Saturday, June 30, 2012

Christine Quinn Budget Games

'' As she stood with Mayor Bloomberg on Monday to herald a 'balanced' $70.3 billion budget, Council Speaker Christine Quinn showed that she can play Bloomberg’s stunt of looking responsible while showering everyone with cash. ''

''But that game may be over. And if Quinn becomes mayor in 2014, paying the price for Bloomberg’s magic will be her problem.''

Read more : Hello, one-shot city : Brewing future budget pain

Is Cindi Creager Beyond Reproach ?

Steven Thrasher Exposes Unethical Press Relations by LGBT Community Center Spokewoman Cindi Creager. Questions Raised About Accountability, Transparency, and Ethics.

Yesterday, The Village Voice published a powerful blog post by Steven Thrasher, who questioned the ethics of allowing cornerstone non-profit organizations, such as the LGBT Community Center in Manhattan, to go without proper oversight.

In a surprise interview, Mr. Thrasher interviewed Cindi Creager, who had been avoiding any media inquiries by The Village Voice. Ms. Creager is the Center's spokeswoman.

Mr. Thrasher reported that Ms. Creager said "she didn't think she had to speak to press who were 'unfair to us,' and said we were 'biased,' 'unfair' and a 'liar.' "

Ms. Creager admitted to Mr. Thrasher that Ms. Creager censored Mr. Thrasher, making it impossible for him to post comments on the Center's Facebook page.

In the past, The Village Voice has questioned the integrity of the Center's Executive Director, Glennda Testone.

Direct quote from Mr. Thrasher's report about his interview with Ms. Creager :

''Why is it just a one way street of information that is diseminated, that people can't ask you questions?'' she just nodded, as if that's they way things are and there's nothing to be done about it.

Who sets the tone of being beyond reproach ? Who sets the example that LGBT community leaders are not accountable to LGBT bloggers and journalists ?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

NYPD Shove Louis Flores at Quinn Protest

NEW YORK -- (27 June 2012) -- Earlier this evening, activists representing a cross-section of equality, social, and humanitarian issues gathered outside of 525 West 22nd Street to protest a political fundraiser to benefit New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

Watch this YouTube video to witness how Speaker Quinn uses NYPD and New York City employees as her own security detail during her political fundraisers. And most importantly, watch as NYPD illegaly violate the Constitutional rights of the protesters. At one point, Officer Lamonica can be seen pushing the LGBT activist and blogger Louis Flores on a public sidewalk, abridging his rights to peacefully protest, his freedom to assemble, his freedom of speech, and his freedom of the press. Mr. Flores is a blogger and activist, and he was attempting to take a photograph of Speaker Quinn for the cover of his upcoming book about the corruption that has taken place during the Quinn administration.

YouTube Video: (date of recording : 27 June 2012)

This video speaks for itself.

"Only a few weeks ago, Speaker Quinn participated in the march against stop and frisk," said Mr. Flores. "But yet here she is, ordering the police to use brute force against peaceful activists, who are only peacefully protesting and trying to take photographs for citizen journalism and social media. This is unconstitutional use of power by both the Speaker and the NYPD."

Mr. Flores contacted the NYCLU first thing Thursday morning and filed a complaint with New York City.

2012-06-28 Scan of Redacted CCRB Complaint Filed With NYC Gov About NYPD Use of Excessive Force Against LGB...2012-06-27 NYPD Push LGBT Activist Blogger Outside Christine Quinn Fundraiser

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Christine Quinn Tainted Money

Mayoral Candidate Tom Allon Calls on Speaker Quinn to Give Back Tainted Campaign Money

In a Daily News op-ed, Mayoral candidate Tom Allon today called on Speaker Quinn to return campaign funds received prior to when a law that would limit them kicked in. Allon said: "Local Law 34 was intended to limit the transactional, pay to play politics that has plagued our city for so long. It is unconscionable that Speaker Quinn, through a loophole in the law, is able to keep campaign funds that would now be strictly forbidden. It is a violation of the spirit, if not the letter of the law and I call on Speaker Quinn and others to return this tainted campaign money immediately." "Elected officials and 2013 candidates alike, should call on Speaker Quinn and others to do the ethical thing and observe the intent of Local Law 34." said Allon.

