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.

VIDEO : Schumer promised $80 billion to save public housing in the Infrastructure Bill. Today, the Infrastructure Bill passed with $0 for NYCHA.

The Infrastructure Bill passed today with no money for public housing.

Despite a promise to put $80 billion in funding for public housing into the President’s Infrastructure Bill, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) today oversaw passage of the Infrastructure Bill with $0 dollars allocated to the Nation’s public housing stock.

Because President Joseph Biden (D) worked with the GOP to water-down the Infrastructure Bill, Sen. Schumer has been forced to forget his old promise and make a new promise that the money would instead be put into the Budget Reconciliation that is now under consideration in the U.S. Senate.

Watch as Sen. Schumer’s office have begun to use parliamentary rules that stem from the filibuster to qualify that public housing funding will come with strings attached.

Chuck Schumer : You Promised Us To Save NYCHA. Where Is The Money To Stop RAD/PACT ?

Sen. Schumer has already broken one promise to fund public housing. Will he break another ?

Because of restrictions caused by the filibuster, funding from a Budget Reconciliation can’t come with greater tenant protections. As a result, this puts public housing residents at-risk for bad leases, increased costs, and evictions, because there will be no mechanism to stop the RAD/PACT conversions that Mayor Bill de Blasio (WFP-New York City) keeps shoving down our throats. Furthermore, we can’t demand forensic audits of public housing authorities, and we can’t repeal the Faircloth Amendment that caps the construction of new public housing. We’re scared that politicians will use these limitations to either accelerate Section 8 conversions, or do something worse, like end all Section 9 housing in one fell swoop.

We would prefer that Sen. Schumer pass H.R.235 — the fully-fund public housing bill, with an adjusted funding floor and increased protections we have been requesting — as a stand-alone bill. If he does not come through to protect Section 9 public housing, then we will work to make sure that Sen. Schumer is primaried in the 2022 Midterm Elections. Already, the Democrats are nervous about losing control of Congress.

Based on how they break their promises, they should be worried.

Schumer broke a promise to put public housing funding into the Infrastructure Bill. Now, he risks breaking a second promise about the Budget Reconciliation.

Is Majority Leader Charles Schumer going to betray the New Deal promise of public housing ?

Members of Fight For NYCHA were present at the 18 April press conference, where Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) promised to put $80 billion in funding for public housing into the President’s Infrastructure Bill. Sen. Schumer said that the initial proposal of $40 billion that President Joseph Biden (D) had suggested was too low and that the increase would allow NYCHA to receive the $40 billion it needed to complete the backlog of capital repairs that have been used as an excuse by Mayor Bill de Blasio (WFP-New York City) to sell-out NYCHA with RAD/PACT, infill development, and air rights sales.

However, after President Biden gave the keys to the Kingdom to Senate Republicans, they succeeded in watering-down the Infrastructure Bill, leaving no money for public housing. None ! That meant that, as of 24 June, once the GOP compromise was detailed by the White House, Sen. Schumer’s first lie was exposed.

We need the $40 billion that is owed to the New York City Housing Authority, or NYCHA, for capital repair funding in order to stop the privatization of public housing. We need to save Section 9 housing.

Even though President Biden closed the door on the Infrastructure Bill negotiations, Sen. Schumer has continued to advocate for $80 billion for public housing in “infrastructure” spending, including at a 23 July photo-op at the Oceanside Houses in Far Rockaway, Queens. But the Infrastructure Bill was already closed to negotiations. What Sen. Schumer not being honest with us ?

There is a corrupt bait and switch going on, and public housing residents will pay for it in higher rents, threats of evictions, and violations of their civil rights.

Since there’s been no money for public housing, unscrupulous politicians, like Mayor de Blasio, are using Section 8 conversions under RAD/PACT and the proposed Blueprint scheme to end Section 9 housing. This effectively ends the New Deal promise of public housing, which was for the Government to admit that it had a role in providing safe and sanitary housing to people at low-cost. What is happening now is that corrupt politicians are using the Section 8 rental assistance voucher programme to replace Section 9, something that was never intended to occur when Section 8 vouchers were first created.

