Monday, May 20, 2019

a WONDERFUL Pot Luck Party

How wonderful was our Pot Luck Party on May 18th?  


We celebrated our building's 50th year in style with beautiful decorations by Lydia Pitsirilos, with the help of her son-in-law Cyrus Boquin.  The room was set up by a bevy of workers including Joan Browne, Debbie Gonzalez, Letty Orellano, Jerry Pirog, Bones
Lydia and grandchildren
Rodriguez, Claude Saucier, Maxine Soares, and Cary Webb. 

Joan Browne
Ernie Faison
Visitors were greeted by Joan Browne, Ernie Faison, Alan Fox, Helen Merber, and Cary Webb, who collected contributions, gave out name tags, and directed food contributors to the right areas.  Food was collected and set out under the direction of the three POT LUCK PLANNERS,  Debbie Gonzalez, Lydia Pitsirilos, and Maxine Soares, with Tish Howard and Laura Kahn.  

The Children's area was set up by Bones Rodriguez and Laura Valpey, and staffed by them and Kova Fahey, with the help of their children Pike and Poppy Joy and Ellie.

Bobby Moorhead and mom Carolyn
Our DJ Bobby Moorhead provided the music, with an additional jazz saxophone performance by Rev. Nat Dixon.  (Nat is selling CDs for $10, with $5 going to the tenant association.)

Sue Susman MC'd

Barbara Geller, Laura Koulish, Jerry Nadler,
Sal Conzalez, Maxine Soares

Congressman Jerry Nadler came to reunite with old friends:  When he was District Leader of Community Free Democrats, he and the late Ivan Merber and Ruth Ellin, and the very-much present and active Helen Merber, and Bonnie Fine, and others founded our tenant association.  Jerry spoke about CFD's aim of empowering tenants and then segued to a discussion of Washington, where corruption in the center must be fought. 
Kathie,Bones,Bobby,Yolanda,Nat, Jerry,Ed, Nick, Justin...

Richard Meza, Jerry Nadler, Bonnie Fine

Lydia, Geri, Rhonda, Linda, Nick, Laura, Bonnie
And we talked with State Senator Brian Benjamin
Sen. Benjamin and Steve Koulish

and with each other 

L., Dawn Sprauve, Lindsay Brockington

Kathie Murray and Debbie Gonzalez
And celebrated the children and grandchildren who grew up here, including

Korinne and Lukas Arenas, Nicole Barton, Tony Greer, Markees Boisseau, Stacey Brandon, Jodi & Lindsay Brockington, Emanuel Cochran, Luciane de Andrade and Sophia, Chris Delgado and Tracy Saez; Ayana, Nathaniel Dixon, Diana Donato, Melanie Eversley, Celeste Hewitt-Duval, Gabrielle Everett, Angel, Christopher Feliciano, Jason Geller, Luis Gonzalez; Carlos, Raymond Gonzalez, Miranda Goodstein Hodge, Aurora Granberry, Katie and Nicky Heyward, Rachel Hydell, Brittany Johnson, Nataley Jones, Sean Khan, Lisa, Jeremy Koulish, Bleu & Clementine Lanza, Elsie, Chris Madera, Eva Marie Malone, Elsa MacDonald Gonzalez, Steven, Jonathan Martinez, Alina Melendez, Alec Merber and daughters, A-Leaha Mobley, Bobby Moorhead, Allegra Neely-Wilson, Roie Opperman; Krystina, Olivia, Julian, and Eric Orellano; Pascale, Antonella, Katiana, Jean Joseph, and Carlyn Leon; Stephanie, Alex and Liza Pitsirilos & granddaughters Eliana, Amelia Alexandra; Sushama Prasad, Anthony Bonano, Suleika and her daughter Audre, Janak Ramakrishnan and Shantha Susman,  Billy Ras and Louie and Taisha; Bones Rodriguez, Pike and Poppy Joy,Christine Rodriguez, Marlin Rodriguez, Matthew Soares, Dawn Sprauve,Marina Squerciati; Jerome Smith, Marie Stewart and son Tyrone,Eduardo Tavarez,Rafi Torres,Cary Webb, Hillary and Anastia. [If your name was left out or incorrect, please email]

And we ATE (and shared with the guard, thanks to Pat Jordan) . . . . 

