Anonymous Message to NYCHA Residents

Greetings, NYCHA Residents. We are Anonymous.

This is a special message to public housing tenants in New York City.

For almost three years, we tried to organize public housing tenants to stop the RAD and PACT conversions of NYCHA public housing. We were undermined by politicians and political candidates, nonprofit groups, lawyers, and even residents themselves, who put self interest ahead of the well being of our communities.

The time for collective organizing was barely taking off before it came to an end.

As a result, Mayor Bill de Blasio has given away Fulton Houses, Elliott Houses, Chelsea Houses, and the Chelsea Annex to the Hudson Yards developer and Trump billionaire donor, Stephen Ross.

Hudson Yards apparently wants to expand and is planning to annex public housing in order to build more luxury housing in Chelsea. As you know, the High Line Park, Chelsea Market, and Hudson River Park are amenities that the élites want for themselves. They don’t want public housing residents in their neighborhood.

We predict the Hudson Yards take-over will lead to evictions, as have happened following other RAD and PACT conversions. If you are beginning to get worried, then maybe it’s time you really started working collectively with those, who have been rejected, slighted, and defamed by politicians and the political candidates. After all, the leaders you have been listening to have led you to this point. The people, who you were not listening to, are still fighting.

The time to correct your course is very limited. It’s up to you to work together to fight for a future that fully-funds NYCHA, because Eric Adams promises to be more of the same.

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Mayor Bill de Blasio was exposed for having lied about defunding the NYPD by $1 billion, which could have been one source of possible funding for NYCHA

Mayor Bill de Blasio said he would use $1 billion in cuts to the NYPD budget to advance social justice. He lied. Now, NBC News has caught him increasing the NYPD budget by $200 million.

Mayor Bill de Blasio (WFP-New York City) was busted by NBC News in an investigation one year after the “defund the police” movement led to his promise to cut $1 billion from the budget of the New York Police Department and to use that funding stream, instead, to make “some transformative changes at the department,” in the words of Mayor de Blasio’s chief enabler, Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Chelsea).

Not only did the $1 billion cut made in June 2020 never materialise, but an additional $200 million was added to the NYPD budget in June 2021, according to NBC News.

Last year, outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city council moved to cut roughly $1 billion from the police’s $6 billion budget and invest it in youth and social services. De Blasio wrote in a tweet then that “Our young people need to be reached, not policed.” But just a year later, officials adopted the city’s largest budget ever, at $98.7 billion, for fiscal year 2022, which included a $200 million increase for police spending.

Mayor de Blasio has given lip service to the promise to promote racial and social justice.

In New York City, the #DefundTheNYPD movement, like respective movements across the nation, grew out of the George Floyd anti-racism protests in 2020. Mayor de Blasio promised to use the money to help youths and other social service programs. As Mayor de Blasio’s term in office comes to an end, nobody knows what happened to his broken promises for funding racial and social justice.

Mayor de Blasio has been accused of using his bi-racial family to co-opt the language of social movements and as a political cover to defend or expand race-based policing — even as he has rejected calls to hold the NYPD accountable for homicides and other acts of brutality committed by the police. As NBC News noted, Mayor de Blasio said, “Our young people need to be reached, not policed.” But that turned out to be another one of his lies. In a review of Mayor de Blasio’s two terms in office, the New York Daily News reported that Mayor de Blasio leaves behind a legacy of corruption and neglect on housing issues.

Fight For NYCHA have long argued that sources of Government funding could be found to fully-fund NYCHA. For decades, the racist divestment of public housing led to a gargantuan deficit in NYCHA’s capital repairs budget. Our funding ideas were workshopped and packaged as a People’s Budget that has been updated over time. One of the items in our People’s Budget was to defund the NYPD by $2 billion and to use that money to bond the capital repairs at NYCHA.

Duplicitous politicians and nonprofit groups continue to say they care about NYCHA, but then they corruptly take advantage of the lack of funding to benefit their donors. As Mayor de Blasio begins to reportedly wage a campaign for New York governor, he has awarded the RAD/PACT conversion at Fulton Houses and Elliott-Chelsea to the Trump billionaire backer and Hudson Yards developer, Stephen Ross.

