We knew Boss Quinn would have her way. A cameraman was on the floor filming the proceedings and said she was clearly "bristled" by our presence in the gallery. I saw her look up once scanning us to see who was there.
It was a New York circus. Outside when we arrived to over 100 hood wearing individuals having a press conference for a Florida murder with council members wearing hoodies. Entering we went into chambers and the guards said the seats were only for council staff. We went up to the gallery on the third floor. There were 11 of us in the gallery. One person came up with Quinn's assistant and the ASL translators. For the first time any could remember they said the translators had to perform in the third floor gallery and not on the council floor as in the past.
They had about 10 officers and suited police around the gallery. They made the ASL Translators crawl under a railing to get to the chair to sign ASL. One community member was high strung and police kept telling her that she had to be quiet and all of us to wear our signs at chest high. She kept pushing buttons with her disgust and the delay of the hearing. It seemed as much as she did or anyone else the threat of removal was vocalized but nothing happened or arrests occurred. It was scheduled ceremonial at 12:30pm and hearing at 1:00pm, delayed to1:00pm and hearing at 1:30pm, to 1:30pm and then 2:00pm. The ceremony started at 2:17pm.
Quinn picking up a mike like a sideshow hawker announcing a Con-Edison interruption of a robbery of a Woman beaten and robbed. All families of the three Con Edison spidermen were there. All 50 members of the three individuals. Barker Quinn then announced that celebration was over. Only to Bark, Quinn announced a Bronx group of 30 out of 125 Auxilley NYPD group. They got an award.
Then the pledge of alligence and a religious devotion with all standing.
Then with white council members, some council members of color wearing hoodies they lit into a remembrance of Trayron and his life cut short. then a moment of silence. Only a month after he was shot and killed.
Then without missing a beat Quinn opened the reading of the Rudin Plan. members began to pull their hoodies off, showing their white shirts and skin. No sooner they began to debate the Arts Society and disbanding it because the Arts Society does not keep notes of their meetings.
Then a discussion of street lights and crossings for the disabled (blind) with bird call noises for green light crosswalks. That will keep some alive on Queens Boulevard.
Then a discussion on the time it takes to get out of your car, buy a parking ticket, return to your car to find a green sticker and ticket on the car. they proposed a five, not six, not seven minute honor for those drivers not to get a ticket by an aggressive ticket writer.
Then a discussion of workers higher wages for large companies required for companies getting subsidies from NYC. The vote was high enough for that in the end to override a veto by King Bloomberg.
Then they read each line item getting to the Rudin Plan in several parts. all the time reading each Quinn or other council member would speak up with coded or actual talking about the items up for vote. Restaurants, all above and other item all thrown in the brew of Rudin Greed. Council member Barron was the only member to speak up against the Rich Rudins and that they had the money to build a new hospital if they wanted to. The Rudin's are rich enough to put a Hospital in cause they have the money to cover it. He called on members to deny the plan and send it back to the Rudins for changes for a new hospital. Then a vote by roll call. 49- Yea 2 -Abstain and 1 - (Barron) No.
We got up to leave and one community member began to yell. Security and Police telling her to be quiet and the Chair downstairs banging his gavel to be quiet he dismissed the hearing at 5:15pm. As we left down the stairs, Travis, Melanie, the strange white haired guy, and a young woman who knew me but I not her. On the landings The community member was giving the Rudin cronies all hell for standing around and gloating. Melanie of Fried Frank passed me and said "you were the most civil through this process." I replied I had to bite my tongue to keep from getting sick over the greed. Travis smiled and I said I guess it is time now to start screwing up the Oreo factory, your next project. He smiled.
It was found out that the Rudin clan had been given priority seating on the Chamber floor, that the community had been denied seating. Boss Quinn at work getting those campaign donations from the Rudin Family and Management. Screwing Community.
On the steps we held the banner. DNAinfo news took a photo of the banner and a member who had almost died without SVH read the HOSVH Press Release.
