City Council approves Gowanus rezoning

The contentious plan likely will supercharge the residential transformation taking place in the formerly industrial neighborhood To view the full story, click the title link......»»

Category: blogSource: crainsnewyorkNov 24th, 2021

Biden Admin & 13 European Countries Loudly Condemn Israel"s 3,000 New Settler Homes In West Bank

Biden Admin & 13 European Countries Loudly Condemn Israel's 3,000 New Settler Homes In West Bank After the Biden administration condemned newly unveiled Israeli plans to move forward on building some 3,000 new settler homes in the occupied West Bank earlier in the week, a dozen European countries followed the US on Thursday and penned a scathing letter, also demanding the reversal of the controversial expansion. Initially on Wednesday State Department spokesman Ned Price said "We are deeply concerned about the Israeli government’s plan to advance thousands of settlement units tomorrow, Wednesday, many of them deep in the West Bank." He added: "We strongly oppose the expansion of settlements, which is completely inconsistent with efforts to lower tensions and to ensure calm, and it damages the prospects for a two-state solution." Israeli settlements, file image via MEO It comes amid strained ties between the White House and the United States' closest Middle East ally, particularly as Biden is seen as reneging on some key Trump policies, for example moving forward on plans to open a Jerusalem consulate to Palestinians, which Israel sees as 'illegal' given official US recognition of the city as Israel's capital (a key change by Trump). According to The Times of Israel on Thursday: The Israeli Defense Ministry’s higher planning council that approves new settlements said 1,804 units were given the final approval for construction, and another 1,326 units were advanced to a stage of preliminary approval.The move came a day after the Biden administration condemned Israel’s plans. Days ago Secretary of State Antony Blinken phoned Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz to condemn the move as "unacceptable" - given the huge number of units being located in the West Bank will likely explode tensions with the Palestinians.  Meanwhile, the fresh joint European condemnation included France, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden. They said:  "We urge the Government of Israel to reverse its decision to advance plans for the construction of around 3,000 settlement units in the West Bank," the foreign ministries of the 12 said. "We reiterate our strong opposition to its policy of settlement expansion across the Occupied Palestinian Territories, which violates international law and undermines efforts for the two-state solution," they said. Israel approves over 3,000 new settler homes in the occupied West Bank following strongest US rebuke of their construction to date — TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) October 28, 2021 Despite the growing global pressure on Tel Aviv, Israeli leaders are used to receiving such criticisms from European quarters; however, it's the added pressure from Washington that's new - especially when compared to the permissive stance on moves seen as anti-Palestinian previously coming from the Trump administration. For now, it looks like the government under Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is determined to move forward with the construction, potentially triggering a new round of fighting as Palestinians take to the streets. Tyler Durden Fri, 10/29/2021 - 05:45.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 29th, 2021

City Planning approves Soho rezoning, opponents call foul

The city planning commission has given its backing to a plan to rezoning parts of Soh, Noho and Chinatown. Chair Anita Laremont said the rezoning would make way for some 3,500 new homes – 900 of them affordable – created through the city’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program which requires developers... The post City Planning approves Soho rezoning, opponents call foul appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. The city planning commission has given its backing to a plan to rezoning parts of Soh, Noho and Chinatown. Chair Anita Laremont said the rezoning would make way for some 3,500 new homes – 900 of them affordable – created through the city’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program which requires developers to include affordable housing in rezoned neighborhoods. ANITA LAREMONT “The SoHo/NoHo neighborhood plan stands for the idea that, with focused planning and robust public dialogue, all neighborhoods across the City can play a part in the solutions to the planning challenges that we, as New Yorkers, face,” said Laremont. “By bringing flexible and modern zoning to these historic mixed-use neighborhoods, the plan significantly advances NYC’s equity and inclusivity goals, helps address our severe and ongoing housing crisis, and serves to speed NYC’s economic recovery.” In her first major announcement since taking over as Director of City Planning for Marissa Lago last month, Laremont said she believes the rezoning will prove “historic preservation and continued growth can be mutually beneficial.” Opponents, however, have called the vote “shameful.” ANDREW BERMAN Andrew Berman, executive director of Village Preservation, said, “What [this] will do is threaten hundreds of units of rent-regulated affordable housing in these neighborhoods, driving out the considerable number of older, lower-income, longtime residents. It will push out the struggling smaller independent and arts-related businesses of the neighborhood, while rewarding the Mayor’s developer-donor friends with a massive giveaway of the city’s real estate and an almost unimaginable windfall. “It will target Chinatown for the largest upzonings, oversized development, and displacement, and introduce a flood of oversized luxury condos, big-box chain stores, corporate office towers, and high-end hotels to all three neighborhoods. “It will make these neighborhoods richer and more expensive, and less diverse and less equitable, in spite of the Mayor’s dishonest posturing to the contrary. It’s now up to the City Council to do the right thing and say no to this wrongheaded, destructive plan.” All 11 commissioners present at today’s vote were in favor of the rezoning, which some proponents say will bring more low- and middle-income residents into the wealthy neighborhood, unlike previous MIH rezonings that have been blamed for accelerating gentrification in already low-income neighborhoods such as East New York and the Bronx. The rezoning plan now goes to the City Council for a public hearing and vote. The post City Planning approves Soho rezoning, opponents call foul appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyOct 20th, 2021

