Saturday, 20 January 2018



Parliament (538)


  • 620 Broadway, 5F - Greenwich Village, New York
  • Price: $3,395,000
  • Monthly Maintenance/CC: $3,456
  • Minimum Percent Down: 20%
  • Neighborhood: Greenwich Village
  • Cooperative
  • Loft | 2 Beds | 2 Baths | 1 Half Bath
  • Approximate Sq. Feet: 2,700
  • Listing ID: 2664328 


620 Broadway, 5F - Greenwich Village, New York

Spacious Live/Work Loft located on the border of Noho and Soho! This Quintessential pre-war Loft features 11' ceilings with sun flooding through oversized windows facing west, as well as hardwood floors throughout. The large open-plan kitchen is a chef's dream with stainless steel appliances, an externally vented range hood, and abundant storage and counter space. Approximately 2,700 Sq Ft of living space currently divided into 2 spacious interior Bedrooms and 2 Baths.This loft also includes walk in closets and tons of storage space, a laundry room in the unit with full sized washer and dryer, central air conditioning and a video intercom system.


This listing courtesy of Douglas Elliman 

Kristin Lukic

Kristin Lukic

O: 212.702.4003

M: 914.621.6020

Email me »

Gezelle Javaheri

Gezelle Javaheri

O: 516.629.2262

M: 516.551.8626

Email me »

Lisa Simonsen

Lisa Simonsen

O: 212.702.4005

M: 917.575.6775

Email me »


Posted On Wednesday, 23 August 2017 01:42 Written by


  • 3C Foxwood Rd - Great Neck, New York
  • Price: $3,998,000
  • Yearly Real Estate Tax: $50,209
  • Neighborhood: Great Neck
  • School District: Great Neck
  • House
  • 6 Beds | 5 Baths | 1 Half Bath
  • Lot Size: 52881 Sq Ft
  • Listing ID: 2917117


3C Foxwood Rd - Great Neck, New York

Property has been entered into a private luxury auction. Showings will only be allowed during the prescheduled open house viewing days and times. For more information, including buyer and selling agent obligations, please contact PRUSA at 516.280.8280 or go to for information. KINGS POINT/GREAT NECK. Set Back On A Lush 1.21 Acre Property This Brick Colonial Features 6 Bedrooms, 5.5 Baths, Enter Into A Grand Foyer With Calcutta Marble Floors. Entertain In A Large Formal Living Room, Gracious Formal Dining Room With Herringbone Floors, Library With Custom Oak Coffered Ceiling And Cabinets. Huge Master Suite With Fireplace, Sauna & Sitting Area. Gas Utilities.


This listing courtesy of Douglas Elliman 

Gezelle Javaheri

Gezelle Javaheri

O: 516.629.2262

M: 516.551.8626

Email me »


O: 516.629.2262

M: 516.551.8626


Posted On Wednesday, 23 August 2017 01:23 Written by


  • 238 East 68th St - Upper East Side, New York
  • Price: $11,500,000
  • Neighborhood: Upper East Side
  • Single Family Townhouse
  • 5 Beds | 6 Baths | 1 Half Bath
  • Approximate Sq. Feet: 6,500
  • Listing ID: 2741604


238 East 68th St - Upper East Side, New York


This pristine townhouse at 238 East 68th Street is a rarefied beauty located in the prestigious Upper East Side of New York City, just steps away from the finest dining and shopping.The impeccable 5-story townhouse was built in 1881 by developer John D. Crimmins. This home has recently undergone a complete state-of-the-art gut-renovation by multi-award-winning architect Mark Stumer. Throughout the renovation no expense was spared?with the best of materials and systems utilized.Indiana limestone and solid mahogany windows and doors cover this distinct property. The interior features 6 floors aggregating approximately 6500 square feet, and including 5 bedrooms, 5 baths, and 2 powder rooms. Further features incorporate 4 mahogany linear fireplaces, central air conditioning and vacuum system, heated bathroom floors and a built-in sound system throughout the entire home, connected via Sonos.Walking inside this townhouse one is welcomed by a double height wood paneled foyer. As you proceed inside, a library, powder room and a bedroom with a bath continue forth. There is effortless accessibility to the townhouse, with the luxury of your own custom built 4 person elevator with cherry wood and mahogany hoist way doors.The exterior spaces include a lavish 540 square foot, south facing Zen garden with lots of natural light and a cedar terrace where outdoor lighting accentuates priceless views of the Manhattan skyline.On the second floor you will find an extra spacious living room with 10' high ceilings, a dining room, white onyx marble fireplace and butler's pantry. The custom made chef's kitchen comes complete with top of the line appliances, including 3 Franke sinks, 2 Sub-Zero freezers, 2 dishwashers, and a 48" Wolfe double oven.The luxurious master suite takes up the entire third floor and offers a sense of tranquility rarely seen in such distinguished homes. Altogether, floors 3-5 include 4 bedrooms and 4 baths. The top floor serves as a media room with extensive audio/video components and provides access to the terrace with breathtaking views.Please contact The Simonsen Team to inquire about this exceptional home.


This listing courtesy of Douglas Elliman 

Lisa Simonsen

Lisa Simonsen

O: 212.702.4005

M: 917.575.6775

Email me »

M: 917.575.6775


Posted On Wednesday, 23 August 2017 01:09 Written by

Corey Johnson (born April 28, 1982) is the Council member for the 3rd District of the New York City Council. He is a Democrat. The district includes Hell’s Kitchen, Chelsea, the West Village, and parts of Flatiron, SoHo and the Upper West Side in Manhattan.


Early life

Johnson was raised in Beverly, Massachusetts in a union household by his mother, Ann Queenan Richardson, a homeless services provider, and his step-father, Rodney Richardson, a Teamster.

Johnson made national headlines in 2000 when, as captain of his high school football team at Masconomet Regional High School, he publicly revealed that he was gay. His story was reported by major national news outlets including The New York Times and 20/20.

Shortly after graduating high school, Johnson moved to New York City and became engaged in LGBT rights activism. Johnson was a contributor and eventually the political director of the LGBT blog Towleroad.

In 2005, Johnson joined Manhattan Community Board 4 (CB4). In 2011, Johnson was elected Chair of CB4, becoming the youngest Community Board Chair in New York City at the time.

