Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Born yesterday: terrorists don't need visas when they can get a real U.S. birth certificate

Born yesterday: terrorists don't need visas when they can get a real U.S. birth certificate

Washington Monthly, May, 2002 by Barry Newman

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I HIDE MY BIRTH CERTIFICATE AT THE back of a file drawer in my closet at home. A black-and-white photostat with a raised official seal, it was issued by the New York City Department of Health in May 1968, around the time I received my greetings from the Selective Service. If I needed a fresh copy today, it would be a job to get. The city's Health Department would want my father's name, my mother's maiden name, the name of the hospital I was born in, and my reason for wanting the copy. I'd have to show a photo ID. If any others wanted my certificate, they would not only have to show their IDs but one of mine as well, plus a letter from me authorizing the certificates release, signed and notarized.

For once, bureaucratic obstructionism pleases me. We all learned in September what can happen when the wrong people get the right credentials. Yet we live in a country that has no citizenship registry and awards citizenship to anyone whose mother happened to be here on the day she gave birth. The American birth certificate proves American citizenship; it is the only proof most of us have. As such, it is a credential with the power to "breed" an American identity--up to and including an American passport.

Lucky for our national security, then, that the records clerks of New York would never issue a genuine, forgery-proof, certified copy of my birth certificate to just anybody. No, just anybody has to go to California for some of those.

I flew out to Los Angeles not long ago, and drove north to the government center of Ventura County, a concrete campus set in a big parking lot. In the recorder's office, members of the public were studying computer screens and microfiche readers. Behind the counter, a clerk rose to help me, an American flag glittering on her lapel. I said I wanted to buy a few birth certificates--no particular ones, for no particular reason. "It doesn't matter who you are," she said. "We don't ask people why they come in. If you have the name, we'll look it up."

I didn't have a name handy, so she brought out the microfiche index. Five plastic sleeves contained every birth recorded in Ventura County going back to 1873. I cruised the lists and lighted on three names: Dennis Alan Duck, Frank David Born and Joshua Ezra Ladin. I completed three order slips--leaving out birth dates, fathers' names and mothers' maiden names--and handed them to the clerk. In ten minutes, she appeared with the certificates. They had embossed seals, the heft and texture of bank notes and the complexity of Serabend carpets: steel-engraved intaglio borders with "Vital Record" printed in microline around their inner edges; pink-and-blue fields watermarked "Official Vital Record" and flecked with security thread. The order slips didn't ask for my phone number or address. I signed them with a false name. The certificates cost $12 each. I paid cash, zipped them into my shoulder bag and walked out.

In public-records parlance, California is an "open" state. It not only lets anybody buy a certified copy of anybody's birth certificate, but its law bars clerks from selling anything but certified copies. Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Ohio, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin also keep records open. Together, they have 2,375 offices that sell birth certificates for the asking. In Tennessee, Kentucky, and New Jersey, local offices won't sell to just anyone, but central offices will. In Iowa and North Carolina, central offices won't but local offices will.

Plenty of lowlifes know about this already. Now, well-tutored terrorists probably know, too--and some federal law-enforcers are getting nervous. Since September, the government has been setting traps for terrorists who hold visas. Visas are harder than ever to get and offer no protection against detention and deportation. Higher-ups in Washington may not have noticed, but terrorists intent on slipping through the dragnet don't want visas anymore.

"With what happened on September 11, a lot of these folks in the terrorist world now are traveling around with false passports, birth certificates, drivers' licenses," George Hungate told me. He is head of watch operations for the Immigration and Naturalization Service at the inter-agency El Paso Intelligence Center. "In years past, it was illegal aliens looking for jobs. Then it went to criminals, then to fugitives, and here we are now with narcotics and terror."

An Algerian named Ahmed Ressam set a chilling precedent in December 1999 by posing as a Canadian. Driving into the United States on his way to bomb the Los Angeles Airport, he presented a Montreal birth certificate to prove Canadian citizenship. Ressam didn't make it to Los Angeles, but he did show that using a birth certificate to pose as someone else was a cinch up north. If would-be terrorists can pose as Canadians that way, why not simply pose as Americans?

Hit-and-Stay Crimes

Bradley Washburn is one American who knows how easily that can happen. An engineering technician, Washburn lives in Greensboro, N.C. In 1995, he got a call from an agent of the Diplomatic Security Service, an arm of the State Department that investigates passport fraud. On Dec. 14, 1995, a U.S. Passport Agency officer in Miami came across an application filed at a Tampa post office by a Bradley Edward Washburn who had produced a birth certificate showing he was born on August 3, 1954 in Greensboro, N.C. But the man made a small omission: He hadn't supplied a Social Security number.

Suspicious, the officer handed the application to a security service agent who looked up Washburn in the Greensboro telephone book. There he was. On the phone, Washburn said he had never applied for a passport. The agent soon found that the applicant's Tampa apartment was rented to a Robert Finks, born Nov. 23, 1953. He knocked on the door and arrested him. His fingerprints matched those in FBI records of one Robin Ray Fink, born June 13, 1955 and wanted in Maryland for bank fraud.

"It's a weak document," the real Bradley Washburn said when I called to ask about his abused birth certificate. "Anybody who knows what I know realizes how easily it can be obtained."

Identity theft, an American growth crime, wasn't the crime committed against Washburn. Identity thieves steal information to get credit cards, use them, and disappear fast. What befell Washburn--far less common, but in the context of terror no less troubling--is called "impostor fraud." The crime isn't hit-and-run; it's hit-and-stay. The impostor's aim is to become another person, allowing traces of a life best concealed to dry up and blow away. No impostor would leave electronic footprints with a credit card. His essential tool, of minor value to identity thieves, is the birth certificate--a document able to spawn credentials that, in circular fashion, can corroborate the holder's identity.

"The birth certificate--that's the one that starts everything," a Diplomatic Security Service agent told me. "If you have that, that's it. That's all you need. You are that person."

Start with a birth certificate and a utility bill addressed to the name on it; agencies often ask for bills as proof of local residence. With those, you can enroll in school for a student ID, or take a job and get a photo ID from an employer. Getting a CostCo card and a library card wouldn't hurt. You can then use all your ID cards to verify that the birth certificate is yours. Along the way, you may be asked for a Social Security number. The government will issue a new or duplicate number to the name on the certificate. Failing that, you can make a number up. Social Security numbers aren't identity codes. Even the police find them hard to trace.

"We'd have to go to a public source," a U.S. law enforcement official said. "For us to get it out of the Social Security Administration is almost impossible without a subpoena--and that's for a law-enforcement organization. If you're in the driver's license business, it's next to impossible."

Which is a reason why drivers' licenses remain easy pickings for impostors--as they were for September's terrorists. But impostors in possession of a certified birth certificate can go farther, and even parlay a driver's license and a Social Security number into that most desirable of documents, the U.S. passport. The State Department issues seven million passports a year, yet its 4,500 clerks receive little schooling against fakery. Fraud taints up to 1 percent of applications, the department estimates: 70,000 a year. Agents investigate between 4,000 and 5,000, and only the frauds they uncover that lead to more serious crimes are ever prosecuted.

Since September 11, the service has dusted off thousands of unresolved cases, wondering if terrorists might be burrowing among them. At the root of every one, almost invariably, lies a dubious birth certificate. Dubious, not fake. Because 14,000 jurisdictions produce them with no national standard, forging birth certificates used to be easy. But as technology has made forgery harder, forgers have let production slide. Why bother to fake the real thing when the real thing itself grows on trees?

On the Mexican border, the INS is seizing 2,000 American birth certificates a month from people whose citizenship claims, its inspectors decide, are plainly false.

"Genuine U.S. birth certificates," Ida Briones said on the phone from Texas. "They're not counterfeits anymore." Ms. Briones is an INS officer at the El Paso Intelligence Center. All but 10 percent of the fraud she tracks is now grounded on real documents. The State Department calculates a similar rate for birth certificates used in passport fraud. "We have vendors making $50 to $10,000 on every certificate they sell," said Briones. George Hungate, her boss, said, "They're valid, legitimately issued. What more powerful document can you have to substantiate your claim to be a United States citizen?" Briones added: "California's an open state. You can get as many as you want. How do you like that?"

Impostors in our Midst

John William Dickey liked it fine--and, unlike Bradley Washburn's impostor, chose his victim wisely. Born in Illinois in 1938, Dickey moved to California and began a career as a pedophile. On Jan. 11, 1985, he was released from state prison in Vacaville. Four days later, police in Mesa, Arizona, arrested him for burglary. Dickey gave his name as Daniel Ray Erickson, and showed a California birth certificate to prove it. It said Erickson was born in Riverside, California on Jan. 20, 1949. So he was. What the police didn't know was that Erickson had died on Sept. 13, 1962, at age 12.

How Dickey picked Erickson isn't known, but he did know the ropes. A Seattle immigration lawyer, Robert Gibbs, explained it:

"Say you got the birth certificate of somebody who died in the first few years of life. They wouldn't have a Social Security account or work history--no real paper record. There's not going to be somebody else with a driver's license and that date of birth. There won't be any conflicts in the database world. For people who are serious and want the most bulletproof kind of phony identity and didn't have the CIA to get it for them, this is the kind of thing that they would do."

Back in action after serving time as Erickson on the burglary charge, Dickey used Erickson's birth certificate in 1986 to obtain a California ID. He soon turned up in Florida, where he got Erickson a Social Security number. Secure in his identity, Dickey joined a parents-without-partners group and sexually assaulted a 10-year-old girl at a beach party. The Pompano Beach police arrested him on Sept. 26, 1986--as Erickson.