10 Things in Politics: Bernieworld plots its political future

And a federal judge temporarily blocked Texas' abortion law. Welcome back to 10 Things in Politics. Sign up here to receive this newsletter. Plus, download Insider's app for news on the go - click here for iOS and here for Android. Send tips to your calendar: The coronavirus pandemic created a caregiving crisis, and working parents have paid a steep price. Join Insider on October 14 for a live event that explores how organizations can support caregivers.Here's what we're talking about:The Bernieworld diaspora: We're tracking 44 staffers who felt the Bern in 2020A federal judge temporarily blocked Texas' abortion lawLos Angeles advanced the strictest vaccine requirements in the USWith Phil Rosen. Sen. Bernie Sanders with his presidential-campaign staff. AP Photo/Mary Schwalm; Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images 1. BERNIE'S LASTING INFLUENCE: Sen. Bernie Sanders' former campaign aides don't expect another presidential run. But they do expect the movement they helped create to remain a major force in American politics. Insider checked in on what some former top staffers are up to now. They have spread out across the US to back insurgent progressive candidates, organize behind social causes, and even run for office themselves.Here's a look at the list of people we're tracking:Faiz Shakir, campaign manager: Sanders' top aide on the 2020 presidential campaign remains the senator's chief political advisor. Shakir also works for Sanders through the senator's political committee, Friends of Bernie Sanders, and he's the founder and editor of the left-leaning media outlet More Perfect Union.Analilia Mejia, political director: She's serving in the Biden administration's Labor Department as a deputy director of the Women's Bureau, which promotes the welfare of wage-earning women.Chuck Rocha, senior advisor to the campaign: Rocha launched the pro-Biden Latino super PAC Nuestro PAC after Sanders dropped out of the race. Now he's using it to focus on turning out Latinos in congressional and Senate elections to address what he called "a real effing problem with the Latino vote down-ballot."Nikki Dones,​​ Jane Sanders' chief of staff: Dones went on to cofound Frontline Catalysts, a nonprofit in Oakland, California, that seeks to empower young people to organize for climate justice.Check out our entire list of 44 staffers who worked on Sanders' 2020 campaign.2. Democrats appear ready to punt on the debt ceiling: Senate Democrats are planning to accept an offer from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to temporarily raise the debt ceiling, delaying the threat of a catastrophic default until December, Politico reports. McConnell's offer is based on his continued belief that Democrats will ultimately have to address the debt ceiling on their own. He's just allowing them more time to move through such legislation. Democrats continue to reject that suggestion. The underlining debate doesn't appear to have changed, so it remains to be seen whether the delay will lead to a breakthrough.3. Federal judge temporarily blocks Texas' abortion law: US District Judge Robert Pitman wrote in his 113-page opinion that "this Court will not sanction one more day of this offensive deprivation of such an important right." Texas has already appealed his decision. More on the ruling.4. Sanders unleashes on Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema: The Vermont independent is ready to fight for the $3.5 trillion infrastructure package - and, in a fiery 15-minute press conference, he lashed out at the moderates holding back the spending plan. Sanders directed most of his ire toward Manchin, who he said was doing something "inexcusable" by being vague about the climate policies he supported. More on how Democrats are continuing to squabble over the signature piece of Biden's economic plan.Key quote: "Two people do not have the right to sabotage what 48 want, what the president of the United States wants. That, to me, is wrong," Sanders told reporters.Manchin responded later: He said Sanders wanted an "entitlement society." Former President Donald Trump. Win McNamee/Getty Images 5. Senators found new details about how much Trump pushed the big lie: Donald Trump faced an internal revolt during the final days of his presidency, culminating in the White House counsel Pat Cipollone and top leaders at the Justice Department all threatening to resign if the president installed a loyalist as attorney general who would then push more investigations into unfounded allegations of voter fraud, The New York Times reports. Trump relented after a three-hour meeting, but the episode is just one of numerous incidents senators detailed in an interim report on how Trump tried to pressure the Justice Department after the election. More on what senators uncovered about Trump's efforts to cling onto the White House.6. Los Angeles advances strictest vaccine requirements in the US: The city council moved forward with a vaccine requirement at gyms, cafés, movie theaters, nail and hair salons, and other businesses. Mayor Eric Garcetti is expected to sign the requirements into law, and they would then take effect November 4. Here's how Los Angeles' vaccine mandate is even stricter than New York's.7. Rep. Adam Schiff said Robert Mueller's state before Congress was "heartbreaking": Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, sent Mueller a personal note urging the special counsel to testify before lawmakers about his Russia investigation, CNN reports. Mueller's hearing was expected to be a historic day. "Had I known how much he had changed, I would not have pursued his testimony with such vigor," Schiff wrote in a forthcoming book of Mueller's testimony, in which the former FBI director appeared confused at times. More from Schiff's book, including the time Trump told Schiff he "does a good job" on TV. A nurse preparing a syringe containing a malaria vaccine at the maternity ward of the Ewin Polyclinic, the first clinic in Ghana to roll out the malaria vaccine Mosquirix, in Cape Coast, Ghana, on April 30, 2019. Cristina Aldehuela/AFP/Getty 8. WHO approves first malaria vaccine: This "changes the course of public-health history," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters of the announcement. The drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline has worked on the shot for more than 30 years. According to clinical data, per The Times, the vaccine was effective against severe malaria, though its efficacy dropped considerably after four years. More the history behind the shot, which also is the first vaccine that targets parasites in humans.9. Biden's Education Department just wiped out $1.74 billion of student debt: The Education Department announced major changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program to bring thousands of borrowers closer to debt relief. The department said this waiver alone would bring 550,000 borrowers closer to student-debt relief automatically, including 22,000 borrowers who will be immediately eligible for relief without any action on their part. More on the changes.10. Cotton prices are surging. That means your clothes may get more expensive: The commodity that contributes to 75% of the world's clothing has hit its highest price since 2011. This is a bad sign for shoppers, retailers, and those up and down the supply chain. Unfortunately, the spiking price of cotton comes just in time for the holiday season.Today's trivia question: This month marks the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World. Before Walt Disney settled on Florida, which Midwestern city did he consider for the location of his second American theme park? Email your answer and a suggested question to me at's answer: John Paul II was the first pope to visit the White House. He took the country by storm with his October 1979 visit.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 7th, 2021