The RAD/PACT scheme that Mayor de Blasio has been promoting leads to higher rents, higher risks of evictions, and violations of tenants’ civil rights. It’s a bad deal that tenants need to reject, and Sen. Schumer knows that.

Now, Sen. Schumer is promising us the public housing funding in the Budget Reconciliation, but that comes with strings attached, like we can’t demand forensic audits of public housing authorities, and we can’t repeal the Faircloth Amendment that caps the construction of new public housing. We’re scared that politicians will use these limitations to either accelerate Section 8 conversions, or do something worse, like end all Section 9 housing in one fell swoop.

Because Sen. Schumer’s office has begun to use parliamentary rules that stem from the filibuster to qualify that public housing funding can’t come with greater tenant protections, this puts public housing residents at-risk for bad leases, increased costs, and evictions. As a result, we increasingly feel that H.R.235 — the bill to fully-fund public housing — should be passed as a standalone bill after it has been increased to guarantee $40 billion to NYCHA to save Section 9 housing and amended to include forensic audit requirements, a repeal of the Faircloth Amendment, education and jobs programs for public housing residents, a repeal of Section 8 conversion schemes, including RAD/PACT, and a provision that any disposition of public housing assets be subjected to the local community approval process that is in effect in each Municipal jurisdiction. This would stop the privatization of public housing.

Since Sen. Schumer doesn’t inspire confidence, we have begun to flyer about these truths, because we are tired of Sen. Schumer coming up short. If he doesn’t pass H.R. 235 as a standalone bill in a way that does not permit Section 8 vouchers to replace Section 9 housing, we will begin to work with anyone, even the DSA, to see that Sen. Schumer is primaried in the 2022 Midterms. As much as we distrust the DSA, we know that they are focused only on self-interest, as is AOC. They only think of opportunism, self-promotion, and expediency. “Power can be beautiful,” AOC said to CNN for her new 2022 Midterms fundraising infomercial, in which she herself doesn’t rule out a primary challenge to Sen. Schumer. That’s a mighty powerful convergence of forces that Sen. Schumer would have to overcome.

New York has become a battleground for a new Democratic Party, where Christine Quinn, Joseph Crowley, Eliot Engel, Corey Johnson, and Jimmy Van Bramer have seen their political careers come to an end after people reached their limits with being sold out. Now, Sen. Schumer gets to decide if he faces the same prospect.

If Sen. Charles Schumer doesn’t save Section 9 public housing, will voters will serve an “Eviction Notice” on him in the 2021 Midterms ?

VIDEO : NYCHA activists poured ‘blood’ on the Hudson Yards drone on the 4th of July

The U.S. Military budget and the filibuster currently prevent the U.S. Congress from passing progressive legislation, like H.R.235/S.598/S.679, which would provide emergency funding for the backlog capital repairs to the Nation’s public housing stock.

Before the Macy’s fireworks display took center-stage in New York City’s East River, public housing activists made their own display at a monument that they alleged glorified endless wars at Hudson Yards.

The activists poured “blood” on the pole that props up an installation of a drone on the High Line Park adjoining Hudson Yards in Manhattan. A banner drop took place concurrently with the “drone attack.”

NYCHA Is Not For Sale : 4th of July Protest and Banner Drop at the Hudson Yards Drone

On 18 April 2021, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) promised to support amending H.R.235 so that it would provide $80 billion to fund the backlog of capital repairs to public housing, of which approx. $40 billion would be earmarked for the New York City Housing Authority, or NYCHA.  Furthermore, NYCHA residents were promised that H.R.235 would be put into the Infrastructure Bill being shaped by President Joseph Biden (D) and would provide job opportunities to public housing residents. But H.R.235 was not included in the bipartisan Infrastructure Bill that was negotiated with G.O.P. Senators.

