush Development
Corp. Fax: 718-693-8702.
PROGRAM COORDINATOR sought to administer an innovative savings program
promoting asset accumulation and economic self-sufficiency in low-income
community. Requires BA. strong writing/oral communication skills. Must
want to work one-on-one with residents. Bilingual a plus. Send/ fax cover let-
ter with relevant experience and resume to Peter Bray. Development
Program. Mount Hope Housing Company. 2003-05 Walton Ave . Bronx. NY
10453. Fax: 718-299-5623.
The Workplace Project seeks EXECUT1VE DIRECTOR to run dynamic New York
workers center organizing Latino immigrants for better wages/ working con-
ditions. Guide organizing strategy; develop membership; fight exploitation
in underground economy. Fluent Spanish/ English. Interviewing in March-
April. Position starts June 1. Fax letter/ resume to Workplace Project. 516-
565-5470. Call: 516-565-5377.
ORGANIZER. Seeking neighborhood/ issues organizer in South Bronx.
Develop organizing campaigns and actions; door-to-door recruitment; lead-
ership development; base bui lding. Requirements: 2 years organizing expe-
rience; commitment to CO as means to build power; Bilingual
English/ Spanish. Salary based on expo plus benefits. Resume & cover let-
ter: Mili Bonilla. Mothers on the Move. 928 Intervale Ave . Bronx. NY
10459.
" The Brollx is
till example
to the rest of
Americtl."
- President Clinton
The Bronx
tr1.'td
All-America City
'IIII!
1')";- WINNlR
The Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation. eco-
nomic consultant to Borough President Fernando Ferrer. is
looking for several "can do" individuals to join its team and
accelerate economic growth in the Bronx. If you've got top-
notch skills. can excel in a fast-paced. high energy environ-
ment and believe you can contribute to this All-American
success story. we want to hear from you.
EMPOWERMENT ZONE (El) DIRECTOR: Economic develop-
ment expert needed to direct multimillion dollar Bronx EZ pro-
gram. Will identify and attract corporate relocation prospects, as-
semble financial incentive packages and orchestrate delivery of
job readiness services to EZ residents. Applicant must be both vi-
sionary and methodical and possess superior management and
community relations skills. Bilingual a plus.
REAL ESTATE DIRECTOR: Industry professional needed to
compile and maintain inventory of available commercial/in-
dustrial sites and manage client needs from site inspections
through closings. Familiarity with government incentive
programs helpful.
LOAN DIRECTOR: Experienced lender to identify and screen loan
applicants, secure private sector financing and package/service
loans. Experience in credit analysis and SBA lending a must.
BUSINESS SERVICES DIRECTOR: Small business expert to in-
crease entrepreneur & small-mid sized business growth through
technical assistance and advocacy. Bilingual a plus.
RESEARCH MANAGER: Experienced professional to conduct/ac-
cess primary and secondary research, formulate statistics and in-
terpret findings on Bronx labor, industry, lifestyles, etc.
Coyer letter and resume may be mailed to BOEDe, 198 E.
161 Street, suite 201, Bronx, NY 10451, faxed to
(718)590-3499/(718)590-5814, or e-mailed to
info@boedc.org. Be sure to indicate position sought.
Salaries commensurate with experience.
BOEDe is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
continued on page 36
continued from page 35
Non-profit community development organization seeks DIRECTOR FOR EC0NOM-
IC DEVElOPMENT. Position includes management of Business Improvement
District, development of strategies for the involvement of local institutions in
economic development efforts and community revitalization. Competitive
salary and excellent benefits. Experience with community economic develop-
ment and financial management expected. Send resume to Dart Westphal,
Mosholu Preservation Corporation, 75 E. 208th St., Bronx, NY 10467.
The Greater Williamsburg Collaborative seeks an ORGANIZER for a commu-
nity work force and economic development initiative, the Neighborhood
Strategies Project. The Collaborative is a joint initiative of social service
providers and the business sector, joined together to create greater
employment and economic development opportunities. The Organizer' s
duties will include conducting outreach in the local community for the
Collaborative's initiatives; writing a newsletter; developing community com-
puter learning centers (computer expertise not required); and may include
screening applicants for employers. Qualified candidates will have at least
2 years experience in community organizing, employment, social services
or related experience. Knowledge of the Williamsburg community preferred
and bilingual English/Spanish required. Fax resume & letter with salary his-
tory to 718-388-6911.