CPC approves rezoning to turn Blood Center into life science hub

The City Planning Commission today approved by vote of 8 to 2 the New York Blood Center’s ULURP application for an applied life sciences hub called Center East on the Upper East Side that will serve as a key driver of the city’s life science innovation ecosystem and a key... The post CPC approves rezoning to turn Blood Center into life science hub appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. The City Planning Commission today approved by vote of 8 to 2 the New York Blood Center’s ULURP application for an applied life sciences hub called Center East on the Upper East Side that will serve as a key driver of the city’s life science innovation ecosystem and a key part of its pandemic response infrastructure. The Blood Center’s project is one of the key rezonings left under Mayor de Blasio’s administration. Per the city’s land use process, the City Council will now consider a project that will see the New York Blood Center is partner with Longfellow Real Estate to transform its East 67th Street headquarters into a 600,000 s/f life science campus. Called Center East, the hub will replace NYBC’s existing facility with a state-of-the-art center anchored by NYBC, which supplies life-saving blood products and services to nearly every hospital across the five boroughs and delivers stem cell products to over 45 countries worldwide. “This is exactly the project our city needs right now. Center East will position New York to be a life science innovation hub, create jobs, stimulate billions in economic output annually, and open career opportunities for local students and young professionals. Our vision for a state-of-the-art life science facility will not only ensure the nonprofit Blood Center continues to provide safe, affordable blood services to the region’s hospitals, but enable the center to significantly expand its life-saving research on COVID-19 and blood-related diseases in collaboration with institutions and biotechnology partners all under the same roof,” said Rob Purvis, Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff, New York Blood Center. However, the project has seen opposition from the local community which has criticized its height and residential to commercial zoning it requires. Among the loudest voices against the plan is Council member Kallos, who told the City Planning Commission over the summer, “The New York Blood Center has been seeking to build a tall tower for as long as I can remember, for my entire career in politics, back to when I first started in 2006 on Community Board 8, and again in 2016. At every stage, their aggressive proposals have been rejected by elected officials and the local community.” Kallos said that the community doesn’t have a problem with expansion within current zoning, which would permit expanding the current three-story building to seven stories. However, earlier this month, a grassroots coalition representing thousands of New Yorkers endorsed the Blood Center’s proposal. Its members—including Laborers’ Local 79; Greater New York LECET (Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust); Building & Construction Trades Council of Greater New York; Urban Upbound; Community Voices Heard, Baruch Computing and Technology Center; and The Knowledge House—all signed a letter urging local Council Member Ben Kallos and the City Council to advance the project. GARY LABARBERA Gary LaBarbera, President of the Building and Construction Trades Council, said, “The New York construction industry lost 74,000 jobs and $9.8 billion in economic activity last year during the shutdowns triggered by the pandemic. Projects like Center East are critical to the future of New York City as we look to rebound, and build back stronger than ever. “The building and construction trade industry represents 20 percent of the city’s economy, 10 percent of jobs and 5 percent of wages. While it is disheartening to hear that the NIMBY voices are once again putting themselves and their own personal interests ahead of the greater good, it’s certainly not surprising or new. Center East will generate more than 1,500 full-time construction jobs and $1.1 billion in economic output annually. Our city needs this project now.”   CARLO SCISSURA Carlo Scissura, New York Building Congress President and CEO, added, “The New York Blood Center is a crucial hub for New York’s life science industry, and given the heightened need following the COVID-19 pandemic, now is the time to create a purpose-built center that will help the Blood Center’s important mission. New York City boasts industry-leading life science institutions, but we have yet to reach our full potential as one of the country’s leading life sciences hubs.” The post CPC approves rezoning to turn Blood Center into life science hub appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklySep 22nd, 2021