It is Unconscionable that 1.5 million people on the West Side of Manhattan have no hospital.
We have been betrayed by our council member, Speaker Christine Quinn.
Quinn could have saved St. Vincent's Hospital.
Quinn did not.
No Politician stood up for us.
The voters of New York will hold Elected Officials responsible.
We Demand a West Side Hospital.
* Hands Off St. Vincent's Hospital
* Demand A New Hospital
A community member shamed the Rudin clan that were standing on the plaza to gloating for the news media. They left. Then the camera man interviewed the community member standing behind the banner below:
You let our Hospital Close.
We want our hospital back.
On the way out of the parking lot, Council Member Mark Weprin was talking to someone and The community member lit into him. She confronted Scott Stringer a block away at a diner. He told her it was out of his hands.
At night, 7pm, we joined the anti-Quinn folk outside the 92nd Y where Chelsea Clinton was giving Quinn a Woman's awards for her contribution to the community. The Award was a laugh (sigh). Quinn entered the event at a stage door entrance on the cross street through the garbage piles at the door as she does most of her campaign stops. We were there with little harassment from Quinn's NYPD presence of about 12 officers and 5 suited officers and 2 secret service agents. We left at 8:15pm for home. It was successful and people engaged in discussions with all the protestors. The Anti-Quinn group put together quite a diverse collection of individuals upset with Quinn on several issues. HOSVH had three posters of photos from the public hearing lockout on March 06. They need descriptions on them for a clearer viewpoint. Like "3/6/12 Quinn locked out Seniors and the disabled to attend the only public hearing for the Rudin Plan to destroy a community and healthcare."
Quinn Betrayed the Community she represents.
Quinn is no leader.
Quinn has lied to the community.
We are still sad about the loss. we have pledged to birddog Quinn until a full hospital returns and anyone else who stands in the way. No shame. The truth prevails.
We need a Full Service Hospital, ER, and Trauma Center. Nothing less!
Hands Off St. Vincent's Hospital
Demand A New Hospital
Friday, March 30, 2012
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Today, Speaker Christine Quinn scheduled the vote on the Rudin condo conversion plan. It passed 48-1 ; the only councilmember, who voted against the Rudin plan, was Charles Barron, who represents Brownsville and East New York (Brooklyn).
Councilmember Barron represents a part of Brooklyn that used to be served by St. Mary’s Hospital (which used to be under the St. Vincent’s umbrella system of hospitals) ; St. Mary’s was closed in 2005.
I think he may be the only politician of conscious in the fight for St. Vincent’s ?
Councilmember Barron also represents the part of Brooklyn that looks like will be even more severely impacted if Brookdale University Hospital were to close :
Meanwhile, I was just informed that Speaker Quinn and the Rudin family have triangulated with GMHC to deflect criticism away from the Rudin family for how they have unilaterally decided what kind of healthcare space the Lower West Side can have :
The Rudin’s have paid enough money to GMHC, and GMHC has rented out its name in exchange for PR spin to benefit Rudin -- even as Speaker Quinn and the City Council have given the Rudin family the green light to make hundreds of millions of dollars in NET PROFITS from the closing of St. Vincent’s Hospital. This has expensive lobbyists’/PR spin doctors’ fingerprints all over it.
The bottom line here is clear : if you are a 1% billionaire foreclosing on 501(c)(3) public charities (the Rudin family were mortgage holders on some of St. Vincent's buildings), then you just need to ring up GMHC CEO Marjorie Hill, and, if the price is right, she will give you an award to give you charity cred to distract people from your ruthless ways.
I wonder what Larry Kramer has to say about this ? Or does he know enough to expect such dirty tricks from Speaker Quinn and Ms. Hill ?
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Peninsula Hospital Center joins a long list of hospitals, which have closed on New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn's watch.