OFFICE MANAGERIBOOKKEEPER. To work with New Destiny Housing
Corporation, a not-for-profit housing development agency that develops,
CONSULTANT SERVICES
Proposals/Grant Writing
Real Estate Sales/Rentals
Technical Assistance
Employment Programs
Capacity Building
Community Relations
MI(HA(L 6. 8U((1
CONSULTANT
HOUSING, DEVELOPMENT & FUNDRAISING

212-410-3968
fIIIlbucclOaol.com
451 West 48th Street, Suite 2E
New York, New York 10036
M.K. Planning Co.
1It"J:: Developing Ideas; Growing Success
186 Prospect Place #64
Brooklyn, NY 11238
(718) 783-5744
akos@juno.com
Kathryn Albritton
Development Consultant
CO UIITY RBSOUICB BICHIIIB
Co itt.d to lIl' d."lop at of cO laity-basH orraaizalioll
LOIISA r1111C11L .IIIII.IIT COIS8LTIIT
-
lrll .. d rlll.t,d r,t,. ,r,iJd/, (or ."W,d trill,.
to St., 27tb rloor, IYC 10011
2 I 2 344 0 I 9 &
owns, and manages housing for domestic violence survivors.
Responsibilities: office management, bookkeeping, phone coverage, cler-
ical support, liaison with Board of Directors and Committees.
Qualifications: B.A. with office management and bookkeeping experience.
Must be familiar with Microsoft Word and Excel. Strong organization skills
required. Must like public contact and be able to work independently.
Salary: $23,000 to $28,000 with excellent benefits. Send cover letter and
resume to Executive Director, New Destiny Housing Corp., 2 Lafayette
Street, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10007. Fax: 212-577-7759.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR. Citywide association of community-based housing
organizations seeks dynamic Executive Director with exceptional leader-
ship, managerial, financial, and fundraising skills. Required: 5+ years
senior experience in community development and/or housing advocacy and
policy; demonstrated expertise in new program development; strategic plan-
ning; and strong commitment to low-income communities. Salary commen-
surate with experience. Excellent benefits. Send information to Executive
Director Search, ANHD, 305 Seventh Avenue, Suite 2001, New York, NY
10001-6008. Fax: 212-463-9606. EOE
COMMUNITY ORGANIZER. Bronx not-for-profit seeks community organizer to
perform outreach to residential property owners, large and small.
Qualifications: writing skills, computer literacy; ability to communicate
effectively; knowledge of housing regulations and issues. Salary mid-high
twenties, plus health insurance. Fax resume to Linda 718-543-3474.
IRWIN NESOFF ASSOCIATES
management consulting for non-profits
Providing a full range of management support services for
non-profit organizations
o Strategic and management development plans
o Board and staff development and training
o Program design and implementation 0 Proposal and report writing
o Fund development plans 0 Program evaluation
20 St. Johns Place, Brooklyn, New York 11217 (718) 636-6087
Does your nonprofit need corporate, real estate,
tax or other business legal services?
Lawvers Alliance for New York has a staff of skilled lawyers
and a roster of 400 volunteer attorneys from leading NY firms.
We specialize in providing free or low-cost legal services to non-
profit corporations. We also offer helpful publications and work-
shops on many nonprofit legal issues.
To find out if we can help your nonprofit, call 212 219-1800
Lawyers Alliance
99 Hudson Street New York. NY 10013 for New York
Committed to the development of affordable housing
GEORGE C. DELLAPA, ATTORNEY AT LAW
15 Maiden Lane, Suite 1800
New York, NY 10038
212-732-2700 FAX:212-732-2773
Low income housing tax credit syndication. Public and private
financing. HDFCs and nOll or-profit corporations. Condos and co-ops.
J-51 Tax abatement/exemptions. Lending for Historic Properties.
CITY LIMITS
BOOKKEEPING ASSISTANT. Small fast-paced progressive PR firm seeks
part-time bookkeeping assistant. Start March 98. Good computer and
organizational skills and bookkeeping experience required. Knowledge of
One Write Plus a plus. Resume and salary requirements by fax: 212-245-
1889 or email RJRaymond@aol.com. Attn. R. Raymond. No phone calls
please.
