To the list of local elected officials who support leaving the shelter alone (De Blasio, Millman, and Velazquez--see below for their statements) we can now add Borough President Marty Markowitz, who released this statement last night:
"While we understand and respect the community's concerns, we are fully supportive of the efforts by Assemblymember Millman and Councilmember de Blasio to allay those concerns so that this facility can begin protecting a small number of abused women and children that desperately need a safe place to sleep. We can never shy away from our society's responsibility to take care of those suffering from the devastating effects of domestic abuse, including those most vulnerable - the children. And we also must remember that it is imperative, no matter how one feels about the shelter, not to do anything to publicize its location. I'm confident that a compromise will be reached and that the shelter and its neighbors will be able to peacefully co-exist."I share his confidence that we will soon find a way to integrate the shelter (a.k.a. Rose House) into our community, and am once again proud to have him as Borough President!
I just noticed some (relatively) good news this morning. It seems our neighbors have stopped re-postering the 'stop the shelter' signs on public property. I think they've realized that it's illegal. Also, a few people on Clinton St and 3rd place have blackened or cut out the address number on the signs they have in their windows. These two things seem to make matters a little more civilized. I hope more will follow with removing the address number!
I was very ambivalent about posting this. I’m torn between trying to clear the air/convey the truth and sinking to the level of the close-minded people of my neighborhood by dignifying them with a response. My compromise is to post here in hopes that at least the open-minded among us won’t believe the lies that some of the so-called ‘concerned’ citizens of Carroll Gardens are writing.
I’ve been following the events and news surrounding the proposed battered women’s shelter in my neighborhood and have personally attended the third meeting at the school on Henry St and have spoken and emailed directly with the Asian Women’s Center. Therefore, all statements I am making are NOT second hand, but actual observations.
Recently, I made a big mistake. In a brief moment of severe annoyance at the large number of irritating signs posted in my neighborhood specifying the address of the battered women’s shelter, I jumped up and tore down a black and white photocopied sign that was posted intentionally high up on a cross walk sign. I say this was a mistake not because what I did was in any way illegal. I know my rights. I have far too many friends who are lawyers to be ignorant of the law. Just as it is one’s free speech right to post a political sign on his/her PRIVATE PROPERTY, it is my right to tear down a sign if it’s on public property. In fact it is actually illegal for someone to post a sign such as the ones being posted on public property such as a utility pole and cross walk sign, etc. I know this because I know the law and because I verified it with the 76th precinct office. They’ve been taking them down every day actually because those signs on public property shouldn’t be up there.
The reason I say I made a mistake is because I basically incited the opponents of the shelter. I sunk to their level for a brief moment. Please do not make the same mistake I did. No sooner had I taken down that sign (the ONLY sign I’ve ever taken down, by the way) then a couple of my neighbors raced out of their house and confronted me. If this sounds familiar, then you’ve had the misfortune to read ‘MV’s letter about me on the ‘ourcarrollgardens.com’ website. I realize that I may, to some extent, be stoking the flames by writing this, but I can not, in good conscience, allow some of the lies told about the incident go unanswered.
I will not dignify most of the letter with a response because anyone who knows the real facts knows that most of what was written was untrue. However, I must point out the obvious point that I am not part of any group of people who tear down signs. That there even is such a group is just a ridiculous assertion. The only group that tears down the signs that I know of is the New York City Police. I want to stress here that I think it is a BAD IDEA for any of us to tear down the signs. In doing so, I’ve marked myself, and more importantly my wife as a potential target for attack in my neighborhood. I’m not, as my neighbor thought, just some temporary renter. I’m a property owner here and I’ve been in the neighborhood several years. I LIVE here permanently. I saw with my own eyes the violence and hatred in the eyes of my close neighbors at the last ‘stop the shelter’ meeting. I heard the threats of violence directed at a poor attendee who only wanted his question answered correctly. Is my wife now going to be a victim of this racism and hatred? I’m scared now for our safety. One of them recognized her today as well! Ironically, I’ll be happy when the shelter opens in the neighborhood because at least that will mean there will be more security here. I can’t believe events have occurred in such a way that I’m way more afraid of my own neighbors than some batterer who might somehow find the shelter! I’m really worried that others in the neighborhood disgusted by the hatred and selfishness of the so-called ‘concerned’ citizens have had similar encounters. In hindsight, I realize I was being way to idealistic thinking that I could make people understand that this shelter is not such a horrible thing if only they understood all the facts. These people do not want to hear the truth. They’ve made up their minds and have no intention on changing them despite all the mounting evidence against them. I gave them the flyer that had recently been handed to me at the subway stop so that they could understand more. Unfortunately all they did was post a big article on their website about how there is a secret website for supporters. How can it be secret when if was typed on the leaflet and given out to anyone who wanted one? So now, in addition to being concerned for my safety, I’m a heck of a lot more cynical about life. I have to realize that most people don’t want to be open-minded about things.