In the time that Christine Quinn has been Speaker of the New York City Council, at least eight city hospitals have closed :
- North General Hospital in Harlem declared bankruptcy in 2010 ;
- St. Vincent's Hospital in the West Village was shut down in 2010 after shady backroom meetings ;
- St. John's Queens Hospital in Elmhurst went bankrupt in 2009 ;
- Mary Immaculate Hospital in Jamaica went bankrupt in 2009 ;
- Parkway Hospital in Forest Hills decided to close in 2008 ;
- Cabrini Medical Center in Manhattan closed in 2008 ;
- Victory Memorial Hospital in Bay Ridge closed in 2008 ; and
- St. Vincent's Midtown in Manhattan closed in 2007.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
No comment, yet, of course, from Christine Quinn, in regards to the NYPD's on-going campaign of police brutality against peaceful activists.
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Make a pledge today to support Roots of Betrayal : The Ethics of Christine Quinn on Kickstarter.
What measurable, real, and tangible actions have openly lesbian City Council Speaker Christine Quinn taken in respect of LGBT civil rights ?
It should come as no surprise that City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, a high-profile openly lesbian politician, would support the LGBT bigot Cardinal Timothy Dolan. Let's examine the following further examples of LGBT civil rights violations, to which Speaker Quinn has been spineless in her response :
- When over 30 men where being entrapped and were the targets of sexual orientation profiling by the NYPD, what did Christine Quinn do ? That's right, she did nothing to hold the NYPD accountable for their systematic discrimination of LGBTQS men.
- Each year, Speaker Quinn allocates taxpayer money to support hate groups that discriminate against LGBT New Yorkers. Ask yourselves : What is an openly lesbian politician doing by funding groups that discriminate against LGBT New Yorkers ?
- On the evening when Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the historic marriage equality bill into law, the NYPD raided the Eagle Bar in yet another demonstration of sexual orientation profiling. What has Speaker Quinn done to hold the NYPD accountable for their systematic discrimination of the gay men patrons of the Eagle ? That's right, she's done nothing.
- After the Obama administration violated the due process rights of an LGBT whistleblower, what did Speaker Quinn do ? She turned the other way and pretended not to look.
- When one of her own staffers, Tony Simone, dropped the F-bomb on gay rights leaders Allen Roskoff and Donny Moss, what did Speaker Quinn do ? She did nothing.
- When Mayor Michael Bloomberg appealed the 2005 landmark marriage equality ruling by Judge Doris Ling-Cohan,, what did Christine Quinn do ? BINGO ! She did nothing.
With an LGBT record like this, LGBTQS New Yorkers would do good to question Speaker Quinn's integrity and commitment to LGBT civil rights.
Monday, March 19, 2012
Update : Is Gov. Andrew Cuomo closing hospitals to use taxpayer money to bailout the NFL Buffalo Bills football team ?
Act now to save SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn !
The proposed 2012-13 state budget fails to restore $68 million in hospital subsidies slashed from the 2011-2012 budget for Brooklyn’s Downstate Medical Center, Stony Brook University Hospital Medical Center and Syracuse’s Upstate Medical University.
Contact your legislator now !
Don’t let state budget cuts jeopardize SUNY hospitals and medical schools. Tell lawmakers to properly fund our hospitals so New Yorkers continue to receive world-class health care.
A state commission run by Stephen Berger, a Wall Street millionaire with designs on privatizing the state’s public teaching hospitals, wants to close inpatient and many clinical services at Downstate’s University Hospital—which would leave thousands of poor, uninsured and underinsured patients without necessary, ongoing health care services.
Vital community health clinics and programs run by Downstate may close. Thousands of jobs could be lost. And if Berger gets his way at Downstate, you can bet he’ll be targeting teaching hospitals at Stony Brook and Syracuse.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Norman Siegel, Esq. - Testimony at Press Conference March 10, 2012
Text of Mr. Siegel's prepared remarks :
I am here today to support members of Manhattan's West Side and the Greenwich Village and Chelsea community, who want and need a full service Trauma 1 hospital in their community. I also speak out in strong opposition to what occurred on Tuesday March 6 at the Public Hearing concerning the current plan for the St. Vincent's site.