New York City Council

In 2013, Christine Quinn ran for Mayor of New York City as her term in the City Council was expiring. Johnson, then Chair of Community Board 4, ran to succeed Quinn and was elected in November 2013 with 86% of the vote. Johnson assumed office on January 1, 2014. Since being elected to office, Johnson has been one of the most prolific legislators in the Council, having passed 18 pieces of legislation.

Among his key areas of focus have been strengthening rent regulation and tenant protection, and enhancing services for New Yorkers with HIV and AIDS.

In the Council, Johnson serves as Chair of the Committee on Health, and is a member of the Contracts, Finance, General Welfare, Waterfronts and Mental Health, Developmental Disability, Alcoholism, Drug Abuse and Disability Services committees. Johnson is Co-Chair of the Manhattan Delegation to the City Council with Council Member Margaret Chin and is the former Chair of the LGBT Caucus.


As Chair of the City Council’s Committee on Health, Council Member Johnson has overseen a number of hearings on major health issues affecting New York City, including the Legionnaires’ outbreak of 2015 and the proliferation of synthetic marijuana, known as K2, in New York.

On April 6, 2016, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law Johnson’s bill that prohibits the use of smokeless tobacco products, such as chewing tobacco, at sports stadiums and arenas that host events that require a ticket for admission. The legislation effectively banned chewing tobacco from professional baseball in New York City. A similar ban had previously been enacted in cities including San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

Johnson’s legislation to require transparency regarding health services administered at Rikers Island was signed into law on June 16, 2015.

Johnson’s legislation requiring automated external defibrillators to be present at public ball fields in New York City, which was co-sponsored by Minority Leader Steven Matteo, was passed by the City Council on April 20, 2016 and signed into law on May 10, 2016.

Criminal Justice Reform

On August 16, 2016, the City Council passed legislation introduced by Johnson and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito to create a City office responsible for the coordination of social and healthcare services for individuals who have been released from the New York City Department of Correction.

LGBT Rights

In 2014, Council Member Johnson introduced legislation that removed outdated and unnecessary surgical requirements for transgender New Yorkers to correct their birth certificates. The legislation passed the City Council on December 8, 2014 and was adopted on January 8, 2015.

Women's Issues

Johnson’s first legislation to pass the City Council was a bill that granted a presumption of eligibility for people transitioning from domestic violence shelters to Department of Homeless Services shelters. The bill allows these individuals to bypass extensive intake procedures that they already underwent during their first shelter placement.


Johnson introduced legislation with Council Member Vanessa Gibson to require the Department of Education to report on the use of disciplinary measures in public schools. The legislation was passed on September 30, 2015 and signed into law on October 13, 2015.

Johnson later introduced legislation requiring the Department of Education to regularly report on student health services in public schools, to ensure that such services are adequately serving New York City students. This legislation was signed into law by Mayor de Blasio on February 8, 2016.


In October 2015, the City Council passed Johnson’s legislation that requires the City to conduct regular air quality surveys that identify the major local and regional sources of air pollution.

Rent Regulation

Council Member Johnson was the prime sponsor of legislation to declare a housing shortage emergency in 2015, which allowed rent stabilization laws to be extended.

On June 3, 2015, Johnson was arrested in Albany in an act of civil disobedience while protesting for the extension of rent regulation and the reform of the rent laws in New York State. In total, 55 protesters were arrested for blocking the entrance to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office in this demonstration.


Johnson passed legislation in collaboration with Council Members Margaret Chin and Paul Vallone to create oversight for all of New York City’s social adult day care centers. The bill requires all social adult day care centers operating in New York City to register with the City’s Department for the Aging (DFTA), and requires them to adhere to State regulations. The legislation also creates a DFTA ombudsman to take complaints regarding any lack of compliance with these requirements.

Animal Welfare

Johnson worked with Council Member Elizabeth Crowley in 2014 to introduce a set of bills to regulate the sale of pets in New York City, with the purpose of animal protection. The bills regulate irresponsible breeders, combat overpopulation, provide for the safe accounting of animals and ensure that known animal abusers are unable to obtain animals. The package of legislation was passed on December 17, 2014.

In 2015, Council Member Johnson introduced legislation mandating that either fire sprinklers or supervision be present in all establishments that house animals for more than 24 hours. The bill was signed into law on September 2, 2015, after more than a decade of advocacy by animal rights activists.

In 2016, Council Member Johnson co-sponsored legislation by Council Member Rosie Mendez to ban the use of wild animals in circuses. In October 2016, Johnson held a hearing in the Health Committee and spoke passionately in support of the legislation, saying to the media "trucking wild animals in and out of the city strictly for entertainment purposes is not a humane way to be treating them.” On June 15, 2017, Johnson Chaired a meeting of the Health Committee and successfully passed the bill by a vote of 7-0.  The bill heads to the full City Council for a vote on June 21, 2017.


On May 27, 2015 the City Council passed Johnson’s legislation that requires all heavy-duty vehicles in New York City’s fleet to be equipped with sideguards, which are devices meant to reduce casualties when pedestrians and cyclists collide with trucks.


In response to a growing trend of hotel rooms being converted into luxury condominiums, Johnson introduced legislation to limit the number of condo conversions that hotel owners can make. The goal of this legislation was to protect jobs in the hotel industry. It was passed by the City Council on May 14, 2015 and signed into law on June 2, 2015.

District Improvements

Council Member Corey Johnson’s District includes all or part of the West Side neighborhoods of Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, Greenwich Village, SoHo, the Upper West Side, Times Square, FlatIron, Hudson Yards, the High Line, the Theater District, and the Garment District.

Since assuming office, Johnson has allocated $10 million in capital funding to improve schools, parks, libraries and other neighborhood institutions. He has allocated a further $1.35 million to support local non-profit institutions through discretionary funding.

Immediately upon assuming office, Johnson introduced Participatory Budgeting to his district. This is a process whereby residents propose and vote on projects to receive capital funding from the New York City Budget. As a result of Participatory Budgeting, funding has been allocated for the creation of a park on West 20th Street, a new library for City Knoll Public Middle School, and more.

Creation of 20th Street Park

In November 2015, Johnson announced fully funded plans to transform a vacant, city-owned garage and parking lot into a 10,000 square foot park on West 20th Street between Seventh Avenue and the Avenue of the Americas.


