Petitioning for ST-PCV TA board starts tomorrow

The Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association is holding an election for three seats on its Board of Directors in May, 2015. Residents who believe they can commit time and skills to the community can petition for a place on the ballot starting Saturday, February 28.

Following rules that were posted in all ST and PCV buildings, the application process for interviews by the Nominating Committee and Board endorsement ended on Friday, February 20, 2015. Residents who are current in their Tenants Association dues as of April 4, 2015, and are 18 years of age or older are eligible to seek a place on the Board and to vote in the election.

Petition forms will be available on the Tenants Association website the morning of February 28. Interested members must submit a petition signed by at least 45 members of the TA. (For the purpose of the petition process, any resident of an apartment that is current in its dues as of April 4, 2015, is a TA member.) No more than one candidate’s name can be on any one petition.

Completed petitions may be sent by mail to: Nominating Committee, ST/PCV Tenants Association, P.O. Box 1202, New York, NY 10009-1202. Petitions are due in the TA post office box no later than Saturday, March 14, 2015. They may also be delivered in person to the Community Center at 449 East 14th Street (First Avenue Loop) between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 14, 2015. The petition should be accompanied by the petitioner’s name, full address, telephone, and email, along with a statement that he or she is 18 years of age or older. Petitioners should also include a 100-word summary of their qualifications.

Tenants Association President John Marsh advised would-be directors, “Anyone seeking a place on the Board should understand that these are not honorary positions. Directors must be willing to devote at least 20 and up to 50 or more hours each month to TA business. They are expected to attend monthly meetings, participate in ad hoc phone or in-person meetings as needed, serve on committees that utilize their skills, and to participate actively in all TA public activities.”

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How volunteers are helping New Yorkers manage their debt

A volunteer helps a client at an FCC center.

A volunteer helps a client at an FCC center.

By Sabina Mollot

In 2007, when low-income New Yorkers began turning to sub-prime lenders and check-cashing services as well as other high-risk practices due to a lack of traditional available bank services, a local nonprofit organization responded by launching a program aimed at getting those people out of the financial holes they inevitably ended up in.

The program, called Financial Coaching Corps (FCC), was launched by Community Service Society of New York, an organization that’s headquartered at 105 East 22nd Street near Park Avenue South. Community Service Society (CSS), for its endeavors aimed at fighting poverty, uses a team of volunteers who are 55 years old or older.

Its volunteer recruitment program is called RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program) and those volunteers, following a rigorous training program, become financial coaches who then offer free assistance to clients who have credit or debt issues.

Reyes Irizarry, project director of Financial Coaching Corps of Community Service Society of New York, recently spoke with Town & Village about the program and how it helps New Yorkers in financial crisis situations.

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NAC gets packed for GNA art show

East Midtown Plaza residents Shelley and Claude Winfield stand by Claude’s portraits of Duke Ellington and John Coltrane, which were made out of beads.

East Midtown Plaza residents Shelley and Claude Winfield stand by Claude’s portraits of Duke Ellington and John Coltrane, which were made out of beads. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

On Tuesday night, the Gramercy Neighborhood Associates kicked off its annual community art show at the National Arts Club, featuring 85 works by nearly as many artists. The art included paintings, drawings, prints and photos as well as some multi-media pieces.

At a reception packed with over 300 people on Tuesday night, GNA President Alan Krevis said he was “thrilled by the turnout and the quality of work is amazing.”

Most of the artists were residents of Stuyvesant Town and Gramercy and many were members of local civic groups.

One artist, Claude Winfield, also a Community Board 6 and Tilden Club member, had created beaded portraits of John Coltrane and Duke Ellington.

Winfield, of East Midtown Plaza, said his beaded works take anywhere from 20-40 days “over a span of time” to create. He uses African seed beads, explaining that various colors have different meanings. “Like a teacher would wear beads that are yellow and green,” he said. Winfield discovered the art form when he worked as head docent at the Museum for African Art and became inspired by a show there.

“Before that I did lithographs,” he said.

Also in attendance was former GNA President Edith Charlton, who said she’d been the one to start the event, although she couldn’t quite remember when. She believes it’s been running for at least 10 years though. She recalled how the club’s president at the time when she pitched the idea, O. Aldon James, was very receptive to it.

“It worked well and they’re even selling pictures now,” said Charlton. “I’m pleased it’s continuing.”

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Rally and City Council Hearing on Monday on Rent Stabilization Laws

The Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association, via an email blast sent out late Thursday, is urging residents to attend a rally at City Hall on Monday at 9 a.m. Read on for details.

Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association Chair Susan Steinberg (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association Chair Susan Steinberg with politicians including Council Member Dan Garodnick, Comptroller Scott Stringer and Senator Charles Schumer, at a rally at City Hall in June (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Is your rent more than $4,000 . . . less than $2,500 . . . or anywhere in between?

THIS AFFECTS YOU

On June 15–less than four months from now–all rent protections will end unless renewed by the state legislature and the governor. By March 11, New York City needs to renew the rent laws too. Without renewal, you may not be able to afford your rent. Every one of us is affected.

Ambushed by a massive rent increase on renewal?
Tired of paying MCIs forever?
Want this to change?

Kickoff event: Monday, March 2, at 9 a.m.
Rally on the steps of City Hall.
Attend hearing afterward, City Council chambers, 2nd floor.

Next step: Pressure the state legislature, the new Speaker of the Assembly, and the Governor:

  • write letters (by hand, if you can-it shows politicians you care)
  • sign postcards
  • complete online and hand-signed petitions
  • attend rallies and hearings

We’ll be sending you more information soon.

If you don’t act . . .

  • Without rent stabilization, there will be no limits on rent increases and no automatic right to a lease renewal. We could all face eviction at the landlord’s whim.
  • Without renewal of rent stabilization, Roberts means nothing and SCRIE/DRIE will disappear.

We can win only if you participate. Want to do even more? Let us know by phone or email.

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Have you considered volunteering with us? If you have special skills or want to help distribute flyers and talk to neighbors in your building, let us know by calling the Message Center at (866) 290-9036 or signing up at: http://stpcvta.org/neighbor.network.

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Please consider additional financial support to help bolster our legal fund by donating at http://stpcvta.org/donate