Lavina Edwards and friend Doris
Thanks to: 

Salsa & corn chips – Joan Browne
Cheese & crackers – Bonnie Fine
Vegetable platter – Mona Leon
Tomato, mozarrella and basil – Nick and Laura Panaro
Raw vegetable platter – Sam Welch
Cheese and peppers – Beatriz Zapata
Guineitos en escabeche – Stephanie Pitsirilos

Kale and tomatoes- Laurie Barton
Hearty green salad – Chariss Boisseau
Green salad – Shelia Friedling
Tossed salad – Zena Gonzalez
Bean salad – Jerry Pirog & Florence Jackson
Potato salad – Lydia Pitsirilos

Veggie dumplings – Nick, Kova and Ellie Fahey
Vegetable dish – Debbie Gonzalez
Bok choy & mushroom sauté- Tommy Leonardo
Grilled vegetables – Lydia Pitsirilos
Stir-fry of asparagus, broccoli and cauliflower – Lydia Pitsirilos
Stringbeans Madras – Sekhar Ramakrishnan
Vegetable dish – Marie Squerciati
Vietnamese spring rolls – Wini Villanueva

Pasta/ Rice
Yellow rice – Laurie Barton
Macaroni & Cheese – Norma Dixon
Pasta salad – Melanie Eversley
Macaroni & cheese – Tish Howard
Pasta salad – Marie Squerciati

Corn bread (two types) – Ena Malone

Meats/Sea Food
Lemon/pepper grilled chicken – Laurie Barton
Bolo Salgado de Frango  (breadloaf, chicken, vegetables) – Jurency de Andrade
Pork and veggie dumplings – Nick, Kova and Ellie Fahey. 
Double pork roast – Barbara Garson
Shrimp dumplings – Ed & Lora Kahn
Baked chicken – Letty Orellano
Vietnamese chicken – Jerry Pirog and Florence Jackson
Meat dish – Ena Malone
Turkey chili – Kathie Murray
Chennai Chicken – Sekhar Ramakrishnan
Jerked chicken – Maxine Soares
Yucatán slow roasted pork – Nadine Welch

Iced Tea – Jodi Brockington
Soda or juice – Donna Brown
Coffee and tea – Joan Browne
Seltzer, grape juice, colas (regular and diet) – Rosa Delgado
Sodas – Milly Matos
Fruit punch – Marlene Melton
Orange juice – Sue Susman
Sodas – Vernon Smith
Ice – Laurie Barton

Clementines, grapes, bananas – Maria Acevedo
Cake  and Pie – Laurie Barton
Sheet cake – Paul Fischer
Flan – Elsa Gonzalez
Fruit Platter – Steve Koulish
Flan – Maritza Martinez
Brownies – Allegra Neely-Wilson
Cake– Roie Opperman
Pastries – Prudence Opperman
Key lime pie – Nadine Welch & Justin Heyman

[If I've missed or misstated your name and what you brought, let me know!]

And then the clean-up crew came, with  Lydia Pitsirilos, Maxine Soares, Debbie Gonzalez, Vernon Smith, Wyona Purcell, Kathie Murray, Melanie Eversley, Denis Hayward, Lora Kahn, and more.  [Let me know if I missed your name.] 

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Pot Luck Party this Saturday with Cong. Nadler - and you!

Celebrate our building’s 50th Anniversary
       at the 
Central Park 
Gardens Tenants’               Association’s

This Saturday, May 18th

6-8:30 PM – Community Room

with Congressman JERRY NADLER

and Rev. “SAXRACK” NAT DIXON                                                           
 Food, dancing, 
friends, and music.

$10/person or $15/household 

or bring a dish for 8-10 people

or help out to come for free!

All tenants welcome 

and bring your kids (grown or small).

Sunday, May 5, 2019

May 8 - Protest worst evictors in our zip code

The Right to Counsel NYC Coalition and Goddard Riverside are holding a rally to protest the worst evictors in the zip codes where low-income people have a right to counsel - including 10025.  Using court records, they have named Stellar Management as one of them. 

Come to the rally:

156 WILLIAM STREET in Lower Manhattan.

(Take any train to Fulton Street.)