Posted On Thursday, 27 July 2017 00:33 Written by

Rosie Mendez (born February 28, 1963) is the Council member for the 2nd District of the New York City Council. She is a Democrat.

The district includes all or parts of Chelsea, the East Village, the Flatiron District, Gramercy, Greenwich Village, the Lower East Side, Midtown, Murray Hill, NoHo, and Stuyvesant Town in Manhattan.


Life and career

Mendez grew up in the Williamsburg Houses, a New York City Housing Authority development. She is the child of Puerto Rican parents, and attended New York City public schools through high school. She graduated from New York Universityand Rutgers School of Law—Newark. Her working and volunteering life has predominantly focused on community service. She began as a tenant organizer in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. She then worked on citywide housing issues as a housing specialist at the Parodneck Foundation. In 1995, Mendez graduated from law school and worked as an IOLA Legal Services Fellow at Brooklyn Legal Services. As a legal staff worker she became a member of the United Auto Workers (UAW).

Prior to her election to the Council, Mendez was the Democratic District Leader for her community for four terms. She served for three years as the Chief of Staff and Legislative Aide to her predecessor City Councilwoman Margarita Lopez.

Rosie Mendez is also the Chairperson of the New York City Council's LGBT Caucus.

New York City Council

In 2005, Mendez won the heavily contested Democratic primary for New York City Council's 2nd district. In the heavily Democratic district the primary victory was considered tantamount to election. After a landslide victory in the general election in November 2005, Mendez took office as the 2nd district's Councilwoman in January 2006. She was re-elected in 2009 and 2013.

Animal Rights

In June 2006, Mendez announced legislation to ban the use of wild animals in circuses. The bill received substantial support from other Council Members, including future Mayor Bill de Blasio, future Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, future Public Advocate Leticia James and future Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. Mendez, at a rally that year organized by the League of Humane Voters of New York City, told the media "We cannot say we’re an enlightened society when we allow animals to be tortured and abused for entertainment purposes." Though the bill had 25 co-sponsors, Council Speaker Christine Quinn strongly opposed the legislation and the bill died at the end of session. Mendez reintroduced the bill again in 2010 and then again in 2016. By 2016, the stars had aligned and, with the support of Council Member Corey Johnson, Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, the bill received a hearing in October. In June 2017, the bill was voted out of the Health Committee unanimously. On June 21, 2017, the Council passed Mendez's bill by a vote of 43-6.  From the floor of the Council, Mendez thanked her "friend and constituent" John Phillips, who led the campaign to pass the bill and who brought the issue to her attention in 2006. 


Posted On Wednesday, 26 July 2017 22:42 Written by

Margaret Chin (born May 26, 1954) is the Council member for the 1st District of the New York City Council. A Democrat, she and Queens Council member Peter Koo comprise the Asian American delegation of the city council.

The district includes all or parts of Battery Park City, Chinatown, Civic Center, East Village, Ellis Island, Financial District, Governors Island, Greenwich Village, Liberty Island, Little Italy, Lower East Side, NoHo, Nolita, SoHo, Tribeca, and the West Village.

Born on May 26, 1954 in Hong Kong as the third of five children and the only daughter in the family, Chin immigrated to the United States from Hong Kong in 1963. Her father, who arrived to the U.S. before his family did, was an undocumented worker, working as a waiter in the Bronx; his experiences inspired her to advocate for immigration reform during her political tenure.

Chin grew up in Chinatown and graduated from the Bronx High School of Science and the City College of New York with a degree in education. She worked for 14 years at LaGuardia Community College's Division of Adult and Continuing Education. She is married to Alan Tung, a public school teacher. Their son, Kevin, also graduated from the Bronx High School of Science. He completed his studies at Syracuse University, and is now studying photography in Santa Barbara, California.

Chin has been a member of several public service groups and organizations. In 1974, she was a founding member of Asian Americans for Equality, a group dedicated to "empowering Asian Americans and others in need",  and she served as the board's president from 1982 to 1986. She was the chairperson of the New York Immigration Coalition, a policy and advocacy organization which works on issues concerning immigrants and refugees.  She was a board member of the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, an affordable housing non-profit organization.  Chin was also a founding member of the Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corporation, a group that was formed in 2006 to "rebuild Chinatown following 9/11, and to preserve the neighborhood's unique culture while ensuring its vitality in the future."

In local and state politics, Chin was a member of Manhattan Community Board 1 and Manhattan Community Board 3, and was elected to the New York State Democratic Committee for two terms from 1986 to 1990.

Chin speaks Cantonese, Mandarin, and Taishanese, and has stated that her ethnicity helped her win the district that includes Chinatown. In her words, many new immigrants and seniors do not speak English, and appreciated that they could speak to her directly and "talk to a City Council member without having to go through an interpreter." Hunter College professor and sociologist Peter Kwong, who has written books on Chinese Americans, said that Chin's election victory was a "milestone in an increasingly active Asian American community" and a "special moment in Chinatown history". Margaret Fung, head of Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, a national Asian American civil rights group, described Chin's win as a "significant step forward for Asian American political representation".

New York City Council

Prior to winning the 2009 city council election, Chin had run and lost in the Democratic Party primary election for the District 1 seat in 1991, 1993, and 2001.

In a primary that had a small turn-out, she won the Democratic nomination with 39% of the vote, ousting two-term incumbent Alan Gerson. Chin earned 4,541 votes to Gerson's 3,520; the other three candidates, PJ Kim, Pete Gleason, and Arthur Gregory won 1,927 votes, 1,293 votes, and 235 votes, respectively. Campaigning on the issues of affordable housing, improving infrastructure, immigration reform, and better services for senior citizens,[5] Chin won the general election held on November 3 against Republican candidate Irene Horvath in a landslide victory, carrying 86% of the vote.

In 2013, Council Member Chin ran for reelection for the New York City Council. She received an endorsement from the Stonewall Democratic Club of New York prior to the September 2013 Democratic Party Primary. She was challenged in the primary by Democrat Jenifer Rajkumar, a Lower Manhattan District Leader, in a widely publicized race. Chin won with 58.5% of the vote. Chin is a member of the Progressive Caucus, and the Women's Caucus. Chin has twice been elected by her colleagues to serve as an executive member of the Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus.