  • President Biden must ask the U.S. Congress to fund the backlog of capital repairs in the Nation’s public housing stock by cutting the cost from the bloated U.S. Military budget.  We must create the long, overdue peace dividend that can be invested in domestic programs, beginning with ending the era of the racist divestment of public housing.
  • If President Biden cannot support cutting $80 billion from the U.S. Military budget, then President Biden must forgo elusive bipartisan support.  Bipartisanship was never going to be possible with Republic Party obstructionism that relies on using the filibuster to block passage of progressive legislation.  Once the filibuster has been eliminated, then the Democrats in the U.S. Senate can pass S.598/S.679 (the companion bills to H.R.235), so that the U.S. House can vote to pass H.R.235.

Protest to demand a cut the U.S. Military budget or to end the filibuster in order to fully-fund public housing

THE NYCHA IS NOT FOR SALE COALITION CALLS ON THE WHITE HOUSE TO SUPPORT H.R. 235, A BILL TO FULLY-FUND PUBLIC HOUSING, EVEN IF IT MEANS CUTTING AT LEAST SOME OF THE U.S. MILITARY BUDGET AND/OR ENDING THE FILIBUSTER.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT : Edwin DeJesus, info@edwinfornyc.com, (917) 804-7087

NEW YORK, NY (July 4) — The NYCHA Is Not For Sale coalition declares that it is time for U.S. citizens to declare independence from the U.S. military-industrial complex and the filibuster that currently prevent the U.S. Congress from passing progressive legislation, like H.R.235/S.598/S.679, which would provide emergency funding for the backlog capital repairs to the Nation’s public housing stock.

To support our demands, NYCHA Is Not For Sale coalition members today staged a direct-action protest to focus public attention on the need to fund the backlog of capital repairs to public housing.

VIDEO 1 : Banner Drop [Twitter]

VIDEO 2 : Drone Attack [Twitter]

At the protest today, public housing activists participated in a banner drop and in renouncing the glorification of U.S. Military spending at the cost of funding habitable housing for NYCHA residents, who include U.S. veterans, civil servants, retirees, public school children, and many others.

On 18 April 2021, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) promised to support amending H.R.235 so that it would provide $80 billion to fund the backlog of capital repairs to public housing, of which approx. $40 billion would be earmarked for the New York City Housing Authority, or NYCHA.  Furthermore, NYCHA residents were promised that H.R.235 would be put into the Infrastructure Bill being shaped by President Joseph Biden (D) and would provide job opportunities to public housing residents.

But H.R.235 was not included in the bipartisan Infrastructure Bill that was negotiated with G.O.P. Senators.

There is an urgency to funding public housing, because neoliberals, such as Mayor Bill de Blasio (WFP-New York City), seek to sell-out public housing with schemes, like the Rental Assistance Demonstration, or RAD ; Permanent Affordability Commitment Together, or PACT ; infill development ; the sale of air rights ; and/or the Blueprint — plans that seek to permanently end Section 9 public housing by disposing of public housing assets.

Cut the U.S. Military budget or end the filibuster

NOW, THEREFORE, in order to fully-fund the long-overdue capital repairs to NYCHA, the NYCHA Is Not For Sale coalition hereby demands that the White House must communicate that : (a). the House pass H.R.235 as a stand-alone bill — just like it has done with a large surface transporation bill (H.R.3684) that is infrastructure-related, and (b). the Senate pass the companion bill with funding set at $80 billion, as promised by Senate Majority Leader Schumer. Fully-f unding public housing is possible under two frameworks :