Anonymous Message to NYCHA Residents

Pack the Court on Monday morning as Fight For NYCHA makes one last effort to stop RAD/PACT !

It appears that Mayor Bill de Blasio should have put RAD/PACT conversions through the ULURP Process. But he didn’t !

Because protests have not worked, the last few members of Fight For NYCHA have sued Mayor Bill de Blasio (WFP-New York City), the City of New York, NYCHA CEO Greg Russ, and NYCHA to stop the RAD/PACT privatisation of public housing !

It’s been almost three years since Fight For NYCHA was formed. In that time, the activism to save public housing in New York City has been beset by division, sectarian politics, ego, obfuscation, and subversion. We had AOC refuse to stand-up to Mayor de Blasio’s use of RAD/PACT and the Blueprint to sell-out NYCHA. We had other Electeds approve of the sell-out of public housing, and they never faced any consequence for having participated in the sell-out of public housing. We had socialists and other sectarian groups promote the use of Section 8 vouchers to the disadvantage of public housing residents, which was shameful and a form of betrayal, because that was certainly no way to show class solidarity. Rather than confront Mayor de Blasio, some activists formed YouTube talk shows to promote themselves. Other groups, like Movement School, sought to use NYCHA activism as a cover for membership drives that was entirely divorced from a commitment to an outcome to saving Section 9 public housing. We also endured selfish political candidates, seeking to use NYCHA issues for their political campaigns, only to turn their backs once their campaigns floundered. Other political candidates, like Marni Halasa, used NYCHA activism for press clips ; it didn’t matter that she was leading/misleading residents in the wrong direction. All that mattered were her media mentions.

The lawsuit we filed was largely based on the lawsuit filed by Beep Gale Bewer (D-Manhattan) to stop the infill development at Holmes Tower, which she won after Mayor de Blasio backtracked from the unlawful plans for the real estate development in the Upper East Side.

We had no choice but to file this lawsuit after activism to mobilise public housing residents failed in New York City due to many “community groups” and nonprofit orgs running interference for Mayor de Blasio and other corrupt Electeds. Remember how one nonprofit hosted Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan) at a Black church in Brooklyn after it came to be known he supported the sell-out of public housing in Chelsea. Even after we exposed the truth of how some Socialist Democrats were collaborating with Mayor de Blasio in his scheme to end all Section 9 public housing, it came to a shock to many that it took direct action in the face of the DSA to put a halt to the Blueprint.

The lawsuit, filed as an Article 78 Petition, revealed that Mayor de Blasio’s implementation of RAD/PACT was illegal, since the way that Mayor de Blasio is rolling-out RAD/PACT conversions violate the City Charter and the New York State Public Housing Law. The City Charter and the Public Housing Law require large-scale projects, like RAD/PACT conversions, to be put through the ULURP Process. But Mayor de Blasio, NYCHA, CEO Russ, and the City of New York did not follow the laws. In respect of the RAD/PACT conversion of Fulton Houses and Elliott-Chelsea, the lawsuit made a showing that the de Blasio administration admitted that they decided to act outside of the ULURP Process.

As time passed, we knew that litigation, like this, would be our last resort, if social movement building failed in the face of sectarian opposition. We ask for support, as we make it clear that all other groups must set aside self-interest and self-promotion for the common good of all. And that means seeing to it that Section 9 public housing is saved from privatisation. This must be made a priority, at long last.

Pack the Court !

Date : Monday, Nov. 15

Time : 9:30 am

Place : Supreme Court, New York County, 60 Centre St., Room 130

Update

Updated 12 Nov 2021 13:55 The Defendants have filed motions to dismiss our Article 78 petition. We need to work together to put a stop to RAD/PACT once and for all !

Source Documents

Sen. Schumer and the Democrats, under pressure from centrists, face prospect of betraying their promise to fully-fund NYCHA public housing

The slippery slope : U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters : “I’m going to fight as hard as I can to keep as much housing as I can in the reconciliation bill.”