Posted On Wednesday, 26 July 2017 22:25 Written by

“The assassination of Officer Miosotis Familia is an affront to our City and to the courageous men and women of the NYPD who selflessly put their lives on the line each and every day to keep New Yorkers safe. This is a tremendously sad day for our City. Our hearts ache for Officer Familia’s loved ones, the 46th Precinct, and the entire NYPD family as we join together to mourn this senseless and horrific act of violence against one of New York City’s finest.”

Posted On Saturday, 08 July 2017 04:23 Written by

Brian Lehrer: It’s the Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC. Good morning, everyone. Well, you’ve been hearing about President Trump attending the G20 conference in Hamburg, Germany today, and his first actual meeting with Vladimir Putin. We’ll follow those developments later this hour.

But did you know that Mayor de Blasio is there, too? If not, it’s because the Mayor did not announce the trip until he was leaving last night. Among other things, it’s reported he’ll be the keynote speaker tomorrow at a peace and human rights event called Hamburg Has Attitude, as the Mayor continues to show attitude toward Trump.

And with me now live from Hamburg, Germany for his weekly Ask the Mayor segment is Mayor Bill de Blasio. Mr. Mayor, thanks for keeping your regularly scheduled appearance despite the last minute travel announcement.

Mayor Bill de Blasio: It’s my pleasure, Brian. This is the most exotic Ask the Mayor we’ve done. So, I look forward to it.

Lehrer: You want to set the scene for us? Where are you right now? What are you doing? What’s it like?

Mayor: I am here at the City Hall in Hamburg, just got through with a meeting with the Mayor of Hamburg and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany. They’re both from the same party, the Social Democratic Party, and we met and had a very productive meeting talking about issues like climate change, immigration, and a number of issues that are being addressed in theory here at the G20 but much more being addressed, bluntly, by actions on the ground in cities and in local governments all over the world.

And the scene here is it’s a very dynamic situation. There are a lot of protesters here, the vast majority of whom are peaceful. There is unfortunately a small group of violent protesters, and it’s been a big challenge for the local authorities to deal with that.

But the Mayor of Hamburg made very clear, you know, this is a progressive city. This is a city that is very inclusive and they chose to host this G20 summit knowing they did not agree with the views of some of the participants but believing that global dialogue was important and believing that the right to protest [inaudible] democratic society was important.

So, I really want to say I’m very moved by the mobility of Hamburg’s choice but it’s obviously, on the other hand a very tense situation here.

Lehrer: And listeners, the Mayor may have world affairs on his plate today but you can still ask the Mayor about city issues as well. 2-1-2-4-3-3-WNYC, 4-3-3-9-6-9-2, or tweet a question @BrianLehrer, use the hashtag #AsktheMayor.

People usually think of the G20 as drawing heads of state. What are you doing there as Mayor of New York and why only announce it at the last minute?

Mayor: Well, first on why I’m here. I was invited by the government of Hamburg – both the city government and the state government which is run by the Social Democratic Party and the Green Party and they invited me as a colleague. They wanted, I think, to represent that fact that there are a variety of views in the United States on how to proceed on the big issues that face this planet particularly on climate change.

And I think they share the view that a lot of us do that while we see many national governments unwilling to address climate change or stumbling to address the larger issues of income inequality or migration, you know, these issues have to be addressed at the local level, and we all help each other, we all offer each other ideas, we all plan together. And I think the point here is that even if this summit meeting doesn’t produce bigger changes, and unfortunately that’s the prediction that it won’t, in the end local governments are going to have to lead the way on these issues until a stronger global consensus emerges.

And we have to support each other in that work. That’s true of mayors around the country. You know we’ve all been working together intensely in recent weeks to stop the Senate health care bill but that’s also true of mayors around the world particularly on issues like climate change where we all have to work together in the absence of our national government.

The announcement of the trip was going to be a few days earlier. The invitation came in something like 10, 12 days ago. We were going to announce it earlier in the week and then of course we had the horrible shooting of Officer Familia and it was important to focus on that and deal with that very painful reality.

I visited the 4-6 Precinct Stationhouse where she had served for so long and met with the officers there. You know obviously I did not want to do anything until we knew when the services would be. Her services will be early next week. So, that’s when it was finally time to announce that I was going to accept this invitation.

Lehrer: The presumptive Republican nominee for mayor, Assemblywoman Malliotakis, says you should be home being mayor in this week after that murder of Officer Familia. And the street homeless count was announced. It’s up by 40 percent over the last year. What’s your response?

Mayor: All the issues that need to be attended to, I’m attending to everyday regardless of where I am and my team’s attending to it.

Look, we have in the last few years added 2,000 officers on patrol for the NYPD. We’ve provided a lot more for our officers – the vests to protect to them, the panels that we put into patrol cars in the doors and windows. Obviously, this tragedy pointed out that we have to do more and we’re going to do more in terms of putting in the protective glass for the command vehicles.

All that work constantly goes on and will keep going on, and I feel so deeply for Officer Familia’s family. I was in the room when Commissioner O’Neill and I had to her 20-year-old daughter what had happened. It’s a very, very difficult experience, as you can imagine. But we also were able to her and all her family members that the NYPD and the City of New York will be with them for the rest of their lives. And so, we’re going to do everything we can to support them.

And when you talk about the HOPE Count that came out recently – look, there’s no question there is a problem there even though I think that count was taken on a day that might have inflated the numbers a little bit because of weather.

The central point is there’s a problem and it’s a problem I’m not going to ignore. There is a growth of the homeless population on the streets.

What I can say on the positive side is the Home-Stat strategy is working. It needs to grow. It needs to deepen. We’re putting more energy and resources into it because we found the kind of success we were hoping for but we got to do a lot more.

So, this is a situation where we have to turn the tide over time but I do believe we have the tools to do it. I believe the heavy, sort of, intensive focus, person by person on the street has proven to work and we’ve gotten hundreds and hundreds of people to come off the streets and stay off the streets.

We’re going to redouble those efforts.

Lehrer: By the way, before we go to phones, I’m going to acknowledge – because people can hear it – that your voice is a little dusky. I’m guessing that maybe you were up all night considering the time change?

Mayor: You are a wise man. The – yeah, the flight that got me here did not involve sleep.


So, just got to do what we got to do.