  • FRAMEWORK #1.  President Biden must ask the U.S. Congress to fund the backlog of capital repairs in the Nation’s public housing stock by cutting the cost from the bloated U.S. Military budget.  For too long, the Federal Government has never questioned U.S. Military spending (https://www.reuters.com/business/aerospace-defense/raytheon-gets-2-billion-us-air-force-contract-long-range-weapon-2021-07-01/), and that has always come at the cost of making long, overdue investments in infrastructure, including to public housing.  Furthermore, if the U.S. Congress must take up passage of H.R.235/S.598/S.679 solely by budget reconciliation, then the funds for public housing can come from making budget realocations from the U.S. Military.  The NYCHA Is Not For Sale coalition stands with our allies in jointly demanding an end to the endless wars.  We seek to stop Washington from arming, funding, bombing, and deploying troops and drones in wars and armed conflict around the world.  We must create the long, overdue peace dividend that can be invested in domestic programs, beginning with ending the era of the racist divestment of public housing.  Indeed, the Government expanded NYCHA to provide housing to veterans returning from World War II (https://www.nytimes.com/1946/06/02/archives/study-shows-families-of-veterans-occupy-a-large-part-of-the-public.html?searchResultPosition=2).  Our Nation owes veterans, their families, and all public housing residents safe, sanitary, and habitable public housing.  We must collectively seek to promote peace around the World, and this means we must end the use of all foreign aid that presently supports the commission of war crimes and human rights violations.  A peacetime economy can support a new commitment to racial, legal, and social justice.
  • FRAMEWORK #2.  If President Biden cannot support cutting $80 billion from the U.S. Military budget, then President Biden must forgo elusive bipartisan support.  Bipartisanship was never going to be possible with Republic Party obstructionism that relies on using the filibuster to block passage of progressive legislation.  Many have called the filibuster a vestige of slavery and of Jim Crow laws that have for too long permitted a powerful minority to distort the democratic functions of Government.  President Biden must abandon GOP compromise that is premised on avoiding the filibuster by pressuring the U.S. Senate to end the filibuster completely.  Republicans could not block passage of H.R.235/S.598/S.679 and other progressive legislation, including voting rights protections, without relying on the filibuster.  The time to do away with the filibuster is now.  Once the filibuster has been eliminated, then the Democrats in the U.S. Senate can pass S.598/S.679 (the companion bills to H.R.235), so that the U.S. House can vote to pass H.R.235.  Majority Leader Schumer’s promise to NYCHA residents would end the era of the racist divestment of public housing, and we need to do everything possible to help him keep his word.

NYCHA faces an emergency.  For years, Mayor de Blasio has promoted several schemes to end Section 9 public housing or to privatise public housing.  We don’t need to end the New Deal promise of public housing, because we have options to fund the backlog of capital repairs by either cutting from the U.S. Military Budget or ending the filibuster.  The time to act is now.

Protest Against NYCHA Blueprint Turns Savage, as DSA Members Manhandle a Green Party Candidate, Engage In Ad Hominem Online Attacks to Obfuscate Their Corrupt Support for the Blueprint Sell-Out of Public Housing

A protest to save public housing devolves into chaos, as DSA leaders are exposed for supporting the Blueprint sell-out of NYCHA, leading to a rift amongst the political left in New York.

A new coalition of public housing activists, NYCHA Is Not For Sale, held a protest against the corrupt, neoliberal plan by Mayor Bill de Blasio (WFP-New York City) to bring about the wholesale end to Section 9 public housing. The plan, known as the Blueprint, would create an unaccountable, nebulous State Authority that would rewrite the apartment leases of every public housing tenant, who isn’t already destined for another corrupt, neoliberal scheme — the RAD/PACT conversions that have been the subject of legal controversies.

The protest against the Blueprint turned chaotic when members of the New York City Democratic Socialists — loyalists to the mayor’s political supporters — interrupted the public housing rally with a competing demonstration.

NYCHA Is Not 4 Sale – Protest Against Blueprint – 2 June 2021

A mature, responsible call for political unity was disrupted by the NYC-DSA.

The public housing rally began with plain clothes NYPD officers wearing no badges, names, badge numbers, or body cameras, harassing the public housing activists about their protest signs. Shortly there after, public housing residents and various political candidates denounced Mayor de Blasio’s privatisation schemes for the New York City Housing Authority and called on political unity in support of Federal funding legislation that would pay for the backlog of capital repairs that have been the cause of pain and suffering for public housing residents.

