Indy Blog

In a five to four vote on Monday, the New York City Rent Guidelines Board shot down the possibility of a first-ever rent freeze in the board’s 45-year history. Rents will increase by 1 percent for residents signing one-year leases for rent-stabilized apartments and by 2.75 percent for residents signing two-year leases.

When months-long wait times for veteran health care burst into the headlines, corporate apologists had their solutions all ready to push.

Privatize the hospitals and give veterans a voucher to buy private insurance, crowed the Wall Street Journal, Fox, and Forbes, gleeful at the chance to mention Veterans Affairs and “scandal” in the same sentence.

On June 18, nearly an hour before the start of the New York City Rent Guidelines Board’s third public hearing of 2014, the Flatbush Tenant Coalition began rallying outside Borough Hall. “What do we want?” yelled their leader. “Rent freeze! Rent freeze!” the group answered.

Since Ruby Dee’s passing away at age 91 on June 11, the media coverage of her life has depicted her as an important actress who broke through racial barriers and a leader in the Civil Rights movement. However, it erases her long, courageous involvement with her comrade and husband, Ossie Davis, in the radical left, particularly with organizations and campaigns connected to the Communist Party (CP).

At 72 years old, Marietta Hawkes has been living in the East Side’s Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village for more than 37 years. However, as the 80-acre, 11,200-unit complex’s current owners and the city wrangle over the terms of an impending sale, soon enough, she may no longer be able to live there. She currently pays 45 percent of her income to rent, and the power to head off an increase seems to be out of her hands.

Editor's Note: New York's Lower East Side has historically been an immigrant working class neighborhood. Over the past dozen years it has been transformed  by gentrification and a ubiquitous nightlife scene that caters to affluent young whites who have little or no ties to the neighborhood. As another weekend of pub-crawling begins, a longtime resident of the neighborhood shares her thoughts on what it's like to live amid such changes.


Today, June 10, representatives from football associations around the world will gather in Sao Paulo, Brasil, for the 64th FIFA congress. During last year’s congress, FIFA’s President Sepp Blatter received a mandate: solve the conflict between the Israeli and Palestinian associations over restrictions of movement for Palestinian players.

A procession of protesters, accompanied by a marching band and carrying banners demanding a five-year rent freeze on all rent-stabilized apartments in New York City, snaked through Crown Heights last Saturday, June 7. Along the way, they stopped in front of the building at 1059 Union Street, where tenants said the landlord is trying to force out longtime residents who are paying below-market rates.

”We shall not be moved!” the protestors chanted as they gathered at the building’s entrance.

Especially “being a white guy in a union full of mostly Mexican women, more often than not I didn’t have the best answer to the problem facing the group,” he said. “It’s easy for a group to recognize a good idea. My role was to ask the question that led to generating the most ideas, so the group could pick the best one.”


Ellen David Friedman, who organized for many years with the Vermont National Education Association, agrees: be careful not to pre-judge the solution.