Planning Commission approves Lenox Terrace rezoning, moving battle to council

The City Planning Commission on Monday approved a proposal to . The plan would bring 1,600 new apartments to one of Harlem's largest and best-known residential complexes.  The approval paves the way... To view the full story, click the title link......»»

Category: blogSource: crainsnewyorkFeb 7th, 2020

Dallas council approves $60M in tornado clean-up spending

The Dallas City Council on Wednesday approved up to $60 million in spending to help offset uninsured losses resulting from a tornado that tore an 11.5-mile path through north Dallas last month. During a city council briefing, city staff said the C.....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsNov 7th, 2019

Vestavia Hills rezoning property for townhome units

New townhomes appear to be on the horizon for Vestavia Hills. According to the Vestavia Voice, the city's council this week authorized the rezoning of property at 3038 Massey Road for the construction of eight new homes. The property was previo.....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsJun 28th, 2019

West Carrollton approves expanded TIF districts

West Carrollton city council on Tuesday approved new tax incentive financing (TIF) agreements that will help fund future economic development in the city. The TIF compensation agreements were negotiated with West Carrollton City Schools and the Miami .....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsMar 26th, 2019

Seattle approves compromise on tax to help homeless after complaints from Amazon, other firms

The city council agreed to impose a lower tax rate on big businesses to fund homeless services than officials had initially proposed. The mayor is expected to sign the measure......»»

Category: topSource: washpostMay 15th, 2018

Cupertino approves massive development agreement for Vallco Mall

The city of Cupertino approved a development agreement Wednesday night that would bring nearly 3,000 residential units and millions of square feet in commercial space to replace its dying Vallco Shopping Mall. In a 3-2 vote, the council reluctantl.....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsSep 20th, 2018

South Korean city approves low-wage carmaking JV with Hyundai Motor

A council in the South Korean city of Gwangju on Wednesday approved a low-wage carmaking joint venture with Hyundai Motor, an official at the council said......»»

Category: topSource: reutersJan 30th, 2019

Amendments spur Tacoma council to delay vote on rezoning plan until next week

Councilmembers were originally slated to hear the final reading Tuesday, but the number of proposed amendments made that an unrealistic goal......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsDec 2nd, 2021

LA To Enforce Homeless Encampment Bans In Parks, Near Elementary School In District 12