NYCHA tenant association presidents Rev. Carmen Hernandez and Melanie Aucello and NYCHA tenant activist and City Council candidate Lilithe Lozano each repudiated the political betrayal that allowed NYCHA to become nearly uninhabitable. In turn, City Council candidates Lena Melendez and Edwin DeJesus spoke of the moral reasons to fully-fund NYCHA without having to resort to privatisation schemes. And Lindsey Boylan, a candidate for Manhattan borough president, made a compelling call for Democratic Party unity to support H.R. 235, draft legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives sponsored by U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY 07) that would fully-fund NYCHA. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) has expressed support for H.R. 235.

A foreshadowing of trouble was observed when Public Advocate Jumaane Williams cast aspersions on the Schumer-Velázquez Federal aid package for NYCHA. Chaos ensued after the NYC-DSA attempted to undermine the public housing protest.

“You can’t shoehorn a working class movement into a corporate party.”

The public housing protest took place outside the eastern security gate to New York City Hall, which is across the street from the office building at 250 Broadway, which, in turn, houses the executive headquarters for NYCHA. Several New York State Legislators also maintain offices in the same building.

Out of sight, members of the NYC-DSA had gathered in City Hall Park for a demonstration for public control of electricity companies. Once the NYC-DSA activists emerged from the park, they acted to block traffic on Broadway between the public housing protest location and the entrance to 250 Broadway, at which point the public housing protest moved into the street.

Not long after, Mr. DeJesus used a megaphone to denounce State Sens. Julia Salazar (DSA-Brooklyn) and Jabari Brisport (DSA-Brooklyn) over their duplicity. In response, NYC-DSA members placed their hands on Mr. DeJesus, pushed him back, and attempted to take his megaphone. Some members of NYCHA Is Not For Sale rushed to use their bodies to block NYC-DSA members from escalating their physical assault. Members of NYCHA Is Not For Sale have questioned the moral clarity of NYC-DSA to claim their espousal for public power when they have allowed Mayor de Blasio to move forward with the privatisation of public housing.

Online, Sen. Salazar downplayed the acts of assault and tore into the criticism by engaging in ad hominem attacks on members of NYCHA Is Not For Sale, at one point making a scurrilous and libelous attack against the entire NYCHA Is Not For Sale coalition by calling them “grifters,” thereby telegraphing to NYC-DSA members that she would destroy the reputations of socialists, who fractured the myth that the NYC-DSA was a political monolith that was expected to serve its leaders. In recent years, politicians, who have exploited the language of social movements for power or personal enrichment, have faced political losses, such as former New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-03) and former U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY 14). The political repercussions have also ensnared 2021 political candidates, like Dianne Morales.

According to activists, Mayor de Blasio is urging a vote on the Blueprint on or before June 10, so he can bring about a wholesale end to Section 9 housing before a critical June 14 hearing in the Baez Federal class action case against NYCHA. New York has long exhibited signs of political boss systems from Albany to New York City Hall — and now, apparently, to the NYC-DSA.

NYCHA Blueprint: An End to Public Housing in NYC?

A recovery in New York City most certainly not for us

The call by Mayor Bill de Blasio to reopen the economy, now being rushed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, promises a return to the discriminatory power dynamic and social hierarchy of the past.

Mayor Bill de Blasio (WFP-New York City) went on State media on Thursday morning to announce by authoritarian dictate that the economy will be fully reopened in New York City by July 1, 2021. “We are ready for stores to open, for businesses to open, offices, theaters, full strength,” the mayor said, according to the City-provided transcript of his on-air remarks.

A fully-reopened economy will mean that the Government can stop providing assistance to compensate people for the racial disparities that were revealed in glaring detail by the Coronavirus pandemic, namely, how the profit-driven healthcare system tolerates racial disparities in healthcare outcomes for people. It means that the free healthcare (the free Coronavirus testing and the free Coronavirus vaccines) will come to an end. It means that the emergency food banks that have been providing people with nutrition due to the rise in joblessness will come to an end. It means that the extensions of unemployment assistance will come to an end. It means that the emergency shelter being provided to people without homes will come to an end. There’s only one goal Mayor de Blasio has : “We’re going to keep driving down COVID through vaccinations.”

