Friday, September 28, 2012

Summary of the Sept. 27, 2012 General Tenants Meeting

We had a full house!  And we had a lot to talk about:

INCORRECT ELECTRIC BILLS: Stellar replaced faulty electric bills with correct rent/electricity bills. Pay the corrected bill.  If you’ve already paid the incorrect first bill, make sure you see a credit on your rent bill next month.

MCI – We voted to appeal the MCI increase of $1.39/room. This appeal, within DHCR, is a “Petition for Administrative Review” – or PAR.  Our lawyer has already done most of the research.  In the meantime:   
rent stabilized tenants MUST PAY THE INCREASE of 
1 Bedroom = $4.17 / month more
2 Bedrooms = $5.56 / month more
3 Bedrooms = $6.95 / month more. 

No retroactive amount should be charged until the PAR is resolved – usually in a year or so.
SCRIE and DRIE tenants and those receiving public assistance,  who received the DHCR order should file an Adjustment of Abatement form with a copy of the notice.  The address is on the form. Click on "SCRIE" or "DRIE" for the form. Send it by certified mail, return receipt requested, and keep a copy of everything you send in. 
 Building – Floor tiles are being replaced; check for your name on the intercom.  Call in any corrections to Ferida at 212-222-4430.   The heating season begins Oct. 1st.  That means that:

  • From 6 AM to 10 PM,  when the OUTSIDE temperature is below 55 degrees, the inside temperature must be at least 68.  
  • From 10 PM to 6 AM, when the OUTSIDE temperature is below 40 degrees, the inside temperature must be at least 55. 

Financial Report – Joan Browne reported our bank balance, and urged tenants to pay not only 2012 dues of $10 per apartment, but also the $100 legal fund contribution.  Give the money to your floor captain or bring it to Apt. 12F and get a receipt. 

The Real Rent Reform Campaign (R3) is working in the short term to urge Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver from passing J-51 landlord tax breaks unless tenants get
A limit to MCI increases
City Council say in the composition of the Rent Guidelines Board.
An end to preferential rent sharp increases (relevant mainly in the outer boroughs.)

Tenants at the meeting filled out and sent a bunch of postcards to that effect, and you are urged to do the same if you haven’t already.) Sue has postcards.

For the longer term, R3 is planning strategy for the June 2015 expiration of the rent laws - working to organize many more of the 2 million rent regulated tenants,  to reach out to market-rate tenants, and to raise money for a successful media campaign. 

NEW NOTE: Tenants PAC Fundraiser on Tuesday!  For as little as $25, you can hear live jazz, enjoy good food & company and an open bar - and support candidates who support tenants. 

Photo by Greg Richter
spoke and answered questions for over an hour and a half.
He talked about the economy, saying that the  social safety net programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and Unemployment Insurance are needed precisely when people are out of work: those programs permit them to live and to spend some money (as opposed to none) to keep the economy going.  So we need more stimulus now (even if it runs up the deficit for now).  He pointed out that the deficit will decrease as more people get back to work – as happened when the Clinton administration had a huge surplus.  He noted that we can look at England, Spain and Germany as examples of what happens if you follow  (or not) the Romney plan for cutting subsidies to the middle class and the poor.  

In response to questions about who will win the U.S. House of Representatives, he said that there were contests for 4 seats in the U.S. Congress that Democrats could pick up in New York State: Mark Murphy in Staten Island; Sean Maloney in Westchester and other counties upstate; Julian Schreibman in Ulster/Duchess Counties; and Dan Maffei in Syracuse.  In addition, there are seats where Democrats are already likely to win, including Louise Slaughter in Rochester and Genesee Counties; Tim Bishop in Suffolk County, Kathy Hochul in Buffalo, and Bill Owens in the Watertown area. Rep. Nadler urged people to help those candidates win. 

Cong. Nadler pointed out that some-times bad policies (like FISA, authorizing wire taps) become institutionalized when they’re passed under one administration, and the next administration does nothing.  He contrasted that with Social Security, which was passed under Roosevelt but strengthened by GOP President Eisenhower. 