Please, if you see more signs posted illegally in public places, do not tear them down! Call the police 1-718-834-3211 and ask them to remove them.
Trying to end this on a happy note, I’m delighted to hear that all the representatives in our district are advocating working WITH the Women’s Center getting the shelter open now. I’m also very happy to hear how eager the Women’s Center is to accommodate the neighborhood with their concerns. They ARE opening the shelter, but given that, they are forming an advisory committee and trying to address any and all security concerns. They made the mistake of not coming to our political reps in the very beginning, but I believe they’ve more than made up for that at this point. Any initial friction with Millman and DeBlasio et. al. seems to have been allayed now.
Sorry, for the long post, but I needed to get this off my chest. I hope that I can continue to live in this neighborhood that I love and not be intimidated into leaving for fear of the safety of my loved ones.
Good news from Howard:
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez has issued the following statement concerning the battered women's facility: "I am aware of the proposal to put a battered woman's shelter in Carroll Gardens. The most important thing to realize here is that these women are not criminals--they are women in need, who have suffered a great deal and are looking for a safe place to go. Think of this shelter as a place where your mother, sister or daughter could take refuge. Think of it as a place that could not just change lives, but save them as well."
This is significant for a number of reasons. The first is that Nydia is a neighbor, in fact the only local elected official who actually lives in Carroll Gardens, and she lives close to the site (on Woodhull Street). Secondly, her husband, Paul Bader, is a longtime civic activist in the area, with a record going back to the late '70s, who currently heads the Board of the Gowanus Canal Community Development Corporation; hard to get more authentically Carroll Gardens than that. And, to top it off, she seems to have done this with practically no lobbying effort; except for two chance two-minute conversations I had with Dan Wiley of her staff, I am unaware of anyone of us actually having had approached either her or her staff.
In her posting on Sept. 21 (first mentioned below), Anvernette Hanna made the case against the proposed domestic violence residence. Ms. Hanna’s posting contained a number of factual errors and misrepresentations that we would like to correct in order to set the record straight.
1. Ms. Hanna repeatedly refers to the “20- to 26-bed emergency domestic violence transient shelter,” making it sound like the minimum number of residents will be 20. In fact, by state license, 20 is the MAXIMUM number, of which about half will be children. If you do the math, this is no more than if the building was rented to four families with two parents and 2-3 children apiece. The use of the building is legal and does not change its status as a 4-family residence. In the course of a typical day, there may be 2-3 staff people visiting the residence at any one time, providing counseling, child care or on-site management. Ms. Hanna incorrectly states that “on-site staff that could number an extra 10” and her warnings of the extra pedestrian traffic and garbage generated are not justified.
2. She states that that the domestic violence residence will make the neighborhood more dangerous, but then goes on to dismiss NYAWC’s efforts to address these concerns through the security systems and the increased police patrols by saying they will “tip-off the batterers.” She needs to consider that the residence’s 24-hour staff, security systems, and close connections with the police should make the neighborhood safer for everyone.
3. She accuses the NYAWC of being out-of compliance, misleading, and representing big money interests. The NYAWC has worked hard to assure that it has firm legal standing and sound financing for the residence, so that they will be contributors to the neighborhood. The Center has been through the due diligence required by funders and financing partners, by state licensing authorities, and by its Board, to ensure that this and all their sites and programs are at the highest standards of quality and compliance. The Center raised the funding to pay fair market value―$960,000―for the building, and is undertaking additional repairs to the site. The building represents a long-term investment that they are clearly prepared to manage well and for the long term.
Hello, all. Here are a couple of links to letters in MS Word format to Assemblywoman Millman and Counselman DeBlasio expressing your support for the shelter and thanking them for theirs. Please do download, print, send, distribute the files to friends, family, and neighbors.
