In 2006, New York Magazine identified 50 projects and commissioned the “world’s best architects” composite.

In 2006, the most active and closely watched areas were:

  1. Atlantic Yards, Brooklyn, 2010 & 2016 (changing) See Atlantic Yards Superblocks.
  2. The New Museum, Chelsea. It’s done. Good neighbor? Bad neighbor?
  3. 80 South Street, Downtown, future (changing) approved in 05, so now what?
  4. IAC Headquarters, High Line, 2007 (ceramic pebbles in the glass to save energy)
  5. Silvercup West, Queens, 2009
  6. Freedom Tower, Downtown, 2015!

Now approaching twenty years later for these areas time set aside for an assessment will prove instructive. Comments on the products regarding the social, economic, and environmental concerns are due. The public process used to promote the plans requires comparison with the end product requires analysis. The image source is New York Magazine 2006.

Greenpoint Northside Waterfront

Manhattan/Brooklyn Heights

  1. The Edge Stephen B. Jacobs; Master Plan FXFOWLE and TEN Arquitectos, Sept. 2008
  2. Palmer’s Dock FXFOWLE, phase one, 2008; phase two, 2009
  3. North 8: Greenberg Farrow Architecture, spring 2007
  4. Domino Sugar Site: Rafael Viñoly Architects, Park opened in 2018, ArchDigest: FEMA flood plan ArchRecRev (payportal)
  5. Schaefer Landing: Karl Fischer Architects, 2006
  6. Freedom Tower, David Childs/SOM; World Trade Center Transit Hub Santiago Calatrava; Tower 2, Sir Norman Foster; visitor center, 2011
  7. 101 Warren Street; SOM, Ismael Leyva Architects, 2007
  8. William Beaver House; Developer André Balazs, no completion date
  9. Staten Island Whitehall Ferry Terminal; Fred Schwartz, 2005
  10. Battery Maritime Building; Renovation, Jan Hird Pokorny Associates, 2006
  11. Beekman Street Tower l Gehry Partners, Ismael Leyva Architects
  12. 80 South Street: Santiago Calatrava
  13. Pier 17; Beyer Blinder Belle, no completion date
  14. Drawing Center; Architect TBA, 2011.
  15. East River Waterfront; SHoP and Richard Rogers Ken Smith Landscape Architects, 2009
  16. Brooklyn Bridge Park; Michael Van Valkenburgh, 2012
  17. One Brooklyn Bridge Park/360 Furman Street Creative Design Associates, fall 2007
Upper West Side
  1. Javits Center; Rogers FXFOWLE Epstein, 2010.
  2. West Side Rail Yards No completion date.
  3. Moynihan Station David Childs/SOM, late 2010
  4. High Line; Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, phase one, 2008; phase two, 2009
  5. Chelsea Arts Tower Kosser & Garry Architects, Gluckman Mayner Architects, HOK, Fall 2006.
  6. Vesta 24; Garrett Gourlay Architects and James D’Auria Associates, April 2006.
  7. Marianne Boesky Gallery Deborah Berke & Partners Architects, September 2006.
  8. West 23rd Street building Neil M. Denari Architects, Marc Rosenbaum, Gruzen Samton, 2008.
  9. General Theological Seminary Tower The Polshek Partnership, no completion date.
  10. High Line 519; ROY Co., late 2006
  11. West 19th Street building Ateliers Jean Nouvel, no completion date.
  12. IAC Headquarters Gehry Partners, March 2007.
  13. 516 West 19th Street Selldorf Architects, 2008
  14. The Caledonia Handel Architects, 2008.
  15. Chelsea Market Residence Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects
  16. The Standard, NY The Polshek Partnership, 2007. High Line Club Developers Charles Blaichman and André Balazs, no completion date
  17. Pier 57 Michel De Fournier and Gensler, no completion date
  18. Dia High Line; Roger Duffy/SOM, 2008.

The health and prosperity of the world are at stake in this century. Planning, architecture, urban design, and engineering must become one discipline. It must take power to build connections to a far broader set of responsibilities. The need to produce so we don’t fail our kids, and their kids are now. Are the steps taken by these projects enough?

Are public agencies overwhelmed? Can they force the building of the city that should be built, or managing the one that can be built by those this limited imagination and concise term interests. Our public bodies have enormous authority. They miss opportunities to correct imbalances, leverage resources, and eliminate errors for the lack of political will and the ability to take power?

Anyone what to upgrade this with a starchitecture review?

Connect the Council

City Council

The relationship between the city, the state, and the national government is complex. A close examination of issues that confront NY City Council Members include allocations that the state and federal government share. A focus on how well they apportion allocations from the ground up is on the eight members of the City Council within the Ninth Congressional District. Think of it as an experiment in the idea of common ground. The New York City Council has 51 members with limited terms. We will be focusing on the 40th, but we will happily accept offers to follow the other districts within the congressional envelop. All contributions are held in confidence. We are grateful, we are thankful, we are watchful.

The Report

Have a look at the financial data links and council links below. Other than bits of corruption among the former members, the most notable event was the rise to power of Brad Lander (39th District) to the Office of the Controller.


District 35Crystal HudsonCampaign
District 39Shahana HanifCampaign
District 40Rita JosephCampaign
District 41Darlene MealyCC Site
District 44Kalman YegerCC site
District 45Farah LouisCC site
District 46Mercedes NarcisseCampaign Site
District 48Inna Vernikov
District Members

Do they share issues and an interest in common problem-solving?  It is challenging to tell, but one fact is clear a large percentage of their constituents can be reached on issues.

The City Council’s Fiscal Year Budget provides a “show me the money” view for constituents. For example, it illustrates how and where discretionary funds are spent in City Council Districts. It averages over $1 million per councilperson, and the city council website lists millions in disbursements under the discretionary line that Councilmembers use to help local organizations have a look (here). The image below illustrates the process and that further analysis can be conducted via Excel.

Get download (here)

Have a look here as well: (2017) (2018) (2019) (2020) You get the picture. It is all about the Benjamins. Usually, in June, the Council authorized NYC’s FY Budget. It involves investments in youth, education, support for immigrant communities, strengthening our City’s reserves, and so on. Two other resources can give citizens a way to explore the entire $80+ Billion used to operate this great city.  Contribute your analysis or lead us to the work of others as it affects your City Councilmember.

An excellent source of information and analysis is the Independent Budget Office. If you are interested in diving into the deep end of the “Benjamin” pool, go to Data Download for Expense Budget Analysis and a Revenue Analysis (here).

Thank you for your support and guidance.

Connect Senate

Connect Senate Members & CD9

NYS-63 Senators

The relationship of constituents to the State Government’s 63 members of the NY Senate can last a long time. They have two-year terms but there are no limits. This section seeks information that contributes to a better understanding of issues that confront our state representatives that share a portion of the Ninth Congressional District.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 016eb-e_senate.png
Senate Districts in CD9
  • In 2016 Senate District 17 voted for Trump.  Details are here.

Do they share issues and solve problems?  It is difficult to tell.

For example, an analysis by participants in an effort to reform the Brooklyn political machine came up with this analysis by the New Kings Democrats. Is your Senator working for you or not?

SDSenatorPartyOpen States
17Simcha FelderDemocraticBills Positions
18Martin Malave DilanDemocraticBills Positions
19Roxanne J. PersaudDemocraticBills Positions
20Jesse HamiltonDemocraticBills Positions
21Kevin S ParkerDemocraticBills Positions
22Martin J GoldenRepublicanBills Positions
25Velmanette MontgomeryDemocraticBills Positions

Connect Assembly

Assembly Members

NYS-151 Assembly Members
You know where you live.  Use the map and report your Assemblymember in the comment section below.  Before selecting your Assemblymember within the Ninth Congressional District take a moment to review: Session Four “How to Sustain the Resistance Long Term” presented by New York Assemblyman and DNC Vice Chair, Michael Blake. Look for his talk at the Resistance School April 27, 2017 (HERE). Tweet @resist_school #resistanceschool #resist

41Helene WeinsteinDemocraticBills Positions
42Rodneyse BichotteDemocraticBills Positions
43Diana RichardsonWorking FamiliesBills Positions
44Robert CarrollDemocraticBills Positions
45Steven CymbrowitzDemocraticBills Positions
46Pamela HarrisDemocraticBills Positions
47William ColtonDemocraticBills Positions
48Dov HikindDemocraticBills Positions
49Peter Abbate Jr.DemocraticBills Positions
50Joseph LentolDemocraticBills Positions
51Felix OrtizDemocraticBills Positions
52Jo Anne SimonDemocraticBills Positions
53Maritza DavilaDemocraticBills Positions
54Erik DilanDemocraticBills Positions
55Latrice WalkerDemocraticBills Positions
56Tremaine WrightDemocraticBills Positions
57Walter MosleyDemocraticBills Positions
58N. Nick PerryDemocraticBills Positions
59Jaime WilliamsDemocraticBills Positions

Connect Community Districts

Seven Community Districts share the geography, interests, needs, and concerns of the Ninth Congressional District.  The map and links below seek participants.

Engaging residents in a relationship that links local development activities to investors’ money in community improvement (or not) dates to the 1950s with the formation of Community Planning Councils. The most recent change in this practice occurred in 1989 when the Charter Revision Commission changed the structure of NYC government and increased the role of residents by establishing Community Boards in the environmental (CEQA) and land-use review process (aka ULURP) that affects their communities. There are 59 Community Boards in NYC, and eighteen are in Brooklyn and a third of them are in Congressional District Nine.

Connect School Districts

There are three school districts that share a portion of the Ninth Congressional District. How will changes in Federal and therefore state and city policy affect schools in these districts? The objective would be to identify parents, the primary self-interest group.  There are not links (yet) to these constituents. The start of developing this idea is here: Office of Family and Community Engagement remembering one key element. The parent constituency is brief and overlaps rapidly in roughtly two groups of parents – those with kids in PreK-8 or High Schools. Just finding those taking the time to lead is difficult.

District 17, 18 and 22
Parent Leadership Schools: Parent Associations/Parent Teacher Association and School Leadership Team
Presidents’ Council, District Leadership Team or Community Education Council.
Citywide: Leadership in Citywide Education Councils, The Chancellor’s Parent Advisory Council and the Panel for Education Policy
Parent Leader Times
The Chancellor’s quarterly newsletter for Parent Leaders

Washington Heights

Washington Heights and Inwood Planning and Land Use Study

At the close of 2004, members of Community Board 12-Manhattan (CB12) began to seek resources for conducting a neighborhood planning and land-use study covering all of Washington Heights and Inwood, the neighborhoods that makeup Northern Manhattan and comprise Community District 12 (CD12). After consultation with City agency represen­tatives and their elected officials, CB12 officers and committee chairs determined that a broad-based, district-wide planning study would help identify priorities and in establish­ing a consensus around a set of criteria for evaluating proposed and future development.

The City College Architecture Center. Directed by Ethan Cohen, with Rex L. Curry to produce a response to the RFP, won it, and work began. The following are links to the product of this work. The following requires the Adobe PDF reader.

Section 1 – Introduction, Methodology, Community Actors, and Past Findings |
Section 2 – Demographics, Practices, Housing, Community Needs, Facilities, and Potential Sites
Section 3 – Neighborhood History, Transportation, Topography, Parks/Open Space, Aerials and Photos, and Historic Preservation
Section 4 – Zoning Land Use and Development
Section 5 – Recommendations, Resources, and Resolutions
Section 0 – Short Version
MBPO Land Use 101 Presentation
Rezoning Presentation 04/07/2010
Rezoning Report

Examine CD12’s Race, Ethnicity, and Class

The study of the linkage between minority households and factors such as housing constraint and segregation, labor market opportunities, and regional employment decentralization establishes limited opportunity and mobility. People of Washington Heights and Inwood, where do you go from here?

Early twentieth-century housing policies encouraged de facto economic segregation. This contributed strongly to racial isolation but also contributed to relatively successful economic clusters. Imbalances in wealth is a subject separate from establishing the capacity to create and protect it from the onset. However, since the 1990s, changes leading to more successfully integrated (class/income/race) communities have been ongoing. There are two notable exceptions in Asian and Latino populations that require greater understanding and new policy. New York City is perhaps the most diverse city imaginable. Thus, the question of how language-based neighborhoods become more broadly functional in the larger society is a good question.

In effect, the process of “breaking out” from a localized economic model begins with families, small business formation, and remittances to home countries. The “economic multiplier” begins with the family. It involves extended social relationships that lead to savings clubs that can become credit unions and banks. Expanded reliance on the extended family helps to form structures of acknowledgment that become business partnerships. Cash sent home from wages or a business draws its capital from this capacity to internalize community development in “the family” and a neighborhood, but the policy point that needs to “sink in” is that both take a generation or two to develop, and it requires being “left alone” and that it is self-imposed on many levels.

The publication of the “Newest New Yorker” series by the Department of City Planning is evidence of the failure to move the dialogue beyond the obvious of who or where the “newest” live. The most recent immigration wave (Hispanic, Latino, and Asian) is born of civil lawsuits in the late 1960s that proved a pattern of discrimination in U.S. immigration policy. But this is the real point. The model of two to three generations of business and cultural development that re-builds places like the Lower East Side are now sliding into the world of myth. You can tell “bootstrap” stories. They would be true, but no one will believe them today — it must be a myth.

