Lifelong Lower East Side resident Carlina Rivera is a frontrunner to be a City Council member representing District 2, where her current boss Rosie Mendez is on the way out. She’s racked up at least $176,000 in fundraising and she received praise and promises of votes when she attended an anti-Starbucks rally in the East Village last month. If Rivera wins the primary election on September 12, she’ll continue her campaign to represent the East Village, Gramercy Park, Kips Bay, Lower East Side, Murray Hill and Rose Hill. We met with her at Alphabet City’s Ninth Street Espresso to talk about her campaign, local issues, and her sheroes.
Residents, activists, community groups and their elected representatives gathered at the steps of City Hall yesterday afternoon with a Valentine’s Day message for Mayor de Blasio. Their request – to convert the long vacant P.S. 64 building in the East Village into a community center and disallow owner Gregg Singer from developing it into a college dorm.
If the Olympics put you in the mood for serving and spiking, here’s some good news: The Henry M. Jackson Playground is getting a volleyball area. It’s just one of many perks coming to two Lower East Side playgrounds as part of a city initiative to modernize ailing parks.
Last night council members Margaret Chin and Rosie Mendez visited Community Board 3 to face the music and explain their votes on the mayor’s affordable housing and rezoning plan, which was approved by the City Council in March. The plan will allow developers to build higher in rezoned neighborhoods, but require them to include at least 25 percent affordable housing in all new buildings.
Democratic District Leader Alice Cancel picked up two more endorsements today in the run up to a special election on April 19 to replace Sheldon Silver’s seat in the New York State Assembly. Both Margaret Chin and Rosie Mendez, downtown councilmembers, said Cancel was the right choice for the job.
“Alice knows the community, she knows our schools, she knows our small businesses, she knows about public housing and she’s worked with the tenants,” said Chin in her endorsement. “She’s a district leader that works with the elected officials. When there’s a problem in the community, she calls them.”
That is not a Mucinex hallucination: I just used the words “quick and painless” about government bureaucracy. Thanks, Obama! Or: thanks, Rosie Mendez. The council member is part of a group of local officials that helped install a temporary ID NYC enrollment center in the East Village.
After finding out about the pop-up at 25 Avenue D and going online earlier this afternoon to discover there was an appointment available in just 10 minutes, I booked it and headed over there. I was in and out in about 15 minutes — no line, no wait, no nothing. All I had to do was fill out a one-page form, present the pertinent documents (in my case, a passport and a utility bill), and pose for a photo. Despite horror stories in the wake of the program’s launch about a year ago, it took me less time than it does to score a pint of Haagen Dazs at my corner bodega when there’s a drunk girl in front of me scouring her Marc Jacobs bag for nickels.
Karen Platt has been channeling her frustrations through the satisfying scrape of chalk across concrete. After years of living with dust, noise, and health hazards caused by construction, repeated and seemingly relentless service cut-offs, and what she says are intentional moves by her landlord to clear her (and other rent-regulated tenants like her) out of her longtime home at 522 East 5th Street in the East Village, Platt’s sidewalk messages reveal she has reached a breaking point: “Lack of services is harassment” and “Enough is Enough.”
As Platt explained to B+B, since Icon Realty Management bought her building, things took a turn for the miserable. “I’ve lived in New York my whole life and I’ve never, ever been treated like this,” she said.
Mayor de Blasio still hasn’t identified the public housing projects that will be targeted for private development under a controversial new plan, but after a meeting last night, it’s clear that the Lower East Side is a strong candidate for the mix of affordable and market-rate housing.
“It’s been a long two and a half weeks,” City Council Member Rosie Mendez said today at a meeting with owners of East Village businesses affected by the gas explosion of March 26. Among those who’ve survived the aftermath of the tragedy are the owners of Italian restaurant Via Della Pace on East 7th Street, just across from the blast site.