DIRECTOR, MENTAL HEALTlI PROJECT. Legal advocacy organization seeks
experienced and dedicated public interest lawyer to manage direct service
advocacy programs, supervise staff, initiate class action litigation, partici-
pate in community coalitions and raise funds for projects serving homeless
and incarcerated mentally ill individuals. Qualified candidates should have
knowledge of mental health issues, including managed care, criminal jus-
tice and homelessness. Must have experience with several or all of the fol-
lowing: fundraising, litigation, program management and system-wide advo-
cacy. Salary range: $35,OO().$50,OOO. Send resume to: Susan Batkin,
Urban Justice Center, 666 Broadway, NYC 10012.
NYC AIDS HOUSING NETWORK COORDINATOR. Supportive Housing Network of
NY seeks energetic self-starter to coordinate NYC AIDS Housing Network.
Research and analyze issues concerning housing/supportive service for
persons with HIVjAIDS. Write policy papers, organize workshops, advocate
for sound AIDS policies on local and state levels. Requirements: BA,
advanced degree preferred. Excellent analytical and communication skills.
NY STAR
WORLD WIDE WEB PAGES
LOW-COST WEB PAGES CUSTOM DESIGNED, OR CREATED
FROM YOUR TEXT FILE OR "CAMERA READY" COPY
JERRY GRAHAM
JERRY@NYSTAR.COM
(212) 260-0894
HTTP://WWW.NYSTAR.COM
SPECIALIZING IN REAL ESTATE
J-51 Tax Abatement/ Exemption. 421A and 421B
Applications 501 (c) (3) Federal Tax Exemptions All forms
of government-assisted housing including LISC/Enterprise,
Section 202, State Turnkey, and NYC Partnership Homes
KOURAKOS & KOURAKOS
Bronx, NY
(718) 585-3187
Attorneys at Law
New York, NY
(212) 551-7809
Providing Professoinal Real Estate Services
to New York's Not-For-Profit Community
10 East 34th Street
6th Floor
ARC ADVISORS
incorporated
LeeM.AUen
Managing Director
New York, NY 10016
Phone: (212) 447-1576
Fax: (212) 213-2650
MARCH 1998
Salary: mid $30's, negotiable/experience. Send resume/ cover letter to:
Supportive Housing Network, 475 Riverside Dr., #250, NYC 10115. Fax:
212-87()'3334.
RECRUITMENT COORDINATOR. Coalition of community-based organizations
seeks person to assist in recruiting community organizers from neighborhoods
and campuses. Four-month poSition available immediately. Hours negotiable.
Consulting fee commensurate with experience. Call Peter at 718-584-0515
BANKING: SENIOR LOAN OFFICER. Lower East Side People's Federal Credit
Union seeks self-motivated articulate individual to expand real estate lending
program focused on co-op loans. BS or MA in finance, business, or urban
affairs, or equivalent experience. Rnancial institution and supervisory expe-
rience a plus. Bilingual (Spanish) preferred. Low to mid-30s + excellent ben-
efits. Cover letter and resume to LESPFCU, 37 Avenue B, NYC 10009. EOE.
OFFICE SPACE
OFFICE SPACE WANTID. Small foundation funding grass-roots/ social change
organizations seeks one-person office space (preferably with shared fax
and copier, and occasional use of conference room) . Downtown Manhattan
preferred. Please contact Amy at 212-595-9656 or WagnerFund@aol.com.
OFFICE SPACE AVAIlABLE in a small progressive public relations office on
57th Street. Share communications equipment. Available immediately. Call
R. Raymond at 212-245-0510. continued on page 39
LAWRENCE H. McGAUGHEY
Attorney at Law
Meeting the challenges of affordable housing for 20 years.
ProViding legal services in the areas of General Real Estate,
Business, Trust & Estates, and Elder Law.