The need to invent new forms of action research in Washington Heights and Inwood is critical in New York City. Here, over 80% of the population is Latino, of which 70% is Dominican. This is important because we might bear witness to an enormous struggle to prevent a cultural disappearing act. The term Nos Quedamos defines this pressure as Project Remain, and We Stay. The question must be what will remain of the Latino experience during a period of continuing household impoverishment, slow economic growth, and declining real wages in Manhattan above 155th Street.


The negative effects of localized social, economic, and political diversity are overcome with a healthy sense of nationalism according to Robert Putnam’s highly disciplined research. This may be the case in general, but there are places that are “positioned” by more powerful social, economic, and political forces as containing “personas temporales” in Spanish or ??? in Chinese. In large cities such as New York, social solidarity allows strangers as the norm, in less diverse communities’, behaviors such as “sundown” towns become more likely. This positive/negative and jingoist/turncoat dichotomy is a two-way street.

Concisely, Putnam’s recent half-decade worth of research points to the global inevitability of diversity by pointing out its positives in a review of its negatives. His research has found that the more ethnically diverse the “neighborhood,” the less likely you are to trust your local storekeeper or dentist for that matter, regardless of his or her ethnicity. On the other hand, the more ethnically diverse the “city,” the more likely you are to develop relationships that transcend the neighborhood’s social or ethnic sense of security as a product of internal social solidarity. Given the positive of an economic multiplier that secures wealth in the family and the neighborhood, then the negatives of diversity (not trusting those outside the family or neighborhood) are more likely overcome by establishing a base upon which negotiations and creative exchanges are possible.

Debate on these measures by research specialists from the Community Service Society and others would yield a set of variables such as cost burden, business ownership, and property control ratios, median and per capita wages; job access and reverse commute figures, linguistic isolation, and so on. These measures would be selected and built up to define neighborhoods that can and should be given time. Time to organize, identify strategies, and implement programs coordinated well enough to establish a powerful base for targeted improvements in an internalized capacity to control investment rates, protect tenants, and build businesses. The objective is to defend against resident and labor force-displacement, whether or not it is compelled legally, illegally, and otherwise. When the constituency sought is, in effect, “new” every two to three years, it is nearly impossible to accomplish these purposes. On the other side of this coin lies the possibility of well-known urban pathologies such as gang-style resistance designed to “defend the block” from outsiders. These two are measures of grass-roots reaction to external threats that press down on the quality of life in the form of rapidly deteriorating building conditions, seasonal employment, and irrational, as well as, rational fear of immigration policies defined by “in or out” resident alien status that push people into a form of political invisibility.

Putnam’s research team’s intellectual rigor establishes strong controls for a wide range of factors such as poverty, residential mobility, and education to define measures of inequality. In a community such as Washington Heights and Inwood, Putnam’s term of “hunkering down” has value in its social solidarity production. In the short term, it provides a basis for increased diversity as a friendly force for building a modernizing society. Modernization is a proven asset for creative social exchange and economic growth. The central measure is, therefore, relatively blunt. In a place such as New York City, it would be unlikely to hear vitriol in a “them and us” debate, complemented with demands to conform to “our” way of life. It is more subtle here and wrapped up in economic models used to define the higher and better use of real estate, especially housing. In this sense, neighborhoods such as Washington Heights and Inwood, can if supported in doing so, in the time needed. The jargon used by Putnam defines a unique capacity to defend successfully against forces that would kill the formation of “bridging capital” that builds group-to-group interdependence, neighborhood-to-city relationships, and the “bonding capital” essential to healthy personal relationships.

Neighborhood Plan and Land Use Study (N:PLUS)

The New York City Community Preservation Corporation (CPC) began as a modest consortium of banks organized to make mortgage loans to rehabilitate apartment buildings in a risk pool. From 1975 to 1985, the CPC provided $61.8 million in rehabilitation financing for 155 buildings in Washington Heights. Today about 80 banks and insurance companies are involved as sponsors. Since its founding in 1974, CPC has financed more than 120,000 affordable housing units, investing over $5 billion. The point made here: CPC needs to do this again for a new ten-year commitment and comparable financing of roughly $320 million.

The housing stabilization achieved in Washington Heights through the loans and improvements to occupied buildings included rent restructuring and stabilization to make the financings possible. It brought the area to the point where projects without substantial subsidies, incentives, and benefits were included in the mix. Just 30 years later, the moderate rehabilitation question becomes an important part of this community’s history once again. Is the same partnership available today? Can new or equally effective programs bring the level of financial restructuring expertise to a community that continues to need it?

To establish a sense of the geographic distribution buildings with a significant number of violations are mapped with violations over 200 and over 500. The total comes to 246 buildings with serious violations based on HPD Anti-Abandonment Unit figures. Furthermore, the 2000 Census finds Upper Manhattan’s housing to be in worse condition when compared to neighborhoods throughout New York City. [i]

Effective housing policy starts with a sense of on-the-ground opportunity for development and preservation. The land use/building condition survey, combined with a review of data on building type, age, housing violations, incomes, and “rent-burden,” yielded the following overall observations on the prospects for preserving housing affordability in CD12.

CD12 maintains a high-grade housing stock that is physically capable of withstanding the stress of rehabilitation. The extensive bulk (square feet) makes replacement unlikely, given the current zoning. In effect, the 1961 zoning to R7-2 for most of the district was a down zone.

The rise in building code violations and complaint over the last five years is alarming. The issues are the quality of maintenance and management of the existing stock–and maintaining it as affordable.

The pre-war housing stock provides large and flexible apartment layouts that facilitate extended family, family friend, and guest living arrangements. Shared costs from food to rent, childcare, and small business development are effective means to survive that promote savings and the eventual building up of investment capital. CD12’s dense but flexible and affordable housing stock is, therefore, a wellspring for newcomers’ social and economic success.

The Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) measures the cost of operating a multi-unit apartment building in vital detail. As the decisions are now critical, an independent review of methods is long overdue. Nevertheless, a growing share of households (about 25%) experiences a severe rent burden[ii] in CD12. A key to preservation will be strong efforts to bring income up either directly or through income supplements such as food stamps, expanded rent subsidies, and 100% utilization of the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Advocate for methods to reduce the cost to profit margin (or investor risk) by turning to rehabilitation as a key to a sustainable, affordable housing source. This policy is daunting exclusively because that renovation is less predictable than new construction. Often a gap exists between the costs of renovation and the resources available to finance the renovation. Strict building codes may impose additional costs by requiring new construction building standards. Other regulatory barriers that may make a project complicated include historic preservation regulations, environmental clearance, access provisions, citizen opposition, and conflicting codes – such as building code vs. fire code, making approval processes lengthy.

For years, the public market defined housing affordability as a charitable function within a competitive market. The cost of privately rented housing moves upward based on competition in the market and changes in operating costs and regulatory practices, including the expiration of incentives. On the other hand, the rent of other affordable housing embedded in the private stock will continue to move up based on the household’s ability to pay up to a point beyond which it becomes unadvisable. I will explain it.

Let us be clear: a person earning $125,000 would pay $3,000 a month using the 30% of income as the housing affordability figure. But, the household can know to shop for a wide range of vacant, readily available apartments in Manhattan’s upper-income market at $2,500. Opting for “affordable housing privileges” is not in his financial interest. The point is there are many neighborhoods where the market serves us well. But it is also a force that goes against the idea that we can all live together in that neighborhood (such as in CD12) with dignity regardless of our income. Imagine the reverse: 60% to 80% of the housing units are “means-tested”, but it is built attractive enough to attract 20% to 40% eager to pay whatever the market demands.

N: PLUS Alegría de Vida Project

Washington Heights and Inwood Community Board will monitor Columbia University’s Westside ambitions, define its institutional version of New York’s affordable housing crisis, and nervously seek zoning protections through Inclusionary Zoning and Quality Housing Programs. All of this will be found in the formal release of a 300-page description dubbed N: PLUS released in April 2007.

N: PLUS stands for Neighborhood Planning and Land Use Study. Its authors define it as a report to the community. While large in total, N: PLUS is designed as a digital baseline document. It seeks to attract a constituency for planning. It seeks the creation of a more lively board, one more interested in a new urban vision and “vida” than the bogged down drudgery of being the first rung on the public process ladder. This board wants to shred the sinking feeling that a con is in play all of the time. True or not, it is still a feeling. Having their own plan will, if nothing else, produce a basis for comparisons.

Based on research completed to date, the report makes thirty recommendations and describes eighteen “best practices” most useful to a volunteer group of community members. That is what is on the table now, but the digital component is busy seeking challenges to its own report. The facts are friendly; it is what they mean that creates dissemblers in the debate.

The board has a skeleton staff of three and a barebones budget of $200,000, the majority of which goes for meeting space, baseline operations, and its District Manager’s salary and benefits. This budget is the lowest per capita in the city.

From the viewpoint of Washington Heights or Inwood, Columbia University may seem too far away. How could changes all the way down past City College into the 120s produce problems this far uptown? This area is 155th Street through the 200s, so perhaps, the community is right. Columbia’s relationship with the residential community of Morningside and Hamilton Heights, Hamilton Grange, Manhattanville, and even St. Nicholas Terrace is a more like symbol of bad PR than a tangible threat. Columbia did drop its name from the 8 million square foot medical complex now modestly marketed as New York Presbyterian Hospital. Therefore, the supposition has become “better safe than sorry” in serving what some are now calling “upstate” Manhattan.


[i] The 2000 Census measures affordability and quality: (1) lacking complete plumbing facilities, (2) lacking complete kitchen facilities, (3) with 1.01 or more occupants per room, (4) selected monthly owner costs as a percentage of household income in 1999 greater than 30 percent, and (5) gross rent as a percentage of household income in 1999 greater than 30 percent.

[ii] On the rental side of the market, affordability pressures clearly grew. The median monthly contract rent increased from $831 to $900 (after adjusting for inflation), and the median share of income spent on rent by New York City renters (the median rent burden) rose from 28.6 percent in 2002 to 31.2 percent in 2005. These numbers suggest that rents represent a significant strain for many households, especially those at the low end of the income spectrum who are not fortunate enough to live in subsidized housing. Among unsubsidized, low-income renters, the median share of income spent on rent rose to over 50 percent in 2005, up from 43.9 percent in 2002. Surprisingly, perhaps, the share of unsubsidized, low-income renter households that live in severely crowded housing actually fell during this period from 5.3 percent in 2002 to 4.8 percent in 2005. (State of City 2005, Furman Center)

Why Plan for CD12 Washington Heights and Inwood?

Examine Washington Heights and Inwood as part of a Working Group.

The community district board communicates issues and concerns to the city’s major agencies and service providers. In this it is effective.

Less well known, is its ability to produce systemic change.

The City College Architecture Center recently produced a research project for Community Board 12. A set of maps show places, but a set of database backed geographic information system images (GIS) can show how property is developing in CD12 now and into the future.

It is an evaluation tool for urban design, community planning and of course, real estate investment analysis. For the purpose of community-based planning and research this resource is use to define two crucial community values.

  • The first is to discover and encourage development for economic growth and;
  • The second is to provide the community with what it needs today, as it is today.

The first value is easy, let the private sector do what it does to grow, the second one on on the other hand is more difficult as business growth and our personal or community development are not as compatible as we would prefer.

So Why Plan? Why a Working Group?

  1. Planning produces ideas that can turn what you think is probable or possible into what is preferred.
  2. From these visions, an effective and timely response to a central question is made: What is important now?
  3. Producing public energy for planning makes solving today’s problems today possible.

A place for this and all of the information needed has begun to develop. Go to has all of the heavy docs. Monitor, don’t download yet, and get back to us using this web resource and this blog CD12

Many subjects are possible to develop on on the change in zoning for Inwood has begun with very short descriptions of all the “Special Districts” developed in New York City over the years.
In closing, something that Margaret Mead said is useful now. “Never doubt that small groups of people change the world. It is the only way it ever has…”

What Makes CD12 Unique?

Special Purpose District Zoning codifies incentives for development with the preservation of highly valued or unique elements that enhance urban living. For example, the scenic view easement is a zoning designation that protects NYC’s extraordinary view corridors across great distances of the urban landscape. Huge sections of Washington Heights and Inwood look outward across the Hudson or into the Bronx that should be highly valued. If tall buildings are built, a portion of this view “windfall” should go to adjacent property owners with the inclusion of affordable housing. This is not a new idea, it is why Grand Central Terminal remains and the buildings around it are much taller. What is the difference between this “solution”, and one that “exacts” the cash value of a view of the Hudson in trade for stabilized affordable housing?

If and when things like this happen, “Who Cuts the Deal?”