Read Allon’s op-ed.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Healthcare for All is Constitutional

As the country focuses its attention on the Supreme Court’s upcoming ruling on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), single payer supporters are poised to respond publicly with the message: “ACA or not, Medicare for All is what we need!” A publicly funded, single payer healthcare system is constitutional and wouldn’t put more money into the pockets of insurance industry CEOs. In fact, the New York State legislature currently has a bill that would create a single payer system right here. Can we have healthcare for all? Yes, we can.

When: Friday, June 29th, 5:00pm

Where: the closed St. Vincent’s Hospital, West 13th St @ 7th Avenue, Manhattan

Join us at 5pm THE DAY AFTER the decision on healthcare is announced by the Supreme Court. The decision is expected this Thursday, 6/28.

PNHP-NY Metro, Healthcare-NOW! NYC, Single Payer New York, members of Healthcare for the 99% and other single payer supporters will gather and speak to the press about the real solution to our health care crisis.

Be sure to wear your white coats or scrubs!

OWS Rally Save SUNY Downstate

Please joint the Healthcare for the 99% working group of Occupy Wall Street in a demonstration to stop anymore hospital closings !! Thursday at 11:30 a.m. RSVP here : Save SUNY Downstate Hospital - RSVP to the Facebook event! Save SUNY Downstate Hospital - Healthcare for the 99 Percent OWS Healthcare Demonstration Flyer

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Save Chelsea From Christine Quinn

The fragile neighborhood fabrics of Chelsea and the West Village need protection from the zone-busting over-development plans of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

We saw how Speaker Quinn dealt with St. Vincent's Hospital : she approved the Rudin family's zone-busting luxury condo conversion of the only full-service hospital in the entire Lower West Side of Manhattan.

Speaker Quinn had her ''protectors,'' people who defended Speaker Quinn's blatant betrayal of the community.

Speaker Quinn's protectors, who didn't believe we needed a full-service hospital in the Lower West Side, are now having to deal with the impact of the architectural aesthetic of a zone-busting real estate development deal for Chelsea Market.

Healthcare activists pointed out how Speaker Quinn hauled in $30,000 in campaign donations from the Rudin family in a ''pay-to-play'' deal that put the City Council Speaker on a one-way course to fast-track and approve the luxury condo conversion of St. Vincent's. The Rudin family paid hundreds of thousands in lobbying for the luxury condo deal, and one of the lobbying groups that the Rudin family hired was Capalino and Company, a firm that has been successful in compromising Speaker Quinn to such an extent that Speaker Quinn can usually be counted upon to do what is wrong by the community -- meaning, Speaker Quinn goes along with the desires of real estate developers over the concerns and needs of her own voters.

Now comes the Chelsea Reform Democratic Club, a feeder group that is described as ''belonging'' to the political boss system in Speaker Quinn's power base. The Chelsea Reform Democratic Club, which opposes Jamestown Properties's zone-busting development deal for Chelsea Market. Another group that opposes the zone-busting deal is Save Chelsea.

Jamestown Properties has hired Capalino and Company, and, again, real estate developers, their front groups, and their friends and family members, are funneling campaign donations to Speaker Quinn, this time in an amount that is greater than $370,000, according to The New York Times.

Here is my prediction for how things will unfold :

Friday, June 15, 2012

Quinn Blocks NYPD Inspector General

New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn Is Expected To Block New Legislation Would Create Independent Oversight For NYPD

NY1 reports that dozens of City Councilmembers want to create a new watchdog called an ''inspector general'' for the New York City Police Department. The proposed new official would have oversight powers review policies, launch investigations, and issue public reports about the NYPD's controversial policies and practices, such as stop and frisk, religious profiling, and other illegal actions, like the abusive and brutal use of force, such as pepper spray on innocent young ladies. This powerful new regulator would also have subpoena power, according to the NY1 report.

''Nearly half of the City Council has signed onto the bill. But that does not necessarily mean it will go to the floor for a vote. It will be up to City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to move it forward. At this point, she has not taken a position on the legislation.''