He did seven years. On Nov. 5, 1993, he walked into the Monroe County courthouse and applied for a passport in Erickson's name. He would have gotten it, too, but for one goof: Earlier that day, he had gotten Erickson a Florida driver's license. An officer at the Miami passport office noticed, took a closer look at Erickson's Social Security number and saw that it had been issued when he was 44 years old. She called the Diplomatic Security Service. A fingerprint check came up with Dickey's California arrest record. He did three more years for passport fraud--this time as John William Dickey.

If a principle of political philosophy justifies California's selling a dead boy's birth certificate to a pedophile, nobody seems to know what it is. Some blame the real-estate industry, the news media, and genealogical researchers, all of which need to explore public records. Speaking for the genealogists, Iris Carter Jones, who lives in Sacramento and lobbies for the California State Genealogical Alliance, said: "No closed record is a good record. That's what you hear at many of our gatherings. Why close records and punish many people when only a small percentage misuse them?"

I wondered, though, why family historians would require certified copies of any records, especially birth records.

"No, no, that's another issue," Jones said. "For research you just get a copy of it. We don't need certified copies. This really came to mind since September 11. I think California needs to do something, but I'm not going to be the one to suggest it."

In the mid-1990s, Grace Napolitano did suggest it. As a member of the California State Assembly (she has since become a Democratic Congresswoman) Napolitano introduced a bill to bar sales of certified records to people with no reason to have them. "I obtained birth certificates of the people on my committee who voted against the bill," says Napolitano. "They were flabbergasted." But the bill died anyway. "California has a long history of openness about it," Napolitano reflects. "That's what's so attractive about the state."

California seems to have confused the good sense of keeping public records accessible to the public with the nonsense of distributing official versions of public records to the public at large. It and 13 other states persist in providing a delivery service for impostors the way homeowners keep hiding their keys under the doormat after the crime rate has shot up. But even the majority of states that have put limits on public access may have forgotten that the chief function of vital records is actuarial not evidential. Certified copies are inherently feeble as identification papers, but as long as they are dressed in fancy paper and elaborate seals, clever criminals and careless (or crooked) clerks will have a strong incentive to keep the masquerade alive.

Colorado, for instance, keeps all comers away from certified records, except for people named on the record, their siblings, and those who prove a "direct and tangible interest." I once had a tangible interest in a woman born in Colorado Springs. A while ago, I sent away for her birth certificate, claiming to be her brother. In short order, I got a call from a Colorado vital-records supervisor who scolded me for breaking the law. I couldn't be the woman's brother, she pointed out; our parents had different last names. She then admitted that a clerk had mailed out my ex-wife's certificate anyway. A few days later, it was mine.

Last November, a man applied for a passport in Philadelphia using a birth certificate issued by Hudson County, New Jersey. Reports didn't say what gave him away, but after his arrest, the man turned out to have two names. Under one, he was a Pakistani with a drug arrest; under the other, a Jersey-born citizen. The citizen's birth certificate wasn't on file in Trenton, New Jersey's open-record capital. It was on file, I was told, in closed-record Hudson County. Both names, moreover, were listed at a single address in Jersey City. How to explain this puzzling double identity?

"Money," said the INS's Ida Briones. "If the paper is genuine and had a serial number, one possibility is that a phony birth was registered." The certificate may have been real, in other words, but the "citizen" had never really existed--he was only a "paper baby."

Then there is the scarily simple case of Edward Jack Finney, born on Dec. 8, 1972 in New York. Finney died on July 22, 1999, but a year later, applied for a passport in Miami with a genuine New York birth certificate. An alert clerk found Finney in the Social Security Death Index, a databank listing every departed beneficiary. When the man showed up at the passport office again, he was collared. He turned out to be Deith Bridgeman, an immigrant from Grenada; a search of his belongings yielded two handguns and $18,000. At the moment, he is awaiting trial for two bank robberies in Queens. How did he come to possess a dead man's genuine New York birth certificate? Bridgeman's lawyer, Michael Hampden, told me: "It was given to him by the deceased person's wife."

The less useful fake documents become, the more appealing it is for criminals to borrow, steal, or generate real ones. Someone like Bridgeman might be surprised to learn that California sells birth certificates over the counter. Then again, a New York junkie eliminates the middleman--or middle state--by getting a copy of his own birth certificate and peddling it on the street. "Plenty of people out there," said an investigator, "are willing to sell their identities."

Born in the U.S.A.

Impostors who make mistakes obviously do get caught. But many impostors surely don't slip up; they slip through. Closing records will take government out of the trade, but at this point will not stop the business entirely. Those who understand this game say it's the birth certificate itself that needs a new identity. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported to Congress in September 2000 that its use as both a statistical public-health device and as the basic proof of citizenship has created "fundamental and irreconcilable conflicts."

"The birth certificate is an unreliable identifier," said an official who helped write the report. Its original purpose was merely to keep a head count for medical statisticians. "If you want it to be a source of identification, you destroy it from a public-health perspective. The congressional study was driven by the notion that improvements were possible, that the birth certificate could be a universal identifier. We were told to look for ways to strengthen it. But it dawned on us that maybe we have the whole wrong approach here. That, actually, there may be no way to fix this."

In a country that doesn't have or especially want an identity card, all forms of identification are imperfect by definition. As the ID debate goes on, that fact won't go away: As Americans, we just don't know who's who. We can't know if terrorists doze among us as pretend citizens-by-birth. We know of only one who knocked on our door: Ahmed Ressam, the millennium bomber arrested en route from Canada to Los Angeles. Quebec has since stopped accepting records like his as proof of citizenship. But the United States, which linked Ressam to Al Qaeda and sentenced him to prison for 130 years, has done nothing to puncture the American birth certificate's dangerously inflated status. At the least, every jurisdiction should make it as tough to get any citizen's certificate as New York City makes it to get mine. But with so many threats upon us, I guess the idea of a terrorist posing as an American must seem as remote as, say, the idea of a guy on an airplane trying to blow up his sneakers.

Barry Newman is a Wall Street Journal reporter.

Western businessmen bitter as Cuba closes doors

Reuters Recommends News Article Reuters.com

Western businessmen bitter as Cuba closes doors
Tue May 31, 2005 03:23 PM ET

By Marc Frank
HAVANA (Reuters) - Western companies welcomed in Cuba as heroes a decade ago for bucking the U.S. embargo are packing up and leaving as the Communist government rolls back market reforms and squeezes out intermediaries.

Embittered by the change in attitude, small and medium-sized foreign businesses complained this week that they no longer feel welcome and worried they would not recover money owed to them by Cuban partners.

President Fidel Castro's government, bolstered by growing economic ties to Venezuela and China, is cutting back the autonomy granted to state-run companies to do business in the 1990s and restoring central control over trade and finance.

The Spanish dairy firm Penasanta SA announced this month that its $8.5 million milk venture had failed due to the economic climate in Cuba, a view expressed by many other businessmen.

"Fidel thinks he does not need small joint ventures anymore, so they are only keeping the big ones in strategic sectors such as telecommunications, cigar and rum exports, energy, nickel and hotels," said an investor who was forced to abandon a 12-year-old business in the machine-building sector.

During a recent speeches, Castro has reminisced about the 1980s, when the economy was 100 percent Cuban-owned. He said Cuba reluctantly opened up to foreign investment during the deep crisis that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union.

"I don't think they ever wanted us here," said the manager of a major European company that is pulling out after 10 years.

"They always tried to get the most money, machinery and knowledge they could out of us while giving little in return. They owe us millions, but we are leaving mainly because of their attitude, the way they treated us," he said.

Cuba's Foreign Investment and Economic Cooperation Ministry (MINVEC) recently said it was still interested in investment by major foreign investors in priority sectors such as energy, mining, biotechnology and tourism but made clear that small and medium-sized businesses need not apply.


Western embassies report increasing complaints from their nationals whose businesses were liquidated without any guarantee they would be compensated.

"Cuban partners say they will pay back investments and money owed for operating costs from future profits, but it is doubtful the companies will even exist in the future," said the commercial attache at a European embassy.

Cuban officials did not answer requests for interviews on the trend.

Companies have the option of going to arbitration, but many feel they would be wasting time and money because the government would ignore the rulings anyway. "Castro does not blink at bucking the United States and Europe, so what chance do I have?" said one investor, in town to negotiate a liquidation.

Cuba reported that the number of joint ventures had dwindled to 313 at the end of 2004, down from 412 in 2002. Another 67 will be closed this year, according to a MINVEC source.

Of the 313 cooperative production ventures operating in 2003, only 133 remained at the beginning of this year, and most of them would be closed, the source said.

The Cuban state usually retains more than 50 percent control over joint ventures. Cooperative production agreements generally involve a foreign investor supplying machinery, credits and supplies in exchange for a percentage of profit or product.

Castro has repeatedly blasted foreign traders of late for overcharging on imports and usurious financing, while inside the ruling Communist Party they are often blamed for corrupt practices such as paying commissions and kickbacks.

Cuba has scrapped its free-trade zones that boasted more than 400 companies a few years ago. Some traders outside the zones report their licenses have not been renewed as the state has sought to do business directly with foreign suppliers.

Cuban officials insist that joint-venture exports and sales increased last year, despite the drop in their numbers, evidence that the "house cleaning" is working, they tell diplomats.

Joint ventures accounted for more than half of Cuba's exports last year and a third of all hard-currency earnings, or $1.3 billion and $2.3 billion respectively.

