Hoylman forum highlights lack of protection against ‘revenge porn’

State Senator Brad Hoylman (Photo courtesy of Senator Hoylman)

State Senator Brad Hoylman (Photo courtesy of Senator Hoylman)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

State Senator Brad Hoylman hosted a forum to promote awareness on intimate partner violence and nonconsensual pornography, commonly known as “revenge porn,” at the LGBT Center last Friday. The event was co-hosted by the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence and co-sponsored by Assemblymember Deborah Glick, Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Letitia James.

Hoylman and other advocates at the event drew attention to the fact that there is no specific legislation in New York State that criminalizes the distribution of nonconsensual pornography.

“The truth is that the internet is not a safe place, particularly for women, people of color and LGBT individuals,” he said. “We can’t ask people to just forget about things because these are impacts that reverberate for the rest of your life. The fact that New York State has no law is truly shameful. No one should have to deal with this. It’s time for lawmakers to counter the growing threats.”

Holly Jacobs, the founder of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative (CCRI) and a victim of nonconsensual pornography, said that the term “revenge porn” is actually a misnomer because the phrase implies that there is always a personal relationship, but not all of the videos and photos distributed are motivated by revenge.

“Some are motivated by money, others by internet notoriety because the material becomes currency among young males,” she said, citing an incident reported on by the New York Times last November in which high school students in Colorado traded and collected hundreds of naked photos of other students in a so-called sexting ring.

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Cops looking for man who mugged woman in East Village building

Jan21 Mugger

Surveillance photo of robbery suspect

Police are looking for a man who robbed a woman in the elevator of her East Village building.

It was on Thursday, January 14 around 8:45 p.m. when the man confronted the woman in the elevator, simulated a gun and demanded her money. The victim, 27, turned over $150 in cash, which the mugger took and fled the scene.

Police didn’t release the victim’s exact address, but said the building was on East 12th Street and Third Avenue.

The suspect was last seen wearing a dark winter jacket and a dark winter hat.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips and TIP577 to 274637 (CRIMES). All calls are strictly confidential.

Opinion: ‘Unconstitutional’ claims about SBJSA are real estate propaganda

Sept24 Associated

Stuyvesant Town’s Associated Supermarket is facing an uncertain future. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sung Soo Kim, President, Small Business Congress

Lawmakers claim proposed legislation will save mom and pop businesses. Small business advocates claim it’s a “Trojan Horse” created by the real estate lobby to keep status quo.  Who is right?

For over 30 years I have pleaded with local government to pass legislation protecting our hard working small business owners from profiteers, unscrupulous landlords and greedy speculators.  The past decades’ over-speculation in commercial real estate, bidding wars by franchises and banks and manipulation by warehousing storefronts, has wreaked havoc on the commercial rental market. Guided by big real estate campaign contributions, their friends at City Hall have remained silent and done nothing as the American Dream of our small business owners is being destroyed.

At first I was pleased to hear the commitments of Manhattan Borough President Brewer and Council Member Cornegy, to listen to the business owners and to pass legislation to save our businesses. Brewer said, “The mom-and-pop crisis has intensified with a fury.” CM Cornegy acknowledged numerous small and locally-owned businesses that many would describe as New York City institutions were forced to close or relocate as a result of exorbitant rent increases. Both lawmakers’ words sounded very encouraging and offered hope to small business owners who had become indentured servants to their landlords.

But upon analyzing their proposed solution to end this crisis and stop the closing of long established businesses, I have become saddened for the future of our struggling business owners. Their proposal is an insult to the desperate business owners whose survival depends upon fair and just treatment from government’s offering a real solution to end the crisis. The Brewer/Cornegy proposal is no solution in any way and would not save a single small business if passed into law. In fact, their proposal to extend the lease period for one year at 15 percent rent increase, allowing the business more time to find a new location, would, instead, actually help landlords and make the crisis much worse. Rent gouging and oppressive lease abuses are the root of this crisis and their solution addresses neither.

The rent gouging and oppressive lease abuses have been going on for many decades. Many business owners have already been forced to move several times. This gentrification tornado of greed has cut swaths of destruction across many neighborhoods and in every borough. There are no more “safe” locations to move to in NYC, because our government has done nothing to regulate the out of control rents. If a storefront is vacant on a busy main street, it’s because the long established business was forced to close when the landlord refused to accept a fair rent which would have allowed a reasonable profit for the business. I predict that if this weak Brewer/Cornegy proposal is passed, should a business want to stay in their neighborhood, the only choice is to go to another landlord and bid against other local businesses, making the crisis worse.

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