Setting a successful climate for zoning change negotiations comes in one of two forms, 1) the Community Benefits Agreement, also definable in some instances as a Good Neighbor Agreement or development disposition agreement with a single site and developer, and 2) the Memorandum of Understanding. Both require corporate entities as signatories to an economic formula based on sharing or dividing a set of anticipated resources and revenues. The product of the formula is at its best when it is economically self-renewing and includes an immediate “payout” often in the form of a tangible capital improvement. A pre-defined set of services, as well as, a general outline of the baseline responsibilities of signatories produces minimum and maximum “upset” figures.

Washington Heights and Inwood should start talking about the kind of corporate entity required to conduct negotiations coupled with the quality of governance needed.

Public Partnership: Add TIF to Inclusionary Zoning

Programs such as tax increment financing (TIF) pledges the increase in real property taxes to pay the costs of associated public investment. For example, if a housing development project will generate $10 million in additional tax each year, that $10 million is pledged for the same period required to cover a $100 million bond to secure a housing trust fund for a community district. In other words, zoning changes the taxable basis and it can be altered as an incentive to act, with resources prevent, or mitigate damage.

Looking for ideas on how this could happen?

This is an “either/or” condition for all Manhattan real estate. Either it is full market rate, leading to tax increment bond financing for local housing affordability programs, or it is fully stabilized with a permanent stock of affordable housing providing a minumum of 20% of units or with bonus floor area more based on local need and AMI.

Special Districts

Table Of Prompts
  1. Special Atlantic Avenue District (Brooklyn)
  2. Special Battery Park City District (Manhattan)
  3. Special Bay Ridge District (Brooklyn)
  4. Special City Island District (the Bronx)
  5. Special Clinton District (Manhattan)
  6. Special Coney Island Mixed-Use District (Brooklyn)
  7. Special Franklin Street Mixed Use District (Brooklyn)
  8. Special Fulton Mall District (Brooklyn)
  9. Special Garment Center District (Manhattan)
  10. Special Grand Concourse District (the Bronx)
  11. Special Greenwich Street Development District (Manhattan)
  12. Special Hillsides Preservation District (Staten Island)
  13. Special Hunters Point Mixed-Use District (Queens)
  14. The Special Court Square Subdistrict
  15. The Special Jacob K. Javits Convention Center District
  16. Special Limited Commercial District (Manhattan)
  17. Special Little Italy District (Manhattan)
  18. Special Madison Avenue Preservation District (Manhattan)
  19. Special Manhattan Bridge District
  20. Special Manhattan Landing Development District
  21. Special Midtown District (Manhattan)
  22. Special Natural Area District (the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island)
  23. Special Northside Mixed Use District (Brooklyn)
  24. Special Ocean Parkway District (Brooklyn)
  25. Special Park Improvement District (Manhattan)
  26. Special Planned Community Preservation District (the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens)
  27. Special Scenic View District (Brooklyn)
  28. Special Sheepshead Bay District (Brooklyn)
  29. Special South Richmond Development District (Staten Island)
  30. Special South Street Seaport District (Manhattan)
  31. Special Transit Land Use District (Manhattan)
  32. Special Union Square District (Manhattan)
  33. Special United Nations Development District (Manhattan)

Following is a review of the Special District language. The view is expressed in the Department of City Planning’s Zoning Handbook. The advent (the hope) of contextual zoning has reduced the demand for special district formation (e.g. Clinton type protection is between the lines of this policy) and thereby raises the bar for the status of “special” in the zoning text.

The closest special district player in Washington Heights is made special by the alleged need to build a 7-story deep bathtub in Manhattanville and then go up 10 to 15 stories to serve Columbia’s interest in a 21st c. campus. It is not likely that CD 12 will need to protect itself (as in Clinton) or promote this form of specialness, as in the “blue zone” approach. To give it a try the following is offered as a method for discovering the language or precedents that may prove helpful in determining a course of action on this theme.

Prior to the passage of contextual zoning, the most widely used affirmative zoning technique was special district zoning. This technique permits areas with unique characteristics to flourish rather than be overwhelmed by standard development. Over the years, the City Planning Commission has codified a large number of special zoning districts to achieve specific planning and urban design objectives for limited, well-defined areas. Each district stipulates requirements and/or provides zoning incentives for developers who provide the specific urban qualities the Commission looks to promote in that area. It has proven itself to be a lawful way of using private capital to carry out public policy, but not without its challenges.

Special Atlantic Avenue District (Brooklyn)

The Special Atlantic Avenue District was created to preserve the scale and character of Atlantic Avenue, including certain architectural features of the buildings. The special district provides flexibility in arranging building bulk, mandates street-level commercial uses and establishes design guidelines for renovation and new construction. Demolition of buildings is prohibited in the district except in the case of unsafe buildings, or to make way for a new development for which a building permit and financial commitments have been secured. To improve the visual character of the avenue, special sign regulations are imposed for commercial establishments.

Special Battery Park City District (Manhattan)

The Special Battery Park City District was created to govern extensive residential and commercial development in an area close to the business core of Lower Manhattan in accordance with a master plan for Battery Park City.

The centerpiece of the master plan is the office complex. To the north and south of this complex are two large residential neighborhoods with street-level retail uses. One major element of the plan is a continuous esplanade providing public access to the Hudson River waterfront. The district contains special design controls with respect to floor area ratio, required building walls and permissible building height.

Special Bay Ridge District (Brooklyn)

The Special Bay Ridge District was established to protect the existing scale and character of the Bay Ridge community. The special district distinguishes the scale of development in the midblock from that on the avenue frontage. The midblock street zone encourages two- and three-family homes with a maximum height of three stories. The Avenue Zone encourages the rehabilitation of existing structures and limits new development to a six- to eight-story maximum. Special setbacks, curb cuts, open space, tree planting, and ground floor commercial requirements have been included to preserve the character of the existing street wall both along the avenues and side streets.

Special City Island District (the Bronx)

The Special City Island District was adopted to preserve the nautical uses and low-rise residential character of City Island. The special district regulations restrict the size and illumination of business signs, limit building heights to three- to five stories, and ensure adequate parking. The only commercial and manufacturing use permitted are those which reflect the nautical flavor of the island or serve the retail needs of the residents.

Special Clinton District (Manhattan)

The Special Clinton District in Manhattan was created to preserve and strengthen the residential character of the community, maintain the mixture of income groups present in the area and ensure that Clinton is not adversely affected by new development.

Special Coney Island Mixed-Use District (Brooklyn)

The Special Coney Island Mixed-Use District was established to stabilize residential development while protecting the area’s industrial base. The district allows limited new residential infill and requires special permits for large new industrial developments. Existing residential buildings are allowed enlargements, alterations, and repairs, and construction of new residential buildings is allowed if the buildings are next to an existing residential or community facility use. New manufacturing is limited to certain light industries compatible with residential uses.

Special Franklin Street Mixed Use District (Brooklyn)

The Special Franklin Street Mixed-Use District was established to achieve a balance between residential and industrial uses by remapping the area from an M1-1 district to an R6 (M1-1) district. The district allows residential and community facility uses according to R6 district regulations. All existing industrial uses may expand by 3,000 square feet, or 50 percent, whichever is less. A larger expansion may be granted by a special permit from the City Planning Commission.

A new user group, Use Group M, has been established which allows light industries and commercial uses in Use Groups 6, 7, 9, and 11 to occupy vacant storefronts.

Special Fulton Mall District (Brooklyn)

The Special Fulton Mall District in Downtown Brooklyn was established to create an attractive shopping environment as part of a city street mall plan. Special retail use, sign, facade and circulation improvement regulations are provided. A special assessment district has been created, through state legislation, to maintain the mall.

Vehicular traffic (except buses) is prohibited within the mall. Major public amenities required within the district include improved transit access, street furniture, street lighting, tree planting, and special treatment of the sidewalks and roadbeds.

Special Garment Center District (Manhattan)

The Special Garment Center District was created to maintain the viability of apparel production in selected mid blocks in the city’s Garment Center by creating a Preservation Area within which the conversion of manufacturing space to office use is restricted. Conversion to office use in the Preservation Area is permitted only by certification of the City Planning Commission that an equal amount of comparable floor area has been preserved for specified manufacturing uses. The legality of this special district is currently being litigated.

Special Grand Concourse District (the Bronx)

The Special Grand Concourse District was created to protect the distinctive art deco composition and scale of the Grand Concourse by establishing bulk and design regulations and limiting commercial uses to designated locations that will not conflict with the boulevard’s traditional residential character. The district consists of a Residential Preservation Area and three commercial sub-areas. New construction must conform to R8X (Alternate 1) guidelines.

Special Greenwich Street Development District (Manhattan)

The Special Greenwich Street Development District was established to foster and promote the orderly expansion of commercial development in an area of Lower Manhattan adjacent to Battery Park City and the World Trade Center.

This district attempts to implement an integrated plan for improved pedestrian and vehicular circulation and to encourage the development of a variety of retail and service establishments to meet the needs of the area’s working population. This is accomplished through a series of pedestrian circulation improvements and certain lot improvements in the district for which floor area bonuses are offered.

Some unique features of this district are its provisions for involving both the developer and appropriate public agencies in the construction of certain pedestrian circulation improvements.

Special Hillsides Preservation District (Staten Island)

The purpose of the Special Hillsides Preservation District is to preserve the hilly terrain and unique natural features of Staten Island by reducing hillside erosion, landslides, and excessive stormwater runoff. The primary concept for regulating development under this special district is the slope coverage approach: as the development site becomes steeper, the permitted building coverage decreases, but the permissible floor area on the site remains the same.

Special Hunters Point Mixed-Use District (Queens)

The Special Hunters Point Mixed Use District was created to permit limited as-of-right status for the enlargement/alteration of existing residential buildings and for new infill residential construction. All residential and community facility uses are subject to R5 district regulations. In some cases, a special permit is required for certain residential and community facility uses. New manufacturing and commercial uses, or enlargement of existing buildings containing such uses, are allowed as-of-right as long as these developments or enlargements contain no residential uses and do not cause significant adverse environmental impacts. Such new developments or enlargements must meet M1 district performance standards.

The Special Court Square Subdistrict

The Special Court Square Subdistrict has been created within this special district to encourage high-density commercial development in an area well-served by the subway system.
Special Jacob K. Javits Convention Center District (Manhattan)

The Special Jacob K. Javits Convention Center District

The Special Jacob K. Javits Convention Center District was established to enhance the pedestrian configuration and appearance of the area surrounding the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. It is intended to promote new development compatible with the Convention Center by mandating street walls, and streetscape improvements that supplement the underlying zoning district regulations.

Pedestrian circulation improvements consist of landscaped sidewalk widenings and through-block walkways, street trees, and retail frontage along Eleventh Avenue. Height and setback regulations govern all new buildings along Eleventh Avenue, the streets surrounding the Convention Center Plaza, and the through block walkways. Mandated street wall setbacks and sky exposure planes regulate the distribution of building bulk to define the public spaces on which they front and frame the edges of the Plaza.

Special Limited Commercial District (Manhattan)

The Special Limited Commercial District attempts to preserve the character of commercial areas within historic districts by restricting commercial uses to those uses compatible with the historic district, and by mandating that all commercial uses be in completely enclosed buildings. In addition, limitations are also set for the size and illumination of signs within the special district. One such special district has been mapped in Greenwich Village.

Special Little Italy District (Manhattan)

The Special Little Italy District was established to preserve and enhance the historic and commercial character of this community. Special use regulations protect the retail area along Mulberry Street. Other regulations encourage residential rehabilitation and new development on a scale consistent with existing buildings, discourage the demolition of noteworthy buildings, and increase the number of street trees in the area.

Special Madison Avenue Preservation District (Manhattan)

The Special Madison Avenue Preservation District is intended to preserve and reinforce the unique character of Madison Avenue and the surrounding area (from 61st to 96th streets). Bulk and street wall height provisions limit the height of new development to the scale of existing buildings, require a continuous building facade along Madison Avenue, mandate continuous ground floor development of a selected list of appropriate shops, and require the provision of usable recreation space at rooftop levels. Within this district the maximum permissible floor area ratio is 10.0. Since building height is limited, greater building coverage is allowed.

Special Manhattan Bridge District

The Special Manhattan Bridge District was established to preserve the residential character of this Lower Manhattan community, to minimize residential relocation on development sites, and to provide for selective demolition and rehabilitation of existing buildings. A special floor area bonus is allowed for the provision of new community facility space and/or dwelling units for low- and moderate-income families. Within this district it is possible to transfer development rights from a site containing existing buildings to a new development. The district mandates that street trees be planted in connection with a new development. Unless renewed, this district was designed to “lapse” on September 1, 1991. Have to update this, any of you all have a line on this…

Special Manhattan Landing Development District

The Special Manhattan Landing Development District guides off-shore development from Battery Park to the Manhattan Bridge along the East River. This district is under review.

Special Midtown District (Manhattan)

The Special Midtown District was established to guide all development within the midtown central business district. The special district includes three areas of special concern that are subject to additional regulations. These sub-districts are: the TheatreSubdistrict, the PreservationSubdistrict and the Fifth AvenueSubdistrict.