Scrutiny for stadium funding

Subject: Scrutiny for stadium funding
Date: 5/31/2005 7:23:56 AM Eastern Daylight Time
From: kitchen@hellskitchen.net
Sent from the Internet (Details)

Note: towards the bottom of this article is an interesting comment that
"that detail is among a list of facts about the stadium that have been
revealed over time, but only because of prodding from legislative staff. As
recently as last week, legislative analysts indicated the team had been too
tight-lipped" ... implying that the fact that the stadium would need to be
retrofitted has recently been discovered. I know that I and others (such as
Brian Hatch) have been attempting to get the news to reveal this fact for a
several years. I've known about it since 2000. Maybe the legislative staff
just discovered it, but reporters have known for some time and are just now
deciding to talk about it.

Scrutiny for stadium funding
State leaders are questioning whether plan for Jets to borrow more than $1B
violates New York City law

ALBANY BUREAU CHIEF; Staff writer Bryan Virasami contributed to this story.

May 31, 2005

ALBANY -- With a $2.2 billion price tag, half of which could be
underwritten by taxpayers, the proposed West Side stadium would be the most
expensive sports facility ever built and the recipient of a record public

But the size of those figures and the intricacies of the taxpayer subsidies
are stalling the plan's approval in Albany because legislative leaders say
the deal being pushed by Gov. George Pataki and Mayor Michael Bloomberg
includes dubious practices.

"Everything that they've done was designed to stay away from legislative
approval on a city and state basis," said one state legislative staffer who
did not want to be identified, but who has been meeting with stadium backers.

State and city borrowing, along with tax-exempt bonds, would cover more
than $1 billion of the Jets' costs, but state leaders are questioning more
than ever if the costs are justified.

A vote by the Public Authorities Control Board, which is controlled by
Pataki, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Joseph
Bruno, could come as early as Friday, clearing the way for much of the
financing. Two scheduled votes have already been postponed.

Responding to reluctance to commit to the stadium in Albany, Bloomberg at a
Queens parade Sunday, said he wasn't worried. "I'm optimistic that the
speaker and the majority leader and the governor will all come to the
conclusion after they've done all of their due diligence that this is one
of the most important economic development projects in the city."

Attempt to evade votes

Despite his buoyancy, the stadium's financing plan has prompted warnings
from legislative analysts, economists and other watchdogs, who charge that
Pataki and Bloomberg are seeking to grant the Jets an unprecedented subsidy
with as few legislative checks as possible.

Critics say that, in an attempt to evade votes by the State Legislature and
the City Council, Pataki and Bloomberg agreed to create one or more local
development corporations, run jointly by the city and state, that would
borrow $1.05 billion on the football team's behalf.

The stadium deal's architects say it is an effort to insulate taxpayers by
making off-budget agencies liable for the financing, but the ways that
borrowing would be repaid have raised alarms.

Bloomberg has promised that the city would pay $300 million of the
stadium's costs. But he intends to take payments in lieu of taxes -
commonly known as PILOTs - that some developers pay instead of real estate
taxes, from other development projects and use them to repay the money the
city borrows for the stadium.

The City Council has challenged the move, saying the mayor cannot
unilaterally divert the money. But in a battle that seems destined for the
courts, Bloomberg's lawyers assert that the mayor controls PILOTs because
they are special contracts, not typical revenue.

Frank Mauro, executive director of the Fiscal Policy Institute, a
government watchdog, has questioned Bloomberg's motives in seeking to
divert the PILOTs. Mauro said the plan seeks to circumvent city law.

"It's an essential concept of democracy that a legislative body has the
power of the purse," Mauro said. "It seems the mayor is buying into
something where the ends justify the means."

Subsidy or not a subsidy

Another part of the financing is a plan for the development corporations to
borrow $450 million in tax-exempt bonds to help the team pay for the
stadium. Instead of paying real estate taxes, the Jets would use their own
PILOTs to pay back the city and state, which are borrowing $450 million at
reduced interest on the team's behalf.

Watchdogs have called this a subsidy, but the Jets disagree, saying they
would still be liable in the long term.

Thad Sheely, the Jets' vice president of development, said the city and
state proposed the tax-exempt borrowing to save the team $70 million that
is now going to pay for two pedestrian bridges and a concourse that would
steer stadium crowds to the Hudson River.

"The public is going to have an ownership interest in the building," Sheely

Still another element of the plan is the state's $300 million commitment.
After requests from state legislative leaders about the income required to
back the bonds, Pataki's aides said last week that the stream may come from
income taxes.

Charles Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, the
state's development agency, said revenue generated by the stadium would
easily cover the city and state debt.

"Player salaries alone is a huge amount of income tax," Gargano said. "And
then you have sales tax on tickets ..."

MTA suit looms large

The stadium is also jeopardized by lawsuits that claim the Metropolitan
Transportation Authority, which owns the site on which the facility would
be built, gave a sweetheart deal to the team when it approved the Jets'
$250 million bid although the authority had appraised the property at $900
million. The State Supreme Court is to rule on those suits Thursday. To the
team's credit, experts on sports stadia note that owner Woody Johnson is
making a record private contribution of as much as $1.6 billion as the team
looks to end its lease at the Meadowlands in time to move to Manhattan for
the 2009 season.

"One thing that I believe has gotten lost in the mix here is that the Jets'
owner is putting a tremendous amount of money at stake on the project and
taking the marketing risk himself," said Marc Ganis, a Chicago-based sports

The stadium proposal is also the centerpiece of the city's 2012 Olympics
bid. Pataki and Bloomberg want approval by the Public Authorities Control
Board before the International Olympic Committee decides the host city July 6.

Legislative analysts who are monitoring the issue closely in the state
capital express strong doubts that the project will receive Albany's
blessing by July 6 because of the questions raised over the public
financing and the MTA's decision.

And while the stadium's boosters have pitched the plan as the savior of the
city's Olympics bid, a little-known fact has been largely left out of the
debate. The stadium would need to be retrofitted at additional cost to
accommodate a 400-meter running track. NYC2012, the nonprofit leading the
bid, estimates that will cost $140 million - a cost it would pick up. The
conversion could also trigger a host of federal reviews because a
redesigned stadium would jut out over the West Side Highway - a federal

Prying out information

That detail is among a list of facts about the stadium that have been
revealed over time, but only because of prodding from legislative staff. As
recently as last week, legislative analysts indicated the team had been too

"We haven't gotten a complete set of answers yet," Silver, a Manhattan
Democrat, said last week. "I think it's important for the public to
understand the extent of the subsidies no matter what we ultimately do."

Last week, Bruno, a Brunswick Republican, received a 10-page response from
the Jets, Pataki, Bloomberg and bankers underwriting the project about his
staff's questions. But Bruno complained that the memo still did not fully
address the requests.

"It's the first time ever that someone asked us to vote with as little
information as we have had ... and they're just basic questions," said
Bruno, who has called on Pataki and Bloomberg to participate in a public
meeting with legislative leaders to air issues surrounding the proposal.

With the stadium site on the West Side of Manhattan, the construction and
real estate costs are among the highest in the world, compelling a larger
public subsidy than the country has ever seen, said Robert Baade, a
professor at Lake Forest College in Illinois. But as more cities try to
convince residents that sports facilities are good investments, Baade said
the public is becoming more savvy about using public money to help pay for

"When they become more educated," Baade said, "There's more resistance and
the financing becomes very important."

Staff writer Bryan Virasami contributed to this story.

Newsday, Inc.

Wave of Construction Hits West Side, Making It �Hottest Neighborhood�

Subject: Wave of Construction Hits West Side, Making It �Hottest Neighborhood�
Date: 5/31/2005 7:54:14 AM Eastern Daylight Time
From: kitchen@hellskitchen.net
Sent from the Internet (Details)

Publication: The New York Sun; Date:May 31, 2005; Section:Front
Page; Page:1

Wave of Construction Hits West Side, Making It �Hottest Neighborhood�
By JULIE SATOW Staff Reporter of the Sun

A wave of construction is crashing onto the Upper West Side, bringing
12 planned or proposed developments to an 11-block stretch between 59th and
70th streets, according to the civic group Coalition for a Livable West Side.

The new buildings include Fordham University�s proposed
2.4-millionsquare-foot expansion along Amsterdam and Columbus avenues and a
35-story glass tower on a one-acre parcel at 59th Street.

�We can support this growth,� the chairman of the land use committee
for Community Board 7, Richard Asche, said. �Historically speaking, the
Upper West Side has nowhere near the population it did in the 1970s and

�This could be the hottest neighborhood in New York right now,� a
community activist and head of Friends of West-Park,Tom Vitullo-Martin, said.

�Those who oppose the developments are mostly neighbors who don�t want
their light and air blocked, but these neighbors are usually in tall
buildings with lower buildings next door that are getting built up,�
Mr.Vitullo-Martin, who also serves on Board 7�s land use committee, said.
�It is important to remember that nobody has a right to a view.�

Some community members are concerned that the building boom will lead
to increased traffic and construction noise.

�There will be an awful lot of construction in a very small area,� the
vice president of the coalition, Batiya Lewton, said.�The traffic will also
increase, and it is already backed up along West End Avenue.�

Developers are drawn to the neighborhood because of market conditions,
not the rezoning of the far West Side passed by the City Council earlier
this year, Mr. Asche said.

�It has to do with the fact money is relatively cheap, so construction
is doable, and apartments are scarce,� he said. �� Zoning usually follows
what is happening in the market, not the other way around.�

Some developments are more popular than others. Insiders said the
redevelopment planned by Fordham, on a �super-block� between 60th and 62nd
streets, could face heavy community opposition. One problem, according to a
community leader who wished to remain anonymous, is that the school is
asking for waivers for restrictions that were put in place to prevent
�overbuilding� of the neighborhood.

The university is planning at least 10 buildings, including a 60-story
apartment tower, on the superblock. The expanded campus would accommodate
more than 10,000 students.