On the way to delivering these free vaccinations, Mayor de Blasio has conveniently forgotten about the lip service he paid to racial disparities that were exposed during his two terms in office. In March, the mayor announced the formation of a racial justice commission that was supposed to replace the racial justice commission he had announced last year and which was never formed. Damn the racial justice commission reports, at this point, the mayor just wants to reopen the economy. And Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) was made jealous enough to call for a reopening sooner than July 1.

There’s no thought to end the systemic racism in our society. Even with the healthcare disparities made clear during the Coronavirus pandemic, that didn’t stop Gov. Cuomo from cutting Medicaid, and it hasn’t stopped him from trying to close still yet more hospitals in Brooklyn or Queens. In terms of business, corporate retail giants, like Amazon, Walmart, and Target, saw online sales skyrocket as local, small businesses were forced to close due to the pandemic. The politicians are focused on returning us to an economy with even more disturbing economic inequalities, including higher rates of poverty.

This is one test that reveals how wedded Mayor de Blasio is to systemic racism : His non-stop scheme for RAD/PACT and Blueprint conversions of NYCHA public housing.

Even though Mayor de Blasio was left unindicted following a wide-ranging, Federal corruption investigation into his campaign finance activities and even though Gov. Cuomo faces another round of corruption investigations coupled with an independent counsel investigation into sexual harassment allegations that are, collectively, the subject of an impeachment inquiry, they are the ones making decisions affecting our lives.

Already, a group of New York City parents and teachers filed a lawsuit last December to stop compulsory Coronavirus testing over Fourth Amendment privacy rights, including concerns that DNA samples may wind up in a database without patients’ consent, according to a report published by Gothamist. And Saturday, dozens of municipal employees protested Mayor de Blasio’s demand that 80,000 City workers return to office work this week, according to a report published by the New York Daily News. The mayor’s obsession with reopening the economy flies in the face of the relentless Coronavirus pandemic, which, world-wide, has reached a new peak of deaths and cases, according to a CBS News report broadcast on Sunday.

Of particular concern to New York City Housing Authority residents is Mayor de Blasio’s non-stop push to continue the privatisation of strategic public housing assets. Despite no basis in law, the Government has countenanced Mayor de Blasio’s failure to hold public meetings about his scheme for the the RAD/PACT conversion of public housing. For example, on April 23, the de Blasio administration announced the issuance of a Request For Proposal for the RAD/PACT conversion of the Fulton Houses, Elliott Houses, and Chelsea Houses — the last hold-outs of affordable housing in the gentrified Manhattan neighborhood of Chelsea.

Despite resident and community opposition, Mayor de Blasio acts like he cannot be stopped from disposing public assets — even when confronted with a very public effort by U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY 07) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) to fully-fund the backlog of capital repairs across the Nation’s entire public housing stock. U.S. Rep. Velázquez and Sen. Schumer are basically teaming up to promise to end the decades of racist divestment of public housing, but Mayor de Blasio is more concerned with making sure that the economic gears resume their grinding of people of colour and people living with low incomes.

The de Blasio administration suspects that human remains and cultural items belonging to Native American tribes may be buried underneath Williamsburg Houses, but that still didn’t stop him from moving forward with RAD/PACT, in violation of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. Whether you are dead or alive, Mayor de Blasio believes that the privatisation of our heritage must go on.

No Vaccine Passports until public housing is fully-funded by passage of H.R. 235

We are not going to go along with the reopening of the economy, only to return to the racial disparities that got us here.

Mayor Bill de Blasio (WFP-New York City) and Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) are only interested in reopening the economy before the end of the Coronavirus pandemic so that they can please their Big Business donors. Not only is this dangerous, because new variants of the Coronavirus are unleashing death and suffering in India. We’re not going along with that, especially since they have are doing nothing to end the racial disparities that brought the New York City Housing Authority to the brink of Federal receivership and, thus, to the dangerous push for privatisation. We’re not going back to the era of racist divestment as a pretexte for selling-out strategic public assets !

