October 2015
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Archive for October, 2015

Eyes on the City: East Midtown Steering Committee Recommendations

MAS identified the East Midtown Re-Zoning as one of our 2015 Watchlist items, our annual docket of issues we have identified as posing a significant opportunity for—or challenge to—the city’s success in the year ahead.

The Steering Committee founded in May 2014 in response to MAS-led concerns about the previous proposal for rezoning East Midtown released its report this week. MAS was proud to serve on the steering committee, and we thank Borough President Gale Brewer, Council Member Dan Garodnick, and all of our fellow steering committee members for their collaboration over the last 18 months.

Read the Executive Summary of the findings and the full report on NYC.gov. MAS will continue to follow the recommendations as they come under consideration by city government.

Eyes on the City: Neighborhood Organizations Building Resilience

In our advocacy work over the three years since Superstorm Sandy, MAS has seen time and again that community resilience often depends on more than just official municipal resource centers. In times of great challenge, some of the most vital recovery outreach is performed by an unexpected constellation of neighborhood organizations and anchor businesses that know and serve communities year round.

In commemoration of the third anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, MAS offers this short snapshot of de facto community-based resource hubs—libraries, pubs, churches, and non-profits that sprang into action on October 29, 2012, delivering supplies, support, and hope to thousands of New Yorkers. Many of these hubs were identified through MAS’s series of Community-Based Resilience Convenings this spring.

Please join us in thanking these institutions for all they do to support New York’s neighborhoods on historic days and average ones.

Eyes on the City: East New York

Mayor de Blasio’s ambitious Housing New York plan calls for rezoning several neighborhoods across the city. One of the first, East New York, “sits at the crossroads of the administration’s plan to transform blocks of rowhouses, auto body shops and vacant lots into a community filled with new classrooms, bike lanes, trees and, above all, lower-cost housing.” (NY Times).

Tonight, Brooklyn Community Board 5 will host a public hearing on the rezoning proposal. Karyn Williams, MAS’s Project Manager for Community Engagement, will testify:

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Eyes on the City: Airbnb & Short Term Rentals

This week, the City Council will examine a controversial bill that would increase fines for New Yorkers who place their apartments and homes for short term rentals.

This Friday, the Council’s Housing Committee will discuss a proposal to increase fines to up to $50,000 for repeat offenders. Council Members Jumaane Williams, Helen Rosenthal, and other sponsors of the bill have argued that the availability of Airbnb drives up housing costs and creates nuisances for nearby residents.

Airbnb strongly opposes the measure and has called it the Freddy Krueger of bills. They, and others, argue that middle class families rely on the extra income visitors provide, and that Airbnb offers affordable choices for travelers, visitors, and residents.

MAS supports the integration of new technologies into the life of our city. We look to the City to create a framework that allows Airbnb to operate in New York while protecting New York’s neighborhoods.

Eyes on the City: The Just City

MAS was proud to work with NextCity to create their fantastic new essay collection, “The Just City.” The ebook is now available for free download on NextCity’s website. We invite all urbanists to check it out!

Download it now at: https://nextcity.org/free-ebook