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Underground Railroad Tours Are a Hot Ticket: Could NYC’s Abolitionist History Get Easier to Access?

Juneteenth Grove. (Photos: Anna Venarchik)

“It’s very spiritual for me to be . . . on these grounds where my ancestors walked and struggled. It’s amazing to be here on this tour,” Brooklyn native Michael Garrett said Saturday as he followed the wide-brimmed hats of New York City park rangers through Brooklyn Heights. More →

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During Town Hall, Some (But Not All) Electeds Pledge to Cancel Rent

Charles Barron pledges to support rent reform bills.

Outraged activists, distressed renters, proud union leaders, mayoral campaigners, assembly members, state senators, and at least one reporter attended Brooklyn’s Tenant Town Hall last night. The participant list blossomed around 6:45pm, and neared 270 at its pinnacle. On the virtual discussion table was a package of nine bills to address New York City’s growing housing crisis, a crisis that mass unemployment throughout the pandemic has exacerbated. As many as one million current renting households in New York are at risk of eviction if moratoriums are lifted—or if housing bills aren’t passed to protect vulnerable tenants. More →

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A Trailblazing Church Survives Fire and Pestilence to Mark Ash Wednesday

Last February, Middle Church gathered at their 128-year-old sanctuary in the East Village to observe Ash Wednesday. Like churches around the world, Middle Church administered ashes on their congregants’ foreheads. But quite unlike other churches, the community considered the finitude of human life by commemorating the full import of the date, February 26—the anniversary of Trayvon Martin’s deathMore →

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Photographer’s Avenger, Judge’s Nightmare: The Case of Copyright Lawyer Richard Liebowitz

(Photo courtesy of Richard Liebowitz)

In the five years his firm has been opened, Richard Liebowitz, a photographer turned attorney, has managed to file more than 2,500 copyright infringement cases. In that same period, he has earned another distinction: he has become the most frequently sanctioned lawyer in the Southern District of New York. 

Federal judges in the District and elsewhere, exasperated with the number of cases and Liebowitz’s alleged misconduct, have labeled him the “copyright troll.”  More →

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Fight Intensifies Over Exam That’s Said to Keep Black Students Out of NYC’s Elite High Schools

Members of PLACE staged a rally at City Hall in October to advocate for the SHSAT. (Photo: Jasmine Photo)

One month after Sierra Fraser participated in a demonstration against New York City’s high school admissions testing, she’s visibly distressed about the experience.

“It was rough,” the 18-year-old college freshman tells me over Zoom, her hair sitting atop her head in a tight bun and her voice quickly turning from quiet and composed to loud and frustrated. Sierra adjusts her glasses and looks up at the ceiling: “We were chanting ‘Black students matter,’ and they yelled back ‘All students matter.’ Their signs said ‘Education for all,’ but how can you say ‘Education for all’ and not support a more inclusive education system for Black and brown students?” More →