At the same time, community leaders express enthusiasm about a plan
for redevelopment at Lincoln Center. Officials of the arts complex have
proposed a new fa�ade for Alice Tully Hall, a new restaurant, and the
widening of the sidewalks along 65th Street.

American Continental Properties is beginning construction this summer
on two buildings between 69th and 70th streets on West End Avenue after a
plan for a 70-story tower, which would have used the air rights from the
nearby Lincoln Towers development, fell apart.The new buildings will have
26 stories and 15 stories. The developers are also proposing an
�as-of-right� 21-story residential building between 67th and 69th streets.

Two buildings are under construction at 61st Street between West End
Avenue and a new street, known as Freedom Place South. The two buildings,
which are part of Donald Trump�s Riverside South development and are built
by the Atlantic Development Group, will house 211 rental units and 120
studio apartments for senior citizens.

The home for senior citizens, at 33 West End Ave., will be run by the
Metropolitan New York Coordinating Council on Jewish Poverty and will be
100% �affordable.� It will also include more than 8,000 square feet of
retail space.

Other developments include a 31-story tower with 300 market-rate
condominiums at 59th Street, and a 20-story tower at 60th Street byTouro
College for Women that will include student housing and 95 luxury
residential units.

At 245 W. 69th St., LHL Realty is hoping to build two residential
buildings, one of 30 stories and one of 15 stories, which would have as
many as 515 residential units and parking for 185 cars. The plan will need
to go through the city�s Uniform Land Use Review Process.

Another developer, A&R Kalimian Realty, has proposed to rebuild the
former American Red Cross building at 66th Street and Amsterdam Avenue. The
developer is negotiating with the New York City Opera to be a tenant.

Also, two hotels in the neighborhood are to be redeveloped: the
Mayflower Hotel at Central Park West between 61st and 62nd streets, and the
Radisson Empire Hotel at Columbus Avenue between 62nd and 63rd streets.
Within the Lincoln Square special zoning district, the Mayflower Hotel can
be built to a height of roughly 31 stories. It is eligible, however, for a
20% inclusionary housing bonus, which would allow additional stories in
return for construction of some units of �affordable housing.� While no
plans have been released, a building at 210 W. 102nd St. is thought to be
the site for the �affordable� units, according to the Coalition for a
Livable West Side.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Bronx Terminal vendors face eviction

Bronx Terminal vendors face eviction

May 29, 2005

With dawn barely a memory under the Deegan, the first gates at the Bronx
Terminal Market roll up. Panel trucks rattle across the Belgian
cobblestones over a bed made of hundreds of oak and pine pilings.

Steve Trombetta, 65, the third of four generations who have run a store
since 1930, stands at his familiar post, a rickety steel podium, with his
tools: a pen and a stack of carbon paper-backed order sheets. He scrawls
out an order, tears it off and calls out to an employee.

"We're just going to wait it out and see how long it goes," said the
taciturn Trombetta, between orders. "They are looking at the Olympic
picture. Here, we're talking about 22 businesses. We're here 24/7."

Trombetta is talking about the Bloomberg administration plan that would
evict him and nearly two dozen other merchants, demolish the ramshackle
market born and bred more than 70 years ago under Mayor John Hylan and
later Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, and replace it with a large suburban-style

The project is a venture of developer Stephen Ross of the Related Cos., the
Olympics fund-raiser close to Daniel Doctoroff, deputy mayor for economic
development. It is backed by a generous package of tax incentives and
subsidies from the city Economic Development Corp.

An engine for development

The battle over the market has been largely overlooked amid the controversy
over the West Side stadium proposal. But it is now shaping up into an epic
struggle all its own.

Represented by a former judge and a former counsel to the Helmsley real
estate empire, the merchants have mounted an effective court fight to force
the city to sweeten its incentives to relocate them. They say the
$8-million relocation package offered to date is not enough to move large
operations, and would also scatter them throughout the city.

City officials say the conflict is a distraction from the enormous benefits
of the project as an engine for Bronx economic development.

"We feel this is a tremendous boost to the Bronx community," said EDC
spokesman Michael Sherman. "This neighborhood has been under-served for the
last 30 years. We believe this project will create 5,000 jobs for the
community, and the developer is willing to invest $300 million in the

The new mall would erase what some see as an eyesore. The number of stores
has dwindled over the decades, and the place badly needs a paint job and a
thorough cleaning.

Yet the merchants revel in their old-fashioned ways. Ralph Lelia, who sells
flowers and watermelons, still uses handwritten ledger books and a manual
adding machine, which are housed in a refrigerator-sized, 1940s-era safe.
There isn't a computer in the place.

Lelia boasts that his only concession to technology at the business his
father started is a fax machine.

Lelia remembers the old rail cars, which used to bring produce into the
market, and he has heard stories of the "farmers' restaurant," which turned
into a risque after-hours joint.

"This market was viable then, and it's viable now," Lelia said. "New York
is one of the last places where small businesses thrive. There's a
uniqueness here you won't see elsewhere."

Gus Tyras, 45, founded his business with his brother Michael in 1983 at age
20. In the beginning, he ran things out of his bedroom, with one truck and
two phone lines. The business grew to three trucks, and they moved into the
market in 1987.

Today, Tyras' operation has 17 trucks, more than 100 employees and
locations at the terminal market and at Hunts Point. "People come here for
cash-and-carry," he said. "They come across to me for the restaurant
supplies, and they will go down the block for something else. That's why
we're fighting this."

Over the decades, the original merchants, usually of Italian and Jewish
descent, have watched as spots have been assumed first by Puerto Rican and
Dominican entrepreneurs and, most recently, by West Africans.

The Bronx market has become a key distribution point for African-owned
businesses around the country, said merchant Cecilia Nketiah, 49. "It's
like a chain, and if one falls off, then everyone is hurt," she said. "We
are making a contribution to the economy. I don't see why they should
minimize our impact."

Nketiah already had a successful business in her hometown of Accra, Ghana,
when she decided to come to the United States and open an outlet selling
African food and other items at the Bronx market in 2000. She obtained a
business visa and plunged some $250,000 into the venture. Now she fears all
will be lost.

"For someone like me to open a new store, I needed three years to break
even," she said from Accra by phone. "Whatever I invested, I won't get it
back, and I'll have to start all over again."

Nketiah is in Ghana visiting her children, whom she sent home after the
eviction threat emerged. "When the future became uncertain, I decided to
bring them here," she said. "If it works out well, I will bring them back.
If it doesn't work out, it will affect myself, my children and every dream
we ever had."

Concerned for his future

Daniel Ahenkora, 67, moved to the United States from Ghana in 1979, and
later left a job as a dividend clerk on Wall Street to open his own produce

"If you work for someone, you know pay is coming," he said. "If you do your
own business, it takes more hours and more effort in order to survive. I
thought it was more exciting and more challenging." Ahenkora, who has nine
children, sells exotic items like palm oil, cassava grits, fu fu powder,
smoked fish, smoked shrimp and root bitters. His clients come from the
tristate area and states from Texas to Michigan.

But the eviction fight has left him concerned. "I have been looking around
but I don't see a good location," he said. "If I relocate by myself, I
would be out of business in a month. If it is a central market, everyone
knows where to go."

For now, the merchants' lawsuit has created an uneasy truce of sorts.
Related has agreed not to aggressively pursue eviction pending the outcome
of the case.

Until then, merchants like Salvatore Paolillo will simply have to wait.
Twenty years ago, Paolillo, 75, was a produce buyer for The Plaza hotel,
when he had the idea to sell Yankee gear within view of Yankee Stadium. He
rented a corner spot in the market, and spent $50,000 to install glass
display windows and roll-up gates in the space.

But he soon learned that Yankees fans on their way to games don't stop and
shop. The business failed, and Paolillo was stuck with debts. So he decided
to start selling tomatoes and other produce.

Somehow he made it work.

"I thought I was going to be a millionaire," he said. "I lost my shirt.
When the wind blows that way, you have to follow the wind. You can't go
against the wind."

Friday, May 27, 2005

DEP Welcomed Fleet Week 2005 with the Cleanest Harbor in 100 Years

"Consumer Updates" and "Environmental News"

May 27, 2005

DEP Welcomed Fleet Week 2005 with the Cleanest Harbor in 100 Years

DEP Welcomed Fleet Week 2005 with the Cleanest Harbor in 100 Years

* Free pump-out stations for boaters* Enhanced Beach Protection Program increases beach monitoring

As an added feature to help protect harbor water quality, the DEP operates free pump-out stations where boat owners can legally dispose of their onboard septic waste, rather than releasing it into the harbor. This year the DEP has seven pump-out stations throughout the five boroughs, with most open to the public by Memorial Day or shortly after. An additional pump-out station will be built at the DEP's Rockaway Water Pollution Control Plant by mid-summer. Another two stations are available that are not funded by the DEP.

Locations:Dyckman Marina (Hudson River, Manhattan)World's Fair Marina (Flushing Bay, Queens)Bayside Marina (Little Neck Bay, Queens)Locust Point Marina (Throgs Neck, Bronx)Hudson River Yacht Club (Paerdegat Basin, Brooklyn)Coney Island Water Pollution Control Plant (Shellbank Creek, Brooklyn)Lemon Creek Mariner's Association (Princess Bay, Staten Island)Rockaway Water Pollution Control Plant (Rockaway, Queens, under construction)
In addition, City of New York/Parks & Recreation operates a free pump-out station at the 79th Street Marina in Manhattan. The National Parks Service also has one at Great Kills Marina in Staten Island. More
Boat Pump Out Locations (PDF file)

Trinity News: You Can Find Redemption in a Bottle, After All

Click here: Trinity News: You Can Find Redemption in a Bottle, After All

You Can Find Redemption in a Bottle, After All

The author, a Trinity Fellow for Social Transformation, embarks on a quest for the public�s unclaimed nickels. Tying theology to the practical economy of bottle redemption, he finds one way to secure healthcare benefits for an underserved, hard-working population.