LA To Enforce Homeless Encampment Bans In Parks, Near Elementary School In District 12 Authored by Micaela Ricaforte via The Epoch Times, The Los Angeles City Council passed a motion Nov. 30 to enforce the ban on homeless encampments in seven locations of District 12 amid the city’s growing homeless population. An ordinance passed earlier this year banned homeless encampments in the public right-of-way; however, a city council vote is required before the ban can be enforced. Introduced by Councilman John Lee of District 12 and seconded by District 15’s Councilman Joe Buscaino, the motion was passed 10–2, with dissent from Councilmembers Nithya Raman and Mike Bonin. The motion prohibits “sitting, lying, sleeping, or storing, using, maintaining, or placing personal property” within 500 feet of the parks on Chatsworth Street, Rinaldi Street, Vanowen Street, Reseda Boulevard, and Nordhoff Street—as well as Chatsworth Branch Library and Dearborn Elementary Charter Academy in District 12. Buscaino’s own motions to enforce the ban in his district’s 161 locations—more than 100 of which are schools and daycare centers, and dozens are parks and libraries—will be voted on Dec. 1. Some Angelenos expressed their opposition to the ban, criticizing Buscaino and Lee’s handling of homelessness. “This is a really, really cruel way of enforcing encampment [bans],” Olga Lexell, a resident in the South Robertson neighborhood, commented during the council meeting. Lexell went on to criticize the council’s lack of outreach in the communities that would be impacted by the ban. “It’s been shocking, as somebody with experience working with the unhoused population, to see people on the city council with zero experience in social services or in working with these groups, who don’t even come out to the park, who don’t even know what outreach looks like, advocating for these punitive measures that do nothing but displace people and disconnect people from their case workers,” Lexell said. Lou Caravella, president of Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council, told The Epoch Times in an email that anything besides affordable housing construction was “just for show.” “The only solution to homelessness is building affordable housing,” Caravella said. “Sweeps of homeless encampments are temporary and almost entirely cosmetic. We must build low-income housing and end the cycle of pay-for-play that rewards LA City Council for gifting permits to donor-developers for overpriced housing.” Some residents in support of the enforcement said the bans are about protecting public spaces and single-family homes. Speaking only as an individual resident in Northridge, Glenn Bailey, who is also the president of the city’s East Neighborhood Council, said three of the locations listed on Lee’s motion fell into his neighborhood council district’s boundaries. “These three locations are surrounded on three or more sides by single-family residences or townhomes and condos,” Bailey told The Epoch Times. “The prohibition of encampments in the public right-of-way adjoining these public facilities is especially appropriate.” This comes amid a growing homeless population in the city. Though the 2021 data is not yet available, Los Angeles city has more than 41,000 homeless people in 2020—a 16.1 percent increase from 2019—according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. Earlier this month, Buscaino, who is also running for mayor, introduced a citywide motion that would ban homeless people from camping in public spaces if enough shelter is available and has been offered. If passed, the measure would be placed on the upcoming 2022 ballot. However, the council voted 11–2 on Nov. 23 to send the measure to the council’s Homelessness and Poverty Committee, where the fate of the measure will be decided in the next several months. Michael Trujillo, a spokesperson for Buscaino’s campaign, said Nov. 23 they plan to collect signatures for the measure starting in January. Buscaino criticized the council’s move to send the measure to the committee. “Here’s what I’m hearing,” Buscaino said Nov. 23. “Process, process, vetting, let’s send this to committee. Let’s get a report back in 90 days. Let’s create a task force while people are dying in our streets." Tyler Durden Wed, 12/01/2021 - 22:30.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytDec 2nd, 2021

Sweeping plan to rezone Tacoma residential areas faces council vote Tuesday

The ordinance would change zoning to allow for higher-density housing, a move planners feel is needed to meet future housing demand in the city, where as many as 45,000 more households are expected by 2040......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsNov 30th, 2021