Lehrer: It’s a common thing. The flights to Europe from New York frequently go overnight and with the time change it means – unless people can sleep on the plane – you just don’t get any sleep. So, my sympathies on that score.

David in Park Slope, you’re on WNYC with the Mayor as we go to him from Hamburg from his hometown, Park Slope. Hi, David.

Question: Hi, how are you doing? Good morning and good afternoon to the Mayor. There seems to be more of a street homeless problem and it seems to be one of these things that is just a little pain in the side that just can’t seem to go away. There happens to be a small homeless encampment about a block away from your Park Slope home or the YMCA, depending on how you look at. And it’s been there for about a month, month-and-a-half or so and it just can’t seem to go away. I’ve dealt with 3-1-1. I’ve dealt with the homeless assistance folks which do a great job at everything else. And the 78th Precinct as well has come there.

But these kids – and it looks they’re young people maybe in their 20s or so, maybe with a drug or opioid problem, who knows. But they need help and it just seems that you’re going against the wall here because there’s only so much legally you can do to get these people off the streets.

What else can you do?

Mayor: David, tell me just – let me start with the exact location. Where are you seeing this?

Question: 10th Street and 7th Avenue, Park Slope.

Mayor: 10th Street and 7th Avenue, which I know very, very well. So, just to affirm a very important point, David, first of all, we’re going to absolutely follow-up on that site and I’ll have the Home-Stat workers get over there right away to address it. Encampment is an important word.

There were encampments as we define them which means physical structures and places that people sleep overnight on a regular basis. That was bluntly tolerated in the city for decades and we ended that in this administration.

My order to Homeless Services, the NYPD is we will not allow any outdoor physical structures that are not legal structures. And we consistently enforce on that. The difference is not only having a clear enforcement approach and the people power, the NYPD officers and the Home-Stat workers to enforce it, but it’s also to offer the services – letting people know they can come into a safe place. These smaller facilities called safe havens. They can get drug treatment if they need that. They can get mental health services. We are now doing that on a citywide scale and again that has gotten a lot of people in.

So, on this location we’re going to go at that right away. I think what I’m hearing here is it’s a place where people congregate but not the encampment in the sense of the physical structures. But we’re going to get all over that right away.

On the bigger point you raised, David, look I think we know with street homeless – and this is very, very different than the homeless in shelter. Homeless in shelter, more and more, have been people who are working or have been working, family members rather than singles, families that the only problem they had was an economic one not a substance abuse problem, an economic problem – the cost of living in New York City. They could not keep up.

That’s what the shelter population looks like more and more, and those folks we can help in many, many way. And we’re also trying to stop people from ever entering shelter by giving them rental subsidies or legal assistance to avoid eviction. But on the street, it is sort of the more traditional face of homelessness – folks who do have, in many cases, substance abuse problems or mental health problems.

That’s where the very intensive hands-on work by the Home-Stat workers – constantly coming back, winning the trust individually of each homeless person, convincing them there is a safe place, a better place to be – that is working.

Now, sometimes we see people on the street who are bluntly just panhandlers, who are actually not even homeless, who – and we see this with some folks in their 20s and we see it with some older folks as well who are just out there making money by panhandling.

I wish that were illegal. It’s not illegal – to your point. But a lot of those folks do have a place to live but they could appear to be homeless. What our workers do is they differentiate is if someone really is homeless and needs that help to get off the street. We have that. It’s available.

Literally, we have plenty ability to reach people right now and bring them in. The panhandling is a much more subtle problem that we’re working on some solution for but we don’t have it yet.

Lehrer: Did you say you wish panhandling – just asking people for money – would be illegal?

Mayor: I’m saying that not as a matter of policy, I’m saying that as a human being, bluntly, Brian. To so many people, I think it’s off-putting and again it gets confused understandably for homelessness because you don’t whether someone has a home and is panhandling versus someone who literally has no place to sleep last night. I just wish it didn’t exist.

I know constitutionally, of course, it cannot be banned but I’m just expressing a frustration because I think it hurts the quality of life in many ways.

Lehrer: I’m just trying to clarify. Are you saying that you’re objecting to people making up being homeless when they’re not homeless? Or do you really not like poor people on the street asking others for money?

Mayor: What I’m responding to is, I think it, to many people, it does appear that someone is homeless. And, yeah, they give help to someone thinking that they are homeless. And I think some people are out there panhandling because they are truly in need. And obviously I’d rather address their problem directly not having them be out on the street panhandling. I’d rather help them because we would help them. Anyone in real need, we’re going to help them get a roof over their head. We’re going to help them if they need any kind of service.

We’re going to help them try and find a job. That’s what the City of New York does. But there are also people out there who are just begging for money and it’s not out of dire economic need, and that is frustrating to me.

Again, I know there’s no legal way to get rid of that per say but it is frustrating.

Lehrer: Martha from Brooklyn, you’re on WNYC with the Mayor. Hello, Martha.

Question: Hi. How’s it going? Can you hear me okay?

Lehrer: Can hear you just fine.

Mayor: Yes, we can, how you doing?

Question: Okay. So, I’m in Dayton, Ohio actually for the next four weeks but I live in Brooklyn, New York. And I think when I was here I must have missed the news story about the shooting of the police officer. So, I want to add my condolences –

Mayor: Thank you very much.

Question: This is actually about the police. My younger son who actually used to be on a baseball team with your son, Mr. Mayor, was just taken down by two uniformed police officers about two weeks ago in the middle of the day in Midtown, Manhattan in a case of mistaken identity. They roughed him up a little, not terribly, handcuffed him, pushed him down on the ground, performed what I think might be an illegal search of his backpack, and then accused him of robbing a 7/11. And when it became clear that they had the wrong guy, they let him go.

My bigger point is that he has had several interactions with the New York City Police Department, as had my older son who is now 23. And those interactions have been 100 percent negative and often physical. So, I know that there’s sort of a larger discussion about immigrant communities who don’t trust the police – my thing is that if this is happening to my son who happens to be biracial but doesn’t really look it, looks white to most people, I think, then it’s happening to dozens of other young people in the city which means there’s another demographic that don’t trust the police. So, I want to kind of point that out that I think that we have a lot of young people in New York City who when they see police officers, they see the enemy. And – 

Lehrer: And your question is what more is the Mayor going to do about it?