By the Rev. Dr. Earl Kooperkamp

The Rev. Dr. Earl Kooperkamp

Last winter, Charles Kelly was hit by a car in New York City. He wasn�t badly injured. What really hurt was that Charles, by no means a wealthy man, couldn�t work for three days afterward. And because he had no health insurance, Charles couldn�t seek medical treatment.

Flash back 10 years. I was in a local supermarket. Men and women were feeding bottles and cans into shiny new machines. These machines were there for the redemption of the nickel deposit on beer and soda containers as proscribed by New York�s �Bottle Bill.� The sign over this area read �Automatic Redemption Center.� My first thought was, �Hey, that�s my line of work. I�m being put out of a job!� I enjoyed my pun, but then I scarcely gave the issue another thought.

What do these scenes have to do with each other? On one level, there�s only a surface link: Charles, as you may have guessed, redeems bottles for a living. Like the people who were getting �Automatic Redemption,� he gets a nickel a bottle. He is one of New York City�s thousands who lug impossibly rotund, bulging sacks of cans and bottles through parks and alleys, streets and subways, to the city�s redemption centers. But there is a deeper connection: the balm for Charles�s injuries might lie with the cans he and his colleagues do not find.

More Information
Dr. Kooperkamp was part of the first class of Trinity Fellows for Social Transformation.

Bottle-Bill Website: www.bottlebill.org

Health Insurace Issues: www.cnhpnow.org

Let me explain.

Redemption Two Ways
As a priest, it�s turned out that I have an abiding interest in two kinds of redemption � the kind you get when you turn in bottles for a nickel � and in Redemption � the holy, heavenly kind. When I was ordained, I knew I�d be knee-deep in the latter. The other kind of redemption was surprising.

A few years later, after becoming the pastor of St. Mary�s Church in West Harlem, I found that God was trying to get my attention on the importance of the issue of bottle redemption. Noticing the �Redemption Center� and having a chuckle to myself was the first sign, if you will, of many. At St. Mary�s, God became insistent.

We have several members who collect bottles and cans for redemption in our congregation. These members sing in the choir, volunteer at the soup kitchen, and others come as guests for a meal. One day I had a long talk with one of our members who works hard day in and day out collecting cans. Charles Kelly explained to me in great detail the work he did, the long hours he spends out on the streets, the all-sorts-of weather he works through.

The Quest for the Unclaimed Nickels
I asked Charles what he needs, what would make this work easier, and he replied that his is hard, sometimes dangerous, outdoor work, and that some form of health insurance would be great.

My first reaction, knowing the high and increasing cost of even our parish health insurance policy, was that Charles was asking the impossible. Well, impossible, perhaps for me, but as the Gospel says, �for God all things are possible� (Mark 10:27). The Spirit struck and I said, �But wait, what about all the unclaimed cans?� And Charles replied, �Yeah, where do all those nickels go?� This sent us on a quest for the unclaimed nickels.

One of the first stops on this search was WE CAN, a redemption center set up by Guy Polhemus, a former volunteer at the St. Francis Soup Kitchen. As Guy was serving people at the Soup Kitchen he heard their stories of the difficulties getting the nickels for the bottles and cans: store owners who keep people waiting for hours even in freezing weather; store owners who refuse to redeem more than a few dozen items when the law states they must redeem up to 240; and �middlemen� who redeem at a �twofer� rate � two cans for a nickel. Guy established his non-profit redemption center as a place open long hours, paying the full nickel for as many items as are brought in, and providing social services as needed.

Through this work, Guy became a veritable encyclopedia of the working conditions for �Redeemers� (as he calls the women and men who collect empty bottles and cans) and the process of bottle redemption in New York. Guy knew something important � the key to the quest: he knew that the deposit for unredeemed material stayed with the �deposit initiator,� that is to say, the bottling companies. Even though this was the public�s money, the bottlers are allowed to keep it for themselves. And this violates one of Guy�s fundamental understandings about this business. �Redemption,� he says, �is for everyone.�

The quest for the unredeemed nickels was proving good theology.

The Unclaimed Money is Your Money
A little more research uncovered that over the past twenty years since the inception of New York�s Bottle Bill, an estimated $1.4 billion in deposits remains unclaimed and in the hands of the bottlers. This is a conservative estimate and, as there is no provision in the law for the bottling companies to open their books for public inspection, the actual amount could be much higher. This money � the public�s money � could be used for public benefits � education, environmental clean-up, and healthcare for redeemers. Last winter, when Charles was unable to work and unable to seek treatment, the bottlers still continued to make money without lifting a finger, from the unclaimed deposits.

Good Old-Fashioned Theology
Redemption is more than simply a matter of fairness. It is an aspect of our faith that calls for our theological reflection and understanding. In the Hebrew Scriptures there is a provision for gleaning the fields and the vineyards. The people of Israel are enjoined in the Torah to leave the corners of their fields unharvested, to leave the gleanings, and to leave some grapes on the vines. These are for the poor and the alien in the land, because the land belongs to God and God will provide for all out of God�s very abundance. Ruth, King David�s grandmother, and her mother-in-law, Naomi, are sustained by the gleanings of Boaz�s field.

Our society has been characterized as a disposable society. We throw things away with abandon and we value the convenience of throw-away containers more than good stewardship of valuable resources. The redeemers among us teach us a different way. They are proof that what we all too often consider worthless is actually valuable. Those nickels add up, one bottle or can at a time, and sustain a life. And if we look at Jesus� life and passion through this lens, we see him literally tossed out, crucified on the town garbage heap as worthless. But he pays the price, so much infinitely greater than five cents, for our Redemption. When we proclaim, �Jesus, our Redeemer� here at St. Mary�s Church now, these words have a much richer and deeper content for me.

We will keep working for redemption at St. Mary�s. We have helped to start a coalition for a new bottle bill in New York. This new law will expand redemption provisions to non-carbonated beverage containers. No one knew twenty years ago when the first bottle bill was introduced that you could put water in a bottle and sell it, but this is now the largest and growing sector of the market. The new law will also call for putting the public�s money in the form of unclaimed deposits into public use. Maybe someday soon Charles Kelly�s dream of some health coverage as a reward for his hard work will become a reality.

After all, �Redemption is for everyone.�

Posted on Trinity News, May 27, 2005

� Current News...

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Columbia's Chief, Free Speech Expert, Gets Earful

New York Times

May 25, 2005

Columbia's Chief, Free Speech Expert, Gets Earful


Toward dusk of a dim day, the Morningside Heights campus of Columbia University was dotted with chattering students in various states of decompression. White tents were rising on the groomed lawns for the commencement exercises, that ritual of release and beckoning promise.

Striding down the empty and echoing hallway of Low Library, Lee C. Bollinger, the university's president, said of his workaday routines: "This is how it is. You walk down the hallways, and people applaud."

He came upon a solitary woman waiting to guide arrivals for a cocktail reception. She beamed at him.

"See," he said, "not everyone hates me."

It was his wry way of addressing a divisive undercurrent that has pierced the university and raised doubts about his own promise. Three years into the job as the university's 19th president, Mr. Bollinger has taken a beating during a brutal academic year that included a cantankerous eruption in the Middle East studies department that consumed the campus.

Pro-Israel Jewish students complained that they were intimidated by pro-Palestinian professors, sentiments elaborated on in a short film financed by a pro-Israel group outside the university, and these narrow grievances were transformed into a bitter showdown over academic freedom and student rights.

Over the course of it, Mr. Bollinger has lost much of the dazzle he arrived with, and has been roundly criticized as detached, overly deliberative and inept at communicating his governing ideology.

In one of many telling moments, Ann Douglas, an English professor, described a recent book party attended by many faculty members, where "everyone was saying disparaging things about Bollinger and no one was rising to his defense."

For his part, the soft-spoken Mr. Bollinger insists that the disapproval is not that extensive, or worrisome. "I'm just not troubled by the level of disagreement and debate," he said recently, during an interview in his expansive office on the second floor of Low Library, adorned with bright geometric paintings by Josef Albers. "It's debate and it's healthy."

But he acknowledged the need for certain adjustments. "Do I need to build more and better relationships with the university, and deeper ones?" he asked. "No question about it. I've already reached the conclusion that I want to spend more time inside the institution. That's a balance that will shift."

Mr. Bollinger has his admirers. Eric R. Kandel, a university professor and winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine, described him as a visionary. David Stern, the National Basketball Association commissioner, who is the head of Columbia's board, said he was quite pleased with Mr. Bollinger's performance, and several other trustees concurred. "I told him, there's nothing that he's experienced before that will be like this," Mr. Stern said. "I think, after three years on the job, he's willing to concede the point."

It is generally felt that animosity toward Mr. Bollinger would be more subdued were it not for the snowballing disputes that began with the charges by the pro-Israel students against the pro-Palestinian professors. Many at Columbia seemed piqued at what they felt was Mr. Bollinger's tardy and timid handling of the issue, which contributed to its becoming a protracted matter that saturated the university with sour publicity.

Even after an internal investigative committee ruled on the claims, finding a single credible incident of inappropriate professorial behavior, and after new procedures were developed to handle student complaints, distaste persisted. The whole matter has by no means subsided.