(If left-clicking the links causes problems, try right-clicking and selecting "Save Target As" from the menu.)
Everyone's done a fantastic job so far demonstrating to our representatives and to the neighborhood the importance of this issue. Let's keep up the momentum!
A number of “undecided” people at the subway asked us why the agency/shelter seemed like it was trying to slip into the neighborhood unnoticed. We passed the question on to the NYAWC and received this in reply:
The NYAWC provides a safe space to families fleeing violence. We take precautions, many of them mandated by state authorities and in partnership with local agencies, so that safety is assured at our residences. One of our primary protections is the confidentiality of the locations of our programs. Therefore, we cannot announce our arrival into a neighborhood, nor have a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate an opening of a shelter! We were adhering to long established confidentiality guidelines and procedures, and not trying to "sneak into the neighborhood" as some opponents have suggested. That said, we realize that we could have done a better job of reaching out earlier to community leaders confidentially, and are working to rectify this. We deeply regret that there is polarization in the neighborhood over our presence. Our mission and work are dedicated to healing, and our most important community goal is to become a good and valued neighbor in Carroll Gardens.Feel free to submit more questions via email!
From Our Carroll Gardens:
My point in this article is; why are these people [CG_SCAMP] not meeting with us? Why are these people not acting as adults who can sit and discuss a topic? Why the hiding? Why the deception? Why are people posting to the OurCarrollGardens.com website freely from both sides, but they have a hidden website [i.e. this one]?Answers: We have been at your meetings; you do not allow people who disagree with you to speak. We hand out flyers at night because we have jobs. Our website is not hidden; you found it.
This is again from Howard:
Last night the Independent Neighborhood Democrats (IND), the Democratic Club for our area, passed a resolution saying the following:What next? We do need to keep sending letters and messages to Millman, since she needs proof of our numbers to bolster her position. And, I think it would still be okay to contact DeBlasio—applauding him for his support!
“IND asks the Carroll Gardens community to accept and be supportive of the battered women’s shelter;
and to work with the elected officials to resolve any concerns; and
IND condemns the publication of this facility’s location.”
The resolution passed unanimously and without debate. Democratic Female District Leader Elizabeth Rose Daly seconded the resolution. Earlier in the evening, Male Leader Alan Fleishman also declared his support for the facility. It should be noted that among those in the room when the unanimous voice vote was taken was Assemblywoman Joan Millman, a voting member of the club.
The resolution was purposefully written to reflect the essential points of statements made earlier in the evening by Assemblywoman Millman and Councilman Bill DeBlasio. While I still don’t believe that Joan would say yes to a direct question as to whether she supported the shelter, I believe she would say yes to a question as to whether she agreed with the three points of the resolution; therefore, I think it is fair to say that she supports our position. Bill DeBlasio was less equivocal; when asked if we should still be sending him letters, he stated that, given the position he’d articulated, it was no longer necessary. While both Millman and DeBlasio made clear that they did not think this was the ideal location for such a facility (hard to dispute, since an “ideal location” would be one where the neighbors didn’t raise a fuss), they called upon the community to accept that it was coming and to work with them to resolve their concerns. In shorthand, that is support.
For what it's worth, I have some clarification for people who have questions about the legality of the 'stop the shelter' signs that have been put up (very high up) on trees and crosslight signs on Clinton St. I got a little hot headed on the way home just now and took down one of the signs that was on a public cross walk light. I was of course immediately confronted by two people who must have been watching from inside their houses. I'll spare you the details of the conversation, but the synopsis is: I explained to them that, while I acknowledged their right to express their opinion on their property, I just didn't feel it was right for them to publicize the address of the shelter and put it on city property. They said it was a political statement and it was their right. Well, I called the 76th precinct when I got home and they share my belief that it is not legal for them to put up the signs on city property. The police dept. are making a note of the signs, so hopefully they'll be making another round taking them down soon.
The point is, even though it's probably not the best idea for us to personally take them down (it just starts a fight), we should know that the police are on our side and if you call them 718.834.3211, they will take them down.
Hi everyone, Emily has just invited me to join this blog to post my experience calling the Councilman today:
I took some flyers from you all coming out of the subway at Carroll Street last night. It is a relief to know that not all my neighbors are the type to publicize the street address of a battered women's shelter! and that steps are being taken to counteract the group behind that.