First and foremost, residents of Manhattan's West Side need a hospital that is adequately accessible to its residents. Eliminating St. Vincent's Hospital and replacing it with 450 luxury condos creates a healthcare crisis for residents and visitors alike. For example, it is not adequate that if you need immediate emergency care that you must go to Beth Israel on the East Side or St. Luke's Roosevelt on West 59th Street. Residents need a full service hospital here on 12th Street and Seventh Avenue and not a two bed facility! I urge all our elected officials to stand with the community in calling for a Greenwich Village hospital. This is a not only a Manhattan West Side issue - it is a New York City issue. If the City can transform a 350 bed hospital site into luxury housing here in this community it will create a precedent that will lead to the elimination of other community hospitals. We must oppose this here and now.
Second and very troubling is how the hearing was conducted. Shame on the City Council and the Speaker. Scheduling a hearing in a room at 250 Broadway that holds 40 people when you should have anticipated a large turnout is not only wrong but suspect. And even if you did not anticipate a turnout of 200 - 300 people you should have. Hundreds of people waited in the cold wanting to testify. At that time you should have moved the hearing to the City Council Chamber which could have accommodated ten times more people. According to records, alternative spaces were available.
To have residents, many of whom were senior citizens, wait for hours in the cold to gain access to a public hearing is cruel and undemocratic. The right of the public to fully participate in a public hearing of public concern is a cornerstone of a democratic society. To deny this right is not what NYC's governing body should be about.
Reportedly, letting the Rudin spokespersons in and not allowing the opponents in on an equal basis is also wrong, undemocratic and suspect. Public discourse must take place on an equal playing field. The City Council, at a public hearing stage, must be fair and provide all opponents an equal opportunity to present their views. This was not done last Tuesday. Last Tuesday, unfortunately, was unequal and favored one party to this controversy over another. Rudin's spokespeople went first and the room was filled with all of Rudin supporters. The opponents followed. Rudin's spokespeople had all members of the committee present to hear their position. By the time the opponents spoke there were only two or three out of the 11 council members or their representative present. Not fair. Wrong. Suspect. This is not what democracy looks like.
What happened on Tuesday March 6 requires:
1. An investigation by the Mayor's office to establish whether this hearing was conducted in error by oversight and lack of appropriate planning or by a biased intentional design?
2. Public statements by City Council members and any and all candidates wanting to run for Mayor in 2013 as to where they stand on (a) the St. Vincent's controversy and (b) what happened on Tuesday, March 6. We, the voters, need information so we can hold officials accountable.
3. A public apology by the City Council and its leaders to those who attempted to participate in last Tuesday's error filled public hearing.
Friday, March 9, 2012
YouTube video of a protest against New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn last Thursday morning at Elmo Restaurant in Chelsea. Speaker Quinn has a record of corruption, and she has sold out the community.
§100. Legislative declaration. It is essential to the maintenance of a democratic society that the public business be performed in an open and public manner and that the citizens of this state be fully aware of and able to observe the performance of public officials and attend and listen to the deliberations and decisions that go into the making of public policy. The people must be able to remain informed if they are to retain control over those who are their public servants. It is the only climate under which the commonweal will prosper and enable the governmental process to operate for the benefit of those who created it. (emphasis added)
2012-03-06 200-Plus St Vincents Activists Locked Out of City Council Public Hearing
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Did Christine Quinn, City Council deliberately deny community access to Rudin Condo Hearing ?
New York, NY (March 6, 2012) -- Over 200 people were shut out of the final hearing, where public testimony was to be accepted, before the New York City Council and its Speaker Christine Quinn were expected to decide whether to approve or reject the irresponsible Rudin Family's luxury condo conversion plan for St. Vincent's Hospital.