With corporate centrists U.S. Sen. Joseph Manchin (D-WV) and U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) opposing any racial-justice aspect to the domestic agenda of President Joseph Biden (D), the promise made by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) to fully-fund the backlog of capital repairs in the Nation’s public housing stock appears to be in jeopardy.

Sens. Manchin and Sinema have succeeded in cutting the much-reported $3,5 trillion Budget Reconciliation by almost one-half, a report published by the New York Times has claimed. The cuts came after U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA 07) agreed to scaling back President Biden’s domestic agenda to appease the corporate centrists in her own party.

Before the agreement to the cuts by U.S. Rep. Jayapal and other Democratic Party leaders, the texts from the Budget Reconciliation were expected to make whole the New York City Housing Authority, or NYCHA, which faces estimates greater than $40 billion in its capital repairs budget to make up for decades of racist divestment.

The attacks on families living in public housing are coming from Majority Leader Schumer’s caucus.

Activists have had to take to kayaks to float out to Sen. Manchin’s yacht to beg him to support President Biden’s domestic agenda, and activists have followed Sen. Sinema into a restroom and confronted her aboard a flight and after its landing over similar demands.

Throughout, Majority Leader Schumer had refused to accept responsibility for the opposition coming from within his own caucus. Privately, members of Fight For NYCHA and a former affiliate coälition, NYCHA Is Not For Sale, have demanded that Majority Leader Schumer ditch the filibuster, or at least fire the Senate parliamentarian, since these acts would mean Majority Leader Schumer was going to bring discipline to his caucus and counter GOP obstructionism.

But Majority Leader Schumer has appeared content to allow fringe members of his own caucus to threaten President Biden’s domestic agenda, generally, and the long-overdue funding for NYCHA, in particular.

With Sens. Manchin and Sinema holding their own President hostage, and the President (and his Senate Majority Leader) seemingly helpless, others have been looking out for their own interests.

Even before any political splish-splash on Majority Leader Schumer, the Budget Reconciliation revealed a free-for-all.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA 12) let U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA 43) replace U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY 07) as the author of the text of the funding bill for public housing, despite Majority Leader Schumer’s professed preference for U.S. Rep. Velázquez’s text.

The political jockeying is expected continue, as we learn whether U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY 14) will follow through with whispers of a primary challenge against Majority Leader Schumer in next year’s Midterm elections. In the months leading up to the passage of the Budget Reconciliation, U.S. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez rejected calls for progressive gains in favour of allying with corporate Democratic Party leadership.

However, if the new National funding for public housing falls even one penny short of the $80 billion goal, public housing residents should not view any possible primary challenge by U.S. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez against Majority Leader Schumer as an ends to saving Section 9 public housing from condemnation by neglect. Long ago, we saw U.S. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez abandon without apology her own make-shift pubic housing bill. It’s important to note that AOC’s text to save public housing did nothing to stop the RAD/PACT or Blueprint sell-out of public housing. Few have forgotten that AOC even refused to take a stance on the privatisation of public housing at a Bronx town hall meeting.

Were U.S. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez to challenge Majority Leader Schumer, she would nominally be basing her primary campaign on the pretexte of the collapse of President Biden’s domestic agenda on Majority Leader Schumer’s watch. But her real aim would likely be to keep expanding her own political machine in New York State to serve herself.

Even before the Budget Reconciliation was passed, and then undermined, by Democrats, Democrats aligned with AOC were eager to use NYCHA’s financial woes as the basis for a complot to support the scheme by Mayor Bill de Blasio (WFP-New York City) for a wholesale replacement of Section 9 public housing with Section 8 rental assistance vouchers that would have ended the New Deal promise of public housing.

Amidst the desperate machinations to profit from the obstructionism coming from within the Democratic Party, Majority Leader Schumer is likely making the political calculation that nobody will fault him for failing to enforce discipline within his own caucus, especially since not even AOC has appeared disciplined on saving NYCHA public housing.

Cea Weaver was exposed for gaslighting a NYCHA tenant association president over de Blasio’s ongoing schemes to sell-out NYCHA with Section 8 vouchers

Cea Weaver played the part of “a dumb blonde” when it came to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s use of Section 8 vouchers to end public housing as we know it.