Mayor de Blasio and Gov. Cuomo ignored science and placed our lives in jeopardy at the start of the pandemic, and we’re not about to let them again place our lives — and our housing — in jeopardy in order to manufacture a false end to the pandemic.

Until public housing is fully-funded and a moratorium is placed on all RAD/PACT conversions, we will not participate in any Government scheme that reopens the economy until all racial and economic disparities come to an end at NYCHA.

In order to begin to address the racism that public housing residents, accountability and reform must be brought to the New York Police Department. This means that NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea must resign for deploying the dystopian Robot Dog to public housing. It’s not enough that the military contract for the Robot Dog with Boston Dynamics was cancelled early. There must be accountability for racist over-policing at NYCHA. To ensure structural reform at the NYPD, there must be a pattern and practise civil rights investigation of the troubled police department.

And most importantly, the Public Housing Emergency Response Act (H.R. 235) must be passed and signed into law, which will fund all backlog capital repairs for public housing authorities. Passage of this bill will end the era of racist divestment of public housing. With sponsorship by U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY 07) and support by Leader Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), this bill represents a renewal of the New Deal promise of public housing. This is a structural reform that is long over-due. And this is progressivism at perhaps its highest ideal.

We are not going back to the systemic racism and racial disparities of the de Blasio and Cuomo administrations without structural reforms. We are not participating in any economy that leads to our own exploitation and discrimination.

With a proposed plan on the table to fully-fund public housing, U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez says no to RAD/PACT at NYCHA

U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez has announced her opposition to RAD/PACT conversions at NYCHA public housing.

“If we get this money, there’s no reason for RAD.”

U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY 07) announced at last week’s press conference her emphatic opposition to RAD/PACT conversions by NYCHA, now that a firm proposal for a plan to fully-fund public housing has the support of Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY).

When asked by OccupyRadio.net journalist Michael McCabe if the new proposal to provide at least $80 billion in the Senate version of the infrastructure bill first proposed by President Joe Biden (D) could stop further RAD/PACT conversions at NYCHA, U.S. Rep. Velázquez was ardent in her opposition to the use of private sector landlords to manage public housing.

“Well, the reason NYCHA has come up with RAD is because of the lack of resources and investment from the Federal Government. If we get this money, there’s no reason for RAD,” U.S. Rep. Velázquez said, adding that, “NYCHA or any Agency or City Government should not be in the business of selling public assets.”

U.S. Rep. Velázquez’s leadership on funding public housing has inspired Leader Schumer to champion the issue. But Mayor Bill de Blasio and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez continue to support RAD/PACT.

Leader Schumer’s support to fully-fund public housing came to the fore after U.S. Rep. Velázquez sponsored Public Housing Emergency Response Act (H.R. 235), draft legislation to provide Federal funding for the backlog of capital repairs to public housing.

In spite of the emerging reality that the capital repairs will soon be fully-funded, Mayor Bill de Blasio (WFP-New York City) and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (DSA-NY 14) continue to support RAD/PACT.

On Friday, the de Blasio administration issued a Request For Proposal for the RAD/PACT conversion of the last three public housing developments in the gentrified Manhattan neighborhood of Chelsea, namely, Fulton Houses, Elliott Houses, and Chelsea Houses. That the de Blasio administration continues with RAD/PACT conversions represents a promise of continued systemic racism, because private sector landlords stand to weaken tenants’ rights under the privatisation scheme.

For her part, U.S. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez renewed her call to use the discredited “tenant protection vouchers” in her controversial “green” New Deal for public housing plan. Her plan, which was rolled-out one day after Leader Schumer’s historical press conference in Harlem, stands to rival Leader Schumer’s plan. U.S. District Court Judge William Pauley III has ruled that NYCHA can legally weaken tenants’ rights under the so-called tenant protection vouchers. It’s not yet known how the non-stop political challenges by U.S. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez will be received by the Biden administration. Already, U.S. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s supporters have announced plans to primary one of President Biden’s most steadfast allies in Manhattan, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY 12).

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