People stood in line since 8 a.m. -- some before -- outside 250 Broadway, where the hearing was held, only to be denied participation. An elderly man collapsed inside an unnecessary and humiliating police barricade ; the senior citizen seemed to have suffered a seizure from prolonged exposure to the cold. Thankfully, there were doctors among the crowd waiting to give their testimony, who kept medical watch over the senior citizen. But the ambulance took approximately 30 minutes to respond to 250 Broadway, even though New York Downtown Hospital is nearby.
Since the closing of St. Vincent's, area residents are afraid that their lives are in danger from the extended EMS and ambulance response and transport times to alternative hospitals, such as Beth Israel Hospital or St. Luke's-Roosevelt. Residents and activists complained about having to stand outside and wait in the cold morning weather. At times, residents and activists changed, "Let us in."
Media entrepreneur Tom Allon, who is a declared candidate for the New York City Mayor's race in 2013, waiting outside 45 minutes before he was allowed into the hearing to testify. Watch our exclusive exit interview, in which Mr. Allon criticised Speaker Quinn and the New York City Council for denying residents and activists an opportunity to provide public testimony.
How much danger is Speaker Quinn willing to put New York City in, with all of these irresponsible hospital closings ? To what lengths is she willing to go, to exclude public participation in public hearings ?
Sunday, March 4, 2012
New York City Council Speaker Refuses To Investigate, Or Shut Down, The NYPD Racial-Profiling Surveillance Program Targeting Muslims.
In a scathing editorial, the board of editors of The New York Times have criticised New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn for not taking any action to question the New York Police Department's invasive, questionable, and possibly constitutionally-illegal surveillance of Muslims.
"... A series of articles by The Associated Press has exposed constitutionally suspect surveillance of Muslims in New York, New Jersey, Long Island and beyond. Unearthed police records noticeably lack any apparent link to suspected criminal activity, or any obvious payoff for public safety," reported The NYTimes editors.
Among the scandalous extremes that the NYPD went to, to spy on innocent Muslims, was to follow 18 City College Muslim students during a 2008 whitewater rafting vacation.
"It is a distressing fact of life that mistreatment of Muslims does not draw nearly the protest that it should. But not just Muslims are threatened by this seemingly excessive warrantless surveillance and record-keeping. Today Muslims are the target. In the past it was protesters against the Vietnam War, civil rights activists, socialists. Tomorrow it will be another vulnerable group whose lawful behavior is blended into criminal activity," warned the editors of The NYTimes.
Today, Speaker Quinn was expected to show up at the only LGBT-inclusive St. Patrick's Parade in New York, the St. Pat's For All Parade in Queens. But Speaker Quinn was a no-show. In her place, activists stood alongside the St. Pat's For All Parade to protest against Speaker Quinn's record of corruption.
Saturday, March 3, 2012
Join us for a Mass Civilian Trauma Exercise and Die-In outside Christine Quinn's luxury condo at 263 Ninth Avenue next Sunday, March 11, at 1 p.m.
New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn doesn't think that the entire Lower West Side of Manhattan needs a full-service hospital and Level 1 Trauma Center to replace St. Vincent's.
Date : Sunday, March 11, 2012
Time : 1 p.m. - 2 p.m.
Place : Outside of 263 Ninth Avenue (Btwn. 25/26th Streets)
Members of Hands Off St. Vincent's and other activists will hold the second "mass civilian trauma exercise" and "die-in" to demonstrate that this part of Manhattan is not prepared for a large-scale medical emergency, such as a pandemic outbreak, or, God forbid, another terrorist attack. Please bring plastic medical gowns, surgical masks, and lots of bottles of ketchup.
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Christine Quinn is like the Mitt Romney of NYC: desperate to win, will turn herself into anything the moment requires http://t.co/jORhsrXb— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) February 28, 2012