Earlier today, I called Bill DeBlasio's office to voice my opinion. I spoke with a staffer named Alex who took my name, phone number and exact address. I told him I am a resident, not affiliated with the NYAWC, and I support the shelter in my neighborhood. I also said I thought some of the tactics of the opposition were outrageous and potentially dangerous.
I asked if the Councilman was planning to attend the Democratic Club meeting this evening, and Alex said that hadn't been decided yet (I'm not sure if he did end up attending?) When I asked if he had an official stance regarding this issue, he didn't know. I pressed him on this, and then was put on hold for quite a while. When Alex came back, he said, "Bill has not yet formulated a position. Right now he is listening to both sides."
To me, that's a clue that DeBlasio wants to get a sense of where public opinion lies before committing himself. In other words, WHOEVER'S LOUDEST WINS! I would encourage your group (and will do it myself) to call, write, and email -- multiple times. The office keeps a tally of each contact and which side they're coming down on, and this has tremendous influence on what stance the Councilman eventually takes. I'm sure the opposition isn't hesitating to get their opinions known. We need to make sure our side is represented too!
Wow. Five of us went out this evening and distributed information before going home because we ran out--500 flyers later. The response was very reassuring and gratifying. If you are new to this site, please bear with us as our group is growing quickly and those of us working on this project do have full-time jobs on the side! If you have ideas for discussion, or questions/concerns that you'd like addressed, please email us (links to your right) and we will get things posted up here for you as quickly as we can. THANKS to those who helped tonight.
Again from Howard:
"Thursday night September 25 at 7:00 [corrected from 7:30] at 489 Court Street (between Nelson and Luquer) the local Democratic Club, IND, will be having a meeting. Millman and DeBlasio will probably be there. It is my intent to question them concerning their positions, and to ask the club for a statement of support. It would be helpful if some of you attended as a show of force. It might even be more forceful if those of you so inclined joined the club. This club has a lot of influence on its elected officials."
Also, we've heard that the opponents are planning to protest AT THE HOUSE in the near future. We need to reach out to more people--especially if we're planning to crash their little demonstration. If you are available to distribute flyers any night this week, please email me (address is to your right) ASAP. I'd be very grateful for the help, and the company.
Given the open letter that Emily pointed out, I think that it would be an excellent idea to have Kyung and rest of the NY Asian Women's Center to write a response. One of us could try to get it posted on the site. I feel that information is the shelter's biggest ally. If the opposers see that most, if not all, of their concerns are for naught or at least being addressed, it will make them feel much better.
The people opposed to the shelter seem to be extremely concerned with the number of people potentially in the shelter. What is the deciding factor in that? If it's by head of household, then the number could be significantly less than 20. It should be made clear by the Women's Center. I was told they were planning on having maybe 4 or 5 women there at a time. If they don't have a lot of kids, that could mean substantially less than 20 people.
They're concerned with a huge staff being there. How many will it actually be?
They think having this shelter there will make things more dangerous for people in our neighborhood. I think just the opposite, but maybe some facts and figures could help. How often do batterers go after their spouses/girlfriends and find the shelter they're staying at? (My guess is extremely rarely) How often has a batterer bothered someone else other than the batteree?
Anvernette Hanna wrote a whole paragraph on how the Women's Center was not pursuing this shelter legally with respect to zoning, etc. This should be responded to.
She also states that the building will have to be at max capacity (26 people??) in order for the Women's Center to be able to financially get by?
Some of these things may have some truth to them, but I know for a fact that I've heard completely opposite statements from both sides of this argument. The so-called 'concerned' citizens of Carroll Gardens are attributing a lot of things to the Women's Center that I know are not true. This has to be rectified.
Everyone please take a moment to read this open letter on the website of our opponents, "ourcarrollgardens.com." I don't suppose I need to point this out to anyone who has been attending the meetings and reading that website, but this is refreshingly articulate and coherent. There are some points that seem silly--such as framing the debate as one between "a functioning middle- and working-class neighborhood" and the banks funding the shelter--but all in all, it is well worth considering. The writer's tone alone made my blood pressure go down about 50 points.
Last night at about midnight as I was walking home I ran into Danny Contraro (sp? - I think he was the orator of the group on Thursday "I want to talk about reality. Let's talk about what's real. Because isn't what matters here what's real? I want to talk about reality..."). He approached me with a flyer (which had the address AND a PICTURE of the building) and asked if I live in the neighborhood.