Pot Luck Party celebrating our building's 50th Anniversary- May 18, 2019

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Time to Act!

The rent laws will be renewed this June in Albany.  
They don't just happen in a void.  The landlord lobby 
is out in force, and tenants have to be louder.  So urge 
our elected officials to support Housing Justice for All.  

May 2, 2019: Testify in person or 
by email to the NYS Assembly's 
Standing Committee on Housing.  

 **Click here to view public hearing notice** with 

Get on the bus for Albany on May 14th: 

Write letters / email: 

PLEASE WRITE to  Gov. Cuomo
Speaker of the Assembly Carl Heastie, and to our 
State Senator Brian Benjamin and Assembly Member 
Daniel O'Donnell. 

Gov Cuomo has announced he will not support roll backs 
of MCI increases, and Assembly Speaker Heastie wants 
to drop protection for market tenants from the list
They need to hear from us.

Given a Democratic State Senate and a Democratic 
Assembly (and Governor), we actually have a chance 
of getting these passed:

· Protect market-rate (currently un-regulated) · 
tenants all over NY State - and not just in NYC, Westchester, 
Rockland, and Nassau Counties.  This includes a guaranteed 
renewal lease unless the tenant seriously violates the lease.

· Eliminate ways landlords raise the rent beyond · 
what many tenants can pay, including:
o Ending the MCI surcharge. (Right now it's a permanent 
increase in the rent.)
o Ending Individual Apartment Improvement (IAI) 
surcharges that raise rents in both vacant and 
occupied apartments.
o Ending vacancy increases that landlords get 
just because an apartment becomes vacant.
· End vacancy decontrol (vacancy deregulation)
Tell our legislators and the Governor to pass them!

Brian Benjamin had only signed onto some of them. Gov Cuomo and Carl Heastie have reportedly already announced that they will not support roll backs of MCI increases, and Assembly Speaker Heastie wants to drop protection for market tenants from the list. They need to hear from us.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

May 18th: Celebrate our building's 50th Anniversary at the Pot Luck Party!

Let's celebrate our old and new neighbors with our building in its 50th year 
at the

Central Park Gardens Tenants' Associations' 

50th Anniversary
Pot Luck Party

Saturday, May 18, 2019

with Congressman Jerry Nadler.

Invite your family and friends who used to live here.  
Bring your new neighbors!  
We'll have a kids' area too.

Bring a dish for 8-10 people or help out


Just come and share in the fun and food for
$10/person or $15/household.
(non-tenant guests are $10/each).

6-8:30 PM

RSVP with how you will contribute to
CPGTenAssoc  [at]  gmail .   com.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Summary of the March 27, 2019 Tenants Meeting with CM Mark Levine

Progressive Caucus
RIGHT TO COUNSEL - This is the right for tenants who can't afford lawyers to have them provided for free in Housing Court.  NYC is the first place in the U.S. that this exists, and because of it, evictions are down 37%.  (In part, landlords are bringing fewer cases knowing that the tenants will be represented by lawyers from nonprofit organizations.)  The program is being rolled out slowly over 5 years and this is only year 1 - so this drop is significant!  With the lobbying and backing of CASA and other tenant organizations, Mark led  the fight for this bill to success in the NYC Council.  

The drop in evictions has also led to a drop in the number of families showing up at city homeless shelters.  The shelter system houses over 60,000 people a night, primarily families with children - more than at any time since the Great Depression. Some 25,000 children per night stay in these shelters.  Most of the homeless are not mentally ill or addicted.  The bulk of them simply cannot pay their rent, even though they are employed. 

SAVING LOCAL STORES -  There is almost no protection for these stores and city-wide about 20% of storefronts are vacant.  The City Council and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer are proposing a few remedies to stop the "chainification" of NYC:
  • right to council for small businesses
  • a tax on the owners of buildings whose storefronts are vacant
  • a Small Business Job Survival Act would require binding arbitration if a building owner and store owner cannot come to an agreement on renewing their lease
  • rezoning.  Gale Brewer arranged the rezoning of 96th - 110th Streets to limit the amount of storefront to 45 feet.  The result is that chain stores are not interested, but smaller businesses are. 
Citing the example of Bleecker Street, Mark noted that where a building or block owner lowers the rent, innovative entrepreneurs will jump in.