Over Labour Day week-end, NYCHA tenant leader Melanie Aucello called-out the alleged misrepresentations and gaslighting by the DSA housing policy leader, Cea Weaver, about the use of Section 8 rental assistance vouchers to end Section 9 public housing in New York City, according to a report published by the Real Deal.

In response to Aucello’s entreaties, Weaver asked Aucello to table the NYCHA talk, but Aucello wasn’t having any of it, according to the report.

And then the name-calling began.

As revealed by Fight For NYCHA, Weaver and a group of New York State legislators, which appeared to include State Sen. Julia Salazar (D-Bushwick), State Sen. Jabari Brisport (D-Bed-Stuy), Assemblymember Marcela Mitaynes (D-Red Hook), were on the cusp of agreeing to support passage of the controversial Blueprint for Change for NYCHA last spring that would have convert all non-RAD/PACT public housing apartments into a new entity that would have effectively brought about the end of all Section 9 public housing in New York City. The Blueprint was stopped after Fight For NYCHA, in a coälition with others known as NYCHA Is Not For Sale, exposed the hypocrisy of DSA leaders supporting the end of public housing.

And if Weaver hadn’t insulted Aucello, personally, and all NYCHA residents, generally, Weaver then resorted to obfuscation and gaslighting, cliaming that Weaver never supported the Blueprint but instead was supporting some other policy, leaving Aucello fuming and demanding to know when had Weaver ever denounced Mayor Bill de Blasio (WFP-New York City) over his schemes to sell-out NYCHA public housing with “RAD/PACT/Blueprint.”

Weaver never answered the question.

Time to spill the tea about what’s been going on with NYCHA activism !

Some real talk about NYCHA “activist groups”

It’s time boil your water and to seep your tea. We are gathering by Zoom on Wednesday afternoon to drink some hot tea and share some real talk about NYCHA activism.

Zoom Information

Date : Wed., 08-Sept.
Time : 5 pm
Zoom link : https://us02web.zoom.us/j/7033053210?pwd=UkdrRHZNSlc0elNKcjJpaG5SdG9Odz09
Zoom passcode : NYCHA

Updated

We revealed some of the names of activists and groups, which we believe are protecting Mayor Bill de Blasio from criticism, as well as describing general conditions that lead to ineffective activism. The speaker panel included Melanie Aucello and Cynthia Tibbs, with Louis Flores as moderator. Some NYCHA tenants provided input near the end. Please share and comment.

Fight For NYCHA Zoom – Spill the Tea – 8 Sept 2021

Protest against Eric Adams at Brooklyn Borough Hall on Monday

Join us as we protest NYC Democratic Party mayoral nominee Eric Adams on Thursday !

Is Eric Adams going to keep on selling-out NYCHA like Mayor Bill de Blasio ? It sure looks like it !

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams (D-Brooklyn) has really started vacuum sucking donations from the rich and powerful for his general election campaign for New York City mayor. He’s done the Hamptons, at the same time he is ignoring the ongoing and continuing threat of RAD/PACT conversions by Mayor Bill de Blasio (WFP-New York City) of NYCHA public housing and the possible return of the Blueprint. This is unacceptable and an early indication that Eric Adams risks abdicating land use policy to wealthy donors, not unlike Mayor de Blasio.

We can’t let that happen !

Protest against NYC Democratic Party mayoral nominee Eric Adams

Date : Mon., 13 Sept.
Time : 12 noon
Place : Brooklyn Boro Hall (Joralemon St. side)
RSVP : You can’t save NYCHA from the Hamptons ! [Facebook]

Is Gov. Kathy Hochul conspiring with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s enablers to bring back the awful Blueprint for NYCHA ?

Is Gov. Hochul conspiring with Mayor de Blasio to bring back the Blueprint for NYCHA to end Section 9 public housing ?