217 Broadway, Suite 610
New York, NY 10007
(212) 513-0981
DEBRA BECHTEL - Attorney
Concentrating in Real Estate & Non-Profit Law
Title and loan closings D All city housing programs
Mutual housing associations D Cooperative conversions
Advice to low income co-op boards of directors
313 Hicks Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 780-7994 (718) 624-6850
COMPUTER SERVICES
Hardware Sales:
IBM Compatible Computers
Okidata Printers
Lantastic Networks
Software Sales:
NetworkslDatabase
Accounting
Suites/Applications
Services: NetworkIHardware/Software Installation,
Training, Custom Software, Hand Holding
Morris Kornbluth 718-857-9157
Wi
da
By Carl Vogel
he Wieners haven't lived in New York for 23 years, but growing up, working, raising a family in this city
leaves a mark no mere quarter century away can erase. More than a trace of a Brooklyn accent remains
in Elaine's tales of her great grandchildren's exploits, and from his recliner, Louie wistfully recalls his
days at Clinton High School in Manhattan nearly 80 years ago.
"I used to be a long distance runner on the track team," he says.
"Can you believe it?"
It helps that since retirement they've lived in Hallandale,
Florida-New York's most far-flung suburb. Like Pluto rotating
at the edge of the solar system, southeast Florida is held in an
invisible but constant grip. And the vast distance between planet
and its source of life has created some strange landscapes indeed.
Take Schwartzheimer's. The union of two old New York
standbys-Schwartzberg and Somethinghiemer, according to
Elaine-this deli is packed to the
rafters on Bagel Wednesday, when
buying a dozen gets you another
six for free. The crowd jostles in
line for bialy and borscht, pumper-
nickel and pastrami.
The median age of the patrons
appears to be about 70, however. The
average would be in triple digits if it
wasn't for the Cuban and African-
American attendants pushing
around every fifth customer in a
wheelchair. And pantsuits in tropical
florals and Miami pastels for the
ladies and Sansabelt slacks and
lemon yellow windbreakers on the
men would be a shocking sight dur-
ing a New York February.
the old country-New York and New Jersey-in the 1960s and
'70s are being replaced by a new element. In southeastern Florida,
though, the latest immigrants are young French Canadians.
(Although in Florida, of course, young means "mid 60s.")
A walk around the algae-filled pond that all the best Ro-Len
condos surround quickly proves the Wieners claim-the commu-
nity is beset by "Frenchies." Most of the folks hanging out on the
back decks and the crowd lounging around the swimming pool are
recently retired Quebecois, as are the players at the rec center's
pool tables. They don't shop at the same stores.
They demanded their own, strange food at
Ro-Len's functions. They don't always
speak the language-the minutes of Ro-
Len meetings are now published in French
as well as English. They discontinued the
monthly workshop on how to get the most
from U.S. Social Security, run by a
woman Elaine confides was a member
of the Communist Party in New
York before retiring to Hallandale.
They pushed a vote to close the
bocci ball court.
And, as in New York, the com-
munity's social services are under
siege by budget-cutting newcomers.
The services in this case are the main-
The Digest, Hallandale's paper
whose underwhelming motto is "The ~ ~ ~ : : = : : ~ : ; ; ' ; ~ ~ k
tenance men who stack the deck
chairs around the pool at the end of
the day, trim the hedges and other-
wise keep the place shipshape. For
the older residents like the Weekly That Looks Like a Daily," has
ads for Fyvush Finkel's "From Second
Avenue to Broadway" and kosher restau-
rants galore. Turn the page and you're facing a
blow-out sale by Crazy Jeff, Florida's version of New York's
pitchman-turned-convict Crazy Eddie. But Crazy Jeff is a long-
haired country boy with a glaze in his moonshining eyes that
makes you wonder if maybe his professed insanity has nothing
to do with low, low prices.
At the Ro-Len Retirement Community where Louie and Elaine
live, New York's issues are played out in miniature, with an aging
cast and rows of stuccoed, two-story condos replacing Brooklyn
brownstones. The Jewish and Italian retirees who came down from
Wieners, the four workers also help
put up a screen or change a light bulb,
essential tasks that they are too frail to do themselves. For the
young snowbirds, two maintenance men would suffice. They
can change their own bulbs, merci beaucoup.
"I don't say nothing bad about nobody," Elaine says. "But
they shouldn't come and say we don't need that help just
because they want to save some money. We can't do all that
ourselves anymore. But I don't want to complain."
And with that she helps Louie into his yellow windbreaker,
and they head for their grandchildren's rental car for dinner.
After all, the Tony Roma Early Bird Special ends at six .