I was a bit hesitant to get into it with him (alone at midnight on a fairly deserted stretch of Clinton where I know many of the opponents live), but I was feeling optimistic. We talked for about 10 minutes. It was a fairly pleasant conversation in tone - neither of us got agitated.
He handed me a flyer and asked if I knew about the shelter. I said I did and wished they would stop printing the address because it puts the women who will soon live there in danger. He seemed truly shocked that I believed that battered women would ever live there. I said I don't think the opposition has the legal ability to stop them. He kept saying "But if you really think about it, do you really think it's going to open?"
He was surprised to hear that I'd been to the meeting on Thursday. Throughout the conversation he kept having me confirm that and saying "So you heard me speak?!?!" I wasn't sure if that was incredulity at the fact that I heard him and yet still disagreed, or just amazement at the sheer number of people he had addressed and his potential star power.
He asked why I support the shelter. I said we have a beautiful safe neighborhood and I want to share it with those who need a safe place. Women and children who have been abused and are taking steps to leave dangerous environments should be applauded for their bravery. The people who do the hard and important work of running shelters should be thanked by all of us.
He asked if I own property in the neighborhood. I said yes. He was surprised. So then he asked how long have you lived here? I said I've lived in Brooklyn for 6 years and CG for 2. He thought I should listen to the feelings of those who have lived here longer. I said I have and will continue to, but asked if my living here for only 2 years make my opinion less valid.
Then he started talking about the location and it's inappropriateness. I was pretty excited about this because I thought I might come to understand what the hell they mean by that argument. No luck. I believe the main idea is that all people who need city services of any kind should be shipped off to an island somewhere where no one needs to see them (Australia perhaps?).
Then he started disparaging the shelter. He seemed to think that 20 beds was far too few and that they should have some huge 500 bed facility somewhere. He thought that the fact that they have been around for 20 years and are only serving 40 people at a time was a sign that they are not successful. I said that there is a lot of evidence that smaller facilities are more successful, and that it's more important to make a permanent change in these women's lives then to serve hundreds of women and have many of them go back to abusive situations.
He kept using the phrase "But if you REALLY think about it..." Finally I said that my Mom is the director of a child abuse and neglect center on the west coast and I had spent a lot of time in my life REALLY thinking over exactly these kinds of issues.
Then he launched into my very favorite argument. "But don't you think that it's terrible that these people are making SO MUCH MONEY running shelters?" What could I say? Mostly I just had to laugh at the idea that people in social services were filthy rich. He added another brilliant thought "Think about it, they get 80% of their funding from the government and 20% from private sources, so they have 100% of their funding." Whoa. That is SO true. I tried to explain the fallacy of that argument but he wasn't with me.
At this point I had to plead aching feet and end the conversation. He said that I had made some really good points and made him think. He said I should get involved with the people opposing the people opposing the shelter. I said I planned to.
Don't tear down – black out
I shared an idea with Emily the other day for combatting the deluge of anti-shelter paper littering our neighborhood. And the more we've thought about it, the more we've realized it's probably the most effective way to honor our opponents' free speech while protecting the shelter and making our point.
I think we all agree that the anti-shelter crowd's most damaging and insidious tactic is printing the address of the future shelter all over their propaganda. This tactic is as dirty as it is effective. By publicizing the address of a shelter that is supposed to remain anonymous, they are increasing the likelihood that the shelter will throw in the towel and relocate. So let's fight back – firmly, but respectfully.
Try to carry a dark pen or, better yet, a black marker in your pocket as you pass through Carroll Gardens over the next few days. When you see an anti-shelter poster or sticker (yes, stickers are their latest obnoxious weapon of choice), don't tear the notice down. Simply black out the address.
This is much more in keeping with our "thoughtful dialogue" approach than ripping down the poster entirely. Destroying their posters would be akin to the tactic of theirs we hate most – shouting us down, denying our right to respectfully disagree and express our opinion. So let's show respect for their opinions (however wrong-headed) while emphasizing the higher priority: keeping the shelter, and its future residents, safe.
Many of the people coming to this page won't have been to last Thursday's (9/18) meeting, so I thought I'd share some of my notes so everyone can see what we're dealing with. I apologize for my inability to identify the speakers here--I have terrible eyesight and was sitting way in the back, so even when the speakers did identify themselves I couldn't keep track of who was saying what when. Since they only allowed people they agree with to speak, though, I don't suppose it matters much who said what exactly.