In her first week as the top State Government executive, Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-NY) has announced political partnerships with Elected Officials, who have kept quiet as Mayor Bill de Blasio (WFP-New York City) has sought to sell-out Section 9 NYCHA public housing under controversial schemes referred to as RAD/PACT and the Blueprint.

In a report published by Gothamist, it was revealed that many of Mayor de Blasio’s privatisation enablers, including Victor Bach, are encouraging Gov. Hochul to support the controversial sell-out schemes, like the Blueprint.

There was no mention in the Gothamist report that Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) had reportedly secured funding to pay for the capital repair backlogs of the Nation’s public housing stock.

We have communicated that we are losing faith in Leader Schumer over his failure to clearly communicate publicly that all efforts to sell public housing assets must immediately be ended, because the funding is on its way, or so his office keeps telling us, privately.

We got this : The New York City economy is under pressure from the pandemic, and our easy economic boycott can force politicians to do right by NYCHA

The Coronavirus pandemic continues to put pressure on the New York City economy, and our stay-at-home one day a week boycott can add to the stress of neoliberal politicians.

With Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) reportedly having passed a Budget Reconciliation that may include the funding to finally end the Federal Government’s racist divestment of public housing, we can say that the fight to save NYCHA may, at first blush, appear, with some qualifications, to be approaching an end. There still remains a big question about whether the Democrats are actually united behind a new era of economic justice, since Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) has said she opposes the $3.5 trillion spending measure.

Before we celebrate prematurely, let’s review how we got here. The U.S. Attorney’s Office began an investigation into the filing of false Federal lead paint certifications by NYCHA. The conclusion of that probe revealed a pattern or practise of routine neglect by NYCHA officials, and a habit of lies and deception. There was a lot of fake outrage, but there was little scrutiny focused on the Mayor, who appoints the top officials at NYCHA and who treats the public housing authority as a political patronage dumping ground.

The pennies-on-the-dollar Settlement Agreement that was the fruit of the Federal investigation into NYCHA created loopholes big enough for ongoing and continuing superclusters of corruption, like reports of fraud in the removal of lead paint, to cross over the event horizon into a supermassive black hole of an unaccountable bureaucracy.

At every turn, the movement to stop the sale of strategic public assets has been met with opposition, sabotage, or indifference. Our pro se litigation and, later, our amicus brief, were either thrown out by or not considered in the Courts. Politicians know how hard it is to organise NYCHA residents into a sustained social movement for economic justice. It’s very easy for them to divide tenants against each other with the appearance of political access or the never ending false promises of resident management corporations. Professional nonprofits or unprincipled activists with sectarian motives have, at times, aided dishonest politicians in this regard. But we have found a way forward !

The New York City economy is weakening due to the Delta variant, and this sets us up for the success of our economic boycott.

We admit we have had trouble in organising NYCHA residents. Our work at Fulton Houses and Elliott-Chelsea were undermined by politicians, including Mayor Bill de Blasio (WFP-New York City). The president of the resident council at Fulton Houses misled residents into believing that RAD/PACT would be in their best interest, and he was caught tearing down our flyers, interfering with tenant organising, which is unlawful, according to the Fair Housing Act protections against retaliation. Later, tenants were mislead into believing that forming a resident management corporation would be financially or politically possible, when it was neither. Other “community groups” deliberately mislead public housing residents into deëscalating any criticism of elected officials. In the end, RAD/PACT has almost become a fait accompli, since Mayor de Blasio has reportedly succeeded in issuing a Request For Proposal for the RAD/PACT conversion of the last parcels of public housing in the gentrified Manhattan neighborhood of Chelsea.

Disreputable individuals used the pandemic to scare residents from participating in protests against then-Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss over her role in countenancing the allegations of abuse and corruption of RAD/PACT conversions. Marches against elected officials didn’t draw enough support from public housing residents, either, because community groups allied with elected officials wrongly informed residents that the Green New Deal would save them, when there was no reality to that proposition, either.

When all looked lost, it became apparent that doing nothing was the only thing we should be aiming for. During the pandemic, wildcat strikes took place as essential workers demanded personal protective equipment (PPE), paid sick leave, and health insurance benefits, amongst other demands. Expecting something larger than walkouts from labour unions is probably unrealistic, since they now largely act as get-out-the-vote operations for the Democratic Party. The true beginnings of a general strike must come from a non-union context, namely, from people experiencing extreme forms of economic oppression.