Good luck. Anytime it takes leadership or courage to do something that would truly improve the lives of people of color, nobody can ever count on Speaker Quinn to move a piece of legislation forward.

Just look at paid sick leave. Look at how she treated her own community when it came time to decide to either put protective zoning on St. Vincent's, or to let the billionaire Rudin family to foreclose on a public charity hospital, so that they can build luxury condos :

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Christine Quinn : ''Stop and Frisk'' Enabler


Not even civil liberties groups, African-American community organizations, or even other minority community leaders, have been able to appeal to New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to take action to put an end to the NYPD's controversial and undoubtedly illegal ''stop and frisk'' policy.

The New York Police Department has a deliberate and agency-approved policy of stopping citizens of minority races in the police department's efforts to fight crime. Since social and cultural prejudice guide this NYPD policy, you have a situation where the NYPD unfairly targets young men from minority groups. And because this policy, which is known as ''stop and frisk,'' is so aggressive, the fact that so many young minority males' first encounter with the judicial system is a discriminatory state-sponsored policy, any entrapment or crime-baiting that takes place as a result of ''stop and frisk'' may act as a gateway for those being targeted to have their lives ruined by being ensnared in the police department's aggressive tactics.

And it's not just young minority men, whose lives are being destroyed by this discriminatory policy, but also young minority women : ''Poor people of color from the trans community (of which there were many at the Stonewall riots) are often assumed to be prostitutes and are routinely harassed by the NYPD; carrying condoms on your person can now be presumed as proof that you are a prostitute by the NYPD,'' reported The Village Voice reporter Steven Thrasher.

What does this have to do with Speaker Christine Quinn ? As a leader of City Council, it is her job to serve as a check on the over-reach of power by the Bloomberg administration, and, by extension, on NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly. But, as we know all too well, anytime that citizens call on our elected representatives to take courageous action to bring equality and fairness, nobody is able to rely on Speaker Quinn.

In this interview, Mr. Thrasher is critical of the Human Rights Campaign and the Empire State Pride Agenda, which have celebrated Mayor Michael Bloomberg in the past, but who won't hold the same mayor accountable for his discriminatory and illegal police practices.

And the criticism by Mr. Thrasher of the ''stop and frisk'' press conference at the Stonewall Inn, and the many hundred posts on this very blog point out, also roll up to Speaker Quinn, who is a very close political ally of Mayor Bloomberg. In spite of the fact that her office should be used as a check on his questionable use of power, she has subjugated herself all along to Mayor Bloomberg solely to advance her own political career.

And so what you essentially have happening at press conferences, like the one that took place at the Stonewall Inn, is a farce of a politically-staged event, where everybody stands around and says that they don't like the NYPD's ''stop and frisk'' policy, but nobody is willing to take any action at all to put an end to the policy.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Bill Rudin Hospital Gown Joke

Bill-Rudin-Hospital-Gown, I just saw Bill Rudin in a hospital gown. Too bad this first aid clinic doesn't treat eye trauma.

Amanda Burden Approves NYU Expansion Plan

City Planning Commission Approves NYU Expansion Plan ; Community's Effort To Defeat This Reckless Plan Moves To City Council ; Good Luck.

From Andrew Berman :

This morning the City Planning Commission voted 12 to 1 in favor of NYU's massive proposed Village expansion plan with minor modifications. All of the Mayor's and all of the Borough Presidents' representatives voted in favor, while Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio's representative voted AGAINST the plan. The approval by the Commission was completely expected, as the Mayor had made clear his strong support for the plan. However, we are greatly encouraged by the Public Advocate's rejection of the plan, and now we will see if the City Council, which must hold public hearings and vote upon the plan, will exercise similar independence and reject the plan.

Read more : You can find out more about NYU's massive expansion plan and efforts to stop it.

Based on how New York City Speaker Christine Quinn used illegal tactics to shut out the community from the City Council hearing on the vote to approve the irresponsible Rudin condo conversion plan for St. Vincent's Hospital, it's not looking too good for residents of Greenwich Village. Who knew that Amanada Burden would turn out to be the second coming of Robert Moses ?