Shellenberger: Why Anti-Police Activism Kills

Shellenberger: Why Anti-Police Activism Kills Authored by Michael Shellenberger via Substack, In response to anti-police protests, many officers quit, resulting in shortages and a spike in avoidable deaths, from homicides to heart attacks, of innocents... Will Yurek with three of his four children including Drew (far right) who called 911 when his father suffered a heart attack. First responders say the city of Seattle failed to save Will’s life because of a police shortage. At 1:24pm on Nov. 2, 13-year-old Drew Yurek called 911 to report an emergency: his father Will didn’t feel well and needed help. Medics arrived six minutes later, but were told by dispatch to wait for the police before entering; there was a cautionary note that flagged the occupant of the address as being hostile to first responders. But the note was outdated, and referred to a previous tenant. Because of a shortage of police officers first reported by Seattle journalist Jason Rantz, the medics were left to wait outside the house until cops could arrive. At 1:37pm, Drew called 911 again, desperate. He needed help. Medics waited two more minutes before deciding to ignore the order and enter the building. They found Will and started to perform CPR and apply a defibrillator. But by then it was too late. Despite their best efforts, Will, 45 and a father of four, died of a heart attack as Drew looked on. The police did not arrive until 1:45pm. Now Drew’s mother, Meagan Petersen, is planning to sue the city of Seattle. “People need to know how the city let this happen,” said Meagan, who is divorced from Will and lives in Utah. “They could have saved Will if the system was working like it should.” Firefighters and police officers I spoke to said they believe they could have saved the man’s life had there not been a shortage of cops. By the end of 2020, 200 police officers had left the Seattle police force. What happened to Will Yurek and what his son had to suffer is a tragic but cautionary tale of what happens when activism and moral cowardice at the top of government destroys public safety and common sense in society. It has happened in Seattle, but many other parts of the country have also fallen victim — with many more in peril, too. Before a vaccine mandate took 100 police officers off the street in mid-October, the Seattle police department was short at least 400 police officers to be at the minimum considered necessary to protect public safety. Why is that? The overwhelming and unavoidable reason is anti-police protests by Black Lives Matter activists. This happened nationwide, but was worse in Seattle, where Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and progressive members of the Seattle City Council allowed anarchists to briefly take over the downtown Capitol Hill neighborhood in the summer of 2020. Durkan did so to show solidarity with anti-police protests in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis. The anti-police protests in Seattle were surprising because in 2018 the City Council had hired a black woman, Carmen Best, for the first time to serve as the city’s police chief. Best opened up for the first time about what happened last summer in an interview with me for my book, “San Fransicko,” earlier this year. Best is also one of the candidates NYC’s Mayor-Elect Eric Adams is considering for NYPD Commissioner. Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best, left, talks with activist Raz Simone, right front, and others near a plywood-covered and closed police precinct behind them on June 9, 2020. “I refuse to work for this socialist City Council and their political agenda,” said one officer. “It ultimately will destroy the fabric of this once fine city.” Another said the city’s progressive City Council “will be the downfall of the city of Seattle.”  Anti-police protests took a toll around the country. At least two dozen other police chiefs or senior officers resigned, retired, or took disability leave in America’s 50 biggest cities in 2020, while 3,700 beat officers left. Today there are fewer police officers per capita in America than at any time since 1992. In 2020, the homicide rate increased on average by more than one-third in America’s 57 largest cities. Homicides rose in 51 cities and declined in just six of them. Homicides rose 35 percent in Los Angeles, 31 percent in Oakland, 74 percent in Seattle, 63 percent in Portland, 60 percent in Chicago, and 47 percent in New York City.  Some blamed the coronavirus pandemic, and higher gun sales, which rose in March. But homicides in 2020 only started to rise in June, after Black Lives Matter protests, not March. And there had been a similar spike in homicides in 2015 when there was no coronavirus pandemic.  The lack of sufficient police may have made communities more vulnerable to the spikes in homicides seen in 2015 and 2020, as police were redirected to deal with anti-police protests. “When you have your officers and detectives every night on the front line dealing with demonstration after demonstration after demonstration,” said former police chief Best, “they are not engaging with community members. They are not talking to young people. All of that is not happening because the focus now is on the nightly demonstrations.”  “When people believe the procedures of formal social control are unjust,” notes University of Missouri criminologist Richard Rosenfeld, whose research is relied upon by the Department of Justice, “they are less likely to obey the law.”  