The Special Midtown District has a base FAR of 15.0 along avenue frontages and an FAR of 12.0 in the mid-blocks. The base FAR in the Preservation Subdistrict is 8.0 in order to restrict development on the side streets surrounding the Museum of Modern Art. The base FAR of the Theatre Subdistrict core (on Broadway and Seventh Avenue frontages around Times Square) is set at 14.0 FAR, the FAR in the mid-blocks between Sixth and Seventh Avenues is set at 12.0 and the FAR in the mid-blocks between Broadway and Eighth Avenue is 10.0.

The core of the Theatre Subdistrict has the highest concentration of legitimate theaters and entertainment-related uses. The Theatre Subdistrict requires a City Planning Commission special permit for demolition of any of the 44 legitimate theaters that are not designated landmarks.

The Theatre Subdistrict has a special use and signage requirements (in keeping with the character of the area). A flexible development rights transfer provision has been established for the preservation of landmark theaters. In the Theatre Subdistrict, a new building above a certain size must reserve at least five percent of its floor space (not FAR) for entertainment and theater-related uses. Areas located outside the Preservation Subdistrict and the Theatre Subdistrict are eligible for an as-of-right FAR bonus for urban plazas, through-block galleries, and theater retention. The only bonus available in the Theatre Subdistrict core is the City Planning Commission special permit bonus for rehabilitation of listed theaters. The Preservation Subdistrict is not eligible for any floor area bonus. Other remaining areas can receive a floor area bonus for subway station improvements and for rehabilitation of theaters.

Certain urban design features, such as continuity of street wall and retail uses, off-street relocation of existing subway stairs, and provision of on-site pedestrian circulation spaces are mandated. The special district also includes certain use and signage controls for the Fifth Avenue and Theatre Sub-districts. Special daylight evaluation criteria are included to ensure the availability of light and air on midtown streets. The Special Midtown District represents a shift away from discretionary zoning to more predictable, as-of-right development.

Special Natural Area District (the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island)

The purpose of the Special Natural Area District is to preserve unique natural characteristics, such as aquatic, biologic, geologic, and topographic features having ecological and conservation values, by reviewing all new developments and site alterations on primarily vacant land. Natural features are protected by limiting modifications in topography, by preserving tree, plant, and marine life, and natural watercourses, and by requiring clustered development to maximize the preservation of natural features.

Under the regulations of the special district, the City Planning Commission must certify that all new development in mapped natural area districts meets applicable preservation standards.
Special natural area districts have been mapped in the Greenbelt and Von Briesen Park areas of Staten Island, in Riverdale, and in Fort Totten. These areas are endowed with steep slopes, rock outcrops, creeks, and a variety of botanic environments.

Special Northside Mixed Use District (Brooklyn)

This mixed-use district is designed to meet the needs of a neighborhood where housing and industry co-exist. The City Planning Commission selectively mapped mixed-use areas — R(M) when the area is primarily residential and M(R) when it is industrial — to allow controlled residential or light manufacturing expansion where such uses can grow and function without conflict. This and the Coney Island district were the forerunners of MX (I know I worked on them).

R(M) and M(R) districts combine the regulations for R6 and M1 areas. In an M(R) district, manufacturing uses are permitted to develop in the same manner as in any other M1 district. Existing residences may be enlarged and new residential construction is permitted as-of-right on blocks that are already primarily residential. New residential construction is permitted on certain other sites after approval of a special permit by the City Planning Commission.

In an R(M) district, residential uses are permitted to develop in the same manner as in any other R6 district. Limited expansion of selected light industries that do not conflict with residential uses is permitted. Other industries become non-conforming and are allowed to remain but not to expand. New industrial development requires a special permit from the Commission.

Special Ocean Parkway District (Brooklyn)

The purpose of the Special Ocean Parkway District is to strengthen the existing character and quality of the community and to enhance the scenic landmark designation of Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn. All new community facility developments or enlargements are limited, except by special permission, to the residential bulk regulations of the underlying districts. All developments with frontage on Ocean Parkway are required to provide a 30-foot unobstructed front yard, subject to limitations on paving and landscaping, thereby preserving the character envisioned by the original designer of the parkway. Accessory off-street parking for all new developments must be completely enclosed and all new developments along Ocean Parkway are required to provide street trees. Isn’t that special…

Special Park Improvement District (Manhattan)

The Special Park Improvement District was created to preserve the character and architectural quality of Fifth and Park Avenues. It limits the height of new buildings to 210 feet or 19 stories, whichever is less, and mandates street wall continuity.

Special Planned Community Preservation District (the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens)

The Special Planned Community Preservation District designation protects the unique character of well-planned communities that have been developed as a unit. Those communities characteristically have large landscaped open spaces and a superior relationship of buildings, open spaces, commercial uses, and pedestrian and vehicular circulation. In many cases, they have been threatened by development pressures. No demolition, new development, enlargement, or alteration of landscaping or topography is permitted within the district except by special permit of the City Planning Commission. Preservation districts have been mapped in Sunnyside Gardens, Fresh Meadows, Parkchester, and Harlem River Houses.

Special Scenic View District (Brooklyn)

The Special Scenic View District is intended to prevent obstruction of outstanding scenic views as seen from a public park, esplanade or mapped public place. No buildings or structures are allowed to penetrate a scenic view plane except by a special permit of the City Planning Commission. To protect the waterfront view of the Lower Manhattan skyline, Governors Island, the Statue of Liberty, and the Brooklyn Bridge, a special scenic view district has been mapped for the area west of the Brooklyn Heights Esplanade.

Special Sheepshead Bay District (Brooklyn)

The Special Sheepshead Bay District was devised to encourage development that will strengthen and protect the neighborhood’s unique waterfront recreation and commercial character. In the area immediately north of the fishing fleet wharves, commercial uses are restricted to uses that support waterfront and tourist-related activities.

All new development along Emmons Avenue must provide widened sidewalks, street trees, and plazas which may contain sitting areas, landscaping, kiosks, and cafes. Floor area bonuses are provided for plazas, arcades, usable residential open space, and additional accessory commercial parking. Special density and height limits have been established. This district is under review.

Special South Richmond Development District (Staten Island)

The Special South Richmond Development District was established to guide the development of predominantly vacant land in the southern half of Staten Island. The special district maintains the densities established by the underlying zones and ensures that new development is compatible with existing communities.

To maintain the existing community character, the district mandates tree preservation, planting requirements, controls on changes to the topography, height limits, and setback and curb cut restrictions along railroads and certain roads. It restricts construction within designated open space (a defined network of open space set aside for preservation in its natural state). To preserve designated open space without penalizing the owners of such space, owners are permitted to transfer development rights from the designated open space to the balance of their property. A topographic survey and a report on the availability of public services must be submitted by the developer as a prerequisite to any application for development. A performance bond must also be provided to assure continued maintenance and improvement of public open space.

Special South Street Seaport District (Manhattan)

The purpose of the Special South Street Seaport District is to facilitate the preservation and restoration of the seaport’s historic buildings in accordance with an approved development plan. The low scale of the seaport is retained by transferring development rights above the low buildings to specified neighboring locations for commercial development.

Special Transit Land Use District (Manhattan)

The Special Transit Land Use District relates development along Second Avenue to a future subway line. The special district requires builders of developments adjoining subway stations to reserve space in their projects, by providing an easement, for public access to the subway or other subway-related use. The resulting new subway entrances and mezzanines would be airy, attractive, and functional instead of sidewalk obstructions that impede pedestrian circulation. The district is mapped at locations between Chatham Square and East 126th Street

Special Union Square District (Manhattan)

The Special Union Square District was established to revitalize the area around Union Square by encouraging mixed-use development. Its urban design provisions are designed to provide compatibility between new development, existing buildings, and Union Square Park. The district mandates ground floor retail uses, off-street relocation of subway stairs, and the continuity of street walls. Special streetscape and signage controls enhance the physical appearance of the district Within this district a floor area ratio bonus for subway improvements are available by special permit of the City Planning Commission.

Special United Nations Development District (Manhattan)

The Special United Nations Development District attempts to guide the development of the midtown area adjacent to the United Nations. A major feature of the district regulations is a unified design concept. The basic floor area ratio for the district was increased from 10.0 to 15.0 to promote special public amenities needed in the area and to implement the development plan.

New York City Neighborhoods

A Commentary

The digital and the dense urban world have a unity of purpose. In this example, developed by the person (found here) you will find many of the officially named places drawn many sources. They are also the place names. In this case that would be a neighborhood. They are described in the multicolored map above. Click on one and a named place comes up. Follow the link to Reddit above and watch the magic begin with to happen with lots of new named places as each neighborhood area begins to fill up with place names among the Reddit participants. Here is an example:

The Hole is presented as a “small neighborhood in New York City between Brooklyn and Queens.[1] It is a low-lying area, with a ground level that is 30 feet (9.1 m) lower than the surrounding area.[2][3] The area suffers from frequent flooding.[4] It has been described as a “lost neighborhood”,[5] and like a border town from the Wild West.[6]. If you’ve ever taken the S. Conduit to JFK, ‘The Hole” was on the right just before you entered the highway (BQE).

I have a great affection for the people there and how they decided to live. Many times their participation in community block events throughout Bed-Stuy, East New York and East Flatbush and much of the city introduced a close up experience with a horse and the men who road them for lots of kids. This is because of the men from the New York City Federation of Black Cowboys.

If you got into this little bit of history and what led to the displacement of this outfit by another you’ll recognize a seriously complex story of loss, sadness, race and privilege. Then again, you might come across this wonderful song because you were curious about “the hole.” That is what happened to me when I decided to do this post.

Election Districts

I am interested in working for elected leaders by organizing election districts closest to polling places. I’ve moved the d-base driven map to a “view only” link. If you are interested in becoming a strategic partner, using a digital toy (graphic below) let me know. If any of you have political skills let me know and read about the idea below.

Doing more in connection to the political people that have power over billions of dollars for NYC and NYS means getting more people to pick their number ED polling place. If you would like full access to this data, get back to me. (Contact)

All you have to do is request a link to enlarge this map, locate where you live, identify the name and location of the polling sites near your home. Vote and get out the vote, because at this point we need real change.

Again: locate where you live, identify the name and location of all the polling sites near your home just in case you feel like organizing more people especially if you are interested in a little canvassing party near where you live or work.

Use this Poll Site finder for a quick look at where you would vote based on your address and if there is an early voting location in the future. Ranked Choice is also in our future.

Brooklyn voters are electing new representatives to the United States Congress – they will be fighters, free of corporate domination and responsive to our needs in housing, health, and community economic development. Vote in the 2020 primary, and we will have a chance and all of our networks will fold into the other. There will be strength and resilience.

Recommend a candidate for any office. (State Board of Elections Deadlines)

Comment below and I’ll ask you to help by sharing your thoughts, stake out some election districts and put a person in The United States Congress that can do more than ride high percentages of incumbency into office based on our complacency.

Volunteer Here for the Ninth Congressional District

  1. Find Election Districts you can work and get your data.
  2. Go to the City Data Map HERE if the one above is difficult to use.
  3. Share that information using the form below and work the district for voters.
  4. Build a canvassing plan with us. Your polling place, and key nearby locations
  5. Find and motivate more people. The average in EDs is around 800 Dems.
  6. Get voters out on Primary Day. That is the election.
  7. Get voters to vote Tuesday, November 3, 2020 for the win back the Presidency!
  8. Develop a schedule to convince voters to vote —
  9. You can examine data from your census tract(s) (HERE)

Please drop us a line. Thanks to all who have already. I plan on working the Election Districts around the Erasmus H.S. and the transit stations (B & Q) from Church Avenue south through to the Cortelyou Station. Just waiting for someone to lead.

If you would like to see some AOC type energy for our part of New York – volunteer!!

9th Congressional Data

The Ninth Congressional data is very revealing and worthy of spending the time to understand it by size, shape, and its many places as defined by our representative to Congress.

CD9 & Stress

Exploring the following group of analysts will produce one of the more fascinating introductions to key indicators of economic stress. Have a good long look at the work of the EIG. It will give you an RTC. Put your zip code in the search box and for the Ninth Congressional District, insert NY-9 in the map below.
In NYC, opportunities to become involved in innovation for economic recovery could be the Ninth Congressional District. Find people who have read Section Subchapter Z— Opportunity Zones in the Tax Reform Act.  (pdf is HERE)  Only 25% of CTs (defined as low-income can be nominated by the State.  NYC has several of these ‘zones’ from previous designations.  (EIG explanation).   If anyone has any insight into this EIG outfit, please share.

The Ninth CD is the only one that is all in Brooklyn

go ahead drop me a line or comment below:

Catastrophic Resolution

Good for the City in Small Pieces

“Some years ago, and a year or so after the 9/11 disaster, I was standing near a conversation at a town hall session, when a constituent decried failing systems in service to the simple act of voting – long lines, ill-trained, confused poll workers, broken machines, deplorable participation rates, falling registrations, and so on.  The Senator, politely nodding, said, “Little will happen on any of these issues until voting breaks down completely. Only if that happens can action with money be taken, in the meantime…” when the constituent interrupted and said, “But Senator, all the dots are in a row here,” it was like being slapped.”

Rex L. Curry

The policy of catastrophic resolution is supported as a congressional decision-making model. It trickles as policy all the way to cities. In New York City, as an example, the policy is to wait until the water main breaks. “It is the only way to find them to fix them.” claimed the officials with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) at the time.