Mr. Bollinger, 58, a lean man who runs four or five miles most days ("At my age," he said, "every day I do it is a victory"), professed few misgivings about how he addressed the Middle East studies eruption.

"I tried to walk a very, very fine line," he said. "I have a problem because I like to see complexity."

"It would be nice if I was smarter, and in 48 hours could have grasped everything," added Mr. Bollinger, who was a clerk for Warren E. Burger, the chief justice of the United States. "But I'm not. And I still don't grasp everything."

Mr. Bollinger, who is paid $611,000 a year (and also receives housing and other perquisites) has embraced a grand - detractors say mushy and overreaching - vision. His ambition is for Columbia to be considered one of the three best universities in the country, on a level with the likes of Harvard and Yale, schools that are far richer and consistently ranked as better.

Such a transformation, Mr. Bollinger argues, depends on Columbia's expansion beyond its cramped 34-acre campus into 18 acres in Harlem. It is a combustible undertaking, for land in Manhattan is akin to birthright, never yielded without strident fanfare. Previous presidents have added space piecemeal, each time tackling the politically fraught bargaining with the adjacent community anew. Mr. Bollinger wants to assure the university's future in one bold swoop.

"I started with space because it unlocks not only the physical constraints but also the imaginative constraints," Mr. Bollinger said.

But the obstacles are immense. More than 50 faculty members recently sent a letter to Mr. Bollinger complaining that the expansion plan would have an adverse and unacceptable impact on Harlem.

The Columbia Spectator, the campus newspaper, recently published an editorial skewering the Bollinger administration for what it characterized as dishonest dealings in its quest to acquire that land, as well as in addressing graduate students seeking to unionize. "In the not-too-distant future, Columbia might become the next Enron," the editorial charged. Mr. Bollinger, knowing where to pick his battles, would say only, "I think The Spectator is terrific."

Some of the ill will toward Mr. Bollinger is undoubtedly a result of his reputation as a president who is too often away from campus.

Although he teaches a popular course on freedom of speech and the press to about 130 students each year, many professors say they have not truly gotten to know him, and some depict him, not positively, as a hologram. One dean said he was embarrassed to admit how little contact he had had with Mr. Bollinger in his three years. How much? "Zero," he said.

In interactions, Mr. Bollinger is gracious, but also often matter-of-fact and fixated. Meeting with student leaders one morning, he spent virtually no time on personal greetings but swept into the issues at hand.

When he arrived at Columbia in the summer of 2002 after serving as president of the University of Michigan, Mr. Bollinger was known as a First Amendment scholar and a proponent of affirmative action. He had a buzz about him for being a finalist for the Harvard presidency, a job that went to Lawrence H. Summers.

Among his early actions, Mr. Bollinger shut down several costly enterprises, like Columbia's management of the Biosphere 2 ecology project in Arizona and its sponsorship of Fathom, an online learning business, and he has centralized some facets of the university, to economize. He has orchestrated change in the heralded journalism school and the athletic program. He has deployed a new administrative team that has itself had a mixed reception. Mr. Bollinger also itches to transform the university into a place that transcends pure theory and where scholars fight against poverty, AIDS and other world ills.

"We are now at a new period where universities are re-entering the world," he said. "If we don't understand issues like poverty, modern communications and how the world looks from Nairobi or Bombay, we will not serve the world."

But not everyone gets the relevance of what he is talking about. Some see him as misguided, especially when there are pressing day-to-day concerns. The science faculty is miffed that a long-promised new building never seems to be built. Students in the arts ask why Columbia has done things like spend $1.7 million to bring the theater director Peter Brook and his troupe to campus for a month rather than invest the money in their own work.

There have been continuing financial problems at the medical school. Graduate students want to unionize. For more than a year, PETA, the animal-rights group, has been tailing Mr. Bollinger around the world to disrupt his appearances over what it feels is cruel treatment of primates in Columbia's research labs.

And faculty detractors say that new grievance procedures prompted by the Middle East studies agitation could have chilling reverberations. "As I talk to faculty," said Walter M. Frisch, chairman of the executive committee of the faculty of arts and sciences, "people say, 'Maybe I shouldn't have made that joke in the classroom. Will someone take it the wrong way?' "

Some people think his goals are important and noble, Professor Frisch said, "but other people think there are other needs, like salaries, quality of life and classroom space, that are not being addressed while we are working on paradise up north."

Much of Mr. Bollinger's time has been devoted to pursuing alumni, a neglected body that could help pay for future projects. In the first nine months of the university's fiscal year, donations rose 27 percent over the same period in the previous year.

One thing that is clear is that the Bollinger vision cannot happen without a powerful infusion of money. As of last June, Columbia's endowment stood at less than $5 billion, compared with roughly $22 billion at Harvard and $13 billion at Yale.

He has replaced the head of development and increased the alumni and development staff by more than a third. Things like getting Columbia named in people's wills has taken on higher priority. Mr. Bollinger intends to start a capital drive soon with a hoped-for goal of $4 billion to $5 billion over seven or eight years. He has made more than nine major foreign trips since taking office - to China; India; Japan; Eastern and Western Europe; and several underdeveloped countries like Mozambique, Kenya and Ghana, trips he considers part of his "education."

In addition, Mr. Bollinger has told people that his lack of visibility on campus was partly a consequence of housing disruptions, an experience he has described as one of the most miserable times of his life. He has lived in several interim quarters while the president's house was undergoing a $23 million renovation. He moved into the official residence only in February of last year.

Now that the house is finished, Mr. Bollinger has begun holding receptions there. One recent day, local clergy members joined him for breakfast, and he entertained members of a black students' organization in the evening.

Time, of course, can be redemptive for a university president, and infusions of money even more so. If, decades from now, Columbia looms larger in both space and esteem, Mr. Bollinger could be retrospectively regarded as a singular president, all else forgiven. "The thing we're going to judge him on is the money and the real estate," said Bruce Berne, the chairman of the chemistry department.



Click here: '[�Title]

Int. No. 512

By Council Member Perkins, The Speaker (Council Member Miller), Barron, Boyland, Clarke, Foster, James, Palma, Sanders Jr., Seabrook, Vann, Gonzalez, Lopez, Quinn, Jackson, Gerson, Monserrate, Martinez, Rivera, Stewart, Comrie, Liu, Koppell, Brewer, Reed, Weprin, Yassky, Baez and deBlasio


A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the City of New York, in relation to auditing and implementing diversity and eradicating discrimination in all City operations.


Be it enacted by the Council as follows:

Section 1. Title 7 of the administrative code of the city of New York is hereby amended by adding a new chapter 8 to read as follows:



Section 7-801. Short Title.

Section 7-802. Definitions.

Section 7-803. Annual Reporting.

Section 7-804. Data Collection.

Section 7-805. Positive Rights Education.

Section 7-806. Local Positive Rights Analysis and Action Plan.

Section 7-807. Diversity Initiative and Discrimination Eradication Task Force.

Section 7-808. Positive Rights Advisory Committee.
Section 7-809. Application.

Section 7-801. Short Title. This chapter shall be known as the "New York City Diversity GOAL."

Section 7-802. Definitions.

1. "Discrimination" shall include the intentional or unintentional distinction, exclusion, restriction, or preference of a group, based on race, color, creed, age, national origin, alienage or citizenship status, gender, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, status as a victim of domestic violence or status as a victim of sex offenses or stalking, whether children are, may be or would be residing with a person, or conviction or arrest record, or a combination of any or all of the foregoing, that has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment, or exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms on an equal basis with others in the context of the full range of political, economic, social, cultural, and civic activities. Discrimination shall also include all acts of discrimination as defined by existing city, state and federal law.

2. �City Entity� refers to all City agencies and programs, the expenses of which are paid in whole or in part from the city treasury, including any private entities to which this chapter applies as specified in �7-810.

3. �Task Force� shall mean the Diversity Initiative and Discrimination Eradication Task Force set forth in �7-807.

Section 7-803. Annual Reporting. Each City Entity shall report annually, in its section of the mayor�s management report or in another form as designated by the Task Force, regarding compliance with the provisions of this chapter and on measures taken to integrate the positive rights-based approach into all operations, including policy, program and budgetary decision-making.

Section 7-804. Data Collection. The City shall periodically, and otherwise at the request of the Task Force, review and update its data collection policies and procedures to facilitate analysis of the effects of its policies, programs and procedures on different segments of the population as provided in this chapter. Data collection and reporting shall be undertaken in a manner that disaggregates data by race and gender and other demographic characteristics as regards budget allocations, service delivery, and employment practices.

Section 7-805. Positive Rights Education.

1. Education of All City Staff. The City shall train and educate the staff of City Entities regarding the positive rights-based approach to ensuring equality and addressing discrimination, and shall integrate such training and education into ongoing training and education activities.

2. Education of the Public. The City shall educate the public regarding the provisions of this chapter and shall promote the understanding of positive rights as provided in this chapter.

Section 7-806. Local Positive Rights Analyses and Action Plans. City entities shall (i) undertake every five years, or as determined by the Task Force, a Local Positive Rights Analysis of policies, programs, employment, and services based on an assessment of appropriate quantitative and qualitative data, and (ii) produce a Local Positive Rights Action Plan, which shall include procedures for monitoring implementation and enforcement of provisions of this chapter. Such Local Positive Rights Analysis shall be included in such year�s mayor�s management report and such Local Positive Rights Action Plan shall be included in such year�s citywide statement of needs.

1. The Task Force shall designate the City Entities that are to undertake a Local Positive Rights Analysis and to produce a Local Positive Rights Action Plan, and the Task Force shall monitor these activities.