Counter to the claims of those who advocate defunding the police as a way to reduce violence, the evidence suggests that fewer cops may mean more police misconduct, because the remaining officers must work longer and more stressful hours. Research has found that fatigue predicts a rise in public complaints against cops: a 13-hour rather than 10-hour shift significantly boosts their prevalence, while back-to-back shifts quadruple their odds. The people who suffer most from anti-police activism are black. Nationally, 30 times more African Americans were killed by civilians than by police in 2019. Today, black Americans are seven to eight times more likely to die from homicide than white Americans. If anti-police protests increase homicides, why do groups like Black Lives Matter do it? Because they are after radical system change, not less violence. Radical thinkers, from anarchists to socialists, have for 200 years blamed our capitalist system for crime, and justified crime as a revolutionary act. Crime is a rational response to the high levels of inequality created by capitalism, they argue. For the most part, societies, including in Seattle, have dismissed these radical arguments. “The anarchists had always been a cosplay clown joke,” Seattle Police officer Christopher Young told me earlier this year. “On May Day they would come and fight the police and break some windows. We’d be like, ‘Okay guys, go back to your mother’s basement.’” But after the election of Donald Trump as president in 2016, the anarchists rebranded themselves as “anti-fascists,” said Young, and that increased their legitimacy in the eyes of Seattle’s progressive voters. “They said, ‘We’re here to fight the racists and fascists.’” “The community really wanted more cops,” she told me. “At least three City Council members campaigned on more cops. They wanted better response times.” They also wanted more racial and gender diversity and so, said Best, she created a plan “to have a lot more diversity with our hiring, for women and people of color both. We got to almost 40 percent of either minority or women representation as new hires.” But after the Floyd killing, Seattle anarchists started attacking the police. “Within that large group of people who were there peacefully protesting,” said Best, “there were groups there to create mayhem, throw rocks, bottles, and incendiary stuff, and point lasers at the officers.”  In June, somebody removed a police barricade that had prevented demonstrators from protesting in front of the East Precinct downtown. “It was decided,” said Best, “to remove the barricade and to allow the demonstrators to fill in the street in front of the precinct. We didn’t want to give up the precinct. I have to tell you it was not my decision.”  Progressive members of the Seattle City Council had pressured Mayor Durkan to order the police to abandon their precinct building.  “The next morning,” said Best, “there were these folks out there armed with long rifles, telling the officers who responded that it was their ‘sovereign land.’ ‘What sovereign property are they talking about?’” Best asked her colleagues. “Well, they’re talking about Twelfth Avenue.” She laughed. “We had never experienced anything like that.”  And therein began CHAZ, the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Chief Carmen Best Later, the organizers would rename the area CHOP, for Capitol Hill Occupied Protest. The anarchist leaders invited hundreds of Seattle’s homeless residents to move into the occupied zone, and many did. When asked, Seattle’s mayor insisted that everything would work out fine.  “How long do you think Seattle and those few blocks [will] look like this?” CNN’s Chris Cuomo asked Seattle’s mayor. “I don’t know,” she replied. “We could have a summer of love!”  But soon after, said Best, “We were getting reports of rape, robbery, assault… I don’t know what the Wild West was like, but it couldn’t have been any worse than that.”  Armed residents at CHOP shot two teenage boys just before it was shut down. At least one of them could have been saved. But CHOP’s unelected leaders didn’t allow first responders in until hours later. The homicides led Chief Best to demand permission from the City Attorney to retake the neighborhood, which she did a few days later.  But then, in August 2020, a few weeks later, the Seattle City Council voted to cut the budget of the Seattle Police Department. “That means that all these new people that we hired who are black, people of color, and women will be the first ones to go,” Best told the City Council. “Because it’s first in, first out.”  The council said they wanted Best to go through and pick the people to fire.  “Let me get this straight,” she said she told the council. “You want me to pick the white people to go? Are you crazy?’ They were highly dismissive. It was the most bizarre thing that I had ever dealt with.”  Best criticized the City Council. “I said that they were being reckless and dangerous and that people are going to suffer for it,” she said. “The next day, one of the city councilors said, ‘We need to cut her salary by 40 percent.’ It wasn’t even on the agenda for them to talk about. It was highly punitive and retaliatory.” And so Best resigned. By the end of 2020, 200 police officers had left the Seattle police force.  In truth, much of what people believe about the police is wrong. Police killings of African Americans in our 58 largest cities declined from 217 per year in the 1970s to 157 per year in the 2010s. And there are no racial differences in police killings when accounting for whether or not the suspect was armed or a threat (“justified” vs “unjustified” shooting). Reducing homicides and other crimes will require more police, and that will require community and political leaders to educate voters, and publicly apologize for their role in unfairly demonizing police officers. Most of all, we should seek to make amends to the victims of anti-police activism, including the Yurek family, who are mourning the loss of a young father at Thanksgiving time. “Mr. Yurek’s young son acted quickly and competently. Unfortunately, the city of Seattle was neither quick nor competent,” said the family’s attorney, Mark Lindquist of the Herrmann Law Group. But Will Yurek’s death could gain new meaning if it helps us, as Americans, to view police officers as vital, if imperfect, public servants, and take the measures necessary to affirm their role, and recruit them back into our city police forces. *  *  * Michael Shellenberger is a Time Magazine "Hero of the Environment,"Green Book Award winner, and the founder and president of Environmental Progress. He is author of just launched book San Fransicko (Harper Collins) and the best-selling book, Apocalypse Never (Harper Collins June 30, 2020). Subscribe To Michael's substack here Tyler Durden Wed, 11/24/2021 - 23:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 25th, 2021