Question: My question is – is there any kind of official de-escalation training happening for the New York City Police Department? Because this is alarming to me, especially in light of this recent shooting – this horrible shooting of this officer – this us versus them with the police.

Mayor: Yeah, no, Martha – very powerful question. Look, I just want to tell you at the outset – before I talk about your son, and I’m very sorry for what he went through – that you hit a really important chord at the end there. We have got to deepen the change in the relationship between police and community. We have got to get people on the same side and feeling they’re on the same side. And it’s about mutual respect and an ability to talk to each other.

I was talking to an officer the other day in the subway who said that – and he offered this just spontaneously, it was a very powerful point – he said you know more and more people are talking to the police and offering the police information they need and trying to be helpful to police. And I said – why do you think that is? And he said because I think they don’t feel afraid of us anymore. And he said that positively. He said you know that we’ve made the beginning of a change where there can be an openness and a dialogue. And that’s very, very important. We need respect for police, but we need people to feel that they can have an actual open working relationship with police.

It gets to one of the things you pointed out at the end there, which is the de-escalation training. Yes, every single police officer is getting de-escalation training now – all the new recruits, and also as officers are retrained regularly – because we want to avoid the conflicts that have caused so much pain in the past for everyone involved. So and on top of that, we’re doing implicit bias training, which is absolutely crucial to helping everyone of all backgrounds weed out their biases so they can do the best public service. And of course, body cameras are on the way too. Those will be in place – all patrol officers by the end of 2019. I think that’s going to really deepen respect and a sense of accountability and transparency. So these are all very important pieces.

But I’m very sorry for what happened to your son because that’s not the intention. You know, it’s – even if officers obviously believe they have found someone who has committed a crime and they have to – if they think someone fits the description – of course they have to confront that person and pursue that. We do not want it to be in a way that creates those ill-feelings. And obviously we want to make sure there’s care given until it’s absolutely confirmed that the individual involved is in fact the suspect. I know it’s tough for police in the middle of an operation sometimes. I understand those challenges. But we do not want what you’re pointing out that young people get the conclusion in their mind that the police don’t understand them or are not positive towards them. That’s not going to get us where we need to go. I want to get to a day where young people see police officers and absolutely in the core of their being know that they can trust and communicate with that officer. That’s what we’re building. I think the NYPD is doing a very, very good job moving in that direction. And our officers are doing a very good job. But this pains me –

Lehrer: But more to go.

Mayor: This pains me.

Lehrer: Martha, thank you for your call. And good luck to you and your son.

After the horrible murder of Officer Familia, Mr. Mayor, there are questions being raised about whether St. Barnabas Hospital should have released the man who went on to kill the officer. He was reportedly released just an hour after his sister I think it was brought him in as a psychiatric threat. Is there a role for your office in that?

Mayor: Well, we are going to look very carefully at this. Obviously, the State, which regulates hospitals is looking at the situation, which makes sense. But we’re going to look at it too because I think, Brian, this gets to a much, much bigger challenge that we’re trying to take on through things like ThriveNYC, which is our big mental health initiative that my wife has spearheaded. And the hotline we created, which all of your listeners should know about – 8-8-8-NYC-WELL. Which by the way, if anybody, if a family member or a loved one thinks anyone might be a danger to others or to themselves, you can make contact with the police, but also if you’re trying to get some kind of counseling for someone, you can get that through 8-8-8-NYC-WELL.

But we are trying to deepen our strategies for identifying those who are not getting mental health treatment and may have any propensity to violence. We have an initiative NYC Safe that is all about finding those people and getting them treatment. Bluntly, huge numbers of people in our society in New York City and everywhere else are supposed to get mental health treatment and don’t get it. It’s not easily accessible. There’s no follow-up, there’s no enforcement. We’re trying to change that through a variety of city policies. The hospitals have to be allies in that. So we do need to know what happened here. But I think bluntly this goes way beyond St. Barnabas Hospital to a societal and governmental change we have to make.

Lehrer: And you announced funding for bulletproof glass for all police cars after this killing. Is there a new – 

Mayor: Well police cars already had it. This was for the command vehicles now, which are something that were not covered. You know, police cars got bulletproof glass and bulletproof doors in the previous announcements we made last year. Now we are going to obviously cover the command vehicles as well.

Lehrer: Peter in Flatlands, you’re on WNYC with Mayor de Blasio who’s joining us from Hamburg, Germany today where he is at a Hamburg city event in conjunction with the G20 summit. Peter, you’re on WNYC.

Question: Hi, good morning. Good afternoon, Mr. Mayor. I’m just asking very, very quickly – why the sea change in your decision to hand to the taxpayers your $2 million legal bill incurred due to your I guess meddling or trying to persuade the State Assembly through nonprofits?

Lehrer: State Senate. But yes, well let me explain to the listeners and correct me if I’m getting any facts wrong here. But you revealed since we last spoke that the taxpayers will be footing about $2 million of your team’s legal expenses in conjunction with those investigations into fundraising that ended earlier this year with no indictment, but a critical prosecutor’s report. You had previously indicated the taxpayers would not be on the hook, right?

Mayor: Yes, and it refers to my expenses specifically, not to other members of my administration. And let me clarify because I think the question muddled one piece of it. Anything that’s regarding elections – I did obviously work to elect a Democratic State Senate in Albany in 2014. We did not succeed. But that was an effort with I undertook with a whole heart and I thought was very important for New York State and New York City. That – any legal bills related to that have nothing to do with my City employment. Those have to be paid separately. We have to create a legal defense fund to do it. There is no City law governing that right now. So we’d have to wait until there is a City law passed to then be able to establish a proper legal defense fund.

But on the $2 million, which is related to my government service and things I did as part of my government work, my message is clear – I want to affirm I did try to go a different route. And I thought a lot about it and I came to the conclusion it just didn’t make sense that the consistent and appropriate thing is any employee who has not done anything wrong and obviously not as you said – clear, not indicted, etcetera – deserves legal representation from the City of New York just like, God forbid you had a legal problem, WNYC should cover your legal bills if it has to do with your employment. That to me is a fair and consistent standard. And I thought about it more and I thought you know, this is the standard that I ultimately think makes sense. That should be the standard for everyone going forward. It should be understood that this is going to be the standard if anything like this ever happens. But on anything that’s not about government work, that’s a separate reality. That has to be covered through a legal defense fund. And again, we need a new law to actually govern over that.