2. The Local Positive Rights Analysis shall include an assessment of: (i) discrimination in operations, policies and practices, including budget allocations, delivery of direct and indirect services, and employment practices, (ii) current data collection and data reporting practices, as provided in �7-804 herein; (iii) measures taken to promote equality and prevent discrimination; and (iv) procedures and mechanisms for soliciting public input regarding the Local Positive Rights Analysis.

3. With the advice of the Advisory Committee, as defined in �7-808 herein, each City Entity designated by the Task Force shall develop a methodology for undertaking a Local Positive Rights Analysis, conduct the analysis, and generate a Local Positive Rights Action Plan that contains specific recommendations on how to promote equality and prevent discrimination.

4. The entities under review shall seek and incorporate community input into the process of generating a Local Positive Rights Analysis and a Local Positive Rights Action Plan. The Advisory Committee shall assist in determining the most effective means of obtaining community involvement and input.

5. The entities under review shall produce and publish a written report on their Local Positive Rights Analysis and Action Plan.

6. The Local Positive Rights Analysis and Action Plan shall not be admissible as evidence in any lawsuit or legal proceeding against the City, or City Entity, other than in a proceeding instituted pursuant to �7-807.4. Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as affecting the admissibility in any lawsuit or legal proceeding of underlying facts or data reflected in the Local Positive Rights Analysis and Action Plan if those facts and data were collected for any other purposes other than solely for the purpose of complying with the provisions of this section.

7. Each City Entity shall be responsible for implementing its Local Human Rights Action Plan. The Advisory Committee shall, at such City Entity�s or the Task Force�s request, provide technical assistance to the City Entity in implementing its Action Plan.

8. The City shall incorporate processes for self-analysis and sharing of knowledge concerning the implementation of positive rights into its routine rules and procedures.

9. Each Local Positive Rights Analysis and Local Positive Rights Action Plan shall address, but not be limited to, the following aspects of governance related to the work of the City Entity under review, including affirmative measures taken by the City to eliminate discrimination:

a. Employment. Local Positive Rights Analyses shall assess the degree to which the City discriminates in its provision of full and equal opportunities in employment; including but not limited to hiring, pay and benefits, promotions in rank and title, health and safety protection, collective bargaining, and a work environment that is free of harassment. Human Rights Action Plans shall promote equality and eliminate discrimination in employment.

b. Housing. Local Positive Rights Analyses shall assess the degree to which the City discriminates in its provision of full and equal opportunities to safe, adequate, and affordable housing. Local Positive Rights Action Plans shall promote access to housing and prevent housing discrimination.

c. Health Care. Local Positive Rights Analyses shall assess the degree to which the City discriminates in its provision of equal access to adequate and affordable health care, including services related to family planning and reproductive care. Local Positive Rights Action Plans shall seek to promote, through public education and other means, equal access to quality health care, regardless of ability to pay, and to an environment free of health hazards.

d. Education. Local Positive Rights Analyses shall assess the degree to which the City discriminates in its provision of equal access to a quality education that prepares all public-school students to realize academic potential and to participate productively in the workplace and in civic life. Local Positive Rights Action Plans shall seek to promote equal access to a quality education, including but not limited to equal treatment regarding school funding, scholarship eligibility, disciplinary practices, and curricula content and design.

e. Family and Childcare. Local Positive Rights Analyses shall assess the degree to which the City discriminates in its provision of equal opportunity to education and employment for women with low income and other women, including access to social support services that enable parents to meet family obligations and work responsibilities. Local Positive Rights Action Plans shall promote equal opportunities for women to obtain education, job training, employment, and child-care services.

f. Political and Public Life. Local Positive Rights Analyses shall assess the degree to which the City discriminates in its provision of equal opportunities for women and other persons in protected classes to participate in the electoral process and in the City�s governance. Local Positive Rights Action Plans shall promote equal opportunities for women and other persons in protected classes to participate in the electoral process and in the City�s governance.

g. Criminal and Juvenile Justice. Local Positive Rights Analyses shall assess the degree to which the City discriminates in its provision of equal protection and treatment in the criminal and juvenile justice systems. Local Positive Rights Action Plans shall promote equal access to competent judicial, administrative, and legislative institutions, and shall seek to prevent discriminatory practices, including racial, ethnic and religious profiling.

h. Security of Persons. Local Positive Rights Analyses shall assess the degree to which the City discriminates in its provision of equal and effective measures to prevent and provide redress for all forms of unlawful violence, including identity-based violence, whether perpetrated by state actors or private individuals, and to ensure the safety of all persons in the streets, in custody, or in their workplace, community or home. Local Positive Rights Action Plans shall promote equal and effective access to appropriate protective and support services for all victims of unlawful violence, including those who are traditionally marginalized and stigmatized due to their legal or social status.

i. Trafficking in Persons. Local Positive Rights Analyses shall assess the degree to which the City discriminates in its provision of equal and effective protection to victims of all forms of trafficking, including the prosecution of those responsible for trafficking. Local Positive Rights Action Plans shall promote access to training and services that will prevent trafficking in persons and protect the rights, and respond to the needs, of the victims of trafficking.

j. Civil Service Testing. Local Positive Rights Analyses shall assess the degree to which the City discriminates in its provision of full and equal opportunities in civil service testing; including but not limited to hiring and promotional testing, outreach and test preparation, and any and all monitoring once employed in the civil service. Human Rights Action Plans shall promote equality and eliminate discrimination in civil service testing.

Section 7-807. Diversity Initiative and Discrimination Eradication Task Force.
1. Composition. There shall be a Diversity Initiative and Discrimination Eradication Task Force (the �Task Force�) consisting of seven members.

a. The Task Force shall have representation from the community and government entities, and shall reflect the diversity of this city in having representation from protected classes and all the five boroughs. Four members of the board shall be appointed by the mayor, provided that at least two such members shall have experience in anti-discrimination laws and human rights issues. The commissioner of the department of citywide administrative services, the chairperson of the human rights commission, and the chairperson of the equal employment practices commission, or such appointee of such commissioner or chair, shall serve ex officio with full decision-making authority.

b. Nominations for membership on the Task Force shall be identified through an open process and candidates shall be selected based on clearly delineated and publicized criteria. Such criteria shall include a conflict-of-interest standard. All appointments must be filled within a six-month period from enactment of this chapter or after any such appointment becoming vacant.

c. The Task Force shall reflect in its composition, the demographics of the population of New York City. In the selection of members of the Task Force, particular consideration shall be given to disproportionately affected and historically underserved groups and subpopulations, and racial, gender, geographical, and cultural diversity. In addition, special consideration will be given to agencies, departments or programs that express a particular interest in the process, as well as persons with knowledge of or expertise in: local issues and conditions; racial and gender justice; human rights or community education; and the implementation of mechanisms to ensure institutional equity.

d. All members of the Task Force shall serve without compensation.

e. The Task Force shall elect from its members an individual to serve as chair of the Task Force.

f. The term of each member of the Task Force shall be two years; provided however, that the initial members shall, by lot, classify their terms so that three of the members shall serve a three-year term. All subsequent appointees will serve a two-year term; provided, however, that any member may be reappointed for no more than three consecutive terms.

g. The Task Force shall convene no later than six months after the enactment date of this chapter and from that date forward meet as often as necessary to carry out its functions, and at least four times a year.

h. Attendance and meeting requirements shall be pursuant to chapter forty-seven of the charter. A quorum of the Task Force shall be a majority of the total number of members pursuant to a properly noticed meeting. An action of the Task Force shall be by majority rule.

2. Functions. The functions of the Task Force shall be:
a. To monitor the City�s integration of the provisions of this chapter into all of the City�s operations, including policy, program, employment, and budgetary decision-making;
b. To monitor and, where appropriate, to enforce the City�s implementation of the terms of this chapter;

c. To monitor the impact of the City�s services, programs, policies, employment practices and budgetary allocations to ensure equality and prevent discrimination in accordance with the provisions of this chapter; and

d. To foster public dialogue and community education on the provisions of this chapter, the City�s integration of those principles, and the implementation of the terms of this chapter.

3. Powers and Duties. The Task Force shall have the powers and duties necessary to carry out the implementation of the principles of this chapter, including:

a. To review and approve, with the advice of the Advisory Committee, a set of guidelines and procedures for conducting the Local Positive Rights Analysis and implementing the provisions of this chapter. The formulation of the guidelines shall be an open process and shall include input from members of the public pursuant to chapter forty-five of the charter;

b. To set the order and timeline in which City agencies, departments, and programs will undergo a Local Positive Rights Analysis and develop a Local Positive Rights Action Plan;
c. In cooperation with the City Council and the Mayor, to monitor the compliance with the chapter of each selected City Entity, including the development of its Local Positive Rights Analysis and Local Positive Rights Action Plan;
d. To review and approve all reports produced by City agencies, departments, and programs conducting the Local Positive Rights Analysis and to submit a commentary on each written report to the City Council and the Mayor;
e. To solicit and receive written public comments, and to hold public hearings on the reports produced pursuant to subdivision five of section 7-806;
f. To examine the impact of the City�s services, programs, policies, employment practices and budgetary allocations to ensure equality and prevent discrimination in accordance with the provisions of this chapter;

g. To hold public hearings and to investigate all matters relating to the performance of its functions and any other matter relating to the proper administration of this chapter and for such purposes shall have the power to require the attendance and examine and take the testimony under oath of such persons as it shall deem necessary and to require the production of books, accounts, papers and other evidence relative to such investigation.

h. To disseminate data and information, and publish written comments or recommendations;

i. To make recommendations regarding the integration of the provisions of this chapter, and the implementation of the terms of this chapter;

j. To implement any system, program and/or policy to facilitate compliance with the terms of this chapter, including the promulgation of rules and regulations and the imposition of any penalties related thereto, as required by local law;

k. Where necessary, to bring lawsuits for declaratory or injunctive relief in court to enforce compliance with the terms of this chapter;

l. With the advice of the Advisory Committee, to train and educate City officials and employees in human rights and the terms of this chapter;

m. To submit a written report annually to the Mayor and the City Council on the progress of the implementation of the terms of this chapter and on its efforts to monitor and enforce the requirements of this chapter;

n. To foster public dialogue and ensure that community education is provided on the provisions of this chapter, the City�s integration of those principles, and the implementation of the terms of this chapter;

o. To appoint such employees, agents, or consultants as it deems to be appropriate to carry out its functions, powers and duties; provided, however, that the Task Force shall not delegate its power to approve the guidelines or to select the order in which the City agencies, departments, and programs shall undergo a Local Positive Rights Analysis; and

p. Take such other actions as are necessary and proper to carry out the purposes of this chapter.