At our request, he agreed to contact State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and urge him not to renew J-51 (a landlord tax break) without tenant protections.  Rep. Nadler noted that he had blocked J-51 for 2 years when he was a member of the NYS Assembly until tenant protections were provided, including 
  • Limiting Major Capital Improvements (MCIs) so they are not indefinite rent increases;
  • Requiring City Council say on who is appointed to the Rent Guidelines Board, and
  • Ending sharp rent increases for tenants with "preferential rents" (mainly an issue in the outer boroughs). 

Ruth Ellin thanked him for helping to begin our tenant association – in her apartment.  Thanks also to all the tenants who were here at that time and helped the organization get going, including Helen Merber, Alitha Mobley, Ruby Barber, Mary Martin, and many whose names I don’t have in front of me right now! 

The Congressman stayed around to chat with tenants enjoying the coffee, tea, fruit and cookies. 

Guest Marc Landis, a District Leader of Community Free Democrats, noted that the Obama/Mark Murphy storefront at  80th St. and Columbus (410 Col., opposite the Museum of Natural History), run by Community Free Democrats and Ansonia Independent Democrats is open  Monday through Thursday, 3 to 9 pm, and  Saturday and Sunday, 12 to 4 pm.  Also present were Joan Paylo,  the other CFD District Leader; Chuck Tice  and Maggi Peyton of Park West Village's Tenant Association; Mark Diller, chair of Community Board 7; and Helen Rosenthal.  

Marc Landis, Helen Rosenthal, Mel Wymore and Debra Cooper are among the candidates vying for Council Member Gale Brewer's term-limited seat in 2013.   Whether we remain in Melissa Mark-Viverito's district or end up in Gale Brewer's district depends on . . . 

REDISTRICTING: Thurs., Oct. 4, 2012 beginning at 5:30, the City Redistricting Commission is meeting at Schomburg Plaza to determine whether we stay in the district of Melissa Mark-Viverito.  Go testify!

If you’re not registered to vote, register – and support pro-tenant candidates.   

The Executive Committee
- Sue Susman, sue @ janak dot org
- Na’ava Ades, naavaa AT gmail DOT com
- Joan Browne, treasurer, jbbrownefaison  aT atT dot net
- Rich Jordan, richj214 At aoL dot Com
- Steve  Koulish, eskoolman  @    yahoo doT com
- Greg Murray, geeemurr  AT  aOL .  COM

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Corrected Rent Bills arriving Thursday

Because of a computer error, the first rent bill you received for October has the wrong electric charge.  Stellar will distribute corrected rent bills on Thursday, Sept. 27th. 

And that's the day of our 
THURSDAY, SEPT. 27, 2012
8 PM sharp 
to talk about the MCI notice 
and then to meet
Our new representative in the U.S. House of Representatives - and a founder of this very Tenant Association - when he was a district leader for Community Free Democrats.

Coffee, tea and fruit will be available.  

Please bring a chair. We're expecting a full house!

Monday, September 24, 2012

9/27 at 8 PM: MCI notice & Cong. Nadler

Our agenda for the GENERAL TENANT MEETING just got a little fuller:

8 PM sharp - Hear about the new MCI order.  

8:15 PM - Meet Congressman Jerrold Nadler.  

Happily, we have a strong tenant association - that Jerry Nadler helped found. 

Now we need it!

If you haven't paid your dues ($10/apt.) or contributed to the legal fund in 2012, now is a jolly good time to do it.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Congressman Nadler coming here Sept. 27

Tenants old & young, new and long-time, are invited to meet Representative Jerrold Nadler, our new Congressman - as a result of redistricting.  

Read more about Congressman Nadler here, and come meet him at our 

Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012
8 PM
in the Community Room 
Cong. Nadler (L),  our new representative
with Cong. Rangel, (Rt.) our former representative 

(note: Only Cong. Nadler will be present!)

New tenants who are not yet members of the Central Park Gardens Tenants' Association - please bring dues ($10 per apartment).  All tenants are welcome to join.  