Opponents of the shelter presented two main arguments. The first was that they are concerned for the neighborhood's safety. However, they presented no evidence to support this view. (At one point, someone said "Let's be realistic, when you think about it, statistics are not hard to find on this issue." This truism was the extent of their commentary on that topic.) My own feeling is that the liveliness of the neighborhood, the fact that there are "eyes on the street," has always been a powerful crime deterrent and will continue to be one. I've also found no evidence to suggest that perpetrators of domestic violence ever attack passersby as opposed to members of their own families.
Their second concern, a more nebulous one, is that the "this community is different...it doesn't make sense [to have the shelter here];" it is "not consistent with the character of the rest of the neighborhood." It is not clear to me what they mean here--is the character of the neighborhood that it is white? affluent? not populated by victims of crime? In the opponents' continuing inability to grasp the importance of secrecy, they fault the agency (the New York Asian Women's Center) for not apprising the neighborhood of their plans, going so far as to say, "they lost [i.e. the shelter project is doomed] and I don't even think the organization should exist." So much for feeling pity for the victims of domestic violence!
The most disturbing aspect of the meeting, for me, was the inexplicable sense of persecution and resentment. They mentioned that Ms. O'Connor, the director of the NYAWS, has allegedly received death threats. "I'm sure you as a part of the community resent that [the fact that she said so]." They expressed anger that they've been accused of strong-arm tactics, and then suggested, "if pressure is applied, they may not want to open the facility at that location." They said they're not racist, but as I walked home, I heard a man say, "They [the children] are just going to play out here all day long--it's a disgrace." What on earth does that mean? One woman on the community board said that several neighborhood women approached her after the last meeting to say that they themselves were once battered women, and that " 'I wouldn't want anyone else to be hurt' "--i.e., that the battered women themselves won't want the shelter to be on our corner, for our own protection! That sure is selfless, but where could the shelter possibly be put to avoid endangering anyone?! Or, are we meant to understand that we residents of Carroll Gardens are too special to be thus endangered or inconvenienced?
I believe that their public use of the shelter's address is a stonewalling tactic, meant to make it impossible to for it to open; they are planning to hold protests "at or around the facility and elsewhere" which will create further damage. One man said that it was time for local politicians to take a stand against the facility, and not "namby-pamby about 'let's have a compromise'." I think it's our job to show them that these tactics are inappropriate and will not work; that negotiation is necessary and a compromise achievable.
Here's some info from Howard:
"Sunday, Sept. 21 - We will be distributing the letter and flyers at the Atlantic Antic. If you are interested, please meet me at noon at Peter's Waterfront Alehouse (probably outside, and if you do not know me everyone in the bar does). I should have 1250 letters and 1000 flyers. If you can be there at another time, let me know, or just drop by, I will spend most of the day on that block, which will feature continuous entertainment, and thus draw a crowd, many of whom I know. The other priority blocks are those between Smith and the water, but the entire fair is fertile ground."
Contact him if you want to help!
Also: please let roommates and friends know about what's going on. DeBlasio's district includes Park Slope, as a friend pointed out to me--she was eager to let him know that his constituents pay attention to what he's doing outside their own immediate neighborhoods. And if someone can figure out how/where to post the DeBlasio/Millman letter for convenient download, I'd be grateful and could provide a link on this page.
So far, so good! I am keen to leaflet the subway station some evening and snare the attention of all those commuters. Not sure whether a weeknight or a weekend would be better. (We'd probably have to do it later on a weekend.) And one thing's for sure--I don't want to do it alone. Anyone interested in joining me? When should we do it?
I'm sorry I couldn't come tonight, but I'm pleased to see a vocal portion of our community is taking a stand in favor of this shelter. I am frankly boggled that anyone would oppose such a worthy and, it seems to me, innocuous facility. As a lifelong Brooklynite, I am also ashamed to see stalwart residents of this community live down to the worst stereotypes spread about them: provincial, small-minded, ill-informed. My three years in this community have been so pleasant that I can't help but be saddened to see the depths to which some residents have sunk.
Hi there, thanks for the invite.
One of the first things we can do to show our feelings is to send a letter to Bill DeBlasio. Howard has a letter he has already prepared that he said he'd distribute. I'll email him to get the file. I'll keep you posted.