#SDNY close the door on #NYCHA activists seeking last-resort help to stop unlawful #RAD conversions

The U.S. Attorney’s Office oversees the NYCHA Settlement Agreement that was supposed to save NYCHA — not sell it out.

Security guards at the U.S. Attorney’s Office turned away NYCHA activists who had showed up at their doorstep on Wednesday, denying them a requested meeting with Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss. The activists included Melanie Aucello, the president of the resident association of the NYCHA public housing apartment building at 344 East 28th Street in Manhattan.

Residents at NYCHA apartment buildings have been being pressured into signing leases with private sector landlords under a neoliberal Federal scheme known as Rental Assistance Demonstration, or RAD, that has been shown to lead to evictions and other civil rights violations. At one Kips Bay apartment building, where Ms. Aucello lives, the lease signings have been taking place without translated documents for some residents, who only speak foreign languages, and the residents have been denied the benefit of a full review of lease documents by their counsel, Manhattan Legal Services.

Speaking of RAD conversions, Ms. Aucello said, “We demand a moratorium.”

The exchange between the activists and security guards for the U.S. Attorney’s Office became heated at times. “Please don’t turn us away,” Ms. Aucello said. A member of Fight For NYCHA added, “We’ve been turned away and ignored by the Mayor, by Gale Brewer, by everybody. Even AOC threw us under the bus.”

One security guard provided blank complaint forms to Ms. Aucello. Ultimately, the security guards closed their door to the activists.

Is Acting U.S. Attorney Strauss a cold-hearted functionary ?

On Tuesday, the activists were interviewed by WBAI about a protest that took place at the Kips Bay apartment building on Monday. The Kips Bay apartment building is one of 16 apartment complexes that faces almost imminent RAD conversion. In total, Mayor Bill de Blasio (WFP-New York City) plans to put 60,000 public housing apartments into the RAD scheme, dealing a severe blow to the future of Section 9 public housing. So far, many so-called “progressive” groups have refused to express any criticism of Mayor de Blasio’s dangerous bid to end public housing as we know it.

First meeting of NYCHA Working Group reveals lies, betrayals, and Electeds and police conspire to keep secret proceedings that will determine the future of public housing in New York City

Bill de Blasio’s NYCHA Working Group is a sham !

AFTER THE SUCCESSFUL FIGHT FOR NYCHA TOWN HALL, Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-New York City) reportedly freaked out. Two news articles planted in POLITICO New York reported that U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY 10) opposed the demolition of public housing and was calling for a delay on the Request for Proposal for demolition and RAD conversion of Fulton Houses in Cheslea. One report, in particular, had noted that, in his desperation, U.S. Rep. Nadler had allegedly called on Comptroller Scott Stringer (D-New York City) and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams (D-New York City) to show up to community meetings about the future of public housing. The move to include Stringer and Williams was seen as a political threat to New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Chelsea), in whose Council district the four public housing developments are located, which face some degree of privatisation.

But at the first meeting of the working group empaneled by Mayor de Blasio and other Electeds, tasked with determining the future of the New York City Housing Authority, or NYCHA, Deputy Mayor Vicki Been revealed that demolition remained on the table, despite private assurances allegedly made by U.S. Rep. Nadler and others following the Fight For NYCHA town hall.

Vicki Been presentation for Demolition, Infill, RAD, MIH, and Air Rights Sale at NYCHA Working Group

In order to get video of Deputy Mayor Vicki Been’s presentation about NYCHA’s future, a member of Fight For NYCHA had to risk arrest.

A member of Fight For NYCHA had to risk arrest in order to crash the secret first meeting of the NYCHA Working Group. Please advance to 2:00 to hear audio (and video later) of NYPD Inspector Howard Redmond and, later, other NYPD officers, threaten the Fight For NYCHA member with arrest for demanding to bear witness to the NYCHA Working Group meeting.

NYPD threaten Fight For NYCHA member with arrest at Bill de Blasio’s NYCHA Working Group

Did Robert Atterbury violate New York’s open meetings law ?

Before police showed up to menace the Fight For NYCHA member, U.S. Rep. Nadler’s aide, Robert Atterbury, made deceptive statements by materially misrepresenting the proceedings of the NYCHA Working Group as a secret meeting that was closed to the public. In New York State, Government meetings are open meetings. Yet, Mr. Atterbury repeatedly indicated that a meeting that would discuss the disposition of NYCHA public assets and City real property was not a public meeting and that, improbably, the NYCHA Working Group was not a “civic group.” Under New York State penal code, obstructing Government administration is a class A misdemeanor in the second degree. See § 195.05.

Fight For NYCHA calls on U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler to fire his aide, Robert Atterbury, for violating democracy, transparency.

Please join us for a press conference and protest outside the next NYCHA Working Group.

Mayor de Blasio has empaneled a rigged and stacked NYCHA Working Group to determine the future of Fulton, Chelsea, and Elliott Houses. But this working group has purposely excluded tenants from Holmes Towers, Cooper Park, Wyckoff Gardens, LGA Houses, and Harborview — even though infill has been planned at those developments.

Date : Tues., 29-Oct-2019
Time : 5:30 pm
Place : PS 33, 281 9th Ave., Manhattan
RSVP : Press Conference and Protest of NYCHA Working Group [Facebook]

What is more, Fight For NYCHA has discovered that Mayor de Blasio has instituted a gag rule, meaning that the discussions of the NYCHA Working Group will be kept secret. This is a violation of Government transparency. It also violates the First Amendment rights of tenants to be able to speak in informed discussions about their own future. The gag rule and the restrictions in attendance also violate the State’s open meetings law.

Fight For NYCHA raised the issue of legality to these proceedings at first working group, since any disposition of City real property must be subject to the ULURP process.

Please join Fight For NYCHA in demanding to attend and be heard at the second meeting of the NYCHA Working Group.