Please bring a chair!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

City Council Redistricting - Speak Out on Thurs., Oct. 4

Since the Redistricting Commission is planning to carve up the West Side, speak out.  Click here for comparison maps (before and after the proposed changes).  You can click on District 8 (where we're located) and enlarge it to see how far it goes now and how it will be changed.  We would go from District 8 to District 6.  (Dist. 6 is now represented by term-limited Council Member Gale Brewer.)

We've been represented for the past few years by Melissa Mark-Viverito, a big supporter of affordable housing. 

The next hearing in Manhattan will be :  

THURSDAY, OCT. 4 at 5:30 PM
at the Schomberg Center in Research for Black Culture
515 Malcolm X Blvd. 
New York, NY 10037.

                                                                                                                                     September 12, 2012
Benito Romano, Chair
Jamila Ponton Bragg
Scott Cerullo
Kamillah M. Hanks
Robert W. Hart
Linda Lin
Oscar Odom III
Thomas Ognibene
Frank Padavan
Roxanne J. Persaud
Madeline Provenzano
John Robert
Gloria Carvajal Wolfe
Marc Wurzel
Justin Yu

Carl Hum
Executive Director
New Yorkers are encouraged to attend and provide input on how the Commission should redraw the city’s district lines.

The New York City Districting Commission Chairman Benito Romano and Executive Director Carl Hum today announced the second round of public hearings to solicit testimony related to the preliminary draft of the Council district map which was released at the public hearing on September 4th. The current district lines for the preliminary draft map were adjusted for population utilizing the most recent census data. The Commission also released an online mapping tool for the public’s use to draw district maps that could be submitted to the Commission for its consideration. The citywide hearings will begin next month and the public encouraged to pre-register for speaking time or submit testimony via the NYC Districting Commission’s website at

“The Commission is excited to receive feedback form the public on the preliminary draft map published in early September,” said Benito Romano, Chairman of the NYC Districting Commission. “As the districting process unfolds, the Commission is hopeful that the final district map will accurately reflect our City’s population and more importantly, our communities.”  

“The second round of hearings furthers the opportunity for New Yorkers to be heard during this important districting process,” said Carl Hum, Executive Director. “With our interactive website and the hearings in varied locations throughout the five boroughs, there are so many opportunities for the public to be heard.” 

Tuesday, October 2nd
Bronx Community College (CUNY)
2155 University Ave
Bronx, NY 10453
Thursday, October 4th
Schomberg Center in Research for Black Culture
515 Malcom X Boulevard
New York, NY 10037
Tuesday, October 9th
New Dorp High School
465 New Dorp Lane
Staten Island, NY 10306
Wednesday, October 10th
LaGuardia Community College (CUNY)
31-10 Thompson Ave
Long Island City, NY 11101
Thursday, October 11th  
      Medgar Evers College    (CUNY)
1650 Bedford Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11225


The Commission, in their continued commitment to ensure that the districting process is transparent and inclusive, announces that they have staff members with multi-lingual capabilities on hand to speak to local community boards, non-profit organizations and churches for anyone who wants to learn more about the Commission and how they can get involved in the decennial districting process.


The Commission invites anyone from the public to use their mapping resource room for those who need assistance with the online mapping software. Terminals are available by appointment only and can be booked by calling the Commission’s office at 212-442-6940or emailing Justin Bassett at
For more information about the Commission, schedule an appointment to use the online mapping tool or book a Commission staffer to speak at local organizations, please call 212-442-6940 or visit

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Meet Cong. Nadler - Thurs., Sept. 27

Our building has been re-districted out of Congressman Rangel’s District. So we are now  represented by Congressman Jerry Nadler in the new 10th Congressional District. Click here for a map of the district and type in our address. 

at our

Thurs., Sept. 27, 2012 at 8 PM  in our Community Room

As District Leader he helped found our tenant association.  He was in the NYS Assembly from 1977-1992, and then joined the U.S. Congress. From 2007 until the GOP became the majority, he chaired the U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights & Civil Liberties.  Now he is the Ranking Democrat on that Committee.