Lehrer: Regarding the trip you’re on right now, Politico New York says your basic trip expenses are being paid for by the sponsoring organization in Hamburg, but the taxpayers typically foot the bill for security and staff overtime on a trip like this. Is that right? And if so, why is it worth our money?

Mayor: So it’s not, I don’t think that’s accurate, let me clarify. The sponsors paid for my trip, my flight, my hotel, and for three staff members. The security costs – hard for New Yorkers to understand this – because it hasn’t really been explained well in the past, but I have by virtue of being Mayor of the biggest city in the country, and the number one terror target in the United States of America, our city – I have 24/7 security. It does not matter where I am in the world or in the country, I’m going to have that security. It is paid for as a matter of public service. That’s just a given. So that’s something I want people to understand. Whether I was at City Hall or Gracie Mansion, or in another state, or in another country, that security is going to be there and paid for any way you slice it.

Lehrer: Are you the keynote speaker tomorrow as I’ve read for an event billing itself as for peace and human rights and against the new nationalism?

Mayor: Yes, it’s a – you know, Hamburg as I said, and both the city government and the state government here in Hamburg – it is, by the way, a city very much like New York City in many ways. It’s the second biggest city in Germany. So it’s smaller than us on one level, but it’s very much a cosmopolitan city, a city with a long connection to the rest of the world, a very tolerant and open city. They’re hosting this summit, again knowing that they have real disagreements with a lot of the people who are attending the summit, but to amplify democratic values – a right to free speech, right to worship regardless of your faith, a belief in the power of a democratic society. And I’m honored to be the speaker at this rally. There will be other speakers obviously as well locally.

But to speak to those values, and now cities are going to keep acting on them, bluntly, regardless of what our national governments do because this is the new reality. And I’ll tell you, I’ve talked to my colleagues in Paris, and London, and all over the world, and certainly all over the cities of the United States. We increasingly recognize that cities are going to have to lead the way – in very material ways, it’s not just symbolism. We’re going to have to literally change policies around climate change by our own actions; on income inequality and raising wages and benefits by our own actions. You know, we’re more and more having to create the policies because our national governments don’t. So this rally is really to affirm both the positive values, but also the role that the grassroots have in keeping those values alive regardless of what happens in national elections or in national governments.

Lehrer: And by way of political analysis of this trip, the Times says it seems to be an international extension of your effort to portray yourself as a foil to Donald Trump and a national progressive leader. Politico New York also says foil to Trump and that you’ve made opposition to Trump a central plank of your re-election campaign. How much of those analyses of the trip do you accept?

Mayor: Well, I don’t. You know, when I started thinking about re-election, I like everyone else did not assume there would be a President Trump. And I looked forward to talking about the things that will be the core of my re-election – what we’ve done to get pre-K for all our kids, reduce crime, improve relationships between police and community, raise wages and benefits. That’s what I’m going to talk about. We’ve done those things. We’re going to do a lot more if the people give me a second term. But then Trump became a reality, and I think it was incumbent on me as the leader of the biggest city in the country to set a tone and to say we’re not going to be intimidated by President Trump and we’re not going to turn away from our values. And I’ve said many times this is not someone you get something done by compromising with or yielding to. He only understands strength, and we have to show strength. So that is the reality.

This invitation was offered to me by the hosts. It was not something I expected. It was not something I had talked to anyone about. It came in, and I was honored and I thought it was an important moment to stand up and speak out for these values. But the re-election campaign is going to be about the everyday, bread-and-butter issues that matter to New York families. And I think we have a lot to show for these last 3.5 years and have a lot more to do.

Lehrer: And before you go, one quick follow-up on what you were saying before about panhandlers. Considering your feelings about them – would you urge the public not to give money to panhandlers, so as not to encourage them?

Mayor: Yeah, I’ll tell you, and this one’s always a challenge, Brian. New Yorkers, I always say we have rough exteriors, but behind our exteriors beat hearts of gold. I think New Yorkers are compassionate people. And we often see someone panhandling and our better angels tell us you know, let’s help them out. But I often know that’s not ultimately the way to change anyone’s life. And for those truly in need – I always say the best thing to do is if you see someone you think is really homeless and really in need, call 3-1-1 and we will send a HOME-STAT worker right away to try and get them the help they need because standing on a street corner collecting change isn’t going to change their life. Things like mental health services and anti-addiction services and all are what’s really going to make the difference. But I, also again, I am frustrated because I know some people are out there who are not particularly in need and just are finding a way to get some easy money, and that does frustrate me. So I would urge all New Yorkers – if you see someone in need, call 3-1-1. If you don’t think someone’s for real, certainly do not get them money. I understand if your heartstrings are pulled and you see someone you think is in real desperate need, that’s human, that’s normal. But be careful, be discerning, I would say.

Lehrer: Thanks, Mr. Mayor. Good luck in Hamburg. Talk to you next week.

Mayor: Thanks so much, Brian. Take care.

Posted On Saturday, 08 July 2017 04:17 Written by

*As First Lady of New York City, Chirlane McCray has redefined the role of First Lady, managing a robust portfolio to advance an ambitious agenda in support of all New Yorkers.

Ms. McCray created ThriveNYC, the most comprehensive mental health plan of any city or state in the nation, and she is recognized nationally as a powerful champion for mental health reform.

Additionally, Ms. McCray spearheads the Cities Thrive Coalition of mayors, with representation from more than 150 cities from all 50 states, advocating for a more integrated and better-funded behavioral health system.

As Chair of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, she brings together government, philanthropy and the private sector to work on some of the most pressing issues of our time, including mental health, youth employment and immigration.

Ms. McCray’s other duties are extensive.

As co-chair of the Commission on Gender Equity, she is a persistent voice for creating a 50-50 city and world.

In partnership with NYC’s Police Chief, she leads the Domestic Violence Task Force.

And in 2015, with her signature, New York City became the first city in the country to join the United Nations Women’s Safe Cities Global Initiative.

She is passionate about public service and leverages her platform in innovative ways to bring change where it is needed.

Ms. McCray believes that art is not a luxury and works closely with NYC’s Department of Cultural Affairs on dynamic projects with partners like the Public Art Fund and the Studio Museum in Harlem. She oversees the Gracie Mansion Conservancy and is intent on making sure that the programming, installations and exhibits are more accessible to the public, and better reflect the rich history and many cultures that make up New York City. In 2016, she launched the Gracie Mansion Book Club.

