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The Activist Whose Family Owns One of the City’s Most Beloved Mexican Restaurants Still Faces Deportation

Marco Saavedra. (Photos: DJ Cashmere)

On the way to his asylum hearing at 26 Federal Plaza this morning, Marco Saavedra first stopped across the street at the African Burial Ground National Monument. The site is the final resting place of an estimated 15,000 Africans, many of them enslaved. He “took a moment of silence to breathe in the place that we’re in,” he later told journalists. It was a characteristic moment for Saavedra: using the spotlight cast on him to point to other injustices, and remaining distinctly aware that the land upon which we live has a complex history. More →


Landlords, Activists Clash as City Council Mulls Small Business Jobs Survival Act

David Eisenbach at a rally before the City Council hearing. (Photo: DJ Cashmere)

Corey Johnson began yesterday’s hearing with an elegy:

Tortilla Flats. 30+ years. Closing this weekend.
Clayworks Pottery. Kicked out after 44 years.
Lenox Lounge in Harlem. Billie Holiday played there. Being demolished to make way for a Sephora.
North Shore Hardware. 70 years. Given one month to vacate.
Cup and Saucer. Chinatown. Another diner lost.
The Associated Supermarket. Closed after having its rent tripled. Its storefront remains vacant.

It was a little after 1pm at City Hall. Johnson, the City Council Speaker, was offering opening remarks before a standing-room-only crowd at the hearing of the Committee on Small Business regarding the Small Business Jobs Survival Act (SBSJA).

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Happy Hour Creates Buzz For Small Business Jobs Survival Act Ahead of Council Hearing

(Photos by DJ Cashmere)

On October 22, small businesses in New York City may or may not get a lifeline they’ve been waiting on for 30 years. It will come, if it comes, in the form of the Small Business Jobs Survival Act (SBJSA). The bill, which has been languishing in the City Council for three decades, could change the face of commercial real estate in the city. It has a simple premise: next time the owners of your favorite local bakery/bodega/barber shop need to renew their lease, they might actually be able to do so.

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