4. Enforcement.

a. In the event that a City Entity chosen by the Task Force to undergo a Local Positive Rights Analysis and develop an Action Plan: (a) fails to conduct an analysis or produce a plan; (b) does not comply with a request for information or analyses; or (c) otherwise fails to take steps to implement the terms of this chapter, the Task Force may engage in consultation, issue a report, conduct a public hearing, or engage in any other appropriate action to enforce the provisions of this chapter.

b. The Task Force shall establish an open process for members of the public to request that the Task Force take steps to enforce the terms of this chapter and shall issue advisory opinions where necessary.

Section 7-808. Positive Rights Advisory Committee.
1. Composition.

a. There shall be a Positive Rights Advisory Committee (the �Advisory Committee�) consisting of thirteen members. The mayor and the council shall each appoint five members. For both the mayor and the council, one such appointment shall be a community representative with direct experience with a City Entity under review, another shall be a representative of an organization that provides social services to affected communities, another shall be a representative of an organization that provides social services to affected communities, another shall be a representative of a protected class, another shall be a person with knowledge of and experience with anti-discrimination laws and issues and another shall be a person with knowledge of and experience with human rights issues. One member shall be the comptroller or her or his designee, who shall have expertise in data and budget analysis. One member shall be the public advocate or her or his designee, who shall be a representative of community based organizations or advocacy organizations that work on the issue areas of a City Entity under review. The last member, who shall be the chairperson, shall be appointed by the mayor with the advice and consent of the council.

b. The Advisory Committee shall reflect in its composition, the demographics of the population of New York City. In the selection of members of the Advisory Committee, particular consideration shall be given to disproportionately affected and historically underserved groups and subpopulations, and racial, gender, geographical, and cultural diversity. In addition, special consideration will be given to persons with knowledge of, or expertise in, local issues and conditions; racial and gender justice; human rights or community education; the implementation of mechanisms to ensure institutional equity; and the operations of New York City government.

c. Members shall serve terms of two years, provided the initial members shall, by lot, classify their terms so that three members shall serve a three-year term and another five shall serve a four-year term.

d. The members of the Advisory Committee shall serve without compensation.

e. The Advisory Committee shall meet at least four times a year, or as often as necessary to assist with the integration of the provisions of this chapter, including responding to inquiries from City agencies, lending expertise and advice with respect to the Human Rights Analysis and Action Plans, and carrying out any other duties associated with these tasks.

f. The Advisory Committee shall maintain the confidentiality of materials not required to be disclosed to the public.

2. Functions. The functions of the Advisory Committee shall be:

a. To advise and support the City regarding the integration of the provisions of this chapter into all of its operations, including policy, program, employment, and budgetary decision-making, and implementation of the terms of this chapter;
b. Upon request by a City Entity or the Task Force, to provide both technical and substantive support to selected City Entities in undertaking their Local Positive Rights Analyses and developing and implementing their Local Positive Rights Action Plans; and

c. To report regularly to the Task Force on its progress in completing its functions.

3. Powers and Duties. The Advisory Committee shall have the powers and duties necessary to assist with the integration of the provisions of this chapter, and the implementation of the terms of this chapter, including:

a. To advise on the guidelines and procedures that are developed and approved by the Task Force, for conducting the Local Positive Rights Analysis and integrating the provisions of this chapter;

b. To work with and provide assistance where necessary to each selected City Entity undergoing its Local Positive Rights Analysis and developing its Local Positive Rights Action Plan;

c. To work with the City, at the Task Force�s request, to train and educate City officials and employees in positive rights, the provisions of this chapter, and the terms of this chapter;

d. Make recommendations regarding the integration of the provisions of this chapter and the implementation of the terms of this chapter;

e. To assist the City in incorporating meaningful and informed participation by community members in conducting the Local Positive Rights Analysis and developing the Local Positive Rights Action Plan; and

f. To appoint such employees, agents, or consultants as it deems to be appropriate to carry out its functions, powers and duties.

Section 7-809. Application. This legislation shall apply to all City entities including private entities to the extent that they perform City services and/or administer City programs.

�2. Severability. If any provision of this bill or any other provision of this local law, or any amendments thereto, shall be held invalid or ineffective in whole or in part or inapplicable to any person or situation, such holding shall not affect, impair or invalidate any portion of or the remainder of this local law, and all other provisions thereof shall nevertheless be separately and fully effective and the application of any such provision to other persons or situations shall not be affected.

�3. This local law shall become effective six months after the date of enactment.


Ls# 469

TODAY - appeal to support human rights law in NYC

Subject: [nychri] Support bold new local human rights
legislation TODAY by
phoning one or more key City Council Members! From: "Barbara

Date: Tue, May 24, 2005 4:00 pm
To: nychri'at'yahoogroups.com

Greetings New York City Human Rights Initiative Supporters!

Please participate in this quick and easy action to support
Intro 512-Human Rights GOAL, the bold new human rights legislation developed by
the Initiative, and also circulate it to your friends, co-workers
and listservs.

Many thanks!

Barbara Schulman and Ejim Dike
NYC Human Rights Initiative


Your phone calls to key NYC Council Members can really make a
difference .
. .

Intro 512 - Human Rights GOAL (Government Operations Audit Law) is an innovative local law that would bring practical tools that ensure that New York City is meeting its basic human rights obligations into
city governance. This ground-breaking legislation provides a new
model for translating universal human rights standards into meaningful
local policies and programs that solve problems, strengthen local
governance, and improve people's lives. Human Rights GOAL was developed by
the New York City Human Rights Initiative, a citywide coalition of over
70 organizations. For further information on the Initiative and Human Rights GOAL,
visit www.nychri.org

Before going to the full Council for a vote, Intro 512 must be
voted out of the Governmental Operations Committee. Please call the
following Committee members to urge them to sponsor the bill and to vote
to move it out of committee (a basic script is included below) :

Joseph Addabbo (Queens):
718-738-1111/318-6411 (District Office); 212-788-7069 (Manhattan
Eva Moskowitz (Manhattan):
212-818-0580 (District Office); 212-788-7393 (Manhattan Office)
Michael Nelson (Brooklyn):
718-368-9176 (District Office); 212-788-7360 (Manhattan Office)
Madeline Provenzano (Bronx):
718-931-6060 (District Office); 212-788-7375 (Manhattan Office)
Peter Vallone, Jr. (Queens):
718-274-4500 (District Office); 212-788-6963 (Manhattan Office)

Additionally, if you live in the district of one of the following councilmembers, please phone and urge them to become a sponsor
of Human Rights GOAL. (If you don't know who your Council Member is, you can find out at:

Brooklyn:Bill deBlasio: 212-788-6969
Eric Martin Dilan: 718-642-8664
Simcha Felder: 718-853-2704
Lewis Fidler: 718-241-9330
Vincent Gentile: 718-748-5200
Domenic Recchia: 718-373-9673
Diana Reyna: 718-963-3141

Carmen Arroyo: 718-402-6130

Tony Avella: 718-747-2137
Dennis Gallagher: 718-366-3900
James Gennaro: 718-217-4969
Eric Gioia: 718-383-9566
Melinda Katz: 212-788-6981
Helen Sears: 718-803-6373

Staten Island:
Andrew Lanza: 718-984-5151
Michael McMahon: 718-556-7370
James Oddo: 718-980-1017

1. Hi, I'm a resident in Council Member XY's district, and I'm
calling to express my support for Intro 512 - Human Rights GOAL.

2. I believe that Intro 512 reflects Council Member XY's deep
concern for the interests of ordinary New Yorkers. Can you please tell me
when Council Member XY is going to sign onto the bill? (if they do not know
the answer, ask if someone can find out and get back to you.)

- Intro 512 uses universal human rights standards and tools to
promote more efficient and responsive governance by:

1. Putting into place measures that will prevent and change
inefficient and discriminatory policies before they result in harmful
outcomes and costly and time-consuming lawsuits.

2. Creating avenues for City personnel, community advocates and
city residents to work together as allies rather than adversaries to
solve stubborn problems.

3. Ensuring that sound data helps identify gaps facing
different populations and provides the basis for sound policies that don't
have unintentionally harmful consequences.

4. Providing training for city employees to ensure that they
understand their own rights and those of the individuals and communities they serve.

Once you've phoned any Council Members, please email
info'at'nychri.org to let us know how it went. You can also send emails and e-cards
to Council Members from the "Take Action" section of the NYCHRI website at
And thanks for your support!

The NYC Human Rights Initiative is coordinated by the Urban
Justice Center
Human RIghts Project, the Women of Color Policy Network, Legal
the NY Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International USA, and
the ACLU.
For further information, visit www.nychri.org
contact the NYC Human RIghts Initiative at 646-602-5628/5629.