While reasonable in one sense, it has become a disease of denial regarding the value of prevention. Today, a variety of life-denying systems within the western economies are held by self-styled anthropophagus-like altruists whose logic would destroy the village to save it and govern at an “arm’s length” with the help of psychopaths they put into public offices. They are not the oligarchs of old that hold the spoils of war. In their worlds, surrounded by the obsequious kindness of others, I believe many of them do not know what they do or have done to damage the future. The clutch of sycophants in their spheres quietly whisper in a gaggle of insistence, saying there is no need for decisive action on the unprovable loss of a single species or global breakdowns in seasonal patterns that bring fire, drought, and thunderous waves from a rising global ocean or the searing heat across ever-widening dry plains. The policy of “no need without undeniable insistence” must not occur.  There is a need for revolution, and I think I know where it might begin.

The synergy of dense urban living appears to create or at least support the rise of conditions that prevent damage to future generations as it defines and solves problems squarely ahead. It can be sloppy. However, most of the cycles of sloppiness are short, cover small geographic areas because only parts of the systems that glue the city together fail at any one time. A city in constates of repair is a city with powerful expertise. When an ancient, wood water main breaks, a sewer fails, a gas line leaks and an electric power loss occurs, only a few people are affected and only for short periods because of compacity. A word that describes many people nearby that know exactly what to do or how to get it done.

ConEdisons Outage Map shows the number of customers affected by location.
New York City’s “Outage Map” by Consolidated Edison
illustrates outages for 3.5 million customers by location.

If you are in a dense area you can experience compacity (the feeling of density) by taking a walk for fifteen to twenty minutes in a reasonably straight line, make four right turns to get back where you started, and you have probably walked a square mile. On average, you have enclosed 30,000 to 80,000 people, miles of road, and thousands of homes. If you are in New York City, you may have come across multiple subway stations, several hundred commercial retail, institutional service, and public facilities such as schools, police, and fire stations. All in a little over a one-hour walk. Amazing.

The central and overriding responsibility of political leaders and public and private service agencies is to assist in the readiness of people to respond to problems of any kind or any sort. They should know and understand this capacity as it represents the beating heart of NYC’s future. In every one of these square mile enclosures in any one of hundreds of neighborhoods, the capacity for positive change is undeniable. Still, it needs to be taught as a practical matter of citizenship, of what to do or not when the need for help is immediate or anticipated like the tide.

If or when a city’s potential for positive change or the need for occasionally rapid response is denied or obstructed, it is readily recognized as a conflict against humanity in the place where it occurs. The origins of the forces behind these life-defining conflicts may begin as “person-against -person,-nature, -self, -society, -technology or the raw unknown. These are not the elements of fictional narratives. They represent the day-to-day experiences of regular people. They produce these occurrences of conflict with relish in all things, from the simple exchange over the price of bread for currency to a course in high-school algebra for a grade. They are all things wrought by the compacity of urban life that are continuous and in many ways unrelenting.

In many places throughout the city, your walk would have included observing a highly diverse population. You would have heard many voices speaking combinations of familiar and unfamiliar words. Your opportunity within this environment to purchase and consume your requirement for protein or clothing, a laugh, or a smile is easily acquired. Your business is appreciated. A twenty to thirty-minute train ride will take you to some of the world’s finest hospitals and universities or airports and trains to see far-off places. All of these little break-downs and celebrations renew the place and the person.




Isle de-Jean Charles

What if the Isle de-Jean Charles was Canarsie, Brooklyn?

“Without weapons, claws or fangs, humans are not built to kill, but when one group of humans is forced to say to another group facing a life-threatening condition, “we cannot help you now,” I do not know which group is worse off.”

RLC “One story is different, but the larger question is for how many, when and where… Video

If NYC’s ramparts are drawn across its landscape, it forces two questions: 1)Who’s In? and 2) Who’s out? The GND says: get practical about the local impact of global climate change problems as a matter of science and humanity. In this spirit, I will apply America’s first climate refugees from Isle de-Jean Charles, LA (video here) to a New York City example. The relocation action taken in Louisiana occurred when they were down to the last two percent of their land along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

Can New York or any other city afford to set that kind of relocation standard? Let’s do the math here,  it cost $100 million in relocation funds for 20 households of the Isle de-Jean Charles. Now apply that to the 35,000 families in Canarsie, a neighborhood in Brooklyn threatened by lots of seawater beginning in 2050 if not before. A relocation bill like that given to Isle de-Jean Charles would come to $175 billion. A resettlement plan at 20 households/year would take a millennium. At 500 households a year, the cost would be $2.5 billion/year, and it would take 70 years.

The plan now (and it is a bad one for people) is to allow land poverty to occur and over the course of seventy years of increasing worthlessness, let it go “in-rem” and purchase the property at the lowest possible price from the owners.  A variety of development choices could be made then, it could be cleaned of toxins with the help of the ocean as it takes the land at an unrelenting, but unknown rate. The products to be capitalized in this manner could benefit future generations of the families displaced, given the right kind of seller’s contract.  For example, if Canarsie became an artificial barrier reef of old foundations that are already flooding easily, and the acidity could be neutralized, the north side of Jamaica Bay would become a vast seafood farm that would contribute substantially to the sustainability of NYC and it would not have environmental racism pinned on its legacy.

Current policies will destroy lives. The affected U.S. population about 94.7 million or 29.1% of the total live in coastline regions and about 60.2 million live in areas most vulnerable to hurricanes. According to the U.S. Census (here), this is a 15.3% increase since 2000.

A good investment policy would protect the future by creating a value that could accrue to the estate of every displaced household. It would not prevent the “land poverty” plan currently in play, it would also result in lives horribly disrupted, but it would create a benefit to future generations of the families displaced. For a place like Canarsie, or the Rockaways (the natural rampart), the test should be whether a quid pro quo is in place, or just another caveat emptor slap in the face, aimed at people of color that will soon be without the power of an alternative or a public admission of a plan for recourse. Could the pitiful amount of $2.5 billion be put into action today? Unlikely, as the policy of catastrophic resolution is the only mechanism for drawing a line in the sand. This is the line drawn around a burned to the ground neighborhood in CA today, and another is the likelihood of NYC neighborhoods soaking in seas of Jamaica Bay and the Hudson River.

Today the planners, engineers, architects, and climate scientists assess the impact of the sea rise, storm surges, and micro-bursts pounding down the Hudson River Valley on the city’s property. The Flooded City article points out the big picture these professionals paint for owners and policymakers.

The San Francisco – Bay Area Challenge is an excellent illustration of what needs to be done. The simple answer known solutions will not occur – but take heart there are people out there who know what to do and are not afraid to illustrate the steps. (here)

For example, a rise in sea level far less than a meter places 71,500 buildings and $100 billion of property in NYC’s high-risk flood zones. Sea rise is not a complex assessment. Remote earth sensing devices can measure elevation to less than a meter other, devices calculate small fluctuations in gravitational forces, and for any area in question in real-time. The data is in, the “when” sea rise is too high remains unknowable. Analytical programs on weather and storm forces may never get beyond a two-week window. MIT’s Ed Lorenz 1968 paper describing that two nearly identical atmospheric models can diverge widely after just two weeks of an initial disturbance as minute as a butterfly flapping its wings. This model has yet to be altered beyond two weeks by mathematicians, meteorologists, or both for a half-century.

The below-ground world of tunnels and conduits (vehicles, gas, power, clean, gray, and black water) of New York City is not climate-proof.  Given the positives of the walls and ramparts, the capacity to fragment infrastructure systems to function independently is implied, but the policy is dishonest unless the question “who is in and out” is answered.

Global processes are geologically instantaneous events in the context of the last half-billion years. They occur daily but remain well outside of human experience. We are unlikely to “duck and cover” or step back from the waves of an unobservable rise of the ocean at the base of a massive river basin. Creating incentives to do so is the challenge of our time.

Nevertheless, insisting on the acquisition and removal of toxins from NYC’s waterfront and flood-prone zones may be the best plan of action for no other reason than it will take a century to accomplish. The planning work as it stands today favors protecting property in the short term. It emanates from the boardrooms and public conferences in the old way.  It is about producing jobs through relatively high yield, short-term investments under the heading of resiliency. The discussion of the chemical, biological, and most importantly, financial toxins encircled by these old ways requires a sharper focus by its critics.

The sea rise may be known first in Kiribati, Vanuatu, and the Marshall Islands who have already given the world a poignant reminder by saying: If the world fails to halt global warming we do not want to disappear in the tide. Who will take us in?

In 2016, the residents of Isle de Jean Charles, a small strip of land off the coast of Louisiana, received a $48 million grant to relocate their entire community.

New Building on 21st

The map (left) is clipped from the NYC zoning maps 16d and 22c to show the location of the Terraces R5B district concerning the Quality Housing Apartment Building in the R7A District on the west side of East 21st Street. Zoning (Exhibit Record (I, II, III, etc.) CRFN No. 2017000, 2017001)

222 East 21st Street or 571 Ocean Avenue: In a brief look at the past work of this developer and architect, there are concerns regarding the use of materials and the lack of detailing, and the possibility that a brick façade and other contextual elements will be poorly done. If you are interested in doing some homework representing AKNA, use the Contact link.

Two reasons for compiling the following information for review so far:

  1. Do whatever AKNA can do to assure the developer and architect will produce a development that meets or exceeds Quality Housing Standards. (see below)
  2. Establish a relationship with city agencies (HPD, DoB, EPA), local organizations (FDC, CD14, CAMBA), and the City Council to encourage this result.  Why? The quality of the 21st facade is important.

Questions that need answers:

  1. Who at HPD, DoB, will be conducting reviews and inspections?
  2. Will it be 80/20 Inclusionary Housing?  The plan is for 115 Units.
  3. What is the history and reputation of the Developer and the Architect?

More detail is available below. Articles on the project  “The Real Deal”

The New Apartment Building

The reported nine-story, 115-unit mixed-use building image is misleading. Nevertheless, new housing construction will begin soon on East 21st Street through-lot between Church Avenue and Albemarle Road. Search YIMBY news for the story (here).

The project could encompass 102,800 square feet and rise 80 feet in height. The proposed community facility space provides a floor area bonus, and its 58-car parking garage meets the 50% minimum. According to filed permits (building information system), The Real Deal notes that the project’s average apartment size of 712 square feet is indicative of rentals. The reported project height of nine stores exceeds limits defined by the R7A and may be presented this way to produce the appearance of a give back to community objections. (See R7A description below)

Nevertheless, the project could add about 300 new neighbors to the area and add density. The density issue triggers the attention of watchdog allies from the Flatbush Tenant Coalition, CAMBA, and other housing advocates regarding the enforcement of housing quality standards and rental housing affordability. Worthy of digging into the final deal sometime in early 2022 after the building tops off.

According to property records, the developer Bentley Zhao bought the property (through an LLC) in March for $11.5 million. The same developer also filed plans for a nine-story condominium building in Sheepshead Bay earlier this year.

The site (picture above) is cited as a safety hazard. It contains the skeleton of an abandoned construction project. Complaints and violations date ten years and include rusted and leaning steel beams and structurally unsound fencing. According to Property Shark, active violations include working without permits and other construction violations. The site is also described as a hazardous waste generator or transporter with a site address of 571 Ocean Avenue, which would be the address and suggests the hazardous materials issue is not resolved.  Contact Walter Hang of Toxics Targeting.  A particular concern would be asbestos made airborne in site preparation.

Established in 1987, the Quality Housing Program intends to maintain the architectural character of New York City neighborhoods. The program rules concern height, bulk, lot coverage, street line, and more. Quality Housing is mandatory in contextual R6-R10 districts but only optional in non-contextual R6-R10 districts.

The city is constantly upgrading its “zoning manual” but the facts are the same in the table above. The contextual Quality Housing regulations are mandatory in this R7A district. Typically, they produce high lot coverage, seven- and eight-story apartment building, and a blending in with existing buildings in established neighborhoods. R7A districts are mapped along Prospect Park South and Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn, Jackson Heights in Queens, Harlem, and the avenues in the East Village in Manhattan. (The Richard Mier building at Prospect Park?) The floor area ratio (FAR) in R7A districts is 4.0. Above a base height of 40 to 65 feet, the building must set back to a depth of 10 feet on a wide street and 15 feet on a narrow street before rising to a maximum height of 80 feet. To preserve the traditional streetscape, the street wall of a new building can be no closer to the street line than any building within 150 feet on the same block but need not be farther than 15 feet. Buildings must have interior amenities for the residents under the Quality Housing Program. Off-street parking is not allowed in front of a building. Parking is required for 50% of all dwelling units.

Corridor Floor Area Deduction

Quality Housing grants two corridor deductions from the total floor area. Section 28-14 allows a 50% deduction of corridor floor area if there is a 20 square foot window in the corridor. Section 28-31 allows a 50% deduction if the dwelling units served by the corridor are less than the allowance in the section’s table. For instance, 50% of the corridor’s floor area is deductible if a corridor serves ten units or less, offering some design flexibility trade-offs.