City Council approves Gowanus rezoning

The contentious plan likely will supercharge the residential transformation taking place in the formerly industrial neighborhood To view the full story, click the title link......»»

Category: blogSource: crainsnewyorkNov 24th, 2021

New York City is pushing legislation that will allow noncitizens to register with political parties and vote in local elections

If City Council approves the bill on December 9, New York City would become the largest municipality in the US to extend voting power to noncitizens, A NYC Board of Election employee retrieves Republican mayoral candidate, Curtis Sliwa's ballot after it gets stuck in a voting machine on the Upper West Side on November 2, 2021 in New York City.Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images New York City is pushing forward legislation that will allow noncitizens to vote in local elections. If it's approved on Dec. 9, the city would become the largest municipality in the US to do so. Mayor Bill de Blasio has argued that the legislation will take away incentive to seek citizenship. New York City is pushing forward legislation that will allow over 800,000 noncitizens to vote in local elections, the New York Times reported on Tuesday.  The bill would give lawful permanent residents of the city an opportunity to join political parties and vote in municipal elections — not state or federal — according to legislation details reviewed by Insider. Lawful permanent residents are green card holders or people who are legally authorized to live in the US, according to the Department of Homeland Security. If City Council approves the legislation on December 9 as expected, New York City would become the largest municipality in the US to extend voting power to noncitizens, the Times said. Supporters of the legislation — like immigrant advocates and politicians — have long pushed for noncitizens to be granted the opportunity to vote in local contests, the report said.Supporters argue that it makes sense for immigrants who legally live in the city — and send their children to public schools, use public services, or pay takes — to have a stake in local government, the report said.While Mayor Bill de Blasio at a press conference on Tuesday told reporters that he has no intentions to try and veto the bill, he said he was worried that the legislation would take away incentives for people to seek citizenship and raised questions about its legality. "I want citizenship to be something that people pursue fully, quickly, every chance they get," he said. "I'm concerned about that."He added: "To me, this is something that, again, I'm not sure is legally what a city can do."The legislation comes as noncitizens are seeking opportunities to secure voting rights around the country. According to Pew, a handful of cities in Vermont and Maryland have passed legislation giving noncitizens some municipal voting rights and other states are weighing similar legislation.In November 2020, however, Alabama, Colorado, and Florida voters passed measures saying only US citizens could vote, the AP reported at the time. Prior to that, only Arizona and North Dakota had such legislation in place, the report said. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 24th, 2021

"Racist" Statue Of Thomas Jefferson Removed From City Hall During De Blasio"s Last Days As Mayor

"Racist" Statue Of Thomas Jefferson Removed From City Hall During De Blasio's Last Days As Mayor Realizing one of Mayor Bill de Blasio's last major moves as NYC mayor, a nearly 200-year-old statue of founding father and third president Thomas Jefferson has finally been removed from the "Room Where It Happens" in NYC's City Hall. After spending 187 years in city hall, the 884-pound statue of the Declaration of Independence author was quietly packed into a crate Monday by art handlers from a private firm and ushered out the back door. Video of the statue's departure was taken by the NY Post despite City Hall's intense opposition. The 1833 statue will be on a long-term loan to the New York Historical Society, which plans to have Jefferson's model survive in its lobby and reading room, for an indefinite period. Previously, the statue had stood for nearly 200 years in the city council's chambers, commonly referred to as "the Room Where it Happens". Keri Butler, executive director of the Public Design Commission, which voted to banish the statue last month, initially tried to block the press from witnessing its removal. But Butler relented after members of the mayor’s office and City Council intervened. Last month, Butler and nearly a dozen de Blasio-appointed bureaucrats from the PDC voted to remove the "racist" statue from city hall, and "loan" it to the city's historical society. But not before several lawmakers testified that the statue was "offensive," with Democratic Assemblyman Charles Barron of Brooklyn even denouncing Jefferson as a "slaveholding pedophile." The decision to remove the statue seemed to fulfill President Trump's warning that removing statues of Confederate Generals like Robert E Lee would be followed by the removal of "slave holders" like Jefferson and even George Washington himself. Of course, simply removing a statue from City Hall doesn't mean New Yorkers will suddenly "forget" what Thomas Jefferson is and what he stood for, as one academic explained. The academic, Erin Thompson - a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and author of a book called "Smashing Statues" - claims that removing a monument without a public conversation about why it’s happening is "useless." She added that New Yorkers all need to talk about "who we want to honor and why,” Thompson added. "Moving this statue doesn’t mean New Yorkers will forget who Thomas Jefferson was - but some of them might learn from the controversy that the man who wrote 'all men are created equal' owned over 600 of his fellow humans," Thompson said. Minority leader Joe Borelli, a Republican from Staten Island, called the move an attempt to "sideline history" while Black, Latino and Asian Caucus co-chair I Daneek Miller (a Democrat from Queens) said he wanted the statue gone because it "doesn't represent contemporary values". Meanwhile, a replica of the statue by sculptor Pierre-Jean David is still on display in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, DC. For more on the decision, check out this video from a local NBC affiliate: Tyler Durden Tue, 11/23/2021 - 16:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 23rd, 2021

City Council approves rezoning that paves way for $750 million New York Blood Center project

A plan to build a big life sciences hub on Manhattan's Upper East Side can move forward after New York's City Council approved the necessary rezoning Tuesday......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsNov 23rd, 2021

City Council approves Gowanus rezoning in culmination of lengthy, contentious effort

New zoning will likely supercharge the residential transformation that has been taking place in the formerly industrial Brooklyn neighborhood To view the full story, click the title link......»»

Category: blogSource: crainsnewyorkNov 23rd, 2021