Among her many awards and accolades, she was honored as the 2017 Change Champion by the National Council for Behavioral Health and recently received the BWA Health award for her leadership in NYC from the Black Women's Agenda, a national, 40-year-old nonprofit that promotes the well-being of African-American women and their families.

Ms. McCray has transformed the traditional responsibilities of First Lady, working in close partnership with her husband and becoming the first in her position to address a U.S. Conference of Mayors annual meeting, testify before the New York City Council and serve as commencement speaker for a major college or university.

The First Lady is a graduate of Wellesley College and has accepted an Honorary Doctor of Science from the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy.

Ms. McCray and Mayor Bill de Blasio live in Gracie Mansion, the official residence, and are proud parents of Chiara and Dante.

Posted On Saturday, 08 July 2017 04:04 Written by

The spectacular success while it lasted, of Chukwudi Onuamadike,  alias Evans, in his line of ‘kidnapping business’ necessarily elicits  endless questions and  speculations about the nature and the values that, made possible his exploits and on the other hand, the capacity of  the state and its law enforcement apparatus to assure the  most fundamental  purpose of government  which,  to quote the extant constitution of the country is ‘the security and welfare of the people’. Nevertheless, the Nigerian Police must be commended for diligence and the arrest of Evans.

For nearly a decade since he started in 2008 but created his own gang in 2015, Evans roamed in what may be described as a derring-do manner, the length and breadth of the land taking on ‘jobs’ as he called kidnapping, from informants and collaborators. He made millions in local and foreign currencies, acquired foreign citizenship, owned luxurious houses complete with bullet-proof doors and Jacuzzi-equipped bathrooms within and outside the country, expensive cars and personal accessories, and generally lived it up like a genuinely successful businessman. He lived in a respectable, upscale neighbourhood too while his family lives abroad. Given the prevailing money-centered ethos of this society, Evans was, until caught, the kind of man who might be invited to sponsor or chair the wedding of a young honest couple, launch a book titled The evils of Kidnapping, give a lecture on the evils of  criminality, or even donate to  the fund-raising of a religious organisation. If Evans is not a traditional chief, with an honorary doctorate to boot, it is only because he has not sought to pay for it. Alas, this was a criminal of so sufficiently heinous type as to be punishable with death in some states of the federation!

The sordid details of Evans’ operational methods- information gathering mechanism, groups with sectional heads in different locations, weaponry, detention houses and camps, cooks, huge proceeds and more, are still being revealed. One thing is certain: More than other kidnappers who have been caught by law enforcement agents such as a certain Terwase ‘Ghana’ Akwaza in Benue State, Samaila Madu in Edo State and one ’Vampire’ in Imo State, Evans was a smart, calculating, sophisticated, cold-hearted criminal whose life purpose appeared to make big money irrespective of the darkness of the source. But only for a time and a season.

Many reasons can be offered for his staying power in his kidnapping enterprise. For one,  and this cannot be denied him,  Chukwudi Onuamadike  treated  kidnapping as  a structured business and he invested in  recruitment, arms, including the assault rifles AK 47, AK 49 and  thousands of rounds of ammunition, multi-million naira high-end phones equipped with anti-tracking  device so that his  conversations with his operatives in the field  could not be  monitored. He kept his gangs ignorant of each other and only gave the most limited information necessary to execute assigned duty. And he made working for him worth the risk too, saying ‘I usually pay Uche N20 million for every operation’ and N2 million to others on every operation.’ It is no wonder that he was not caught through whistleblowing, of course, of the security officers.

Evans has been able to gather information on people through the Internet. Again, the cheap vain and senseless urge of some people to flaunt material achievements overexposes them to men of criminal intentions.

It is certain that the Nigerian legal and cultural system is yet to, as a rule, interrogate, the source of wealth of any man or woman who appears to live lavishly without an identifiable source of income. In some other societies, the first question asked of a man who flaunts wealth is ‘what does he do?’ And if he is said to be a businessman, intelligent people ask further what line of business. It is regrettable that here, any man  who is  rich by whatever means is admired,  eagerly courted  and revered  by even those who should know better.

Again in other climes, a big house, a big car and other display of wealth attract, naturally, the attention of the tax man who would politely request to know how much the person earns vis-à-vis his/her tax returns.  It is not difficult therefrom to detect a criminal. Again, not so here. With the right price, the inquisitive official, who may be poorly paid anyway, can be paid off with more money than he earns in a year.

In this same country, but in another age, by the dictate of social mores and norms, parents would frown at their children owning things that they could not explain how they were acquired. The times are different now and parents gladly benefit from the proceeds of crime by their children.

Modernity and urbanism has encouraged a lifestyle of individualism. Neighbours hardly know or interact with one another especially in the estates of well-to-do- families. Thus, a respectable judge may be living next door to a vicious but successful armed robber or an Evans.  This may be good for privacy, but it can endanger collective safety. Unless of course, there is in place, a know-your-neighbour mechanism, as well as some neighbourhood security structure.

Nigerians must also consider the socio-economic conditions that make possible rampant kidnapping. Jobs are scarce because the funds to create openings have been stolen by the managers of national business. Those lucky to hold jobs are poorly paid, or are not paid as and when due. Opportunities for self –employment are constricted by an economic system skewed against the average citizen. It is easier to make money by crooked means and flaunt it. These of course, are no excuse but the sad reality.

The police have done a good job to track Evans and arrest him.  It is evident that, given the right equipment, training, and incentives, the Force can do great things. But with only 300,000 personnel in 5,303 divisions, it is still numerically inadequate to maintain law and order among a Nigerian population of 178 million. Government must move very quickly to empower the police force because, it bears repeating that security is one of the two primary purposes of government’s existence.

The point must be made that with a stream of self-confessions and revelations, the Evans story is assuming a saga of a man with exploits of sorts. This is needless. The police can assemble sufficient information from confessional statements to open a case against Evans and his gang.  Let the prosecution begin forthwith.

Posted On Wednesday, 28 June 2017 00:54 Written by
Page 1 of 39

NewYorkDaily247 Television (NYD247 TV)


- Advertisement -