Recreational Floor Area Deduction

Quality Housing mandates the inclusion of recreational space as a percentage of residential floor area. For instance, R6 and R7 districts must include 3.3% of the residential floor area as a recreational area. Section 28-21 states that no more than the required amount of recreational space in the table shall be excluded from the floor area definition. Recreational areas can include space like gymnasiums, a popular building asset exempt from the floor area.

For more, see Decoder Story (here)

Other Sources (some may have been moved into digital dust ):(

The architect’s website shows some of the projects first hand and the GC that worked the buildings

Business Phone: 718-765-1122Business Fax:     718-765-0813

$43M Sheepshead Bay Condo

Bentley Zhao developed building

Zhao’s New Empire Real Estate Development also operates an EB-5 regional center.  
By Will Parker | March 30, 2017, 8:30 AM
Bentley Zhao and rendering for 2128 Ocean Avenue

Zhao filed an offering plan for a 56-unit condominium at 2128 Ocean Avenue in Sheepshead Bay, an application with the New York State Attorney General’s office shows. Zhao is shooting for a $43 million sellout of the 73,000 square-foot effort after buying the lot from Yu Xi-Liu last June for $3.9 million. The previous owners demolished a one-story garage at the site, but Zhao is yet to file new building permits.

Bentley Zhao’s New Empire

New Empire is based in Sunset Park, where Zhao also operates the New Empire EB-5 Regional Center from the company’s 3rd Avenue headquarters. The investment center’s website shows that the EB-5 portion of 2128 Ocean Avenue’s capital stack is fully funded. Details on the website reveal that unit sizes at the project will average 890 square feet and range from studios to three bedrooms. In addition to EB-5 money, New Empire obtained an $18.5 million loan from Banco Popular North America in September.

Zhao’s ambitions and current portfolio go beyond South Brooklyn, however. New Empire plans a 49-story condo tower at 131 East 47th Street in Manhattan, a 122-unit project. Demolition of 19th-century rowhouses at the site commenced last spring. SLCE Architects is designing the new building, at least partly funded with EB-5. Gary Barnett’s Extell Development sold the site to Zhao for $81 million in 2015.

New Empire is also raising EB-5 funds for a 105-unit condo in Prospect Park South, dubbed “Ocean Tower,” for a condo at 269 4th Avenue in Park Slope and a boutique, seven-unit build at 409 West 45th Street in Hell’s Kitchen.

If you have any questions, please review these Frequently Asked Questions, the Glossary, or call the 311 Citizen Service Center by dialing 311 or (212) NEW YORK outside of New York City.

BIS Menu  |  Application Data Privacy Policy     Terms of Use

Indivisible Brooklyn

The idea of a CD Nine Indivisible faded into Indivisible Brooklyn (IB). Despite the failure to build a CD by CD network, IB has remained keenly interested in Federal, State, and City races using the following resources serving Brooklyn voters. They are interested in putting people on the street, getting them out organizing, and into the voting booths of election districts throughout Brooklyn.

26 June Summary

Same old Congress, and same old story for District 9

Democratic Primary

Yvette Clarke*14,80451.9%
Adem Bunkeddeko13,72948.1%

28,533 votes, 99% reporting (528 of 532 precincts) The last four put her at 53%. What is that?

* Incumbent

Was this tight margin a wake-up for Yvette Clarke? Yes, she doubled her campaign funds in 2019. Will she enjoy the expense of another challenge in 2020?  Apparently, Adem’s job was difficult, and it remains so. He is as smart as AOC but never says anything so strong from the progressive left that can set your hair on fire the way she can.

Adem is a highly qualified male with the smarts to do the job of a congress member, but that does not defeat an incumbent. In a decade hopefully dedicated to the empowerment of women, this is his most difficult communication problem.  A massive call-out on Clarke’s record that is on the surface reasonably good strategy but requires extensive analysis in a debate covering the obscurity of Congress. If the point shuts down everyone’s brain, there is no point.

First, Clarke’s failures are clear – she has not “brought home bacon,” injected substantial funding into anti-displacement organizations, or protected constituents (especially Haitians) and others from the threat of deportation. These failures will be the legacy of her next two years.  Why? Clarke, her staff, and her utility (gas, elec. trav. corp.) PACs have never written legislation that could get out of committee or put money in District 9 favoring working families facing relentless increases in the cost of living, led by the crisis in housing affordability.

The second lesson is in knowing that in 2018 less than 30,000 votes occurred among more than 300,000 registered Democrats in a District with nearly 800,000 residents. This means one thing, the Congressmember’s staff will continue to ignore “off-list” letters and phone calls and continue to vote with a leadership that has demonstrated an ability to fail nationally until 2018 slapped them in the face. Too little too late, said the little blue state as it looked into the dark, cold eyes of the Senate.

Lastly, our one NYC candidate right out of the Bernie Sanders camp is worthy of further analysis.  She won the 14th District using solid community organizing skills, not political organizing expertise.  It was geographically organized by election district (See District Nine example). In my opinion, I believe the reliance on a Crown Heights base was the failure of the challenger’s strategy in the Ninth District.  A look at the whole district would have produced two the four thousand more votes.  Ocasio-Cortez won with straightforward organizing throughout the entire district.

One person working on getting the vote out in nearly every district (mostly Bronx) was all Alexandria needed in a non-presidential election year. In her district, the threat to the people there was as tangible as it is in CD9 for the threatened people of the Caribbean, but she got that message out.  This is a  huge deal. Crowley was a boss-machine player among Democrats. (Time Mag Story) It was her organizing performance that produced a substantial margin for victory.  Something Democrats seem to forget.

If the pressure for real leadership is to occur one for a challenger, a person will be needed in every ED by June 2020.  See District Nine example

The Big News Maker was: U.S. House District 14

Democratic Primary

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez15,89757.5%
Joseph Crowley*11,76142.5%

27,658 votes, 98% reporting (440 of 449 precincts)

* Incumbent

The rest of 26 June’s pathetic primary voting turnout can be reviewed here

Improving Schools

Issue: Children are not performing at grade level (Math & Language Arts (ELA). The implementation of state-wide school funding transparency with federal legislation incentives.

Response: The families of the Ninth CD hold a better life for their children in high esteem.

Will you introduce legislation to produce targeted federal support that help kids catch up to grade levels?  Will you assure the expansion of pre-K services will continue?

New York City’s career academies and vocational training centers will continue to excell with increases federal matching funds.

Will you support funds for the addition of smaller, high-quality High Schools and more learning choices for our kids?

Will you support for New York State’s elimination of tuition for all two- and four-year colleges operated by the city and state will strengthen and support federal legislation that supports this initiative?

In 2001, Lynn and Philip Straus, gave a $7 million endowment to Bank Street, its largest private donation. Ongoing support includes an additional $5 million endowment aimed at improving the educational opportunities of children from low- and moderate income households.  New York City is packed with universities and highly trained educational professionals.  Several new schools have been built in the Ninth Congressional District.

Will you work to understand the education districts and these new schools that are part of CD9 and help identify their needs with these professionals?  Will you get combinations of city, state and federal funds to close the edcation gap in these schools?

Downstate of Health

The health campus (below) in the Ninth Congressional District (below) is known to many as “Downstate”, but this location has a deeper and richer capacity for service. It has the infrastructure and location to become one of the world’s finest health care campuses

One out of three people in the Ninth Congressional District have jobs in the education, health, and social service industry. When health and social assistance services for low- and moderate-income is threatened by national and state policies – all of Brooklyn is under attack.

The health campus map (above) is known to many as “Downstate,” but this location is deeper and richer in its capacity. Downstate has a student body of nearly 1,800 and a staff and faculty community of about 8,000. No other organization in the entire state would be more informed regarding health issues. It maintains the Medical History Library.

It has the infrastructure and location to become one of the world’s finest healthcare campuses. The failure of federal leadership on health and social services traps CD9’s health professionals in a community where it is easy to blame the victims for the debt incurred by the “pounds of cure” called hospitals serving patients far too late in their health history. Funds for the “ounces of prevention” that focused on the real health care needs in Brooklyn are cut far too easily. Read more on the current state of the health and hospital system here:

The impetus and a national health care system will require a major change in public policy regarding health in communities of low- and moderate-income, especially in places with density and diversity like New York City. The question is simple.

How will you support “Medicare for All” legislation? 

The developed world knows this is the way forward.  Why doesn’t the United States understand? Comprehensive single-payer healthcare will bring stability to the Ninth Congressional District and start it on the path to community health, it will sustain good jobs and make health affordable.

For a draft of issues confronting the Ninth Congressional District a paper on the issues (here). An overview of the crisis is here.

Meanwhile in Downtown Brooklyn

On March 27, 2022, the following representatives announced $9.2 million in funding for The Brooklyn Hospital Center (TBHC) through the recently-passed government funding law.

U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn, Queens), Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)

Brooklyn Hospital serves more than 70,000 patients per year in its Emergency Department. The campus is in the Fort Greene neighborhood, near the rapidly expanding business district. It is an independent, nonprofit, safety-net hospital that is not government-owned a member of a health care system. Upwards of 90% of the hospital’s patients are people of color, and 80% are on Medicaid, Medicare, or other government insurance. 

Here is the scary part.

The federal money will fund TBHC’s Emergency Department Modernization project.

The American Health System comprises two parts best described as “a pound of cure” – a hospital and an “ounce of prevention,” community clinics or routine access to medical advice and care.

The money will construct added pounds: new triage, exam, and treatment rooms. In addition, work will include redesigning the facility to produce additional space and flow for support services and the capacity to speed up registrations as needed. New facilities will have a radiology room, CT scan room, a satellite pharmacy, discharge rooms; new waiting areas; a new entrance to the Emergency Department.

Meanwhile in Bay Ridge and Brooklyn Terminal

Downstate’s BioBat to Receive $50M From City’s Expanded LifeSci NYC Investment for development in the Brooklyn Army Terminal.

A $50M investment is the same as the political donations made to Democrats from the Finance Industry in 2011. The life sciences at Downstate’s BioBAT supports another pound of cure– a lab space expansion. The effort is a part of LifeSci NYC—a commitment to drive the creation of new life science jobs in New York City. The dark part of the new pounds of cure is that it needs sickness in people. This is accepted, what seems inappropriate is the lack of balance. The gap appears to be an inability or willingness to develop a closer relationship with people and their health needs.

The Clarke Record

The analysis that follows is part of a long-term effort to establish an independent group of observers and analysts who live or work in each of the Congressional Districts of New York City beginning with the Ninth CD.  The boundaries change but you will always be in one of them. It will include a portion or all of city and state political districts.  Organizing this way yields power.  Take it.

This project also recognizes an opportunity to examine the representation of NYS as a whole to include an evaluation of U.S. Senate representatives. Outreach occurs through other organizations and individuals under the heading of @NYDelegation.

Delegation Watch and, Indivisible.  It will be slow but continuous and with some help. Finally, all views are welcome that offer facts, but know these resources are unabashedly Democratic in party affiliation, Progressive in outlook and as independent as an Independent can get on the issues, needs and concerns of everyday people. Here’s an example on the Ninth Congressional District. If you win a Democratic primary for Congress in NYC, you win the election. Yvette Clarke captured most votes in the primary of 2012, but it is fair to say only about 14,000 people voted to elect her to the office. There are over 250,000 registered Democrats in CD9. Yvette took 81% of the vote in 2014 with just 83,000 votes and 92% in 2016 with 214,000 votes. In 2018, the win percentage was barely over 50% with a challenger who fell just 1,500 votes short of taking her seat.

The Clarke Platform and Record of Service

First, the territory of public life comes with criticism. Please accept this summary with the idea that it has the capacity for error. The main source for analysis is GovTrack and while this organization has an excellent reputation, it is still possible to misinterpret the data as provided. Please use the comment section below and dig into the data yourself. The rule is the facts are friendly, as far as “scuttlebutt” goes; it appears the CD9 office staff are known to be unhelpful with difficult questions or unresponsive with challenging problems leading to dead-ends and the need to go elsewhere for advice and help. Personal anecdotes pro or con on the general behavior of the office would be helpful with dates, times, places.

Second, without doubt Yvette’s commitment to public service is a wholesome one, grounded in family tradition and steeped in protecting the rights of her constituents and the responsibilities of public office. That “wrist-slap” from the Ethics Committee dismissed regarding the lack of disclosure of sponsors on a junket to Azerbaijan and Turkey. Her record of accomplishment over the last two decades presents a picture of little more than a loyal Democrat. Rarely missing a vote is proof of party loyalty and that is proving to be insufficient over the need for a far more aggressive legislative initiative in protecting people.

It is fair to say Congresswoman Clarke has become a career politician serving as a New York State Representative for the 11th Congressional District from 2007 to 2012 and as the Representative of the 9th Congressional District beginning in January 2013.  She is completing her 18th year in the United States Congress.  GovTrack lists her name as associated with just 77 pieces of legislation (review here) and the site here, shows the breadth of the House activity in the introduction of bills and very little else. Of over 2,000 bills with which she is connected, the following four are the only ones with her name as “sponsor” all are in the 111th Congress (2009-2010), See: H.R.3771: H.R.3771; H.Amdt.560; and H.R.4616.