CITVUMITS
continued from page 37
SOCIAL WORKER. NMIC seeks an experienced social worker. Requirements:
MSW, bilingual English/ Spanish, 5-10 years experience in grassroots, commu-
nity-based settings with immigrant population. Provide case management,
supervise staff and MSW students, perform administrative tasks. Salary:
Commensurate with experience. Send resumes to: NMIC, 76 Wadsworth Ave,
New York, NY 10033. Fax: 212-928-4180.
PRISON VISmNG PROJECT DIRECTOR. Seeking well-organized and energetic indi-
vidual to oversee and carry out the Prison Visiting Project's principal activities.
Duties include: organizing prison visits to gather information on health care and
solitary confinement; preparing public education materials; researching and
writing reports; recommending policy reforms; fundraising. Must research,
write and communicate effectively. Experience in prison-related issues is pre-
ferred, but not required. Salary commensurate with experience, plus benefits.
Resume and writing samples to Robert Gangi, Executive Director, Correctional
Association of New York, 135 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003.
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR. Renowned children' s chorus seeks a creative dynamic
and dedicated Associate Director to help fulfill its potential for growth and
development. Responsibilities include: overall administration, budgeting, mar-
keting and promotion, fundraising and special events. Prior arts or nonprofit
management experience required. If you are an effective communicator with
strong organizational skills who is motivated by the opportunity to make a valu-
able contribution to this inspirational group of young artists, fax resume, cover
letter, and salary requirements to 718-855-1371 or call 718-243-9447.
Planned Parenthood of New York City is actively recruiting for a COMMUNnY
AFFAIRS COORDINATOR in our Public Affairs department. This person is respon-
Sible for mobilizing people in communities throughout New York City to seek,
support and secure full reproductive rights, safe and adequate reproductive
health care and the education necessary for people to make responsible health
care choices. Create, maintain and utilize a data base of interested PPNYC
activists and supporters. Develop a community organizing work plan that iden-
tifies the demographic characteristics of the constituencies to be targeted dur-
ing the year and describes the methods to be used for mobilizing each con-
stituency. Work interdepartmentally to plan and execute community organizing
events such as educational forums, informational lunches/ receptions, etc. This
successful candidate will have 2-3 years of related and/ or applicable experience
with strong organizational, communication, and people skills. Must have knowl-
edge and demonstrated commitment to reproductive health care issues.
Interested candidates should fax their resume with cover letter and salary
requirement to: Human Resources Manager at 212-274-7218 (No phone calls,
please.) PPNYC is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and minorities
encouraged to apply.
OUTRACH WORKER. Responsibilities: coordination of dropout prevention and
academic enrichment activities. Qualifications: BA, bilingual/Spanish, at least
two years working with young people in educational setting. Salary: low 20s.
Resumes to: UPROSE, 5417 4th Ave. , Brooklyn, NY 11220.
PROGRAM DIRECTOR. AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps seeks a Program
Director with education and programming experience, especially with team-
building programs. Must have excellent communication and people skills and
enjoy working with diverse populations. The Program Director will bear primary
responsibility for the educational , work, and community-building aspects of our
program. Salary: $32,000 plus benefits. Send information to David Rosenn at
AVODAH, 443 Park Avenue South, 11th floor, New York, NY 10016. Tel: 212-
545-7759, Fax: 212-686-1353. E-mail: avodah.jsc@worldnet.att.net.
DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR, AELD DIRECTOR at Project Vote, a national , non-parti-
san organization working to empower low-income and minority citizens, primari-
ly by increasing voter participation. DevDir needs fundraising track record; works
in Downtown Brooklyn office. FieldDir needs volunteer-intensive organizing expe-
rience; can live anywhere. Salaries based on experience, with benefits. Fax let-
ter, resume, references to Joanne (718) 246-7939. Email inquires:
vrdcnat@igc.org.
COMMUNnY ORGANIZER FT work with community organizations, schools, and res-
idents to promote and expand Child Nutrition Programs (school breakfast,
school lunch, summer meals) in East Harlem and Bushwick. Plan
meetings/ events germane to child nutrition; develop project materials.
Qualifications: College graduate; writing, public speaking & computer skills;
team player; community organizing experience preferred. Bilingual
(English/ Spanish). Salary: Mid to upper 20s. Fax cover letter and resume to
CFRC, Janine C. Duke, 212-344-1422.
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