That is why Fight For NYCHA is putting our faith in residents, who intuitively know that the pandemic is not over and that the Government is seeking to continue the era of racial disparities into the future. Given all the sectarianism we’ve witnessed in public housing organising in the last two years, the political ideologies that have coöpted NYCHA organising can support the concept of a general strike against a capitalist economy that is exploitative and creates the kind of economic inequality that is experienced by NYCHA public housing residents.

Join our general strike !

With news that Mayor de Blasio has been so neglectful about the out-of-control Delta variant that the New York City economy has been driven into a proverbial ditch, we are closer to being able to convince the Government that it would be in their best interest to meet our demands for economic justice, i.e., passage of H.R.235, the fully-fund public housing bill that could put an end to the privatisation of public housing. Whereas we are focused on saving public housing, we can still build solidarity with others. We’ve already opposed vaccine passports as a way to oppose invasions of privacy and to uphold a respect for people’s right to self-determine their own medical treatment. Not coïncidentally, this position also proposes to slow down the restart of the economy.

How to join our general strike. It’s within our reach to keep us safe. Just pledge to : (i). stay home at least one day a week to decrease community spread of the Coronavirus, (ii). call 311 to request both KN95 face masks and meal deliveries from food banks, and (iii). follow Fight For NYCHA on Facebook and Twitter for more information. We will be holding a Zoom meeting soon. Stay tuned.

Schumer called out Cuomo on failure to disburse Federal rent relief, but won’t call-out de Blasio on continued RAD/PACT and Blueprint sell-out of NYCHA

Politicians, like Majority Leader Charles Schumer, pretend they don’t see our pain, and, worse, they act powerless to stop the harm being done to us by Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has been like the White moderates that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., warned us about.

Sen. Schumer is hustling to appear compassionate about the little people. But he’s being selective about how hard he fights, based on political calculations premised on avoiding a 2022 primary.

Because Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) is scared of being primaried — a prospect that has been whispered about since 2018 (after a 10-term incumbent in the U.S. House of Representatives lost to a little-known former bartender) — he has been looking busy. He’s made a big show of advocating to fully-fund public housing after decades of racist divestment by the Federal Government. He’s also taken on outgoing Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY), by first calling for his resignation and later calling him out on the slow-rollout of the Federal pandemic rental assistance relief programme.

When he wants to, Leader Schumer can move mountains. But it’s now he, who has been caught slow-walking opposition to the RAD/PACT and Blueprint sell-out of NYCHA public housing. These are just some of the neoliberal schemes being used by Mayor Bill de Blasio (WFP-New York City) and reportedly supported by his allies, including Sen. Julia Salazar (DSA-Bushwick), that will privatise public housing in New York City as a pretexte to raise money for capital repairs.

After Leader Schumer broke his promise to put at least $80 billion in funding for public housing in the Infrastructure Bill, Leader Schumer made another promise to put the funding into the Budget Reconciliation. But all we see in the Budget Reconciliation is a big pile of numbers. We have collected information that tells us that the allocations made in the Budget Reconciliation will be set to legislation in September, and only at that time will we know whether the new funding will save Section 9 public housing, or whether Leader Schumer will side with Mayor de Blasio, Sen. Salazar, and others to bring about the end of the New Deal promise of public housing.

Leader Schumer, like all the professional nonprofit groups that now supposedly care about saving NYCHA, know how to blow a lot of hot air, but when push comes to shove, they don’t do a thing to stand-up to Mayor de Blasio’s non-stop plans to privatise public housing. If Leader Schumer really cared, he’s slam de Blasio so hard that the corrupt mayor would both yank every request for proposal for every pending RAD/PACT conversion and stop trying to resurrect the Blueprint.

If Leader Schumer did fight so hard for the funding to pay for the capital repairs to the Nation’s public housing stock, then Leader Schumer must stop the sell-out of public housing — now, before more harm is done.