The co-sponsorship of one act, signed by President Obama called upon the Small Business Administration increase their reporting accuracy regarding public sector procurement by minority-owned businesses. This can be reviewed here..  For an advanced search on all of Clarke’s Legislation click here.  Click the following links for a detailed look at her GovTrack Report Card and her Voting Record since 2007.  It is not a great report or a good record. Please judge for yourself.

The Clarke 2018 Platform

Clarke’s 2018 platform on her website claims the co-sponsorship of three bits of legislation in Energy, Housing and Education none of which became law. The most shocking part of her 2018 platform is a striking omission.  The need for immigration reform and ideas about how to establish a path to citizenship for children is missing. Half of the population in the Ninth Congressional District was born in another country.

The other seven platform issues listed on her website (latest observation: 3.28.19) offer one or two paragraph generalities on the need for justice, fairness and equity. The importance of small business, healthcare reform, the prevention of gun violence and trade with the Caribbean briefly describe existing conditions. There is no sense of urgency in these pronouncements. In fact, she did not vote on an act sponsored by Elliot Engel for improving relations with the Caribbean nations (See: H.R. 4939/114th Congress).

Protecting Education Loans for Underserved Students Act H.R. 4480/113th was not enacted and cleared from the books. It is fair to say these efforts disappear and emerge in different forms. The mention of the Flood Insurance Affordability Act (here) was passed in 2014 to help protect homeowners from insurance price increases by delaying enforcement of an increase. This was also lumped in with a demand for stronger rent regulations in which the federal government has little to offer.

The Clarke 2018 Platform

Clarke’s 2018 platform on her website claims the co-sponsorship of three bits of legislation in Energy, Housing and Education none of which became law. The most shocking part of her 2018 platform is a striking omission.  The need for immigration reform and ideas about how to establish a path to citizenship for children is missing. Half of the population in the Ninth Congressional District was born in another country.

The other seven platform issues listed on her website (latest observation: 3.28.19) offer one or two paragraph generalities on the need for justice, fairness and equity. The importance of small business, healthcare reform, the prevention of gun violence and trade with the Caribbean briefly describe existing conditions. There is no sense of urgency in these pronouncements. In fact, she did not vote on an act sponsored by Elliot Engel for improving relations with the Caribbean nations (See: H.R. 4939/114th Congress).

Protecting Education Loans for Underserved Students Act H.R. 4480/113th was not enacted and cleared from the books. It is fair to say these efforts disappear and emerge in different forms. The mention of the Flood Insurance Affordability Act (here) was passed in 2014 to help protect homeowners from insurance price increases by delaying enforcement of an increase. This was also lumped in with a demand for stronger rent regulations in which the federal government has little to offer.

The Clarke 2018 Platform

Clarke’s 2018 platform on her website claims the co-sponsorship of three bits of legislation in Energy, Housing and Education none of which became law. The most shocking part of her 2018 platform is a striking omission.  The need for immigration reform and ideas about how to establish a path to citizenship for children is missing. Half of the population in the Ninth Congressional District was born in another country.

The other seven platform issues listed on her website (latest observation: 3.28.19) offer one or two paragraph generalities on the need for justice, fairness and equity. The importance of small business, healthcare reform, the prevention of gun violence and trade with the Caribbean briefly describe existing conditions. There is no sense of urgency in these pronouncements. In fact, she did not vote on an act sponsored by Elliot Engel for improving relations with the Caribbean nations (See: H.R. 4939/114th Congress).

Protecting Education Loans for Under-served Students Act H.R. 4480/113th was not enacted and cleared from the books. It is fair to say these efforts disappear and emerge in different forms. The mention of the Flood Insurance Affordability Act (here) was passed in 2014 to help protect homeowners from insurance price increases by delaying enforcement of an increase. This was also lumped in with a demand for stronger rent regulations in which the federal government has little to offer.

Affordable Housing

We can dream and have goals, but it is impossible to think things into existence. Direct action is required to be creative. A leader needs parents and friends that believe in action. A leader needs to be interested in exploring new steps and strategies that will end inequality and injustice.

The action takes courage, ideas, funding, and time. Suppose you would like more of that in the Ninth Congressional District (Map). We are everyone who reads this to share their personal experience, ideas, and actions in response to the issues and responses on housing.

Report on Hot Buttons

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, Table B25070 (2005-2016); retrieved from American Census.

The map shows the percentage of renter households who spend 50% or more of their income on rent.  In the CD9 area, this represents 27% to 35% of households as Rent Burdened.  It is unaffordable, with over 30% of household income. 

Ranked Choice Vote

It is possible to be represented differently. FairVote is a reform idea calling for multi-member districts. Voting could be about ranking the candidates, not choosing the single best person—a reform called ranked-choice voting (RCV).  Fascinating.

You can read more about this idea and make your own projections for the 2018 congressional elections at Fair Voting.  A small commission is forming to evaluate this choice for voter reform already in use in Maine and Minnesota. If this group interests you let us know.

[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]

Election Districts

Steven Pinker’s Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress, says the world is getting better, and from a “regression to the mean” point of view, he is probably right. His book got lots of attention from Bill Gates (his blog) in January 2018. The difficulty with the super-wealthy is their compulsion for optimism despite the preponderance of outlier data. The source for the outlook that everyone else has, the other 99%, is local and highly specific. Averages do not apply. They are voter-irrelevant.

Americans who are poor and low- and moderate-income are struggling but “OK” using “averages,” but this does not alter the perception of unfair conditions that build gaps in people’s experience. Poor safety and the inadequate nutrition of “food desert” neighborhoods are real experiences. The constant media reminder of a vast wealth gap is easy to accept as that gap is easy to define but difficult to eliminate.  All it takes is a good job with a future, a loan for a business or home, fair rent, and good schools for the kids, and affordable higher education. Why does it seem too many people are teetering on the brink of losing these basics? These are public priority investments in people for no other reason than this – they are the ones who are here right now.

There is one more factor in the media experience. When asked how many things could happen to make you better off or wealthier, people will come up with a few choices, ask about things that can make you less well-off or poorer, the list would be longer, much longer. The majority of negative words for emotions in the English vocabulary are well documented. Despite improving quality of life and access to knowledge are correct as an “average,” the result in the big picture describes how the world is getting safely unfair.  That is a problem for a democracy. Steven Pinker puts it this way:

“Americans today have difficulty imagining, valuing or even believing in the promise of incremental system change, which leads to a greater appetite for revolutionary, smash-the-machine change.”

Steven Pinker

The first rule of a good political change remains “all politics is local.” There are 300,000 registered democrats in CD9, about 30,000 voted in 2018. Yes, that’s right, 1%. Prior national votes were massive and with good reason, but the real lesson is the separation of power. Voters give it freely to the top by wealthy districts and mindlessly in the two-year election cycles of Congress.

Interviews with people and data on the Election Districts (ED) surrounding the two Dem candidates for the United States Congress may provide added insight. Where is the appetite for a smash-the-machine change?  A detailed look at Election Districts will help answer that question — top on the list of things to understand why the DNC will not support challengers to incumbent officeholders.  The short answer is money in politics.

The following is drawn from the Board of Elections – DATA NYC  Additional sources are available from the Board of Elections – DATA NYS.  All the pdf documents are here. The numbers change routinely and look like the following from these sites.


Election District Map

The brightness of NYC from space isn’t just electric. Thousands of Election Districts in York City represent the illumination we can get from the vote. The following discussion will focus on twelve of these districts in CD9 for voters and examine voting participation. 

There are several reservations regarding the sanctity of the vote, especially in a blue city that makes NY a blue state. Challenging our sense of trust in our local electoral system is equivalent to an assault on the Democratic Party’s integrity.


In round numbers, voter registration data published April 2016 by the New York State Board of Elections says the Ninth Congressional district has 276,000 registered Democrats, 24,000, Republicans and a smattering of Greens, Working Family, Independents, and so on for a total of 365,000 voters, after ” a correction” it went to 326,000. Excellent, the population of CD9 is about 740,000 (See Data). The issues facing the NYC Board of Elections have already caused some stir regarding the need to purge the roles (117,000 in Brooklyn) and its illegality. There is much to understand here for 2018 and as 2020 approaches, but hey, blue city, blue state, right?


In Brooklyn, there are two fronts, the collective efforts of the New Kings Democrats and an examination of one of the greatest, first tier, conflict reducing devices in history – the vote. The right of suffrage is as simple as walking to your neighborhood poll and as complicated as the legislation and litigation surrounding the Fifteenth Amendment – right to vote (background). More on the efforts of the New Kings as needed.  The first task is to take a good look at voting in the blueness of the Ninth Congressional District by ED.

The office address for Adem is 247 Troy Avenue (between Lincoln and St. Johns) Brooklyn, NY 11213.  Six EDs surrounding this office have a total of 5700 registered Democrats. The office address for Yvette is 222 Lenox Road (between Rogers and Nostrand Avenues) Brooklyn, NY 11226.  Six EDs surrounding this office have a total of 4100 registered Democrats. The local office locations of a long-standing representative of Brooklyn (Yvette) and a 2018 challenger (Adem) are available for analysis by Election District (ED).

Counting Votes and Why ADEM Lost.

In round numbers, the total votes in the EDs around Adem’s office can be seen in the 43rd – City Council race held Nov. 11, 2017. The total number of votes was 1,650 with a participation rate of 28%. The Democrat (Cumbo) pulled 1,290, the Republican drew 40, and the more progressive candidate pulled 320.

The total votes in the EDs around Yvette’s office can be seen in the 40th – City Council race held Nov. 11, 2017. The total number of votes was 2,800, with a participation rate of 68%. The Democrat (Eugene) pulled 1,260, the challenger (Cumberland) losing in the Primary pulled 500 via the Reform Party. The Conservative Party challenger (Kelly) pulled 60 votes. In this case, Cunningham was the more progressive candidate. It did not matter.

The number of registered voters and votes cast shows a participation rate through two-year election cycles. The ED locations for each candidate will compare with census tracts for demographic analysis in ten-year periods. This data reflects issues based on people’s experience within walking distance of their Congressional Candidate’s offices.  Adem’s office is in Census Tract 363 (CT) and has 5,161 residents based on the 2010 census.  A review  of census data for the CD will be found here: CD9 in Detail

  • How do the issues outlined by the candidate fit with the experience of residents?
  • What are the relationship between federal services and local capacity to resolve specific issues?

Election Districts

Bunkeddeko vs. Clarke

Should Clarke have lost June 26, 2018? Yes, but she won.

Is Clarke’s record of deep blue co-sponsorship for the Democratic Party leadership enough? That was my question. In 2018 Washington D.C., the Congress, Senate, and the Executive Branch are all Republican, and we of New York’s democratically blue urban world has been seriously challenged.  We need fighters that will force compromise.  Yes? After all, Ocasio-Cortez unseats Crowley in NY-14 shocker that same year. So, yes.

The 9th Congressional District is “Safe Democratic.”

Vote April 28, 2020

Safe means the best voters can hope for is a primary election that will make us smarter as residents. For the lack of reform in national campaign finance, the first thing to follow before any issue is the money. The Clarke money trail (here) for comparison to Bunkeddeko (here) is described below.

First, in 2018 Clarke had a spending trail at just under a half-million, while Bunkeddeko was just over $100,000. The money trail will be worth watching in 2020.  For the first campaign, Clarke’s fundraising was similar to that of Bunkeddiko’s, which means it could have been a good race on housing issues, but no debate. The 2020 strategy for wining is different — Clarke has bills all over the place promising the impossible and bird-dogging her opponent. For the 2020 Race and an election in April 2020, most of the money was raised in 2019, and the following is how it has been reported. For more detail, use the (here) links above to look for yourself. In round numbers, it goes as follows:

From April 2019 to the end of the year, Adem reported $244,000, of which $223,000 were individual contributions. Contrast that with Clarke. From January 2019 to the end of the year, $577,000 was raised, of which $438,000 were “committee contributions.” What are they? Corporations and PACs. Just hit the link above and have a look. The money comes from Wisconsin, Virginia, DC, Georgia, California — many are agents that want something from Congress but very little for the people of CD 9 or Brooklyn.

Regarding the 2018 election year, the average income of a Congressmember is $1million, but the salary is just $178,000? It became very clear that money is an issue but it isn’t money in the way the voters think of it, because we are in the world of retail-politics

  • Can close to 10,000 fifty-dollar donations get a challenger funded this year, and will that help to make the 2020 debate interesting in the deep blue of the 9th Congressional District? Sounds impossible.
  • Should it be even bluer, more progressive, and politically creative with people’s rights to resist and change the current state of political affairs? The answer is yes, and it is now.

Why is this Confrontation Essential?

The 9th is a working-class, truth to power district.
Most members of House of Representatives are millionaires. Not our candidates. A reps salary is $174,000. Clarke reports a net worth of only $105,000 in 2012, an update to 2020 will be exciting for comparison to Bunkeddeko. In the most recent fundraising quarter, Politico reported Adem raised roughly $121,000 — not far behind Clarke’s $164,000. It wasn’t enough. Nevertheless, with the same odds this year – Adem’s non-political, thankful approach and a track record of ordinary smarts, once again I like his chances.

The 9th is an “issue-condensing” district.
The 9th is the only NYC district that is only in Brooklyn. It is the least gerrymandered district in all of New York City, and its lines are drawn less for Red/Blue reasons than to assure voters can produce representatives in Congress that looks like NYC (Draft of Issues in slides). I plan to update these afterwords only because it’s what I do.

The 9th is a district of neighborhoods with mutual interest networks.
To some, CD 9 has the shape of Lady Liberty’s torch; to others, it might be more like a wine glass as it narrows from Crown Heights into Flatbush, Ditmas Park Sheepshead Bay (See map). Continuing to establish this network that moves our needs and interests to the forefront is what politics should be all about. Old school maybe, but better than empty promises.

The 9th is a vote-workable district.
An analysis of the 9th CD’s demography is easy to conduct. It can be analyzed into individual census tracts with election district connections to initiate listening during a canvass. A small network of walkers during the spring with clipboards, V-registration, and interview forms, and the PR Literature has two entire train station networks to work to get listeners. (Statistics pdf draft) Next, a look at the vote-rich districts and the challenges each represents. Half of the election districts and polling sites are covered with people at train stations (See Election Districts). You will find a picture of a Google map with polling sites and train stations for organizing purposes and instructions on how to participate.

The 9th can produce progressive reform narratives worthy of national attention.
The 2018 election was not only about Democrats beating Republicans, and it was about pushing Democrats to get our house in order.  Movements such as Indivisible on the national front have serious concerns regarding the future of the Democracy. (Issues) We are a beautifully diverse district, right down the middle of Brooklyn — from Crown Heights to Bensonhurst, we are the world. OK, so there are some toward the tail end with whom we might disagree. That is where we should be with something positive to say about how these voters feel.

The 9th is a district that can enjoy dialogue and a useful home-based narrative.
The 9th CD has the people and experience that know how to produce mutual benefits, share struggles, and enjoy victories with a deep breath of confidence. There are two reasons. First, this is a debate between Democrats and a few conservatives. It can only elevate the quality of the game. Second, pushing Brooklyn Democrats to get their democratic houses in order will be improved because of this challenge. (See New Kings Dems). A possible benefit might include help in city council races affecting portions of the 9th CD.

Focus on Congressional District 9 in Brooklyn.  Other outfits will play the idea of canceling the POTUS45 show in one term.  As it turns out paying attention to what is in our own backyards is more interesting.  Indivisible Brooklyn has survived.  The plan is to develop a Federal, State and local participant strategy.  This is the local plan and focused on the Ninth and its starts with election districts.  Have a look at the CD9 Map.  See the District Map below and take action.

Brooklyn is a nice solid blue, but if you have an interest in keeping NY State that way, call your friends upstate and say: Change only happens when you get into the fight, so get involved with the state party in New York. Here’s how:  Another reform leadership group is New Kings Democrats.  Have a look.

The democracy is in trouble when you hear the term “Crisis”

Meanwhile, voters living in CD9 are gathering to evaluate their power and ability to conduct rapid communication and event planning.  Anti-corruption groups (example here) have developed strategies to end the corruption of money in local, state and federal politics. A longer term project (here) is an effort to evaluate the entire NY Congressional Delegation. The New York delegation has yet to fail, but the National Democratic Party has in many ways, lost its way.

The Ninth Power

Adem Bunkeddeko is a young professional, a Harvard grad and a first-generation American of Ugandan parents.  Like most of us, he knows that long-standing Brooklyn Democrats such as Rep. Yvette Clarke, have not done enough to promote affordable housing in the Ninth Congressional District.  It is not her fault, this has been a major DNC problem from the top all the way down.

To inject drive and courage into the life of a Congressperson you need a mandate.  Below the mandate for change was set by just 30,522 voters in the attempt to inject drive.   There are about 240,000 registered voters in the Ninth Congressional District of which almost 180,000 are registered as Democrats.  Just 16,200 people decided the future of 800,000 people in the Ninth.

Yvette Clarke (incumbent)16,20253
Adem Bunkeddeko14,35047

Again: 16,200 people decided the future of 800,000 people in the Ninth.

Adem lost on 26 June 2018, but I have a feeling 2020 is on his list of things to do.  Perhaps he will study housing and immigration issues more carefully as these are loose-loose issues for the Ninth to date.

Behind the power of the vote is the task of combining our skills of research and analysis on issues confronting the well-being of the Ninth Congressional District.  See CD9 in Detail for the start of our analysis.

With research and analysis, quality change is brought home.  The Ninth will serve as an example of what New York City is destined to be – a place for all people to build community.  A brief summary of who we are as a district will be found throughout this site and summarized here.  Our diversity is our strength unless we are divided.  The district lines will change after 2020 but not the organization that examines its social and economic content.

The indivisibility of the entire New York Delegation is super important in the decade ahead. Political representatives are stronger together, but they are easily divided.   We are gathering friends here to examine the issues of one nation, indivisible.

Think of this exercise as the Trivago of politics. The plan is to find the people who are building systems that will help focus NYC (blue) and with the lessons regarding Congressional behavior learned in 2018 and beyond. The map below will also be found under the menu: “CD9 in Detail.

?Election DistrictsPowered by Socrata

“When there is no trail, the memory your first step will carry you.”

CD9 Stress

Exploring the following group of analysts will produce one of the more fascinating introductions to key indicators of economic stress. Have a good long look at the work of the EIG. It will give you RTC. Put your zip code in the search box and for the Ninth Congressional District insert NY-9 in the map below.

In NYC, opportunities to become involved in innovation for economic recovery could be the Ninth Congressional District. Find people who have read Section Subchapter Z— Opportunity Zones in the Tax Reform Act.  (pdf is HERE)  Only 25% of CTs (defined as low-income can be nominated by the State.  NYC has several of these ‘zones’ from previous designations.  (EIG explanation).   If anyone has any insight into this EIG outfit, please share.

A Better Deal

The total estimated annual payroll for seven Congressional Districts with significant employment in health care and social assistance is just over $275 billion.   

This draft was edited thanks to a little help (March 2018)  This is a damn complicated issue.

A look at the details by Congressional District exposes weaknesses in the strategy of leaving the Affordable Care Act alone due to the failure of replacing/repeal.  

Nearly 22% of Velazquez’s (CD7), 27.6% of Jefferies’s (CD8), and 54% of Clarke’s (CD9) constituent payroll is the health care and social assistance, almost $6 billion. A reduction by a fraction of this can be devastating to the better jobs, more income strategy in NYC’s service economy environment. This part of the health care system is broken, and the debate to let the market drive the system vs. a broad national safety net in a single-payer design is designed to go on forever.

The American Community Survey (ACS) provides details by Congressional District (Ninth) as follows:

Annual payroll ($1,000)ACS Estimate
Total for all sectors CD6 (Meng)$6,774,639
Health care and social assistance$2,614,886
Total for all sectors CD7 (Velazquez)$8,942,565
Health care and social assistance$1,920,162
Total for all sectors CD8 (Jefferies)$5,209,765
Health care and social assistance$1,435,548
Total for all sectors CD9 (Clarke)$4,591,698
Health care and social assistance$2,493,720
Total for all sectors CD10 (Nadler)$73,088,238
Health care and social assistance$4,082,423
Total for all sectors CD11 (Donovan)$5,995,693
Health care and social assistance$2,405,251
Total for all sectors CD12 (Maloney)$170,281,639
Health care and social assistance $10,155,081
Total for all sectors CDs 6 through 12$274,884,237
Health care and social assistance $25,107,071

The seven districts covering all of Brooklyn include Bay Ridge and all of Staten Island, represented by the city’s only Republican. The table (above) also includes a bit of Queens (Meng).  Maloney and Jerry Nadler also have small parts of Brooklyn, but larger parts of Manhattan, and therein lies a surprise.

Of the $275 billion in these districts’ total income, 88.5% is in CD10 (Nadler) and CD12 (Maloney). The incomes of the households in these two districts dwarf the other five that cover most of Brooklyn. Maloney and Nadler represent 11% of the employment in the health and social assistance sector.

More work on this is needed regarding the impact on CD9  where over 50% of the community’s income is in the health sector and the majority of it is Medicaid.

The listing of industry in these areas is in the North American Industry Classification System (here) and reports on  examining business & Industry are available in both annual & quarterly service reports (here).


So what, if a few people get stopped and if they refuse to respond to a lawful order to give up the data on their phones (little computers really). If you do, you can be detained for because you gave them reasonable suspicion. (Catch 22s are real.)

You say I’ll give my phone up with nothing to hide  They might catch somebody that would blow up a car or something and kill me, members of my family or people I know. Even though,  you know the odds of such an event are better on a lightning bolt. This is not a security vs. privacy issue this is a fear problem.

Remember, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said this is about “fear itself,” for many reasons. Fear is the main lever of Fascism because people in fear become its fulcrum. Fear is a lever that can destroy a country’s financial stability, and it is “nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”

Volunteer to summarize the following and to watch this issue over the next couple of years and join others who doing the same.

  • NBC News, “American citizens: US border agents can search your cell phone,”
    March 13, 2017.
    BuzzFeed, “New bill would outlaw warrantless phone searches at the border,”
    April 4, 2017.
    The Hill, “Border agents, demanded searches of US citizens’ phones: report,”
    March 13, 2017.
    NPR, “More travelers are being asked for their cell phones and passwords…”
    April 11, 2017.
    CNN, “Bill would stop warrantless border device searches of US citizens,”
    April 4, 2017.

All of this despite the Supreme Court June 25, 2014, unanimously ruling (9-0) that police may not search the cell phones of criminal suspects upon arrest without a warrant — a sweeping endorsement for privacy rights. Wallets, briefcases, and vehicles remain subject to limited examination by law enforcement.  The C-22 here is clear, go “all the way” in the justice system on the one hand or handing it over for a data upload on the other.

In the House of Representatives Jared Polis (D), Denver CO was elected in 2008 and defeated a Republican incumbent and Blake Farenthold (R) defeated an incumbent Democrat in 2016.  Both along with two Senators, Rand Paul, and Ron Wyden have introduced legislation that would require law enforcement to obtain a warrant before they can search your phone when you, (a citizen) enters the US.

The bill extends the privacy principles clarified in the Supreme Court decision Riley v. California. In that case, the High Court ruled that warrantless searches of electronic devices during an arrest are unconstitutional. Read the complete Protecting Data at the Border Act here, and a summary here. (both pdf).

Thanks so far, y’all are brilliant.

Wireline 2017

It was a busy April morning in 2017 when three clean Verizon Cable trucks rolled onto the Terraces with many scrappy linemen eager to drag us into the twenty-first century. The truth is the opposite. We dragged them in with every trick and organizing skill we could muster. Data-structure, Inc. was leaving, and it seemed very appropriate to re-read their motto, “You deserve the peace of mind of a good shredding.”

All of our right-of-way forms signed, our dedicated research, calls, and inquiries have become fruitful.   We even discovered that William Freshwater is, in fact, a real person who is responsive and professional.  With this arrival, we have a complete understanding of intent, even though Verizon remains puzzled about the future of its technology.  It’s OK. Verizon is big like the trucks they use to get the job done. It takes a while to get them rolling. The best metaphor for investments that really pay off.

Taking complete stock of the fiber-optic cable question is complicated. The initial assumption was Verizon would follow the old Cooper and establish new household ports of extraordinary capacity. Instead, the cap expenditure folks at Verizon began to anticipate technology changes upward of 5G of the wireless world.

The long line strategy is the build-out to places like us. It will be useful for densification from wireline to wireless.  We remain in your service as you ours.  Until, of course, we are not.  Capitalism at its best.

Survey Visit

Chris of By Byers Engineering Company 285 Davidson Ave., 203 Somerset, NJ 08873-4153

Chris of By Byers

Survey visit “for right of way” occured again on August 20, 2015 with a drop by visit from Chris Wojtowicz of Byers Engineering  He confirmed Verizon’s Engineer, Wasserman’s opinion that a Fiber line presented along the roof-top gutter was the best option. See image below as the best solution for the north and south side of Albemarle Terrace. One cable about the size of the pinky finger.  Yea!

The AKNA IT Team has his phone and email address, and many months later and…in early March 2017, two Verizon technicians in white hard hats were walking the block.  Excitedly I approached and said, Hey! Are you guys from Verizon FiOS. They smiled and said yes.  They were carrying drawings of the route around the building extensions at the back.  On the south side of the Terrace they are called sun rooms.

The line drawn by the engineer’s appeared to be around each of the extensions and entering the block, reportedly from east to west via Fabco Shoe building. The blue line below shows a straight line below the second story gutter line that appeared many months ago to AKNA as the best way to go.  We shall see.

What to Expect

I’ll believe it when I see it. Expectations are difficult to manage and different for everyone as everyone needs will vary. I found this presentation to be one the few YouTube presentations that describe the FiOS installation process in a pleasant way. If you come across any others that might be helpful, I’ll put them here.